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Making An International Currency Payment

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

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

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

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

Register with GCEN

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Nation - Google News
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Google News

Boris Johnson: Conservatives must protect low paid - BBC News
5 Oct 2015 at 3:35pm

BBC News

Boris Johnson: Conservatives must protect low paid
BBC News
The government must support the "hardest working and lowest paid" as it reforms welfare, Boris Johnson is to tell the Conservative Party conference. The capital's economy would "collapse" without those who work through the night and aspire to a better ...
Boris Johnson clashes with Jeremy Hunt over cutting tax credits commentsDaily Mail
Boris Johnson to warn Tories over tax credit cutsBelfast Telegraph
Boris Johnson Warns George Osborne Against Hitting 'The Hardest Working And ...Huffington Post UK -ITV News
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David Mundell: New tax powers should be devolved in 2017 - BBC News
5 Oct 2015 at 5:18pm

BBC News

David Mundell: New tax powers should be devolved in 2017
BBC News
New income tax powers for Holyrood should come into force in 2017 - a year earlier than expected - according to the Scottish secretary. The Scotland Bill will devolve control over rates and bands of income tax to the Scottish Parliament. David Mundell ...
Mundell - UK Government wants new Scottish tax powers in 2017Herald Scotland
Holyrood to have power to reverse Tory benefit cutsScotsman
Mundell sets tax trap for
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PC David Phillips 'didn't stand a chance' as burglars drove at him in Merseys...
5 Oct 2015 at 4:57pm

Daily Mail

PC David Phillips 'didn't stand a chance' as burglars drove at him in Merseyside
Daily Mail
PC Phillips joined Merseyside Police in 2006 and was 'popular and held in high regard' by his colleagues. Sir Jon said PC Phillips is the first Merseyside Police officer to be killed on duty as a result of a criminal act since 1981 and paid tribute to ...
Merseyside Pc killed by stolen pick-up 'didn't stand a chance'Belfast Telegraph
This is the red Mitsubishi pick up truck which killed PC David PhillipsLiverpool Echo
Pc Phillips murder: Police release pick-up truck imageITV News

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Edward Snowden claims British spooks can switch off YOUR phone remotely - Dai...
5 Oct 2015 at 4:03pm

Daily Mail

Edward Snowden claims British spooks can switch off YOUR phone remotely
Daily Mail
Speaking to Peter Taylor on tonight's Panorama, the whistleblower said: 'If I was a traitor, who did I betray? I gave all of my information to American journalists and free society generally. 'The question is, how did these programmes come to be and ...
Edward Snowden: Smartphone users can do 'very little' to stop security ...The Independent
GCHQ can turn mobile phones on and off, claims Edward SnowdenYahoo News UK
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Ched Evans latest: Rape conviction case referred to Court of Appeal after 'ne...
5 Oct 2015 at 12:39pm

Daily Mail

Ched Evans latest: Rape conviction case referred to Court of Appeal after 'new ...
Daily Mail
Footballer Ched Evans's rape conviction has been referred to Court of Appeal after 'new' evidence emerged, it was revealed today. The 26-year-old former Sheffield United striker was released from prison last year after serving half of his five-year ...
Ched Evans aims for return to football if he wins rape appealThe Independent
Ched Evans' rape conviction: Timeline of eventsThe Star
Ched Evans rape case to be reviewed by Court of AppealBBC News
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Double-decker bus crash hero tells how he helped save lives after horror smas...
5 Oct 2015 at 12:31pm

Double-decker bus crash hero tells how he helped save lives after horror smash ...
This is the moment a hero who saved the lives of four young pedestrians when a double-decker slammed into a Sainsbury's store tells how he forced his way into the bus to help those trapped inside. Teil Portlock watched in horror as the double-decker ...
Pictured: Grandmother, 76, who was one of two people killed including a boy of ...Daily Mail
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Police say social media companies 'undermining' terror probes - Financial Times
5 Oct 2015 at 11:07am

Financial Times

Police say social media companies 'undermining' terror probes
Financial Times
Scotland Yard has accused social media companies of ?undermining? counterterror investigations by tipping off those under surveillance that police have asked to see their web data. Mark Rowley, the UK's most senior counterterror officer, described the ...
Police losing track of terror plots because of 'irresponsible' social media
Social media companies 'undermining' terror investigationsBBC News
Online firms block terrorism investigations - top British policemanDaily Mail -Swindon Advertiser
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Plane crash 'shook nearby house like a bomb' - East London and West Essex Gua...
5 Oct 2015 at 6:57am

Plane crash 'shook nearby house like a bomb'
East London and West Essex Guardian Series
A man living close to the site of the fatal plane crash this weekend has said his house 'shook so hard he thought a bomb went off'. Dal Heer, aged 34, lives just 150m from where the eight-seater Beechcraft King Air 200 went to ground near Gravel Lane, ...
Light aircraft crash in Essex 'happened immediately after take-off'Barry and District News

