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Making An International Currency Payment

Whether you need to pay a deposit on your holiday accommodation, or even if you just need to transfer Euros to pay your overseas household expenses or monthly bills, you still need to think about how you will make the payments. International Currency Exchange rates alter daily, high street banks do not necessarily offer the best deal and this can have an enormous impact on the amount you will eventually pay.

At, we understand the importance of getting value for money. That is why, after careful research, we formed a partnership with Global Currency Exchange Network (GCEN) to offer you the very best in foreign exchange services. Global Currency Exchange Network eliminates the risk of fluctuating currency rates by fixing the rate in advance of your purchase. GCEN has a thorough understanding and years of experience dealing with clients requiring foreign currency.

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To set up an account with the Global Currency Exchange Network please follow the link below:

Register with GCEN

Featuring Currency Case Illustrations
Nation - Google News
Nation - Google News
Google News

Scottish independence: Counting begins in referendum - BBC News
18 Sep 2014 at 5:00pm

BBC News

Scottish independence: Counting begins in referendum
BBC News
The polls have closed and counting is under way in the referendum to decide whether Scotland should stay in the UK or become an independent country. Counting will be carried out through the night, with individual results announced for each of Scotland's ...
Scottish independence: They came, they queued, they decided their fateBelfast Telegraph
Scottish referendum: poll suggests nation has voted against independenceThe Guardian
2 in 3 English MPs want to axe Scotland perksDaily Mail
The Independent -Metro
all 7,982 news articles »

British hostage John Cantlie appears in new ISIS propaganda video - Daily Mail
18 Sep 2014 at 5:22pm

British hostage John Cantlie appears in new ISIS propaganda video
Daily Mail
A third British hostage has appeared in a new Islamic State propaganda video just a day after more than 100 Muslim leaders pleaded with the terror group to release another UK aid worker. The video, which has not been independently verified, shows ...
Isil John Cantlie video: gone is the butchery, replaced by calm, disturbing
Video of British hostage John Cantlie releasedBBC News
New video allegedly shows British man being held by ISISIrish Independent
The Independent -The Star -Daily Star
all 393 news articles »

Alex Salmond stays away from Scottish referendum count - The Guardian
18 Sep 2014 at 5:16pm

The Guardian

Alex Salmond stays away from Scottish referendum count
The Guardian
First minister Alex Salmond takes time out on polling day in Ellon. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA. Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond has pulled out of attending his nearest referendum count centre in what is being interpreted as an early sign that he may ...
Alex Salmond talks to schoolchildren after casting his vote in Strichen Peter ...The Times (subscription)
Video: Aberdeenshire count gets underwayAberdeen Press and Journal
Flags and tartan in independence leader Salmond's home villageThe Straits Times
New York Daily News -The News International
all 17 news articles »

Thailand beach murders: Police 'no closer to catching killer' of 2 British .....
18 Sep 2014 at 4:49pm

The Guardian

Thailand beach murders: Police 'no closer to catching killer' of 2 British ...
Thai police chiefs last night admitted they were no closer to catching the killer of two British backpackers. Detectives finally allowed brothers Chris and James Ware to return home to the UK after ruling them out as suspects in the horrific murders of Hannah ...
General apologises as Thai police admit they are clueless over backpacker ...The Times (subscription)
PM 'sorry' for bikini gaffeBangkok Post
Thailand's paradise island murder mysteryBBC News -Courier Mail
all 89 news articles »

'Yes' campaign wins Twitter battle by 3-1 - Irish Independent
18 Sep 2014 at 4:09pm

Social Times

'Yes' campaign wins Twitter battle by 3-1
Irish Independent
The Yes campaign won the independence referendum battle on Twitter, the social network has revealed. Share. Go To. Comments. More than seven million tweets about the referendum have been sent since the first televised debate on August 5, including ...
Scottish independence referendum followed around the world on Twitter heatmapDaily Mail
'Yes' Wins Referendum's Social Media BattleYahoo News UK
Watch the UK ? and the world ? tweet its opinions on Scottish independenceVox
International Business Times -Belfast Newsletter
all 22 news articles »

Tory backlash for extra Holyrood powers intensifies - Herald Scotland
18 Sep 2014 at 4:57pm

Herald Scotland

Tory backlash for extra Holyrood powers intensifies
Herald Scotland
The Tory backlash against the promise of extra powers for Holyrood from the three main UK party leaders has intensified with Claire Perry becoming the first Coalition Minister to join the complaints. The Tory backlash against the promise of extra powers for ...
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister ...The Independent
Tory MPs expected to 'buy ice-creams in Clacton' instead of going to
Cameron facing growing rebellion over 'financial party bags' being offered to ...Daily Mail
Western Daily Press -The Guardian -Huffington Post UK
all 11 news articles »

Independence referendum: Yes and No campaigners gather in Glasgow as ... - Sc...
18 Sep 2014 at 5:09pm

BBC News

Independence referendum: Yes and No campaigners gather in Glasgow as ...
Scotland Now
GROUPS of Yes and No supporters were in George Square tonight as polling in Scotland's independence referendum closed. Share; Share; Tweet; +1; Email. VIEW GALLERY. SUPPORTERS from both sides of the campaign gathered in Glasgow tonight as ...
Will they stay or go? Scotland votes on (subscription)
Hundreds gather in "Independence Square" in GlasgowGlasgow Evening Times
Video: crowds gather in Glasgow's George SquareScotsman
Open Democracy -Metro
all 30 news articles »

Scottish Independence Referendum Betting & Odds Latest - Punter places ... - ...
18 Sep 2014 at 4:04pm

Football News

Scottish Independence Referendum Betting & Odds Latest - Punter places ...
Football News
William Hill have taken two and three quarters of a million pounds on the outcome of the Scottish Referendum - with one client risking the biggest bet of the century - £900,000 - on a No vote. He stands to collect £1,093,333.33. 'The Referendum has ...
Indyref bets smash records for political eventsHerald Scotland
Place your bets: The smart money thinks Scotland won't leaveFortune
Independence referendum: Over £30k an hour has been bet since polling ...Scotland Now
Daily Mail
all 37 news articles »

