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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Nov. 21) – The U.S. dollar cash exchange rate has hit its lowest level against the French Pacific franc since 1980, according to data from the Banque de Polynésie posted on the French Polynesia Statistical Institute's Internet Web site.

And additional data from the bank's Web site on Tuesday shows that when compared with the institute's statistics, the average exchange rate for:

100 Japanese Yen hit the lowest level since 1987—73.4 French Pacific francs on Tuesday;

The Australian dollar hit the lowest level since the February-March period this year—71.77 French Pacific francs on Tuesday;

The New Zealand dollar hit the lowest level since September last year—61.59 French Pacific francs on Tuesday;

And, the Hong Kong dollar hit a new low since 2002, when the institute began posting the bank's average exchange rate for this currency—10.38 French Pacific francs on Tuesday.

The exchange rates have a direct impact on tourists visiting Tahiti and Her Islands. The lower the exchange rate, the more expensive any purchases become.

The average USD cash exchange rate for the year 1980 was 77.292 French Pacific francs (F CFP), ranging from a high average of 83.6 F CFP for December to a low average of 73.8 F CFP in January.

The average rate is calculated by adding up the bank's average buying rate and average selling rate for 1USD in cash and dividing the sum by two, the Banque de Polynésie confirmed.

Tuesday's Banque de Polynésie exchange rate for buying the USD in cash was 77.902 F CFP and the selling exchange rate for USD in cash was 83.734 F CFP. That created an average exchange rate of 80.82 F FCP.

The USD had an average exchange rate of 88.314 F CFP for the first 10 months of this year, ranging from a high of 92.14 F CFP in January to a low of 83.84 F CFP in October. That means the average USD exchange rate at the Banque de Polynésie dropped 9.9% between January and October.

On the world money market, The Financial Times in London reported on its Web site Tuesday that the USD has dropped 16% this year against a basket of major currencies.

In Tahiti, 2003 was the last year that the Banque de Polynésie gave the institute an average USD cash exchange rate of 100 F CFP or higher. The average rate for 2003 was 105.657 F CFP.

The last time the institute showed a monthly average cash exchange rate for the USD of 100 F CFP or higher was December, 2005, when the rate was 100.75 FCFP after a November average rate of 101.38 F CFP.

Since 1980, the all-time highest average yearly exchange rate for the USD was 164.408 F CFP, which occurred in 1985. During that year, the average rate ranged from a high of 184.7 F CFP in March to a low of 140.9 F CFP in December.

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