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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

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

Labour shadow minister demands peer apologise to Faslane workers for ... - He...
28 Jan 2015 at 12:09pm

The Guardian

Labour shadow minister demands peer apologise to Faslane workers for ...
Herald Scotland
A shadow defence minister has demanded a peer apologise to Faslane workers after he compared Trident's base to the Auschwitz Nazi death camp . A shadow defence minister has demanded a peer apologise to Faslane workers after he compared Trident's ...
Ex-Plaid Cymru leader issues apology after comparing Trident to Auschwitz Nazi ...Scottish Daily Record
Welsh peer apologises over Auschwitz remarkFinancial Times
Peer says sorry for comparing Trident base to AuschwitzYorkshire Post
Daily Mail -Channel 4 News -The Independent
all 94 news articles »

Spy post mortem 'very hazardous' -
28 Jan 2015 at 12:07pm

Spy post mortem 'very hazardous'
The post-mortem examination of poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko was "one of the most dangerous ever undertaken in the western world", the public inquiry into his death has heard. Marina Litvinenko outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London, where the ...
Andrey Lugovoy: UK only ordered Litvinenko inquiry after falling out with
Autopsy of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was 'one of the most ...National Post
Russian spy post-mortem 'most dangerous ever'Sky News Australia
New York Times -Sky News -Irish Times
all 185 news articles »

Sale fears for Scottish military bases - Scotsman
28 Jan 2015 at 10:53am


Sale fears for Scottish military bases
A FIRE sale of Ministry of Defence properties has put a new question mark over the future of several famous Scottish military bases. After announcing a series of sales and cost cutting in the MoD, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is under pressure to provide ...
From second hand boots to armoured tanks: Britain's military surplus for
Old military buildings and airfields to be sold off to raise fundsDaily Mail
Britain to privatise more defence assets pre-May election -ministerYahoo Finance UK
RT -Reuters
all 40 news articles »

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Ed Miliband fails to weaponise himself for NHS cla...
28 Jan 2015 at 12:17pm

The Independent

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Ed Miliband fails to weaponise himself for NHS clash ...
The Independent
David Cameron said today that he had asked the new Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, what his ?long-term economic plan? was. Since this is a bit like suggesting to a man whose house is burning down that it might be a good time to do a bit of loft ...
Weaponising of mass distraction: Tories and Labour face off over NHSThe Guardian
PMQs Sketch: 99 days early Ed Miliband gets his wish - to be facing the ...Herald Scotland
Row Over Hospitals Declaring 'Major Incidents'Sky News -Yorkshire Post
all 385 news articles »

Analysis: Why can't we sue the police for negligence? - BBC News
28 Jan 2015 at 9:40am

BBC News

Analysis: Why can't we sue the police for negligence?
BBC News
You call the police in your moment of need and they don't turn up until it's too late. But while you may want to drag them through the courts, your chances of winning - for now - are probably nil. That's the result of an important Supreme Court judgement which ...
Murdered Joanna Michael's family speak of 'shock' after Supreme Court rules ...WalesOnline
Family of murdered woman who rang 999 TWICE before fatal attack told they
Family of woman killed by ex-partner loses battle to sue police for negligenceThe Guardian
South Wales Argus -Halifax Evening Courier
all 55 news articles »

Maureen Lipman: rise in antisemitic attacks may prompt me to leave UK - The G...
28 Jan 2015 at 10:30am

The Guardian

Maureen Lipman: rise in antisemitic attacks may prompt me to leave UK
The Guardian
Maureen Lipman: 'It's crossed my mind that it's time to have a look around for another place to live.' Photograph: PA. Matthew Weaver. Wednesday 28 January 2015 03.17 EST. Share on Facebook · Share on Twitter · Share via Email · Share on LinkedIn ...
Rising anti-Semitism: 'The Pianist' actress considers leaving UKRT
British Actress Maureen Lipman Says May Leave UK Amid Rise in Anti-SemitismSputnik International
Actress Maureen Lipman may leave Britain over attacks on -The Independent -Jewish News
all 13 news articles »

