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

Osborne claims cuts will put Britain £23bn in the black - The Times (subscrip...
17 Dec 2014 at 3:29pm

The Times (subscription)

Osborne claims cuts will put Britain £23bn in the black
The Times (subscription)
George Osborne confirmed yesterday that he is targeting a huge budget surplus, as a poll suggested public unease over the size of his planned cuts. The chancellor said that spending plans he submitted to the government's independent budget watchdog did ...
George Osborne gambles on spending cuts despite slip in voter supportThe Guardian
Labour goes after George Osborne for new 'extreme and ideological' budget cut ...The Independent
UK's Osborne accused of claiming false victory in EU budget rowDaily Mail
Financial Times -Yorkshire Post
all 38 news articles »

Al-Sweady Inquiry: UK army murder claims 'deliberate lies' - BBC News
17 Dec 2014 at 8:05pm

BBC News

Al-Sweady Inquiry: UK army murder claims 'deliberate lies'
BBC News
Allegations of murder and torture made against British soldiers by Iraqi detainees were "deliberate lies", a five-year public inquiry has ruled. The £31m Al-Sweady Inquiry found claims that up to 20 Iraqis were killed and mutilated after a 2004 battle were ...
Al Sweady Inquiry: British troops did mistreat Iraqis but UK army murder claims ...Belfast Telegraph
Nine Iraqis Were Mistreated in British Custody, Report SaysNew York Times
Torture claims against British soldiers a 'attempt to use legal system to attack our ...Daily Mail
Herald Scotland -Scotsman -Telegraph.co.uk
all 284 news articles »

Panic alarms for Scots soldier who battled IS - Scotsman
17 Dec 2014 at 5:02pm

Scotsman

Panic alarms for Scots soldier who battled IS
Scotsman
Two ex-British soldiers who travelled to Syria to fight against the Islamic State have had panic alarms fitted to their homes upon their return for fear of reprisals from extremists. Jamie Read, 24, who lives in Newmains, North Lanarkshire, and James Hughes, 26 ...
Malvern man who joined fight against Islamic State returns homeWorcester News
Britons who went to fight Isis in Syria made death pactThe Times (subscription)
British ex-soldiers make death pact while fighting alongside Kurdish forces ...The Independent
Daventry Express
all 30 news articles »

Security committee's redactions vow - Belfast Telegraph
17 Dec 2014 at 5:10pm

Belfast Telegraph

Security committee's redactions vow
Belfast Telegraph
A parliamentary intelligence watchdog has pledged to uncover whether redactions to a US report on brutal CIA torture methods were requested by UK authorities to "avoid embarrassment". Also in this Section. Osborne to sell £3bn Lloyds shares · Mail sale ...
MI6 and MI5 to be grilled to see if they had CIA torture report redacted to 'avoid ...Telegraph.co.uk

all 39 news articles »

UK premier fights to put US-EU trade talks back on track - Financial Times
17 Dec 2014 at 4:12pm

Financial Times

UK premier fights to put US-EU trade talks back on track
Financial Times
David Cameron will join industry bodies and other European leaders on Thursday to demand fresh impetus in talks on a transatlantic trade deal amid fears that hopes for an agreement next year are fading. The UK prime minister will use a European summit in ...
CBI urges Europe leaders to seal Transatlantic trade dealYorkshire Post
Nick Clegg attempts to calm NHS worries over EU-US trade dealThe Guardian
CITY INTERVIEW: Former BT chief Ian Livingston is battling to boost Britain as ...This is Money
Liberal Democrats
all 10 news articles »

Church ministers to sign covenant against gay ordination - Herald Scotland
17 Dec 2014 at 5:12pm

stv.tv

Church ministers to sign covenant against gay ordination
Herald Scotland
EVANGELICALS opposed to gay ordination are forming a protest movement against greater acceptance of homosexual and lesbian ministers in the Church of Scotland. EVANGELICALS opposed to gay ordination are forming a protest movement against ...
Sever support for KirkTimes Higher Education
Church of Scotland presbyteries vote to appoint gay ministersBBC News
Free Church of Scotland will 'welcome' Church of Scotland membersstv.tv
Edinburgh Evening News
all 15 news articles »

