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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

Health chief: Letter backing 'whatever is necessary' on contracts was not agr...
11 Feb 2016 at 5:45pm

The Guardian

Health chief: Letter backing 'whatever is necessary' on contracts was not agreed
The Guardian
Around half of the 20 NHS chief executives have withdrawn support for the letter sent to health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Photograph: Neil Hall/PA. Press Association. Thursday 11 February 2016 19.44 EST. Share on Facebook · Share on Twitter · Share via ...
As Jeremy Hunt imposes new contracts, 200 a week are applying for life abroadDaily Mail
Junior doctors: BMA 'considering all options' for opposing new contractThe Independent
NHS bosses cited in letter 'don't back imposition of junior doctor contracts'The Argus
Morning Star Online -Varsity Online
all 1,353 news articles »

Women in South London warned by police after series of violent attacks within...
11 Feb 2016 at 7:47am

Women in South London warned by police after series of violent attacks within four-mile radius
Women are being warned to be vigilant while walking home alone after a series of violent attacks in South London. Three woman have been brutally assaulted and punched in the face as they returned in the early hours on weekends or public holidays from a ...
Women Warned Over Safety After London AttacksSky News
Detectives link three attacks on women in south London warning of escalating violenceITV News
Police issue warning to women in south London after spate of violent attacksEvening Standard

all 11 news articles »

David Cameron to warn Vladimir Putin would be the winner from Brexit - The In...
11 Feb 2016 at 11:32am

The Independent

David Cameron to warn Vladimir Putin would be the winner from Brexit
The Independent
The campaign to keep Britain in the EU is to argue that Vladimir Putin would be the winner if the public votes to leave the 28-nation bloc in the coming referendum. David Cameron is expected to echo a warning by Labour that the Russian President would ...
Putin 'would see EU exit as weakness,' says Labour's Hilary BennBBC News
Hilary Benn rebukes Jeremy Corbyn over Trident and North Korea's ambitionDaily Mail
Vladimir Putin would be boosted by Brexit, Hilary Benn
Belfast Telegraph -The Guardian -Herald Scotland
all 65 news articles »

Bermondsey teaching assistant gets life after being convicted of killing his ...
11 Feb 2016 at 9:53am

Bermondsey teaching assistant gets life after being convicted of killing his unborn baby
South London Press Today
A teaching assistant who killed his unborn baby by stamping on his heavily pregnant ex-girlfriend's stomach because he wasn't ready to be a father has been jailed for life. Kevin Wilson, 22, recruited Taffari Grant, 17, to launch the 'cowardly, vile ...

and more »

Google tried to spin and twist but were greasily corporate writes QUENTIN LET...
11 Feb 2016 at 5:17pm

Daily Mail

Google tried to spin and twist but were greasily corporate writes QUENTIN LETTS
Daily Mail
At that circus of bruises, the Public Accounts Committee, two Google smarmers tried to explain their company's amazingly low tax bill. Facing them were MPs outraged by the internet firm's tax avoidance. This was digital-age Darwinism v analogue-era ...
Google: We pay 'fair' tax amount in the UKThe Argus
UK MPs tell Google to come clean on taxReuters UK
Can Google say it pays close to the rate of UK corporation tax?The Guardian

all 375 news articles »

Plumber Finds Baby's Body In Grimsby Drain - Sky News
11 Feb 2016 at 4:42pm

BBC News

Plumber Finds Baby's Body In Grimsby Drain
Sky News
Police have launched an investigation after a plumber made the grim discovery at a property in Grimsby. 23:39, UK, Thursday 11 February 2016. Scatho Road. The baby was found at a house in Scartho Road on Thursday. Pic: Google. Share on Twitter ...
Investigation launched after baby's body found in GrimsbyThe Guardian
Plumber makes horror discovery of dead baby while 'unblocking' garden drainDaily Star
Baby's body is found in Grimsby by horrified plumber called in by homeownersDaily Mail
ITV News -Evening Standard
all 14 news articles »

