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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.

Our GCEN online payment gateway ensures that money can be transferred in a safe and secure way with payment being instant. All you need to do is follow the link through to register as a new client, fill out your details including your address, email and of course credit card details. Once a payment has been successful, you will receive an email confirmation for your records as proof of payment. As a registered client you will be entitled to preferential exchange rates for up two years as well being able to buy your currency in advance to ensure the best possible rate, save on fluctuation and of course send money to your overseas account.

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

Register with GCEN

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Nation - Google News
Nation - Google News
Google News

Jeremy Corbyn poses national security threat, says George Osborne - The Guardian
30 Aug 2015 at 5:32pm

The Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn poses national security threat, says George Osborne
The Guardian
George Osborne said an alliance between Jeremy Corbyn's Labour and the SNP would shatter the Westminster consensus in favour of a nuclear deterrent. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA. Press Association. Sunday 30 August 2015 19.32 EDT Last modified on ...
Women-only railway carriages are a cop-outFinancial Times
Labour leadership favourite Jeremy Corbyn said the assassination of 9/11 ...Daily Mail
Jeremy Corbyn's camp hits back after Labour leadership front-runner accused of -The Times (subscription) -Scotsman
all 334 news articles »

George Osborne announces £500 million to upgrade Trident base -
30 Aug 2015 at 5:05pm

George Osborne announces £500 million to upgrade Trident base
The future of Britain's Trident nuclear deterrent appeared to be secure for the next 50 years today after George Osborne announced more than £500 million to overhaul the naval base where it is housed. The Chancellor said the money would be spent over a ...
Faslane base gets £500m contracts 'to secure 6700 jobs'BBC News
George Osborne to give Scottish submarine base a £500million upgrade in show ...Daily Mail
George Osborne to pledge £500m to Faslane submarine baseFinancial Times -Herald Scotland -The Guardian
all 18 news articles »

'Don't fan flames of nationalism,' Brown says - The Times (subscription)
30 Aug 2015 at 3:38pm

The Times (subscription)

'Don't fan flames of nationalism,' Brown says
The Times (subscription)
David Cameron must stop whipping up English nationalism or he risks losing the Union, Gordon Brown warned yesterday. The former prime minister said the United Kingdom could be effectively lost in the next 12 months if the Conservatives continued to ...
Gordon Brown: Union is in 'mortal danger'BBC News
English union with Scotland in 'mortal danger', says ex-PM BrownReuters UK
Gordon Brown warns next 12 months will decide if UK
The Guardian -Scotsman -Otago Daily Times
all 27 news articles »

Theresa May says European migrants should be banned from UK unless they have ...
30 Aug 2015 at 6:24pm

Daily Mail

Theresa May says European migrants should be banned from UK unless they have a job
Daily Mail
Theresa May threw down the gauntlet to David Cameron over Europe's free-movement rules yesterday by demanding that EU migrants should be barred from coming to Britain unless they have a job. In a significant intervention, the Home Secretary said Mr ...
David Cameron's EU reforms 'not ambitious enough', ministers
Migration on agenda as David Cameron sets out on EU questFinancial Times
Britain attacks 'broken' EU migration systemThe Hindu
Financial Express -The National -Darlington and Stockton Times
all 93 news articles »

Cycling friends are last two victims of air show disaster - The Times (subscr...
30 Aug 2015 at 4:02pm

The Times (subscription)

Cycling friends are last two victims of air show disaster
The Times (subscription)
The final two victims of the Shoreham Airshow disaster have been named, a week after a Hawker Hunter jet claimed 11 lives by crashing on to the A27 in West Sussex. Dylan Archer, 42, and Richard Smith, 26, were on a bicycle ride in the South Downs when ...
Shoreham air crash disaster: Dylan Archer and Richard Smith identified as victimsThe Independent
Shoreham air crash: Dylan Archer and Richard Smith named as victimsBBC News
Shoreham Crash: Three More Victims NamedSky News
The Guardian -Daily Mail -Portsmouth News
all 462 news articles »

Prince Charles lobbied Alex Salmond over a stately home and his Highlands foo...
30 Aug 2015 at 1:37pm

