December 9, 2016
Indicative Interbank spot sell rates only as of 9:00 AM PST.
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United States (US) wholesale inventories fell as previously reported in October amid a surge in sales, supporting views that inventory investment would provide a modest boost to economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said on Friday that wholesale inventories decreased 0.4% after rising 0.1% in September. The department reported last month that wholesale inventories declined 0.4% in October. The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of GDP - wholesale stocks excluding autos - also fell 0.4% in October. Inventory investment contributed half a percentage point to the economy's 3.2% annualized growth rate in the third quarter. Inventories had weighed on GDP growth since the second quarter of 2015.
Australia’s dollar traded at 74.47 U.S. cents at 10:44 am PST and New Zealand dollar traded at 71.39 U.S. cents. Retail card spending in New Zealand slowed in November after two straight months of strong growth as economists pointed to disruptions caused by a deadly earthquake that damaged buildings and communication lines. Statistics New Zealand said retail spending using electronic cards slipped 0.1% in November after a revised 0.5% gain the previous month, with falls in the hospitality, clothing, footwear and durable goods sectors. It is only the third fall this year, with card spending up a solid 5.1% over the past year. The New Zealand government on Thursday downgraded its budget surplus estimate for 2016/17, largely due to an estimated NZ$1 billion ($717 million) in net costs related to the earthquake.
Euro traded at 1.0548 against USD at 10:44 am PST. Germany's trade surplus in October was slightly smaller than expected, as exports recovered only modestly after September's decline. German exports in October rose 0.5% from the month before, adjusted for seasonal swings and calendar effects, while imports increased 1.3%. Total exports in the first ten months of the year were 0.3% higher than in the same period in 2015, a sign that uncertainties in the wake of the U.S. presidential election and the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union are already hurting Europe's largest export nation. The adjusted trade surplus, meanwhile, fell to 20.5 billion euros ($21.8 billion) from a revised EUR21.1 billion in September, below economists' forecasts of EU21.0 billion. Germany's current account balance--a broad measure of an economy's international financial position--showed a surplus of EUR18.4 billion in October, on a non-adjusted basis. The outcome was below economists' forecasts and below the surplus of EUR21.7 billion recorded in October last year.
British Pound exchange rate is 1.2562 against USD at 10:45 am PST. Britain's trade deficit narrowed more than forecast in October, after the previous month figures were revised upward following a miscalculation in how trade in gold was recorded. According to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday (9 December), the trade deficit in October narrowed to £1.97bn from £5.81bn ($7.3bn, €6.89bn) in September, a figure which was revised upward from the previous £5.2bn.
Japanese Yen traded at 115.22 per USD at 10:45 am PST. Japan's business survey index of large manufacturers improved in the three months ended December, while future situation is expected to fall. The Business Survey Index, or BSI, rose to 7.5 in the three-month period to December from 2.9 in the previous three months. At the same time, the sentiment is expected to decline to 4.6 in the January to March period and predicts a -1.3 score for the second quarter of 2017.
Onshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.9039 per USD at 10:45 am PST and offshore Chinese yuan traded at 6.9279 per USD. Consumer prices in China were up 2.3% on year in November. That exceeded expectations for 2.2% and was up from 2.1% in October. On a monthly basis, inflation added 0.1% after easing 0.1% a month earlier. The bureau also said that producer prices surged an annual 3.3% versus forecasts for 2.3% following the 1.2% gain in the previous month.
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.