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September 27, 2016

Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 9:00 AM PST.

USD/CNY----6.6691 (onshore)
United States (US) Home prices were unchanged in July, holding onto 5% year-on-year gains, which has been roughly the trend rate for nearly two years now.   Declines were mostly led by those cities that have been the weakest - Chicago and New York, which are now up just 2.6% and 1.8%, year-on-year, respectively. The last two months saw price declines in Atlanta and San Francisco, both notable given those had been stronger markets.  However, they are still up 5.5% and 6.4%, year-on-year, respectively.   The strongest markets remain in the Pacific Northwest with Seattle and Portland up 11.4 and 13.9% year-over-year and 0.3% and 1.2% on the month, respectively. On another note, consumer confidence rose by 2.3 points in September to 104.1, compared with market expectations for a decline to 99.0.   The index is now 1.5% above its year ago level. Present Situation Index rose by 3.2 points to 128.5. The index is 6.8% above its year ago level. 
Australia’s dollar traded at 76.67 U.S. cents at 10:54 AM PST and New Zealand dollar traded at 73.00 U.S. cents. ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence bounced back this week, rising a solid 4.4% to 120.6 and more than offsetting the previous week’s decline. The improvement in confidence was broadly based. Consumers’ views towards their current finances jumped 5.4%, while views towards future finances rose a solid 4.0%. Encouragingly, the indicator on current finances is at a post-GFC high.
Euro traded at 1.1224 against USD at 10:54 am PST. The industrial sales index of Italy gauges the monthly development of sales by industrial enterprises at current prices. The seasonally adjusted turnover index in July rose 2.1% month-on-month, as compared with June’s -1.1%. The percentage change of the average of the last three months compared to the earlier three months was -0.4%.
British Pound exchange rate is 1.3022 against USD at 10:54 am PST. British retailers saw weaker-than-expected sales in September, but shop owners remained optimistic in the short term, expecting sales to bounce back in October. The Confederation of British Industry's headline gauge for retail sales fell to minus 8 in September, from plus 9 in August, well below the expectations of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who forecast a reading of plus 8. The September figure--comprising data from 120 companies between August 25 and September 14--was also 11 points below the industry's own forecast for the month.
Japanese Yen traded at 100.29 per USD at 10:55 am PST. Japan producer price index fell 0.3% month-on-month in August from zero in July, and weaker than economists’ expectations for a 0.1% decline. It was the biggest monthly drop since April’s 0.4% decline, and the sixth month of declining prices this year. But the yearly pace improved to be down 3.6% from a year earlier, compared to the 3.9% year-on-year contraction in July. Economists anticipated a decline of 3.4%.
Onshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.6691 per USD at 10:55 am PST and offshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.6839 per USD. SWIFT announces today it has successfully completed the first phase of the global payments innovation (gpi) initiative pilot, clearing the way for the go-live of the service in early 2017. The Chinese yuan has been steadily losing its attraction, according to a report by Swift payment system. As an effect of economic stagnation, uncertainties, higher volatilities and surprised devaluation of the yuan in August last year and large depreciation in January this year, it’s losing its stature in the global payment system.
This market update is prepared by Cathay Bank for informational purposes only and does not constitute any form of legal, tax or investment advice, nor should it be considered an assurance or guarantee of future exchange rate movements or trends. This information is provided without regard to the specific objectives, financial situations or needs of any recipient. Cathay Bank does not make any representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of this market update.

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