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Making An International Currency Payment

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

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

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

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

Register with GCEN

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

Miliband barred Lamont from attacking bedroom tax for 12 months - The Guardian
25 Oct 2014 at 6:34am

The Guardian

Miliband barred Lamont from attacking bedroom tax for 12 months
The Guardian
Johann Lamont with Ed Miliband, at the Scottish Labour conference earlier this year. She claims her Westminster colleagues are out of touch with Scotland's politics. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images. Daniel Boffey, policy editor. Saturday 25 October ...
Scottish Labour Leader In Shock ResignationSky News
Johann Lamont resigns as Scottish Labour leader: Party faces problem of ...Scottish Daily Record
Johann Lamont resigns: Scottish Labour leader quits ? and turns on Westminster ...The Independent
Irish Times -BBC News -Channel 4 News
all 138 news articles »

David Cameron furious as Brussels reacts to UK prosperity with a £1.7bn bill ...
25 Oct 2014 at 6:41am

Belfast Telegraph

David Cameron furious as Brussels reacts to UK prosperity with a £1.7bn bill
Belfast Telegraph
David Cameron has denounced a demand for Britain to pump an extra £1.7bn into the EU budget - warning the row could help push the country towards the exit door. Also in this Section. Fines plan over nuisance calls · Gascoigne 'sectioned after binge' ...
George Osborne didn't tell David Cameron about £1.7bn EU billThe Independent
Cameron defies EU over 'wealth tax' as costs spiralThe Times (subscription)
European Union asks Britain to pay extra $2.7 billionEconomic Times
Maldon and Burnham Standard -MSN UK -BBC News
all 905 news articles »

Nuisance calls and texts targeted by fines plan - BBC News
25 Oct 2014 at 6:05am

BBC News

Nuisance calls and texts targeted by fines plan
BBC News
Firms behind marketing calls and texts which cause "annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety" could be fined up to £500,000 as part of a planned crackdown on nuisance calls, ministers say. Current rules punish firms only if there is proof they cause "substantial ...
Fines plan over nuisance callsBelfast Telegraph pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k finesRegister
Firms bombarding people with nuisance calls 'more likely to be fined under
Daily Mail
all 14 news articles »

Maíria Cahill: unanswered questions - Irish Times
25 Oct 2014 at 7:13am

Irish Times

Maíria Cahill: unanswered questions
Irish Times
Will other victims come forward? Will there be lasting damage to Adams? And who do we believe? Media spotlight: Maíria Cahill on Monday at Stormont, where she met First Minister Peter Robinson. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA. Gerry Moriarty. Topics ...
So much mud now sticking to Gerry Adams that Sinn Fein circling of wagons may ...Belfast Telegraph
Comparing Sinn Fein to Catholic church over abuse is 'ridiculous': AdamsBelfast Newsletter
Maíria 'entitled to truth' - AdamsU.TV
BBC News -Irish Examiner -Yahoo News UK
all 79 news articles »

London mum killed daughters and self with poison - Belfast Telegraph
25 Oct 2014 at 4:55am

Belfast Telegraph

London mum killed daughters and self with poison
Belfast Telegraph
A mother poisoned herself and her two young daughters by drinking acid after struggling to get on with her live-in mother and father-in-law, an inquest has heard. Also in this Section. First tweet for the Queen as she opens a new gallery · Pocket money up ...
Mother 'poisoned' children, self with
Indian-origin woman killed self, daughters with acid, inquest hearsBusiness Standard
Mother made daughters drink acid, strangled them and killed herselfDaily Mail
BBC News
all 15 news articles »

Nuneaton's fallen heroes honoured during Poppy Appeal launch - Nuneaton News
25 Oct 2014 at 6:45am

Nuneaton News

Nuneaton's fallen heroes honoured during Poppy Appeal launch
Nuneaton News
NAMES of Nuneaton's fallen World War One heroes were read out during an emotional Poppy Appeal launch. Shoppers stood in silence as David Allton from Frontline Living History read out of the roll of honour of the town's men who made the ultimate ...
Full steam ahead as Hampshire's Poppy Appeal is launchedDaily Echo
£33000 raised for Bridgwater poppy appealThis is The West Country
Hopes for record Poppy Appeal response to mark First World War centenaryThe Press, York
West Briton -ITV News
all 48 news articles »

David Cameron visits Chatham and plays down poll giving Ukip lead in ... - Ke...
24 Oct 2014 at 10:13pm

David Cameron visits Chatham and plays down poll giving Ukip lead in ...
Kent Online
David Cameron has played down poll findings suggesting that the Conservatives are trailing Ukip badly in the by-election battle for Rochester and Strood. Speaking on a visit to Chatham today he said: 'It is a cliche but there is only one poll that counts and that ...
We must work to be stronger in EUHerald Scotland
Is David Cameron finally listening to his (blog)
Kelly Tolhurst Selected As Tory Candidate For Rochester And Strood By-ElectionHuffington Post UK

all 241 news articles »