Wednesday's National Newspaper Front Pages - Mix 96
17 Dec 2014 at 4:11pm

Orange UK News

Wednesday's National Newspaper Front Pages
Mix 96
A "monstrous" killer will spend at least 35 years in jail for the murder of his ex-partner and their baby daughter. Boxer Anthony Crolla Hurt Tackling Burglars. Boxer Anthony Crolla is being treated in hospital after being hit with a concrete slab when tackling a ...
Tuesday's National Newspaper Front PagesEagle Radio
Thursday's National Newspaper Front PagesKey 103 Manchester

all 7 news articles »

Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airport check-in staff vote to strike - Dail...
17 Dec 2014 at 10:01am

Daily Mail

Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester airport check-in staff vote to strike
Daily Mail
Thousands hoping to get away for Christmas could face chaos after airport staff voted to walk out for two days from December 23. Heathrow is expected to bear the brunt of the disruption, as nearly 500 check-in staff and ground crew members plan to strike ...
UK airport staff vote to strike on the two days before ChristmasMashable
5 Million Will Fly in and out of Britain This ChristmasTravel Agent
Bristol Airport is UK's third worst for delays at ChristmasBath Chronicle
Metro -Travel Weekly UK -Crawley Observer
all 21 news articles »

'Monstrous' killer attacked ex with hammer and machete before slitting baby ....
17 Dec 2014 at 7:34pm

Irish Independent

'Monstrous' killer attacked ex with hammer and machete before slitting baby ...
Irish Independent
A "monstrous" killer faces spending the rest of his life behind bars for battering his ex-partner to death with an assortment of weapons and slashing his baby daughter's throat. Ads by Google. Share. Facebook · Twitter · Google · Email. Go To. Comments.
Roland McKoy: boyfriend who battered partner and slashed their toddler's throat ...Evening Standard
Roland McKoy: 'Monstrous' killer butchered ex and their baby with hammer ...Mirror.co.uk
'Monstrous' killer caged for butchering wife and baby with work toolsDaily Star
Sky News -The Guardian -ITV News
all 47 news articles »

Pledge to bring Scotland's child abusers to justice - Express.co.uk
17 Dec 2014 at 5:34pm

Express.co.uk

Pledge to bring Scotland's child abusers to justice
Express.co.uk
PAEDOPHILES will ?face the full force of the law? promised education secretary Angela Constance yesterday as she unveiled a landmark probe into historic child sex abuse. Published: 00:04, Thu, December 18, 2014. By Paul Gilbride. Angela Constance ...
Inquiry announced for child abuse in Scots careScotsman
Scotland to get public inquiry into historical institutional child abuseHolyrood.com

all 12 news articles »

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

Philips Buys Volcano for $1 Billion to Boost Medical Imaging
17 Dec 2014 at 5:10pm

Shareholders of Volcano, whose equipment enables minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment of coronary artery disease, will receive $18 a share in cash, Philips said in a statement. Stock of the San Diego-based company closed at $11.49 yesterday.


Russia Crisis Hits Pimco Fund, Wipes Out Options as Ruble Sinks
17 Dec 2014 at 9:56am

Pacific Investment Management Co. is facing mounting losses on its Russian bond holdings; almost every bullish ruble option contract registered in the U.S. has been made worthless; and foreign-exchange brokers in New York and London told clients they're no longer taking ruble trades.


Oil Trades Near 5-Year Low as Russia Matches OPEC Output Policy
17 Dec 2014 at 1:34am

Futures fell as much as 2.4 percent after sliding below $54 a barrel yesterday for the first time since May 2009. Output from Russia, the world's largest crude producer, will be similar to this year's 10.6 million barrels a day, according to Energy Minister Alexander Novak.



FCC eyes $105 million fine for Sprint over phone bill 'cramming'
16 Dec 2014 at 5:23pm

U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp is expected to face a $105 million fine from the Federal Communications Commission in coming weeks over unauthorized charges on customers' cellphone bills, a practice known as cramming, according to FCC officials. FCC commissioners are reviewing and will soon vote on the proposed fine over charges Sprint's consumers faced for services they never requested, FCC sources said.



Crude Oil Is Oversold but Could Bounce Back to $65 to $70 Range
16 Dec 2014 at 4:18pm

NEW YORK -- Crude oil plunged $10 per barrel in the past five trading sessions. Alan Harry of Harry RE Trust reasoned that the same negative news continues to surface for crude oil : No production cuts and continued surplus.



