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Asia’s currency rollercoaster creates winners and losers

Posted on 07 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Radical central bank policies in the US and Japan have buffeted Asian currencies in the past 12 months, wiping 15 per cent off the Indian rupee, 10 per cent off the yen and a fifth off the Indonesian rupiah. But they have also created some unlikely winners and losers, from Indonesian cattle farmers to Japanese bath house owners.
The widening of South Korea’s kimchi deficit – which sees the country import more of its national dish than it sells abroad – and the growing queues at Japanese theme parks are both manifestations of Abenomics, the pro-growth policies championed by Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, that began with easy money and a devaluation in the yen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Virtual currency to remain, but is bitcoin the future?

Posted on 06 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Virtual currencies have gained traction in the five years since the first bitcoin was created , but it’s less clear if bitcoin itself will be the virtual currency of the future.
“The banking system has come to the realization that digital currency isn’t going away,” said Barry Silbert, chief executive of SecondMarket. His comments came during a panel discussion at the MarketWatch Investing Insights event “Bitcoin: Boom and Bust” late Tuesday in New York………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Economic expert says currency union in no country’s interests

Posted on 06 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An economic expert told MSPs a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would be in the interests of neither, on 5 March 2014. Dr Angus Armstrong from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research told the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee a formal currency union would be “very difficult indeed” and added UK Chancellor George Osborne had been “entirely rational” to rule it out.
The committee was taking evidence in the first session of the day as part of its inquiry into Scotland’s potential economic future after the referendum. Dr Armstrong said for Scotland to attain the aspirations detailed in the SNP’s White Paper it would require Scotland to have its own currency, to allow it to control all the policy levers………………………………………..Full Article: Source

HKEx to add yuan futures in night trading session

Posted on 05 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

HKEx looks to extend trading hours for the products from April to allow for hedging by investors in the wake of recent volatility in the currency. Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing will add yuan currency futures in an after-hours evening session from April 7 in its latest effort to promote yuan products.
“The yuan has become very volatile recently while its trading pattern last week showed the currency did not always go up. This would be the right time for HKEx to extend the trading hours for yuan futures to allow investors to do some hedging,” Charles Li Xiaojia, chief executive of the bourse, said as he unveiled HKEx’s strategy at its annual media briefing……………………………………….Full Article: Source

So Russia is going to abandon the dollar as a reserve currency? Good luck with that one

Posted on 05 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

I’ve already explained why meaningful trade and financial sanctions against Russia are a non starter – everyone would lose from such action. Europe would be pushed back into recession, Russia into financial meltdown.
This is not the sort of self harm Europe is prepared to contemplate right now. Indeed, thanks to the indiscretion of a UK official, who was snapped going into Downing Street with his briefing documents on display for all the world to see, we know this to be the case. Trade and financial sanctions have already been ruled out………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Japan to define bitcoin as a commodity: Nikkei

Posted on 05 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Japan is preparing to define bitcoin as a commodity and establish rules for trading and taxing the virtual currency “in the days ahead,” according to the Nikkei Asian Review . The reported move comes after the collapse of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, which was located in Tokyo.
Banks and securities firms won’t be allowed to handle or broker bitcoin trades, according to the report. Bitcoin trading gains and bitcoin purchases will be taxed………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Moscow currency traders run short as rouble weakens

Posted on 04 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rouble began weakening after the Russian parliament approved Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy the military in Ukraine. As the rouble plunged and Russian stock markets crashed Monday amid fears of war, traders on the streets of Moscow were running out of foreign currency.
“There were enormous queues Monday after Putin announced there might be war with Ukraine,” said Benjamin, who was working at an exchange point and declined to give his surname. “We have no euros and only a few dollars.” The value of the Russian rouble, which has dropped steadily this year, fell sharply Monday to historic lows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bitcoin: Currency or commodity?