The Independent

Prince Charles lobbied Alex Salmond over a stately home and his Highlands food ...
The Independent
Prince Charles privately lobbied Alex Salmond as Scotland's First Minister to seek money or political backing for causes including a stately home and his Highlands food brand, according to newly-released correspondence. Extracts from seven letters ...
Prince Charles lobbied ex-SNP leader Alex Salmond for help with his Highlands
Prince Charles's black spider memos show lobbying of Alex SalmondThe Guardian
'Black spider' memos show Prince Charles lobbied Alex Salmond over a stately ...Daily Mail
all 8 news articles »

SNP faces growing pressure to reform unified police force - Financial Times
30 Aug 2015 at 5:01pm

Financial Times

SNP faces growing pressure to reform unified police force
Financial Times
Opposition parties are piling pressure on the governing Scottish nationalists to reform Scotland's two-year-old unified police service, saying the departure of its chief constable will not be enough to restore confidence in the troubled force ...
'Reveal M9 crash failings'The Times (subscription)
Labour launches Police Scotland review to inform "bold reform" plansHerald Scotland
Labour will launch review into Police ScotlandScotsman
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra -The National -BBC News
all 25 news articles »

Almost 30 'illegal immigrants' found in refrigerated lorry at motorway servic...
28 Aug 2015 at 2:08pm

Almost 30 'illegal immigrants' found in refrigerated lorry at motorway service ...
A refrigerated lorry which stopped at a motorway service station had been carrying 27 suspected illegal immigrants. Police were alerted when people at Cobham services on the M25 in Surrey became suspicious about activity around the truck. Trucker Sean ...
Borderless Britain: Torrent of stowaway migrants head to the
27 suspected illegal migrants arrested in Surrey after being found in lorry at ...The Independent
Police Arrest 27 Migrants Found In M25 LorryKL.FM 96.7
PPP -BBC News -Belfast Telegraph
all 70 news articles »

Man arrested after woman beaten to death in Manchester - The Guardian
30 Aug 2015 at 7:31am

The Guardian

Man arrested after woman beaten to death in Manchester
The Guardian
Police are questioning a man in connection with the woman's death and have appealed for witnesses. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images. Sunday 30 August 2015 09.30 EDT Last modified on Sunday 30 August 2015 10.32 EDT. Share on ...
Man arrested over death of woman in Newton HeathBBC News
Man arrested on suspicion of murder after woman dies following assault in ...The Independent
Murder Arrest After Assaulted Woman DiesSky News
Manchester Evening News -ITV News
all 11 news articles »

What will Royal Navy warships look like in 2050? - BBC News
30 Aug 2015 at 5:43pm

BBC News

What will Royal Navy warships look like in 2050?
BBC News
Futuristic images of what Royal Navy vessels could look like in 2050 have been developed by young British scientists and engineers. They hope it will offer a glimpse of how advanced vessels could be. A group of British scientists and engineers are ...
Dreadnought 2050: Here's what the Navy of the future could be
HMS Hi-tech: Plans for future fleet reveal Royal Navy could soon be using ...Daily Mail
Dreadnought 2050: Engineers imagine Navy warship of the futureYahoo News UK

all 5 news articles »

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

D.C.-based Liquidity Services takes stock of its own business
30 Aug 2015 at 3:09am

Liquidity Services is in the business of selling things you didn't know you could buy, such as an ambulance, a silo or, until recently, a tank. The District-based company grew from its roots as a surplus marketplace founded during the dot-com boom to become a big player in the liquidation business, helping government and businesses get rid of their extra stuff.

Hurricane Katrina, 10 Years Later: Hollywood Pays Tribute on Social...
29 Aug 2015 at 11:02pm

Kurt Sutter first became famous during his reign of terror writing FX's smash "Sons of Anarchy." Now, with a second ultraviolent series about to hit, the Hollywood hothead has cooled down and opens up about his troubled childhood and why he no longer tweets the C-word.

Ricky Martin Slams "Racist" Donald Trump: Campaign Is "Lowest Level...
29 Aug 2015 at 7:57pm

Kurt Sutter first became famous during his reign of terror writing FX's smash "Sons of Anarchy." Now, with a second ultraviolent series about to hit, the Hollywood hothead has cooled down and opens up about his troubled childhood and why he no longer tweets the C-word.