Slaughterhouse boss admits charges over UK horsemeat scandal - The Guardian
28 Jan 2015 at 12:08pm

The Guardian

Slaughterhouse boss admits charges over UK horsemeat scandal
The Guardian
Abattoir owner Peter Boddy (right), who is the first person to face jail after admitting criminal charges connected to the horsemeat scandal. Photograph: Justin Tallis/PA. Press Association. Wednesday 28 January 2015 14.08 EST. Share on Facebook · Share ...
Slaughterhouse boss could be first person jailed over horsemeat scandal after
Boss faces jail after admitting horsemeat chargesChannel 4 News
Boss admits horsemeat chargesSwindon Advertiser

all 16 news articles »

Husband jailed for life after decapitating wife by 'hacking at her neck' with...
28 Jan 2015 at 9:49am

Husband jailed for life after decapitating wife by 'hacking at her neck' with kitchen ...
A husband who decapitated his wife as she lay dead or dying on the floor has been jailed for life for her brutal murder. Naveed Ahmed, 41, stabbed Tahira Ahmed several times before continuing to 'hack at her neck' as she lay lifeless on their kitchen floor.
Naveed Ahmed, who decapitated disabled wife in 'senseless' attack jailed for 22 ...Metro
UK decapitation: Naveed Ahmed jailed for life after 'barbaric' murder of wife TahiraInternational Business Times UK
Man who murdered his wife with a large kitchen knife and metal table leg in ...getwestlondon
Asian Image -Yahoo News UK
all 12 news articles »

Ian Liddell-Grainger: Tory councillors revolt against 'back-stabbing' MP who ...
28 Jan 2015 at 12:10pm

The Independent

Ian Liddell-Grainger: Tory councillors revolt against 'back-stabbing' MP who ...
The Independent
Bullying, back-stabbing, offensive, dishonourable, divisive and destructive. These are just some of the accusations hurled at a Conservative MP by members of his own local party. Ian Liddell-Grainger has been involved in a war of words with councillors and ...

and more »

Watch double decker bus attempt a three-point turn after getting stuck in a ....
28 Jan 2015 at 10:07am

The Independent

Watch double decker bus attempt a three-point turn after getting stuck in a ...
The Independent
If you thought that you needed to practice your turn in the road manoeuvre, then it's nothing compared to this bus driver in Norwich. He was left struggling to turn his double decker bus around after he accidentally went down a closed road. The driver took at ...
A bus predictably got stuck while attempting this three-point turnMetro
Watch: Norwich bus driver tries 140-point

all 7 news articles »

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

Iraq Oil Surge to Fan OPEC Rivalry That Triggered Slump: Energy
28 Jan 2015 at 9:54am

Iraqi crude production is climbing from a 35-year high as it adds growing Kurdish supplies to its exports, while southern oilfields remain unscathed by Islamic State militants. Finding buyers for the new output means offering more attractive terms than rivals in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, say Citigroup Inc., DNB ASA and Barclays Plc.

Where Google Fiber Is Going Next
28 Jan 2015 at 1:45am

The service offers speeds of one gigabit per second, about 100 times faster than the average broadband service in the U.S., in Kansas City, Austin, Tex. and Provo, Utah.

U.S. FCC warns against blocking personal Wi-Fi access
27 Jan 2015 at 9:30pm

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday warned hotels and other entities against blocking personal Wi-Fi access, or hot spots, saying it was illegal and could incur heavy fines. which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment's premises," the agency said in a statement on its website.

Dow drops on weak earnings; TSX dips
27 Jan 2015 at 7:25pm

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than two per cent by midday Tuesday after several U.S. companies handed in disappointing earnings results, but prices firmed in the afternoon. Toronto stocks were buoyed by a stabilization in oil prices , with West Texas Intermediate crude up 80 cents to $45.96 US and Brent up more than $1 to $49.23 US a barrel.

