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Bank of Japan QE

Bank of Japan QESome Bank of Japan directors expressed concern over the expansion of the central bank’s action of quantitative easing since this can increase the risk that it will be perceived as financing government deficit. This was shown in the minutes of the meeting (October 31) which was publicized early this week.

Said concerns emerged after the BOJ surprised the market in October by spreading out its yearly debt purchases to 80 trillion from 50 trillion yen.

This was meant to accelerate the country’s struggling economy.

The move increased speculation that the central bank will opt for additional stimulus. It pushed the Japanese currency to low of seven years versus the US note last week.

Some economists argued that the swift downgrading of the yen aimed at helping Japanese exporters could be exaggerated.

The US dollar was down by 0.3 percent at 117.93 Japanese yen after it reached a seven-year peak of 118.98. The common currency slipped 0.06 percent to 147.02 Japanese yen after reaching 149.12 yen also last week.

The US dollar got a helping hand after the government modified the reading on third-quarter GDP to 3.9 percent. However, gains fell after the Conference Board reported its index on US consumer confidence which dropped all of a sudden to a five-month trough this month.

The euro increased 0.2 percent at $1.2470. It recovered from a low of $1.2358 early this month.

The US dollar index was down 0.26 percent at 87.922. This was after it almost reached a high of 88.440.


Posted in FOREX News

Traders Expected To Sit Tight Until the ECB Meeting After PBOC Surprise

Traders were greatly surprised by China last week as they are now focused on ECB forthcoming, as ratio increases that Mario Draghi will announce a new record setting package stimulating the currency to push the balance sheet of ECB to over $1 trillion euros. Global markets enjoyed a lift when the Chinese interest rates were cut and the comments given by Europe CB chief. The People’s Bank of China has also lowered its one year deposit rate from 3.0% to 2.75% in its effort to vitalize the economy. In the meantime, President of ECB Mario Draghi said that he would increase the pressure to liven Europe’s struggling economy. After about half an hour from the opening, the Dow Jones escalated at almost 1% setting a new record high of 17,866.00. As the USD surged to 88.36, the euro went down to trade at 1.2392.

For the first time in more than two years, China’s Peoples Bank has reduced interest rates that served as a strong signal that the power-to-be desires to step up support for the failing economy. As it was destiny, the cutting of rate was the expectation called for by Chinese leader on their monetary policy this week. A surprise as nobody was expecting the central bank to act so fast. Neither were most analysts or investors prepared for the announcement hence there were great gains for commodities, currencies and stocks sensitive to demand of China in the hours following the announcement.

It is enticing to gaze at the cut of rate using the simple GDP lens: by reducing the rates is tantamount that China is altering its policy towards a pro-growth footing as a conclusion. While there is truth to the statement; two decision aspects show it is not only more complicated but complicated but more interesting. Last Thursday, China showed figures of their factory output contracting for the first time in six months. A five-year low of 7.3% last quarter is a sign of the weakening economic growth.

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Crude Oil Plunges to Lowest Level

crude oilWTI crude oil dropped to the lowest point in over four years after OPEC member-nations failed to commit output cuts prior to the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries this week.

The countries of Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Venezuela will conduct monitoring of crude prices on a quarterly basis. Initial talks in Vienna did not produce a common pledge to decrease.

Even said countries like Saudi Arabia are not amenable to any kind of reduction.

West Texas Intermediate for delivery in January of 2015 declined to $1.69 (2.2 percent) to $74.09 per barrel at the NY Mercantile Exchange. This was the lowest since September of 2010. Volume for all futures was 21 percent lower than the 100-day average.

Prices hardly moved following the release of inventory data made by the American Petroleum Institute. The API said that supply of US crude oil increased by 2.8 million barrels during the past week.

Brent for January gave up $1.35 (1.7 percent) to $78.33 per barrel on the European Exchange of the London-based ICE Futures.

Crude prices dipped significantly in 2014 due to the highest production of the United States in over 30 years.

There are indications that leading producers of OPEC are more interested in preserving market share than upholding prices which led to the plunge in prices.

OPEC is said to be thinking of exempting three nations from possible oil-production reduction. These are Iran, Iraq and Libya.

US oil futures recovered after GDP went up by 3.9 percent from the initial projection of 3.5 percent.

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Number One Attraction

Only one event and one event alone will be the focus of energy traders this week and that is the forthcoming OPEC meeting. In the history of OPEC, more attention had been directed to these collective events over the past years. Like global stars, the names of OPEC Ministers were continuously printed and exposed in the headlines. According to a veteran of almost twenty years of the group’s meetings, these stars used to hold the realm when deciding production levels for oil.

Abdullah Bin Hamid Al Attiyah who is former Qatari Oil Minister stated that  a world that appears to be swimming in oil or drowning in oil contributed to a 30% reduction in prices since the middle part of June. It left the organization relying on non-members to buoy the market. The 12 OPEC members are scheduled to meet in Vienna on Nov. 27.

Traders worried about the commodity as crude oil gained 26 cents to trade at 78.77 whereas Brent oil stayed stable over the $80 level at 80.62 with the spread under $2.