Schoolboy stabbed on board a bus in Sutton, London - Daily Mail
24 Oct 2014 at 12:28pm

Daily Mail

Schoolboy stabbed on board a bus in Sutton, London
Daily Mail
A schoolboy has been left with serious injuries after being brutally stabbed on a double decker bus today. The 15-year-old victim was injured during a fight involving a number of youths on board a 151 bus in Sutton, south London, at around 2.30pm. The boy ...
Teenage boy stabbed on south London busThe Guardian
Teenager stabbed on South London busITV News

all 10 news articles »

Hen party M62 crash: Bethany Jones 'was a big part of everyone' - BBC News
25 Oct 2014 at 5:06am

BBC News

Hen party M62 crash: Bethany Jones 'was a big part of everyone'
BBC News
Lorry driver Kevin Ollerhead has been found not guilty of causing the death of teenager Bethany Jones by dangerous driving. As the court case concludes, her cousin pays tribute to the bright young teenager who lit up her home town. In a pub on the edge of ...
Lorry driver cleared of causing the death of teenager who died in motorway ...Daily Mail
Lorry driver cleared over M62 hen party crashYorkshire Post
Lorry driver cleared over Bethany Jones' death on M62Liverpool Echo -Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express
all 28 news articles »

First women to be bishops by next year, Church of England leaders claim - Mir...
24 Oct 2014 at 6:07pm

First women to be bishops by next year, Church of England leaders claim
The first female Church of England bishop is likely to be appointed in next year, a senior official has said. The General Synod is likely to pass an amendment to church law ?in minutes? allowing women to serve in the post when it meets in London next month, ...
Gloucester may be first to get female bishopWestern Daily Press
Gloucestershire could have UK's first woman bishop, hints church officialGloucestershire Echo
First female Church of England bishop 'expected next year'
Belfast Telegraph -BBC News -Yorkshire Post
all 30 news articles »

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

Sitting, the 'new smoking,' is killing us and costing the economy billions
25 Oct 2014 at 1:24am

Walking instead of sitting hours on end could go a long way to boost health of Canadians and the economy, according to a new study involving the Conference Board of Canada. Spending the day sitting at your desk and the evening in front of the TV? You could be hurting your health and costing the economy money, according to a new study.

FCC: Phone companies posted private info online
24 Oct 2014 at 5:38pm

Federal regulators say that two phone carriers - TerraCom and YourTel America - unwittingly posted the Social Security numbers, driver's licenses and other sensitive data of up to 300,000 people to the Internet. As consumer data breaches go, the case is relatively small.

FCC announces $10 million fine following Scripps investigation
24 Oct 2014 at 5:38pm

A federal investigation launched when a reporter's Google search revealed a phone company storing the confidential information of hundreds of thousands of customers on an open Internet site has resulted in a $10 million fine against two carriers. The Federal Communications Commission announced the fine today against Oklahoma City-based TerraCom Inc. and affiliate YourTel America Inc. for several violations of laws protecting the privacy of phone customers' personal information.

UPDATE 2-U.S. delays 'incentive' airwaves auction to early 2016
24 Oct 2014 at 1:51pm

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission expects a major auction of low-frequency airwaves to be pushed back to early 2016 from mid-2015 because of its complexity and a pending court challenge, an FCC official said in a blog post on Friday. The FCC is working on rules for the so-called incentive auction, in which wireless carriers would get the first opportunity since 2008 to purchase airwaves that are considered the "beach-front property" of radio spectrum for their reach and strength.

Procter & Gamble taking out its batteries
24 Oct 2014 at 9:52am

Duracell batteries hang from hooks on display at an office supply store in Boston, in this March 28, 2001 file photo. The Procter & Gamble Co., which acquired Duracell in 2005 as part of Gillette, announced earlier this year that it would jettison more than half its brands around the globe over the next year or two.

Chancellor Needs Hard Hat For Fight Ahead
24 Oct 2014 at 5:58am

After all, we've spent the past five or six years telling ourselves that all we desperately need is a bit of growth. And yet that's how things look today, with the UK fighting off an attempt by the European Union to charge it an extra ?2.1bn because of the strength of its recovery.

Paul Allen Donates $100 Million To Fight Ebola
24 Oct 2014 at 2:08am

Paul Allen , Microsoft's cofounder, just donated $100 million to the fight against Ebola . The donation, announced today at a Seattle press conference, will go toward supplies for humanitarian aid workers, training, lab equipment, and employees for Liberian health care providers , and creation of a new crowdfunding website called TackleEbola .

