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Making An International Currency Payment

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

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

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

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

Register with GCEN

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Nation - Google News
Nation - Google News
Google News

EU Help Sought Over 'Global Migration Crisis' - Sky News
1 Aug 2015 at 9:46pm

BBC News

EU Help Sought Over 'Global Migration Crisis'
Sky News
The Home Secretary calls for EU assistance to ease the Calais migrant crisis as further security measures are announced. 04:46, UK, Sunday 02 August 2015. Play video "Calls For Cameron To Get Tough" ...
Calais migrant crisis: UK and France urge EU actionBBC News
?Labour calls on David Cameron to demand compensation from France over Calais ...Western Daily Press
UK, France say ending Calais migrant crisis is 'top priority'The Indian Express
The Independent
all 962 news articles »

Jeremy Corbyn Could Bring Spirit of Syriza to UK's Labour Party - NDTV
1 Aug 2015 at 9:37pm


Jeremy Corbyn Could Bring Spirit of Syriza to UK's Labour Party
File Photo: Jeremy Corbyn takes part in a Labour Party leadership hustings event in Warrington, north west England on July 25, 2015. (AFP). submit to reddit; inShare; Add to Flipboard Magazine. Londona: Greece has Syriza, Spain has Podemos and Britain ...
Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn winThe Independent
Labour is really two parties. And they simply can't stand each otherThe Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn's crazy, but Tony Blair's heirs are a bunch of cowardsDaily Mail
Belfast Telegraph -ITV News -Herald Scotland
all 266 news articles »

CarFest crash: Oulton Park event resumes after pilot's death - BBC News
1 Aug 2015 at 7:47pm

BBC News

CarFest crash: Oulton Park event resumes after pilot's death
BBC News
The CarFest motoring event is to resume, despite the death of a pilot whose aircraft plummeted from the sky during an aerial display. Kevin Whyman, 39, was killed in the crash at Oulton Park, Cheshire, at about 14:00 BST on Saturday. But TV and radio ...
Pilot killed at UK plane festivalSky News Australia
Chris Evans holds back tears after Plane crashes at CarFest North in CheshireDaily Mail
CarFest to carry on after fatal display plane

all 252 news articles »

Rogue Peers Should Face 'Quick Suspension' - Sky News
1 Aug 2015 at 10:58pm

Daily Mail

Rogue Peers Should Face 'Quick Suspension'
Sky News
A former chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party calls for peers to be suspended immediately if they are involved in a scandal. 05:57, UK, Sunday 02 August 2015. Members Of The House Of Lords. Lord Soley has said rogue peers should face 'quick ...
Suspend scandal peers immediately, says Labour's Lord SoleyBBC News
House of Lords reform bid to fire all peers aged over 80Daily Mail
'I fear that politicians may never regain the trust of the public', says Lord
Littlehampton Gazette
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Bin Laden plane crash: jet went down in near perfect conditions - The Guardian
1 Aug 2015 at 7:10pm

The Guardian

Bin Laden plane crash: jet went down in near perfect conditions
The Guardian
Acting chief inspector Olga Venner of Hampshire police confirms an investigation into friday's plane crash at Blackbushe airport is underway. Jamie Doward. Saturday 1 August 2015 12.16 EDT Last modified on Saturday 1 August 2015 21.10 EDT. Share on ...
Osama bin Laden family members killed in UK plane crashMashable
Bin Laden family's final moments in £7m plane that crashed at Blackbushe AirportDaily Mail
Three of Osama bin Laden's family killed in plane crashIrish Independent
Herald Scotland -AsiaOne -Xinhua
all 637 news articles »

David Cameron 'cannot stand in way of second Scottish referendum' - Worcester...
31 Jul 2015 at 6:24am

Worcester News

David Cameron 'cannot stand in way of second Scottish referendum'
Worcester News
David Cameron's insistence that there will not be another Scottish independence referendum before 2020 is "his opinion" as he "can't stand in its way", SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said. The First Minister has been touring media organisations while ...

and more »

Ed Balls reveals disagreements with Ed Miliband before election - The Guardian
1 Aug 2015 at 7:22am

The Guardian

Ed Balls reveals disagreements with Ed Miliband before election
The Guardian
Ed Balls, who revealed he turned down an offer to go on ITV reality show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! after he lost his seat. Photograph: Tom White/PA. Chris Johnston · @cajuk. Saturday 1 August 2015 05.35 EDT Last modified on Saturday 1 ...
Ed Balls rejects I'm A Celebrity offer - after losing one public vote already
Ed Balls (disappointingly) turned down an offer to go on I'm A Celebrity...Get ...Irish Examiner
Ed Balls attacks Ed Miliband's anti-business rhetoricDaily Mail
The Times (subscription)
all 50 news articles »

Belfast Gay Pride: 'Why can't we get married here?' - BBC News
1 Aug 2015 at 12:26pm

BBC News

Belfast Gay Pride: 'Why can't we get married here?'
BBC News
The annual Gay Pride parade has been held in Belfast marking its 25 year anniversary in the Northern Irish capital with a renewed push for same-sex marriage. It is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal, and it was also recently ...
VIDEO:Thousands take to the streets for Belfast Pride 2015Belfast Live
Belfast Pride calls for marriage equality in the NorthIrish Times
Belfast Pride 2015: sea of colour and party atmosphere as parade gets underwayBelfast Telegraph
Belfast Newsletter -PinkNews -U.TV
all 16 news articles »

Will Jack the Ripper mystery finally be solved? Last victim's body to have DN...
1 Aug 2015 at 4:02pm