Referendum night latest - Shetland Times Online
18 Sep 2014 at 4:53pm

Shetland Times Online

Referendum night latest
Shetland Times Online
UPDATE: 11.50PM Shetland MSP Tavish Scott says the turnout in Shetland could be in excess of 80 per cent and this is ?fantastic for democracy?. He predicted that whatever the outcome the Scottish political landscape would be dramatically changed.
Voters play it cagey at Scotland's most northerly polling stationThe Guardian
Around 50% of people cast vote in Shetland by late afternoonAberdeen Press and Journal
Scottish referendum liveShetland News

all 7 news articles »

Referendum Day: We're into the last hour of voting - The Southern Reporter
18 Sep 2014 at 2:10pm

Referendum Day: We're into the last hour of voting
The Southern Reporter
It's a day which has been long in the waiting for both supporters and opponents of Scottish independence and now it's nearly over. The polling booths will close at 10 p.m. tonight with the count starting immediately after. The results will be announced ...

and more »

Business News
Business News continually updated from thousands of sources around the net.

Knives out for net neutrality fight
18 Sep 2014 at 4:34am

Public reaction to the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rules for net neutrality - the notion that Comcast, Cox or other Internet service providers should be barred from blocking or slowing access to some websites - has been louder than anything the agency has experienced in the past. On Capitol Hill, deep partisan divides over the issue virtually guarantee that whatever decision the FCC makes will be met with steep opposition.

Federal Reserve renews zero rate pledge, but hints at steeper rate hike path
18 Sep 2014 at 12:23am

Wednesday renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time," but also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving. Many economists and traders had expected the United States central bank to alter the rate guidance it has provided since March, given generally improving data on the economy's performance.

Spain family to sell WTVA-TV to Heartland Media
17 Sep 2014 at 11:22pm

WTVA was founded 57 years ago by the late Frank Spain and has remained owned by his wife, Jane Spain. The sale doesn't include WLOV, a separately owned Fox affiliate.

Deeper Saudi Oil Cuts Seen After Biggest Drop Since '12: Energy
17 Sep 2014 at 7:05pm

Saudi Arabia will need to keep cutting oil output to sustain prices above $100 a barrel, even after the kingdom's largest reduction in two years, according to BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA. The world's biggest crude exporter told OPEC last week it pumped 408,000 barrels a day less last month, about as much as Australia produces.

Senators hear calls on the FCC to step back from net neutrality rules
17 Sep 2014 at 2:51pm

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should abandon its efforts to pass net neutrality rules because new regulations would hurt investment and the deployment of broadband, a parade of Republican senators and advocates said Wednesday. Advocates of strong net neutrality rules have pointed to few problems that justify intrusive new regulations, several Republican senators argued during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

DOJ preparing criminal charges against Wall Street executives
17 Sep 2014 at 11:45am

The Justice Department has launched criminal fraud investigations of individuals at Wall Street firms, with the hopes of filing formal charges in the coming months, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Wednesday. "We are making good progress in these cases, which involve conduct that has undermined the integrity of our markets," Holder said at New York University Law School.

Stock Markets Cautious as Investors Brace for Fed
17 Sep 2014 at 9:39am

Your browser is not supported. Please upgrade to one of the following browsers: Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Apple Safari Microsoft Internet Explorer 8+ You may proceed to the site by clicking here , however some pages might not work correctly.

Billionaire's house arrest sends stocks crashing
17 Sep 2014 at 5:25am

In this Tuesday, May 5, 2009 file photo, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, and Russian tycoon Vladimir Yevtushenkov, owner of Sistema Holding, during their meeting in Moscow. A billionaire Russian tycoon was placed under house arrest Tuesday, Sept.

Eric Garcetti, LAX officials herald $508 million overhaul of Southwest Airlin...
17 Sep 2014 at 1:08am

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined city leaders and airport officials Tuesday to mark the start of a $508 million face-lift for Terminal 1, which houses Southwest Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport. Southwest Airlines passengers will have roomier waiting areas, bigger restrooms and a sleeker looking ticketing lobby with additional windows for more natural light.

Bombardier Seen Slowing CSeries Again on Tests: Corporate Canada
16 Sep 2014 at 9:00pm

Bombardier Inc.'s proposed CSeries jet, already two years late, is stirring concern among analysts that the company will miss its target to get the plane in service by the second half of 2015. The initial delivery of the planemaker's biggest-ever model will probably be postponed for a third time, pushing the commercial debut to 2016, according to nine analysts, investors and consultants tracking the program.

California Fatal Pipe Explosion Brings More Scandal for PG&E
16 Sep 2014 at 9:00pm

A deadly pipeline explosion that shattered a California town four years ago continues to rip through the state agency weighing a record penalty for the disaster. The president of the California Public Utilities Commission asked his chief of staff to resign and recused himself from the case after "inappropriate e-mail exchanges" with PG&E Corp. raised questions about bias, according to a statement from the commission yesterday.

Cover Girl 'Game Face' ad becomes part of NFL scandal
16 Sep 2014 at 4:47pm

Protesters calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell 's ouster in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal have seized upon a digitally altered Cover Girl ad picturing a female football fan with a black eye to bring a striking visual to their mission. Baltimore County-based Cover Girl, the official beauty sponsor of the NFL, has a "Get Your Game Face On" ad campaign featuring heavily made-up models wearing the jersey and colors of each of the 32 teams in the National Football League.

Net Neutrality a Hot Topic as FCC Meets
16 Sep 2014 at 12:44pm

With the passage of Monday's deadline for public input on the issue of Net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission had fielded more than 3 million comments and was still processing more. On Tuesday morning, the agency was also accepting questions via e-mail ahead of its first roundtable discussion on the issue.

5The Internet isn't killing media anymore. It's helping it make a killing in ...
16 Sep 2014 at 12:44pm

The media and entertainment industry is no longer being killed by the Internet. It's now getting rich off it.

