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Making An International Currency Payment

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

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

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

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

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

NHS needs extra cash and overhaul, say bosses - BBC News
22 Oct 2014 at 7:25pm

BBC News

NHS needs extra cash and overhaul, say bosses
BBC News
The NHS in England needs extra money and drastic changes to services if care is not to suffer, health bosses say. A five-year plan for the NHS - unveiled by six national bodies - once again highlighted that an annual £30bn shortfall would open up by 2020.
NHS chiefs set out key plans to plug £30bn gapYorkshire Post
NHS Five Year Forward View: radical and costly surgery to provide a new lease ...The Guardian
Millions of council tax payers could get money off their bill if they become NHS
The Times (subscription) -GP online -ITV News
all 139 news articles »

David Cameron: 'Buck stops with me' on foreign criminals - BBC News
22 Oct 2014 at 4:45pm

BBC News

David Cameron: 'Buck stops with me' on foreign criminals
BBC News
David Cameron has said the "buck stops with me" when it comes to deporting foreign criminals from the UK. The PM said 22,000 such offenders had been deported since 2010, but that "too many obstacles" hampered the process - including human rights ...
Who are the dangerous foreign criminals loose in the UK?Channel 4 News
Politicians have 'blood on their hands' for not kicking out foreign criminalsDaily Mail
David Cameron defends progress on bringing foreign criminals to justiceThe Guardian
Belfast Telegraph
all 64 news articles »

The picture which puts 'impartial' child abuse inquiry head Fiona Woolf's job...
22 Oct 2014 at 4:05pm

The picture which puts 'impartial' child abuse inquiry head Fiona Woolf's job in ...
This is the picture that has blown a hole in attempts by the head of the Government's child sex abuse inquiry to cling on to her job. Fiona Woolf faced fresh questions about her links to neighbour Leon Brittan when the photograph of her meeting the Tory ...
Ms Woolf's memory lapse and why I fear an Establishment cover-up over the ...Daily Mail
How could the Government have allowed its appointments to the child abuse ...The Independent
Abuse investigation head Fiona Woolf undermined by Lib DemsEvening Standard
The Times (subscription) -The Guardian -BBC News
all 115 news articles »

UK military 'made wrong calculations' on Afghanistan - BBC News
22 Oct 2014 at 7:29pm

BBC News

UK military 'made wrong calculations' on Afghanistan
BBC News
Military leaders failed to calculate the magnitude of the conflict in Afghanistan, the former head of the British army has told the BBC. Gen Sir Peter Wall said they thought they had a "reasonable force" for their limited objectives, but he now admits they got it ...
Commanders slam Afghan campaignBelfast Telegraph
We got it all so wrong on Afghan war: Army chiefs admit: Former Chief of the ...Daily Mail
Fighting simultaneously in Iraq and Afghanistan created "perfect storm" for British
Western Morning News
all 10 news articles »

Noel Fielding 'handcuffed and pinned to the ground as friend was assaulted by...
22 Oct 2014 at 12:37pm

Daily Mail

Noel Fielding 'handcuffed and pinned to the ground as friend was assaulted by ...
Daily Mail
Comedian Noel Fielding said he was left 'shocked' when he was handcuffed to the ground, wearing gold boots and a boiler suit, while his friend was allegedly violently assaulted by police. Mr Fielding was giving evidence at the High Court in the case of ...
Arrest case: Police officer tells High Court that Noel Fielding is 'not that famous'Camden New Journal newspapers website
Noel Fielding - Noel Fielding Testifies In Police Assault
Noel Fielding testifies in police assault caseNew Magazine
Evening Standard
all 10 news articles »

Boy, 9, and man killed in Penistone house fire - BBC News
22 Oct 2014 at 6:55pm

Boy, 9, and man killed in Penistone house fire
BBC News
A nine-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man have died after a house fire in South Yorkshire, police said. A second boy aged 11 is critically ill in hospital following the fire in Penistone, near Barnsley. Police said emergency services were called to the property in ...
Nine-year-old boy and man, 44, die in house fire in Barnsley: Second boy aged ...Daily Mail
Man and boy, 9, die in house
Boy, 9, dies in house blaze that claims life of 44-year-old man and leaves 11
The Independent -Sky News
all 23 news articles »

Cameron to object to EU budget plans at leaders' summit - source - Reuters UK
22 Oct 2014 at 6:23pm

Cameron to object to EU budget plans at leaders' summit - source
Reuters UK
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron plans to use a meeting of European leaders this week to lobby against European Union requests for member states to stump up more money, a British government source said. Cameron is under pressure ...
PM: EU must do more to fight
Barroso bows out as commission president leaving mixed legacyIrish Times
Non-EU citizens face complex job constraintsFinancial Times
all 47 news articles »

