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Nation - Google News
Senior Tories knew about Nigel Evans sexual assault claims, court hears - The...
10 Mar 2014 at 6:51pm
Senior Tories knew about Nigel Evans sexual assault claims, court hears
Nigel Evans is facing trial at Preston crown court, where a number of MPs are expected to be called to give evidence. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images. Senior Conservatives knew that Nigel Evans had been accused of several indecent assaults by ...
Deputy speaker Nigel Evans 'used his powerful position to sexually assault ...Mirror.co.uk
'Plastered' MP Nigel Evans put hands down man's trousers at a bar TWICE, court ...Daily Star
Nigel Evans sex abuse trial: Tories 'knew about senior MP's gay sex assault ...The Independent
BBC News -Evening Standard -The Australian
all 162 news articles »
Independence: Campbell calls for new powers summit - Scotsman
10 Mar 2014 at 6:10pm
Independence: Campbell calls for new powers summit
A CROSS-PARTY summit on more powers for Holyrood must be staged within 30 days of the independence referendum to meet public demand for greater devolution, ex-Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has said. The Labour and Conservative ...
Gordon Brown calls for more powers over income tax for HolyroodThe Times (subscription)
Brown proposes greater devolution if Scottish independence is rejectedIrish Times
Gordon Brown wants more power for Scotland - and more control over ...Mirror.co.uk
stv.tv -The Guardian -Daily Mail
all 173 news articles »
Voters more receptive to UKIP than polls show - study - Reuters UK
10 Mar 2014 at 1:03pm
Voters more receptive to UKIP than polls show - study
LONDON (Reuters) - Potential support for anti-European Union party UKIP far exceeds that suggested by opinion polls, with almost a third of voters holding views in line with its supporters, according to a study to be published this week. The UK Independence ...
UKIP 'could hit 30%' if it can get its message across: Analysis of 100000 voters ...Daily Mail
Nigel Farage keeps on about EU migration, but non-EU migration is the greater ...Spectator.co.uk (blog)
MP mocks Nigel Farage with mask and fake cigaretteIrish Independent
University of Manchester
all 34 news articles »
Live artillery shell just misses village and explodes in field - The Independent
10 Mar 2014 at 6:53pm
Live artillery shell just misses village and explodes in field
An off-target artillery shell flew over a village and a main road before landing in a farmer's field near a railway line about five miles from the Salisbury Plain firing range, according to a report. The explosion left a 6ft-wide crater and sent debris flying for up to 40ft ...
Salisbury Plain stray shell 'misses target by five miles'BBC News
Wiltshire farmer finds crater after troops shoot artillery round FIVE MILES off courseDaily Mail
Village narrowly escapes being shelled in artillery training explosion blunderWestern Morning News
The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald
all 15 news articles »
Malala makes children plea to Commonwealth - Scotsman
10 Mar 2014 at 6:01pm
Malala makes children plea to Commonwealth
EDUCATION campaigner Malala Yousafzai has urged the Commonwealth to ?build up a bright future? for children across the globe and protect them from being exploited through child labour and trafficking. The schoolgirl activist also called for equal rights for ...
Royals parade show-stopping hats for Commonwealth DayExpress.co.uk
Queen's Commonwealth Day message highlights nations working togetherRoyal Central
Gorleston's Bruno Peek joins the Queen for Commonwealth Day flagraising at ...Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
all 46 news articles »
Man stashed elderly mum's corpse in freezer and gets suspended prison sentenc...
10 Mar 2014 at 7:30pm
Man stashed elderly mum's corpse in freezer and gets suspended prison sentence
A HOARDER who hid his 90-year-old mum's body in a freezer for six months as he was scared their benefits would stop received a suspended sentence today. By Lamiat Sabin/ Published 10th March 2014. FROZEN: The body of Louise Brough was ...
Philipe Brough hid dead mother's body in freezer so he wouldn't be evicted from ...Daily Mail
Man kept mum's body in freezer to keep claiming her pensionYahoo!7 News
'Hoarder' kept his dead mother's body in the freezer to claim her benefitsIrish Independent
The Guardian -International Business Times UK
all 16 news articles »
Dead soldier 'served with honour' says family as murder suspect held in cells...
10 Mar 2014 at 6:54pm
Dead soldier 'served with honour' says family as murder suspect held in cells
A soldier who was allegedly murdered at an Army barracks ?served his country with the highest degree of honour and dedication?, according to his grieving family. The body of Corporal Geoffrey McNeill, 32, was discovered at Clive Barracks in Tern Hill, ...