Obama drops proposal to cut benefits of 529 savings plans
27 Jan 2015 at 5:26pm

Facing criticism from lawmakers and parents, President Obama on Tuesday abandoned a proposal to end a major tax advantage of 529 plans, a popular college savings account used by millions of American families. White House officials said the backlash against the president's plan became "such a distraction" that it was best to drop the proposal to focus on the expanded tuition tax credit at the heart of Obama's college access plan.

Film Academy Blasts GoDaddy for Revealing Settlement Offers in Cybersquatting...
27 Jan 2015 at 4:21pm

Who is going to pay the tab for a long-running case that could result in GoDaddy being ordered to implement filters to catch trademarks like "The Oscars"? Nearly five years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences filed a massive cybersquatting lawsuit against GoDaddy, alleging that the domain registrar giant allowed its customers to buy domains like or, "park" that page and collect a portion of revenue from GoDaddy's advertising partners on a pay-per-click basis. Since then, with legal bills piling up, the case has gotten very bizarre.

Apple shows off record profits, revenues on stunning holiday iPhone sales
27 Jan 2015 at 3:21pm

Apple announced record-breaking quarterly revenues and profits Wednesday, beating the market's expectations by a landslide thanks to brisk sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple reported net income of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share, on sales of $74.6 billion in the holiday-shopping quarter, handily surpassing record results during the same period in 2013 as well as analysts' expectations of $2.60 a share in profits on $67.7 billion in revenues, according to a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters.

The Genius Bait-and-Switch of Bruno Mars's Uptown Funk with Mark ...
27 Jan 2015 at 2:21pm

I am a writer / composer / engineer / multi-instrumentalist based out of Brooklyn, New York. Some of my credits include Edfringe's Get Got , the Secret Theater's Antigone , a few television pilots , and the short story Hills and Valleys .

Ericsson Gross Margins On Fire, Rivival Is Working
27 Jan 2015 at 2:21pm

I'm an investment manager in public and private equity. My business advises fund managers, tech start ups and non-profits.

The KFC Double Down is back-and now it includes a hot dog.
27 Jan 2015 at 9:58am

The Double Down was a hit, though, with 10 million of them sold in the first month. The fast-food giant eventually brought the Double Down to overseas markets, including Japan, South Africa and Australia.

Not So Fast, Net Neutrality...
27 Jan 2015 at 7:53am

Over the last few months, things have been looking good for keeping the Internet open to everyone. A little too good, as far as Congress is concerned, which is why members and the corporate lobbyists who write them hefty checks have launched a last-ditch legislative effort to scuttle net neutrality.

Storm Won't Interrupt Airlines' Strong Performance
27 Jan 2015 at 4:49am

NEW YORK -- From Philadelphia on up, the Northeast corridor is largely without air service Tuesday, and carriers are generally not planning to resume outbound flights until Wednesday. "We're cancelling the flights because it's not safe to operate," said American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely.

Rick Perry On Unemployment Statistics
27 Jan 2015 at 12:44am

I am a Professor of Economics at Texas Christian University, where I have worked since 1987. My areas of specialty are international economics , macroeconomics, history of economics, and contemporary schools of thought.

The Horrors Of Pumping Breast Milk At Work
26 Jan 2015 at 8:34pm

For new moms, transitioning from maternity leave back to office life is a rocky adjustment. Suddenly, there you are back on a work schedule , navigating child care and getting your game face back all while coping with the emotional terrain of spending less time at home with your child.

States threaten lawsuit against Obama's municipal broadband plan
26 Jan 2015 at 4:25pm

If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission moves to preempt state laws that limit municipal broadband projects, as President Barack Obama recently asked the agency to do, it will likely end up in court. States affected by an FCC preemption of municipal broadband laws will almost certainly file a lawsuit if the agency moves to invalidate the 20 state laws that limit municipal broadband projects in some way, said legislators from three states and from three group representing state officials.