25% Of Female Rapes Victims Are Under 15 - Sky News
11 Feb 2016 at 1:20pm

25% Of Female Rapes Victims Are Under 15
Sky News
"Truly alarming" figures show rape victims of either sex are most likely to be aged between 15 and 19. 20:16, UK, Thursday 11 February 2016. Attack. Three in ten female rape victims were aged under 16. Share on Twitter · Share on Facebook · Share on ...
30% of female rape victims under 16The Guardian
30% of female rape victims are girls aged under 16Chelmsford Weekly News
Nearly one third of rape victims are girls under 16Evening Standard

all 17 news articles »

NHS executive who was sacked after turning down her boss is awarded £832000 c...
11 Feb 2016 at 5:27pm

NHS executive who was sacked after turning down her boss is awarded £832000 compensation
A married human resources director who was called a ?whore? and then sacked after she spurned the advances of her NHS boss was awarded more than £800,000 in compensation yesterday. Helen Marks, 50, lost her job at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS ...
Married NHS HR executive Helen Marks branded a whore wins £832000 compensationDaily Mail
NHS manager sacked after boss branded her a WHORE awarded £832k in
NHS sex scandal costs tax payers £1.4mUttoxeter Advertiser
Metro -The Sun -Daily Star
all 9 news articles »

Kingston police chase 'trip' helper was off-duty soldier - BBC News
11 Feb 2016 at 1:48pm

BBC News

Kingston police chase 'trip' helper was off-duty soldier
BBC News
A man who tripped up a suspected drug dealer fleeing from police in London has been revealed as an off-duty soldier and bandsman. Lance Sgt Matthew Lawson, 37, who had just shared an early Valentine's meal with his wife in Kingston-upon-Thames, saw ...
REVEALED: British soldier unmasked as 'legend' who tripped up drug suspect for
'Legend' who tripped up drug suspect to receive rare bravery awardEvening Standard
'Legend' Who Tripped Up Suspect RevealedSky News
Belfast Telegraph
all 64 news articles »

Ministry of Justice cost-cutting prompts closure of 86 more courthouses - The...
11 Feb 2016 at 3:43pm

The Independent

Ministry of Justice cost-cutting prompts closure of 86 more courthouses
The Independent
Another 86 courthouses across England and Wales are to be shut in the latest round of cost-cutting by the Ministry of Justice. Ministers said the courts facing closure were being used on average for less than two days a week and many were unsuited to ...
Closures of courts and tribunals in England and Wales announcedBBC News
South Lakes Magistrates' Court in Burneside Road, Kendal. Picture taken from Google Maps.NW Evening Mail
Criminal trials to be held in universities after closure of one in five
St Helens Star -ITV News -St Helens Today
all 99 news articles »

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

Airbus or Boeing? SpiceJet's $11 Billion Deal Rests on Time
9 Feb 2016 at 11:55pm

SpiceJet Ltd., the Indian budget carrier choosing between Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE for its at least $11 billion order, has one condition: Delivery needs to be on time.

Troubled teen turned savvy business owner expands her Mount Vernon salon
9 Feb 2016 at 11:18am

This is Rosalind Holsey, owner of Studio 7 The Salon, who is expanding her salon into a spa on the lower level of 800 N. Charles Street. She is pictured in the new spa's waiting area.

Zuckerberg's Plan Spurned as India Backs Full Net Neutrality
9 Feb 2016 at 2:56am

After the company spent months lobbying the country to accept its Free Basics service -- a way of delivering a limited Internet that included Facebook, plus some other tools, for no cost -- India's telecom regulator ruled against any plans from cellular operators that charge different rates to different parts of the Web. Telecom operators can't offer discriminatory tariffs for data services based on content, and aren't allowed to enter into agreements with Internet companies to subsidize access to some websites, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in a statement Monday.