Tributes paid to 'dedicated' soldier murdered at barracksEvening Standard
Tributes amid Cpl McNeill murder probeU.TV
Murder probe: Co Antrim Royal Irish Regiment soldier found dead at Army ...Belfast Telegraph
The Guardian -Telegraph.co.uk -Daily Mail
all 74 news articles »
Doctors speak out to back assisted suicide Bill - Express.co.uk
10 Mar 2014 at 5:36pm
Doctors speak out to back assisted suicide Bill
A GROUP of doctors including a leading surgeon and a professor of neurology have spoken out in support of legalising assisted suicide. The 11 clinicians are backing MSP Margo MacDonald's Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill. By: David Scott. Published: Mon ...
Medical experts back Bill proposed by Margo MacDonald MSPSTV Glasgow
Doctors back Assisted Suicide BillMontrose Review
all 38 news articles »
David Cameron pays for Facebook likes - Deccan Chronicle
10 Mar 2014 at 7:01pm
David Cameron pays for Facebook likes
Now its turn for the UK premier to woo people on social media as nobody seems to be pal with the Prime Minister on Facebook, The Independent reported. Maybe it's the bedroom tax, maybe it's the legal aid cuts. It might even be the widely mocked picture of ...
David Cameron's new Facebook likes show you can put a price on friendshipThe Guardian
David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people ...The Independent
all 15 news articles »
Lib Dem MP throws New Homes Bonus into 'chaos' - by rubbishing OWN party's .....
10 Mar 2014 at 1:09pm
Lib Dem MP throws New Homes Bonus into 'chaos' - by rubbishing OWN party's ...
Stephen Williams said the New Homes Bonus, a reward paid to councils, was unfair and added: ?I don't think it's an incentive.? He also told a Lib Dem conference fringe meeting his boss Eric Pickles's referendums on council tax rises over 2% were ?absurd? ...
Stephen Williams faces call to quit after attack on coalition policiesBristol24-7
Housebuilding policy 'incoherent'Aol Money
Scrap 'incoherent' house-building bonus, says Lib Dem ministerThe Times (subscription)
all 9 news articles »
Business News continually updated from thousands of sources around the net.
Pot taxes bring in $2 million to Colorado coffers
10 Mar 2014 at 7:22pm
Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported Monday in the world's first accounting of the recreational pot business.
GAO: Government-funded broadband means better service, lower prices
10 Mar 2014 at 5:18pm
Government-funded broadband projects have led to higher speeds and lower prices for U.S. small businesses, despite opposition from some in Congress, according to an auditor's report.
Cat rescued from kitchen fire in Forestbrook
10 Mar 2014 at 5:18pm
Horry County Fire/Rescue firefighter, Derrick Nunziante removed Snow Flake, a cat that was in the Abaco Bay apartment where a small kitchen fire broke out, Monday afternoon.
Oil falls to around $101 after China, Japan data
10 Mar 2014 at 2:18pm
The price of oil sunk to around $101 on Monday after a surprise drop in China's exports and weaker economic growth in Japan suggested demand for crude could weaken.
McDonald's shares fall on disappointing sales results
10 Mar 2014 at 10:03am
The McDonald's fast food chain reported disappointing year-to-date sales Monday at U.S. stores open at least 13 months, known as comparable sales and a key metric of financial performance.
Carney Faces Leadership Test as Currency Scandal Snares BOE
10 Mar 2014 at 6:49am
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will face his toughest public testimony to date as he seeks to defend the integrity of an institution that's become embroiled in the currency-manipulation scandal.
Construction crunch slows Japan tsunami rebuilding
10 Mar 2014 at 2:39am
In this Monday, March 3, 2014 photo, Takako Sato, 62, a hearing impaired survivor of the March 11, 2011 tsunami, talks with Atsuko Takeshita, manager of Huck's House, a vocational center for the disabled, in Tanohata, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Forget The Walkers, The People Pose The Biggest Danger In 'The Walking Dead'
9 Mar 2014 at 10:30pm
"I don't hate people," said Charles Bukowski. "I just feel better when they aren't around."
Reactions to the death of William Clay Ford
9 Mar 2014 at 6:25pm
Comments on the death of William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of automotive pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the NFL's Detroit Lions: "The Fords are among Michigan's iconic, founding families, and he was an innovator in the family tradition as well as a strong leader.
Interpol: passports on flights must be checked
9 Mar 2014 at 2:11pm
In this photo released by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, a patrol vessel of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency searches for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane off Tok Bali Beach in Kelantan, Malaysia, Sunday, March 9, 2014.
No consensus on notifying victims of data breaches
9 Mar 2014 at 9:56am
Most states have laws that require retailers to disclose data breaches, but the laws vary wildly.
