Category Archives: FOREX

Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, RBA decided to maintain the current policy settings, including the targets of 10 basis points for the cash rate and the yield on 3-year Australian Government bonds, as well as the parameters of the Term Funding Facility and the government bond purchase program.

Globally, the news has been mixed recently. On the one hand, infection rates have risen sharply in Europe and the United States and the recoveries in these economies have lost momentum. On the other hand, there has been positive news on the vaccine front, which should support the recovery of the global economy. The recovery is also dependent on ongoing support from both fiscal and monetary policy. Hours worked in most countries remain noticeably below pre-pandemic levels and inflation is low and below central bank targets.

Financial conditions remain accommodative around the world, with bond yields near historically low levels. The positive news on vaccines has boosted equity markets, lowered risk premiums and supported further increases in some commodity prices. The improvement in risk sentiment has also been associated with a depreciation of the US dollar and an appreciation of the Australian dollar.

In Australia, the economic recovery is under way and recent data have generally been better than expected. This is good news, but the recovery is still expected to be uneven and drawn out and it remains dependent on significant policy support. In the RBA’s central scenario, it will not be until the end of 2021 that the level of GDP reaches the level attained at the end of 2019. In the central scenario, GDP is expected to grow by around 5 per cent next year and 4 per cent over 2022.

Employment growth was again strong in October, although the unemployment rate increased to 7 per cent as more people rejoined the workforce. A further rise in the unemployment rate is still expected, as businesses restructure in response to the pandemic and more people rejoin the workforce. The unemployment rate is forecast to decline next year, but only slowly and still to be around 6 per cent at the end of 2022.

The extended period of high unemployment and excess capacity is expected to result in subdued increases in wages and prices over coming years. In the September quarter, the Wage Price Index increased by just 0.1 per cent, to be 1.4 per cent higher over the year. In underlying terms, inflation is forecast to be 1 per cent in 2021 and 1½ per cent in 2022.

The RBA Board views addressing the high rate of unemployment as an important national priority. Its policy decisions over recent months will help here. These decisions are complementary to the significant steps taken by Australian governments to support jobs and economic growth.

The RBA policy response has lowered interest rates across the yield curve, which will assist the recovery by: lowering financing costs for borrowers; contributing to a lower exchange rate than otherwise; and supporting asset prices and balance sheets. The Term Funding Facility is also supporting the supply of credit to businesses. To date, authorised deposit-taking institutions have drawn down $84 billion under this facility and have access to a further $105 billion. Over the past month, the Bank has bought $19 billion of government bonds under the bond purchase program and a further $5 billion of Australian government securities in support of the 3-year yield target. Since the start of this year, the RBA’s balance sheet has increased by around $130 billion.

Given the outlook for both employment and inflation, monetary and fiscal support will be required for some time. For its part, the RBA Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range. For this to occur, wages growth will have to be materially higher than it is currently. This will require significant gains in employment and a return to a tight labour market. Given the outlook, the Board is not expecting to increase the cash rate for at least 3 years. The Board will keep the size of the bond purchase program under review, particularly in light of the evolving outlook for jobs and inflation. The Board is prepared to do more if necessary.

Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement November 05, 2020

The Federal Reserve is committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy in this challenging time, thereby promoting its maximum employment and price stability goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year. Weaker demand and earlier declines in oil prices have been holding down consumer price inflation. Overall financial conditions remain accommodative, in part reflecting policy measures to support the economy and the flow of credit to U.S. households and businesses.

The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. The ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.

The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. With inflation running persistently below this longer-run goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of monetary policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels consistent with the Committee’s assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time. In addition, over coming months the Federal Reserve will increase its holdings of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities at least at the current pace to sustain smooth market functioning and help foster accommodative financial conditions, thereby supporting the flow of credit to households and businesses.

In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals. The Committee’s assessments will take into account a wide range of information, including readings on public health, labor market conditions, inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and financial and international developments.