Posted on 04 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Bitcoin phenomenon has now reached the mainstream media where it met with a reception that ranged from sceptical to outright hostility. The recent volatility in the price of bitcoins and the issues surrounding Bitcoin-exchange Mt. Gox have led to additional negative publicity.
In my view, Bitcoin as a monetary concept is potentially a work of genius, and even if Bitcoin were to fail in its present incarnation – a scenario that I cannot exclude but that I consider exceedingly unlikely – the concept itself is too powerful to be ignored or even suppressed in the long run………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s currency plunges, signaling tumbling economy

Posted on 03 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The renminbi skidded in intraday trading on Friday but managed to recover to close at 6.1450 to the dollar, down 0.27% for the day. That resulted in losses of 0.9% for the week and 1.4% for the month, both records. The yuan, as the currency is informally known, is now at its lowest level in about ten months.
As Reuters reported, government intervention on Friday reached a “frenzied pitch.” The People’s Bank of China , the central bank, has been on a tear for a week and a half, driving down the currency by setting low daily reference rates—prices cannot vary more than 1% from the bank’s morning fixing—and by instructing its agents to buy greenbacks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The yuan is falling, but only because Beijing wants it to

Posted on 03 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It is hard to fathom quite why so many people have been surprised by the recent fall in the value of the yuan. Over the past couple of weeks, the mainland currency has fallen 1.3 per cent against the US dollar.
That might not sound like much, but for the yuan it is the most abrupt decline since its 1993 devaluation, and it confounded legions of analysts and investors who had confidently expected the currency’s strengthening trend to continue uninterrupted. Their confidence was misplaced. Despite all the talk about internationalisation and a greater role for market forces, the yuan remains neither fully convertible nor freely floating………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Electronic currency: Alternatives to Gold, Fiat money all speculation based

Posted on 03 March 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

History does not repeat; it rhymes. Current stability comes from confidence and force. We’ve all heard that cliché over and over. But to rhyme is to the use any words you choose. We can rhyme in paper or digits, but it is all backed by nothing.
There is a not-so-subtle difference between currency and legal tender. Legal tender implies both force and control. And it’s worthwhile to explore how far history can be re-expressed through technology. A currency is simply an IOU, a convenience ticket or token used to settle a debt. Or a transaction, representing a deposit or asset kept someplace else………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s currency suddenly reverses direction, stuns world markets

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The value of China’s currency, the yuan, is arguably the most debated and contested in the world. The country’s trading partners, especially the U.S., have long criticized Beijing’s policymakers of keeping the yuan artificially cheap to give Chinese exports an unfair advantage in global markets.
However, for several years now the direction of the yuan has been generally the same: Steadily (though very slowly), the yuan has gotten stronger against the dollar. The progress has been so consistent that many in financial markets assumed that it would continue to get stronger indefinitely………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Yuan to supersede dollar as top reserve currency: Survey

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The tightly controlled Chinese yuan will eventually supersede the dollar as the top international reserve currency, according to a new poll of institutional investors.
The survey of 200 institutional investors - 100 headquartered in mainland China and 100 outside of it - published by State Street and the Economist Intelligence Unit on Thursday found 53 percent of investors think the renminbi will surpass the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

‘UK should not vote on currency union’ - Salmond

Posted on 28 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the event of Scottish independence, people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should not be given a formal say on whether Scotland enters a currency union with them, according to First Minister Alex Salmond.
Mr Salmond rejected suggestions that a second referendum should be held on sharing sterling if Scotland votes for independence on September 18. “A referendum would not be required, it should be a negotiating position between the rest of the UK and the Scottish Government after a Yes vote,” he said………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ukrainian currency hits 10-year low

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, has fallen to a new low of 10 to the US dollar. The currency’s decline reflects political upheavals and longer-term persistent economic weakness.
But it is also likely to aggravate those underlying problems and adds to Ukraine’s need for international financial assistance. The pressure is on the West and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help, as Russia seems unlikely to………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China’s falling currency could spark global tensions

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Whenever a major global economy reverses policy, global markets pay attention. That’s exactly what’s happening in response to the sharp, quick decline in China’s currency.
The Chinese yuan has fallen more than 1% against the U.S. dollar in the past week, after appreciating almost 40% in the past few years. Citing “people familiar with the central bank’s thinking,” The Wall Street Journal reports “China’s central bank engineered” the drop in order to reduce speculation in the currency………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity-driven currencies in focus

