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Commodities Briefing - Category | Currencies more

Strong currency a double-edged sword for New Zealand

Posted on 25 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The strong New Zealand dollar may be the thing that ends up putting the brakes on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s tightening cycle. The RBNZ raised interest rates Thursday for the second straight month, to 3.0%, as the economic expansion gains momentum and inflationary pressures increase.
This time, though, the RBNZ abandoned its usual attempts to talk down the currency – which jumped as a result – and noted that the strong local dollar might limit how much the bank needs to raise rates. The so-called Kiwi dollar was trading at 0.86 to the U.S. dollar Thursday afternoon………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The end of Denmark’s monetary experiment

Posted on 25 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the eurozone facing the threat of a prolonged period of “low-flation”, the European Central Bank has been urged to stretch its monetary policy toolkit further and deploy more unconventional measures.
One widely flagged option would be to cut the interest rate that banks receive for parking their money with the central bank to below its current zero level. Frankfurt would then replicate an experiment first tried by Denmark’s central bank, which in 2012 cut its deposit rate to -0.20 per cent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A currency war is coming

Posted on 24 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

While most investors like to believe that things like earnings and the economic data drive the market’s ups and downs, lately it’s been all about moves in the currency market.
Since stocks started surging higher in late 2012, they’ve been marching in lockstep with the Japanese yen. Specifically, whenever the yen goes down, stocks rise. And when the yen strengthens, stocks weaken. (The relationship is so close that since the beginning of 2013, the yen’s movement explains 60% of the changes in the S&P 500.)……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Belarusian president to refrain from national currency devaluation

Posted on 24 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Belorussia’s authorities do not plan to lower the national currency rate through administrative measures, President Alexander Lukashenko told the population and the country’s parliament on Tuesday, adding he saw no causes for massive national currency devaluation.
“We are not planning to devaluate our currency and we will do everything possible to avoid it. If we find devaluation necessary, in case we are out of gold reserves, or if these slump to an estimated critical limit, we will easily do it. If we add some 5-6% by the end of the year, it will be OK”, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What is Bitcoin? A quick guide to the virtual currency, how it works, and its possible future

Posted on 23 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bitcoin is currently a more reliable store of value for journalists than it is for investors. The concept of a ‘digital cryptocurrency’ and its association with various shady goings-on has turned the virtual currency into a symbol for the digital age.
Bitcoin is reportedly anonymous, untraceable, and anarchic; either an ignorable pastime for geeks or a credible threat to the world’s biggest financial institutions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency volatility falls to lowest since 2007; Dollar declines

Posted on 23 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Volatility among major currencies fell to the lowest since 2007 as global central-bank balance sheets continue growing, driving more liquidity into financial markets, even as the economy worldwide recovers.
Australia’s dollar rose the most in almost two weeks against its U.S. counterpart before a report economists forecast will show inflation accelerated. The yuan touched a 14-month low as China’s largest manager of distressed debt said the country’s soured-loan ratio increased “significantly.” ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Are claims of currency manipulation just China bashing?

Posted on 22 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Although China’s leadership recently announced that the RMB exchange rate would over time be liberalized, the exchange rate remains a controversial topic.
The RMB has been under scrutiny in recent days, since the U.S. Treasury yet again found China to be intervening excessively in exchange markets to keep its currency artificially undervalued. This is a complex issue that has its supporters and its opponents………………………………………..Full Article: Source

India: Intervention difficult when currency falls sharply

Posted on 22 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

India’s central bank might have found it difficult to stem the rupee’s sharp depreciation during the currency crisis of 2013 by using its foreign exchange reserves, with the country’s external liabilities far exceeding official reserves.
Reserve Bank of India’s Deputy Governor H R Khan had highlighted the importance of building foreign exchange reserves to deal with sudden outflows. “Intervention in the face of the sharp depreciation is a difficult choice for several reasons, including loss of reserves, particularly in a country like India where the external liabilities far exceed the official reserves,” Khan said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US tells China it must allow its currency to strengthen