OPEC members should be observed very closely this week for cues and comments on whether the group would cut output or maintain production of the initial estimates remain mixed after the huge decline of 30% decline in oil prices since the highs in July last year. Watching these cues, it appears that there will be good gains in oil on Thursday and Friday last week was buoyed by expectations of an accumulated 500,000 barrels per day worth of cut that would be an announcement expectations stand for a higher reading.

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Lenders in Euro Area Drive Stocks Ahead

euro economyLenders in the euro region pushed stocks to a two-month peak while scaling down gains in the midst of a drop in oil and gas companies as well as mining.

The Index of STOXX Europe 600 added a meager 0.1 percent to 345.72 after it jumped to a high of 0.5 percent. Benchmark index increased to 2.9 percent last week as ECB President Mario Draghi said the central bank must step up inflation and open up its asset-purchase agenda.

China reduced primary interest rates for the first time since two years ago

Banks under STOXX 600 moved ahead 1.3 percent as one entity and contributed to this gain. Banco Santander SA of Spain had 2.5 percent and Societe Generale SA in France increased 2.1 percent. The IBEX 35 Index of Spain climbed up 1.2 percent for the second most significant biggest increase among 18 markets in Western Europe.

While stocks progressed, yield on 10-year government bonds of Spain dropped two percent and indicated that market traders are convinced the ECB will increase its acquisition of assets to sovereign debt in Europe as early as the coming week.

European shares cut back on gains before trading closed. It was pulled by a 1.5 percent slide in the benchmark of commodity producers.

Meanwhile, the DAX Index went up 0.5 percent due to reports of increase in business confidence in Germany this month.

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Gold Futures Slip

Gold futures decreased mainly because of indications that inflation concerns in the United States slackened off and wore down demand for the valuable metal.

International assets in exchange-traded products supported by gold declined last week to the lowest since May of 2009. It dropped 13 percent during the past year. Inflation was still below the two percent target of the US Federal Reserve. Likewise, the central bank stopped debt purchases after reaping gains in the labor sector.

The strong US currency has not been supportive of gold.

Gold futures for delivery in February went down 0.2 percent to remain at $1,196.60 per ounce on the New York COMEX. The price went up to a high of 0.5 percent or $1,204.50. Collective trading was roughly 47 percent higher compared to the 100-day average.

Gold eliminated gains this year and fell 14 percent from the high of $1,392.60 in 2014.

The US currency climbed eight percent versus the basket of currencies.

Hedge funds added to buoyant gold bets at the quickest tempo since June as actions to prop up economies of Europe, Japan and China helped hold back the collapse of gold’s prices. Futures increased 5.9 percent from a low of $1,130.40 on November 7.

Gold scaled 70 percent from December of 2008 to June of 2011 as the US central bank maintained borrowing costs close to zero. The price plunged 38 percent from a record $1, 923, .70 in September of 2011.

Posted in FOREX News

UK Pound Firm versus US Dollar

UK USThe UK pound sterling soared against the US dollar giving traders the opportunity to make money on the greenback sooner than the report on US GDP.

The dollar was up last week after Beijing trimmed interest rates and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi repeated that economic officials will do everything to sustain the economy.

At the US stock markets, the currency pair of GBP and USD was ahead by 33 percent at 1.5710. It came from a low of 1.5629 during the previous session.

The UK was behind the common currency as the EUR and GBP pair moved up to 0.03 percent at 0.7917. It was also ahead of the Japanese yen with GBP and JPY up by 0.79 percent at 185.90.

China reduced the benchmark deposit rate for one year by 25 basis points to 2.75 percent and minimized the lending percentage by 40 points to 5.6 percent.

Positive data in the Euro area lifted the single currency.

The IFO business climate index of Germany increased to 104.7 from 103.2 last month. It overcome forecasts and dropped to 103.0.

Index on current conditions went up to 110.0 from 108.4 last October. Meanwhile, the index on expectations accelerated to 99.7 from 98.3. These figures topped market projections.

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The euro and green bucks’ pair was looking to be a quiet run this weekend until Mario Draghi spoke duringFriday’s European session and restated that he would do his best to escalate expectations of growth and inflation as quickly as possible. Going into a tailspin, the euro was not helped by easing rates of PBOC in China within an hour after Draghi’ speech and following a session high of 1.2567, it plunged quickly with no chance of recovery through the US. A decline of 1.2374 looks bad into Monday trade having registered a bearish outside week.

Expect a coming active week with lots of data, especially coming from the United States that features the Consumer Confidence, Durable Goods and GDP, including some data from the number of manufacturing. The EU shows today a glimpse of the German IFO and the GDP will be tomorrow. Viewed at week’s end are: (1) German unemployment; (2) CPI of German/EU; and (3) Consumer Confidence.   Meeting of OPEC this week may bring some movements of the USD if their decision is to cut production.

Euro recovery will soon see sellers, nearby, at 1.2400  and then again seen is the  minor resistance at  1.2440, that maylie ahead of the 200 and 100 HMAs, that are coming over at around 1.2490.

Posted in FOREX News