Will Jack the Ripper mystery finally be solved? Last victim's body to have DNA ...
Will Jack the Ripper mystery finally be solved? Last victim's body to have DNA tested. 23:02, 1 August 2015; By Alex Wellman. Sensational new book sheds intriguing light on the world's most infamous murders. Share; Share; Tweet; +1; Pinterest. Rex A ...
Jack the Ripper's final victim to be exhumedThe Satellite

all 24 news articles »

Labour condemns Scottish government over infrastructure capital projects - Gl...
1 Aug 2015 at 6:27pm

Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra

Labour condemns Scottish government over infrastructure capital projects
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra
Labour has called on the Scottish Government to "come clean" on delays and costs surrounding capital projects. Finance spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the SNP needs to fully address delays to eight schools, an NHS centre and a care home project which ...
Scotland hits snag in funding model for infrastructure projectsFinancial Times
Scotland's private finance infrastructure programme in turmoil after ONS rulingThe Guardian
Aberdeen Bypass ?on time and on budget? promises John SwinneyAberdeen Press and Journal -Aberdeen Evening Express
all 20 news articles »

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

Stocks Drift Higher Despite Drag From Energy Sector
1 Aug 2015 at 8:11am

The S&P 500 was up 0.15%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat. The Nasdaq gained 0.39%.

Microsoft Said to Consider Funding Uber at $50 Billion Valuation
1 Aug 2015 at 3:57am

Microsoft Corp. is considering an investment in Uber Technologies Inc. at a valuation of about $50 billion, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The software maker is still in discussions and hasn't make a final decision on whether to make the investment, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a private deal.

Cummins Looks Like a Sell, Avoid Ford and UPS
31 Jul 2015 at 11:47pm

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Exxon, Chevron Brace for Dark Times Ahead as Earnings Slump
31 Jul 2015 at 7:43pm

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. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the biggest U.S. energy producers, hunkered down for a prolonged stretch of weak prices after posting their worst quarterly performances in several years.

No charges against 2 officers in Ohio traffic stop shooting
31 Jul 2015 at 3:28pm

Two University of Cincinnati police officers who were at the scene just after a fellow officer fatally shot a driver are not being charged, a prosecutor said Friday. The Hamilton County grand jury did not return indictments against Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt.

ISP argues net neutrality rules violate its right to block content
31 Jul 2015 at 2:23pm

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules violate the free speech rights of broadband providers because the regulations take away their ability to block Web traffic they disagree with, one ISP has argued. The FCC's net neutrality rules take away broadband providers' First Amendment rights to block Web content and services, ISP Alamo Broadband argued to an appeals court this week.

Accused Charleston church gunman plans to plead guilty to federal hate crime ...
31 Jul 2015 at 11:13am

However, Bruck said that because federal officials have not decided whether to seek a death sentence for some of these charges, he did not want to enter a guilty plea yet. As a result, the judge said he would enter a not guilty plea.

Inside the underage sex scandal thata s tearing Vine apart
31 Jul 2015 at 9:08am

There is a good chance that you've never heard of Carter Reynolds, the skinny, 19-year-old Angeleno who commands an army of 4.3 million fans on the short-form video platform Vine. But when Reynolds showed up at Vidcon last week - a sort of Woodstock for Internet celebrities and their hyperventilating, underage fans - the conference hotel received so many death threats that Reynolds was promptly and unceremoniously banned.

10 Oil and Gas Companies at Risk of a Dividend Cut
31 Jul 2015 at 7:03am

NEW YORK -- Dividends are cherished by the widows and orphans set. They are a portion of earnings that companies dole out as an incentive to shareholders to buy and hold onto to their stocks.

8 Little-Known Credit Card Perks
31 Jul 2015 at 2:48am

NEW YORK - What did you look for when picking out your credit card ? You probably focused on the annual percentage rate, annual fee and rewards policy, but did you read your card's full benefits statement closely? If not, you'll be happy to know that many credit cards offer hidden perks that can save you some serious time and money. "Credit card perks come in all shapes and sizes, but many people have no idea that they're there," says Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst for .

5 Breakout Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar
30 Jul 2015 at 10:41pm

DELAFIELD, Wis. -- There isn't a day that goes by on Wall Street when certain stocks trading for $10 a share don't experience massive spikes higher.

Microsoft beats Google in closely watched patent royalty fight
30 Jul 2015 at 6:26pm

Microsoft won an appeals court ruling that may lower the rates many electronics makers pay to license technology considered standard in smartphones and computers. An appeals court in San Francisco Thursday upheld a $14.5 million jury verdict against Google as punishment for unfairly demanding what Microsoft said amounted to billions of dollars for use of patents covering Wi-Fi and video downloads.

Bill Gross Blasts Fed's - Feed-a-Fever' Interest Rates
30 Jul 2015 at 2:17pm

Bill Gross, the Pimco co-founder whose trading successes earned him the nickname of 'the Bond King,' says the Federal Reserve's ultra-low interest rates aren't a cure to the U.S.'s economic woes. They're actually part of the problem.

Shell Cuts 6,500 Jobs and Slashes Spending on Prolonged Downturn
30 Jul 2015 at 12:07pm

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. Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it's preparing for a "prolonged downturn" by cutting thousands of jobs and slashing billions of dollars in investments over the next two years.

Time Warner Cable misses Street 2Q forecasts
30 Jul 2015 at 7:57am

Time Warner Cable Inc. on Thursday reported a drop in second-quarter profit as higher costs offset a boost in subscriber growth. The cable company reported a 7.2 percent drop in profit to $463 million, or $1.62 per share.

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

Lloyds Bank PPI bill tops £13bn
31 Jul 2015 at 1:06am
Lloyds Banking Group's claims bill for PPI tops £13bn as it sets aside a further £1.4bn to compensate customers.
'Progress' but no deal at TPP talks
31 Jul 2015 at 10:13pm
Twelve Pacific nations fail to agree a regional trade deal which would cover 40% of the world economy, despite talk of "significant progress".

