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FX Update

US Senate passes bill supporting Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters bringing strong rebuke from China


Financial markets sold off around the world while the US dollar and other safe-haven currencies outperformed. The US support of Hong Kong protesters will greatly reduce Chinese interest in any trade deal. The Canadian dollar weakened again on dovish comments from a central bank official.

“Life is unchartered territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time”
Leo Buscaglia
  • FX Rates
    November 20, 2019

    Rates are not real time. Rates are today's indicative mid-market rates as of time of publishing, which may vary. Please contact SVB for a current quote.

  • USD

    Weary investors piled into the US dollar as uncertainty around US/China relationship causes a risk-off selloff. President Trump has increased pressure on China in the trade talks by stating that he would raise US tariffs on Chinese goods if no deal is reached. In a sign of further strain on the US/China relationship, China’s Foreign ministry has strongly condemned a US senate bill which effectively shows support for HK protesters by banning the export of certain munitions to HK police.


    The pound weakened for a second day as election jitters hit the FX markets. A snap poll after the first live television debate last night showed Labour gaining on the Conservative lead. During the debate, PM Johnson stated that the UK can absolutely agree a post Brexit trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020.  Meanwhile Corbyn said that he would carry-out the result of a second referendum and look to end austerity.


    The euro weakened vs. the US dollar after German PPI data for October came in weaker than expected at -0.6%.


    The C-dollar was weaker late yesterday after dovish comments from a member of the central bank but has since regained strength. Oil prices climbed today after two days of losses as growing tensions in the Middle East continue, following Israeli air strikes in Syria.


    The offshore Chinese renminbi sank following the US Senate passing a bill in support of Hong Kong protesters, thus clouding the outlook for a trade deal. The Indian rupee settled slightly stronger as the price of oil has fallen over 4% this week. However, the rupee is still trading close to its weakest levels over the past 12 months.
    The Japanese yen headed for a third day of gains on safe-haven buying.

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About the Author

Peter Compton is a senior foreign exchange advisor for Silicon Valley Bank’s global financial services group, and has been with SVB since 2007. He helps clients design and implement hedging strategies for foreign currency exposures. Compton has over 20 years experience in global financial markets.

Before joining Silicon Valley Bank, Compton spent seven years working in the European equity markets. Based in Germany, he spent four years with HSBC and three years as Head of Equity Sales for ABN-AMRO in Frankfurt. Prior to his work overseas, Compton spent seven years with Bank of America in San Francisco as an equity and fixed income derivative specialist.

Compton holds a bachelor's degree in business and management from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's of Business Administration from San Francisco State University.
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