Drake's manager: 'Apple doesn't have the power to stop us'...
29 Aug 2015 at 6:59pm

Drake's manager is disputing claims made by Tidal, the music-streaming platform co-owned by Jay Z and other music stars, that Apple refused to let Drake appear on Tidal's live stream of a charity event in New Orleans. "The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal stream has nothing to do with Apple or Drake's deal ... Point blank, 100 percent.

The Chinese superrich are about to flood the US real-estate...
29 Aug 2015 at 2:50pm

After yet another drop in the Shanghai stock market and Hang Seng index on August 6, Daniel Chang heard his cell phone ping. The real-estate agent was on a business trip in Shanghai, and he was mid-bite during a dinner when he saw his phone light up from a message on his app, WeChat.

Greek election could result in new, big coalition govt
29 Aug 2015 at 11:42am

Outgoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, shakes hands with Greece's new Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou, after a handover ceremony as he leaves the Maximou mansion in Athens, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Greece came one step closer on Thursday to early elections with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos appointing the head of the country's Supreme Court Vassiliki Thanou as caretaker prime minister to lead the country to next month's polls.

29 Aug 2015 at 8:39am

Moye ranked among millions of Americans who in 2005 watched the news from the Gulf Coast with horror, as Katrina ravaged cities across the region. Ten months later when Moye, a Georgia-based art consultant, finally got to New Orleans, it seemed as if the entire city had become a tragic and massive installation of found art.

Summertime heat and humidity build back in
29 Aug 2015 at 4:27am

TODAY'S DAILY DIGIT A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10. Although meteorological fall starts in a few days, the forecast is certainly looking rather summer-like in the time ahead. It's nothing extreme, but at this point in the year - after tasting some cooler and drier air - it might not be exactly what we're looking for.

Fed vice chair indicates September rate hike still possible
29 Aug 2015 at 12:19am

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer says that incoming economic data and market developments will likely determine whether the Fed boosts interest rates in September. Fischer says that before the recent turbulence in financial markets, there was a "pretty strong case" for starting to hike rates in September.

Wonkblog: Fed vice chair on rates: No decision made on September
28 Aug 2015 at 8:12pm

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday that it was "too early to tell" whether the nation's central bank should raise its target interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade when it meets next week. In an interview with CNBC during the Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Fischer said the implications of China's recent decision to let its currency float more freely and the global turmoil in financial markets are still unclear.

Wells Fargo Said to Be Front-Runner to Buy GE Railcar Unit
28 Aug 2015 at 3:59pm

An agreement to acquire the business, which has more than $4 billion in assets, could be announced by the U.S. Labor Day holiday Sept. 7, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Americaa s growing love affair with the most wasteful thing to drink there is
28 Aug 2015 at 12:00pm

The average person in the United States now consumes more than 35 gallons of bottled water per year, according to data from market research firm Beverage Marketing Corp. That's about 270 bottles, and more than twice as many as people drank 15 years ago. And that number is only going to go up: By 2017, the average American is expected to drink almost 300 bottles annually.

Fast-food's new target: The snack attack
28 Aug 2015 at 9:41am

After years of slinging super-sized servings, some fast-food chains are starting to see the benefits of offering daintier bites. That includes mini-hot dogs, little chicken sandwiches and shakes that are smaller than a small.

Mortgage rates tumble following stock market turbulence
28 Aug 2015 at 5:09am

Turmoil in the stock market drove mortgage rates lower this week, sending the 30-year fixed-rate average down to its lowest level in three months. According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average dropped to 3.84 percent with an average 0.6 point.

Floyd Mayweather fires back with possibly disturbing shot at Ronda Rousey
28 Aug 2015 at 12:52am

Ronda Rousey clearly holds special contempt for Floyd Mayweather, dating back at least to July 2014, when the undefeated boxer said of the MMA superstar , "I don't even know who he is." Since then, Rousey has seemingly never passed up a chance to lob a verbal grenade at Mayweather.