Robotic cockroach may be a lifesaver in a big, future quake
8 Feb 2016 at 11:01pm

Professor Robert J. Full is pictured holding a few cockroaches he has been studying with colleagues to model a search and rescue robot after at the Poly-PEDAL Lab in Valley Life Sciences Building at UC Berkeley Feb. 5, 2016 in Berkeley, Calif. less Professor Robert J. Full is pictured holding a few cockroaches he has been studying with colleagues to model a search and rescue robot after at the Poly-PEDAL Lab in Valley Life Sciences Building at UC Berkeley ... more That's when people call the exterminator, but to biologist Koushik Jarayam , cockroaches are a key to building robots that might someday save human lives in an earthquake.

How could Michael Bloomberg impact the 2016 election?
8 Feb 2016 at 6:53pm

Feb. 08, 2016 - 3:09 - Fox News Poll Republican Consultant Daron Shaw, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, , National Review Editor Rich Lowry and National Review Reporter Jillian Melchior on how Michael Bloomberg could impact the 2016 presidential election if he were to enter the race.

Ferrari's Take on The Family Car: 690 Horsepower and V12 Engine
8 Feb 2016 at 5:48pm

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. Ferrari NV's answer to the family car now accelerates to 100 kilometers per hour in as little as 3.4 seconds, showing the supercar brand will push for more power and performance even as an independent company.

Moea s Attacks Chipotle as it Takes Food-Safety Break
8 Feb 2016 at 2:40pm

"This is our chance to step out and tell our story and, by comparison, show our points of differentiation with Chipotle," said Bruce Schroeder, president of Moe's Southwest Grill. In a bid to review its new safety procedures and rally workers tasked with even more responsibilities in the wake of a massive E. coli outbreak, as well as several instances of norovirus, all 1,998 Chipotle locations in the U.S. will be closed today between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Moe's has more than 600 locations and was founded in 2000 in Atlanta, Ga.

Over $570M to be used for faster Internet in rural Wisconsin
8 Feb 2016 at 10:31am

The money from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund II program will be given to three telecom companies in an effort to expand service to about 230,000 Wisconsin households.

Russian Hackers Moved Currency Rate With Malware, Group-IB Says
8 Feb 2016 at 9:29am

Hackers used malware to penetrate the defenses of a Russian regional bank and move the ruble-dollar rate more than 15 percent in minutes, according to a Moscow-based cyber-security firm hired to investigate the attack. Russian-language hackers deployed a virus known as the Corkow Trojan to infect Kazan-based Energobank and place more than $500 million in orders at non-market rates in February 2015, Group-IB told Bloomberg, without identifying individuals behind the attack.

Stocks Drop as Gloomy Sentiment Returns
8 Feb 2016 at 8:29am

U.S. equity markets were set to kick off the week on a sharply negative note as futures dropped as sentiment remained weak. As of 9:30 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 214 points lower, or 1.32% to 15992.

S. Africa Rail Agency Alleges Fraud in $250 Million Tenders
8 Feb 2016 at 7:28am

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has asked the country's High Court to declare two contracts awarded to a security company invalid, two months after asking for the cancellation of an agreement to supply locomotives. Prasa, as the agency is known, wants two contracts awarded to Siyangena Technologies Ltd. worth about 4 billion rand set aside because the company was given an advantage through "bid-rigging" and the agreements were coupled with alleged "corrupt activities," according to an affidavit by chairman Popo Molefe, which was filed with a motion on Feb. 2 at the High Court in the capital, Pretoria.

Jim Cramer's Views FB, AAPL, GOOGL, SBUX
8 Feb 2016 at 3:27am

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Everyone is talking about the weird constipation and diarrhea...
8 Feb 2016 at 12:18am

It was somewhat surprising - among the sodas, and cars, and big name consumer goods brands - to see an ad about constipation airing during the Super Bowl this year. And then to see another referencing diarrhea! The first ad promoted a prescription product to help tackle opioid-induced constipation .