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'Cottage industry' exam marking not fit for purpose, says leading headmaster ...
5 Oct 2015 at 5:09pm

'Cottage industry' exam marking not fit for purpose, says leading headmaster
The "cottage industry" exam marking system is not fit for purpose, a leading headmaster will warn as it is revealed that there has been a near 50 per cent increase in exam marks being challenged. Chris King, the new chairman of the Headmasters' and ...
Private schools organisation chief tells critics: stop indulging in toffismThe Guardian
Stop 'indulging in toffism', says private school headTES News

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David Cameron: Families who do not pay truancy fines will have benefits docke...
5 Oct 2015 at 5:06pm

David Cameron: Families who do not pay truancy fines will have benefits docked
Parents who refuse to pay fines if their children truant will have their benefits docked, David Cameron has said. The Prime Minister said that he is ?determined? to ?tackle the harm truancy does to a child's chances in life?. In future, families ...
Parents whose children play truant from school face child benefit cutDaily Mail
Parents who fail to pay truancy fines to have child benefit docked, says CameronBelfast Telegraph
Parents Of Truants To Have Child Benefit Docked, David Cameron AnnouncesHuffington Post UK
Birmingham Mail -The Times (subscription)
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Business News
Business News continually updated from thousands of sources around the net.

Rally That Began Friday Is 'Sell on Strength' Opportunity
5 Oct 2015 at 12:47pm

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American Apparel files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection
5 Oct 2015 at 9:55am

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Stock Futures Rise as Global Markets Rally
5 Oct 2015 at 7:41am

Stock futures followed global markets higher on Monday to extend Friday's rally. Equities rose to end last week despite a weaker-than-expected jobs report that triggered fears the U.S. economy was on shaky ground.

Trian becomes 1 of top GE investors, buying $2.5B stake
5 Oct 2015 at 7:41am

Trian Fund Management is now one of General Electric's biggest shareholders after the firm led by activist investor Nelson Peltz placed its largest bet to date, about $2.5 billion, as it positions itself to play a role in the transformation of the industrial conglomerate. General Electric Co.

Hong Kong Charges Former Leader Donald Tsang for Misconduct
5 Oct 2015 at 4:36am

Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's former chief executive, center right, and his wife Selina Tsang arrive at the Eastern Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong on Monday. Donald Tsang, who completed his tenure as Hong Kong's No.

Central Banks Lose Bond-Market Credibility as Woes Mount
5 Oct 2015 at 12:22am

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. bond market's outlook for inflation worldwide is approaching lows last seen during the financial crisis.

Blake Griffin knocks over shot clock with pregame dunk
4 Oct 2015 at 8:09pm

Sunday was Turn Back the Clock Day in Vancouver. Or at least with Blake Griffin in town, it was Knock the Clock Backward Day.

The Scene: At HRCa s annual dinner, Joe Biden gets an endorsement and Ellen P...
4 Oct 2015 at 3:48pm

Actress Ellen Page, right, and her girlfriend, Samantha Thomas, arrive at the 19th annual Human Rights Campaign dinner at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday. Things were bound to feel festive Saturday night at the 19th annual national dinner hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, a group advocating for LGBT rights: The 3,500-some guests gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center had a landmark Supreme Court decision to toast, the always-entertaining Vice President Biden was the keynoter, and "Call Me Maybe" singer Carly Rae Jepsen was there to provide the poppy post-dinner dance-floor soundtrack.

MIPCOM: 16 Dead in French Riviera Floods; Power Down Ahead of TV...
4 Oct 2015 at 11:30am

Severe weather has battered Cannes ahead of this week's MIPCOM television market, with 16 people dead in the French Riviera as thunderstorms and torrential rainfall flooded the streets of the coastal city. No one has been reported dead in Cannes.

Violent Storms Kill at Least 16 People Along the Cote d'Azur
4 Oct 2015 at 10:25am

A man walks through rubble and damaged cars after violent storms and floods in Biot, France, on Oct. 4. Photographer: Jean-Christophe Magnenet/AFP/Getty Images Violent storms killed at least 16 people and left another three missing along the Cote d'Azur, one of France's most popular tourist destinations, according to the latest update from President Francois Hollande's office. Most rail traffic remains halted in the Alpes-Maritimes department of southeast France, with trains running only between the cities of Marseille and Toulon, and Nice and Ventimiglia in Italy, according to a spokeswoman for the local government, who asked not to be identified in line with the authority's policy.

