August 28, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
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The U.S. dollar was little changed at $1.1242 per Euro as of 9:56 a.m. in New York. It advanced 1.3 percent on the week, the biggest gain since July 17. The U.S. dollar weakened 0.1 percent to 120.87 Japanese yen, deepening its depreciation since August 21 to 1 percent. The U.S. dollar held its weekly advance against the Euro as a report showed U.S. consumer purchases climbed in July and incomes grew, adding to speculation the economy will be resilient despite a slowdown in China. The U.S. dollar was higher versus all its Group-of-10 peers except the Japanese yen this week as stocks regained some ground. Consumer purchases rose 0.3 percent in July, matching the prior month’s gain, a Commerce Department report showed Friday in Washington.
The British pound fluctuated and was trading at $1.5377 as of 12:32 p.m. London time, down 0.2 percent from Thursday. Britain’s strengthening economy and accelerating wage growth are pushing Bank of England policy makers closer to their first interest-rate increase from the current record low. While tighter monetary policy is on its way, market volatility and a weaker global outlook sparked by China’s currency devaluation have clouded the timing for central banks to step back from emergency settings. U.K. exports picked up in the second quarter, helping trade contribute to the economic expansion by the most in four years. Exports rose 3.9 percent from the previous three months, while imports gained just 0.6 percent. Gross domestic product increased 0.7 percent in the period, including a 1 percentage-point addition from net trade. Consumer-spending growth eased slightly to 0.7 percent and the pace of government expenditure held at 0.9 percent. Business investment increased 2.9 percent on the quarter, the most in a year, and was up 5 percent from a year earlier. A drop in oil and food prices has kept the U.K. inflation rate close to zero for much of the year. Overall U.K. growth continues to be led by services, the largest part of the economy, which expanded 0.7 percent; production growth was revised down to 0.7 percent from 1 percent.
The Euro continued to slide, as the recovery in the US equity market and calm that returned to the Asian markets renewed some expectations that the US Federal Reserve might look at a September rate rise once more. Greece’s economy grew more than initially estimated in the second quarter as consumption surged during the battle with the euro area over financial aid. Gross domestic product rose 0.9 percent, compared with an initial estimate on Aug. 13 of 0.8 percent. That’s up from 0.1 percent in the first quarter and meant output was 1.6 percent higher than a year earlier, the fastest pace of annual growth since 2008. Total consumption expenditure rose 1.1 percent in the second quarter, while exports grew 0.1 percent and imports decreased 4.9 percent, according to the breakdown of GDP components in Friday’s release. German inflation held close to zero for a third month amid a drop in oil prices that’s raised concerns among some European Central Bank policy makers. Consumer prices rose an annual 0.1 percent in August, unchanged from July. A drop in commodity costs and a slowdown in the Chinese economy are weighing on inflation across the 19-nation euro area, where the European Central Bank is already struggling to push the rate for the currency bloc back to its goal of just under 2 percent.
Canadian stocks rose a fourth day, after posting the best performance since 2011 Thursday, as the benchmark index continued to climb back from an almost two-year low. Equities have jumped 6 percent in four days after plunging the most in almost four years. The benchmark equities index rose 73.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,839.84 at 11:47 a.m. in Toronto. A volatility gauge for 60 of the largest, most liquid stocks in Canada fell 3.2 percent to 23.73. The measure touched an all-time high of 38.15 on Monday.
The Japanese yen was trading at 121.12 per U.S. dollar at 9:52 a.m. in Tokyo, gaining almost 3 percent amid global financial market turbulence following China’s currency devaluation earlier this month. Japanese stocks jumped, as a global equity rebound gained momentum and the Japanese yen fell against the U.S. dollar. The Bank of Japan’s key inflation gauge slumped to zero for the third time this year. China’s economic slowdown, renewed declines in oil and commodities and a recent surge in the Japanese yen. Other data for July released Friday provide a mixed picture for the start of the third quarter. Household spending unexpectedly fell, retail sales rose 0.6 percent from June, bouncing back from a 0.8 percent drop, while the job market remained tight. The job-to-applicant ratio rose to 1.21.
The China yuan in Shanghai climbed as much as 0.33 percent, its biggest intra-day gain since March 19, before closing 0.26 percent stronger at 6.3885 per U.S. dollar. It rose 0.31 percent in Hong Kong’s offshore market. The central bank’s rate was strengthened by 0.15 percent on Friday to 6.3986 per U.S. dollar. China’s central bank raised its China yuan reference rate by the most in five months. The strengthening of the reference rate raises questions about policy makers’ role in determining the level. The People’s Bank of China devalued the China yuan on August 11 and adopted a new methodology for setting its official rate, saying market makers who submit contributing prices would have to consider the previous day’s close, foreign-exchange demand and supply, as well as changes in major currency rates. The central bank didn’t elaborate on its role in determining the fixing. The onshore spot rate is allowed to diverge from the central bank’s rate by a maximum 2 percent and the fixing was used to guide market expectations prior to this month’s devaluation. Since the weakening of the exchange rate and the changes to the reference rate’s calculation, the People’s Bank of China has been intervening to support the China yuan, a policy that eats into its $3.65 trillion of foreign-exchange reserves.
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 situation or needs of any recipient. Cathay Bank does not make any representations or warranties about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of this market update.