Tag Archives: currency markets

Our Two Cents – Week of 5/29/12

Summer has arrived. After last weekend’s gorgeous weather in Boston as we honored Memorial Day, we erased our cravings for hamburgers and hot dogs and replaced them with hunger for some knowledge of the currency markets.

In the U.S., economic optimism continued. The May Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s index on consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in four years. According to the survey, consumer sentiment increased to 79.3 from 76.4 in April. The highest jump since October 2007, the survey also showed half of all consumers felt the economy has improved during the last year. Jobless claims, which remained at 370,000, also illustrated economic stability.

While conditions in America painted an optimistic picture, images abroad weren’t cast in the same stroke. Greece remained much of the focal point as the country devised plans for a parallel currency to the euro, should it withdraw from the region. Sergey Shvestov, vice president of Russia’s Central Bank, said Greece’s departure from the eurozone was necessary, and it would be a “good example” for other countries. Facing discussions about debt issuances, German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her opposition about why bonds won’t solve the eurozone’s problems, saying such tools wouldn’t get to the root of the problem. Ultimately, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned the 17-member region that a severe recession looms if its governments and central banks don’t act quickly to improve economic conditions.

For hedge funds, an overwhelmingly majority of them added compliance staff since 2008, according to a new survey. Hedge fund redemptions for May 2012 upped 3.31 percent, according to the GlobeOp Forward Redemption Indicator.

 

 

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.

Our Two Cents – Week of 4/9/12

Spring has teed off as golfer Bubba Watson won his first green jacket at the 2012 Masters Tournament and the Easter Bunny delivered chocolates this past weekend. While we enjoyed some time with family and friends, we kept up with the latest news in the currency markets.

In the U.S., jobless claims in March tallied 357,000 as the unemployment rate dipped to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent. While last month’s figures were less than anticipated, they still illustrated optimism of a rebounding economy. Economists said the U.S. economy, which is in its third year of expansion, is better equipped to overcome a slowdown in Europe and inflating fuel costs. Also, the private sector in March added 209,000 jobs, which aligned with expectations.

In the eurozone, Greece saw good news for its economy as the country’s prime minister said the nation could see a 2.5-to-3-percent growth during the next two years. Lucas Papademos said current forecasts show that Greece’s gross domestic product will start rebounding from five straight years of recession in the second half of 2013. The country also extended its deadline to April 20 for its final bond swap.

In Ireland, the Irish Central Bank showed signs of economic stability. Officials said the bank remains on track to meet its budget bailout targets and unlikely won’t need to bring in more spending cuts and tax increases in 2012.

Following their second-worst year in history, hedge funds posted a positive first quarter as the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Core Hedge Fund Index ended Q1 up 2.75 percent.

 

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.

Our Two Cents – Week of 3/12/12

We certainly felt spring-like temperatures in Massachusetts last week, and the weather is only going to improve this week. Let’s hope the currency markets faired just as well as Boston’s March warm-up.

In the U.S., the economy added 227,000 net jobs in February, the third consecutive month of gains more than 200,000. It’s another sign of the country’s strengthening economic recovery, which many Americans say they’re starting to see. According to a new Associated Press survey, there is more optimism about U.S. jobs and the economy. Findings show that the economy is moving faster than economists predicted, with anticipated unemployment rates dropping to 7.4 percent (down from the earlier estimated 7.8 percent) by the end of 2013.

For Europe, developments in the eurozone continue to receive much of the headlines. Finance ministers will sign off Greece’s second bailout package after the country swapped privately bonds, which slashed more than $100 billion euros from its debt. The swap enabled eurozone officials to OK the 130-billion-euro package to finance Athens until 2014. Finance ministers will next turn their attention to Spain because the country missed its 2011 budget deficit target.

In alternative investments, more hedge funds managers are tapping exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Financial officials say one of the reasons for this trend is because ETFs allow hedge funds to protect their trades or preserve anonymity while investing. For hedge funds, investments are off to their best start since 2000, up 4.07 percent on the year after bouncing back from a depressed performance in 2011. In February, hedge funds rose 1.31 percent, according to the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Index.

 

 

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.

Our Two Cents – Week of 2/06/12

Here in New England we’re trying to gracefully recover from our loss in this weekend’s Super Bowl to the New York Giants. While Madonna and Kelly Clarkson rocked Indianapolis at the big game, the currency markets continued to show signs of optimism in the U.S. and reform in Europe.

In the U.S., the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent, a three-year low. Employers added 243,000 jobs in January, the second straight month of better-than-expect gains. The falling unemployment rate sparked signs of optimism that the economy continues improving.