Rural Internet service fends off Frontier
9 Mar 2014 at 5:46am
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette.
China to tighten rules against pollution
9 Mar 2014 at 12:37am
Zhang Dejiang said in a report to the ceremonial legislature's annual session that businesses were responsible for the environmental damage they caused and must be held to account.
Big names join Stars' Modano for jersey ceremony
8 Mar 2014 at 10:32pm
9 get lifted to the rafters. There was one more stop for the guy who made hockey cool in football-mad Dallas: handshakes from former Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, not to mention the most likely candidate to have his number retired next at American Airlines Center - Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.
Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared
8 Mar 2014 at 6:22pm
Rarely do incidents happen when a plane is cruising seven miles above the earth.
BBC News - Business
The latest stories from the Business section of the BBC News web site.
Floods 'give UK jobs market boost'
10 Mar 2014 at 6:23pm
The UK's winter floods have given the jobs market an 'unexpected boost', says recruitment firm Manpower.
eBay cuts chief exec's pay in half
10 Mar 2014 at 5:02pm
E-commerce giant eBay cuts the total compensation of its chief executive, John Donahoe, by more than half.
Mt Gox wins US bankruptcy protection
10 Mar 2014 at 6:57pm
Mt Gox, the troubled Japanese bitcoin exchange, wins bankruptcy protection to temporarily halt US legal action alleging fraud.
Economy 'to hit 2008 peak by summer'
9 Mar 2014 at 6:00pm
The size of the UK's overall economy will surpass its pre-recession peak by this summer, says the British Chambers of Commerce.
World's largest banana firm created
10 Mar 2014 at 6:51am
Irish fruit firm Fyffes and US rival Chiquita are to merge, creating the world's largest banana company.
Mining shares hit by iron ore slump
10 Mar 2014 at 3:28pm
Shares of some of the world's biggest mining companies are hit by a slump in the price of iron ore, amid fears of a Chinese economic slowdown.
Mothercare appoints interim boss
10 Mar 2014 at 9:52am
Parenting retailer Mothercare appoints Mark Newton-Jones as interim chief executive after the resignation of Simon Calver in February.
Head of Cyprus' central bank resigns
10 Mar 2014 at 12:38pm
Cyprus' central bank governor, Panicos Demetriades, steps down following a turbulent relationship with the country's government.
Public pay outstrips private sector
10 Mar 2014 at 10:19am
Public sector workers are paid on average 14.5% more per hour than those in the private sector, according to the Office for National Statistics.
QR barcodes plan for energy bills
10 Mar 2014 at 9:08am
Energy bills are to come with compulsory Quick Response, or QR, codes to help people switch supplier more easily, the government says.
Labour extends jobs guarantee pledge
10 Mar 2014 at 8:40am
Labour commits to fund a "jobs guarantee" for the long-term unemployed for the whole of the next parliament, if it wins power.
New mobile payment plan gathers pace
10 Mar 2014 at 4:44am
The banking industry's new mobile phone payments system will be launched later this year, says the Payments Council.
Bayern boss admits massive tax fraud
10 Mar 2014 at 9:03am
Uli Hoeness, president of European football champions Bayern Munich, admits in court that he defrauded the German tax authorities of 18m euros (£15m; $25m).
Goals Soccer Centres set to expand
10 Mar 2014 at 3:54am
Goals Soccer Centres is accelerating its plans for expansion after raising fresh funds via issuing new shares in the firm.
Vote 'will not affect Grangemouth'
10 Mar 2014 at 6:00am
The result of the independence referendum will not make a difference to the future of the Grangemouth oil refinery, according to its boss.
