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Foreign Exchange Market Update

Foreign Exchange Market Update

Please call the FX Department at 626-279-3235 for the most current rate.

March 8, 2021

Overnight changes in major currencies (9 a.m. PST)


United States (US): USD Advances As Treasury Yields Spike Up On Stimulus Progress

USD moved up against its major counterparts on Monday, as Treasury yields rose following the US Senate's approval of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package on Saturday. President Biden's Covid relief package was passed with 50-49 votes from the Senate, paving the way for $1,400 checks and jobless benefits. The bill will be discussed in the House, with a vote due this week. Democrats want the bill to be cleared before March 14, when the current expanded unemployment benefits run out. The yield on the benchmark US 10-year Treasuries hovered near one-year highs amid hopes of faster economic growth and higher inflation. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen dismissed inflationary pressures, saying that the true unemployment rate was around 10% and slack persisted in the labor market. 03/08/2021 - 04:05AM (RTTNews)


European Union (EU): Eurozone Investor Confidence At 13-Month High

Euro traded at 1.1859 against USD at 9:00 am PST. 

Eurozone investor confidence improved to the highest level in more than a year in March as lockdowns had little negative impact, survey data from Sentix showed on Monday. The investor sentiment index advanced to +5.0 in March from -0.2 in February. This was the highest score since February 2020 and above economists' forecast of 1.9. The think tank said the data suggests that the euro area economic recovery is continuing. The current conditions index came in at a one-year high of -19.3, versus -27.5 in the previous month. At the same time, the expectations indicator rose moderately to 32.5 from 31.5 a month ago. On a positive note, the pandemic seems to have peaked at the global level and vaccination is also progressing well in that the number of immunized individuals is increasing and statistics suggest that effective vaccination protection is being achieved. These trends allow for a faster opening of the economy. In Germany, investor confidence reached its highest level since November 2018. The sentiment index rose to 11.9 in March from 8.6 a month ago. The current conditions index improved to -9.5 from -15.5, while the expectations indicator held steady at 35.8. The survey was conducted among 1,218 investors between March 4 and 6. The global investor sentiment index rose to a three-year high of 20.5 in March from 17.5 in February. 03/08/2021 - 05:34AM (RTTNews)


Switzerland: Jobless Rate Increases In February

Swiss Franc traded at 0.9359 against USD at 9:00 am PST. 

Data showed on Monday Switzerland's jobless rate increased in February. The jobless rate rose seasonally to 3.6% in February from 3.7% in January. On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6% in February from 3.7% in the previous month. The number of registered unemployed increased to 167,953 in February from the preceding month. 03/08/2021 - 03:38AM (RTTNews)


United Kingdom (UK): GBP Higher Amid Easing Of Lockdown Restrictions

British Pound traded at 1.3814 against USD at 9:00 am PST. 

GBP strengthened against its major counterparts in the European session on Monday, amid optimism over the UK's vaccine rollout and the easing of a stringent lockdown, with children returning to school for the first time since January. The first step in the easing of lockdown restrictions in England begin today as part of the government's 'roadmap' to reopen the economy. Care home residents will also be allowed one regular visitor and outdoor recreation between two people will be permitted. A measure of UK business confidence hit a 12-month high, adding to optimism over economic recovery. 03/08/2021 - 05:53AM (RTTNews)


Japan: Leading Index Highest In 2½ Years

Japanese Yen traded at 108.85 per USD at 9:00 am PST. 

Japan's leading index increased to the highest level in 2½ years in January, preliminary data from the Cabinet Office showed on Monday. The leading index, which measures the future economic activity, grew to 99.1 in January from 97.7 in December. The latest reading was the highest since September 2018, when it was 99.2. The coincident index decreased to 91.7 in January from 88.2 in the previous month. This was the highest reading since February last year. The lagging index rose to 91.9 in January from 90.8 in the prior month. This was the highest reading since July last year. 03/08/2021 - 01:32AM (RTTNews)

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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