Posted on 27 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It has been a relatively quiet week in the FX markets so far. The main reason for this has been the lack of economic news, while receding concerns over emerging markets have seen the likes of the Turkish Lira and Mexican Peso stabilise.
However not all EM currencies have steadied. The Russian Ruble, for example, has extended its falls against both the euro and the dollar amid concerns that Ukraine will be unable to pay for its energy imports due to the on-going geopolitical crisis in Kiev. The USD/RUB and EUR/RUB currency pairs are therefore definitely worth watching as the standoff between Russia and the EU/US regarding Ukraine unfolds………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency unknowns weigh on an independent Scotland

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The image that comes to mind is of schoolboys squabbling in the playground. Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister, proclaims that the pound sterling is the common property of both Scotland and England. George Osborne asserts that the pound belongs to him and the UK chancellor will not let it go.
Both claims have some merit and both are irrelevant. If Scotland did vote Yes to independence, that would be the time at which sensible negotiations would start, preferably between grown-ups………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Digital currency: Currency in the cloud

Posted on 26 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

At the start of the millennium, the idea of a digital currency independent of governments or central banks and unbacked by physical reserves was viewed in much the same light as the flying car or the flux capacitor. However, a paradigm shift in digital technology since the internet boom has seen cryptocurrencies move from futuristic fantasies to real-world items in the space of two decades.
But as Bitcoin – the frontrunner in the race to monopolise the digital currency sphere – gains ever more traction, it has acquired a reputation as the currency of choice for some of society’s murkier elements. This reputation has not been enhanced by Bitcoin’s widespread use on underground online marketplace Silk Road before its closure by the US FBI last October………………………………………..Full Article: Source

China brews a storm in currency teacup

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

China’s secretive currency managers certainly know how to conjure up a storm. The usually predictable Chinese yuan took a dive over the past week, its first sustained weakness against the dollar since 2012. The People’s Bank of China has guided the yuan 0.5% weaker by moving its daily target rate lower. That is despite pressure from traders, who work within the currency’s narrow trading band, to let it strengthen.
It is a fast and big move for the tightly controlled currency. The freely traded Hong Kong flavor of the yuan, which is a leveraged reflection of its onshore cousin, has fallen a more dramatic 1.3%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scottish independence: ‘the pound is our currency’, says Alex Salmond

Posted on 25 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond accuses George Osborne of “bluffing” and “bullying”, after the Chancellor ruled out the UK entering a currency union with an independent Scotland. Alex Salmond appears to have revealed his Plan B for an independent Scotland’s currency after saying that the country will keep the pound even if the UK won’t enter a currency union.
Mr Salmond addressed a gathering in Portlethen, Aberdeenshire and said that the currency debate was “not a question of keeping the pound” but about the circumstances in which it would be retained………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency deal to lift trade with S Korea

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rapidly growing economic relationship between Australia and South Korea will be augmented by a $5 billion three-year currency swap deal announced yesterday by the Bank of Korea and the country’s finance ministry.
This follows the release last week of details of the free trade agreement concluded in December, which is expected to add $653 billion ($728bn) a year to the Australian economy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

UBS said to seek immunity in currency-rigging probes by EU, U.S.

Posted on 24 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

UBS AG, trying to reprise its success in limiting fines in a probe of interest-rate rigging, is seeking immunity in the U.S. and European Union as part of the global investigation of currency markets, two people with knowledge of the case said.
UBS saved itself billions of euros in fines in December by disclosing to the EU its role in manipulating the London Interbank offered rate. Now, the bank aims to be the first to report its own conduct in currency markets to European and American regulators, said the people, who requested anonymity because the matter isn’t public………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bitcoin is risky, Israel warns amid talk of regulating virtual currency

Posted on 21 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Supporters are drawn to its decentralized platform. Detractors call it a bubble prone to be exploited by criminals. Israel said it was considering regulation of Bitcoin and warned citizens that using such decentralized virtual currencies was risky.
As a virtual currency, Bitcoin is passed between two parties digitally and can be traded on exchanges for real-world currencies. Its value fluctuates according to user demand but it is not backed by any government or central bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency pegs look shaky after emerging market rout

