Morning Briefing: NAB to boost lending to businesses

National Australia Bank has signalled a stronger demand for business lending... Yen rises with dollar on demand for safety after Paris attacks...

NAB to boost lending to businesses
National Australia Bank has signalled a stronger demand for business lending including higher business confidence and an early indication of a lift in investment, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Head of NAB's business bank Angela Mentis said the increase in interest in business lending stemmed from customers' brighter outlook on the economy, a weaker Australian dollar and the change in Prime Minister. 

"When you look at the Aussie dollar and the lower interest rates, a number of sectors are benefiting from that," Mentis said. "So services is benefiting from that, so we're seeing demand for credit from services, property and health services." 

"As I've travelled around Sydney metro and western Sydney and metro Victoria, our customers are feeling better and they're feeling more confident to invest in their businesses," Ms Mentis said.

"We're actually getting back from a lot of our customers that they're excited that there is renewed political focus on a prosperous and productive economy," she said.
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Yen rises with dollar on demand for safety after Paris attacks
(Bloomberg) -- The yen advanced along with the U.S. dollar as foreign-exchange markets opened for the first time since the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, with investors seeking assets that trade as havens.

While the euro weakened, losses may be limited by its emergence as a refuge asset in recent months. The shared currency had pared declines in the final 90 minutes of trading in New York on Friday as news of the assault started to emerge.

The violence in one of Europe’s most heavily-policed cities may heighten investor concern about the global political and economic outlook. The dollar is often bought amid turmoil as the world’s reserve currency while Japan’s current-account surplus makes it attractive when investors seek safety. The Australian and New Zealand dollars are vulnerable to declines when higher- yielding assets are sold.

“The initial knee-jerk reaction in the markets could be one of risk-off given that the tragic events in Paris could add a layer of geopolitical risk,” Valentin Marinov, head of Group- of-10 foreign-exchange strategy at Credit Agricole SA’s corporate and investment bank unit in London, said before markets opened. “The liquid safe-haven currencies like euro and yen could benefit at the expense of risk-correlated and commodity Group-of-10 currencies.”

Yen Advances
Japan’s currency advanced 0.2 percent to 122.34 per dollar as of 6:46 a.m. Sydney time on Monday, after rising 0.4 percent last week. The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.0735, having gained 0.3 percent last week. The Aussie weakened 0.2 percent to 71.13 U.S. cents and the kiwi declined by the same amount to 65.26 U.S. cents.

The dollar gained against all of the Group of 10 major currencies except for the yen.

Record-low interest rates in the euro region have boosted trades where investors borrow cheaply in euros in order to purchase higher-yielding assets, including equities. In times of market turmoil those trades may be unwound, bolstering the euro, even though the attack was directed at the currency bloc’s second largest economy. Stock markets in the Middle East fell during Sunday trading.
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