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

'Massive gas discovery' off Egypt coast
30 Aug 2015 at 8:33am
Italian energy group Eni says it has found one of the world's largest natural gas fields off Egypt's coast.

Inquiry into restaurant tipping abuse
30 Aug 2015 at 12:05pm
The abuse of tipping by restaurants is to be the subject of an investigation launched by Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

VW and Suzuki settle four-year dispute
30 Aug 2015 at 11:25am
The International Chamber of Commerce rules that VW should sell its stake in Suzuki, ending a four-year dispute between over their failed partnership.

China punishes 197 over stock 'rumours'
30 Aug 2015 at 1:25pm
Chinese authorities punish 197 people for spreading rumours online about the recent stock market crash and fatal explosions in Tianjin.

Rate rise on agenda despite China woes
29 Aug 2015 at 11:26am
Bank of England governor Mark Carney says the decision on when to raise UK interest rates is still likely to be made at the end of the year, despite China's slowdown.

HSBC glitch payments 'all processed'
29 Aug 2015 at 8:46am
A computer glitch that delayed 275,000 HSBC payments has now been resolved, the bank tells the BBC.

Ex-Sainsbury's boss slams Living Wage
28 Aug 2015 at 5:44pm
Justin King, the former chief executive of Sainsbury's, says the National Living Wage will "destroy jobs".

Ashley Madison founder steps down
28 Aug 2015 at 9:41am
The founder and chief executive of the Ashley Madison extra-marital affair website, Noel Biderman, steps down following data hack.

Brooks 'to return as News Corp chief'
29 Aug 2015 at 4:02am
News Corp confirms it is in talks with Rebekah Brooks after the Financial Times newspaper reports she is to return as chief executive of its UK division.

Property sales 'down 15%' but prices up
28 Aug 2015 at 4:56am
The number of homes being sold in England and Wales has fallen significantly, according to figures from the Land Registry.

Popularity of Isas 'at ten-year low'
28 Aug 2015 at 6:32am
The number of adults taking out Individual Savings Accounts (Isa) has fallen to its lowest level for ten years, according to official figures

'Flash crash' trader hearing to proceed
28 Aug 2015 at 7:31am
Navinder Sarao, the so-called "flash crash" day trader, fails in his bid to postpone his US extradition hearing.

McDonald's boss defends zero-hours
26 Aug 2015 at 4:06am
The new boss of McDonald's UK tells the BBC that zero-hours contracts are fair because they help staff stay flexible.

Zano mini-drones struggle to launch
26 Aug 2015 at 5:01pm
Kickstarter raised it £2.3m but drone maker struggles to meet hopes

VIDEO: Slowing China affects Africa
28 Aug 2015 at 5:57am
Slowing growth in China has seen stock markets in turmoil and underlined the recent plunge in commodity prices - a key concern in many African economies.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

BNY glitch uncertainty lingers for funds
30 Aug 2015 at 6:25pm
System that forced some trades last week to be done at false prices now functioning efficiently
Investment banks outshine parent groups
30 Aug 2015 at 1:20pm
Step-change ushers in widespread belief that earnings prowess has been restored
Matchi links banks with fintech start-ups
30 Aug 2015 at 12:18pm
Lenders sign up to use the online portal to team up on projects
P2P lender Zopa names Janardana as chief
30 Aug 2015 at 10:38am
Founder Giles Andrews becomes chairman as platform aims to attract more savers
British Airways in landmark pensions case
30 Aug 2015 at 10:20am
Millions of pounds and role of trustees at stake in clash over airline?s pensions
China P2P lender banks on social media use
30 Aug 2015 at 6:35am
China Rapid Finance analyses Tencent user data to establish creditworthiness
Small-cap Week, August 29
28 Aug 2015 at 3:42pm
SkyePharma, Tavistock, Oxaco, and MTI Wireless Edge featured
Week in Review, August 29
28 Aug 2015 at 12:07pm
Zurich bid for RSA; Facebook, BHP Billiton and BlackRock also in the news
Private banks finally embrace mobile apps
28 Aug 2015 at 11:41am
Centuries of tradition gives way to digital banking as customers need change
RBS to scrap ?teasers? on home insurance
28 Aug 2015 at 11:29am
State-backed lender aims to simplify the company and keep customers
Payments company iZettle raises ?60m
28 Aug 2015 at 1:01am
Funding of Swedish business latest move by investors to back European fintech start-ups
US funds compare notes on torrid August
27 Aug 2015 at 12:48pm
EM managers such as Hasenstab of Franklin Templeton post losses
Professional services: Accounting for change
27 Aug 2015 at 12:10pm
Consulting is back in vogue among the Big Four firms but some fear audit quality is at risk amid potential conflicts of interest
Use of covenants wanes in debt markets
27 Aug 2015 at 9:58am
?False bravado? and investors? lack of protection causes concern
Oil price fall hits Canada?s big banks
27 Aug 2015 at 9:17am
Jump in bad loan provisions drags down company earnings
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.