Duncan Smith Plans Migrant Benefits Crackdown - Sky News
22 Oct 2014 at 5:02pm

BBC News

Duncan Smith Plans Migrant Benefits Crackdown
Sky News
The minister considers barring long-term unemployed immigrants from welfare for longer than the three months set out by the PM. 00:00, UK, Thursday 23 October 2014. Iain Duncan Smith. Mr Duncan Smith says he totally backs the PM. Share on Twitter ...
Universal credit timetable slips againThe Guardian
Reasons to be cheerful from Iain Duncan Smith?BBC News
Iain Duncan Smith scraps targets for universal credit rolloutFinancial Times
Yorkshire Post -Inside Housing
all 26 news articles »

Man hurls marbles at MPs in House of Commons security breach - Irish Independent
22 Oct 2014 at 4:46pm

Irish Independent

Man hurls marbles at MPs in House of Commons security breach
Irish Independent
A major security breach in the House of Commons when a man in the public gallery hurled marbles at MPs from the public gallery. Share. Facebook · Twitter · Google · Email. Go To. Comments. The man stood up and shouted, while the marbles are ...
Man in police custody after 'throwing marbles' during PMQs in House of
Marble marksman at Commons ejectedGulf Times
Protester tried to throw bag of marbles at MPs during PMQs in House of CommonsDaily Mail
The Independent -Yorkshire Post
all 60 news articles »

PM Praises 'Northern Powerhouse' Vision - Sky News
22 Oct 2014 at 7:45am

Manchester Evening News

PM Praises 'Northern Powerhouse' Vision
Sky News
David Cameron backs a study that says England's biggest northern cities should be given more economic and political power. 15:14, UK, Wednesday 22 October 2014. Play video. Video: Northern Infrastructure 'Hopeless'. Share on Twitter · Share on ...
A modest proposal to get Britain's cities movingFinancial Times
Greater Manchester devolution 'could be worth more than £9 billion to our ...Manchester Evening News
Greater powers for UK's biggest city-regions would boost growth, says reportPlanningResource (subscription)
Local Government Chronicle
all 21 news articles »

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

Mini Cooper gas mileage overstated, U.S. regulator says
22 Oct 2014 at 3:01pm

BMW's Mini Cooper S Paceman is shown. The U.S. government has ordered it to lower estimated gas mileage.

Total CEO Plane Crash Robs Putin's Russia of Outspoken Ally
22 Oct 2014 at 8:43am

Christophe de Margerie's last act as chief executive officer of Total SA left no room for doubt about his feelings toward Vladimir Putin's Russia. In a Moscow speech hours before the plane crash that took his life two days ago, de Margerie said U.S. and European Union sanctions on the country were "unfair and unproductive," and that he opposed efforts to render it "isolated from the major global economic and political process."

Fogo de Chao wins meaty case in visa fight with Homeland Security
22 Oct 2014 at 1:19am

The gaucho chef, or churrasqueiro , is a tradition at Brazilian steakhouses, and especially at Fogo de Chao, the restaurant known for serving endless slabs of heavily seasoned meats to its well-heeled customers in the District and other cities. For years, the Dallas-based chain brought the highly trained chefs from Brazil to work at its restaurants in the United States through a special visa program.

Coca-Cola and Apple are big market...
21 Oct 2014 at 9:40pm

The world's biggest beverage maker reported lower profit and revenue in the third quarter as global soda volume remained flat. The burrito chain's third-quarter profit topped Wall Street expectations, but it said growth is expected to slow slightly next year.

'Goodfellas' Actor Suing Fox for $250 Million Over 'Simpsons' Mob Character
21 Oct 2014 at 5:56pm

In what might be the wildest lawsuit of the year, actor Frank Sivero has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox Television Studios over one of the "wise guy" characters on The Simpsons . Sivero is notable for playing mobster roles in The Godfather Part II and Goodfellas , and has lived up to his on-screen persona in various ways such as reportedly being arrested for gun possession earlier this year.

US stocks gain in midday trading; Apple, Harley up
21 Oct 2014 at 2:06pm

Traders were encouraged by economic growth figures from China, as well as strong quarterly earnings from several big U.S. companies. Apple and Harley-Davidson both rose after releasing their latest quarterly results.

'The Walking Dead' Is A Huge Hit. So Why Is AMC's Stock Trading So Low?
21 Oct 2014 at 2:06pm

I live in Los Angeles and I'm lucky enough to write about the thing I love most: movies. I'm a graduate of Vassar College and Northwestern University and I've been working at Forbes since 2001.

