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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:

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

Howard in running to be Britain's next EU Commissioner: Former Tory leader no...
10 Jul 2014 at 5:00pm

Daily Mail

Howard in running to be Britain's next EU Commissioner: Former Tory leader not ...
Daily Mail
The former Tory leader, 73, is understood not to have been ruled out as David Cameron prepares to name his choice for the job following months of speculation. Both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats are also tipped to conduct a mini ministerial reshuffle, ...
Theresa May defies Tory critics over European arrest warrantFinancial Times
The Guardian view on the backbench revolt that never wasThe Guardian
The Great Brussels Steeplechase: runners and riders to be Britain's next (blog)

all 6 news articles »

Eric Pickles pits elected councillors against council staff - The Guardian
11 Jul 2014 at 3:08am

The Guardian

Eric Pickles pits elected councillors against council staff
The Guardian
The relationship between officers and members is better than ever, so why is the communities secretary seeking to strain it? Share · Tweet this. Email. Hannah Fearn ·, Friday 11 July 2014 05.08 EDT. Jump to comments (?) Pickles speech.
Embrace new technology, Pickles tells local
Pickles calls for digital innovation on statutory
Eric Pickles reveals 300 troubled families in Wirral have had their lives 'turned ...Wirral Globe
Lincolnshire Echo -Local Government Chronicle
all 10 news articles »

Public sector vent anger over new pay - Lancashire Evening Post
11 Jul 2014 at 2:12am

The Guardian

Public sector vent anger over new pay
Lancashire Evening Post
Thousands of public sector workers poured onto the streets of Preston to vent their anger to changes to pay and conditions. Trades and professions from teachers to town hall workers marched through the city centre for a mass rally in the Flag Market as part of ...
Public sector strike disrupts services in WestWestern Daily Press
MPs back strikers and condemn Conservative plan to rein in unionsThe Journal
Striking teachers in Bristol send a strong message to education secretary ...South West Business
Portsmouth News -Southwales Evening Post
all 624 news articles »

UK cities will not meet EU pollution targets until 2030, Government admits - ...
11 Jul 2014 at 2:06am

The Independent

UK cities will not meet EU pollution targets until 2030, Government admits
The Independent
Pollution levels in some of the UK's biggest cities mean that EU air pollution targets will not be met until at least 2030, according to the government. Member states were originally given a 2010 deadline to meet targets on fumes from diesel vehicles, which ...
The UK's air will remain polluted until 2030, government revealsBlue & Green Tomorrow
UK cities will exceed EU pollution limits until 2030, figures showThe Guardian
Will the UK ever meet its NO2 pollution limits?Business Green
BBC News -Businessweek -Reuters
all 27 news articles »

Labour's big debate on immigration - BBC News
10 Jul 2014 at 8:07pm

BBC News

Labour's big debate on immigration
BBC News
If there's one issue Labour leader Ed Miliband likes to use to show how the party's changed, it's immigration. But how different is its current policy - and how united is the party? line. Defining the problem - Bigotgate. Gordon Brown. Please turn on JavaScript.
Labour media team spends more time squabbling than selling Ed
RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Labour luvvies: what am I bid for this ceramic pig?Daily Mail
Celebrities pledge £500000 to Labour at party fundraiserThe Guardian

all 8 news articles »

Fatal car crash on M11 - East London and West Essex Guardian Series
11 Jul 2014 at 3:09am

East London and West Essex Guardian Series

Fatal car crash on M11
East London and West Essex Guardian Series
A 79-year-old woman has died and two others have serious injuries after a collision on the M11 involving a lorry and a car in Epping. The lorry and a car collided at about 3.30pm yesterday between junctions 7 and 6. The southbound carriageway was closed ...
Lorry and car collides killing woman on M11ITV News
M11 at Epping re-opens following fatal Essex crashBBC News
Witness appeal after pensioner killed in M11 crashEssex Chronicle
Maldon and Burnham Standard -The Guardian -Daily Mail
all 30 news articles »

SNP anger at lack of consultation on emergency data law - Herald Scotland
10 Jul 2014 at 11:20pm

Herald Scotland

SNP anger at lack of consultation on emergency data law
Herald Scotland
THE Scottish Government has hit out at the "lack of prior consultation" from UK ministers before fast-track legislation to ensure police and security services can access mobile and internet data was announced. THE Scottish Government has hit out at the "lack ...
Kenny MacAskill anger at UK emergency data lawsScotsman
Scotland's Justice Secretary alleges lack of consultation on surveillance powersBBC News

all 10 news articles »