Porn Industry Loses Free-Speech Fight In Federal Appeals Court
16 Dec 2014 at 3:13pm

Two porn companies and a couple of adult film actors faced an enormous setback Monday in their fight against a Los Angeles law that requires adult movie actors to wear condoms. Those porn makers had argued that Measure B , also known as the "condoms in porn" law, violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment.



Sony enlists powerful help to fight against hacks
16 Dec 2014 at 1:14pm

Three weeks after hackers infiltrated and began wreaking havoc on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the movie studio is launching an offensive to try to take control of a spiraling business disaster. This week, top executives held town hall meetings to apologize to deflated employees whose health, social security and pay data have been made public and to try to rally them to move forward.



Comcast to stop blocking HBO Go and Showtime on Roku streaming devices
16 Dec 2014 at 10:09am

It wasn't clear why Comcast blocked the HBO and Showtime apps on Roku boxes while allowing them on other hardware, such as the Apple TV. Roku complained about the situation to the Federal Communications Commission and was recently able to wring an agreement out of Comcast.



Physician-Assisted Suicide, 'Death With Dignity': Q&A With NYS Sen. Brad Hoylman
16 Dec 2014 at 9:09am

I cover all aspects of end-of-life care and dabble in the culture of medicine for Forbes. My background is quite diverse: I'm currently an executive editor with a B2B information services company, where I cover technology.



Jeb Bush just jump-started the 2016 election
16 Dec 2014 at 9:09am

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush walks to the podium to speak at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 20. Bush was the opening speaker at the 2014 National Summit on Education Reform conference. Jeb Bush became the first big-name potential GOP presidential candidate to make a major 2016-related announcement Tuesday, announcing that he will "actively explore" a run .



Genomic Health Test Could Reduce Overtreatment Of Breast Cancer
16 Dec 2014 at 6:59am

I'm a physician, journalist and breast cancer survivor. Earlier in my career I worked as a clinician-scientist, led a cancer research lab and cared for people with leukemia, lymphoma and rare blood disorders.



Stripping naked during airport security screening a " not allowed
16 Dec 2014 at 6:59am

Mr. John Brennan appeals the Initial Decision of the Administrative Law Judge issued on April 2, 2014 holding that Respondent violated 49 C.F.R. A 1540.109 ["No person may interfere with, assault, threaten, or intimidate screening personnel in the performance of their screening duties under this subchapter"] and assessing a civil penalty in the amount of $500.00. For the reasons set forth below, the appeal is denied and the Initial Decision is uphelda .



BitTorrent Browser Eases Congestion
16 Dec 2014 at 3:00am

Could BitTorrent turn out to be an Internet service provider's best friend? Half a dozen years ago, the popular file-sharing protocol was nothing but a headache for ISPs as broadband users filled their connections with torrent files . Things got so bad that one ISP, Comcast, surreptitiously sabotaged BitTorrent sessions, leading the Federal Communications Commission to penalize the company for violating the FCC's net neutrality principles.



GM switch death toll rises to 42
15 Dec 2014 at 11:50pm

At least 42 people have been killed and 58 have been injured in General Motors vehicles that suffered from an ignition switch defect, according to the latest report by the claims administrator. Kenneth Feinberg, who was hired by GM to oversee its compensation fund, said he has received 251 death claims and 2,075 injury claims since August.



San Bruno sues to compel release of PG&E emails in aftermath of fatal gas expl...
15 Dec 2014 at 7:40pm

The city of San Bruno on Monday filed a lawsuit that seeks to compel PG&E to yield 65,000 emails between PG&E and the state Public Utilities Commission amid evidence of what critics say is an ongoing cozy and inappropriate relationship between the utility and the PUC in the aftermath of a fatal explosion in San Bruno. "We believe it is in the public interest to release all 65,000 emails," San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson said Monday.


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


North Sea firms facing 'crisis'
17 Dec 2014 at 5:38pm
The director of Premier Oil says no new North Sea projects are profitable with oil below $60 a barrel and the industry is "close to collapse".

UK using less energy, report finds
17 Dec 2014 at 5:38pm
People in the UK are using less energy, even though the economy is growing, new figures confirm.

Sony cancels The Interview release
17 Dec 2014 at 7:37pm
Sony cancels the release of The Interview, a film about a fictional plot to kill North Korea's leader, after major cinemas decide not to screen it.

Avon fined $135m for China bribes
17 Dec 2014 at 8:39pm
Beauty company Avon has been fined by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for paying bribes and gifts to Chinese officials.

