A former trader from the Royal Bank of Scotland was arrested in Essex for alleged manipulation of FOREX markets. The Serious Fraud Office verified the arrest but it did not provide details about the incident. The agency started the probe of currency fixing last July. Five years ago, the RBS used to be the fourth-largest trader in international markets. However, it reduced investments and fell to eight place.
The currency market has become the center of investigations by international and this has been the first arrest since the probes started. There were no particulars regarding the person’s identity. It has not been revealed if he or she has been set free after questioning. Last November, RBS officials disclosed that there was an internal probe of more than 50 former bank personnel. Three employees have already been suspended.
Six banks were imposed fines in the amount of $4.3 billion by UK and Swiss officials for not preventing traders from fixing the FOREX market. RBS paid $634 million in fines. The EC also accused several banks in May of this year for rate manipulation. These were HSBC, Crédit Agricole, and JPMorgan.
According to US Attorney General Eric Holder, the US Justice Department is bound to conclude its multi-year probe which involved undercover cooperators.
The Financial Conduct Authority of the UK circulated chat logs last November which showed that RBS colluded with
other traders to rip off customers.
UK Chancellor George Osborne has authorized the SFO to conduct a comprehensive probe.
Russian central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina is wotking hard to sustain the national currency. Due to her efforts, the currency recovered roughly 35 percent against the US dollar after going down to a low last December 16. Governor Nabiullina propelled borrowing costs and sacrificed economic growth to avert the downfall of the ruble.
Russian banks have been charging rates for overnight cash which increased twice in December up to 27 percent. This is the highest in the last eight years. However, the stabilization can aggravate economic tightening. This may not last in case crude oil prices decline further. The ruble shortage contributes to the strengthening and prevents it from going down.
The ruble fluctuated this week from 56.18 until 80.10 which highlighted the financial meltdown. It brought back memories of the 1998 slump.The economy can drop to as low as 4.5 percent next year if oil remains at $60 for every barrel, according to the central bank.
Meanwhile , the currency climbed four percent to 59.1400 per US dollar and trimmed the five-day decline below two percent. The Russian central bank offered close to 488 billion rubles during a repurchase auction of cash for three days after bank rates for overnight funding surged to an eight-year peak of 27.3 percent.
Monetary authorities increased efforts to prevent the ruble’s run since the December 16 rate increase from 10.5 percent caused panic and sent the currency plummeting by 20 percent.
The Bank of Russia conducts repo auctions if it sees a need for more liquidity in the national banking system. Cost for overnight currency ruble deposits went up 22 percent yesterday before it dropped to 19.5 percent.
It also curbed the supply of rubles accessible through repo and swap facilities since it shifted to an exchange rate that floated freely.
Prices of crude oil climbed up from the lowest levels since May of 2009 as comments made by the oil minister of Saudi Arabia added to the most unstable market worldwide. WTI increased 4.5 percent in the New York market. This is largest gain since the third quarter of 2012. WTI as well as Brent rose above five percent during trading.
Minister Ali Al-Naimi announced that the dip in prices is only momentary and it will be very difficult for the OPEC to restrain oil production in the midst of excess supply. Prices increased right away after his announcement before it ended trading at the lowest after five years. The KSA accounted for approximately 13 percent of international oil output in 2013.
WTI oil scheduled for delivery in January of 2015 increased to $2.41. It settled at $2.41 or $56.52 per barrel on the New York Exchange . The contract dropped 4.2 percent to $54.11. February futures earned $2.77 or 5.1 percent up to $57.13. Meanwhile, prices declined 2.2 percent the previous week. It went down roughly 43 percent in 2014.
On the other hand, Brent for settlement in February went up $2.11 to $61.38 per barrel at the ICE Futures (European Exchange) based in London. North Sea hardly moved and remained oil down by 45 percent this year. Euro region benchmark crude oil finished at $4.25 premium.
Crude oil plunged since Saudi Arabia decided to sustain collective output of the OPEC.
Implied instability (money options) in the WTI contract surged to over 50 percent while volatility of Brent was at its highest since 2011.
During Thursday’s session on, the gold markets shot higher initially but met with adequate resistance due to the gap coming a couple of sessions ago that ended up creating a shooting star. The shooting star was a good sign that market is going to decline from here, but the market needs to break down below the 1180 level for the purpose of conducting comfortable selling. If this is done, the feeling is that the market will be heading towards the 1140 handle. Then there will be no one interested in buying this market.
On the other hand, silver markets escalated during the course of Thursday’s session; however, it reverted and fell at the $16 handle. Finally, the market finished up creating a shooting star that is actually is a relatively negative signal. Being the case, the level of $15.50 is a smaller at the floor, but the real support is probably down at a handle of $15. In this condition, the market considered bearish but there will probably be buyers from time to time around the general vicinity. However, there is the tendency of the US dollar will continue to sustained working against the value of silver that is going forward.