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The devaluation of Kazakhstan’s rouble-shadowing tenge has left investors wondering which other closely managed emerging market currencies might be next, with those of commodity exporters like Nigeria and Angola in the spotlight.
The free-floating currencies of the ‘Fragile Five’ countries that rely on foreign investment to finance deficits - Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa - felt the brunt of an emerging market sell-off that began last May………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Patagonia problem: currency and commodities

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Around this time of the year (seasonally commodity harvest is round the corner), there are three sets of people watching the events in Argentina unfold with a lot of interest. I am referring to commodity and currency traders, scholars in Boston and Washington, and the people of Argentina themselves. My views are based on my understanding of the first set of people, as I have little current insight into the cerebral activity of the other two.
Argentina produces a large amount of agricultural commodities every year and consumes only a fraction of what it produces…………………………………………Full Article: Source

Trade in China currency breaks record

Posted on 20 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

More companies are trading goods and services with China and pricing it in yuan instead of dollars, the Bank of China said on Wednesday. Bank President Chen Siqing said in a note that the fourth quarter of 2013 saw a 30% increase in yuan trade settlements from the second third quarter.
Although the currency remains a tightly controlled currency – pegged to the dollar – the Chinese government and many fund managers are betting on the yuan eventually becoming the new yen in Asia. According to the Bank, dollar activity in the fourth increased by just 2% while euro, pound and yen trade all declined………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Scottish independence: Politicians clash on currency options

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Scottish politicians have clashed over plans to keep the pound as part of a formal currency union if the nation votes for independence. The SNP’s Stewart Hosie said the move made sense, but Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the plan was falling apart.
Labour’s Jenny Marra said a currency union would be difficult to sell to the rest of the UK. The clashes came during a BBC TV debate ahead of the independence referendum………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What if cash were the latest currency trend?

Posted on 19 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rise of Bitcoin has lead many to be confused by the digital currency and why it’s preferable to cash. In response, Ledra Capital has published a tongue-in-cheek piece outlining what might happen if the reverse was true — cash is introduced into a world that uses digital currency.
Taking the form of a fictional news report, the piece outlines some of cash’s many failings: it’s anonymous, easily lost or destroyed, is geographically limited, and it can even spread disease………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bitcoin’s crisis is turning point for currency

Posted on 18 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Many bitcoin users are probably too young to remember the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1997 rap hit “Mo Money Mo Problems.” A YouTube trip down memory lane won’t be a waste of time: Mo virtual money, mo problems.
After weeks marked by technological breakdowns, regulatory issues and general questions over its viability, bitcoin is in the midst of the worst crisis since it was proposed in a white paper in 2008………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Back to the future with Scottish currency

Posted on 18 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rejection by all the Westminster parties collectively of the SNP’s Plan A for a post-independence UK currency union has elicited a string of possible Plan B solutions, several of them already considered and rejected as inferior to Plan A by the SNP’s expert group of ‘wise men’.
But the current debate is ill-founded, since the UK can have no more control over who uses the £ symbol as a unit of account, than they can have control over the use of metres and kilogrammes. As for currency, which is not necessarily the same thing as a unit of account, any number of countries ‘peg’ their currencies to a stronger currency as a unit of account………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Emerging market currency crisis not enough to ‘infect the system’, says new PIMCO chief

Posted on 17 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Douglas Hodge says that while some economies had “sold their future” by shunning prudence and running big deficits, emerging market economies as a whole were now more resilent than they were two decades ago.
The currency crisis that has engulfed some emerging market economies is not dangerous enough to “infect the system”, according to the world’s largest bond fund………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Swinney: Scotland will not join ERM or euro currency

Posted on 17 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Comments by the European Commission president about an independent Scotland are “pretty preposterous”, according to Scotland’s finance minister. Earlier, Jose Manuel Barroso told the BBC’s Andrew Marr it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for an independent Scotland to join the European Union.
Mr Barroso cited the example of Spain opposing the recognition of Kosovo. However, John Swinney has dismissed the comparison. He told Andrew Neil on the Sunday Politics that “absolutely no member state of the European Union has indicated they would veto Scottish membership.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Scottish independence: Treasury ’strongly’ against currency union

Posted on 14 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chancellor George Osborne said the pound was not an asset to be divided up, during a speech in Edinburgh. The Treasury’s top official has “strongly” advised against a currency union with an independent Scotland.
Sir Nicholas Macpherson said such an arrangement was “fraught with difficulty”. His recommendations to the chancellor were published as the three main Westminster parties ruled out a currency union………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Does China plan to use gold to internationalize the yuan?