Exclusive: Daughter of care home abuse victim slams four month prison ... - R...
11 Jul 2014 at 3:18am

Romford Recorder

Exclusive: Daughter of care home abuse victim slams four month prison ...
Romford Recorder
Veronica Davis holds an old picture of her parents, William Patrick and Bridget Rees. Photo credit: Isabel Infantes. Exclusive by Laura Burnip, Reporter Friday, July 11, 2014 10:17 AM. The heartbroken daughter of an elderly dementia patient who suffered ...
Carer secretly filmed abusing 92-year-old dementia patient telling her to 'shut ...Daily Mail
Shocking video footage shows abuse by former nurse of 92-year-old dementia ...Evening Standard
Shameful abuse caught on camera by 92-year-old's carerITV News

all 9 news articles »

Renfrew tyre fire: Massive smoke cloud from tyre blaze - BBC News
11 Jul 2014 at 2:56am

BBC News

Renfrew tyre fire: Massive smoke cloud from tyre blaze
BBC News
Dozens of firefighters have spent the night battling a large blaze which broke out at an industrial site west of Glasgow. The fire sent black smoke from burning tyres drifting across the city which could be seen for miles around. It broke out at about 22:00 BST on ...
Fire crews battle scrapyard blaze in RenfrewHerald Scotland
Serious fire near Meadowside Street area of Renfrew near
Glasgow fire crews fight 'severe' Renfrew blazeScotsman
Scottish Daily Record -The Courier
all 12 news articles »

Ardoyne parade: Unionist leaders including Peter Robinson call for legal inqu...
11 Jul 2014 at 2:57am

Belfast Telegraph

Ardoyne parade: Unionist leaders including Peter Robinson call for legal inquiry ...
Belfast Telegraph
First Minister Peter Robinson and other unionist leaders alongside senior Orange Order figures at Thursday's press conference. Pic Arthur Allison. By John Mulgrew and David Young ? 10 July 2014 ...
Grand Master: 'If your view of protest is violence ... please stay away'Belfast Newsletter
Unionists call for disputed parade probeU.TV
Finlay urges Unionists not to forget Rasharkin and DunloyBallymoney and Moyle Times -the Irish News -BBC News
all 69 news articles »

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

Aereo does an about-face in latest attempt to stay alive
11 Jul 2014 at 1:42am

That seems to be the approach Aereo is taking in a last-ditch effort to stay alive after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the start-up service which streams the signals of local TV stations over the Internet via remote antennas was in violation of the Copyright Act.

Nike to end deal with Man U
10 Jul 2014 at 9:33pm

The Oregon-based sports apparel and shoe maker confirmed the end of the 13-year equipment supply contract in an email.

California man faces prison for economic espionage
10 Jul 2014 at 5:18pm

A jury convicted Walter Liew, 56, of selling DuPont Co.' s secret recipe for making cars, paper and a long list of everyday items whiter to the Chinese government for $28 million.

US wholesalers slow restocking as sales weaken
10 Jul 2014 at 1:08pm

Wholesale stockpiles grew 0.5 percent in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday, down from a 1 percent surge in April.

US stocks sink on Portugal worries
10 Jul 2014 at 9:04am

The worries also spread to the European stock and bond markets. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 173 points, or 1 percent, to 16,811 in the first 20 minutes of trading.

Report: Chinese hackers hit US personnel networks
10 Jul 2014 at 6:54am

Senior U.S. officials say the hackers gained access to some of the agency's databases in March before the threat was detected and blocked, the Times reported in an article posted on its website Wednesday night.

Top Army brass defend troubled intelligence system
10 Jul 2014 at 2:54am

This March 18, 2013 file photo shows Gen. John Campbell speaking at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Dish asks FCC to halt Comcast-Time Warner deal
10 Jul 2014 at 12:50am

In meetings with Federal Communications Commission officials this week, Dish said a combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable "presents serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces and therefore should be denied."

Bank BNP Paribas pleads guilty to violating rules
10 Jul 2014 at 12:50am

The plea to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Powers Act and the Trading with the Enemy Act came a week after the bank agreed to forfeit roughly $8.9 billion as it pleaded guilty to charges in state court in New York City.

Brennan's to reopen after bankruptcy sale
9 Jul 2014 at 8:35pm

A bankruptcy judge overseeing the liquidation of Brennan's Inc. on Wednesday approved the sale of the former restaurant's trade name and other assets - including recipes.

