Forex Blog

December 26, 2013

New Government Not Holy Grail For India’s Problem

Hopes for a change of government in India’s upcoming elections have helped the subcontinent’s currency and shares recover from sharp declines earlier this year, but the optimism may be premature.

After a strong performance in state elections completed earlier this month, many expect the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Narendra Modi, could oust the current ruling Congress party in national elections set to be held by May. The Congress party’s image has been tainted by a poor economic performance and the slow pace of legislative changes.

Modi, the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP who is currently serving as the chief minister of Gujarat, has been applauded for his investor-friendly policies that have led the state to double-digit economic growth.

CNBC

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This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

The post New Government Not Holy Grail For India’s Problem appeared first on MarketPulse.

August 22, 2012

Does EUR remain on the Main Menu?

Filed under: OANDA News — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 4:30 am

So far the EUR remains on the main menu, despite so much of the single currency on offer at these lofty heights. There is market talk of another ‘yard’ (+EUR1b) to go at 1.25. Even with the ample supple, the market short wide currency of choice retains a solid bid. Algorithmic stops are eyed above 1.249 while similar option orders are positioned above the figure just ahead of of renewed offers. With so much ‘wood to chop’ perhaps a breather and some market consolidation is in order before the next onslaught. This is bound to be the action of choice with the upcoming meeting’s between the Greek Prime Minister and Euro zone leaders taking place this week. The meetings are expected to put some pressure on the single currency’s recent rally.

Eurogroup’s Juncker visit to Athens today as well as the meetings of Samaras with Merkel and Hollande on Aug 24 and 25 should provide a stern test for the EUR’s, somewhat illiquid, latest bounce that took a few market participants by surprise. Even more so if officials “signal that Greece and its creditors are still far from reaching a compromise.” The market still sees hope now that Germany’s after suggesting, while clearly not willing to provide extra funding to Greece, that she may lean towards making some “small concessions to fiscal obligations.”

Greek Prime Minister Samaras is under immense pressure to persuade his European colleagues that his country has the “will and means” to finally muster the country’s remaining political courage to fulfill the conditions of the last bailout. How is all of this is to occur while the country’s coffers are clearly bear? The natural talk of Grexit from the EUR shows no sign of receding. Euro policy makers are expected to begin bluntly telling Samaras that his country must carry out the promised cuts. The Greek leader continues to ask for more time to implement cuts despite the Euro zones hierarchy remaining adamant about sticking to the payment structure. More time does not mean more money, it will just be giving the country some breathing space to extract “blood from stone.”

All we have been seeing over the past couple of trading sessions is the investor responding positively to market headlines signaling growing support for the ECB bond market intervention but ignoring the uncertainty about the trigger of these actions. The ECB is expected to intervene only after Spain or Italy have made a formal request for a bailout. With little assurance that neither have asked should the EUR not be tested? As mentioned yesterday, it’s all about perception, the illusion that policy makers control their own domain instills market confidence. This is the same in dealer trading, creating an illusion and getting the investor to do what the dealer wants and not necessarily what the investor requires.

Expect the market to be watching the Fed closely over the coming days for signs that the Cbank could act again to boost economic growth. Later this afternoon the Fed’s policy making committee will release their latest minutes from the last meeting and next week we have helicopter Ben’s highly anticipated speech to look forward to at the Jackson hole economic symposium. Many suggest that the FOMC minutes today are unlikely to provide more clarity on the outlook for September easing than did the statement following the meeting. Be on your toes for mentions on what the data threshold for new asset buying might be. Before then, the market has US existing home sales to contend with.

Aug 22

The Retail sector’s game plan has not changed. They continue to add to their core short EUR positions that was first established last Friday. Investors are willing to sell rallies ahead of 1.2480 in anticipation of deeper losses in the coming sessions towards the consensus medium term objective of 1.2150. The bigger short positions remain comfortable as long as the market remains trading below 1.2516. However, trade momentum favors right hand side for the moment, so expect a few nervous shorts stops to be triggered every now and then.

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August 21, 2012

Being Short EUR Feels Awkward?

