Forex – Dollar Calm; Retains Strength Against Main Rivals

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was largely flat in European trading Monday, with the U.S. holiday providing little incentive for traders to take risks. That said, the greenback still looks strong against its main competitors.

At 03:35 ET (0835 GMT), the Futures, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, was essentially flat at 97.40. traded flat at 110.15, at 1.1095, up 0.1%, and at 1.2979, down 0.2%.

Figures released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed U.S. housing starts in December were well above economists’ estimates for 1.38 million and were the biggest gain in 13 years.

Retail sales were also on the rise and a gauge of manufacturing activity rebounded to its highest in eight months.

The positive data reduced chances that the Federal Reserve would slash rates when it meets later this month.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are also not expected to make any changes in their first policy meetings of the year this week, but the Bank of England is widely expected to cut rates in the near future.

The dollar story is staying firm in the G3 space, analysts Chris Turner, Petr Krpata and Francesco Pesole at ING, said in a research note. “Talk of a Republican Tax Cut 2.0 may cement that trend – at least in the G3 space. US macro weakness looks less of a concern now, but the market will soon turn to U.S. election risks – especially were (Elizabeth) Warren or (Bernie) Sanders to win the Democratic nomination.”

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Russian Billionaire Loses Lawsuit Against Nordic Banks

© Reuters.  Russian Billionaire Loses Lawsuit Against Nordic Banks © Reuters. Russian Billionaire Loses Lawsuit Against Nordic Banks

(Bloomberg) — A group of Nordic banks sued by a Russian oligarch aren’t required to accept his business, according to what may prove to be a landmark ruling by a court in Finland.

Russian billionaire Boris Rotenberg, an associate of President Vladimir Putin, lost his lawsuit against four Nordic banks and was ordered to pay more than 500,000 euros ($ 556,000) to cover their legal fees, the Helsinki District Court ruled on Monday.

The court said that forcing the banks to accept business from Rotenberg, who is on the U.S. sanctions list, would have subjected them to significant financial risk which they, by law, are prohibited from taking.

The lawsuit targeted Svenska Handelsbanken AB (ST:) for refusing to accept cross-border deposits from Rotenberg, and Nordea Bank Abp (SIX:), OP Group and Danske Bank A/S (CSE:) for not processing payments to vendors for basics including Rotenberg’s electricity bills.

Jakob Dedenroth Bernhoft, a Copenhagen-based lawyer who specializes in compliance and money laundering issues, said the decision would set an important precedent.

“All the other banks will look at this decision from the court for guidance on what to do in a similar situation,” Bernhoft said by phone before the verdict was delivered.

At stake was the banks’ access to the U.S. dollar market, which is crucial to their ability to operate.

The case comes against a backdrop of money-laundering scandals in the region, with regulators ratcheting up compliance requirements. Banks are also under increasing pressure to identify dodgy customers. According to documents provided to the court, Rotenberg has a current account at Handelsbanken, which the bank has supplied on the recommendation of the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau.

Rotenberg had argued that his status as a dual citizen of both Russia and Finland meant that banks based in Europe must process his transactions. But the court said Rotenberg failed to prove he resides in a European Economic Area country, and thus has no such rights to basic banking services as mandated by law.

The court’s panel of judges ruled unanimously, but the verdict can be appealed. Rotenberg has seven days to express his dissatisfaction with the ruling, the court said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Dollar stumbles to nine-week low against safe-haven yen as Mideast tensions flare

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee shows U.S. dollars banknotes at a money changer in Jakarta © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee shows U.S. dollars banknotes at a money changer in Jakarta

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Japanese yen led other safe-haven assets higher on Friday after air strikes on Baghdad airport killed a senior Iranian military official, stoking tensions in the Middle East and lifting the price of oil.

U.S. Treasury bonds and gold rallied after an Iraqi militia spokesman told Reuters that Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed in the attack.

U.S. officials told Reuters that strikes had been carried out against two targets linked to Iran in Baghdad. Oil prices jumped $ 2 a barrel.[O/R]

The dollar eased 0.46% to 108.07 yen following the news, breaching several layers of chart support and reaching its lowest since early November. The euro also dipped to a three-week low at 120.78 yen ().