Asian stocks surged and extended a worldwide run of equities while the regional index is on its way to a two-day advance in more than one year. Crude oil averted decline in four weeks while the common currency traded close to a two-year slump.
MSCI (Asia Pacific Index) increased 1.7 percent in Tokyo following the 0.7 percent gain made yesterday. The TOPIX Index of Tokyo rose 1.9 percent as the Japanese currency traded close to a one-week low. Standard & Poor’s 500 Futures Index were not changed after this topped the most impressive two-day advance dating back to 2011 at the NYSE. Oil prices in the US also increased 1.1 percent after plunging 6.4 percent during the early part of the week. The euro slipped to $1.2284 and wheat went down 1.5 percent.
The BOJ reported on monetary, two months after stimulus was boosted unexpectedly due to the recession in the second-largest economy in the Asian region. The Index of MSCI All-Country World is going toward the most significant weekly advance since October after the central bank committed to being more patient in increasing interest rates.
In a statement, the Fed declared that it was going to replace reference to costs of borrowing and will remain low for some time.
The US dollar moved ahead versus primary currencies for the second consecutive trading day because of indications that the US Federal Reserve will increase interest rates soon along with lenient monetary policies abroad.
The currency reached a 28-month record against the Swiss franc (0.9847) after the Swiss National Bank announced it was prepared to impose a rate of (negative) 0.25 percent on certain big deposits in Swiss currency as it aims to prevent purchase of the franc as safe haven.
The single currency hit the lowest level against the US dollar since December 8 at $1.2266. The dollar was also up (one-week high) versus the Japanese yen with 119.30 yen daily after the US central bank Fed modified its vow to maintain rates close to zero for some time.
The difference between stringent monetary policy in the US and relaxed regulations in the EU, Japan and Switzerland may continue to propel the dollar even higher.
The dollar soared against the Russian ruble, after it slipped over 12 percent during the most recent trading session.
Economic analysts claim the decline in crude oil prices hurt the Russian note. The dollar was ahead 2.68 percent ranged against 61.75 rubles.
The euro was behind 0.5 percent against the US dollar at $1.2281 while the greenback moved to 0.77 percent versus the Swiss franc at 0.9803. The US currency was also up 0.13 percent versus the Japanese yen (118.77 yen).
The dollar index was up 0.1 percent (89.222).
During the session last Tuesday, the euro and green bucks slipped higher but the tandem faced quite a bit of resistance over the handle of 1.25. In this situation, it ended by forming an enormous shooting star that results to tandem of EUR/USD to continue selling off in the surrounding vicinity. When the bottom of the hammer broke below, the market might go to the level of 1.2250 provided with adequate time.
During Tuesday session, the GBP/USD pair initially fell and then broke much higher. The 1.58 level, however, presented resistance and consequently buying is not ready. Meanwhile, buyers are hesitant to purchase this pair until it broke above the handle of 1.60 handle while expecting market to change trend again. Finally, in the sidelines, a decent buying opportunity is appearing soon. The candle is not right to start selling.
At the start of the Tuesday session, the EUR/GBP pair was broken higher at the start but was finally fell adequately to create a shooting star. Shooting stars suggested the pulling back of market to go much lower. However, Lots of clamor from below keep the market from any type of clean move. Ultimately, traders have to prepare volatility if they go to trade this market.
Wednesday saw the sharp strengthening of the RUB in volatile trade following the statement of Finance Ministry who said that its left-over stocks are being sold as foreign currency.
Under heavy selling pressure this week, the ruble forced the CB force to escalate its key interest rate to an unanticipated 650 basis points during an emergency move that was weak to defend the currency.
As of this hour, the ruble increase to around 3% versus the dollar at 65.52 but it was 4.2% stronger against the euro at 81.50.
After its slight recovery last Wednesday, RUB was still low almost 50% compared against the dollar this year after it stirred the 1998 crisis that witnessed the collapse of the currency within a matter of days.
President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity could be partly accounted for providing stability and prosperity, now has to wrestle another major challenge. His risk is determined by the declining ruble that destroyed the trustworthiness of Russia among investors.
Market participants believed that exporters could be selling dollars observing the approaching tax period. A dealer of currency at a big Russian bank warned that that CB intervention could not be excluded.
The dealer believed that ruble’s strengthening appears artificial, although he does give a 100% guarantee that it is the fault of the CB. There could have been an error of an exporter, whom they have convinced to sell forex.
This year, CB Russia conducted more than $80 billion in forex market to shield the ruble that was pushed lower by faltering oil prices, sanctioning of Western over Ukraine and a market panic that was on the rise.
Last Wednesday, the bank conducted an intervention in Forex market worth of $1.961 billion.