Posted on 17 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US has told China its currency must be allowed to rise if it and the global economy are to see stable growth. The US Treasury’s twice-yearly report to policymakers says the yuan is “significantly undervalued”.
Unlike the euro and the dollar, the value of the yuan is not set by the market but is kept within certain limits of other world currencies. The US has long argued that the bands are set too low, making Chinese goods cheaper on the world market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China denies U.S. warning of undervalued currency

Posted on 17 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China rejected on Wednesday a warning from the Obama administration that its currency was too weak, urging the United States to recognise that China aims to “perfect and regulate” the exchange rate system.
The Obama administration on Tuesday warned China that its currency was too weak and expressed doubt over the Asian giant’s resolve to let market forces guide the value of the yuan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

US declines to name China a currency manipulator

Posted on 16 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Obama administration is raising concern about the value of China’s currency but is declining, as in recent years, to accuse Beijing of manipulating it. The administration also expressed concern Tuesday about South Korea’s actions in currency markets and about countries that use the euro and have wide trade surpluses.
The Treasury Department said China’s currency, the renminbi, has appreciated but not as fast or as much as needed. Treasury reached that conclusion in its twice-yearly report on whether nations are manipulating currencies to gain trade advantages………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can commodities predict currencies? - Deutsche Bank

Posted on 16 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In a day where Aussie was dragged lower by falling gold prices, Deutsche Bank released an interesting paper where they claim to have found “stronger evidence that currencies can help predict commodity prices rather than vice versa.”
According to the bank, the correlations albeit unable to offer immediate results for currency forecasters, indeed can help improve commodity forecasts. Here is what the bank believes traders should keep an eye on: “We find that NZD can help predict sheep prices, AUD and CAD can predict coking coal, while CAD also has predictive power over the BoC metals index. Overall, the NZD has the tightest relationship with commodities in both directions of causality.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

China’s currency ceases to be a one-way trade

Posted on 15 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For years, betting on a rising Chinese yuan has been about as close as you could get to a sure thing in world financial markets.
The Chinese government has been officially committed to letting its currency appreciate, and the U.S. and other nations constantly apply pressure to make sure it keeps that commitment. Since China regularly runs a large trade surplus and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, there seemed to be no fundamental reason for the yuan to stop rising………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ukraine currency continues to slide

Posted on 15 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An escalation of tension in eastern Ukraine has sent the country’s currency on a fresh record-breaking slide. The National Bank of Ukraine set the official exchange rate for the currency at an all-time low of 12.97 against the dollar on Monday, according to Russian nongovernmental news agency Interfax.
Analysts said two-way price flow in the hryvnia, which is limited even in calm market conditions, has evaporated, making it particularly tough to buy the currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore maintains currency stance as economic growth slows

Posted on 14 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Singapore’s central bank maintained its pace of currency appreciation, seeking to support growth while guarding against inflation as the economy expanded less than analysts estimated last quarter.
Gross domestic product rose an annualized 0.1 percent in the three months through March from the previous quarter, when it expanded 6.1 percent, the trade ministry said in a statement today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 14 economists was 0.4 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency outlook: Dollar range-bound or breakout?

Posted on 14 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The US dollar had a difficult week last week. It lost ground against all the major currencies. Falling interest rates, sparked by the FOMC minutes that reassured investors that an early US rate hike is highly unlikely and a drop in the equity markets that wiped out the first quarter gains, appear to have been the main culprits.
Recall that the dollar-bloc had led the move against the dollar last month, but since the new quarter began the euro and yen have participated. Last week, the yen and Swiss franc were the strongest of the majors, while the dollar-bloc seemed to tire………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus to have new joint currency by 2025

Posted on 11 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In May 2014, presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will sign an agreement on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union. Sections 9 and 11 the agreement, the draft of which is available on the official website of the Russian Ministry for Economic Development, are devoted to the joint monetary policy and financial markets.
During the first stage, it is planned to set up an advisory board of the heads of central banks of participating states. The banks would be responsible for the rate of national currencies, regulation of banking and insurance activities and the harmonization of the securities market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Sebi plans to increase trading hours for currency futures