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

Bank governor warns on eurozone
28 Jan 2015 at 11:55am
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has warned the current structure of the eurozone puts it in an "odd position".

Greece markets hit by default fears
28 Jan 2015 at 10:02am
Greek financial markets were in turmoil on Wednesday after the new anti-bailout government appeared determined to defy the country's international creditors.

Apple profit 'biggest in history'
28 Jan 2015 at 4:22am
Record sales of iPhones help Apple to report a first quarter profit of $18bn, the biggest ever quarterly profit for a public company.

Tesco names 43 UK store closures
28 Jan 2015 at 7:28am
Tesco names the 43 stores it is closing across the country, a move that will see 2,000 staff lose their jobs.

Boeing reports soaring profits
28 Jan 2015 at 9:39am
The aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing has reported a 19% rise in fourth quarter net earnings to $1.47bn.

Virgin asks for football TV sale halt
28 Jan 2015 at 12:19pm
Virgin Media has asked the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to halt the auction of Premier League football TV rights until a probe into the process is completed.

Star Wars toy sells for £18,000
28 Jan 2015 at 10:01am
A Star Wars fan sells a collection of Star Wars figures - including one item for £18,000 - to raise the cash to buy a house.

China tech giant in spat with state
28 Jan 2015 at 5:46am
China's biggest internet retailer, Alibaba, is involved in a harshly worded spat with one of the country's regulators in a highly unusual public clash.

Russia to spend $35bn on rescue plan
28 Jan 2015 at 5:40am
The Russian government will spend at least 2.34 trillion roubles to try to stave off an economic crisis, following a collapse in oil prices and the value of the rouble.

Property sales reach seven-year high
28 Jan 2015 at 3:06am
Property sales across the UK rose by 14% last year to 1.22 million, the highest number since 2007, official statistics show.

Yahoo to spin-off Alibaba stake
28 Jan 2015 at 12:32am
Yahoo announces a plan to spin-off its 15% stake in China's Alibaba Group and hand the business to its shareholders.
Home insurance cost less in 2014
28 Jan 2015 at 4:56am
Home owners paid less on average for their buildings and contents insurance last year, says the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Firms fined over pension enrolment
28 Jan 2015 at 8:06am
The number of firms fined for failing to meet deadlines for enrolling staff in a pension scheme has increased, figures from the Pensions Regulator show.
Flat profits at Ikea furniture chain
28 Jan 2015 at 2:12am
Ikea, the world's biggest furniture retailer, reports flat profits for last year despite rising sales worldwide.

City Link overtime 'will be paid'
27 Jan 2015 at 3:04pm
City Link employees will receive overtime payments, according to Jon Moulton, the founder of the company which owns the collapsed parcel delivery firm.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

Huffington joins peer-to-peer company
28 Jan 2015 at 11:33am
Media group chief is latest high-profile name to join new lending sector
S&P close to $1.4bn settlement with DoJ
28 Jan 2015 at 10:51am
Lawsuit claims credit ratings were inflated to win business ahead of the financial crisis
Scams flourish in China?s P2P market
28 Jan 2015 at 10:14am
Online peer-to-peer platforms draw from murky world of less-regulated lending
Big banks eye peer-to-peer lending push
28 Jan 2015 at 11:20am
Top banks join race to stake claim in disruption of traditional finance
Overhaul of banks? disclosure model
28 Jan 2015 at 11:02am
Revised framework forces banks to use more consistent financial reporting models
Sofa maker ScS settles back into market
28 Jan 2015 at 9:31am
Shares rise on their return to London after 2008 rescue deal
Pravettoni leaves LCH.Clearnet
28 Jan 2015 at 8:38am
Global head of exchanges departs after seven years at UK-based clearing house
Tech changes bring finance to the masses
28 Jan 2015 at 5:56am
FT series examines the impact of new banking competition
Alibaba launches credit rating service
27 Jan 2015 at 9:44pm
System draws on big data from 300m consumers and 37m small businesses
Bain Capital snaps up TI Automotive
27 Jan 2015 at 1:46pm
US buyout group adds British car parts supplier to its portfolio
Apollo pulls $400m Presidio bond offer
26 Jan 2015 at 3:19pm
Power in the junk bond market shifts from issuers to buyers
Goldman profit on disputed trades in focus
26 Jan 2015 at 1:33pm
Deadline for bank to disclose details of profit made on LIA trades passes
Ulbricht used alias to promote Silk Road
26 Jan 2015 at 12:35pm
Alleged mastermind?s Gmail account matched expense report entries
Lone Star checks into Jurys Inn
26 Jan 2015 at 10:23am
US distressed-debt investor swoops on Irish/British hotel chain
Mustier leaves banking for private fund
26 Jan 2015 at 9:22am
Former UniCredit investment chief joins French private debt fund
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.