Inside #22Kill, a star-studded campaign to fight veteran suicide
16 Sep 2014 at 10:43am

Michael Jernigan, a Marine Corps veteran and wounded warrior, poses for a photograph with actor and military consultant R. Lee Ermey, who starred in the movie "Full Metal Jacket." Photo courtesy Honor Courage Commitment Inc.) When Michael Jernigan medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2005 as a corporal, it was less than two years after an improvised explosive device blast in Iraq on Aug. 22, 2004, had taken both of his eyes and left him disfigured.

BBC News - Business
BBC News - Business
The latest stories from the Business section of the BBC News web site.

Alibaba sets share price at $68
18 Sep 2014 at 4:15pm
Chinese online giant Alibaba sets the price of its shares at $68, making it one of the biggest stock market offerings in US history.

Oracle boss Larry Ellison steps down
18 Sep 2014 at 5:14pm
Multi-billionaire Oracle boss Larry Ellison steps down to focus on product engineering, as Mark Hurd and Safra Catz are named as co-chief executives.

Phones 4U 'rescue' attempt fails
18 Sep 2014 at 9:40am
A group of bondholders in the collapsed retail chain, Phones 4U, have failed in an 11th-hour plan to rescue the company.

Microsoft cuts more than 2,000 jobs
18 Sep 2014 at 1:52pm
Microsoft announces another 2,100 redundancies as part of a target to cut 18,000 jobs, about 14% of its workforce.

Clash over car tax disc changes
18 Sep 2014 at 3:03am
Motorist organisation, the RAC, and the DVLA have clashed over the policing of car tax with claims of increased evasion amid changes to the system.

Vacuum cleaner boost for retail sales
18 Sep 2014 at 4:09am
UK retail sales rose by 0.4% during August, helped by shoppers looking to snap up high-powered vacuum cleaners ahead of an EU ban on the products.

ECB stimulus offer sees low take-up
18 Sep 2014 at 6:43am
A European Central Bank measure designed to stimulate the flagging eurozone economy has seen a low initial take-up by banks.

Airlines' luggage surcharges 'legal'
18 Sep 2014 at 8:08am
Airlines are within their rights to charge a supplement to customers checking-in their luggage, a court rules.

Mortgage appetite 'starting to wane'
18 Sep 2014 at 4:04am
Borrowers' appetite for home loans is "starting to wane" despite an annual rise in mortgage lending, a lenders' group says.

Irish economy bounces back strongly
18 Sep 2014 at 8:03am
The Irish government upgrades growth forecasts for 2014 after the economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 1.5% in the April-to-June quarter.

NewsCorp: Google platform for piracy
18 Sep 2014 at 4:21am
NewsCorp's chief executive writes strongly worded letter calling for a tougher approach from the EU to search giant Google.

US Fed to end stimulus in October
17 Sep 2014 at 1:38pm
The US Federal Reserve says it will raise interest rates once a "considerable time" has passed after its stimulus programme ends in October.

London Market Report
18 Sep 2014 at 10:12am
The FTSE 100 rises, but shares in French Connection dive nearly 9% despite the fashion retailer reporting narrower losses.

Russia to extend media controls
18 Sep 2014 at 6:16am
A bill to restrict foreign ownership in Russia's media will go before the Russian parliament, dominated by allies of President Putin.

Japan trade deficit narrows in August
17 Sep 2014 at 7:24pm
Japan narrows its trade deficit in August as a fall in imports lowers the country's energy bill for the month.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

Banks shun nations that need money most
18 Sep 2014 at 2:42pm
Hefty fines for offences such as money laundering, levied primarily by the US, drive banks out of markets where regulatory risks are high
Nomura?s UK arm rises from Lehman legacy
18 Sep 2014 at 11:51am
Japanese bank that bought European and Asian operations of Lehman Brothers six years ago has picked up more business as rivals cut fixed-rate activity
Warning on poor nations? access to capital
18 Sep 2014 at 11:15am
Nomura Europe chief says fines on western banks for money laundering and sanctions violations means banks are wary of lending in poor countries
KKR seeks to make First Data numbers work
18 Sep 2014 at 6:00am
Payments processor, acquired in a $30bn buyout in 2007, appears to be on the mend with a new management team and falling debt load
Northeast hopes to woo Scottish business
18 Sep 2014 at 4:26am
England?s border region hopes to attract Scottish companies looking to relocate if there is a Yes vote in Thursday?s independence referendum
Visa considers options on Monitise stake
18 Sep 2014 at 3:39am
Visa has gradually sold its Monitise stake down from 15% to 5.5% and has now appointed bankers to advise it on what to do with the rest
Just Retirement shifts focus to recover
18 Sep 2014 at 3:20am
Annuity provider is moving into new areas, including wholesale bulk-purchase annuities and lifetime mortgage loans, in wake of Budget shake-up
Latour to pay record capital violations fine
17 Sep 2014 at 8:13pm
High-frequency trader agrees record settlement with Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting or denying that it held insufficient reserves
US warns of further insider charges
17 Sep 2014 at 4:10pm
Crackdown on financial institutions steps up, with a probe into foreign exchange trading using ?investigative techniques involving undercover cooperators?
Jump-start for the Aim market
17 Sep 2014 at 12:46pm
Cenkos and Shore Capital are riding a wave of deals as total funds raised by Aim companies increased 161 per cent in first six months
Banks? VAT bills set to soar after ruling
17 Sep 2014 at 12:33pm
Unexpected European court decision means that services supplied between a group?s headquarters and its branches set to be subject to value added tax
UK corporate pensions back hedge funds
17 Sep 2014 at 12:03pm
UK?s corporate pension fund sector throws lifeline to embattled hedge fund industry, saying it will not make hasty exit from the asset class
South Africa joins sukuk bond rush
17 Sep 2014 at 10:58am
The $500m sale was more than four times subscribed, indicating that appetite for emerging market Islamic bonds matches that of developed world issuance
Apple Pay: don?t bank on it
17 Sep 2014 at 8:56am
The so-called payments revolution has to happen before anybody gets their cut. But adding another link to the value chain will not be cheap
Block traders prefer the human touch
17 Sep 2014 at 7:40am
Liquidnet, the global trading venue which executes big orders, has enjoyed record volumes on its platforms in Europe and Asia so far this year
Business News - Markets reports and financial news from Sky
Business News - Markets reports and financial news from Sky
Sky business news provides up to the minute reports on markets, share prices and the world economy, alongside expert business commentary.