Calling 911 On Your Cell? It's Harder To Find You Than You Think
23 Oct 2014 at 10:25pm

Today's mobile phones can do almost everything a computer can. But we still need them for their most basic purpose: making phone calls - especially in emergencies.

FCC calls timeout on Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger
23 Oct 2014 at 6:35pm

Those waiting for a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger -- and possibly improved cable service in cities like New York City and Los Angeles -- are going to have to hold out a bit longer. Government regulators at the Federal Communications Commission have paused the unofficial 180-day clock on the review of the proposed deal between the two cable giants.

U.S. senator asks Internet providers to commit to no 'fast lanes'
23 Oct 2014 at 2:43pm

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Thursday pressed large Internet providers to pledge that they will not strike deals that may help some websites load faster than others or give similar "fast lanes" to affiliated services. As regulators work on new so-called "net neutrality" rules, Leahy wrote to chiefs of AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Time Warner Cable Inc and Charter Communications Inc. In his letters, similar to one sent to Comcast Corp on Monday, Leahy asked the leading Internet service providers to formally commit to no so-called "paid prioritization" deals in which content companies could pay Internet providers to ensure smooth and fast delivery of their traffic.

AT&T 'optimistic' about DirecTV merger in wake of halt on FCC review
23 Oct 2014 at 10:46am

AT&T CFO John Stephens said he wasn't worried about the FCC's decision to stop the 180-day time clock on the review of its merger with DirecTV. The Federal Communications Commission has stopped the clock on its review of the proposed $48.5 billion merger of AT&T Inc. and DirecTV after receiving objections from companies concerned about the release of confidential information.

Profits up at General Dynamics; Northrop earnings fall
23 Oct 2014 at 6:47am

At General Dynamics, the company's aerospace, combat systems and marine systems units all posted increases during the quarter. The performances offset a drop in information systems, which resulted in revenues overall remaining roughly flat at $7.75 billion.

How Will FedEx Stock Be Affected by Its Holiday Season Forecast
23 Oct 2014 at 2:54am

The company said that it expects an 8.8% increase in shipments from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve to 290 million packages shipped during the period. The company recently announced that it was also adding 50,000 workers during the holiday season to help with the increased load.

UNBOXED: The iPad Air 2...
22 Oct 2014 at 10:59pm

It's very similar to last year's iPad Air, but it's slightly thinner, lighter, and faster. It also has a better camera and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, just like on the iPhone.

Bankruptcy hearing in Trump name fight...
22 Oct 2014 at 6:46pm

Attorneys have postponed a Delaware bankruptcy court hearing over Donald Trump 's fight to remove his name from a struggling New Jersey casino. Trump is suing Trump Entertainment Resorts in New Jersey state court, demanding that the Trump name come off the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

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

Used car buyers 'need more support'
24 Oct 2014 at 5:03pm
Better protection is needed for consumers buying used cars, says a commission studying the high level of complaints against the sector.

Card firms 'fail' on rights advice
24 Oct 2014 at 6:26pm
Many financial providers are failing to properly explain the protection shoppers have when something goes wrong with a credit card purchase, consumer group Which? suggests.

Britain must pay EU bill, says MEP
25 Oct 2014 at 4:04am
The rest of Europe expects the UK to settle a £1.7bn EU budget demand "and that's that", a vice president of the European Parliament has said.

Asda faces mass action on equal pay
24 Oct 2014 at 9:13am
Asda, the UK's second largest retailer, is facing a mass legal action over equal pay by women who work in its stores.

Ukraine-Russia 'consensus' over gas
24 Oct 2014 at 12:29pm
Ukraine and Russia find "consensus" on a deal to end their gas dispute, according to the boss of Ukraine's state gas firm.

Ford profits fall on new truck costs
24 Oct 2014 at 8:10am
Ford reports a sharp fall in profits, largely due to the cost of developing its new F-150 pickup truck.

GDP rises by 0.7% in third quarter
24 Oct 2014 at 5:22am
The economy expanded at a slower pace in in the three months to 30 September following a 0.9% rise in the second quarter, the ONS said.

Dolce & Gabbana cleared in tax case
24 Oct 2014 at 11:06am
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, founders of the Dolce & Gabbana fashion house, are cleared by an Italian court of tax evasion.

Banana splits as Chiquita chops deal
24 Oct 2014 at 3:09pm
Shareholders in US banana distributor Chiquita vote against a merger deal with Irish rival Fyffes in favour of a higher offer.

Hailo says Uber blocked investors
24 Oct 2014 at 11:41am
After pulling out of the US, taxi app Hailo complains that rival Uber is blocking potential investors from offering funding.

Standalone TSB picks up customers
24 Oct 2014 at 2:47am
Newly independent bank TSB says it is attracting more new customers than it had expected.