Ravens WR Steve Smith Sr. is dealing with some broken bones
4 Oct 2015 at 6:20am

The Baltimore Ravens' passing attack, which has been hampered by injuries to wideouts and tight ends all season, took another hit on Saturday with news that veteran wideout Steve Smith Sr. is dealing with an injury. On #Ravens WR Steve Smith: I'm told it's actually 4 broken ribs, which is considered a short-term injury becausea Well because Steve Smith Per team source Ravens WR Steve Smith Sr. has 4 broken bones in his back.

New "fact checking" news organization has ties to the CIA
4 Oct 2015 at 2:11am

A new "fact-checking" news organization that purports to be the purveyor of honesty and truth actually has ties to the CIA, which is known to use propaganda and other media techniques in order to sway public opinion in the U.S. and abroad. As reported by Blacklisted News , the Poynter Institute, which claims to be "a global leader in journalism," announced in July that it was using $300,000 in grant money to launch an "international fact-checking site" in 2016.

Fatal Shooting in Australia Linked to Terrorism, Police Say
3 Oct 2015 at 9:59pm

New South Wales police commissioner Andrew Scipione and state Premier Mike Baird speak to the media in Sydney on Oct. 3 The fatal shooting on Friday of a police worker by a 15-year-old boy in a Sydney suburb is linked to terrorism and "politically motivated," Australian police said. The boy, who was shot and killed by police, had an Iraqi-Kurdish background and was born in Iran, New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said Saturday in a news conference.

Trump: Oregon victims might have survived had they been armed
3 Oct 2015 at 7:57pm

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump forcefully defended the constitutional right to bear arms here Saturday and argued that the nine people shot and killed this week in an Oregon community college might have survived had they, too, been armed. "If you had a teacher or somebody with guns in that room, you would've been a hell of a lot better off," Trump told a large crowd at a raucous rally in this conservative Nashville suburb.

Get well, Le Grand Orange: Rusty Staub suffers heart attack on transatlantic ...
3 Oct 2015 at 3:47pm

Rusty Staub, who played 23 years in the majors for the Houston Colt 45s/Astros, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, suffered a heart attack on a flight form Ireland to New York on Thursday. The plane returned to Shannon Airport, and Staub is recovering in a hospital in Ireland.

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

Councils 'to keep all business rates'
5 Oct 2015 at 3:28pm
Chancellor George Osborne says local councils across England will be able to keep all proceeds from business rates.
BP in $20bn settlement over oil spill
5 Oct 2015 at 11:54am
The US Justice Department has finalised a $20bn settlement with BP over the fatal Gulf of Mexico oil disaster in 2010.

Facebook plans satellite ?in 2016'
5 Oct 2015 at 5:43pm
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says satellite will provide internet access to remote parts of Africa.
Public offered £2bn of Lloyds shares
5 Oct 2015 at 3:01am
Plans to sell shares worth at least £2bn in Lloyds Banking Group to private investors are announced by the government.
Trans-Pacific free trade deal agreed
5 Oct 2015 at 5:34pm
US, Japan and 10 other Pacific rim countries agree a wide-ranging Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal that covers about 40% of the world economy.

Air France execs chased from jobs talks
5 Oct 2015 at 11:39am
Two Air France managers have their shirts torn, as angry workers force them to flee a meeting on job cuts and escape over a fence.
Asset sale reports lift Glencore shares
5 Oct 2015 at 8:53am
Shares in embattled mining giant Glencore jump 17% following reports it is in talks to sell its agriculture business.

Court looks at how Uber operates
5 Oct 2015 at 10:49am
The system used in London by app-based taxi service Uber is being called into question in a High Court case.

Twitter confirms Jack Dorsey as boss
5 Oct 2015 at 7:18am
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has been confirmed as the permanent chief executive of Twitter after serving as the interim boss for three months.
OECD targets company tax avoidance
5 Oct 2015 at 7:51am
Companies should pay tax in the countries where they conduct business under new proposals from the OECD that are intended to cut corporate tax minimisation.
Shoppers in England face 5p bag charge
5 Oct 2015 at 8:10am
A 5p charge for plastic bags at supermarkets and large stores has come into force in England in a bid to slash the 7.6 billion handed out every year.

Dozens of 999 calls from Sports Direct
4 Oct 2015 at 5:01pm
Ambulances were called out to the headquarters of one of Europe's largest sports retailers 76 times in two years, a BBC investigation finds.
Google's driverless car is so boring
2 Oct 2015 at 4:26am
Dave Lee takes a ride in Google's driverless car but is less than impressed with the experience.

5p plastic bags: All you need to know
5 Oct 2015 at 2:01pm
On 5 October supermarkets in England will start charging 5p for using plastic bags. Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about the charge.