Posted on 11 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Longer trading hours may become the norm for currency traders soon. Capital markets regulator Sebi is planning to increase trading hours for currency futures so that market participants in India would be able to adjust and alter their positions in line with the movements in foreign currencies in global markets.
If the proposal is approved by the regulator, the currency futures market will be open from 9.00 am to 7.30 pm, Sebi chief UK Sinha said “The timings of the currency markets can now be enhanced from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. So, we are moving in a direction where the Indian currency derivatives market can help the corporates, for example, hedge on a continuous basis,” Sinha said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

U.S. senators back buttressing Ukraine’s currency

Posted on 11 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two Republican senators want Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to consider bolstering Ukraine’s currency to limit the country’s sensitivity to external factors, including military and financial moves by Russia.
In a letter to Mr. Lew, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas say they oppose any moves for Ukraine to further devalue its national currency, the hryvnia. The senators’ letter to Mr. Lew is another sign of the strong backing the Ukrainian government has won in some quarters on Capitol Hill, and particularly among Republicans, amid its continuing struggles with Russia………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why you should care about Bitcoin: digital currency is here to stay

Posted on 10 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Like a still obscure version of online dollars, bitcoins – or something like them – are here to stay and redefining money. No, you can’t open a Bitcoin bank account at JP Morgan Chase just yet. And you certainly can’t pay your IRS tax bill in bitcoins: the taxman views the fledgling cyber-currency as an asset, not a means of exchange.
We can’t hold it in our hands, use it to fill up our cars with gas, or do much but grab the occasional sushi dinner in places like San Francisco, or shop online at the handful of merchants that accept bitcoins………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank of Japan chief doubts Bitcoin’s future as a currency

Posted on 09 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The head of the Bank of Japan today cast doubt on Bitcoin’s future, saying the scandal-plagued digital unit “cannot be a currency” unless it proves its reliability.
The computer-generated currency has suffered a series of blows since February when the Tokyo-based Bitcoin trading exchange MtGox filed for bankruptcy, after admitting it had lost about half a billion dollars of the virtual unit. Unlike most currencies, Bitcoin is not backed by a government or central bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Singapore seen allowing stronger currency: Asean Credit

Posted on 09 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will probably keep favoring modest currency gains as it seeks to curb inflation while supporting economic growth.
All 23 analysts polled by Bloomberg News say the MAS, which uses the exchange rate rather than borrowing costs as its main policy tool, will let the Singapore dollar stay on a “modest and gradual” appreciation path. Gross domestic product probably slowed to an annualized 0.6 percent last quarter from 6.1 percent in the three months through December, a separate survey showed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Abe can take credit for currency-hedged equity ETF craze

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, deserves much of the credit for making currency-hedged exchange traded fund equity indices one of last year’s hottest selling investment products.
Mr Abe’s radical economic policies, which weakened the yen while reviving the Nikkei index of Japanese stocks, created the perfect environment for a currency-hedged Nikkei ETF to outperform. Investors in these products benefited from a weakening currency that provided major economic stimulus, without having to worry about forex movements eroding their returns………………………………………..Full Article: Source

U.S. warns China over currency depreciation

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The United States warned Beijing on Monday that the recent depreciation of the Chinese currency could raise “serious concerns” if it signalled a policy shift away from allowing market-determined exchange rates.
Washington has been pressing China for years to allow its currency to trade at stronger values. A weak yuan makes Chinese exports cheaper for U.S. consumers at the expense of U.S. producers. A weaker yuan also makes Chinese consumers less able to buy foreign goods………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The coming currency clash in Asia

Posted on 08 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Before the global financial crisis, the strange phenomenon of “uphill” capital flows—money moving out of middle-income economies and into richer ones—garnered considerable attention. While private capital was flowing in the opposite direction, net flows were driven by emerging markets’ accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, mostly stashed in the government bonds of advanced economies.
A confluence of recent events, some of them little noticed, has set the stage for this trend to resume, with emerging markets stockpiling reserves in ever-greater quantities. Currency tensions, with Asian economies again at the forefront, are set to rise. A prime cause of the problem will be the lessons leaders learned from Washington’s response to the financial crisis of 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Central banks’ investment in yuan puts currency nearer reserve status