Judge Scolds Hollywood Sex Accuser for Lying in Court
21 Oct 2014 at 2:06pm

Michael Egan claimed that he had no help authoring detailed legal papers, then switched his answer after the judge warned him not to lie In yet another blow to Michael Egan 's credibility, a Hawaii federal judge told the Hollywood sex accuser "not to lie to me" after Egan falsely claimed in court not to have received assistance with legal papers that in fact had been prepared and filed by a law office. The unusual exchange took place at a Friday hearing in Honolulu and has not previously been reported.

Staples On Alert After Card-Theft Hack Attack
21 Oct 2014 at 10:15am

Cash registers at some Staples stores in the US may have fallen victim to card-stealing malware that lets criminal make counterfeit copies of cards. Banks have traced a pattern of fraudulent transactions on some cards that had been previously used at a number of Staples stores in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

Total CEO Killed in Moscow as Jet Hits Snow Plow
21 Oct 2014 at 10:15am

The chief executive of French oil major Total, Christophe de Margerie, was killed when his private jet collided with a snow plow as it was taking off from Moscow's Vnukovo airport on Monday night. De Margerie's death leaves a void at the top of one of the world's biggest listed oil firms at a difficult time for the industry as oil prices fall and state-backed competitors keep them out of some of the best oil exploration territory.

How Will Total (TOT) Stock React To CEO's Plane Crash Death?
21 Oct 2014 at 6:32am

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FCC Radio Licenses: Saving Paper Doesn't Change Notice Requirements
21 Oct 2014 at 2:52am

Many municipal governments and special districts, especially public safety departments, hold radio licenses or antenna structure permits from the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC is proposing to save paper and staff time by making the authorizations stored on agency databases "official" records.

Fed official: Big banks should clean up their acts
20 Oct 2014 at 11:10pm

The Fed official overseeing Wall Street says things need to change, and if the industry's risky culture isn't turned around, it may be time to break up the big banks. William Dudley's proposal would overhaul the way bonuses are paid out to executives.

Microsoft's Satya Nadella Just Fired A Shot At HP And IBM...
20 Oct 2014 at 7:27pm

The new computer is called the "Microsoft Cloud Platform System" and it will be a mini-version of Microsoft's cloud, Azure, that enterprises can install in their own data centers. By using this server, enterprises can easily move applications from their own private data center to Microsoft's cloud and back again.

Inversion Implosion: AbbVie-Shire Merger Officially Dead
20 Oct 2014 at 7:27pm

For nearly three years I tracked down billionaires around the world, rooting out American success stories like Pakistani-immigrant Shahid Khan's journey to NFL ownership and the biblical backbone of Hobby Lobby founder David Green . Most recently, I moved to Forbes' market desk to report breaking financial news.

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

Lloyds expected to cut 9,000 jobs
22 Oct 2014 at 6:04pm
Lloyds Banking Group is planning to cut around 9,000 jobs - around a tenth of its entire workforce - over the next three years, the BBC understands.

KPMG and FSA criticised over Co-op
22 Oct 2014 at 5:01pm
KPMG and financial regulators have been criticised in a report by MPs into Co-op Bank's failed bid to buy 632 Lloyds branches last year.

New home registrations at 2007 level
22 Oct 2014 at 5:03pm
Builders are preparing to construct new UK homes at a rate not seen since the before the financial crisis, new figures show.

US airbag recall expands to 7.8m cars
22 Oct 2014 at 11:44am
US car safety regulators expand a recall of vehicles with potentially dangerous Takata airbags to 7.8 million, warning that owners should take 'immediate action'.

Pound falls on Bank meeting minutes
22 Oct 2014 at 4:35am
The pound falls after Bank of England policy makers find "insufficient evidence" of inflationary pressure to justify a rate rise.

Boeing raises annual profit forecast
22 Oct 2014 at 7:51am
Aerospace giant Boeing has raised its forecast for profits this year and says it has a record backlog of orders.

Homebase accelerates store closures
22 Oct 2014 at 5:50am
Home Retail Group says that store closures at Homebase will be accelerated, with the number of outlets cut by 25% by 2019.

Total names new heads after boss dies
22 Oct 2014 at 5:51am
Oil giant Total appoints a new chief executive and new chairman to replace Christophe de Margerie who died in a plane crash in Moscow on Monday.

Worries for those denied payday loans
22 Oct 2014 at 4:48am
The fate of people turned down for payday loans owing to stricter regulations on the industry has prompted polarised debate.

Microsoft to phase out Nokia name
22 Oct 2014 at 6:44am
Microsoft is ditching the Nokia brand name from new devices, less than a year after acquiring the Finnish mobile firm.

South Africa growth forecast slashed
22 Oct 2014 at 9:15am
South Africa's new finance minister cuts the country's economic growth forecast from 2.7% to 1.4%.

Glaxo shares up as profits beat hopes
22 Oct 2014 at 6:21am
GlaxoSmithKline's shares rose 4% after its third quarter results beat expectations and it pledged to return an additional £4bn to shareholders via a special share scheme.