Phones 4U Rescue Deal Hopes Dashed
18 Sep 2014 at 10:33am
Thousands of jobs are at risk following the shock demise of the mobile phone retailer, which is said to have huge debts.

Decision Day For Scotland: Voters Go To Polls
18 Sep 2014 at 2:14pm
Polling in Scotland is in its final hour, with people deciding if the country should stay part of the UK.

Scotland: Keep Up With Events As They Unfold
18 Sep 2014 at 5:27pm
See our timetable of what you can expect to happen over the next 24 hours - and explore voting areas with our interactive graphic.

Bank Chairmen Call On BBA To Seek Mergers
18 Sep 2014 at 7:49am
The chairs of the biggest UK banks are pressing for a merger of industry bodies in an effort to reduce costs, Sky News learns.

Alibaba Shares To Be Priced For Record Sale
18 Sep 2014 at 7:48am
The sale price is to be set as a big chunk of Chinese e-commerce prepares to take New York by storm.

Alibaba: A Retail Force or AliBlahBlah?
18 Sep 2014 at 1:28am
The e-commerce giant is Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Twitter and YouTube all rolled into one - and it's bigger than all of them.

Thousands Of Women Duped In Pyramid Scam
18 Sep 2014 at 6:46am
Organisers of the Give And Take pyramid scheme told their backers "they couldn't lose" - but 88% never received a penny.

Rush To Beat Vacuum Ban Drives Shop Sales Up
18 Sep 2014 at 4:24am
A stampede of shoppers looking to suck up high-powered vacuums and students are partly credited for a recovery in retail sales.

Stock Markets Rise As Fed Keeps Rate Pledge
18 Sep 2014 at 12:58am
The US Federal Reserve maintains guidance on when interest rates are likely to go up but suggests increases will be more frequent.

Drag Queens Angry Over Facebook Stage Name Ban
18 Sep 2014 at 5:51am
Many cross-dressing performance artists say aliases are a key aspect of their identity and keep them safe from abuse.
Forex Blog| Forex Blog
Learn about the world of Forex

Loonie and Aussie Share Downward Bond
by Adam Kritzer
30 Jun 2011 at 9:15am

In yesterday’s post (Tide is Turning for the Aussie), I explained how a prevailing sense of uncertainty in the markets has manifested itself in the form of a declining Australian Dollar. With today’s post, I’d like to carry that argument forward to the Canadian Dollar.

As it turns out, the forex markets are currently treating the Loonie and the Aussie as inseparable. According to, the AUD/USD and CAD/USD are trading with a 92.5% correlation, the second highest in forex (behind only the CHFUSD and AUDUSD). The fact that the two have been numerically correlated (see chart below) for the better part of 2011 can also be discerned with a cursory glance at the charts above.

Why is this the case? As it turns out, there are a handful of reasons. First of all, both have earned the dubious characterization of “commodity currency,” which basically means that a rise in commodity prices is matched by a proportionate appreciation in the Aussie and Loonie, relative to the US dollar. You can see from the chart above that the year-long commodities boom and sudden drop corresponded with similar movement in commodity currencies. Likewise, yesterday’s rally coincided with the biggest one-day rise in the Canadian Dollar in the year-to-date.

Beyond this, both currencies are seen as attractive proxies for risk. Even though the chaos in the eurozone has very little actual connection to the Loonie and Aussie (which are fiscally sound, geographically distinct, and economically insulated from the crisis), the two currencies have recently taken their cues from political developments in Greece, of all things. Given the heightened sensitivity to risk that has arisen both from the sovereign debt crisis and global economic slowdown, it’s no surprise that investors have responded cautiously by unwinding bets on the Canadian dollar.

Finally, the Bank of Canada is in a very similar position to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Both central banks embarked on a cycle of monetary tightening in 2010, only to suspend rate hikes in 2011, due to uncertainty over near-term growth prospects. While GDP growth has indeed moderated in both countries, price inflation has not. In fact, the most recent reading of Canadian CPI was 3.7%, which is well above the BOC’s comfort zone. Further complicating the picture is the fact that the Loonie is near a record high, and the BOC remains wary of further stoking the fires of appreciation by making it more attractive to carry traders.

In the near-term, then, the prospects for further appreciation are not good. The currency’s rise was so solid in 2009-2010 that it now seems the forex markets may have gotten ahead of themselves. A pullback towards parity – and beyond – seems like the only realistic possibility. If/when the global economy stabilizes, central banks resume heightening, and risk appetite increases, you can be sure that the Loonie (and the Aussie) will pick up where they left off.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Tide is Turning for the Aussie due to lower commodity prices, low interest ra...
by Adam Kritzer
29 Jun 2011 at 10:40am

“Australia is about to enter a boom that should last decades…The Australian dollar is unlikely to go back to where it was, and manufacturing will shrink in importance to the economy, perhaps even faster than it has been.” This, according to Martin Parkinson, Treasury Minister of Australia. While 30 years from now, Mr. Parkinson’s prognosis might probe to be accurate, I’m not so sure it applies to the period 3 months from now. Here’s why:

First of all, the putative economic boom that is taking place in Australia is being driven entirely by high commodity prices and surging production and exports. Since peaking at the end of April, commodity prices have fallen mightily. You can see from the chart above that there continues to exist a tight correlation between the AUD/USD and commodities prices. As commodities prices have fallen over the last two months, so has the Australian Dollar.

In addition, while demand will probably remain strong over the long-term, it may very well slacken over the short-term, due to declining economic growth across the industrialized world.  Consider also that Australia’s largest market for commodity exports – China – may have difficulty sustaining a GDP growth rate of 10%, and at the very least, new fixed-asset investment (which necessitates demand for raw materials) will temporarily peak in the immediate future.