Personal computers roar back after death of Windows XP
9 Jul 2014 at 8:35pm

A two-year slump in personal computer sales ended in the second quarter, helped by improving demand in developed markets like North America and Europe.

Harley-Davidson recalling 66,421 motorcycles
9 Jul 2014 at 5:25pm

Harley-Davidson Inc. says the front brake line can get pinched between the fuel tank and the frame.

Source: American Apparel to receive financing
9 Jul 2014 at 1:11pm

The deal will help pay off a $10 million loan from investment firm Lion Capital, which made a formal demand for payment Monday.

French financier to head Vatican bank
9 Jul 2014 at 10:01am

As widely expected, the Vatican announced Wednesday that Jean-Baptiste de Franssu has been tapped to head the Institute of Religious Works, as the bank is formally called.

$580 million EU antitrust fine for drug makers
9 Jul 2014 at 6:02am

The 28-nation bloc's executive Commission on Wednesday said Servier struck a series of deals with the producers of generic medicines to protect its bestselling blood pressure medicine, Perindopril, from price competition.

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

Royal Mail sale 'lost taxpayers £1bn'
11 Jul 2014 at 1:10am
Taxpayers may have lost out on around £1bn in undervalued Royal Mail shares and assets, a committee of MPs says.

Burberry boss faces revolt at AGM
11 Jul 2014 at 3:32am
Luxury fashion brand Burberry is facing a shareholder revolt over the pay of chief executive Christopher Bailey at its annual general meeting.

New combat jet's UK debut cancelled
10 Jul 2014 at 1:36pm
The F-35 combat jet, due to be used on Britain's new aircraft carriers, will not appear at the Royal International Air Tattoo on Friday.

Church of England cuts Wonga ties
10 Jul 2014 at 8:48pm
The Church of England says it no longer has any investment in payday lender Wonga, ending an embarrassment to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

London Market Report
11 Jul 2014 at 2:37am
After seeing heavy falls on Thursday, triggered by concerns over Portugal's biggest listed bank, the FTSE 100 makes a steady start to the day.

Infosys sees quarterly profits rise
11 Jul 2014 at 3:14am
Infosys, India's second-largest IT services firm, reports a 21% increase in quarterly profit and maintains its revenue growth forecast.

US sues Amazon over app spending
10 Jul 2014 at 12:27pm
The US Federal Trade Commission sues Amazon, alleging it allowed millions of dollars of unauthorised purchases by children in its mobile app store.

M&S finance boss leaves for Tesco
10 Jul 2014 at 6:51am
Marks and Spencer's chief financial officer Alan Stewart will leave the High Street retailer to join supermarket giant Tesco.

Bank holds interest rates at 0.5%
10 Jul 2014 at 5:11am
The Bank of England holds UK interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for another month, and keeps its quantitative easing programme at £375bn.

Google to fund European start-ups
10 Jul 2014 at 4:58am
Google is launching a venture capital fund to invest in promising European technology companies.

North Sea oil revenue 'to fall'
10 Jul 2014 at 9:45am
The OBR predicts dwindling revenue from North Sea oil will increase the pressure on government finances over the coming decades, but the Scottish government dismisses the figures as "nonsense".

UK trade deficit widens in May
10 Jul 2014 at 5:09am
The UK's trade deficit widened in May, pushed up by aircraft imports, official data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

Bitcoin investment fund approved
10 Jul 2014 at 8:44am
A regulated Bitcoin investment fund overcomes anonymity concerns about the virtual currency, says its director.

Markets hit by Portuguese bank fears
10 Jul 2014 at 10:04am
Stock markets in Europe and the US fall sharply over concerns about the health of one of Portugal's biggest banks.

