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

Migrant benefits crackdown to be examined by EU - The Independent
29 Jul 2014 at 12:08pm

The Independent

Migrant benefits crackdown to be examined by EU
The Independent
David Cameron's plan to cut benefits to European nationals is to be examined by the European Commission to check it does not breach EU law. The amount of time European migrants will be allowed to claim work-related benefits is to be halved to three ...
Iain Duncan Smith: Ban migrants from claiming benefits unless they have paid ...Telegraph.co.uk
'Put Britain first', says David Cameron as he reveals plan to cut benefits for ...Evening Standard
'No benefits if you don't contribute to UK': Tories push for new migrant crackdown ...Daily Mail
BBC News -The Guardian -CITY A.M.
all 132 news articles »

NHS worker jailed after embezzling funds earmarked for lifesaving cancer drug...
29 Jul 2014 at 10:03am

Telegraph.co.uk

NHS worker jailed after embezzling funds earmarked for lifesaving cancer drugs
Telegraph.co.uk
An NHS worker who embezzled almost £650,000 from a leading cancer hospital and blew a fortune on her wedding and designer handbags has been jailed for four years today. Stacey Tipler, 32, plundered public funds earmarked for lifesaving drugs while ...
Four years for NHS worker's role in huge fraudYorkshire Post
NHS worker jailed for scamming top cancer hospital out of £642000Daily Mail
Jail for cancer hospital fraudsterBelfast Telegraph
Sky News -Your Local Guardian
all 45 news articles »

'We have been through a year of hell': Mum's sadness at manslaughter verdict ...
29 Jul 2014 at 11:49am

WalesOnline

'We have been through a year of hell': Mum's sadness at manslaughter verdict ...
WalesOnline
The family of baby Alfie Sullock said they are "disappointed" with Michael Pearce's conviction for manslaughter, but satisfied he is facing prison. The mechanic was found guilty of the manslaughter of his girlfriend's newborn son but a jury cleared him of ...
Tears as ex guilty of killing babyBelfast Telegraph
Alfie Sullock: Babysitter boyfriend guilty of manslaughterBBC News
'You can trust me': Obsessive boyfriend sent his lover chilling texts and picture ...Daily Mail
The Independent -Mirror.co.uk -The Inquisitr
all 29 news articles »

Tower Hamlets mayor fails to block election challenge - The Guardian
29 Jul 2014 at 10:21am

The Guardian

Tower Hamlets mayor fails to block election challenge
The Guardian
Lutfur Rahman's Tower Hamlets First party was swept into power in May. Photograph: Graeme Robertson. A bid to block a challenge to May's mayoral election in Tower Hamlets in London, won by independent Lutfur Rahman, has failed ? paving the way for a ...
Tower Hamlets mayor fails to stop election threat caseBBC News
Tower Hamlets Mayor to face electoral fraud trialEvening Standard
Go-ahead for mayoral poll challengeBelfast Telegraph
Bangladesh News 24 hours -The Times (subscription) -Local Government Chronicle
all 26 news articles »

Violin teacher charged with rape over alleged attack at Chetham's school - Th...
29 Jul 2014 at 12:36pm

The Guardian

Violin teacher charged with rape over alleged attack at Chetham's school
The Guardian
A violin teacher has been charged with rape amid an investigation into historical sex abuse at music schools in Manchester. Malcolm Layfield, 62, former head of strings at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), has been charged with one count of rape ...
Malcolm Layfield: Music teacher charged with rapeBBC News
Former teacher at Chetham's School of Music charged with rapeManchester Evening News
Former music teacher charged with rapeITV News

all 6 news articles »

Former rugby international Ian Gough guilty of assaulting ex-girlfriend model...
29 Jul 2014 at 11:38am