Posted on 07 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At least 40 central banks have invested in the yuan and several others are preparing to do so, putting the mainland currency on the path to reserve status even before full convertibility, Standard Chartered said.
Twenty-three countries have publicly declared their holdings in yuan, in either the onshore or offshore markets, yet the real number of participating central banks could be far more than that, said Jukka Pihlman, Standard Chartered’s Singapore-based global head of central banks and sovereign wealth funds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Pound euro outlook: GBP EUR exchange rate predicted to climb

Posted on 04 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The European Union has abandoned its plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions from flights into and out of European airspace. The proposal would have included flights originating in the United States.
After debating late into the night, the EU Commission agreed to axe its proposal to tax emissions from flights while they are outside of European airspace. The original proposal would have taxed international flights for carbon dioxide emitted from the whole flight, not just the portion in EU airspace. ……………………………..Full Article: Source

4 ways to protect yourself from foreign-currency risk

Posted on 03 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

On March 31, Janet Yellen gave a speech to which every U.S. investor with foreign holdings should have been listening—on whether or not the Fed plans to raise interest rates anytime soon.
During her talk, which she gave at a community investment conference, the new Federal Reserve chairperson mentioned that the decision would be based on a number of factors, including inflation and labor market conditions, but she believes that the economy and jobs are still too weak to start increasing rates…………………………………Full Article: Source

NZ dollar falls on lower dairy commodity prices

Posted on 03 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand dollar was the worst-performing major currency overnight on speculation lower dairy commodity prices will weigh on economic growth. The kiwi fell as low 85.45 US cents after rising as high as 87 cents earlier this week. The local currency was at 85.58 cents at 8am in Wellington from 86.02 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index fell to 80 from 80.37.
Investors reduced their New Zealand dollar holdings after dairy product prices had the biggest drop in almost 20 months at yesterday’s Fonterra Cooperative Group GlobalDairyTrade auction, with whole milk powder falling to its lowest level in more than a year…………………………………Full Article: Source

Hong Kong looks into possible currency manipulation

Posted on 02 April 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Monetary authority asks several banks to conduct independent reviews of foreign exchange operations and submit the results. Hong Kong’s monetary authority has become the latest regulator to investigate a number of banks in the widening global inquiry into alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets.
The news comes a day after Switzerland’s competition commission opened an investigation into several Swiss, US and UK banks, including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland, over potential collusion to manipulate currency rates in the $5.3tn-a-day market………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodity-based currencies strengthen on higher energy prices

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The New Zealand dollar, along with some other currencies of nations that rely heavily on the export of raw goods, strengthened Thursday, boosted by rising oil and natural-gas prices and some positive economic data.
The New Zealand dollar gained 1% against its U.S. counterpart, to $0.8674, and 1.1% against the yen, to 88.60. Intraday, the New Zealand currency reached $0.8688 against U.S. dollar, its highest level since Aug. 2, 2011. The Canadian dollar rose 0.6% against the U.S. currency and 0.8% versus the yen………………………………Full Article: Source

Emerging-market currencies are ripping

Posted on 28 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Several high-beta emerging-market currencies are having a great day against the U.S. dollar — especially the Turkish lira, the Brazilian real, and the South African rand. It’s been about two months since the worst of the selling in an episode that sent the lira to record lows and saw the rand and the real fall to their lowest levels since 2008.
The biggest gainer of the three today is the real, up 1.1% against the dollar. The rand is up 0.9% and the lira is up 0.3%………………………………Full Article: Source

Canadian dollar higher as commodity currencies rally

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Canadian dollar ended higher Wednesday, catching a wave of positive sentiment for commodity currencies and other risk-sensitive assets that also buoyed the Australian dollar. The U.S. dollar is at C$1.1098 Wednesday, from C$1.1167 late Tuesday, according to data provider CQG.
Its session low at C$1.1089 marked its lowest point since March 17. The commodity bloc in general–the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars–generally did well despite discouraging economic developments in China, said Vassili Serebriakov, forex strategist at BNP Paribas in New York…………………………………Full Article: Source