Bitcoin chief arrested in Japan
1 Aug 2015 at 1:27am
The founder of MtGox - once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange - is arrested by Japanese police investigating losses of nearly $400m.

British oil company investigated
1 Aug 2015 at 8:26am
The Serious Fraud Office opens a criminal investigation into British company Soma Oil and Gas.

Swiss central bank in 50bn franc loss
31 Jul 2015 at 3:36am
The soaring value of the Swiss franc against the euro leads Switzerland's central bank to report a first half loss of 50bn francs.

Greek PM defends ex-finance minister
31 Jul 2015 at 7:23am
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras defends his former finance minister in a row over an "emergency plan" in case of Greece's exit from the euro.

NatWest: Our website was 'targeted'
31 Jul 2015 at 9:33am
NatWest Bank has blamed earlier problems with its website on a series of deliberate attacks, known as a distributed denial of service (DDoS)

Sanctions lifted on two Iran oil firms
31 Jul 2015 at 12:17pm
The European Union has removed two Iranian oil companies from its sanctions list in the first such action since Iran's nuclear deal.

Private rents rising by 2.5% a year
31 Jul 2015 at 4:14am
Rents paid to private landlords in Britain went up by 2.5% over the last year, the fastest rise for two-and-a-half years, according to the ONS

Weak oil prices hit Exxon and Chevron
31 Jul 2015 at 8:00am
Two of the US's biggest companies report sharply lower quarterly results because of falling oil prices.

BA owner IAG in big profits jump
31 Jul 2015 at 1:18am
BA and Iberia owner International Airlines Group (IAG) reports a big jump in second quarter profits.

Eurozone inflation holds steady
31 Jul 2015 at 3:54am
A drop in energy prices offset a rise in industrial goods and helped keep the eurozone's inflation rate at 0.2% in July.
Etihad sued over obese passenger
31 Jul 2015 at 2:56am
An Australian plane passenger, who says he suffered back pain after being seated next to an overweight man, is suing Etihad Airways.

Celebrity fitness chain to go public
30 Jul 2015 at 3:56pm
SoulCycle, the indoor cycling fitness chain with a celebrity following in the US, including David Beckham and Lady Gaga, plans to float on the stock market.

VIDEO: Boom-bust capitalism in the US
31 Jul 2015 at 9:04am
Colm O'Regan takes a look at the post-war boom and onset of consumer capitalism in the United States.
Financial services company news -
Financial services company news -

Movers & shakers: August 3
1 Aug 2015 at 7:11pm
Laurence Tosi appointed chief financial officer at Airbnb after leaving Blackstone
Europe freezes Cayman hedge funds out
1 Aug 2015 at 7:05pm
Most large managers denied Europe-wide marketing ?passport?
Pensions beat funds on gender diversity
1 Aug 2015 at 7:02pm
Females occupy nearly a fifth of senior roles at large investors
Fund houses undaunted by China woes
1 Aug 2015 at 7:02pm
Foreign asset managers remain committed to maintaining their exposure to mainland stocks
Goldman out of top 10 Europe managers
1 Aug 2015 at 7:02pm
Goldman Sachs and Natixis replaced by DeAWM and Invesco in list of bestselling fund managers
Honeywell ?buys? debt-ridden pension funds
1 Aug 2015 at 7:02pm
Company acquires two unrelated defined benefit schemes in deal for Elster
Pensioners promised sky-high parking yields
31 Jul 2015 at 2:44pm
Doubts raised over airport investment scheme with 8% two-year guarantee
How to?.?.?.?avoid holiday scams
31 Jul 2015 at 11:27am
Fraudsters are exploiting the trend to book villas and apartments online direct with owners
HSBC nears $4bn sale of Brazilian arm
31 Jul 2015 at 11:15am
Bank also in exclusive talks to sell Turkish operations to ING
Businesses use art to shape their image
31 Jul 2015 at 9:36am
Global companies with an eye on the bigger picture invest in contemporary creations
Reality bites for European banks
31 Jul 2015 at 8:50am
The pitfalls of long-held global ambitions are becoming clearer
Osborne ?itching? to start sale of RBS
31 Jul 2015 at 8:42am
UK Chancellor keen to offload the 80% state stake held since financial crisis bailout
London?s bright lights lure traders back
31 Jul 2015 at 8:35am
Financiers value lifestyle over Switzerland?s lower tax bill
BoE admits it was subject of police probe
31 Jul 2015 at 8:01am
Investigation focused on suspicion of monetary policy leaks to crime family
Short-sellers step up assault on Noble
31 Jul 2015 at 6:24am
Commodities trader comes under fire as it enters blackout stopping it from buying back shares
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.

Calais Migrant Crisis: Firms Count The Cost
31 Jul 2015 at 1:34pm
Companies are reporting millions of pounds in losses due to delays on the M20 and the cost of writing-off stock.

ITV Threatens Ministers Over Catch-Up Reforms
31 Jul 2015 at 8:52am
ITV has engaged a leading QC to challenge ministers' plans to overhaul broadcasters' digital catch-up services, Sky News learns.

Lloyds Sets Aside Extra £1.4bn For PPI Payouts
31 Jul 2015 at 2:54am
Although half-year profits have risen to £1.2bn, Lloyds describes the additional provision for the PPI scandal as "disappointing".

Claims Firms Get £1.7bn From Lloyds PPI Scandal
31 Jul 2015 at 6:39am
Internal Lloyds estimates obtained by Sky News suggest that £1.7bn of its £13.4bn PPI mis-selling pot has gone to claims firms.