Mirror.co.uk

Former rugby international Ian Gough guilty of assaulting ex-girlfriend model ...
Mirror.co.uk
The Newport Welsh Dragons player got out of his van, pulled former Miss Wales Sophia Cahill and then pushed her against the vehicle's door, magistrates were told. She went back into the property, past her fiance, the pop star Dane Bowers, who had ...
Welsh rugby star found guilty assaulting model ex-girlfriendIrish Independent
Rugby star 'attacked model ex'expressandstar.com
Ian Gough found guilty of assaulting model Sophia CahillUKZAMBIANS
Your Local Guardian -Mix 96
all 26 news articles »

Lorry driver who mowed down grandad in road rage attack found guilty of murde...
29 Jul 2014 at 12:23pm

Liverpool Echo

Lorry driver who mowed down grandad in road rage attack found guilty of murder
Liverpool Echo
Mark Slater, 46, who was convicted of murdering another motorist two months after he behaved like a "predator" in an earlier road rage attack caught on camera. A lorry driver who deliberately mowed down a grandad in a road rage attack has been found ...
'Predator' driver convicted of murder after driving 17-tonne lorry over grandfather ...Manchester Evening News
Lorry driver who drove over grandfather's head making it explode is found guilty ...Mirror.co.uk
Murder: Salford road rage driver could face LIFE after crushing Oldham ...Mancunian Matters
UKZAMBIANS -Warrington Guardian
all 20 news articles »

UKIP and Tories neck and neck in race to raise money from party members as .....
29 Jul 2014 at 10:22am

Daily Mail

UKIP and Tories neck and neck in race to raise money from party members as ...
Daily Mail
The UK Independence Party received as much money in membership fees as the Conservatives did last year, new figures show. Nigel Farage's party ? which has nearly 32,500 members ? raked in £714,492 from its members' in subscription fees during 2013.
One widow left the Tories more money than all of their membership subscriptions ...The Independent
UKIP almost neck-and-neck with Tories in membership income as state of ...Mirror.co.uk
Just not up to it? Tory website compiling Labour's own attacks on Ed Miliband ...Mancunian Matters
New Statesman -HITC
all 21 news articles »

Shakespeare, David Beckham, bad food and worse weather: What the rest of the ...
29 Jul 2014 at 10:48am

Metro

Shakespeare, David Beckham, bad food and worse weather: What the rest of the ...
Metro
These are just some of the things that come to the mind of foreign people when asked what they think of the UK, according to a study by the British Council. Ipsos MORI and In2Impact quizzed 18-34 year-olds in Brazil, China, Germany, India and the USA on a ...
Modern Brits: Ignorant, intolerant, overly-nationalistic binge drinkers?RT
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite ? Britain as others see usThe Independent
Boozy Britons 'A Turn Off' To ForeignersSky News
Irish Independent
all 28 news articles »

Trolls aren't usually to blame for revenge porn, our loved ones are - Telegra...
29 Jul 2014 at 11:49am

The Guardian

Trolls aren't usually to blame for revenge porn, our loved ones are
Telegraph.co.uk
Over the past year Tulisa Contostavlos has been investigated by undercover reporters, arrested by the police and subjected to a drugs trial that only recently collapsed. She reached such lows that she even thought about killing herself. But she says that the ...
Revenge porn: why the right to be forgotten is the right remedyThe Guardian
'Revenge porn' law not required in UK, according to peers' reviewSpear's WMS
Sites must end anonymity to tackle 'revenge porn', say peersBBC News
RT
all 25 news articles »

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

Corning donates $1.8M in parts for space telescope
29 Jul 2014 at 12:34pm

The not-for-profit BoldlyGo Institute wants to put its ASTRO-1 telescope in orbit by the mid-2020s.


Suzuki recalls nearly 26,000 cars for fire risk
29 Jul 2014 at 9:34am

The recall covers the Verona from the 2004-2006 model years. It's an expansion of an earlier recall of the Forenza and Reno.


Pfizer's 2Q profit sinks 79 pct but tops forecasts
29 Jul 2014 at 7:24am

The latest results still edged analyst expectations. The New York company said Tuesday it earned $2.91 billion, or 45 cents per share, in the quarter.


