Forex – Argentinian Peso Collapse Sends Shockwaves Through Markets

© Reuters.  © Reuters. – The dollar surged against higher-yielding currencies on Monday as a plummeting sent shockwaves through emerging markets.

The dollar rose by more than one-third against the peso after a weekend primary for presidential elections in the G20 member later this year showed incumbent Mauricio Macri far behind his biggest rival, the populist Alberto Fernandez.

Fernandez’ running mate is former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, from whom Macri took over as President in 2015. Fernandez is viewed with suspicion by many investors, who remember the capital controls, high inflation and chronic economic problems of de Kirchner’s last administration.

The shock also weakened of other emerging currencies perceived as vulnerable, especially at a time of slowing global growth. The dollar rose by 1.3% against the and by 1.0% against the . Further afield, it also rose by 1.2% against the {{|Turkish lira}} and by 0.5% each against the and .

By 11:20 AM ET (1520 GMT), the peso had recouped some of its losses to trade at 53.50 to the dollar, compared to a rate of 45.25 before the poll.

Macri now faces little choice but to reinstate capital controls, abandoning one of the biggest achievements of his presidency, analysts said.

The peso’s collapse “makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability (was) supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity,” Daniela Gabor, a professor of economics at the University of the West of England, said via Twitter. “Difficult to see how Macri can hold onto power while inflicting such high social costs.”

ARG peso collapse makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity.

ARG peso collapse makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity.

makes things worse for Macri, as peso stability supposed to arrest political costs of his IMF-supported austerity.

Emerging market currencies have been caught this year between slowing global demand for the commodities they export, which puts downward pressure on them, and the promise of lower dollar interest rates, which relieves that pressure. While they have mostly held their own against the dollar so far this year, the Argentinian peso, ruble and lira have all been pulled lower in recent weeks by a weakening .

The yuan was fixed at a new 11-year low against the dollar by the Chinese central bank on Monday, allowing the mainland and offshore rates to weaken a little more.

The , which is seen as a safe haven in times of market turmoil, rose to a new 15-month high of 105.05 before retreating a little to 105.31, a gain of 0.3% on the day.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 97.192.

The euro, meanwhile, rose a little as Italy’s political parties tried to stop a push for snap elections that opinion polls suggest would hand power to the populist right-wing Lega party of Matteo Salvini. rose 0.2% to 1.1218. rebounded 0.5% to 1.2092.

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Amazon Echo devices made by Chinese teens ‘working through night’ – reports

Amazon has pledged to investigate allegations that hundreds of teenagers are working illegal hours at a Chinese factory producing its Echo devices.

A new report by China Labor Watch claims more than 1,500 “interns” were manufacturing the smart assistants at a factory run by supplier Foxconn.

The teenagers, aged between 16 and 18, were reportedly pressured into work 60 hours a week and night shifts.

Foxconn has blamed local managers and vowed to improve monitoring of staff.

The company, which makes products for a number of technology giants, has allegedly fired two senior staff members at the site in Hengyang, Bloomberg reports.

It is the latest in a string of controversies surrounding working conditions at the manufacturer, which is headquartered in Taiwan.

In 2017, it emerged some students were working illegal overtime at another Foxconn facility making Apple iPhone Xs.

What does the report say?

The latest report into Foxconn, first detailed in the Guardian, alleges hundreds of school students have been drafted in from local vocational schools to help fulfil orders.

The report alleges the so-called interns are paid as little as $ 1.42 (£1.18) an hour, or about $ 248 (£205) a month, for their time. The teenagers were reportedly expected to work 10 hour shifts, including two hours overtime, six times a week.

China Labor Watch say many students sleep in shared dormitories and face pressure from teachers, who are also recruited, to work hours that violate labour regulation.

“If interns were unwilling to work overtime or night shifts, the factory would arrange for teachers to pressure workers,” the report says. “For interns who refuse to work overtime and night shifts, the factory requests teachers from their schools to fire them.”

Activists also make allegations of physical and verbal abuse by teachers at the site. The intern’s schools are compensated financially for their time, the report adds.

One student, a 17-year-old named as Xiao Fang, was quoted by China Labor Watch describing her role putting protective film over about 3,000 Echo Dot devices a day.

The report says she found working in the “very bright” and “hot” factory very tiring and she did not want to work overtime.

“The teacher went to speak to Xiao Fang and said that if she doesn’t work overtime, she can’t intern at Foxconn and this will affect her graduation and scholarship applications at the school etc,” the report says.