Greece Begins Talks For Third Bailout Of ?85bn
31 Jul 2015 at 5:29am
Alexis Tsipras' government has three weeks to secure funding - but the IMF has warned it will not be involved in financing a deal.

IAG Profits Rise 40% As Aer Lingus Deal Nears
31 Jul 2015 at 3:06am
Quarterly profits for the British Airways owner beat forecasts, as the group signals its takeover of Aer Lingus is near complete.

NatWest, RBS In Online Banking Problems
31 Jul 2015 at 10:23am
An IT glitch leaves many unable to access online banking - but NatWest say the system is now back to normal.

IoD Chief Calls For Early EU Referendum
30 Jul 2015 at 7:25pm
Simon Walker will argue that the UK's EU presidency in 2017 means the referendum should be held sooner, Sky News understands.

British Gas Profit Up 99% As Owner Cuts Jobs
30 Jul 2015 at 12:29pm
Some 4,000 jobs are to go at Centrica while its household supply business attracts criticism for a 99% rise in half-year profits.

US Records Second Quarter GDP Growth Of 2.3%
30 Jul 2015 at 8:21am
There is mixed news for the US economy as the Federal Reserve mulls the timing of a possible interest rate rise.
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Loonie and Aussie Share Downward Bond
by Adam Kritzer
30 Jun 2011 at 9:15am

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

As it turns out, the forex markets are currently treating the Loonie and the Aussie as inseparable. According to, the AUD/USD and CAD/USD are trading with a 92.5% correlation, the second highest in forex (behind only the CHFUSD and AUDUSD). The fact that the two have been numerically correlated (see chart below) for the better part of 2011 can also be discerned with a cursory glance at the charts above.

Why is this the case? As it turns out, there are a handful of reasons. First of all, both have earned the dubious characterization of “commodity currency,” which basically means that a rise in commodity prices is matched by a proportionate appreciation in the Aussie and Loonie, relative to the US dollar. You can see from the chart above that the year-long commodities boom and sudden drop corresponded with similar movement in commodity currencies. Likewise, yesterday’s rally coincided with the biggest one-day rise in the Canadian Dollar in the year-to-date.

Beyond this, both currencies are seen as attractive proxies for risk. Even though the chaos in the eurozone has very little actual connection to the Loonie and Aussie (which are fiscally sound, geographically distinct, and economically insulated from the crisis), the two currencies have recently taken their cues from political developments in Greece, of all things. Given the heightened sensitivity to risk that has arisen both from the sovereign debt crisis and global economic slowdown, it’s no surprise that investors have responded cautiously by unwinding bets on the Canadian dollar.

Finally, the Bank of Canada is in a very similar position to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Both central banks embarked on a cycle of monetary tightening in 2010, only to suspend rate hikes in 2011, due to uncertainty over near-term growth prospects. While GDP growth has indeed moderated in both countries, price inflation has not. In fact, the most recent reading of Canadian CPI was 3.7%, which is well above the BOC’s comfort zone. Further complicating the picture is the fact that the Loonie is near a record high, and the BOC remains wary of further stoking the fires of appreciation by making it more attractive to carry traders.

In the near-term, then, the prospects for further appreciation are not good. The currency’s rise was so solid in 2009-2010 that it now seems the forex markets may have gotten ahead of themselves. A pullback towards parity – and beyond – seems like the only realistic possibility. If/when the global economy stabilizes, central banks resume heightening, and risk appetite increases, you can be sure that the Loonie (and the Aussie) will pick up where they left off.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Tide is Turning for the Aussie due to lower commodity prices, low interest ra...
by Adam Kritzer
29 Jun 2011 at 10:40am

“Australia is about to enter a boom that should last decades…The Australian dollar is unlikely to go back to where it was, and manufacturing will shrink in importance to the economy, perhaps even faster than it has been.” This, according to Martin Parkinson, Treasury Minister of Australia. While 30 years from now, Mr. Parkinson’s prognosis might probe to be accurate, I’m not so sure it applies to the period 3 months from now. Here’s why:

First of all, the putative economic boom that is taking place in Australia is being driven entirely by high commodity prices and surging production and exports. Since peaking at the end of April, commodity prices have fallen mightily. You can see from the chart above that there continues to exist a tight correlation between the AUD/USD and commodities prices. As commodities prices have fallen over the last two months, so has the Australian Dollar.

In addition, while demand will probably remain strong over the long-term, it may very well slacken over the short-term, due to declining economic growth across the industrialized world.  Consider also that Australia’s largest market for commodity exports – China – may have difficulty sustaining a GDP growth rate of 10%, and at the very least, new fixed-asset investment (which necessitates demand for raw materials) will temporarily peak in the immediate future.

Finally, the mining sector directly accounts for only 8% of Australia’s economy, which means that only to a limited extent to high commodities prices contribute to the bottom line of Australian GDP. This notion is reinforced by the 1.2% economic contraction in the second quarter – the biggest decline in 20 years – and the fact that GDP is basically flat over the last three quarters. Many non-mining economic indicators are sagging, and the number of corporate bankruptcies is 10% higher than in 2010. In the end, then, the ebb and flow of Australia’s fortune depends less on commodities, and more on other sectors.

Mr. Parkinson’s optimistic forecasts might also be undermined in the short-term by a looser-than-expected monetary policy. The Reserve Bank of Australia last hiked its benchmark interest rate in November 2010, and may not hike again for a few more months due to moderating economic growth and proportionally moderate inflation. Given that an attractive interest rate differential may be driving some of the speculative activity that has girded the Aussie’s rise, a decline in this differential could likewise propel it downward.