The good, the indifferent, and the ugly of emerging-market currencies

Posted on 27 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Fed’s decision to taper its monthly asset purchase program has been seen as bullish for the dollar, and in turn it has caused emerging market currencies to fall. In a new report called “The Myth of the great EM currency slump,” Societe Generale’s Klaus Baader writes that the reaction of different currencies has actually been diverse.
“A review of 12 Asia-Pacific currencies reveals that performances over the past two years have been highly diverse and contrary to the notion of a generalized sell-off across emerging markets,” writes Baader, looking at Asian currencies…………………………………Full Article: Source

IRS says bitcoin is property, not currency

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Internal Revenue Service made its first pronouncement on the issue Tuesday, saying it will treat bitcoin and other virtual currencies like property such as stocks, and not currency, giving a potential boost to investors but imposing extensive record-keeping rules. The rule generally would impose capital-gains taxes, rather than higher regular tax rates, on investors’ profits.
The announcement brought cautiously favorable reaction from the fledgling industry. But some experts predicted problems for bitcoin as well as for the IRS in enforcing the reporting and withholding requirements in the guidance……………………………….Full Article: Source

Too much volatility or not enough derails strategies: Currencies

Posted on 26 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Too much volatility for emerging-markets currencies — and not enough in the developed world — is stinging traders. Increasing swings in exchange rates from Turkey to Hungary are wiping out profits in the carry trade, where investors buy higher-yielding assets funded by currencies with lower borrowing costs.
Volatility in Group of Seven markets is receding as central banks hold interest rates at record lows and telegraph their next policy moves, confusing funds relying on trending movements for trading signals……………………………….Full Article: Source

Yuan’s decline raises concerns over currency war

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent sharp decline in the Chinese currency is threatening to exacerbate China’s trade tensions with the U.S. and raising concerns over a potential currency war in Asia. China’s central bank has intervened since late February to drive down the value of the yuan against the U.S. dollar by 2.8% so far in 2014, almost erasing all of its gains last year and ushering in a rare period of weakness for a currency which has steadily appreciated over the past decade.
The People’s Bank of China argues the depreciation is needed to drive out speculators who were betting the yuan would continue to rise, according to people with direct knowledge of the central bank’s thinking………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency union for independent Scotland wins backing

Posted on 24 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pro-independence lobby pounces on Beijing economist’s report in move to reopen arguments over workability of UK currency union. Key reasons put forward by the UK government for rejecting a currency union with an independent Scotland are unsubstantiated, an economist has claimed.
The chancellor, George Osborne, cited Treasury advice when he ruled out sharing the pound in the event of a yes vote in this year’s independence referendum. But Leslie Young, economics professor at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, said the arguments could not withstand scrutiny………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency risks could grow in emerging markets

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Corporations could be entering a new phase of currency volatility. Emerging-market currencies in countries such as Argentina, India and China could have a bigger impact on earnings in the coming years.
“In the very long term there’s a good reason to invest in emerging markets, however in the next few years I think we’ll see a lot of volatility,” said Bilal Hafeez, Deutsche Bank AG’s global head of foreign exchange strategy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Crossing China’s big red currency line

Posted on 21 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The big red currency has crossed a big red line. It might not be so scary on the other side. A year of steady appreciation in the yuan has gone poof in a few weeks, with the Chinese unit now crossing the 6.20-per-dollar threshold.
Market players have warned that breaching that level would trigger collateral calls on investment products that could unleash even more instability in the currency. Those products were sold when the yuan was stronger than 6.20—with herd-like consensus that it could only go in one direction………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Yuan hits critical levels for FX product, could push currency lower

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The slide in the yuan to near one-year lows has left it at critical levels for holders of an offshore derivatives product, exposing them to heavy losses that may fuel a further slide in the currency.
The yuan’s 0.8 percent drop in the three days since the central bank widened its daily trading band has rippled into the offshore market where billions of dollars of leveraged bets were sold to Chinese companies………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Latin America facing period of weaker currencies -IMF

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Latin American nations are looking ahead at a period of weaker regional currencies, while the widespread growth model based on commodities exports is nearing a “plateau”, an International Monetary Fund official said on Wednesday.
Cooling economic growth, rising international interest rates and softer commodities prices have combined to pressure currencies in recent months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is Bitcoin a digital currency or a commodity?