How a small Alexandria plumbing and heating contractor landed a Super Bowl ad...
7 Feb 2016 at 8:10pm

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Here's How This $100 Billion Fund Is Bracing for Inflation Wave
7 Feb 2016 at 4:05pm

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world. The words are Carsten Stendevad's.

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

Firms forced to reveal gender pay gap
11 Feb 2016 at 5:07pm
Companies that fail to address pay differences between male and female employees will be highlighted in new league tables.
First-time buyers' £50,000 rent bill
11 Feb 2016 at 5:26pm
First-time buyers who purchase a house this year will have already spent £52,900 on rent, research for a landlords' trade body suggests.

'Lack of interest' in rail franchises
11 Feb 2016 at 5:05pm
Taxpayers could end up out of pocket because not enough companies want to bid to run rail franchises in England and Wales, a group of MPs warn.
Anxiety hits US and European markets
11 Feb 2016 at 2:26pm
The FTSE 100 has fallen 2.4%, with US and European markets also posting sharp declines amid continued anxiety about the state of the global economy.
Google defends UK tax arrangements
11 Feb 2016 at 6:59am
Google's UK chief defends the search giant's tax arrangements in a hearing before MPs on the Commons Public Accounts Committee.
Morgan Stanley to pay $3.2bn settlement
11 Feb 2016 at 9:58am
Morgan Stanley will pay $3.2bn (£2.2bn) to US authorities to settle claims that it misled investors about risky mortgage bonds sold before the financial crisis.
British Gas and EDF cut gas prices
11 Feb 2016 at 6:53am
British Gas and EDF Energy announce they are cutting their gas prices, the last of the big six energy suppliers to do so.
Shoppers 'fail to spot cheapest deals'
11 Feb 2016 at 6:00am
Most grocery shoppers are unable to identify the cheapest deals when faced with a blizzard of "special offers" in stores, financial experts say.

Lufthansa boss denies errors over crash
11 Feb 2016 at 7:01am
The boss of the airline Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, has told the BBC that there was nothing that Lufthansa could have done to prevent the Germanwings crash last year.

Man Utd still on track to earn £500m
11 Feb 2016 at 5:30am
Manchester United are on track to become the first British club to earn more than £500m in one year despite lack of success.
Buy-to-let surge 'raising house prices'
10 Feb 2016 at 5:10pm
Surveyors are witnessing a surge of demand from buy-to-let investors which they expect to push up house prices.

Rio Tinto reports slump in profits
11 Feb 2016 at 1:50am
Rio Tinto reports a slump in net profits and drops its progressive dividend policy, hit by the fall in commodity prices.

Facebook ?colonialism' row stokes distrust
11 Feb 2016 at 1:26am
Comments by a Facebook board member could put Mark Zuckerberg's global plans on the back foot.

Burger King expands menu with hot dogs
10 Feb 2016 at 12:42pm
Burger King announces that hot dogs will be the newest addition to its menus in the US.

VIDEO: EU: A brief history of UK-Europe trade
11 Feb 2016 at 4:17pm
BBC's Allan Little considers how Britain's trading history with its European neighbours has shaped what has proved a controversial political relationship.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