That’s because anecdotal reports suggest that the Australian Dollar remains a popular long currency for carry traders, funded by shorting the US Dollar, and to a lesser extent, Japanese Yen. Given that many of these carry trades are heavily leveraged, it wouldn’t take much to trigger a short squeeze and a rapid decline in the AUD/USD. For evidence of this phenomenon, one has to look no further back than May 2010, when the Aussie fell 10-15% in only three weeks.

Ultimately, as one commentator recently pointed out, the Aussie’s 70% rise since 2008 might better be seen as US Dollar weakness (which also catalyzed the rise in commodity prices). The apparent stabilizing of the dollar, then, might let some air out of the currency down under.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Emerging Market Currencies Brace for Correction Due to Market Uncertainty and...
by Adam Kritzer
28 Jun 2011 at 2:42am

“It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,” begins Charles Dickens’ The Tale of Two Cities. In 2011, the winter of despair was followed by the spring of uncertainty. Due to the earthquake/tsunami in Japan, the continued tribulations of Greece, rising commodity prices, and growing concern over the global economic recovery, volatility in the forex markets has risen, and investors are unclear as to how to proceed. For now at least, they are responding by dumping emerging market currencies.

As you can see from the chart above (which shows a cross-section of emerging market forex), most currencies peaked in the beginning of May and have since sold-off significantly. If not for the rally that started off the year, all emerging market currencies would probably be down for the year-to-date, and in fact many of them are anyway. Still, the returns for even the top performers are much less spectacular than in 2009 and 2010. Similarly, the MSCI Emerging Markets Stock Index is down 3.5% in the YTD, and the JP Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index (EMBI+) has risen 4.5% (which is reflects declining growth forecasts as much as perceptions of increasing creditworthiness).

There are a couple of factors that are driving this ebbing of sentiment. First of all, risk appetite is waning. Over the last couple months, every flareup in the eurozone debt crisis coincided with a sell-off in emerging markets. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Central and eastern European currencies that are seen as being most vulnerable to financial turmoil in the euro zone have underperformed.” Economies further afield, such as Turkey and Russia, have also experienced weakness in their respective currencies. Some analysts believe that because emerging economies are generally more fiscally sound than their fundamental counterparts, that they are inherently less risky. Unfortunately, while this proposition makes theoretical sense, you can be assured that a default by a member of the eurozone will trigger a mass exodus into safe havens – NOT into emerging markets.

While emerging market Asia and South America is somewhat insulated from eurozone fiscal problems. On the other hand, they remain vulnerable to an economic slowdown in China and to rising inflation. Emerging market central banks have avoided making significant interest rate hikes (hence, rising bond prices) – for fear of inviting further capital inflow and stoking currency appreciation – and the result has been rising price inflation. You can see from the chart above that the darkest areas (symbolizing higher inflation) are all located in emerging economic regions. While high inflation is not inherently problematic, it is not difficult to conceive of a downward spiral into hyperinflation. Again, a sudden bout of monetary instability would send investors rushing to the exits.

While most analysts (myself included) remain bullish on emerging markets over the long-term, many are laying off in the short-term. “RBC emerging market strategist Nick Chamie says his team has recommended ‘defensive posturing’ to clients since May 5 and isn’t recommending new bullish emerging currency bets right now….HSBC said Thursday that it isn’t recommending outright short positions on emerging market currencies to clients but suggested a more ‘cautious’ and selective approach in making currency bets.” This phenomenon will be exacerbated by the fact that market activity typically slows down in the summer chart above courtesy of Forex Magnates) as traders go on vacation. With less liquidity and an inability to constantly monitor one’s portfolio, traders will be loathe to take on risky positions.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend NO QE3: What are the Implications for the Dollar?
by Adam Kritzer
25 Jun 2011 at 7:28am

The verdict is nearly in; there will be no QE3. The second round of quantitative easing (?QE2?) will expire at the end of this month, and while it will not be unwound for quite some time, the Fed has indicated that it will not be followed by yet another round. The question on the minds of forex traders, of course, is what does this mean for the Dollar?

In his most recent press conference, Ben Bernanke, himself, indicated that QE3 was unlikely. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg News, the majority of FX analysts (65%) believe him. Simply, the circumstances don?t support further easing. To be sure, the unemployment rate remains high, and the economy is teetering on the verge of double-dip recession. However, the last two rounds did little to address either of these problems, and companies have hoarded cash rather than investing in new plant and workers.

Interest rates are still hovering around record lows, and there isn?t anything to be gained from trying to lower them further. Besides, given that inflation is now above 3% ? due to an explosion in good and energy prices ? QE3 would simply be too risky. Economist Ken Goldstein summarized the situation as follows: “We will come to the end of QE2 and largely we mark about how little happened when it ended and that?s also an argument about why there may not be persuasive argument to do a QE3.”

On the other hand, there are some analysts who think that QE3 is inevitable (29%). PIMCO?s Bill Gross, manager of the world?s biggest bond fund, recently indicated that, ?Next Jackson Hole in August will likely hint at QE3/interest rate caps.? (Personally, I think that he?s probably just bitter that his forecast of a decline in Treasury Bond prices hasn?t materialized). One columnist wrote that the Fed?s arm will be twisted by the ongoing collapse of the housing market, while others have argued that the recent decline in the S&P 500 will spur the Fed into action. Most of us, however, believe that the Fed will adopt a wait-and-see approach before ultimately conceding that more easing is necessary.

For now at least, then, the prevailing assumption is that there will not be a QE3. As for how forex markets have digested this news, they have taken it in stride. The Dollar is now holding its value, and as I wrote in a previous post, it may even have bottomed out. Of course, it doesn?t hurt that the Euro is being punished by another flare-up in the sovereign debt crisis and investors are getting nervous about bubbles in emerging market currencies, all of which provide support for the dollar.