Financial services company news - FT.com
Virtu IPO to value Viola stake at $2bn
10 Mar 2014 at 5:39pm
SEC filing shows high-frequency trader has bucked the trend of a market where many rivals face increased competition and falling profits
Private equity: Apollo?s race to the top
10 Mar 2014 at 12:58pm
A deep understanding of debt and a series of successful bets have helped the US investment firm become the most powerful player in the industry
Jardines seeks to demote London listing
10 Mar 2014 at 12:51pm
Trading house asks shareholders in five companies to downgrade listing to ?standard? to avoid UK proposals to curb controlling investors? influence
Forex fines, exec pay at the Co-op Bank, and pressure easing on Greece
10 Mar 2014 at 11:54am
Patrick Jenkins is joined by Sam Fleming, Daniel Schäfer, Sharlene Goff and Martin Arnold to discuss the latest on the Forex scandal, as estimates of the total amount of fines begin to circulate, ranging from $5-30bn. They also look at executive pay at the Co-op Bank, where shareholders and bondholders are expected to be asked to waive the new EU bonus cap and approve packages worth 200 per cent of salary. Finally, things are looking up for Greece, where the sovereign bond yield has dropped to 7 per cent and domestic banks? share offerings are being well received
Permira explores NY listing of Arysta
10 Mar 2014 at 11:50am
Strong demand for new equity on both sides of the Atlantic is convincing buyout groups to take companies in their portfolios public
UK watchdog warns on copy trading
10 Mar 2014 at 11:24am
As digital innovation blurs lines between financial ?advice? and ?information?, watchdog finds it is a form of discretionary portfolio management
Lone Star founder to buy EU property debt
10 Mar 2014 at 7:49am
Ellis Short raises $1.5bn through a new fund called Kildare Partners, SEC filings show, and he is said to be looking to secure a further $500m
Explosive growth at Alibaba?s online fund
10 Mar 2014 at 6:40am
After just nine months since its launch, the number of investors in Yu?e Bao online fund now totals more than that in China?s equity market
Hong Kong watchdog beefs up monitoring
9 Mar 2014 at 9:00pm
Hong Kong?s market watchdog is beefing up its corporate investigations staff and adding a litigation team as cases increase and become more complex
Smartphone payment system to be unveiled
9 Mar 2014 at 6:01pm
?Paym? available to users of nine British banks, which can be used to share a restaurant bill or to pay a nanny, will be launched in the spring
Lawsky to step up assault on Wall Street
9 Mar 2014 at 12:56pm
Regulator taps into wave of popular discontent with bankers by targeting individuals found guilty of offences, rather than just institutions
Klarman warns of looming bubble
9 Mar 2014 at 12:36pm
Hedge fund manager says investors are underplaying risk and not prepared for an end to banks reversing a five-year experiment in ultra-loose money
Playtech founder plans SafeCharge listing
9 Mar 2014 at 11:44am
Fundraising proceeds will go towards launch of a digital wallet for customers to make transactions in online gambling, goods and services and foreign exchange
What to do about market inefficiency?
9 Mar 2014 at 11:11am
Most money is placed in markets by agents acting for the owners and the incentives of these two groups can differ considerably
Buyout groups likely to dodge tax rise
9 Mar 2014 at 11:06am
Private equity and hedge fund bosses will keep their ?carried interest? tax break so long as agreement on broader tax reform remains elusive
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.
Fidelity Criticises Pay 'Mess' At Barclays
10 Mar 2014 at 3:29pm
The fund manager tells Sky News it is "disappointed" at a "PR mess" at Barclays as pressure mounts over its £2.4bn bonus pot.
Bankers' Bonus Tax To Pay For Labour Job Plan
10 Mar 2014 at 11:43am
The Tories say Labour's sums "do not add up" as the party unveils a jobs guarantee scheme to give unemployed under-25s work.
Secret Lloyds Papers To Be Published By MPs
10 Mar 2014 at 8:22am
MPs are to publish secret papers showing deliberations about bids for 630 Lloyds branches, Sky News learns.
Goals 'To Cash In' On Beckham Miami MLS Fever
10 Mar 2014 at 8:48am
A five-a-side football specialist nets millions of pounds to fund three new centres in the fledgling US football market.
Top Banana! World's Biggest Producer Created
10 Mar 2014 at 1:49pm
A banana powerhouse is to be born as a merger aims to swallow a greater share of the fruit market.
Energy Bills To Show Codes To Help Consumers
10 Mar 2014 at 12:58pm
Consumers will soon be able to instantly compare energy bills by scanning a new code on their smartphones.
UK Economy 'To Reach 2008 Peak In Summer'
10 Mar 2014 at 1:34pm
In sunny predictions for growth, a business lobby group brings forward the date it expects GDP to overtake its pre-recession peak.
Revealed: Oxford Is 'Most Expensive City'
10 Mar 2014 at 2:46am
A study comparing income power to property costs finds a growing gulf between the two, especially for the residents of one city.
Tesco Paves Way For Finance Director's Exit
9 Mar 2014 at 1:24pm
The UK's biggest retailer is thought to be preparing for the exit of its finance chief, Sky News learns.
Co-op Set To Hand Senior Staff Large Pay Boost
9 Mar 2014 at 11:37am
The chief executive of the mutual, which recently admitted it had lost touch with customers, is reportedly set for a £3.6m salary.
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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.
