|Euro / LP||16,072.50||16,281.00||-1.28%||901.26%|
|Euro / Dollar||1.0715||1.0854||-1.28%||0.63%|
Lebanese Forex Market
The Lebanese Pound (LBP) remained steady within the new official rate of USD/LBP 15,000 by September 08, 2023.
On the parallel market, the Lebanese national currency remained steady this week with almost same average as previous week of 89,510 LBP/USD. The pair LBP/USD recorded a minimum of 89,300 LBP/USD and a maximum of 89,700 LBP/USD during the course of this week. The Central Bank is intending to replace its own current exchange platform Sayrafa and implementing a fresh currency exchange platform via Bloomberg due to concern about Sayrafa’s transparency and governance issues. Especially as the World Bank declared that buy-side Sayrafa participants may have made as much as $2.5B through arbitrage trades.
As for the Euro/LBP currency pair, the Euro depreciated against the dollar-pegged LBP with the currency pair going down from last week €/LBP 16,281 to €/LBP 16,072.501 by September 08, 2023. The Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (NEER) of the Lebanese pound registered a slight increase during the course of the week to stand at 237.72 points on September 08, 2023.
International Forex Market
This week, the dollar index made a 1.32% increase from previous week to stand at 104.924 by Friday, and hitting a fresh six-month high of 105.03 during the course of this week. The dollar currency was driven by surprising strength in the services sector, as indicated by recent US data. The sector showed increased activity due to a surge in new orders and businesses paying higher prices, signaling ongoing inflation pressures. In fact, the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) surprised economists by rising to 54.5 last month, the highest level since February.
Following this data, the strengthen of the US dollar caused the Euro and Sterling to reach their lowest levels in three months, with exchange rates of EUR/USD 1.0715 and GBP/USD 1.2490, respectively, by Friday 08, 2023. Meanwhile, The U.S. economy is notably stronger compared to most of the G10 countries and faces significantly lower risks of recession. Given the uncertainties surrounding the UK and the Eurozone, investors seem compelled to rely on the U.S. economy. The data indicates that interest rates are likely to stay high for an extended period, though it does not change the anticipation that the Federal Reserve might halt its rate hikes in an upcoming meeting this month.
For other currencies in Europe, Swiss currency remained in action, as the Swiss economy is still stagnant in the April and June Quarter while investors expected a growth rate of 0.1% while in the first quarter of 2023 the Swiss economy grew by 0.3%. As such, USD/CHF pair traded 1.04% higher by Friday September 08, 2023 at 0.8909.
As for the Japanese currency, the USD/JPY pair ended the week on a positive ground extending gains after registering losses for the last week to stand at USD/ JPY 147.37. It is worth noting that the currency market is closely monitoring the yen for potential intervention as it gained strength, following a warning from Japan’s top currency diplomat, Masato Kanda, who indicated that they are open to considering various measures if speculative activities continue.
Elsewhere, the Australian depreciated by 1.25% from the previous week to stand at 0.6391 AUD/USD while the Canadian dollar rebounded and added 1.17% by the end of this week to 1.3666 USD/CAD.
Gold price witnessed a downward movement as the U.S. dollar took a step up this week. However, despite last two weeks’ temporary rally, the yellow metal dropped by 0.93% to stand at 1,923.7/ounce on Friday 08, 2023. The reason behind this drop could be attributed to traders overlooking the anticipated pause by the Fed, choosing instead to focus on the consistent strong US data this week. Besides the stronger USD.
As for crude oil, prices jumped further by 3.23% for the third consecutive week to stand at $89.87 per barrel on September 08, 2023. Oil markets extended the multi-session rally and closed on three-week tops driven by Saudi oil cut announcement as it declared to extend voluntary cut of 1 million barrel per day until end of December, 2023.