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September 17, 2020
A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell less than expected in the week ended September 12th. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims slipped to 860,000, a decrease of 33,000 from the previous week. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to 912,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week. Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also plunged to 12.628 million in the week ended September 5th. Failure on the part of policymakers to enact another fiscal relief package poses significant downside risks to the economy and labor market as the recovery appears to be losing momentum. 09/17/2020 – 06:23AM (RTTNews)
New Zealand dollar traded at 0.6728 U.S. cents at 9:00 am PST.
RBNZ is set to consider whether to postpone further the capital review of local banks after the stress test revealed that banks can draw on their buffers to meet customers’ needs during challenging economic times. In December 2019, the RBNZ had decided to delay the implementation of capital review, including the proposed increase in capital requirement, until at least July 1, 2021. The RBNZ said it will be considering over the months ahead whether further delays are warranted. The current events underscore the importance of banks building strong capital buffers. Banks would be in a stronger position to withstand worsening economic conditions if they had been implemented prior to this downturn. The more capital a bank holds, the better it can weather economic storms and meet customer needs during tough times like now. 09/17/2020 – 01:11AM (RTTNews)
British Pound traded at 1.2954 against USD at 9:00 am PST.
BoE retained its interest rate at a record low, but policymakers started to assess how negative interest rates work amid talks on post Brexit trade deal, the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and the rising risk of elevated unemployment. The Monetary Policy Committee unanimously decided to hold the interest rate at 0.10%, as widely expected. The bank had altogether reduced the rate by 65 BPs at two unscheduled meetings in March. Policymakers also unanimously decided to retain the size of the asset purchase program at GBP 745 billion. The BoE together with the bank regulators will begin structured engagement on the operational considerations of negative rates in Q4. The key interest rate has never been below zero. The MPC had been briefed on the BoE's plans to explore how a negative Bank Rate could be implemented effectively, should the outlook for inflation and output warrant it at some point during this period of low equilibrium rates. Markets are expecting an expansion to its QE at the November meeting. 09/17/2020 -07:10AM(RTTNews)
Japanese Yen traded at 104.76 per USD at 9:00 am PST.
BoJ maintained its monetary policy easing as widely expected. The Policy Board of the Bank of Japan voted 8-1 to retain the interest rate at -0.1% on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the central bank. BoJ maintained its massive monetary policy stimulus and slightly lifted its assessment about the economy on Thursday, after Yoshihide Suga took charge as new Prime Minister. The bank has lifted its assessment, saying that the economy has started to pick up with economic activity resuming gradually, although it has remained in a severe situation due to the impact of coronavirus. The bank reiterated that it will not hesitate to take further monetary policy easing if required, and it expects short and long term policy rates to remain at their present or lower levels. 09/16/2020 -11:43PM(RTTNews)