Finally some market movement, and it seems to have picked the obvious side. The EUR right hand squeeze is on and the question remains will dealers be able to defend the obvious option barrier levels? If they cannot, a plethora of stop losses will be exposed reducing the dollar index’s momentum even further. The markets first ‘real’ line of defense is around 1.2450. Despite the August doldrum’s, the bullish mood in equities is now beginning to generate a risk-on feel in FX. CFTC data continues to reveal a large extent of EUR shorts, certainly positions that look vulnerable, in this liquidity deprived environment, to bullish implications of increased risk appetite and short term technical positions.

Today’s short term bullish break in EUR’s may be what is needed to spur the spec investor into long positions, or more likely to pare back some of those huge EUR short positions on the IMM. Most seasoned dealers will advice investors that the “market drifting and waiting for key events often run against core positioning amidst lower volumes.” What is the current market waiting for? Pre-Jackson hole, ECB and NFP, the big EUR short may prove vulnerable. Weak and tight stops may prove too attractive for dealers not to trigger. Sometimes this type of trading environment seems very logical while other times not one bit. Right now, being short the EUR or risk feels wrong.

The main event on today’s sparse Euro data calendar was the issuance of 12 and18-month bill sale by Spain. Many in the market expected the event to have very limited market resonance, given the short tenor of the offerings and recently well-behaved price action in peripheral sovereign markets. The results show that in sum, Spain managed to sell at the top of the +EUR3.5-4b range with decent bids (cover ratios) and at yields (+3.07% vs. +3.92 and +3.335% vs. +4.24%) that are substantially lower than at previous auctions. It seems that the ECB inspired boost to risk taking is beginning to work? Obviously, in the short term more emphasis rests on the Euro flash PMI releases on Thursday and on the Greeks, Prime Minister Samaras’ meetings with European officials later this week.

What else is gaining traction in a trading environment already deprived of nearly everything else? The debate over providing Greece with concessions within the current aid program as opposed to another bailout. It first gathered momentum over the past weekend in the German press (Der Spiegel was busy on the weekend rumor front). It has been pointed out that while a third bailout is unpopular, “Other measures are being considered, including a reduction or complete elimination of the interest that Greece pays on its loans.” Grexit risk are never that far away and the various meetings this week (Juncker and Samaras tomorrow, Merkel and Holland Thursday, Merkel and Samaras Friday and Holland and Samaras Saturday) is expected to leave an impression that Euro policy makers are not that inflexible. It’s all about perception, the illusion that policy makers control their own domain instills market confidence. This is the same in dealer trading, creating an illusion and getting the investor to do what the dealer wants and not necessarily what the investor requires.

Fitch Rating Inc. are at it again, opening their mouths and wanting to be heard. They belong to an industry sector that has become too political in nature rather than just sticking to their core values. A ‘value’ that is trying to garner support which has lost some of its credibility over the past few years. Earlier today they stated that the weakest Euro-zone member is likely to face rating downgrades by year-end if there were no progress made on finding a solution to the current Euro crisis. They pointed out that the “expectations remain high that policy makers will find a solution to the debt crisis, but there remains the chance of disappointment.” Regarding Italy, the risks facing that economy are more political than economics and that there is “no need for further austerity measures” in that country. How the crisis evolves in Italy depends on what occurs in Spain!

Aug 21

The retail sector continues to add to their core short EUR positions that was first established last Friday. Investors are willing to sell rallies ahead of 1.2480 in anticipation of deeper losses in the coming sessions towards the consensus medium term objective of 1.2150. The bigger short positions remain comfortable as long as the market remains trading below 1.2516. However, trade momentum favors right hand side for the moment, so expect a few nervous shorts stops to be triggered every now and then.

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June 2, 2011

Moody’s Downgrades Greek Debt; 50% of Default

Moody’s Investor Services downgraded Greece to Caa1 from B1 and raised the prospect of a default to an even 50 percent. The European Union is currently working on a second bailout plan that may include debt re-profiling where investors are asked to reinvest in new Greek debt when existing bonds mature.