The yen is often used as a safe harbor during times of global tensions given Japan’s status as the world’s largest creditor nation. A holiday in Tokyo also made for thin conditions, exaggerating the move.

The holiday meant cash Treasuries were not trading yet, but Treasury bond futures gained 7 ticks on the news () implying a drop in U.S. yields.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar slipped 0.1% to 96.732 () but stayed above the recent six-month low around 96.355.

The dollar had got a lift overnight when dismal economic news from Europe and the UK weighed on the pound and euro.

Surveys showed British factory output fell in December at the fastest rate since 2012, while the German manufacturing sector stayed deep in contraction.

The pound was flat at $ 1.3140 , after easing from a top of $ 1.3266 on Thursday. The euro stood at $ 1.1174 (), after backing away from major chart resistance around $ 1.1249.

An index of U.S. manufacturing activity due later is expected to show a slight uptick to 49.0 in December, from 48.1 the month before.

Figures out Thursday showed jobless claims edged lower last week in a positive signal for the U.S. labor market.

The resilience of employment is a major reason the Federal Reserve has signaled no more rate cuts will be needed in this cycle, leading markets to sharply scale back expectations of further policy easing .

Several Fed official are speaking on Friday including Governor Lael Brainard and the heads of the San Francisco, Chicago, Richmond and Dallas banks.

Analysts expect they will remain upbeat on the economic outlook and reiterate a steady outlook for rates.

The dollar had benefited from U.S. economic outperformance for much of 2019, though the recent easing in Sino-U.S. trade concerns has boosted optimism that this year could favor other major nations.

So far on Friday, there had been no repeat of the “flash crash” of Jan. 3 last year when massive stop-loss selling swept through an illiquid holiday-hit market.

Regulators have been on alert for any signs of strain and trade was thin but orderly.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Forex: Dollar Surges Against Euro on Stronger U.S. Jobs Report

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar rallied on Friday as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs gains last month reaffirmed beliefs that the economy remained on solid footing.

The , which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose by 0.35% to 97.75.

The U.S. created jobs last month, topping economists’ forecast of 186,000.

The unexpectedly dropped to 3.5% and wage growth slipped to 0.2% in November, lower than expectations of 0.3%.

Following the stronger-than-expected jobs report, TD economists said the Federal Reserve can sit comfortably on the sidelines after cutting rates three times this year.

“As long as international risks do not intensify and hurt confidence domestically, the American economy will remain in expansion, supported by a healthy consumer,” the firm added.

The , which was already under pressure amid weaker German data, fell 0.45% against the greenback to $ 1.105.

fell 0.12% to Y108.62, while jumped 0.67% to C$ 1.326, with the latter coming under pressure following a weaker-than-expected .

The plunge in the comes amid reports that Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz is set to step down just days ahead of the central bank’s .

slipped 0.23% to $ 1.312, giving up some of its gains earlier this week, when the pair hit seven-month highs on bets that the Conservative party in the U.K., led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, would likely win a majority of the seats in the General Election.

With a Tory majority, Boris Johnson will likely be able to get his Brexit deal approved, ending the current parliamentary deadlock on Brexit, which has weighed on economic activity.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Paris protesters march against deadly domestic violence

Paris – Thousands of protesters marched through Paris on Saturday to demand a national wake-up call and more government investment to prevent deadly domestic violence against women, a problem that President Emmanuel Macron calls “France’s shame.”

A wave of purple flags and signs snaked from the Place de la Republique through eastern Paris amid an unprecedented public campaign to decry violence against women – and honor the 130 women that activists say have been killed in France this year by a current or former partner. That’s about one every two or three days.

While France has a progressive reputation and pushes for women’s rights around the world, it has among the highest rates in Europe of domestic violence, in part because of poor police response to reports of abuse. Many of the women killed this year had previously sought help from police.

Trending News

At Saturday’s march, French film and TV stars joined abuse victims and activists calling for an end to “femicide.” Many held banners reading “Sick of Rape.” 

France Deadly Domestic Vilence
Women march against domestic violence, in Paris, Saturday, Nov, 23, 2019. Thibault Camus/AP

The protest came on the U.N.’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and is aimed at pressuring the French government before it unveils new measures Monday to tackle the problem.