Finally, the mining sector directly accounts for only 8% of Australia’s economy, which means that only to a limited extent to high commodities prices contribute to the bottom line of Australian GDP. This notion is reinforced by the 1.2% economic contraction in the second quarter – the biggest decline in 20 years – and the fact that GDP is basically flat over the last three quarters. Many non-mining economic indicators are sagging, and the number of corporate bankruptcies is 10% higher than in 2010. In the end, then, the ebb and flow of Australia’s fortune depends less on commodities, and more on other sectors.

Mr. Parkinson’s optimistic forecasts might also be undermined in the short-term by a looser-than-expected monetary policy. The Reserve Bank of Australia last hiked its benchmark interest rate in November 2010, and may not hike again for a few more months due to moderating economic growth and proportionally moderate inflation. Given that an attractive interest rate differential may be driving some of the speculative activity that has girded the Aussie’s rise, a decline in this differential could likewise propel it downward.

That’s because anecdotal reports suggest that the Australian Dollar remains a popular long currency for carry traders, funded by shorting the US Dollar, and to a lesser extent, Japanese Yen. Given that many of these carry trades are heavily leveraged, it wouldn’t take much to trigger a short squeeze and a rapid decline in the AUD/USD. For evidence of this phenomenon, one has to look no further back than May 2010, when the Aussie fell 10-15% in only three weeks.

Ultimately, as one commentator recently pointed out, the Aussie’s 70% rise since 2008 might better be seen as US Dollar weakness (which also catalyzed the rise in commodity prices). The apparent stabilizing of the dollar, then, might let some air out of the currency down under.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Emerging Market Currencies Brace for Correction Due to Market Uncertainty and...
by Adam Kritzer
28 Jun 2011 at 2:42am

“It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,” begins Charles Dickens’ The Tale of Two Cities. In 2011, the winter of despair was followed by the spring of uncertainty. Due to the earthquake/tsunami in Japan, the continued tribulations of Greece, rising commodity prices, and growing concern over the global economic recovery, volatility in the forex markets has risen, and investors are unclear as to how to proceed. For now at least, they are responding by dumping emerging market currencies.

As you can see from the chart above (which shows a cross-section of emerging market forex), most currencies peaked in the beginning of May and have since sold-off significantly. If not for the rally that started off the year, all emerging market currencies would probably be down for the year-to-date, and in fact many of them are anyway. Still, the returns for even the top performers are much less spectacular than in 2009 and 2010. Similarly, the MSCI Emerging Markets Stock Index is down 3.5% in the YTD, and the JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index (EMBI+) has risen 4.5% (which is reflects declining growth forecasts as much as perceptions of increasing creditworthiness).

There are a couple of factors that are driving this ebbing of sentiment. First of all, risk appetite is waning. Over the last couple months, every flareup in the eurozone debt crisis coincided with a sell-off in emerging markets. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Central and eastern European currencies that are seen as being most vulnerable to financial turmoil in the euro zone have underperformed.” Economies further afield, such as Turkey and Russia, have also experienced weakness in their respective currencies. Some analysts believe that because emerging economies are generally more fiscally sound than their fundamental counterparts, that they are inherently less risky. Unfortunately, while this proposition makes theoretical sense, you can be assured that a default by a member of the eurozone will trigger a mass exodus into safe havens – NOT into emerging markets.

While emerging market Asia and South America is somewhat insulated from eurozone fiscal problems. On the other hand, they remain vulnerable to an economic slowdown in China and to rising inflation. Emerging market central banks have avoided making significant interest rate hikes (hence, rising bond prices) – for fear of inviting further capital inflow and stoking currency appreciation – and the result has been rising price inflation. You can see from the chart above that the darkest areas (symbolizing higher inflation) are all located in emerging economic regions. While high inflation is not inherently problematic, it is not difficult to conceive of a downward spiral into hyperinflation. Again, a sudden bout of monetary instability would send investors rushing to the exits.

While most analysts (myself included) remain bullish on emerging markets over the long-term, many are laying off in the short-term. “RBC emerging market strategist Nick Chamie says his team has recommended ‘defensive posturing’ to clients since May 5 and isn’t recommending new bullish emerging currency bets right now….HSBC said Thursday that it isn’t recommending outright short positions on emerging market currencies to clients but suggested a more ‘cautious’ and selective approach in making currency bets.” This phenomenon will be exacerbated by the fact that market activity typically slows down in the summer chart above courtesy of Forex Magnates) as traders go on vacation. With less liquidity and an inability to constantly monitor one’s portfolio, traders will be loathe to take on risky positions.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend NO QE3: What are the Implications for the Dollar?
by Adam Kritzer
25 Jun 2011 at 7:28am

The verdict is nearly in; there will be no QE3. The second round of quantitative easing (?QE2?) will expire at the end of this month, and while it will not be unwound for quite some time, the Fed has indicated that it will not be followed by yet another round. The question on the minds of forex traders, of course, is what does this mean for the Dollar?

In his most recent press conference, Ben Bernanke, himself, indicated that QE3 was unlikely. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg News, the majority of FX analysts (65%) believe him. Simply, the circumstances don?t support further easing. To be sure, the unemployment rate remains high, and the economy is teetering on the verge of double-dip recession. However, the last two rounds did little to address either of these problems, and companies have hoarded cash rather than investing in new plant and workers.

Interest rates are still hovering around record lows, and there isn?t anything to be gained from trying to lower them further. Besides, given that inflation is now above 3% ? due to an explosion in good and energy prices ? QE3 would simply be too risky. Economist Ken Goldstein summarized the situation as follows: “We will come to the end of QE2 and largely we mark about how little happened when it ended and that?s also an argument about why there may not be persuasive argument to do a QE3.”

On the other hand, there are some analysts who think that QE3 is inevitable (29%). PIMCO?s Bill Gross, manager of the world?s biggest bond fund, recently indicated that, ?Next Jackson Hole in August will likely hint at QE3/interest rate caps.? (Personally, I think that he?s probably just bitter that his forecast of a decline in Treasury Bond prices hasn?t materialized). One columnist wrote that the Fed?s arm will be twisted by the ongoing collapse of the housing market, while others have argued that the recent decline in the S&P 500 will spur the Fed into action. Most of us, however, believe that the Fed will adopt a wait-and-see approach before ultimately conceding that more easing is necessary.