VIDEO: The two Estonians taking on the banks
5 Oct 2015 at 5:01pm
TransferWise's co-founders explain how, in just four years, they have created a global money transfer firm to rival the banks.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

PwC tops Deloitte to lead the ?Big Four?
5 Oct 2015 at 5:02pm
Acquisition of Booz & Co powers consulting revenue growth
Bharara warns of insider trading ?bonanza?
5 Oct 2015 at 1:04pm
US attorney for Manhattan hits at Supreme Court for declining to hear overturned convictions
Fund managers quit Investment Association
5 Oct 2015 at 12:46pm
UK trade body?s reform agenda criticised as ?too aggressive?
Madeleine Albright alights on APR Energy
5 Oct 2015 at 11:53am
Fund set up by former US secretary of state among companies targeting struggling power plant group
HK prioritises shareholder rights
5 Oct 2015 at 11:02am
Exchange scraps plan to woo Chinese tech groups with dual-class share rules
Irish blow for Playtech?s AvaTrade deal
5 Oct 2015 at 10:29am
Group?s shares fall after it reveals Central Bank of Ireland objection to proposed acquisition
Madrid moves to dump S&P and Fitch
5 Oct 2015 at 10:29am
Spanish city faces possibility of having no official credit rating next year
Glasenberg steps up Glencore defence
5 Oct 2015 at 10:28am
Chief executive blames hedge funds for pushing down commodity prices
HK dual shares: there can be only one
5 Oct 2015 at 10:07am
Shareholder democracy has been upheld; the integrity of the market precedes the exchange operator
Activist Nelson Peltz takes stake in GE
5 Oct 2015 at 6:11am
The $2.5bn holding will enable investor to press for better returns
Lloyds share sale fails the Tell Sid test
5 Oct 2015 at 5:25am
?Vampire squid? institutional investors have been the winners in Osborne?s state extrication efforts
Mundane bank collaborations replace deals
5 Oct 2015 at 5:12am
Financial services industry sees the benefits of sharing to smooth out problems and cut costs
China bad bank IPO set to test HK markets
5 Oct 2015 at 4:30am
Company faces extra challenge from mainland rules that bar it from offering discount shares
HK exchange ditches dual-class share plan
5 Oct 2015 at 4:10am
Regulator stymies territory?s quest to attract listings of high-tech companies
Movers & shakers: October 5
5 Oct 2015 at 2:22am
Morgan Stanley reshuffles asset management leadership
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.

Public To Be Offered £2bn Lloyds Shares
5 Oct 2015 at 1:52am
A slice of the taxpayer-backed banking group will be offered in 2016 with a 5% discount, the Treasury announces.

Confusion Over 'Complicated' Plastic Bag Law
5 Oct 2015 at 11:00am
From today many stores in England will begin charging 5p for plastic bags - yet critics say shoppers may find the rules confusing.

Plastic Bag Charges: Your Questions Answered
4 Oct 2015 at 10:58pm
We explain everything you need to know about England's new law - including what it means for brand-new goldfish owners.

George Osborne Hails Devolution Revolution
5 Oct 2015 at 12:53pm
The Chancellor accuses Labour of heading back to the 1980s and appeals to disaffected supporters to join the Tory "builders".

Twitter Shares Up As Dorsey Named Permanent CEO
5 Oct 2015 at 12:02pm
Jack Dorsey's appointment comes as the tech company tries to expand its audience and end nearly a decade of financial losses.

Investor Body Fights To Avoid Member Exodus
5 Oct 2015 at 12:03pm
Directors of a key City trade body will hold talks on Tuesday amid a split among some of its biggest members, Sky News learns.

American Apparel Files For Bankruptcy
5 Oct 2015 at 3:48am
Once a wardrobe essential for teens and clubbers, the brand was hit by falling sales and allegations against its founder.

Sky Investigation: Branded Painkillers Do Same Job
4 Oct 2015 at 11:19pm
Consumers in Britain are paying up to four times more for big-name painkillers compared with unbranded tablets.

Building Societies Snub Bank Body Merger Plan
5 Oct 2015 at 12:06am
The sector's trade association does not want to be part of a wider amalgamation of banking industry bodies, Sky News understands.

Labour Leader Corbyn Snubs IoD Invitation
5 Oct 2015 at 9:40am
The new Labour leader has told the IoD he is too busy to address its annual conference in London on Tuesday, Sky News understands.
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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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The Norwegian central bank surprised markets with a rate cut earlier today in an effort to jumpstart growth there. With oil exports as a key industry in the Scandinavian country, Norway?s economy has been feeling the pinch of the recent oil price slump.
Brazilian Real Continues to Plunge
24 Sep 2015 at 2:38am
The news of late has been focused primarily on the Federal Reserve and its decision to leave interest rates at zero for the time being. China has also been in the headlines as a major cause of global turmoil and wild market fluctuations.
Eurozone?s PMI Readings are Mixed Bag
23 Sep 2015 at 5:04am
Though China?s dismal PMI readings made headlines across markets, PMI data is coming out elsewhere in the world and impacting currency markets