Fed decision lifts Asia stocks
17 Dec 2014 at 8:03pm
Asia stocks are rising after the Federal Reserve pledges to be 'patient' on raising interest rates from record lows.

German road toll plan gets go-ahead
17 Dec 2014 at 11:29am
The German government approves plans for a controversial road toll, including charging foreigners for using the Autobahn.

New York bans fracking due to risk
17 Dec 2014 at 3:06pm
Fracking, the controversial method of oil and gas development, will be banned in New York state after a report concludes the process poses "significant public health risks".

Russia plans new action over rouble
17 Dec 2014 at 9:32am
Russia says it is planning new measures to stabilise the rouble after its slump against the dollar.

Government to sell more Lloyds shares
17 Dec 2014 at 12:08pm
More shares in Lloyds Banking Group are to be sold by the government, in a move which could raise up to £3bn.

UK sees pick-up in wage growth
17 Dec 2014 at 6:59am
Wage growth picked up in the three months to October and outstripped the rise in the cost of living, while unemployment fell again, official figures show.

Oil price forces new Nigeria budget
17 Dec 2014 at 9:06am
The prolonged slump in the price of oil forces oil-export dependent Nigeria to revise its budget plans, prompting its currency to fall to a record low.

Osborne sets 18 March Budget date
17 Dec 2014 at 9:15am
Chancellor George Osborne is to deliver his last Budget of the Parliament on 18 March 2015, weeks before the election.

Food giant offered 'unreasonable' deal
16 Dec 2014 at 6:29pm
UK food manufacturer 2 Sisters is setting "beyond unreasonable" terms in proposed contract agreements, one of its suppliers tells the BBC.

Petrol 'to fall below £1 a litre'
16 Dec 2014 at 5:02pm
Petrol could soon sell for less than £1 a litre thanks to the plummeting price of oil, motoring organisation the RAC has predicted.

Apple halts Russian online sales
17 Dec 2014 at 5:27am
Technology giant Apple says it cannot currently sell products online in Russia because the rouble's value is too volatile for it to set prices.
 
Financial services company news - FT.com
Financial services company news - FT.com

EU caps debit and credit card fees
17 Dec 2014 at 5:10pm
Draft law seeks to end protracted battle with payment groups
EU toughens up research fee rules
17 Dec 2014 at 4:04pm
Brussels tries to tackle conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency in the investment industry
The trouble with dribbles
17 Dec 2014 at 1:35pm
City has little appetite for another jumbo placing of Lloyds shares
Barclays says universal banking is ?dead?
17 Dec 2014 at 10:55am
Chief executive says necessary investment in technology is big challenge for industry
Man Group buys Silvermine for $23.5m
17 Dec 2014 at 10:36am
Deal is the latest US acquisition by the hedge fund manager
Lender OnDeck soars 33% in IPO
17 Dec 2014 at 10:21am
Technology-powered ?peer-to-peer? specialist raises at least $200m in listing
UBS chooses Staley for board role
17 Dec 2014 at 10:10am
Swiss bank?s nomination will be voted on at next year?s AGM
Ex-Julie Dean fund shrinks by two-thirds
17 Dec 2014 at 9:14am
Schroders says worst of redemptions now over
Church credit union takes on payday lenders
16 Dec 2014 at 12:39pm
CMCU formed to ?set up virtuous recycling of money?
Pru chief attacks rating agencies
16 Dec 2014 at 10:42am
Sceptical view of life insurer?s main product is ?major block? to US operation
Financial news for all
16 Dec 2014 at 5:13am
The Invstr app aims to challenge the Bloomberg terminal by offering financial news, research and market data
Wonga caps fees on payday loans
16 Dec 2014 at 4:30am
Short-term credit provider charging maximum allowed under new rules set out by regulator
StanChart agrees sale of Hong Kong unit
16 Dec 2014 at 12:20am
UK bank to offload consumer finance business to consortium led by China tour operator
Ex-regulator Sants to join Oliver Wyman
15 Dec 2014 at 10:02pm
Veteran banker led UK watchdog during financial crisis
Moscow lifts key interest rate to 17%
15 Dec 2014 at 4:13pm
Action after rouble tumbles on fears for oil and economy
 
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.


Mobile Networks Agree Deal To Boost UK Coverage
17 Dec 2014 at 7:37pm
The multi-billion pound deal is great news for UK consumers and businesses, industry leaders say.