Home price fall 'expected in London'
10 Jul 2014 at 4:33am
House prices in London are expected to fall over the next three months, according to a poll of chartered surveyors.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

Banco Espírito Santo seeks to quell fears
11 Jul 2014 at 1:42am
Portuguese lender moves to return to trading with statement saying loans to Espirito Santo family group do not compromise its capital requirements
Alibaba races to hit August IPO date
10 Jul 2014 at 6:01pm
Chinese ecommerce company has a preferred pricing date of August 7 but still needs approval from the SEC before it can start its roadshow
Bank of England checks for damage from fines
10 Jul 2014 at 4:20pm
Prudential Regulation Authority said it was critical penalties did not undermine financial stability as European banks face potential $50bn of fines
Church sells indirect stake in Wonga
10 Jul 2014 at 3:00pm
Disposal of indirect stake concludes an embarrassing saga in which the Archbishop of Canterbury criticised the payday lending before discovering link
Swann finds sweet spot at SSP
10 Jul 2014 at 1:12pm
Chief rewarded for taking group that sells sandwiches and snacks to rail and air travellers through to its debut and now owns stake worth £9.6m
US agencies in rift over bank penalties
10 Jul 2014 at 12:35pm
BNP Paribas case showed the country?s enforcement officials are taking different views on how to determine penalties, creating new risks for banks
UK P2P lender receives risk rating
10 Jul 2014 at 10:24am
Ratesetter is first platform worldwide to be given cash-like risk rating, in this case a rating of 1, which was awarded by research agency FE
Countryside taps advisers on possible IPO
10 Jul 2014 at 6:52am
Housebuilder Countryside, which is owned by Oaktree, is considering an IPO, possibly in 2015, as one of several options
Qatar to sell down stake in LSE
9 Jul 2014 at 4:12pm
Sovereign fund to sell a near 5% stake in an accelerated bookbuild before a rights issue by the LSE to help buy the US index compiler Frank Russell
Vatican overhaul aims to sweep away years of scandal
9 Jul 2014 at 3:57pm
The shake up of the Vatican?s administration marks Pope Francis? most ambitious attempt yet to deliver a radical reform of the Holy See
Peer-to-peer lender wins landmark rating
9 Jul 2014 at 12:26pm
SoFi, which handles student loans but has branched into consumer lending, sold $270m securitisation after receiving single A rating from S&P and DBRS
US banks will pay for failure to modernise
9 Jul 2014 at 11:57am
How strange that a country that often leads in consumer technology lags far behind in the nuts and bolts of retail banking
Spire to pay staff £36m in IPO proceeds
9 Jul 2014 at 11:56am
UK group, which operates 39 hospitals and 13 clinics, has announced an IPO price range of 210-300p a share, which would value the company at £1bn
McKinsey flags threat to bank wirehouses
9 Jul 2014 at 11:22am
McKinsey predicts big banks will capture a smaller share of retail investors? savings as asset managers turn to the independent sector
Developing world blazes finance trail
9 Jul 2014 at 11:19am
The estimated 2.5bn people who do not have access to basic financial services represent a massive untapped source of productivity and economic growth
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.

MPs: Taxpayer Short-Changed On Royal Mail Sale
11 Jul 2014 at 2:50am
Vince Cable has been accused of "a fear of failure" and costing taxpayers up to £1bn over the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Amazon Sued Over Children's In-App Purchases
11 Jul 2014 at 1:51am
US authorities say millions of dollars of unauthorised payments were made, as a top author declines an award over Amazon's taxes.

Church Of England Severs Ties With Wonga
10 Jul 2014 at 9:26pm
The announcement comes a year after the Archbishop of Canterbury vowed to compete the payday lender out of business.

Tesco Makes Shock Raid For M&S Finance Chief
10 Jul 2014 at 7:17am
The finance director of M&S has quit to join Tesco at a critical time for both companies, Sky News can reveal.

Recovery Fears Return To World Stock Markets
10 Jul 2014 at 8:01am
News from the eurozone and US combines with woes at a major Portuguese bank to prompt a sell-off.

Fashion Firms' Strong Sales Amid Pound Fears
10 Jul 2014 at 5:33am
Burberry, Superdry and Primark are among brands reporting strong sales, but sterling's strength is to hit profits.

Maxwell Printer's Owner Eyes Publishing Deal
10 Jul 2014 at 8:33am
A company once-owned by the disgraced late newspaper tycoon is to merge with magazine publisher River, Sky News understands.

Striking Workers Accuse Ministers Of 'Hypocrisy'
10 Jul 2014 at 3:04pm
Unions and ministers are locked in a war of words over the number of workers out on strike in a protest over pay and cuts.

Public Vs Private Sector: Who Is Worse Off?
10 Jul 2014 at 11:23am
Sky's Ed Conway crunches the numbers to reveal the real reasons why so many public sector workers feel so strongly.

PM Plots Anti-Strike Law Amid National Walkout
9 Jul 2014 at 7:29pm
As seven major unions stage action, David Cameron says curbing public sector strikes will be in the 2015 Tory manifesto.
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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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