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Foreign Exchange Market Update

Foreign Exchange Market Update

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September 18, 2020

Overnight changes in major currencies (9am PST)


United States (US): Leading Economic Index Suggests Rebound May Be Losing Steam; CSI Improves in September

The Conference Board said its leading economic index jumped by 1.2% in August after surging up by 2.0% in July. The slowdown in the pace of improvement suggests that this summer's economic rebound may be losing steam heading into the final stretch of 2020. Weakening in new orders for capital goods, residential  construction, consumers' outlook, and financial conditions point to increasing downside risks to the economic recovery. Looking ahead to 2021, the LEI suggests that the US economy will start the new year under substantially weakened economic conditions. The report said the coincident economic index also rose by 0.6% in August after jumping by 1.2% in July and soaring by 3.9% in June. Meanwhile, the lagging economic index fell by 0.6% in August, matching the decrease in the previous month. 09/18/2020 – 07:27AM (RTTNews)

US CSI improved in early September, which also showed the upcoming November presidential election was starting to have an impact on expectations about future economic prospects. The University of Michigan said its CSI rose to 78.9 in the first half of this month from a final reading of 74.1 in August. 09/18/2020 – 07:13AM (RTTNews)

United Kingdom (UK): GBP under pressure as COVID-19 cases jump

British Pound traded at 1.2950 against USD at 9:00 am PST. 
GBP edged lower on Friday as rising COVID-19 cases and BoE signaling it is examining negative interest rates kept the currency under pressure in case economic woes deepen. After GBP gained some ground in early trade, investors turned tail as UK signaled it was considering whether to impose a second national lockdown. The prospect of a chaotic end to the Brexit transition period in December if UK fails to agree a trade deal with the EU also continues to overhang on GBP. The BoE kept its main stimulus programs on hold this week, as expected, and said that UK’s economy had performed better than expected. But highlighting risks relating to rising COVID-19 cases, the unwinding of jobs protection schemes, and Brexit, the BoE said it was ready to take further action. 09/18/2020 -01:37AM(RTTNews)

Japan: Inflation Slows To 0.2% On Year In August

Japanese Yen traded at 104.43 per USD at 9:00 am PST. 

Overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan were up 0.2% on year in August, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday slowing from 0.3% in July. Core CPI sank an annual 0.4%. Individually, prices were down for fuel, education and recreation - while prices were higher for food, housing, furniture, clothing and medical care. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, overall inflation slipped 0.1% and core CPI dropped 0.4%. 09/17/2020 -10:12PM(RTTNews)

Canada: CAD Slips As Underlying Retail Sales Decline

Canadian dollar traded at 1.3177 per USD at 9:00 am PST.

CAD weakened against its counterparts on Friday as domestic data showed a drop in underlying retail sales in July, with the CAD on track to end lower for the second straight week. Canadian retail sales in July rose by 0.6%. August sales probably gained 1.1% on the month. Core retail declined 1.2% in July. A recent surge in COVID-19 cases is forcing Canadian PM Trudeau to scale back his plan to outline an ambitious green economic recovery package next week. 09/18/2020 -06:34AM(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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