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Jamaica’s foreign exchange market ‘balanced’ — BOJ Governor

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor, Richard Byles, says demand and supply in the local foreign exchange market, save and except for periodic bouts of extraordinary demand, are “generally in the balance”.

Bank of Jamaica Governor, Richard Byles (2nd left), addresses journalists during Thursday’s (February 20) quarterly media briefing at the BOJ in downtown Kingston. With the Governor (from left) are: Deputy Governors Dr. Wayne Robinson, John Robinson and Natalie Haynes.

“The post-Christmas demand has been settled, and dealers are now selling more to the market than what they buy,” he said, while noting, however, that “there remains some capital market transactions” to be fulfilled.

Byles was speaking during the Central Bank’s quarterly media briefing at the BOJ in downtown Kingston on Thursday (February 20).

The Bank of Jamaica in downtown Kingston. (Photo: Caribbean Business Report)

Meanwhile, the Governor said there has been some recent appreciation in the foreign exchange rate, following fluctuations in the value of the Jamaican dollar which depreciated by 6.4 per cent or $8.48 during the early weeks of the 2020 calendar year.

He said the depreciating trend was mainly influenced by: bouts of large bloc demand associated with capital market or portfolio transactions; end-user demand associated with pre-Christmas restocking; and authorized dealers increasing their net purchases of foreign currency, having net sold foreign exchange in December 2019.

Byles said the appreciation in the value of the dollar, which closed at J$140.52 to US$1.00 on Thursday, February 20, represents “a continuation of the [flexible] two-way movement in the rate”.