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NO QE3: What are the Implications for the Dollar?
by Adam Kritzer
25 Jun 2011 at 7:28am
The verdict is nearly in; there will be no QE3. The second round of quantitative easing (?QE2?) will expire at the end of this month, and while it will not be unwound for quite some time, the Fed has indicated that it will not be followed by yet another round. The question on the minds of forex traders, of course, is what does this mean for the Dollar?
In his most recent press conference, Ben Bernanke, himself, indicated that QE3 was unlikely. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg News, the majority of FX analysts (65%) believe him. Simply, the circumstances don?t support further easing. To be sure, the unemployment rate remains high, and the economy is teetering on the verge of double-dip recession. However, the last two rounds did little to address either of these problems, and companies have hoarded cash rather than investing in new plant and workers.
Interest rates are still hovering around record lows, and there isn?t anything to be gained from trying to lower them further. Besides, given that inflation is now above 3% ? due to an explosion in good and energy prices ? QE3 would simply be too risky. Economist Ken Goldstein summarized the situation as follows: “We will come to the end of QE2 and largely we mark about how little happened when it ended and that?s also an argument about why there may not be persuasive argument to do a QE3.”
On the other hand, there are some analysts who think that QE3 is inevitable (29%). PIMCO?s Bill Gross, manager of the world?s biggest bond fund, recently indicated that, ?Next Jackson Hole in August will likely hint at QE3/interest rate caps.? (Personally, I think that he?s probably just bitter that his forecast of a decline in Treasury Bond prices hasn?t materialized). One columnist wrote that the Fed?s arm will be twisted by the ongoing collapse of the housing market, while others have argued that the recent decline in the S&P 500 will spur the Fed into action. Most of us, however, believe that the Fed will adopt a wait-and-see approach before ultimately conceding that more easing is necessary.
For now at least, then, the prevailing assumption is that there will not be a QE3. As for how forex markets have digested this news, they have taken it in stride. The Dollar is now holding its value, and as I wrote in a previous post, it may even have bottomed out. Of course, it doesn?t hurt that the Euro is being punished by another flare-up in the sovereign debt crisis and investors are getting nervous about bubbles in emerging market currencies, all of which provide support for the dollar.
The fact that QE2 will soon end without having triggered financial apocalypse or hyperinflation ? as some cassandras initially predicted ? is something that is worth nothing. Of course, the proceeds of QE1 and QE2 will be recycled indefinitely into the markets, and forex investors can?t completely put quantitative easing behind them. Still, that there won’t be any more additional cash injected into commodities markets and emerging economy asset markets means that one of the main sources of downward pressure on the dollar has been eliminated.
Ironically, it is possible that the unveiling of QE3 could actually cause the dollar to rally. The reason is that there is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the markets, which provides the dollar with some safe haven demand. If the Fed were to concede that all is not well on the economic front and respond by more money printing, it could drive some safe haven flows into the US, even to the extent that it would overwhelm outflows driven by concerns over inflation.
Personally, I think the dollar will continue to hold its value, and perhaps even appreciate slightly in the near-term, as forex markets dither over the way forward.http://www.forexblog.org/2011/06/has-the-us-dollar-hit-bottom.html 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.
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.”
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.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.”
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.
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.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.
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.
I’m personally still bearish on the yen, but I also think it’s too risky to short it against the dollar, which seems to be declining for its own reasons. As you can see from the chart below, the yen has fallen against virtually every other major currency. Yen shorters, then, might be wise to avoid the dollar altogether and focus instead on any number of other currencies.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-17/japan-recovery-means-boj-can-avoid-adding-stimulus-muto-says.html 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.
For specific volatility measurements, there is no better source of data than Mataf.net (whose founder, Arnaud Jeulin, I interviewed only last month). Here, you can find data on more than 30 currency pairs, charted across multiple time periods. You can see for the EUR/USD pair in particular that volatility is now at the highest point in 2011 and is closing in on a two-year high.
What does all of this mean? In a nutshell, it shows that panic is rising in the forex markets. Last month, I used this notion as a basis for arguing that the dollar safe-haven trade will make a come-back. This would still seem to be the case, and should also benefit the Swiss Franc, which is nearing an all-time high against the euro. Naturally, it also implies that forex investors remain extremely concerned about a continued decline in the euro, and are rushing to hedge their exposure and/or close out long positions altogether.
Mataf.net suggests that this could make the EUR/USD an interesting pair to trade, since large swings in either direction will necessarily create opportunities for traders. While I have no opinion on such indiscriminate trading [I prefer to make directional bets based on fundamentals], I must nonetheless acknowledge the logic of such a strategy.http://www.forexblog.org/2011/05/interview-with-arnaud-jeulin-of-mataf-net-try-a-lot-of-strategies.html 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.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.
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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