Reynolds American 2Q profit climbs 6.7 percent
29 Jul 2014 at 7:24am

The Winston Salem, North Carolina-based company said earnings increased to $492 million, or 92 cents per share, from $461 million, or 84 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.


UPS 2Q profit drops 58 percent
29 Jul 2014 at 7:24am

The Atlanta-based company said profit declined to $454 million, or 49 cents per share, from $1.07 billion, or $1.13 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.


Mom - Trusting God' to Save Ebola-Infected U.S. Doctor's Life
29 Jul 2014 at 4:15am

Kent Brantly, a 33-year-old doctor who volunteered to fight deadly Ebola in Africa soon after finishing his hospital residency in Texas, is one of two U.S. citizens being treated for the disease.


Key dates in fight over Los Angeles Clippers sale
29 Jul 2014 at 12:10am

Here is a timeline of developments in the move to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.


Buying on Dips Pays Most in 5 Years as S&P 500 Batters Bears
28 Jul 2014 at 10:05pm

Not since the bull market began has buying dips in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index been a surer way of making money.


Bulls Fleeing Natural Gas as Goldman Sees Further Drop: Energy
28 Jul 2014 at 5:56pm

Speculators are fleeing natural gas after prices dropped below $4 for the first time since December and power plant production fell to a 13-year seasonal low.


4The airlines are making millions, but there's no relief in sight for consumers
28 Jul 2014 at 1:46pm

The top American airlines are making more money than ever - but don't expect it to mean lower prices for passengers.


Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer
28 Jul 2014 at 12:41pm

The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 - four years later than last year's estimate.


Smith & Wesson Fined $2M Over Foreign Bribery Charges
28 Jul 2014 at 12:41pm

Smith & Wesson on Monday agreed to pay a $2 million fine to settle charges that employees and company representatives paid foreign officials to win supplier contracts, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Virgin America files for IPO
28 Jul 2014 at 8:28am

Virgin America Inc., which operates out of Los Angeles and San Francisco, flies to 22 airports in the United States and Mexico and has a fleet of 53 planes.


Zillow buying Trulia in $3.5 billion stock deal
28 Jul 2014 at 8:28am

Trulia's stock rose more than 14 percent in Monday premarket trading, while Zillow's stock fell more than 3 percent.


2Samsung postpones launch of Tizen smartphone
28 Jul 2014 at 6:23am

Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it is delaying sales of its first Tizen-powered smartphone in the latest setback to the company's ambition to create a mobile platform to rival Google's Android or Apple's iOS.


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


BP warns of Russia sanctions risk
29 Jul 2014 at 5:29am
Oil giant BP reports a rise in second quarter profits to $3.2bn (£1.9bn), but warns that further economic sanctions against Russia could affect its business.

British Gas owner names new boss
29 Jul 2014 at 10:33am
British Gas owner Centrica announces the appointment of Iain Conn, currently BP's head of refining and marketing, as its new chief executive.

Gherkin skyscraper put up for sale
29 Jul 2014 at 3:56am
London's Gherkin skyscraper is put up for sale, with interest expected from Chinese, other Asian, and US buyers.

Personal insolvencies in sudden jump
29 Jul 2014 at 8:18am
There has been a sudden jump in the number of individuals becoming insolvent, in the steepest rise since 2010, according to government figures.

Aldi sales see 'record growth rate'
29 Jul 2014 at 8:36am
Discounters Aldi and Lidl are booming at the expense of Tesco and Morrisons, research firm Kantar Worldpanel says.

Car firms sued over CD 'rip' system
29 Jul 2014 at 9:29am
A group representing musicians in the US is suing Ford and General Motors over in-car CD players which allow tracks to be stored on a hard drive.

Mortgage approvals back on the rise
29 Jul 2014 at 5:57am
The number of people taking out mortgages is back on the rise, according to figures from the Bank of England.

Airbus cancels Skymark contract
29 Jul 2014 at 6:51am
Airbus cancels its contract with Japan's Skymark Airlines for the purchase of six A380 aircraft.