For now at least, then, the prevailing assumption is that there will not be a QE3. As for how forex markets have digested this news, they have taken it in stride. The Dollar is now holding its value, and as I wrote in a previous post, it may even have bottomed out. Of course, it doesn?t hurt that the Euro is being punished by another flare-up in the sovereign debt crisis and investors are getting nervous about bubbles in emerging market currencies, all of which provide support for the dollar.

The fact that QE2 will soon end without having triggered financial apocalypse or hyperinflation ? as some cassandras initially predicted ? is something that is worth nothing. Of course, the proceeds of QE1 and QE2 will be recycled indefinitely into the markets, and forex investors can?t completely put quantitative easing behind them. Still, that there won’t be any more additional cash injected into commodities markets and emerging economy asset markets means that one of the main sources of downward pressure on the dollar has been eliminated.

Ironically, it is possible that the unveiling of QE3 could actually cause the dollar to rally. The reason is that there is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the markets, which provides the dollar with some safe haven demand. If the Fed were to concede that all is not well on the economic front and respond by more money printing, it could drive some safe haven flows into the US, even to the extent that it would overwhelm outflows driven by concerns over inflation.

Personally, I think the dollar will continue to hold its value, and perhaps even appreciate slightly in the near-term, as forex markets dither over the way forward. SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Swiss Franc is the Only Safe Haven Currency. The Franc is Starting to Distanc...
by Adam Kritzer
23 Jun 2011 at 10:11am

According to conventional market wisdom, there are three safe haven currencies: the Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, and US Dollar. It is to these currencies that investors flock whenever there is a crisis, or merely an outbreak of uncertainty, and for much of the period following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the three were closely correlated. As you can see from the chart below, however, one of these currencies has begun to distinguish itself from the other two, leading some to argue that there is now only one true safe haven currency: the Swiss Franc.

What’s not to like about the Franc? It boasts a strong economy, low inflation, and low unemployment. Unlike the US and Japan, Switzerland is not plagued by a high national debt and perennial budget deficits. Its monetary policy has been extremely conservative: no quantitative easing, asset-purchases, or any other money printing programs with euphemistic names.

Ironically, the only thing that makes investors nervous about the franc is that it has already risen so much. Remember when it reached the milestone of parity against the dollar in 2010? Since then, it has appreciated by an additional 20%, and seems to breach a new record on an almost weekly basis. The same goes for the CHF/EUR and CHF/JPY. The President of Switzerland’s export association is expecting further gains: “Parity is a realistic scenario. Given the indebtedness of the eurozone and the strong attraction of the franc, the euro is likely to continue to lose value.”

Given that Swiss exports have surged in spite of (or even because of) the rising Franc, however, he has very little to worry about at the moment. As you can see fromt he graphic below (courtesy of the Financial Times), the balance of trade continues to expand, and has exploded in a handful of key sectors. To be sure, economists expect that this situation will eventually correct itself and are already moving to revise downward 2011 and 2012 GDP growth estimates. Then again, they made the same erroneous predictions in 2010.

The main variable in the Swiss Franc is the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Having booked a loss of CHF 20 Billion from failed intervention in 2010, the SNB is not in a position to make the same mistake again. In fact, SNB President Philipp Hildebrand has not even stooped to verbal intervention this time around, undoubtedly cognizant of the fact that he has very little credibility in forex markets.

At the same time, the SNB is not in any hurry to raise interest rates, lest it stoke further speculative interest in the Franc. Its June meeting came and went without any indication of when it might tighten. Interest rate futures currently reflect an expectation that the first rate hike won’t come until March 2012. Thus, the downside of holding the Franc is that it will continue to pay a negative real interest rate. The only upside, then, is the possibility of further appreciation. Fortunately, the SNB is unlikely to stop the Franc from rising, since it serves the same monetary end as higher interest rates. In other words, a more valuable Franc serves as a direct check on inflation because it lowers the cost of commodity imports and should (eventually) soften demand for Swiss exports.

It is possible that the Swiss Franc will suffer a correction at some point, if only because it rose by such a large margin in such a short period of time. On the other hand, given that its economy has proved its ability to withstand the Franc’s appreciation, it’s no wonder that investors continue to bet on its rise.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Is it Possible to Trade Forex Part-time?
by Adam Kritzer
22 Jun 2011 at 10:17am

This week, I came across an article in the San Francisco Gate (which, incidentally, has really ramped up its forex coverage over the last year) that addressed this very topic. Given that part-time forex traders probably outnumber those that practice the craft full-time, such an article was long overdue.

In sum, the author advises part-time traders to concentrate their trading during the busiest times of the day, or failing that, to simply trade the most active currency pairs during the period of the day that one happens to have time to trade. For example, if you wish to trade the USD/EUR but only have a limited amount of time to do so, you are advised to trade the opening of the New York and/or London sessions, at 8AM EST and 3AM EST, respectively. Alternatively, if you only have time to trade from midnight to 2am, for example, you are advised to trade currency pairs in which the quote currency is the Yen, because during that time the Tokyo session is “in full swing.”

Alas, this kind of strategy is based on a very dubious assumption, which is that you should aim to trade the currency pairs which are both the most liquid and most volatile (ignore the contradiction here), because this will yield the most profits. In other words, it’s easy to capture profits when trading pairs that tend to bounce around a lot and which are cheap and easy to buy and sell. Right?

If you read the Forex Blog with any regularity and are ware that my bend is towards fundamental analysis, it’s probably already obvious to you that I don’t think this is necessarily the case. Consider that forex is a zero-sum game. In other words, on average, 50% of traders win and 50% lose. [When you account for trading costs (i.e. spreads), its probably closer to 30% win and 70% lose, but let's ignore this for the sake of argument]. Thus, the way I see it, a trader that enters the market during the busiest times has the same chance of winning (~50%) as a different trader that enters the market during the least busy time of day. Either way you cut it, someone has to win and someone has to lose, and no amount of liquidity or volatility can rectify this situation.