“Taken together, these risks imply at least an even chance of default over the rating horizon,” Moody’s said in a statement. “Over five-year investment horizons, around 50 percent of Caa1-rated sovereigns, non-financial corporate and financial institutions have consistently met their debt-service requirements. Around 50 percent have defaulted.”

Source: Bloomberg

December 30, 2010

11 for ’11!

Filed under: Forex News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 2:02 pm

A worst-case scenario.

2010 is about to end after experiencing an economic ride that did not lack drama.  Euro debt crises, various rounds of US quantitative easing, a political upheaval in Washington DC, extremely high unemployment, and declining housing prices were but a few of the major drivers of economic activity last year.

So what do we have to look forward to in 2011?

Well, I think if we get a repeat of the type of events we saw in 2010—then we’re in for some volatility!  However, I’m not sure if the global economy can handle another set of events like this again.  My hope is that as things start to “normalize” we get back to more stable ground and leave behind the “economic bubble” mentality.

Do I expect that to happen?

Absolutely Not!

With politicians, banksters, competing economic interests, and everyone trying to get to the top—something’s gotta give.  So I’ve put together a list of “predictions” or things we need to look out for in 2011.  If all of these predictions come true—then we might be in serious trouble!  With that said, these predictions represent a combination of things that could potentially be good or bad for the global economy.  I’ll let you decide which is which!

1.    Commodity inflation increases and causes social unrest.   As we end 2010, oil prices are around $91.25 and gold is around $1400 thanks to Bernanke and QE2.  While CPI data (which strips out food and energy) is likely to be engineered lower by the powers that be, the US consumer is not going to believe it this time.  In fact in China, inflation is already out of control and government attempts to curb it will likely not work.  So expect tensions to flare as prices for necessities pick up and the middle class gets squeezed yet again.

2.    Just because the US government says there is no inflation, doesn’t make it so.  In fact, intelligent investors around the globe not only recognize this, they position themselves accordingly.  In addition to inflationary forces at work, government deficits around the globe are being scrutinized.  Bond investors seeing this toxic combination will demand more interest for lending governments money—the US included.  These investors known as “bond vigilantes” are going to push interest rates higher, if Central banks won’t do it themselves.

3.    As interest rates rise, housing prices will continue to fall.  This is a general rule of thumb that was all but forgotten over the last 5 years of the housing bubble.  In addition, as the amount of foreclosure properties currently on the bank’s books (in addition to a potential new crop if rates go higher and even more people are under-water) increases, this could send housing prices lower by another 15%.

4.    Don’t think for a second that the EU is going to escape unharmed as the market’s attention is on the problems in the US for the first half of the year.  Spain, the Euro zone’s 4th largest economy will likely be the target of the bond vigilantes and would be a crowning achievement if they can force yields in Spain higher and cause them to access the emergency facility before any meaningful reform is enacted.  Germany will most likely try to sacrifice Portugal, which may be given up if Spain can’t be toppled.  Either way, this will put tremendous pressure on the Euro and could revive the “end of the Euro” talk again.  The Euro won’t totally collapse, as it likely to start a run lower from a higher starting off point due to US Dollar weakness to start the year.  I expect this to happen around mid-year.

5.    China is going to allow the Yuan to appreciate—for real this time!  Tired of the games being played by the US, China decides that the only way to keep its economy under their own control is too allow their currency to strengthen.  China has built up such an enormous economic surplus that it could likely subsidize any losses incurred to exports due to a higher Yuan value.  At this point, there is no other country prepared to take China’s place in exporting, and the new found “currency wealth” that Chinese citizens would experience will help buoy an already rising domestic demand.

6.    With real estate prices dropping, US municipalities find it harder to find revenue even if they were wise enough to attempt to rein in spending.  For those who haven’t cut costs, the potential for default on liabilities will have increased.  First it starts in the towns, then small cities, then big cities, and then to actual states.  Of course the federal government will just attempt to paper this over, but it may not be possible given the new make-up of Congress.