Microsoft in China anti-trust probe
29 Jul 2014 at 4:55am
An anti-monopoly investigation into US technology giant Microsoft is launched by Chinese authorities.

Bankers should 'swear ethics oath'
29 Jul 2014 at 5:40am
An oath for bankers should be introduced to raise accountability and standards in banking, says a think tank.

New chairman for troubled Morrisons
29 Jul 2014 at 5:42am
Morrisons, Britain's fourth largest supermarket chain, announces the appointment of former Tesco finance director Andrew Higginson as its next chairman.

London Market Report
29 Jul 2014 at 9:52am
Car and plane parts maker GKN and clothing retailer Next are the biggest risers in early London trading.

UBS responds to 'dark pools' probe
29 Jul 2014 at 9:38am
UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, says it is responding to US investigations surrounding a private trading system known as "dark pools".

Lloyds fined £218m over Libor
28 Jul 2014 at 4:22pm
Lloyds Banking Group is fined £218m for "serious misconduct" relating to key interest rates including Libor.

Beauty spots still at fracking 'risk'
28 Jul 2014 at 12:15pm
Government guidance that fracking licences can only be issued for beauty spots in "exceptional circumstances" receives a mixed response from campaigners.
 
Financial services company news - FT.com
Financial services company news - FT.com

Elliott founder?s apocalyptic investment letter
29 Jul 2014 at 11:53am
Paul Singer, best known for his dogged legal pursuit of the Argentine government, writes that solar disturbances are a bigger problem than nuclear war
Cyprus archbishop warns on bank share sale
29 Jul 2014 at 8:53am
Archbishop of Cyprus urges thousands of small shareholders to reject a planned ?1bn share sale by Bank of Cyprus
Rate of personal insolvency rises
29 Jul 2014 at 6:58am
Debtors are increasingly using voluntary insolvency arrangements to repay debt but interest rate rises could wipe out their ability to meet repayments
City ignores Russian capacity for hardship at its peril
29 Jul 2014 at 6:12am
E
Klépierre to take over Corio in mall deal
29 Jul 2014 at 5:19am
Combined company will have 182 shopping centres and a development pipeline of ?3bn as it seeks to consolidate listed property sector
Electra rejects Bramson?s board seat call
29 Jul 2014 at 2:21am
Private equity trust shuns hedge fund activist manager?s request to lead a strategy review after his New York group built a 19% stake
Deutsche Bank takes lead in fixed income
29 Jul 2014 at 1:59am
Lender?s second-quarter net profit falls more than expected, even as it outperforms Wall Street rivals with debt and currency trading
Tullett revenues fall in markets lull
29 Jul 2014 at 1:49am
Interdealer broker battles markets constricted by low levels of volatility and regulators imposing limitations on banks to curb risk appetite
UBS ?responds to inquiries? on dark pools
29 Jul 2014 at 12:06am
SEC, the New York Attorney General and Finra in industry-wide probes
Bank of Cyprus raises ?1bn in share sale
28 Jul 2014 at 4:12pm
US investor Wilbur Ross and EBRD to take part in fundraising only a year after lender was saved from collapse by international rescue deal
Aberdeen falls on £4bn client withdrawal
28 Jul 2014 at 12:58pm
Listed investment group suffers as an Asian client withdraws a £4bn mandate, but reports improvement in investor sentiment towards emerging markets
Carney attacks ?reprehensible? Lloyds
28 Jul 2014 at 11:20am
Group to pay £7.8m of compensation to Bank of England over manipulation of fees payable for a taxpayer-backed funding scheme
Aberdeen chief shrugs off outflows
28 Jul 2014 at 11:05am
Martin Gilbert, chief executive, says his master plan is working as the £550m acquisition of SWIP has sharply diversified its business
Italian police seize ?104m from Nomura
28 Jul 2014 at 5:43am
Seizure undertaken following an investigation by prosecutors that showed the bank allegedly had duped managers of the regional council, police said
Ex-chairmen of UBS and Glencore team up
28 Jul 2014 at 4:15am
Luqman Arnold sets up Cartesius Advisory Network with former Simon Murray to advise companies, policy makers and entrepreneurs on strategy
 
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.