The fact that QE2 will soon end without having triggered financial apocalypse or hyperinflation ? as some cassandras initially predicted ? is something that is worth nothing. Of course, the proceeds of QE1 and QE2 will be recycled indefinitely into the markets, and forex investors can?t completely put quantitative easing behind them. Still, that there won’t be any more additional cash injected into commodities markets and emerging economy asset markets means that one of the main sources of downward pressure on the dollar has been eliminated.

Ironically, it is possible that the unveiling of QE3 could actually cause the dollar to rally. The reason is that there is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the markets, which provides the dollar with some safe haven demand. If the Fed were to concede that all is not well on the economic front and respond by more money printing, it could drive some safe haven flows into the US, even to the extent that it would overwhelm outflows driven by concerns over inflation.

Personally, I think the dollar will continue to hold its value, and perhaps even appreciate slightly in the near-term, as forex markets dither over the way forward. SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Swiss Franc is the Only Safe Haven Currency. The Franc is Starting to Distanc...
by Adam Kritzer
23 Jun 2011 at 10:11am

According to conventional market wisdom, there are three safe haven currencies: the Swiss Franc, Japanese Yen, and US Dollar. It is to these currencies that investors flock whenever there is a crisis, or merely an outbreak of uncertainty, and for much of the period following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the three were closely correlated. As you can see from the chart below, however, one of these currencies has begun to distinguish itself from the other two, leading some to argue that there is now only one true safe haven currency: the Swiss Franc.

What’s not to like about the Franc? It boasts a strong economy, low inflation, and low unemployment. Unlike the US and Japan, Switzerland is not plagued by a high national debt and perennial budget deficits. Its monetary policy has been extremely conservative: no quantitative easing, asset-purchases, or any other money printing programs with euphemistic names.

Ironically, the only thing that makes investors nervous about the franc is that it has already risen so much. Remember when it reached the milestone of parity against the dollar in 2010? Since then, it has appreciated by an additional 20%, and seems to breach a new record on an almost weekly basis. The same goes for the CHF/EUR and CHF/JPY. The President of Switzerland’s export association is expecting further gains: “Parity is a realistic scenario. Given the indebtedness of the eurozone and the strong attraction of the franc, the euro is likely to continue to lose value.”

Given that Swiss exports have surged in spite of (or even because of) the rising Franc, however, he has very little to worry about at the moment. As you can see fromt he graphic below (courtesy of the Financial Times), the balance of trade continues to expand, and has exploded in a handful of key sectors. To be sure, economists expect that this situation will eventually correct itself and are already moving to revise downward 2011 and 2012 GDP growth estimates. Then again, they made the same erroneous predictions in 2010.

The main variable in the Swiss Franc is the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Having booked a loss of CHF 20 Billion from failed intervention in 2010, the SNB is not in a position to make the same mistake again. In fact, SNB President Philipp Hildebrand has not even stooped to verbal intervention this time around, undoubtedly cognizant of the fact that he has very little credibility in forex markets.

At the same time, the SNB is not in any hurry to raise interest rates, lest it stoke further speculative interest in the Franc. Its June meeting came and went without any indication of when it might tighten. Interest rate futures currently reflect an expectation that the first rate hike won’t come until March 2012. Thus, the downside of holding the Franc is that it will continue to pay a negative real interest rate. The only upside, then, is the possibility of further appreciation. Fortunately, the SNB is unlikely to stop the Franc from rising, since it serves the same monetary end as higher interest rates. In other words, a more valuable Franc serves as a direct check on inflation because it lowers the cost of commodity imports and should (eventually) soften demand for Swiss exports.

It is possible that the Swiss Franc will suffer a correction at some point, if only because it rose by such a large margin in such a short period of time. On the other hand, given that its economy has proved its ability to withstand the Franc’s appreciation, it’s no wonder that investors continue to bet on its rise.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Is it Possible to Trade Forex Part-time?
by Adam Kritzer
22 Jun 2011 at 10:17am

This week, I came across an article in the San Francisco Gate (which, incidentally, has really ramped up its forex coverage over the last year) that addressed this very topic. Given that part-time forex traders probably outnumber those that practice the craft full-time, such an article was long overdue.

In sum, the author advises part-time traders to concentrate their trading during the busiest times of the day, or failing that, to simply trade the most active currency pairs during the period of the day that one happens to have time to trade. For example, if you wish to trade the USD/EUR but only have a limited amount of time to do so, you are advised to trade the opening of the New York and/or London sessions, at 8AM EST and 3AM EST, respectively. Alternatively, if you only have time to trade from midnight to 2am, for example, you are advised to trade currency pairs in which the quote currency is the Yen, because during that time the Tokyo session is “in full swing.”

Alas, this kind of strategy is based on a very dubious assumption, which is that you should aim to trade the currency pairs which are both the most liquid and most volatile (ignore the contradiction here), because this will yield the most profits. In other words, it’s easy to capture profits when trading pairs that tend to bounce around a lot and which are cheap and easy to buy and sell. Right?

If you read the Forex Blog with any regularity and are ware that my bend is towards fundamental analysis, it’s probably already obvious to you that I don’t think this is necessarily the case. Consider that forex is a zero-sum game. In other words, on average, 50% of traders win and 50% lose. [When you account for trading costs (i.e. spreads), its probably closer to 30% win and 70% lose, but let’s ignore this for the sake of argument]. Thus, the way I see it, a trader that enters the market during the busiest times has the same chance of winning (~50%) as a different trader that enters the market during the least busy time of day. Either way you cut it, someone has to win and someone has to lose, and no amount of liquidity or volatility can rectify this situation.

