HKD Depreciates Following Composite Interest Rate and CPI Announcement
• Composite Interest Rate 0.36 Percent in January 2015.
• CPI Increases in January 2015 to 4.1 Percent.
• HKD Depreciates With New Composite Interest Rate Data.
• HKD Depreciates With New CPI Data.
The HKD first depreciated against the USD on Monday, February 23rd 2015, as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the central bank of Hong Kong, announced that the composite interest rate for January 2015 was 0.36 percent, 3 basis points lower than the previous period’s reading of 0.39 percent. The composite interest rate, which is an average measure of the cost of funds for banks, fell by 3 basis points from December 2014 to January 2015. The 3 basis point decline stemmed from decreases in the weighted funding cost for both deposits and interbank funds. Investors should keep a keen watch for the next composite interest rate announcement, scheduled for the 19th of March 2015, and will provide data for February 2015.
Following the composite interest rate announcement, the HKD again depreciated against the USD as the Census and Statistics Department released CPI data for January 2015. Consumer prices year-on-year came in below leading economists’ expectations of 4.40 percent, also below December 2014’s reading of 4.90 percent, and registered an increase of 4.10 percent compared to the same month in the previous year.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, consumer prices increased by 0.1 percent over the 3-month period from November 2014 to January 2015, and for the 3-month period from October 2014 to December 2014, consumer prices increased by 0.5 percent.
The increase in consumer prices stemmed from a variety of sectors. Year-on-year increases for January 2015 were recorded for electricity, gas and water (21.7 percent in the Composite CPI and 26.6 percent in the CPI A), due to increases in household consumption and despite the government’s electricity subsidy charge. Housing prices also surged (8.3 percent in Composite CPI and 11.6 percent in the CPI A). Alcoholic drinks and tobacco rose (4.4 percent in the Composite CPI and 4.3 percent in the CPI A), due to a rise of tobacco duty.