The measures are expected to include seizing firearms from people suspected of domestic violence and prioritizing police training so they won’t brush off women’s complaints as a private affair.

Some of Saturday’s marchers want 1 billion euros in government investment, though the funding is expected to fall far short of that.

French activists have stepped up efforts this year to call attention to the problem, with an unusual campaign of gluing posters around Paris and other cities every time another woman is killed. The posters honor the women, and call for action. They also hold protests, lying down on the pavement to represent the slain women. 

France Deadly Domestic Violence
Activists hold placards as they march against domestic violence, in Paris, Saturday, Nov, 23, 2019.  Thibault Camus/AP

A 2014 EU survey of 42,000 women across all 28 member states found that 26% of French respondents said they been abused by a partner since age 15, either physically or sexually. That’s below the global average of 30%, according to UN Women. But it’s above the EU average and the sixth highest among EU countries.

In France, lawyers and victims’ advocates say they’re encouraged by the new national conversation, which they say marks a departure from decades of denial. Women aren’t the only victims of domestic violence, but French officials say they make up the vast majority.

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Forex – Dollar Rises Against Safe Haven Yen on Trade Deal Hopes

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was higher against the safe haven Japanese yen on Tuesday amid hopes that the U.S. and China are getting closer to a preliminary agreement to resolve their protracted trade war, which has raised fears of a global economic slowdown.

The dollar rose 0.26% against the to 108.82 by 03:19 AM ET (08:19 GMT), building on Monday’s gains of 0.4%. The , meanwhile, strengthened below 7 to the dollar for the first time in three months.

In recent days, Beijing and Washington have given encouraging signs of progress in trade talks.

Reuters reported that China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a “phase one” trade deal expected to be signed later this month at a yet-to-be determined location.

Both countries have slapped tariffs on each other’s goods in a trade war that has dragged on for 16 months.

“There may have been some expectations that the U.S. may postpone the remaining tariffs, which are due to kick in on Dec. 15. But if it goes further by rolling back existing tariffs, that would not only benefit the economy but would also make the truce seem more permanent,” said Yukino Yamada, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The against a basket of six major currencies was steady at 97.32, holding just below the one-week highs of 97.47 reached overnight.

The was a touch higher against the greenback at 1.1133, while the edged up to 1.2895.

The was also higher, rising 0.43% to 0.6912 as investors became more comfortable with taking on risk.

Earlier Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia left its cash rate at a record low of 0.75% and reiterated its concern about consumer spending. It said rates are likely to remain low for an extended period.

Many economists expect the RBA to cut rates at least once early next year to help revive inflation and a slowing economy.

–Reuters contributed to this report

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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NewsBreak: Lira Jumps After Trump Says He Will End Sanctions Against Turkey

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Investing.com -The Turkish lira jumped on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was lifting sanctions against Turkey “unless something happens that I’m not happy with.”

  • Trump also said that Turkey said the ceasefire would be permanent.
  • Russia and Turkey agreed on Tuesday to create a safe zone on the border between Syria and Turkey.
    • The lira was higher, with slumping 1.3% to 5.7314 compared to 5.7673 earlier.
    Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

    Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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    Turkish lira firms nearly 1% against dollar after Turkey-U.S. deal on Syria

    By Behiye Selin Taner and Ali Kucukgocmen

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira firmed nearly 1% against the dollar on Friday, as the prospect of severe sanctions from the United States waned after Ankara agreed to a ceasefire in northern Syria, raising expectations of a rate cut by the central bank next week.

    The currency had been under pressure due to a deterioration of ties between Ankara and Washington over Turkey’s operation against the Kurdish YPG militia, which was a main U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State.

    In meetings between the allies on Thursday, Ankara agreed to a ceasefire for five days while the YPG withdraws from Syrian border regions. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said sanctions would be removed after the deal is implemented and no further sanctions would be pursued.

    The lira stood at 5.7805 against the dollar at 1238 GMT, firming some 0.75% from Thursday’s close of 5.8250. It firmed to 5.7580 earlier.

    It had weakened to 5.9395 this week in anticipation of the sanctions, which turned out to be softer than expected.

    Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said while further sanctions were off the table for the moment, things could still go wrong with implementation of the ceasefire.