BoE China Woes Unlikely To Stop UK Rate Rise
29 Aug 2015 at 9:25pm
China's economic problems are "unlikely" to derail the Bank of England's plans to raise interest rates, says Governor Mark Carney.

HSBC Glitch: Delayed Payments Now Processed
29 Aug 2015 at 5:41am
Wages go unpaid as payments are delayed ahead of the bank holiday, but HSBC says all transactions have now been processed.

Rocket Launch For UK Satellite Firm Inmarsat
28 Aug 2015 at 8:10am
Sky News gets exclusive footage of the rocket launch in Kazakhstan which will soon complete a new global mobile broadband network.

Ashley Madison Boss Steps Down After Data Hack
28 Aug 2015 at 9:46am
Noel Biderman, who founded the infidelity website, resigns as CEO of Avid Life Media after details of customers are dumped online.

Innovation Group In £500m Carlyle Bid Talks
28 Aug 2015 at 5:13am
The buyout firm Carlyle is in talks to buy London-listed software firm Innovation Group for about £500m, Sky News learns.

Labour Ruling Sends Shudder Through McDonald's
28 Aug 2015 at 8:21am
The NLRB decision undermines fast-food chains' position that they are not responsible for franchise workers' pay and conditions.

French Giant Plots £11bn Worldpay Merger
28 Aug 2015 at 4:06am
Euronext-listed Ingenico is pursuing a merger that would value the combined group at more than £11bn, Sky News learns.

Jimmy Choo Cashes In On Men's Shoes
28 Aug 2015 at 8:13am
Sales rose despite the temporary closure of its Sloane Street store and lower demand from Russian tourists.

Oil Price Spike As Jittery Markets Recover
28 Aug 2015 at 12:24am
Oil stages a mini-recovery but has still lost over half its value in 12 months as normality returns to the global equity markets.

One Billion People Used Facebook On Monday
27 Aug 2015 at 11:48pm
Mark Zuckerberg says the milestone hailed the landmark figure as "just the beginning of connecting the whole world".
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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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Forex Market News

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Currency Exchange News

Suspects smash van into currency exchange, try to steal safe - KHOU

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Suspects smash van into currency exchange, try to steal safe
HOUSTON ? Suspects ended up leaving empty-handed after smashing a van into a currency exchange store overnight in northwest Houston. Loading? Post to Facebook. Suspects smash van into currency exchange, try to steal safe HOUSTON ? Suspects ...

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Weekly Economic & Political Timeline
23 Aug 2015 at 6:17am
I had expected last week that the market would be more volatile and it came to pass, with the market growing more convinced that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not implement a rate hike next September.
Tsipras Announces Resignation
21 Aug 2015 at 2:16am
In a move that could either make him or break him, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took a dramatic step Thursday by announcing that he would resign his position and hold early elections next month after being in office for less than one year.
Norwegian Krone Tumbles
20 Aug 2015 at 5:22am
The Norwegian Krone, generally considered a safe haven currency, earlier skidded to its lowest level in nearly 8 months versus the Euro.
Euro Recovers after Chinese Equity Rout
19 Aug 2015 at 6:09am
The common currency Euro recovered slightly after earlier coming under pressure in the wake of China?s slumping equity market. Investors are concerned that the second largest economy on the globe may be on the verge of becoming destabilized.