7.    As both a cause and result of all of this economic malaise, unemployment remains high.  Even in the face of the Bush tax cut extensions, business are still loathe to expand quickly despite the tax cuts for the rich.  President Obama was forced to admit that indeed tax cuts stimulate the economy much to his party’s chagrin—however because of the temporary nature of the extension, he won’t see a meaningful benefit until either A) there is a major overhaul of the tax code; or B) much of his agenda is defeated or reversed (Obamacare) and it appears likely that he will be a one-term President.

8.    GDP growth in the US slows to 1.5%.  With high unemployment, declining asset prices, higher commodity inflation and the removal of government stimulus, growth in the US is modest at best.  There will be times throughout the year where the “dreaded double-dip recession” talk heats up, and we will narrowly avoid this fate.  Consumer spending is some 70% of GDP and higher energy and food prices coupled with housing price losses will send the consumer back to the sidelines.

9.    US stocks trade higher despite the economic conditions and rising interest rates.  Corporate profits will be maintained as cost-cutting measures and lack of spending allow businesses to maintain reasonable profitability.  With no other place to put capital to work, investors turn to the stock market despite earnings multiples which become inflated.  However, this house of cards is likely to tumble near the end of the year, even after navigating year-long volatility.

10.    A new “BRIC” currency emerges, as these countries decide to move away from the Dollar and provide an alternative as a reserve currency and medium of exchange.  Already, these countries are forming bi-lateral agreements amongst themselves so it is only a matter of time before this happens.

11.    Bernanke and the Fed launch QE3/4 in response to the housing and municipality crisis, as well as to ward off the potential sell-off in the financial markets.  The “audit the Fed” talk heats up and this becomes Bernanke’s last stand.  However, the economy is saved by the thought that it “needs to get worse before it gets better” and that the “extend and pretend” policies of 2010/early 2011 are finished.

Happy 2011 to all!

Tags: AUD, bank, Bernanke, central bank, China, commodity, course, crisis, currenc, currency, data, dollar, economic, economy, EUR, Euro, fed, financial, gold, Il, interest, interest rate, interest rates, invest, investor, launch, lower, market, Mike Conlon, money, oil, real estate, recession, ssi, stock, stocks, time, tip, trade, unemployment, wealth

May 11, 2010

April 20, 2010

A Traders Paradise!

Filed under: Forex News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 7:20 am

Yes, I am speaking about the forex market!  For starters, yesterday’s rebound from the fear in the market was nothing short of remarkable.  Apparently the SEC voted “along party lines” to formally charge Goldman Sachs with fraud.  Two thoughts on this: 1) it is beyond me why a supposedly independent watchdog agency would have “party lines” to begin with, and 2) the case against Goldman must not be that strong which means this amounts to nothing more than political pressure to get the financial reform bill passed.  Time will tell.

Regardless, the markets have rebounded from that news and are pushing higher this morning, as risk-taking is in the air.  And that’s what I mean by “traders paradise”.  One day it looks like we are going to fall off a cliff with all of the doom and gloom, and the next we are high-fiving over how great things seem to be.  All you have to do is be on the right side of sentiment and keep your trades shorter-term in nature, and you can ring that cash register day in and day out.

A couple of pieces of news to consider today: 1) CPI came in less than expected in New Zealand last night, 2)  Consumer prices came in higher than expected in the UK, 3) the Canadian interest rate decision is due out today, and 4) Goldman Sachs has thumbed its nose at the government and reported blowout earnings.

What this means for the forex market:

Aussie (AUD):  The Aussie is higher on improved market sentiment and the minutes from its central bank’s policy meeting were released overnight, showing that the RBA was concerned that a mining boom might stoke inflation.  Should inflation figures come in higher the next time around, expect the RBA to remain hawkish.  Concern over Chinese demand is a factor to consider, but I believe that the RBA will act on what is and not on what might be.

Loonie (CAD):  The Loonie is higher this morning as oil prices have rebounded and the Bank of Canada is meeting on interest rates today.  Speculation in the market is that they will use this opportunity to foreshadow a rate hike in June if they increase their forecasts for inflation and economic growth.  There is virtually no chance they will change rates today, though stranger things have happened.