Superdry founder gives up CEO role
22 Oct 2014 at 7:38am
The founder of Superdry, Julian Dunkerton, gives up his role as CEO to focus on developing the brand's products and image.

Wind farms outstrip nuclear power
21 Oct 2014 at 5:07pm
The UK's wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says.

Car insurance premiums 'creeping up'
22 Oct 2014 at 3:38am
UK car insurance premiums have risen for the first time in more than two years, with further rises predicted.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

UK watchdog challenges EU bank pay clamp
22 Oct 2014 at 1:21pm
Andrew Bailey says this year?s awards likely to be paid despite EBA decision
US distressed debt investors target HSH
22 Oct 2014 at 11:17am
Offer to swap tier one debt with cocos at a discount not taken up so far
Eclectica hedge fund bleeding assets
22 Oct 2014 at 10:57am
Large investors pull out of Hugh Hendry?s fund despite robust performance
BGC in hostile $675m bid for rival GFI
22 Oct 2014 at 10:52am
Interdealer broker acts after ?delays? in striking negotiated takeover deal
Copycat managers cannot beat the market
22 Oct 2014 at 9:54am
Findings raise questions over investment skill
Marginal gains in fund management
22 Oct 2014 at 7:30am
Stockpickers are turning to cycling and behavioural economics
Payoff pokes fun at financial world
22 Oct 2014 at 5:48am
Peer-to-peer start-up aims to disrupt the lending market
El-Erian backs peer-to-peer lender Payoff
22 Oct 2014 at 5:19am
Former Pimco chief executive leads $12m equity finance round
BNY Mellon in Asia wealth management push
22 Oct 2014 at 12:56am
Hong Kong unit joins US banks seeking to expand investment services as new rules squeeze basic banking
Head of Mexico?s stock exchange quits
21 Oct 2014 at 8:17pm
Luis Téllez to ?dedicate himself to new projects?
China bank funds buy stake in Mediobanca
21 Oct 2014 at 12:52pm
Italy has been focal point of Beijing?s ?5bn Europe investment push
US risk-retention rule given US approval
21 Oct 2014 at 10:55am
Measure aims to curb kind of behaviour by banks that helped fuel financial crisis
US regulator accuses Ocwen of backdating
21 Oct 2014 at 10:08am
Alleged lapse in process caused borrowers ?significant harm?
Crowdfunding merits its hype
21 Oct 2014 at 4:57am
The sheer variety and ingenuity of schemes that are seeking backing is inspirational
London broker sets up Manchester office
20 Oct 2014 at 7:04pm
Graeme Summers to lead the northern charge as managing director of corporate broking
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.

Lloyds To Cut 9,000 Jobs In Three-Year Plan
22 Oct 2014 at 12:41pm
Lloyds will announce next week that it is to cut around 9,000 jobs as consumers turn to digital banking, Sky News learns.

Homebase: A Quarter Of Stores To Be Closed
22 Oct 2014 at 8:16am
Up to 4,000 jobs are under threat as a turnaround plan for the DIY chain is accelerated to bolster its digital offering.

Tesco Yet To Hand Finance Chief £1m Payoff
22 Oct 2014 at 11:15am
Tesco has still not paid its former finance chief almost £1m more than six months after he resigned, Sky News understands.

PM Praises 'Northern Powerhouse' Vision
22 Oct 2014 at 8:14am
David Cameron backs a study that says England's biggest northern cities should be given more economic and political power.

Apple Warns Users Over Chinese iCloud Attack
22 Oct 2014 at 7:21am
Customers in China are told to be vigilant as users are diverted to a spoof site in an apparent attempt to harvest passwords.

US Firm Bolsters Ebola Vaccine War Chest
22 Oct 2014 at 4:12am
Hopes a proven vaccine can be found to combat the virus are boosted as Johnson & Johnson invests more in its testing programme.

Government Failing To Deport Foreign Criminals
22 Oct 2014 at 8:37am
A report says hundreds of foreign national offenders awaiting deportation have absconded in the UK, costing taxpayers £850m.

Breaking Bad Dolls Pulled By Toys R Us
22 Oct 2014 at 2:00am
The toy store says the figures, which come with a bag of plastic methamphetamines are taking an "indefinite sabbatical".

Yahoo Nets Profits Boost From Alibaba Stake
22 Oct 2014 at 1:14am
The tech firm reports stronger profits but a major shareholder questions its efforts to grow its share of the mobile ad market.

Keystone Pipeline A Nasty Headache For Obama
21 Oct 2014 at 11:01pm
The President faces accusations of going back on an inauguration pledge to combat climate change if he approves the project.
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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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Most latest Forex News

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