Across the Atlantic, the European debt crisis is still center stage as the deadline for agreement on Greece’s second bailout looms, fuelling renewed euro zone anxiety. Earlier last week, Greece’s military received some positive news that it ranked in the top 10 of the world. The country ranks No. 9 out of 149 in the Global Militarization Index, according to Bonn International Center for Conversion. In Belgium, the nation slipped into recession after its economy fell on a quarterly basis for the second straight quarter in the last three months of 2011. Parliament is expected to ratify the 2012 budget bill.

While hedge funds saw a gloomy 2011, so far they have seen a positive 2012. Hedge funds added 1.34 percent to start the year, according to the Credit Suisse Index. The retail foreign exchange market saw a quiet end to 2011, unlike the beginning of the previous year when Japan’s Tsunami rattled the markets. As a result, the most volatility during 20120 resulted in Q1 because of the tsunami and Q3 because of the European debt crisis.

 

 

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.

Major activities in the euro zone economic crisis, including proposed amendments from European leaders and austerity packages from Italy, topped our transaction of the biggest currency markets headlines.

France and Germany spearheaded negotiations about new fiscal plans for the 17-member euro zone, issuing proposed amendments to Europe’s governing treaties to provide better economic governance to nations. Meeting at Élysée Palace in France, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepared proposals they would deliver to the full European Union Dec. 8. Some proposed amendments include automatic penalties for countries that exceed European deficit limits as well as the creation of a monetary fund for Europe. Sarkozy said he hoped the treaty changes would be ready for ratification as early as March 2012.

On Dec. 4, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti unveiled for his country a 30-billion euro austerity package, which includes raising taxes and the pension age, in hopes of harnessing the euro zone crisis. He said the package was painful, but important, as he also renounced his own salary as prime minister and economy minister. Late last week, Sarkozy spoke to French voters about the economic slowdown and rising unemployment. His speech came on the heels of remarks from European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn about the euro zone entering a “crucial” 10-day period. During this time, nations must focus on building “convincing” financial protections and tightening economic governance, as Sarkozy and Merkel have outlined.

While Italy, France and Germany devised reforms, Greeks returned to simpler ways of life. Because of Greece’s debt, many inhabitants have defaulted to bartering. In the small fishing village of Volos, which is about 200 miles north of Athens, many residents have been buying and selling goods from each other and vowing to neighbors during harsh economic times. In the United Kingdom, the British pound sterling emerged as a safe haven for investing because demands for British government bonds rose. Investors also turned to the pound sterling because it was up 2.1 percent against the euro since early September.

Across the Atlantic, the United States saw some signs of hope for jobs. According to the U.S. Labor Department, unemployment dropped to 8.6 percent. In November, 120,000 jobs were added, up from 100,000 from October. The good news was that the American economy grew, even though conditions abroad waned. But what weren’t waning were the wallets of some Connecticut hedge fund managers who won a $254-million Powerball drawing. The three winners pocketed the state’s biggest lottery ever and have donated some of the money to people in need.

 

 

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.

Keeping up with the currency markets this past week has been similar to keeping up with the Kardashians—there has been lots of drama, discussions and headlines. The financial markets and Kardashians collided this week while Europe faced its fate at a global economic summit.

Greece was center stage at the G-20 Summit after the country scrapped the contentious referendum about the proposed bailout. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou delivered the news in confidence Nov. 4 as global leaders were trying to stave off the Greek debt crisis from spreading to the rest of Europe and the world. Particularly, Spain has seen its banks loaded with unpaid real-estate loans, putting the banks and housing markets in risk. Earlier last week, Greece denied that Papandreou had resigned his prime ministership after speculation about him stepping down had been swirling, but news broke Nov. 6 that Papandreou quit. The outgoing prime minister was facing open revolts inside his Socialist party and anger about plans about the referendum. Also at the summit, which was held in Cannes, France, President Barack Obama urged all nations to unite to fix the global economic crisis as millions of people encounter financial hardship and unemployment. Because of the uncertainty, investors are trying to score financial goals via a different alternative opportunity: investing in European soccer players. At least three funds exist, where “financing teams’ acquisitions of players in exchange for a cut when those players are once again sold on the transfer market.” Across the Atlantic, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report for October, finding that employers added about 80,000 jobs—slightly less than predicted. Some economists said the figures showed gains and that the odds of a double-dip recession remained low. Finally, news about reality queen Kim Kardashian’s divorce sparked rumors that her wedding and marriage to professional basketball player Kris Humphries were fake. The price tag to her wedding, however, was not. Costing millions, the wedding that celebrated a marriage of only 72 days sparked a thought: Why not sell the rights to weddings and make handsome return on investments? It’s called Alternative Investing with the Kardashians.

 

 

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.