Kiwi (NZD):  The Kiwi is slightly lower this morning as consumer prices came in lower than expected, showing a rise of 2% vs. an expectation of 2.3%.  Recovery in NZ has been more tepid than expected, and this may allow the central bank to keep rates at a record low 2.5% for a longer period of time.  The central bank will be holding its interest rate policy meeting next week.

Euro (EUR):  Wow, horrible news isn’t dominating the headlines in Europe!  In fact, there is actually some encouraging news, as German Investor Confidence levels came in higher than forecast to seven- month highs.  This comes in contrast to the fear over the economic impact of Greece and the volcano and shows that the economy in Germany is still very strong despite all of the structural problems of the Euro.

Pound (GBP):  The Pound is higher this morning as inflation in the UK surged 3.4%, higher than expectations of 3%.  The BOE rate policy meeting minutes are due out tomorrow and are expected to be dovish, though this figure comes in outside of the BOE mandate to keep the inflation target rate within 1% of its target.  What this means is that should this pattern continue, we could start to see rate hikes despite the uncertainty over the May 6th elections.

Dollar (USD):
   US corporate earnings are higher this morning, prompting the futures to trade higher and the Dollar to trade lower as risk appetite is back to the marketplace.  Goldman Sachs reported earnings much higher than analyst expectations, practically laughing at the government and the SEC. There’s no real news for the Dollar until Thursday, when PPI and initial jobless claims are reported.

Yen (JPY):   The Yen is lower across the board as risk-taking is back in play.  Carry traders sell yen and buy higher yielding currencies when risk appetite is high.  In addition, the Japanese Finance Minister says that the BOJ should shoot to have an inflation target of “1 or 2%.”  Now I’m not sure that this is even possible from a monetary standpoint, as Japanese interest rates are at .1%.  Sure they increase bond buying and quantitative easing, but right now they are in a deflationary spiral and adding to the deficit is a fool’s folly.  Perhaps the government should impose a “non-consumption tax” to discourage savings and get the domestic economy moving by encouraging consumption.  Good Luck with that.

As you can see, one day it’s doom and gloom and the next day it is pizza and ice cream for everyone!  That is why the forex market is the ultimate trader’s paradise.  There is literally trillions of dollars flowing through this market on a daily basis, and savvy investors are taking advantage of these moves to reap financial gains.

The basic risk-on, risk off theme is one of the most basic plays in financial markets.  Traders with a marginal sense of timing but with superior money management skills are raking it in.

Isn’t it time you see what the excitement is all about?

To learn more about how you can take advantage of world events through the currency market, be sure to check out our currency trading courses!

To follow these events live with a free, real-time practice account, click here!  Don’t miss out on the world’s fastest growing market!

Tags: account, AUD, Aussie, bank, BOE, cad, canada, carr, carry trade, central bank, course, currenc, currencies, currency, currency market, currency trading, decision, dollar, dow, economic, economy, EUR, Euro, Europe, financial, forex, forex market, free, fx, fxedu, gbp, gold, Il, interest, interest rate, interest rates, invest, investor, IRA, Japan, jpy, Kiwi, live, loonie, lower, market, meeting, Mike Conlon, minutes, money, new zealand, news, nzd, oil, pound, practice, practice account, rate decision, release, sentiment, short, ssi, time, trade, trader, trades, USD, Yen

January 14, 2010

US Retail Sales Numbers Stink!

From the “unexpected” category:  US retail sales fell .3% in December, vs. analyst expectations that it would GAIN .5%.  This is significant in that the December holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year and December is supposed to be a great month for sales.  Holidays, end-of-year bargains, etc usually bring the shoppers out in droves.  OUCH!

So what happened?

Well its clear that consumers are not confident in their own fiscal health which in turn affects their consumption patterns.  With “official” unemployment figures at 10%– the reality is much higher and record housing defaults, its no wonder people are concerned.  Not to mention the mounting debt the US is incurring that will have to be paid for at some time in the future.  As tax receipts continue to decline, it won’t be long before everyone is called upon to “do their part”.  Yep I’m talking about higher taxes.

So why is this disappointing figure so important?  Well consumer spending in the US makes up close to 70% of US GDP!