“With no choice, Xiao Fang could only endure this.”

What has the response been?

Amazon, owned by the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, said in a statement to the BBC it does not tolerate violations to its supplier code of conduct.

“We are urgently investigating these allegations and addressing this with Foxconn at the most senior level,” the statement said. “Additional teams of specialists arrived on-site this wee k to investigate, and we’ve initiated weekly audits of this issue.”

The BBC has approached Foxconn for comment. In a statement to the Guardian newspaper, the company said it had “doubled the oversight and monitoring” of its school programme.

“There have been instances in the past where lax oversight on the part of the local management team has allowed this to happen and, while the impacted interns were paid the additional wages associated with these shifts, this is not acceptable and we have taken immediate steps to ensure it will not be repeated,” they said.

Foxconn also reportedly pledged to review salaries and increase regular worker levels.

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EUR/USD forecasts – higher through to year end

A quick snippet via BNP on their outlook for the second half of the year

Expect the euro to strengthen versus the dollar

  • USD is expensive on valuation grounds
  • the Fed will ease

Thus see EUR/USD at:

1.16 for Q3

1.20 for Q4


Expect the Fed to cut rates twice in H2 due to 

  • a slowing economy
  • subdued inflation
  • heightened uncertainty

A decline in the 10-year treasury yield will only be moderate with markets pricing in rate cuts

On the ECB, BNP expect rates to remain unchanged through 2020, but:

  • slower growth
  • subdued core inflation


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A ‘perfect storm’ for weaker CHF but cautious EUR/CHF can extend through 1.15 – BAML

Bank of American Merrill Lynch on the Swiss franc

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Research discusses CHF outlook and maintains a bearish bias in the medium-term. 

In many ways April provides the roadmap on how we think CHF will evolve over the coming months if global (and particularly Eurozone) growth stabilises and should regional geo-political concerns (such as Brexit) fade as we expect that they will.

We therefore remain bearish on CHF over the medium-term due to its persistent overvaluation, the trend deterioration in Switzerland’s basic balance of payments (the current account surplus continues to be neutralised by sizeable net portfolio and FDI outflows) and the SNB’s commitment for a weaker CHF,” BofAML notes. 

However, we are cautious that the current move can meaningfully extend through key resistance at 1.15. Whilst the market backdrop remains supportive for further EUR/CHF gains: volatility compression; the rally in European bank stocks, carry-to-vol; and stable BTP-Bund spreads, the move has taken place against a backdrop of a void in Brexit news flow. In addition, with European Parliamentary elections scheduled in a months’ time,” BofAML adds.

For bank trade ideas, check out eFX Plus.


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Southwest to keep Boeing 737 MAX off schedules through May instead of April 20: company memo

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) Co said on Friday it was pulling its Boeing (NYSE:) Co 737 MAX jets from flight schedules through May, extending its earlier timeline from April 20, according to a company memorandum seen by Reuters.

“This will impact the lines in May, but, now that the decision has been made, we can construct our schedule without those flights well in advance in hopes to minimize the daily disruptions,” the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and the company said in the joint memorandum.

Boeing’s top-selling 737 MAX jetliner has been grounded in the wake of two deadly crashes involving that model in five months, one in Indonesia last October and another on March 10 in Ethiopia.

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Forexlive European FX News 18 Jan: Risk on tones continue through a quiet session

Calm European session as market sits tight


  • FTSE 100 +1.51%
  • Dax +1.56%
  • CAC 40 +1.57%
  • S&P500 futures +0.33% 
  • Copper +0.37% 5992.00

The market opened the session on positive risk tones after the rumours that the US was considering dropping China tariffs.  These rumours were denied, but the market reasoned that where there is smoke, there is fire. Fair enough. The Nikkei closed up 1.29% at 20,666.07 and those risk on tones have stayed throughout the European session with large gains across the European shares indices.

The main data release for the session  was the UK retail sales data which, despite being a weak reading, sent the GBP higher. Tough time for UK retailers and I do hate the fact that Amazon have really found a way to drive down prices that really hurts many retailers. The competition for the Amazon buy box, forces some to sell for a loss just to keep the sales coming in. Annoying. Anyway, that’s my rant over, so why the pop in the GBP after the weak sales data?  Yes, you guessed it a Brexit headline came out just prior to the release. It was UKIP’s former leader, Nigel Farage , saying that he saw the UK heading to a second referendum. He may well be right.

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