Rental costs 'up 1% in a year'
24 Oct 2014 at 5:30am
The cost of renting a home in Britain rose by 1% in the year to September, with the fastest growth seen in London and Scotland, official statistics show.

Spirit Pubs rejects offer from C&C
24 Oct 2014 at 2:15am
Spirit Pub Company has rejected a takeover offer from cider maker C&C, days after agreeing to recommend a rival offer from Greene King.

Job centres to get digital makeover
23 Oct 2014 at 5:12pm
Computer workstations, electronic signature pads and free wi-fi are rolling out across UK job centres.

Microsoft profits fall on Nokia deal
23 Oct 2014 at 3:53pm
Microsoft reports a fall in profits as a result of the cost of job cuts and its purchase of Nokia's smartphone business earlier this year but rising revenue cheers investors.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

Peer pressure on small bank loan sector
24 Oct 2014 at 12:01pm
El-Erian?s investment indicates where he sees next big disruption in financial sector
Nasdaq lifts share buyback limit by $500m
24 Oct 2014 at 6:30am
US exchange set to resume share repurchases after meeting leverage targets
City Insider: Horlick pushes P2P
23 Oct 2014 at 5:07pm
Nicola Horlick, Franco Bernabè, Nurole and JPMorgan featured
Lazard profits soar on merger activity
23 Oct 2014 at 3:22pm
Bout of deal-making central to improved performance
HSBC employees in NY allege retaliation
23 Oct 2014 at 12:19pm
Plaintiffs claim they suffered after reporting harassment of colleague
KKR reaps benefits of market volatility
23 Oct 2014 at 11:00am
Private equity group upbeat despite bursts of market volatility and reports smaller than expected drop in third-quarter profit
Janus Capital warns of higher pay costs
23 Oct 2014 at 10:44am
Bill Gross?s arrival called a ?game changer?
All eyes on the ECB as stress tests loom
23 Oct 2014 at 8:22am
Sunday will reveal results from health checks on 130 eurozone banks
Credit Suisse cuts investment bank again
23 Oct 2014 at 6:19am
Chief executive Brady Dougan says aim is to cut leverage exposure by a further SFr70bn
Tesco Bank customer numbers grow 14%
23 Oct 2014 at 5:28am
Success in UK supermarket?s banking arm comes amid turmoil at wider group
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
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.

Key Investor Empties Trolley Of Tesco Shares
24 Oct 2014 at 11:56am
A leading US fund manager has cast doubt on the grocer's revival prospects, Sky News learns.

Asda Pledges To Fight Staff Equal Pay Action
24 Oct 2014 at 7:02am
Tens of thousands of workers could launch an equal pay case that the supermarket chain says has no merit.

Economy: Third Quarter Growth Slows To 0.7%
24 Oct 2014 at 5:52am
Output eases in the powerhouse service sector and in manufacturing but GDP growth remains steady, official figures show.

Cameron: I Won't Pay £1.7bn EU Bill On Time
24 Oct 2014 at 1:13pm
The Prime Minister says anyone who thinks Britain will pay the suggested EU surcharge on December 1 "has another thing coming".

UK's Surcharge Row: Your Questions Answered
24 Oct 2014 at 7:57am
A row is brewing over Europe's demand for an extra £1.7bn from Britain. So how did the surcharge come about?

Chancellor Needs Hard Hat For Fight Ahead
24 Oct 2014 at 8:37am
Sky's Economics Editor sees several battles for George Osborne as pressure on Treasury coffers grows on a number of fronts.

Five Experimental Ebola Vaccines Set For Trial
24 Oct 2014 at 11:27am
The World Health Organisation expects hundreds of thousands of doses of a new Ebola vaccine to be available by early next year.

Magners Bid For Pub Firm Spirit Turns Sour
24 Oct 2014 at 4:33am
Another contender enters the race for the pub operator behind the Hungry Horse and Old English Inns brands.

Amazon Bleeds Value As Microsoft Delights
24 Oct 2014 at 12:19am
Amazon makes $20bn in revenues but confirms a loss while Microsoft's new core focus appears to be paying off for investors.

Osborne Plans To Get More Women In Work
23 Oct 2014 at 3:52am
The Tories have been accused of having "a problem with women" - but there will now be a focus on boosting female employment rates.
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Learn about the world of Forex

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

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

As it turns out, the forex markets are currently treating the Loonie and the Aussie as inseparable. According to, 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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Stocks Selloff; Dollar Slides
14 Oct 2014 at 1:54am
Stocks on Wall Street tumbled in late selling on Monday with the S&P 500 closing below its 200-day average for the first time since mid- November 2012 on continued concern about the strength of the global economy.
Global Concerns Drive Safe Haven Demand
13 Oct 2014 at 5:39am
The Japanese Yen was broadly higher against its major peers as investors? fears escalate on speculation that the global economy is on the verge of a downturn.