Whoa.  So if consumer spending is declining, foreclosures and unemployment are rising, it may be a VERY long time before we see an interest rate hike out of Bernanke and the Fed.  And it looks like the markets have picked up on this, as the stock market has shook off this figure and has gone from an initial negative to positive.  So that means the dollar is down against all but the Euro (see earlier post) as it is clear that the only thing driving world markets right now is the US zero interest rate policy (ZIRP).

So the risk-taking trade is on so far this morning.  It will be interesting to see if stock investors come to their senses at all today– though I doubt that will happen in what’s become the bizarro world of investing!

Trade carefully!

To learn more about how these economic figures can have an impact on all markets, be sure to check out our forex trading courses!

Tags: Bernanke, course, dollar, dow, economic, EUR, Euro, forex, forex trading, fx, fxedu, holiday, Il, interest, interest rate, invest, investor, market, Mike Conlon, retail sales, stock, time, trade, unemployment

ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged!

In what can only be described as “not surprising”, the ECB left their benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1%.  As a result, the Euro (EUR) is down across the board today.  Also weighing heavily on the Euro is German Chancellor Merkel’s remarks about the debt issue in Greece hurting the strength of the Euro.

As it turns out, Greek debt is more than 4 times the EU’s limit as a percentage of GDP.  ECB President Trichet has repeatedly stated that the EU will not bail out individual countries that have been fiscally irresponsible.  So all eyes are on the PIIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) to see if any further problems may arise.  While its no secret that these countries are not in good shape, it will be interesting to see who can turn it around and how it impacts the Euro going forward.

The basic “tug-of war” on the Euro is between the structural problems of the Euro Zone countries, and the Euro’s status as the “anti-dollar”.  If global stock and commodities markets continue to rise, then the Euro may benefit if the “normal” risk-taking plays continue despite their fiscal problems.

In the meantime, news out of Australia is that their employment figures were much better than expected, putting the possibility of a future rate-hike back on the table, contrary to earlier statements from the RBA.  The Aussie (AUD) is showing strength this morning as a result.

Do you want to learn how you can profit from simple news events such as these?  Check out our currency trading courses!

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December 4, 2009

NFP Surprise!

Filed under: Forex News — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 7:14 am

This morning, the always-sure-to-generate-volatility Non-Farm Payrolls came in at a “shocking” -11,000, vs. analyst expectations of -130,000.   This comes on the heels of the Obama jobs summit, and certainly is good news for the economy.

If you believe it.  And I’m not sure that the market does.

Let’s take a look at a chart of AUD/USD to see what I mean: (click chart to enlarge)

audusd1204.JPG

The reason we are looking at this chart is because the AUD/USD pair typifies the risk trade.  When things in the economy are seemingly good, risk appetite increases and investors seek out higher yield.  And that looks like what happened right out of the gate this morning when the number was announced.

But then, the pair proceeded to sell off.  There are 2 reasons I can think of for this happening:

1.  The market perceives that the economy is improving more rapidly than expected and therefore Bernanke and the Fed are going to be able to raise rates MUCH sooner than expected.

2.  No one believes the numbers are real.  This brings a heightened sense of fear to the markets.  Not to mention that the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) revised their figure way down from last month.  (190K to 111K)

Right now USD is up against AUD, NZD, EUR.  The anomalies today are JPY and CAD.  The former I have spoken about at length about why the Japanese are trying to weaken the yen.  CAD is experiencing strength  due to its status as a “commodity currency’ and is benefiting from rising gold prices.  In addition and more importantly, the Canadian economy actually added jobs vs. a loss last month.  Good news for CAD.

Does that mean that this we’re going to stay this way all day?

Check back later to find out!!!

Isn’t it time you got a practice account to see this in real-time?  Click here to get started!

Tags: account, AUD, Bernanke, blog, cad, commodity, currenc, currency, dow, economy, EUR, fear, fed, forex, forextrading, fx, fxedu, gold, Il, invest, investor, Japan, jpy, market, Mike Conlon, news, nzd, pair, payrolls, practice, practice account, rate, time, trade, USD, Yen

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