UK Bankers Face Toughest Bonus Rules
29 Jul 2014 at 8:39am
British banks will be subject to the world's toughest bonus clawback rules under plans to be announced this week, Sky News learns.

'Dirty Diesel' Drivers Face New Tax In Cities
29 Jul 2014 at 6:56am
Diesel cars were once seen as green but now they make city bosses see red, with plans to charge drivers to reduce pollutants.

Aldi And Lidl 'Victors In Supermarket War'
29 Jul 2014 at 4:05am
The bitter supermarket war continues to harm Britain's four big chains, as nimble discounters continue to attract more customers.

London's Gherkin 'Could Fetch £650m' In Sale
29 Jul 2014 at 5:39am
One of the most striking buildings in the City, the skyscraper has already attracted the interest of potential buyers.

BP Warns Of Impact Of Sanctions On Russia
29 Jul 2014 at 9:07am
One of Britain's biggest firms, and a magnet for UK pension funds, warns of the impact of tightening sanctions.

Centrica To Pay New Boss Less Than Predecessor
29 Jul 2014 at 4:03am
British Gas' owner is to pay its new boss less than his predecessor amid an ongoing row about energy companies, Sky News learns.

Domino's Pizza Takes Slice Of World Cup Success
29 Jul 2014 at 5:35am
As Domino's takes a slice of World Cup success, its German business fails to perform as well as the county's football team.

NHS 'Is Being Sold Off Without Permission'
28 Jul 2014 at 8:38pm
Forced privatisation of the NHS is being pushed through "at pace and scale", Labour's shadow health secretary will say.

Next Annual Profits Set To Outdo M&S Again
29 Jul 2014 at 2:21am
As Next reports better-than-expected first-half results, the retailer ups expectations of higher profits than fashion rival M&S.

House Prices Force Adults To Live With Parents
28 Jul 2014 at 10:30pm
The rising cost of buying a home means the 'clipped wing generation' are forced to remain with mum and dad.
 
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Learn about the world of Forex

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

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


As it turns out, the forex markets are currently treating the Loonie and the Aussie as inseparable. According to Mataf.net, 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.

http://www.forexblog.org/2011/06/has-the-us-dollar-hit-bottom.html 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.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-17/japan-recovery-means-boj-can-avoid-adding-stimulus-muto-says.html 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 Mataf.net (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.

Mataf.net 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.

http://www.forexblog.org/2011/05/interview-with-arnaud-jeulin-of-mataf-net-try-a-lot-of-strategies.html 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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CNNMoney.com, the business website of CNN, combines business news and in-depth market analysis with practical advice and answers to personal finance questions.


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by info@dailyforex.com
14 Jul 2014 at 2:36am
FX traders remain wary of the Australian Dollar following RBA Governor Glenn Stevens? recently published interview in which he states that investors seem to be underestimating the threat of a too strong Aussie Dollar that could,
Portuguese Banking Fears Drive Safe Haven Demand
by info@dailyforex.com
11 Jul 2014 at 1:10am
The possibility that the Portuguese banking system may be on the verge of a crisis which could have wide spread implications for the Eurozone banking system has sent FX investors flocking to the safe haven Japanese Yen which, as a result, is poised to close out the week higher.
Dollar Struggles after Fed Minutes
by info@dailyforex.com
9 Jul 2014 at 11:29pm
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Bank released the minutes from June?s policy meeting which offered some relief to investors who were anxious to determine whether the Fed would take on a hawkish bias or not.
NZD Major Mover in Tepid Trade
by info@dailyforex.com
9 Jul 2014 at 12:01am
In otherwise lackluster trading the New Zealand Dollar experienced only a slight loss of last week?s positive momentum after the country received an upgrade of its sovereign debt rating which had pushed the Kiwi to a 3-year high.

 

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