Bookies Urge Minister To Clamp Down On Rivals
28 Jan 2015 at 10:09am
Executives from Coral, Ladbrokes and other big bookies met the Gambling Minister for talks on Wednesday, Sky News learns.

Tesco Closures: Is Your Local Store To Go?
28 Jan 2015 at 10:19am
The troubled supermarket chain confirms 2,000 jobs are hanging in the balance as it moves to save cash by shutting shops.

Stocks Slide As Greece Rows Back On Austerity
28 Jan 2015 at 10:08am
Greek banks are punished on growing worries the country will default as the country's anti-austerity leader starts spending.

Apple $18bn Profit Is World Corporate Record
28 Jan 2015 at 12:18pm
Earnings over Christmas rise by 38% year-on-year, helping Apple set a new record for the biggest quarterly profit ever made.

Five Reasons For Apple's World Record Profit
28 Jan 2015 at 12:19pm
A big phone screen, a deal with China, and finally agreeing that the customer knows best - here's why Apple is so profitable.

US Gives $2bn To Ukraine As Fighting Continues
28 Jan 2015 at 5:06am
America warns of more sanctions against Russia as it signs an aid package with the Ukrainian government.

Protesters Rally Against Fracking Proposals
28 Jan 2015 at 6:06am
Anti-fracking campaigners gather in Lancashire, as a council defers a ruling on whether drilling should be allowed in rural areas.

Hugo Boss Owner Faces Exodus Of Top Partners
28 Jan 2015 at 5:53am
The owner of household names such as Birds Eye, Dr Martens and New Look faces a string of top-level departures, Sky News learns.

Canary Wharf Owner's U-Turn On Qatar Sale
28 Jan 2015 at 12:20pm
Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is on the verge of expanding its London property portfolio to the Canary Wharf financial district.

Alibaba Sells Shoddy Goods Says China Watchdog
28 Jan 2015 at 12:32am
A delayed report accuses the e-marketplace of not doing enough to protect consumers from fake and sometimes dangerous products.
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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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Japan?s central bank cut its inflation forecast and kept its unprecedented monetary easing unchanged as tumbling oil prices handicap efforts to reflate the world?s third-biggest economy.
USD Peaks vs Yen on Upbeat China Data
20 Jan 2015 at 6:27am
The U.S. Dollar was pushed to a 1-week peak versus the Japanese Yen after a report showed China?s annualized GDP was, for all intents and purposes, flat with growth at 7.3% but was better than the decline to 7.2% that analysts had been expecting.
Eastern Europe Looks to ECB
20 Jan 2015 at 2:14am
Unlike in Switzerland, Eastern Europe has reasons to cheer Mario Draghi?s anticipated bond-buying push.
Chinese Shares Tumble; Europe Quiet
19 Jan 2015 at 12:41pm
The dust hasn?t settled yet from the Swiss National Bank?s shocking announcement and the angst over the latest currency tsunami will continue to be felt all over the world.