    “After the five days, there could be an escalation of conflict in northern Syria,” he said, adding that this could lead to another strain with Washington and bring sanctions back into play.

    U.S. prosecutors this week charged Turkey’s Halkbank (IS:) with evading sanctions on Iran, a move which Turkey said was also related to its operation in Syria. Pence said he told Turkish officials that the case was a matter for the New York court that charged the bank.

    Halkbank shares, which had plummeted following the news earlier this week, surged at Friday’s opening, rising some 7.16%. They were up 6.21% at 1221 GMT.

    The main BIST100 share index () was up 3.82%, while the banking index () was up 5.93%.

    Despite the ceasefire agreement, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen will move “full steam ahead” with plans to impose stiff sanctions on Turkey.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House of Representatives would vote on a bipartisan sanctions package against Turkey next week.

    Trump may try to veto or delay implementation of those sanctions, despite strong bipartisan support, Tuvey said, adding: “He seems to be taking a fairly soft line on sanctions against Turkey.”

    RATE CUT AHEAD?

    After the agreement between the allies eased pressure on the lira, expectations the central bank will cut interest rates at next week’s meeting have risen again.

    QNB Finansbank chief economist Erkin Isik said the recent volatility in the lira had lowered rate cut expectations.

    “Considering the agreement reached about Syria and the appreciation of the lira, we expect a 100 basis point cut from the monetary policy committee next week,” he said, citing improvements in inflation.

    The central bank has already cut its policy rate by 750 basis points this year, after hiking it to 24% last year to halt a currency crisis. Governor Murat Uysal has said the rate cuts were front-loaded.

    Inflation, which hit a 15-year high of more than 25% in October last year, declined to below 10% last month.

    Ata Invest Director Cem Tozge said the bank could cut borrowing costs by between 100 and 200 basis points.

    “When we look at both the swap pricings and the lira LIBOR pricings, we see that a 200 basis point cut in the next three months, starting with 100 basis points next week, is being priced in,” he said.

    Turkey’s five-year credit default swaps, a gauge of the cost of insuring exposure to its sovereign debt, fell to 371 basis points on Friday, down from 385 basis points at Thursday’s close, according to IHS Markit data.

    Longer-dated government bonds chalked up gains, with the 2030 issue jumping 1.6 cents to 135.186 cents in the dollar, according to Tradeweb.

    Dollar-denominated bonds issued by Turkey’s second-largest bank Halkbank also gained, with the 2021 issue adding as much as 2.7 cents to 89.95 cents in the dollar.

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    AUD the weakest and JPY the strongest against the USD 

    AUDJPY

    The news earlier that Chinese officials this week are expected to come with an offer to the US that doesn’t include anything on industrial policy or subsidies resulted in AUDJPY gapping lower. 

    The question from here will be: will an interim deal come at the end of this week or will there be disappointment again? The strong elements of the NFP data on Friday was supportive for risk, but if the chance of a US-China trade deal recedes then risk will sour. Right now, we are in the balance. The markets, didn’t say ‘yes’ and didn’t say ‘no’, didn’t say ‘stop’ and didn’t say ‘go’.  It’s a new start to the week as well which is always a chance for the market to re-set and re-focus on which narrative is the big driver. 

    AUDJPY
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    Tariffs threat to see euro fall to 1.07 against the dollar in three months – ING

    ING lowers their forecasts for the euro

    ING

    The firm argues that the euro will weaken to levels last seen in 2017 against the dollar due to threats stemming from US trade policy. Noting that:

    “Further deterioration in the US-China trade war will drive the euro lower. But there is also a non-negligible risk of the US imposing, or at least threatening to impose auto tariffs on Eurozone exports. An overhang of such tariffs should weigh on the euro.”

    Expanding further, the firm also views that the market already has “very aggressive” expectations of the Fed easing and that makes it hard for the US central bank to surprise and precipitate dollar weakness against the euro.

    Adding that the dollar still enjoys high carry and that makes its positioning for a decline – in terms of yields – as “unattractive”.

    Also, they no longer see EUR/USD as being undervalued so that won’t provide a supportive factor to the pair and notes that short positions are not stretched:

    “This means that EUR shorts can still be built and positioning does not act as a limiting factor behind the EUR/USD fall.”

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