Ex-trader files Carlyle whistleblower suit
11 Feb 2016 at 3:09pm
Nikhil Dhir says he warned of ?Enron-like situation? at hedge fund
Exchanges warn over investor power
11 Feb 2016 at 4:17pm
NYSE and Nasdaq among signatories of letter to lawmakers
Lending Club announces share buyback
11 Feb 2016 at 2:51pm
Chief executive Laplanche seeks to reassure investors amid recent slide in stock price
KKR bucks sector trend with profit rise
11 Feb 2016 at 10:10am
Weaker market valuations prompt ramp up in dealmaking
Bitcoin threatened by software schism
11 Feb 2016 at 9:00am
Developers release rival version of technology behind digital currency
Henderson and Ashmore fortunes diverge
11 Feb 2016 at 7:18am
Diversified fund manager profits as emerging market group suffers
SocGen shares tumble 13% on profit doubts
11 Feb 2016 at 1:18am
Bank sees risks from unstable markets and low rates
Worldpay launches into Canada
10 Feb 2016 at 5:05pm
Payments group teams up with local bank to gain domestic licence
Natixis buys 51% stake in Peter J Solomon
10 Feb 2016 at 11:36am
French bank looks to tap into US M&A boom
?Mrs Watanabe? burnt by Japan Post Bank
10 Feb 2016 at 10:40am
Plummeting shares hits new investors as negative rates shatter business model
Bridgewater is troubled over transparency
10 Feb 2016 at 9:46am
Dalio?s method of running his hedge fund seems weird, which reflects badly on dishonesty elsewhere
Cut up your credit card
10 Feb 2016 at 7:49am
The wealthier you are, the more trouble you can get into
Ricci joins currency exchange as chairman
10 Feb 2016 at 5:30am
Former Barclays executive latest banker to turn to fintech
Carlyle starts $200m share buyback
10 Feb 2016 at 5:03am
US private equity group buys back its stock as asset sales slow in the fourth quarter
Credit Suisse chief says sell-off overdone
9 Feb 2016 at 11:38pm
Thiam says Swiss bank?s balance sheet is strong and there are no liquidity issues
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.

FTSE 100 At Lowest Close Since July 2012
11 Feb 2016 at 12:54pm
Global stock markets plunge again with investors taking fright as central banks prepare to face increasing global risks.

US Must 'Be Prepared' For Negative Rates
11 Feb 2016 at 1:17pm
As central banks in Europe cut rates below zero, Janet Yellen says this is not likely in the US - but it will study the policy.

British Gas And EDF To Trim Gas Prices
11 Feb 2016 at 4:55am
British Gas says it is the only major supplier to cut gas bills three times since the start of 2015 as rival EDF trims costs too.

Accounting Giant PwC Kicks Off Brexit Debate
11 Feb 2016 at 2:07pm
The 'big four' auditor is attempting to "inform rather than persuade" its 18,000 UK staff, insiders tell Sky News.

Google Bosses On 'Different Planet' Over Tax
11 Feb 2016 at 6:58am
The president of Google Europe is questioned over its £130m tax payment for 10 years of operations in the UK.

Bank Of England Shuts Personal Banking Unit
11 Feb 2016 at 11:24am
The BoE's personal banking customers have been given until next month to make other financial arrangements, Sky News learns.

United Upbeat As Half-Year Profits Double
11 Feb 2016 at 6:25am
Manchester United's return to Champions League football boosts the club's coffers as it aims for annual revenues above £500m.

Supermarket Deals Costing Consumers £1,000
11 Feb 2016 at 8:36am
Shoppers are being lured into spending more than they planned to by offers which can be difficult to understand, a report says.

Scotsman-Owner Confirms £24m i Interest
11 Feb 2016 at 4:22am
The five-year-old national newspaper, i, could be sold off by its Russian owner as Johnston Press bids to enhance its ad share.

FTSE 100 Miner Rio Tinto Reports £600m Loss
11 Feb 2016 at 7:12am
The company falls into the red in its last financial year as "highly challenging" market conditions take their toll.
Forex Blog
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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BOJ Kuroda Says He Has More Easing Measures
3 Feb 2016 at 1:44am
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Wednesday that the central bank has ?ample room? to ramp up its easing measures and is ready to cut interest rates deeper into negative territory if necessary in order to meet his ambitious inflation target.
Drive for Japanese Yen Ongoing
2 Feb 2016 at 5:26am
The Japanese Yen inched higher during the Asian trading session, helped along by yet another decline in the price of oil which weighed on sentiment in risk appetite.
Draghi Says Further Easing Possible
2 Feb 2016 at 12:56am
Mario Draghi presented his reasons for another round of monetary easing when he spoke to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France Monday pointing to poor growth in wages and rising concerns about weak inflation which would justify more action by the European Central Bank.