Thus, my advice for part-time traders is to forget trading altogether. If you don’t have the time to constantly monitor the market, pore over charts, and develop technical strategy, the odds of winning are pretty low. On the other hand, why not shift your focus from trading to investing? Trading is difficult under the best of circumstances and even more difficult when you don’t have enough time to make a real commitment.

The only way around this is to shift your time horizon from minutes to days – or even weeks. This way, it won’t matter when you have time to trade. Spreads might be marginally higher (as evidenced in the spikes in he chart above, which shows how spreads fluctuate over time) for the USD/EUR at midnight than at 8am, but if you’re planning on holding the pair for more than 10 seconds (and your target profit is greater than 15 pips), this is basically irrelevant.

This way, you also don’t have to worry about carefully planning your entry and exit into positions. Entering a swing trade with a targeted profit of 500pips is probably just as good at 4am as it is at 7am, all else being equal. While this doesn’t necessarily increase the odds of success (above 50%), at least it gives you a great deal more flexibility in being a part-time trader.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Japanese Yen In "No Man's Land." When will the BOJ Intervene to stop its rise?
by Adam Kritzer
20 Jun 2011 at 8:52am

This, according to a hedge fund manager that has decided to cancel all of his fund’s bearish bets on the Japanese Yen. The reason: the yen is rising, and it’s unclear when – or even if – the government will intervene to push it back down. Even though the yen’s strength is fundamentally illogical, it seems that investors are growing increasingly wary of betting against it.

As I pointed out in my previous post on the Yen (“Japanese Yen Strength is Illogical, but Does it Matter?“), the yen has actually fallen over the last twelve months, on a correlation weighted basis (though to be fair, it has staged a pretty impressive comeback since the beginning of April). Unfortunately, investors mainly care about how it is performing against a handful of key currencies, namely the US Dollar. Simply, the yen continues to rise against the dollar, and it is unclear when it will stop.

Japanese government analysis has indeed confirmed that “speculators” are behind the strong yen, as the alleged wide-scale repatriation of yen by Japanese insurance companies has yet to materialize. Of course, there isn’t really much doubt: Japan’s economy is contracting, due to decrease in output spurred by the tsunami. In May, it recorded its second largest monthly trade deficit ever.

Meanwhile, interest rates and bond yields are pathetically low, and the Bank of Japan is being urged to expand its asset buying program, which would theoretically result in a devaluation of the yen. As  a result, retail Japanese forex traders (nicknamed “Mrs. Watanabes“) have resumed shorting the Yen as part of a carry trade strategy.

Alas, speculators either don’t share their pessimism or are running out of patience. While everyone continues to assume that the BOJ will intervene if the Yen rises to 80 against the dollar, no one can be sure whether the line in the sand might not be 78 or even 75. At this point, intervention seems to hinge more on politics than on economics, which means predicting it is beyond the scope of this post. In other words, “There is too much uncertainty and volatility in markets right now to make that yen trade appealing.” And sure enough, the most recent Commitments of Traders data shows that speculators have been re-building their yen long positions over the last month.

In the end, the speculators are probably right. The Bank of Japan has intervened twice over the last twelve months, and the impact has always been short-lived. Besides, given that many speculators still remain committed to shorting the yen, it remains extraordinarily vulnerable to the kind of short squeeze that sent it soaring 5% in a single session en route to the record high it touched in March.

I’m personally still bearish on the yen, but I also think it’s too risky to short it against the dollar, which seems to be declining for its own reasons. As you can see from the chart below, the yen has fallen against virtually every other major currency. Yen shorters, then, might be wise to avoid the dollar altogether and focus instead on any number of other currencies. SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Forex Volatility Continues Rising. What are the Implications for the Euro?
by Adam Kritzer
17 Jun 2011 at 9:38am

This week witnessed another flareup in the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. As a result, volatility in the EUR/USD pair surged, by some measures to a record high. Even though the Euro rallied yesterday and today, this suggests that investors remain nervous, and that going forward, the euro could embark on a steep decline.

There are a couple of forex volatility indexes. The JP Morgan G7 Volatility Index is based on the implied volatility in 3-month currency options and is one of the broadest measures of forex volatility. As you can see from the chart above, the index is closing in on year-to-date high (excluding the spike in March caused by the Japanese tsunami), and is generally entrenched in an upward trend. Barring day-to-day spikes, however, it will take months to confirm the direction of this trend.

For specific volatility measurements, there is no better source of data than (whose founder, Arnaud Jeulin, I interviewed only last month). Here, you can find data on more than 30 currency pairs, charted across multiple time periods. You can see for the EUR/USD pair in particular that volatility is now at the highest point in 2011 and is closing in on a two-year high.

Meanwhile, the so-called risk-reversal rate for Euro currency options touched 3.1, which is greater than the peak of the credit crisis. This indicator represents a proxy for investor concerns that the Euro will collapse suddenly, and its high level suggests that this is indeed a growing concern. In addition, implied volatility in options contracts has jumped dramatically over the last week, which confirms that investors expect the euro to move dramatically over the next month.