Posted on 14 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Concerns about high debt and an overvalued currency are sucking gold imports into China, according to a new report from Lombard Street Research. It adds that the authorities may possibly be moving in the direction of using gold in a plan to make the yuan an international currency.
Beijing has said that it does not view gold as a useful asset for diversifying the country’s $3.8 trillion worth of foreign exchange reserves, according to media reports………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Kazakh devaluation shows currency war stirring as ruble dips

Posted on 13 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Two years after Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus formed a trade pact, a currency war is breaking out between the former Soviet republics. Kazakhstan devalued the tenge by 19 percent yesterday, saying the Russian ruble’s plunge to a record low this month put additional pressure on its currency.
The tenge will trade at 185 per dollar, with a range of 3 tenge on either side after a previous target of about 150, the National Bank of Kazakhstan said yesterday. The ruble fell to a record 41.0472 against the Russian central bank’s dollar-euro basket this month, dropping 6.3 percent this year and 15 percent from the start of 2013………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Cyber attack on bitcoin a big warning to currency’s users

Posted on 13 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A massive cyber attack from unknown sources that has been spamming bitcoin exchanges is highlighting some of the dangers people can encounter when they exchange cash for digital currencies like the bitcoin, experts said on Wednesday.
The attack, which is technically known as a distributed denial of service attack, involved thousands of phantom transactions, forcing at least three of the online platforms that store bitcoins and trade them for traditional currencies to halt withdrawals of bitcoins until they can determine which transactions were real………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency devaluations: Good, bad or plain ugly?

Posted on 12 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There’s something Wild West about currency devaluations. Not just because they’re the mainstay of frontier economies, but there can be a pretty big element of unpredictability about how they pan out.
News that Kazakhstan was devaluing its currency by nearly 20% against the dollar follows widespread currency slides across emerging markets during recent months. In some cases, the national governments welcomed their currency’s weakness. Like Russia, which is looking for a weaker ruble to help spur flagging economic growth………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Watch the U.S. dollar for a sign on the direction of commodities

Posted on 12 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The investment community was anxiously awaiting Friday’s employment report. Would it show a pickup in hiring in January, making December’s abysmal numbers seem like an aberration? Or would it confirm a pattern of weakness? Unfortunately for the U.S. economy, it was the latter.
Almost immediately, equity prices shot up on the assumption that the data would cause the Federal Reserve to re-assess the strategy of tapering its monthly bond-buying program. It’s the old belief that bad news for the economy is good news for stocks, which represents a fundamental disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Party big guns to rule out currency union with Scotland

Posted on 12 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Scotland’s hopes of keeping the pound will come under attack from George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Ed Balls. Britain’s main political parties are drawing up plans to deliver a powerful message to the Scottish people that the remainder of the UK will refuse to form a currency union with Scotland if voters endorse independence in the referendum in September.
Amid strong polling evidence that financial matters have become the decisive factor in voters’ minds, George Osborne, Danny Alexander and Ed Balls are each planning to deliver an unequivocal warning that an independent Scotland could not keep the pound………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Ukraine capital controls stem fall in its currency

Posted on 11 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Ukraine’s imposition of capital controls has stemmed a slide in its currency, but has done little to calm fears that the country will default on its debt in the absence of international aid, as the political crisis deepens.
The hryvnia, which fell to a five-year low below 9 to the dollar last week, has rallied around 5 per cent since the central bank stepped in last Friday, imposing a cap on foreign currency purchases by individuals and a ban on buying foreign currency to invest overseas or to repay foreign debts early………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 things to know about currency hedging