Thus, my advice for part-time traders is to forget trading altogether. If you don’t have the time to constantly monitor the market, pore over charts, and develop technical strategy, the odds of winning are pretty low. On the other hand, why not shift your focus from trading to investing? Trading is difficult under the best of circumstances and even more difficult when you don’t have enough time to make a real commitment.

The only way around this is to shift your time horizon from minutes to days – or even weeks. This way, it won’t matter when you have time to trade. Spreads might be marginally higher (as evidenced in the spikes in he chart above, which shows how spreads fluctuate over time) for the USD/EUR at midnight than at 8am, but if you’re planning on holding the pair for more than 10 seconds (and your target profit is greater than 15 pips), this is basically irrelevant.

This way, you also don’t have to worry about carefully planning your entry and exit into positions. Entering a swing trade with a targeted profit of 500pips is probably just as good at 4am as it is at 7am, all else being equal. While this doesn’t necessarily increase the odds of success (above 50%), at least it gives you a great deal more flexibility in being a part-time trader.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Japanese Yen In "No Man's Land." When will the BOJ Intervene to stop its rise?
by Adam Kritzer
20 Jun 2011 at 8:52am

This, according to a hedge fund manager that has decided to cancel all of his fund’s bearish bets on the Japanese Yen. The reason: the yen is rising, and it’s unclear when – or even if – the government will intervene to push it back down. Even though the yen’s strength is fundamentally illogical, it seems that investors are growing increasingly wary of betting against it.

As I pointed out in my previous post on the Yen (“Japanese Yen Strength is Illogical, but Does it Matter?“), the yen has actually fallen over the last twelve months, on a correlation weighted basis (though to be fair, it has staged a pretty impressive comeback since the beginning of April). Unfortunately, investors mainly care about how it is performing against a handful of key currencies, namely the US Dollar. Simply, the yen continues to rise against the dollar, and it is unclear when it will stop.

Japanese government analysis has indeed confirmed that “speculators” are behind the strong yen, as the alleged wide-scale repatriation of yen by Japanese insurance companies has yet to materialize. Of course, there isn’t really much doubt: Japan’s economy is contracting, due to decrease in output spurred by the tsunami. In May, it recorded its second largest monthly trade deficit ever.

Meanwhile, interest rates and bond yields are pathetically low, and the Bank of Japan is being urged to expand its asset buying program, which would theoretically result in a devaluation of the yen. As  a result, retail Japanese forex traders (nicknamed “Mrs. Watanabes“) have resumed shorting the Yen as part of a carry trade strategy.

Alas, speculators either don’t share their pessimism or are running out of patience. While everyone continues to assume that the BOJ will intervene if the Yen rises to 80 against the dollar, no one can be sure whether the line in the sand might not be 78 or even 75. At this point, intervention seems to hinge more on politics than on economics, which means predicting it is beyond the scope of this post. In other words, “There is too much uncertainty and volatility in markets right now to make that yen trade appealing.” And sure enough, the most recent Commitments of Traders data shows that speculators have been re-building their yen long positions over the last month.

In the end, the speculators are probably right. The Bank of Japan has intervened twice over the last twelve months, and the impact has always been short-lived. Besides, given that many speculators still remain committed to shorting the yen, it remains extraordinarily vulnerable to the kind of short squeeze that sent it soaring 5% in a single session en route to the record high it touched in March.

I’m personally still bearish on the yen, but I also think it’s too risky to short it against the dollar, which seems to be declining for its own reasons. As you can see from the chart below, the yen has fallen against virtually every other major currency. Yen shorters, then, might be wise to avoid the dollar altogether and focus instead on any number of other currencies. SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Forex Volatility Continues Rising. What are the Implications for the Euro?
by Adam Kritzer
17 Jun 2011 at 9:38am

This week witnessed another flareup in the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. As a result, volatility in the EUR/USD pair surged, by some measures to a record high. Even though the Euro rallied yesterday and today, this suggests that investors remain nervous, and that going forward, the euro could embark on a steep decline.

There are a couple of forex volatility indexes. The JP Morgan G7 Volatility Index is based on the implied volatility in 3-month currency options and is one of the broadest measures of forex volatility. As you can see from the chart above, the index is closing in on year-to-date high (excluding the spike in March caused by the Japanese tsunami), and is generally entrenched in an upward trend. Barring day-to-day spikes, however, it will take months to confirm the direction of this trend.

For specific volatility measurements, there is no better source of data than (whose founder, Arnaud Jeulin, I interviewed only last month). Here, you can find data on more than 30 currency pairs, charted across multiple time periods. You can see for the EUR/USD pair in particular that volatility is now at the highest point in 2011 and is closing in on a two-year high.

Meanwhile, the so-called risk-reversal rate for Euro currency options touched 3.1, which is greater than the peak of the credit crisis. This indicator represents a proxy for investor concerns that the Euro will collapse suddenly, and its high level suggests that this is indeed a growing concern. In addition, implied volatility in options contracts has jumped dramatically over the last week, which confirms that investors expect the euro to move dramatically over the next month.

What does all of this mean? In a nutshell, it shows that panic is rising in the forex markets. Last month, I used this notion as a basis for arguing that the dollar safe-haven trade will make a come-back. This would still seem to be the case, and should also benefit the Swiss Franc, which is nearing an all-time high against the euro. Naturally, it also implies that forex investors remain extremely concerned about a continued decline in the euro, and are rushing to hedge their exposure and/or close out long positions altogether. suggests that this could make the EUR/USD an interesting pair to trade, since large swings in either direction will necessarily create opportunities for traders. While I have no opinion on such indiscriminate trading [I prefer to make directional bets based on fundamentals], I must nonetheless acknowledge the logic of such a strategy. SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Euro Nears Breaking Point
by Adam Kritzer
16 Jun 2011 at 8:33am

It’s deja vu all over again in the forex markets as another twist in the sovereign debt crisis has sent the euro tumbling by the greatest margin in nearly a year. It was only last month that I posted “The Euro (Still) has a Greek Problem,” and yet, forex markets are once again reacting to the possibility of a Greek default as thought it were a new development. At the very least, investors finally seem to be acknowledging the inevitable.