Posted on 20 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

CoinDesk is attempting to define Bitcoin so everyone is on the same page going forward about this five year-old Internet phenomenon. It is compared to virtual currency, digital and crypto-currency.
The Department of Treasury in 2013 defined virtual currency as a currency or virtual money as a ‘a medium of exchange that operates like a currency in some environments, but does not have all the attributes of real currency.’……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Currency market inches toward electronic fix

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Work is moving forward on a new way for the foreign exchange market to set its “fixing” benchmarks, senior bankers say, after another week of revelations in the row over alleged market manipulation which has rocked the industry.
While there are substantial barriers to altering the fixing system — which is used to price trillions of dollars’ worth of investments and deals — the bankers say it is increasingly clear that an electronic-based solution is feasible. This could seek to match off and then resolve automatically the huge volumes of orders put in around the fixing with minimal human intervention, making foul play more difficult………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Key: China currency deal a boost

Posted on 19 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

New Zealand has become one of the first countries in the world to be allowed direct currency trading with Chinese, a move aimed at reducing the cost of business in the economic superpower. Prime Minister John Key announced the deal after a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last night (NZ time), the first day of his state visit this week.
The deal would “make doing business with China easier by reducing the costs of converting between the two currencies, and will stimulate trade and investment”, Key said. The announcement was a sign of “how close the relationship is growing”. Since he became prime minister, exports had quadrupled to $10 billion, he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Russian ruble becomes Crimea’s second official currency

Posted on 18 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Crimean parliament has announced the Russian ruble will become the second official currency of Crimea and will be circulating alongside the hryvnia until it is withdrawn in 2016.
The decision marks the first step in the peninsula’s economic integration with Russia, after Crimea’s citizens overwhelmingly voted for joining Russia in Sunday’s referendum. “The official currency unit of the Republic of Crimea is the Russian ruble, and until January 1, 2016, the Ukrainian hryvnia would be also the official currency,” the parliament’s official website says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Argentina currency crisis is no joke

Posted on 18 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Back in January, the Argentinean peso was plunging after its latest devaluation by the government. I was assigned to write a story about it. The end result — besides 550 words on why Argentina was spooking foreign exchange investors — was the inspiration for my spring break vacation: a week-long trip with my girlfriend to Buenos Aires and Uruguay. After all, it’s been a brutal winter here in New York.
I suppose I was channeling the 18th century nobleman Baron Rothschild, who during the Battle of Waterloo famously said “the time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

In China, shaking up currency’s strength

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the surest bets on China is starting to look a bit shaky. Every business day for the last nine years, at 9 a.m., government workers in the blandly named Building No. 30 in Shanghai’s Pudong financial district have published what their country’s currency will be worth that day, when compared with the United States dollar.
More often than not, the staff of the China Foreign Exchange Trade System has assigned a value to the currency, the renminbi, slightly stronger than it had finished the previous day. Thanks to the guiding hand of the Chinese state, the renminbi today is about 25 percent stronger than it was in July 2005, when China scrapped the currency’s fixed peg to the dollar in favor of a steady, crawling appreciation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Europe’s leaders warn currency volatility could harm the recovery

Posted on 17 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two years ago, European businesses were worrying about whether the euro would survive. Today, a bigger problem for many of them is its strength. With the single currency at its highest level since mid-2011 on a trade-weighted measure, politicians are warning that adverse exchange rates could stall the eurozone’s fragile recovery.
While the euro’s rise against the dollar has been fairly moderate, turmoil in emerging currencies has stung many multinationals – which had bet heavily on growth in emerging economies in recent years to compensate for the lack of activity in their home markets, but now find themselves exposed to swings of as much as 20 per cent between the worst-hit local currencies and the resurgent euro………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bank of England: Digital currencies are similar to commodities

Posted on 14 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Bank of England (BoE) has published an article on the role of money in the modern economy and one topic was the future of digital currencies and payment technologies. The currency v commodity debate has been going on for a while and the Bank of England is clearly on the commodity side of the argument.
“Digital currencies are not at present widely used as a medium of exchange. Instead, their popularity largely derives from their ability to serve as an asset class. As such they may have more conceptual similarities to commodities, such as gold, than money,” the bank concluded………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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