Wellcome Trust Warns On 'Populist' Mansion Tax
17 Dec 2014 at 4:01pm
One of the UK's most influential investors tells Sky News of concerns over Labour's mansion tax proposals.

Barclays: £500m Not Enough To Settle Claims
17 Dec 2014 at 11:30am
The bank's chief executive Antony Jenkins tells Sky News they will need to set aside more cash to settle claims.

Wage Hikes Accelerate As Christmas Approaches
17 Dec 2014 at 8:38am
The latest official figures for pay increases show they are outstripping prices once again.

Lloyds Bank Shares To Be Sold By Government
17 Dec 2014 at 8:27am
The body which manages the Treasury's stake confirms plans to offload more shares but says they must be sold at a profit.

Festive Cheer On Forecourt As Petrol Prices Fall
17 Dec 2014 at 3:21am
Supermarkets slash prices further as the RAC predicts we may see 99p-a-litre for unleaded next year.

Winners And Losers From The Oil Price Plunge
17 Dec 2014 at 8:46am
The current slump in crude makes itself felt from the cost of fuel at the pumps to the economies of world powers.

Apple Halts Web Sales Amid Rouble Crisis
17 Dec 2014 at 12:16pm
Russians rush to the shops to beat price rises while Apple stops online sales in the country as the rouble remains at record lows.

Rouble Woes: Six Stages Of A Currency Crisis
17 Dec 2014 at 12:17pm
With the rouble on extremely shaky ground, it is far from certain that the IMF would be willing to come to Russia's rescue.

Myners: Government Asset Sales Need Overhaul
17 Dec 2014 at 6:08am
An inquiry by the former City minister will say taxpayers lost out on up to £180m from the Royal Mail sell-off, Sky News learns.
 
Forex Blog| 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 Mataf.net, 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.

http://www.forexblog.org/2011/06/has-the-us-dollar-hit-bottom.html 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.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-17/japan-recovery-means-boj-can-avoid-adding-stimulus-muto-says.html 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 Mataf.net (whose founder, Arnaud Jeulin, I interviewed only last month). Here, you can find data on more than 30 currency pairs, charted across multiple time periods. You can see for the EUR/USD pair in particular that volatility is now at the highest point in 2011 and is closing in on a two-year high.


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.

Mataf.net suggests that this could make the EUR/USD an interesting pair to trade, since large swings in either direction will necessarily create opportunities for traders. While I have no opinion on such indiscriminate trading [I prefer to make directional bets based on fundamentals], I must nonetheless acknowledge the logic of such a strategy.

http://www.forexblog.org/2011/05/interview-with-arnaud-jeulin-of-mataf-net-try-a-lot-of-strategies.html 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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CNNMoney.com, the business website of CNN, combines business news and in-depth market analysis with practical advice and answers to personal finance questions.


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Most latest Forex News

USD Rally Resumes as Uncertainty Weighs
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17 Dec 2014 at 2:26am
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16 Dec 2014 at 3:39am
In a surprise move last night, the Russian Central Bank raised the base interest rate by a whopping 6.5%, from 10.5% to 17%.
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14 Dec 2014 at 8:55am
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by info@dailyforex.com
11 Dec 2014 at 4:39am
After profit taking investors sent the greenback lower during three days of volatile FX markets, the U.S. Dollar managed to regain its footing, rising broadly against its peers.
Gold Climbs Towards 7-Week High
by info@dailyforex.com
11 Dec 2014 at 12:58am
Gold edged towards a seven-week high on Thursday as a plunge in global equities and sell-off in the dollar burnished the metal's safe-haven appeal.
Nikkei Tumbles to 1-Week Low
by info@dailyforex.com
10 Dec 2014 at 1:33am
Japanese stocks tumbled to a more than one-week low on Wednesday morning, as political uncertainty in Greece spooked world markets already under strain from a slide in crude oil prices and worries over global growth.
Oil Price Drop Sends FX Traders to Yen
by info@dailyforex.com
9 Dec 2014 at 4:36am
The Japanese Yen made strong gains during Tuesday?s Asian and European trade after the news that oil prices had fallen again sent FX investors in search of a safe haven. With risk appetite waning, commodity linked currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars were both under pressure as a result.
Asian Stocks Follow U.S. Shares Down
by info@dailyforex.com
9 Dec 2014 at 12:37am
Asian stocks fell, after U.S. shares dropped the most in almost seven weeks, as oil extended its decline and a stronger yen weighed on Japanese exporters.

 

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