There have been several factors at work in this latest episode. On Monday, S&P downgraded its credit rating for Greece to CCC, following on a similar move by Moody’s. That means that Greece’s sovereign credit rating is now the lowest in the world, behind such eminent economies as Grenada and Ecuador. While the move was hardly noteworthy in itself, it represents one more straw on the camel’s back.

Greece’s government is increasingly unstable, and Prime Minister George Papandreou has become so desperate that he has suggested forming an alliance with Greece’s most powerful opposition party. Meanwhile, violent riots outside Greek Parliament have reportedly become a daily occurrence, as the Greek populace has proven unwilling to accept wage cuts and tax increases.

As if that weren’t enough, there is tremendous uncertainty surrounding the next stage of the Greek bailout. No one can agree on what amount to give and what should be stipulated in return. Some parties think that private investors should be involved in the bailout by taking a “haircut” on the bonds that they own. Some members of the eurozone are balking about contributing any funds at all, wary of justifying it to their own citizens and that it is merely forestalling the inevitable.

I think the NYTimes offered the best summary: “Funding fatigue is growing in the north European creditor countries, especially Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria, just as austerity fatigue is mounting in Greece.” When you consider that Greek interest rates and credit default swap spreads have surged to record highs, it seems that default is really inevitable. If the IMF and European Union are so determined, they can push off default until 2013. Still, default now or default then is still default.

At this point, then, the only real question is what happens when Greece defaults. Will it be forced to leave the Eurozone? Will that push the rest of the Eurozone fringe closer towards default? Will the Euro collapse and cease to exist as a currency? What will happen then?

Unfortunately, I think the answer to all of these questions is yes. At the very least, Greece will be forced out of the eurozone. Bondholders will push interest rates in Ireland, Spain, and Portugal up to double-digit levels, trapping them in the same cycle in which Greece is currently ensnared. Given the exposure of French and German banks to the sovereign debt of financially troubled eurozone members, they will also require state bailouts, and so on.

In a recent op-ed published in The Financial Times, celebrity economies Nouriel Roubini argued that the only way to avoid a complete eurozone meltdown is if the euro depreciates rapidly “to restore competitiveness to the periphery” or if the European Union is able to rapidly achieve complete fiscal and economic union. Roubini argues that the former is difficult because of the ECB’s hawkishness, while the latter is precluded by political hurdles that remain too formidable to overcome.

As Greece inches ever closer to default, the markets will increasingly become gripped by utter uncertainty over the questions that I posed above. Central Banks will stop accumulating euro-denominated assets, and investment funds will similarly shun Europe. (In fact, there is already evidence that this is happening). While European interest rates are attractive relative to the rest of the G4, they are hardly enough to compensate investors for this uncertainty. And when the markets come to terms with this, the euro might finally reach its breaking point.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend S&P 500 Decouples from Euro?
by Adam Kritzer
14 Jun 2011 at 9:58am

While I have written quite about forex correlations in recent posts, the focus has primarily been on correlations that exist between currencies. In this post, I would like to address a correlation that exists between currencies and other forex markets- specifically the relationship between the Euro and US stocks.

If you look at the chart above, you can see that an unmistakable correlation exists between the S&P500 and the EUR/USD that stretches back at least six months. Generally speaking, when the EURUSD has risen, so has the S&P 500, and vice versa. In fact, this correlation is so airtight that one analyst recently discovered that the two financial vehicles often reach intra-day highs and lows within minutes of one another!

Why is this the case? In a nutshell, it is because the Euro – especially relative to the dollar – is a proxy for risk appetite. The same is necessarily true for US stocks. When investors are confident in the strength of the global economic recovery and the possibility of crisis is distant, the euro will rise. This has nothing to do with fundamentals in Europe, which are probably at least as bad as they are in the US. Of course, it may be connected with dollar weakness, since it is arguably the case that quantitative easing has both depressed the dollar and buoyed US stocks.

As I intimated in the title of this post, however, the S&P recently decoupled from the euro. Since the beginning of June, US equities have declined sharply, to the extent that they have given back most of their gains in the year-to-date. The EUR/USD, meanwhile, continued rising all the way until last week. While this has happened on a couple previous occasions, this was perhaps the sharpest break between the two.

I’m personally at a loss to explain why this happened. It has been conjectured that the driving force behind the correlation is algorithmic trading, and that hence, it must also represent the source of the break. In other words, high-frequency traders – which account for an ever-increasing proportion of forex volume – tweaked their trading algorithms so as not to buy the S&P 500 when the EURUSD rises, and vice versa.

It’s probably also the case that S&P 500 was falling for endogenous reasons- specifically a decline in GDP growth and earnings expectations which need not necessarily reflect itself in a stronger euro. In fact, in a normal functioning market, you would expect an inverse correlation; strong US economic fundamentals should translate into both a strong dollar and rising stocks. Could it be that worsening fundamentals are manifesting themselves in the form of a weak dollar and weak stocks?

Alas, the correlation has re-established itself over the last week, which means this is largely a moot issue. At the very least, it’s still worth being aware of, both insofar as it remains intact and in the event that it breaks down again.

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AUDNZD Scalps Targets Key Inflection Range - 1.1020 Critical Support
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GBP Capped by Channel Resistance- CAD to Face Sticky CPI Inflation
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Big Day for FX Markets - What We?re Watching
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Most latest Forex News

Europe Stocks Up on Fed, China Hopes
18 Sep 2014 at 12:25am
European shares closed largely higher on Wednesday, as investors bet the U.S. Federal Reserve would hold off on hiking interest rates.
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The U.S. Dollar was broadly higher as FX traders wait for some guidance from the Federal Reserve Bank specifically as regards the possible timing of its next rate hike and the steps it will take toward normalize the current and historical ultra loose policy.
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17 Sep 2014 at 1:26am
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11 Sep 2014 at 8:22am
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