November 25, 2015
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 8:30 AM PST.
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Mortgage applications dropped 3.2% from last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Nov. 20. The latest report on personal income and outlays showed that income rose as expected in October while spending rose less than expected. Income rose 0.4% in October while spending ticked up 0.1%. Real spending rose 0.1% in October, which was also less than expected. In the 12 months through October, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index was up 0.2 percent after a similar rise in September. The durable goods report showed a rise of 3.0 percent in October. Non-defense, ex-aircraft capital goods orders soundly topped expectations with a rise of 1.3 percent after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent gain in September. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ended Nov. 21, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. New-home sales climbed 10.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000. This rebound followed a 12.9 percent plunge in the sales rate during September.
Australia’s dollar traded at 72.54 U.S. cents at 9:39 AM PST and New Zealand dollar traded at 65.79 U.S. cents. The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that the total value of construction work done in Australia tumbled a seasonally adjusted 3.6 percent on quarter in the third quarter of 2015, coming in at Australian dollar 49.040 billion. That missed forecasts for a decline of 2.0 percent following the 1.6 percent increase in the second quarter. While Australian internet-based skilled vacancies continued their four-month run of positive month-on-month expansion, rising 0.6% in October. Another data point supporting the steadily strengthening employment situation in Australia.
Euro traded at 1.0628 against USD at 9:40 am PST. The euro hit a seven-month low against the dollar on Wednesday after Reuters reported the European Central Bank is considering policy options such as whether to stagger charges on banks hoarding cash or to buy more debt. Little over a week before the ECB's next policy meeting, numerous alternatives are open, from snapping up the bonds of towns and regions to introducing a two-tier penalty charge on banks that park money with the ECB, officials said. The head of the European Union’s executive said Wednesday that the region’s Schengen border-free system was under threat and warned that if it fails, the single currency could fall with it.
British Pound exchange rate is 1.5121 against USD at 9:40 am PST. British banks approved more mortgages in October than a month before, taking the annual growth rate to the highest since April 2014, while personal lending expanded by the largest amount since March. Banks approved 45,437 mortgages for house purchase last month, up from 44,825 in September and 21 percent higher than a year earlier, the British Bankers' Association said on Wednesday. Net lending for personal loans and overdrafts rose by 228 million pounds in October, the biggest net rise for a month of October since 2006 and news that comes a day after the Bank of England warned lawmakers about rapid consumer credit growth.
Japanese Yen traded at 122.68 per USD at 9:41 am PST. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) minutes further underlined the BoJ’s reluctance to further extend their QQE monetary easing policy. BoJ members were keen to emphasize positives around the economy, while little notice was paid to the fact that Japan entered a technical recession in Q3. Japanese services PPI held steady at 0.5% year-on-year expansion. Confidence among Japan's small and medium-sized enterprises increased in November, after falling in the previous month, survey figures released by the Shoko Chukin Bank showed Wednesday. The small business confidence index climbed to 49.9 in November, the highest since March this year, from 48.7 in the previous month. In September, the reading was 49.0. The leading index for Japan, which measures the future economic activity, decreased less than initially estimated in September, latest figures from the Cabinet Office showed Wednesday. The leading index fell to 101.6 in September, which was revised up from the preliminary estimate of 101.4. In August, the reading was 103.5.
Onshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.3888 per USD at 9:41 am PST and offshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.4252 per USD. Consumer sentiment in China edged up in November from a record low, as confidence in the labor market improved and consumers became more confident about the prospects for business conditions, a survey showed Wednesday. The Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment Indicator rose to 113.1 in November from 109.7 in October. Last month's reading marked the lowest since the survey began in 2007. Labor market sentiment also improved, with the Employment Outlook Indicator snapping a three-month run of declines, although at 95.2, it stayed below the break-even level of 100. China's housing market continued to cool, albeit from a high level, with the House Price Expectations index falling for the third month in a row. But consumers remained optimistic about taking part in the property market, the survey showed.
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.