Posted on 11 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In the past month, non-U.S. developed markets equity ETFs attracted $11.2 billion. Pan-European equity, which I’ve discussed before on the Blog , brought in $4 billion. During the same period, broad-based developed markets equity added $3.7 billion, and Japanese equity exposures attracted $4 billion.
We believe this trend will continue, and recently upgraded our view of Europe and Japan from neutral to overweight, as noted in BlackRock’s latest Investment Directions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Continued yuan appreciation is no longer such a sure thing

Posted on 10 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It looks likely that one day the yuan will become too strong for China’s economy to bear and will lead to a depreciation of the currency. In an age of uncertainty, one of the few apparently safe bets has been that China’s currency, the yuan, will continue to appreciate in value.
After all, despite a modest slowdown, China is still growing at a much faster pace than any other major economy. And as members of the US Congress keep telling us, the yuan is fundamentally undervalued, and really ought to strengthen…………………………….Full Article: Source

Bitcoin gains more ground as new virtual currency

Posted on 10 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A number of new entrants, such as bitgem, catcoin, unobtanium and sexcoin, have arrived on the scene even as regulators across the world grapple with risks posed by such currencies and transactions conducted through them.
At least 93 virtual currencies are at present being used by people across the world over the internet, as also for some offline transactions, and their total valuation has reached $13 billion (over 80,000 crore), out of which bitcoin alone accounts for over $9 billion, according to market estimates…………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedge funds rework currency positions in market drop

Posted on 07 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Traders who anticipated a year when riskier bets would pay off are overhauling their foreign-exchange positions after an emerging-markets rout led to the worst start to the year for currency funds since 2004.
Hedge funds and other large speculators shuffled holdings of the dollar, yen, pound, Mexican peso and four other major currencies by a net 102,115 contracts in the week ended Jan. 28, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. That’s the biggest realignment since September, with updated figures due tomorrow………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miners cheer fall in commodity currencies

Posted on 06 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mining companies are set to receive a boost when they report figures this month thanks to a fall in “commodity currencies” against the US dollar.
Many of the world’s largest miners have adopted austerity measures as they seek to reduce debts and atone for years of overspending. These efforts have coincided with the depreciation in local currencies, which is helping to lower production costs and boost margins………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Germany says currency-trade overhaul should be on global agenda

Posted on 06 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government backed moving currency and precious-metals trading to exchanges, saying Germany will take up overhauling global financial markets with its partners.
As the rigging of the London interbank offered rate spurs scrutiny of trades, German Deputy Finance Minister Michael Meister said stronger financial regulation would counter the manipulation of other benchmarks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bitcoin is far more than a currency for speculators

Posted on 06 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Bitcoin is being forced to grow up fast. The arrest last week on money laundering charges of Charlie Shrem, a leading Bitcoin champion, coincided with a regulatory hearing in New York to consider what on earth it is – a virtual currency, speculative asset or a means of exchange?
The best answer is the last, although most excitement has been generated by its wild swings in value and the libertarian promise of a cryptographic currency replacing fiat currencies such as the dollar or the euro. In the end, the old laws affect everyone, including Mr Shrem, who has resigned as vice-chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Zimbabwe’s multi-currency confusion

Posted on 06 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Once known for its billion dollar notes and hyper-inflation, Zimbabwe must be the only place in the world to have eight currencies as legal tender - none of them its own.
For the last five years most people have been using US dollars or South African rand, but pula from Botswana and British pound sterling have also been changing hands. Now the central bank is also allowing the use of Australian dollars, Chinese yuan, Indian rupees and Japanese yen………………………………………..Full Article: Source

BlackRock launches new currency-hedged ETFs

Posted on 05 February 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

BlackRock Inc’s iShares, the largest U.S. provider of exchange-traded funds, is launching a new set of currency-hedged ETFs on Tuesday as it looks to target investors interested in international equity exposure but concerned about potential losses from a rising U.S. dollar.
The new iShares ETFs, which are set to begin trading Tuesday on the NYSE Arca, will focus on Japan, Germany, and EAFE countries, which include developed markets outside of the U.S. and Canada. The ETFs hedge by using foreign currency forward contracts, which allow market participants to lock in an exchange rate on a specific date………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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