What does all of this mean? In a nutshell, it shows that panic is rising in the forex markets. Last month, I used this notion as a basis for arguing that the dollar safe-haven trade will make a come-back. This would still seem to be the case, and should also benefit the Swiss Franc, which is nearing an all-time high against the euro. Naturally, it also implies that forex investors remain extremely concerned about a continued decline in the euro, and are rushing to hedge their exposure and/or close out long positions altogether. suggests that this could make the EUR/USD an interesting pair to trade, since large swings in either direction will necessarily create opportunities for traders. While I have no opinion on such indiscriminate trading [I prefer to make directional bets based on fundamentals], I must nonetheless acknowledge the logic of such a strategy. SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend Euro Nears Breaking Point
by Adam Kritzer
16 Jun 2011 at 8:33am

It’s deja vu all over again in the forex markets as another twist in the sovereign debt crisis has sent the euro tumbling by the greatest margin in nearly a year. It was only last month that I posted “The Euro (Still) has a Greek Problem,” and yet, forex markets are once again reacting to the possibility of a Greek default as thought it were a new development. At the very least, investors finally seem to be acknowledging the inevitable.

There have been several factors at work in this latest episode. On Monday, S&P downgraded its credit rating for Greece to CCC, following on a similar move by Moody’s. That means that Greece’s sovereign credit rating is now the lowest in the world, behind such eminent economies as Grenada and Ecuador. While the move was hardly noteworthy in itself, it represents one more straw on the camel’s back.

Greece’s government is increasingly unstable, and Prime Minister George Papandreou has become so desperate that he has suggested forming an alliance with Greece’s most powerful opposition party. Meanwhile, violent riots outside Greek Parliament have reportedly become a daily occurrence, as the Greek populace has proven unwilling to accept wage cuts and tax increases.

As if that weren’t enough, there is tremendous uncertainty surrounding the next stage of the Greek bailout. No one can agree on what amount to give and what should be stipulated in return. Some parties think that private investors should be involved in the bailout by taking a “haircut” on the bonds that they own. Some members of the eurozone are balking about contributing any funds at all, wary of justifying it to their own citizens and that it is merely forestalling the inevitable.

I think the NYTimes offered the best summary: “Funding fatigue is growing in the north European creditor countries, especially Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria, just as austerity fatigue is mounting in Greece.” When you consider that Greek interest rates and credit default swap spreads have surged to record highs, it seems that default is really inevitable. If the IMF and European Union are so determined, they can push off default until 2013. Still, default now or default then is still default.

At this point, then, the only real question is what happens when Greece defaults. Will it be forced to leave the Eurozone? Will that push the rest of the Eurozone fringe closer towards default? Will the Euro collapse and cease to exist as a currency? What will happen then?

Unfortunately, I think the answer to all of these questions is yes. At the very least, Greece will be forced out of the eurozone. Bondholders will push interest rates in Ireland, Spain, and Portugal up to double-digit levels, trapping them in the same cycle in which Greece is currently ensnared. Given the exposure of French and German banks to the sovereign debt of financially troubled eurozone members, they will also require state bailouts, and so on.

In a recent op-ed published in The Financial Times, celebrity economies Nouriel Roubini argued that the only way to avoid a complete eurozone meltdown is if the euro depreciates rapidly “to restore competitiveness to the periphery” or if the European Union is able to rapidly achieve complete fiscal and economic union. Roubini argues that the former is difficult because of the ECB’s hawkishness, while the latter is precluded by political hurdles that remain too formidable to overcome.

As Greece inches ever closer to default, the markets will increasingly become gripped by utter uncertainty over the questions that I posed above. Central Banks will stop accumulating euro-denominated assets, and investment funds will similarly shun Europe. (In fact, there is already evidence that this is happening). While European interest rates are attractive relative to the rest of the G4, they are hardly enough to compensate investors for this uncertainty. And when the markets come to terms with this, the euro might finally reach its breaking point.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend S&P 500 Decouples from Euro?
by Adam Kritzer
14 Jun 2011 at 9:58am

While I have written quite about forex correlations in recent posts, the focus has primarily been on correlations that exist between currencies. In this post, I would like to address a correlation that exists between currencies and other forex markets- specifically the relationship between the Euro and US stocks.

If you look at the chart above, you can see that an unmistakable correlation exists between the S&P500 and the EUR/USD that stretches back at least six months. Generally speaking, when the EURUSD has risen, so has the S&P 500, and vice versa. In fact, this correlation is so airtight that one analyst recently discovered that the two financial vehicles often reach intra-day highs and lows within minutes of one another!

Why is this the case? In a nutshell, it is because the Euro – especially relative to the dollar – is a proxy for risk appetite. The same is necessarily true for US stocks. When investors are confident in the strength of the global economic recovery and the possibility of crisis is distant, the euro will rise. This has nothing to do with fundamentals in Europe, which are probably at least as bad as they are in the US. Of course, it may be connected with dollar weakness, since it is arguably the case that quantitative easing has both depressed the dollar and buoyed US stocks.

As I intimated in the title of this post, however, the S&P recently decoupled from the euro. Since the beginning of June, US equities have declined sharply, to the extent that they have given back most of their gains in the year-to-date. The EUR/USD, meanwhile, continued rising all the way until last week. While this has happened on a couple previous occasions, this was perhaps the sharpest break between the two.

I’m personally at a loss to explain why this happened. It has been conjectured that the driving force behind the correlation is algorithmic trading, and that hence, it must also represent the source of the break. In other words, high-frequency traders – which account for an ever-increasing proportion of forex volume – tweaked their trading algorithms so as not to buy the S&P 500 when the EURUSD rises, and vice versa.

It’s probably also the case that S&P 500 was falling for endogenous reasons- specifically a decline in GDP growth and earnings expectations which need not necessarily reflect itself in a stronger euro. In fact, in a normal functioning market, you would expect an inverse correlation; strong US economic fundamentals should translate into both a strong dollar and rising stocks. Could it be that worsening fundamentals are manifesting themselves in the form of a weak dollar and weak stocks?

Alas, the correlation has re-established itself over the last week, which means this is largely a moot issue. At the very least, it’s still worth being aware of, both insofar as it remains intact and in the event that it breaks down again.

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