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; Richard H. Clarida; Mary C. Daly; Patrick Harker; Robert S. Kaplan; Loretta J. Mester; and Randal K. Quarles. Ms. Daly voted as an alternate member at this meeting.

Federal Court Orders Colorado Company to Pay Over $900,000 for Digital Asset and Forex Ponzi Scheme

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado entered a judgment against defendants Venture Capital Investments LLC (VCI) and its principal and manager Breonna Clark d/b/a Eliot Clark d/b/a Alexander Pak (Clark), both of Denver, Colorado, for fraudulently soliciting and misappropriating funds from clients in a digital asset and forex Ponzi scheme.

The order requires VCI and Clark to pay $450,302 in restitution to defrauded clients, a civil monetary penalty of $450,302 and the CFTC’s costs. Additionally, the defendants are now permanently enjoined from engaging in conduct that violates the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC regulations, as well as banned from registering with the CFTC and trading in any CFTC-regulated markets.

Case Background

The order stems from a complaint filed on February 14, 2020. [See CFTC Release No.  8118-20] The court ruled that the defendants fraudulently solicited more than 72 clients to invest in commodity pools that purportedly trade in forex and digital assets, including bitcoin, only to then misappropriate the money. Further, the court found that the defendants lured their clients primarily by using social media, touting the ability of their purported “master team of traders” to provide consistent trading profits. The court found that the defendants misappropriated their clients’ money to acquire, among other things, a luxury automobile. The defendants also used their clients’ money to make Ponzi-type payments to others to maintain the scheme. In total, the defendants fraudulently solicited and misappropriated $450,302.

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not result in the recovery of money lost because the wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure the wrongdoers are held accountable.

The CFTC thanks and acknowledges the assistance of the Financial Supervision Commission of Bulgaria, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Financial Services Authority, the Financial Services Authority of Seychelles, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority, and the Financial Markets Authority of New Zealand.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this case are Erica Bodin, Kevin Samuel, Kim Bruno, Michael Solinsky, and Rick Glaser.   

 

 CFTC’s Foreign Currency (Forex) Fraud Advisory

The CFTC has issued several customer protection Fraud Advisories that provide the warning signs of fraud, including the Foreign Currency (Forex) Trading Fraud Advisory, to help customers identify these scams.

The CFTC also strongly urges the public to verify a company’s registration with the Commission before committing funds. If unregistered, a customer should be wary of providing funds to that entity. A company’s registration status can be found using NFA BASIC.

Customers and other individuals can report suspicious activities or information, such as possible violations of commodity trading laws, to the Division of Enforcement via a toll-free hotline 866-FON-CFTC (866-366-2382) or file a tip or complaint online.

Statement by Philip Lowe, RBA Governor: Monetary Policy Decision AUD

At its meeting today, the Board decided on a package of further measures to support job creation and the recovery of the Australian economy from the pandemic. With Australia facing a period of high unemployment, the Reserve Bank is committed to doing what it can to support the creation of jobs. Encouragingly, the recent economic data have been a bit better than expected and the near-term outlook is better than it was three months ago. Even so, the recovery is still expected to be bumpy and drawn out and the outlook remains dependent on successful containment of the virus.

The elements of today’s package are as follows:

  • a reduction in the cash rate target to 0.1 per cent
  • a reduction in the target for the yield on the 3-year Australian Government bond to around 0.1 per cent
  • a reduction in the interest rate on new drawings under the Term Funding Facility to 0.1 per cent
  • a reduction in the interest rate on Exchange Settlement balances to zero
  • the purchase of $100 billion of government bonds of maturities of around 5 to 10 years over the next six months.

Under the program to purchase longer-dated bonds, the Bank will buy bonds issued by the Australian Government and by the states and territories, with an expected 80/20 split. These bonds will be bought in the secondary market through regular auctions, with the first auction to be held this Thursday for Australian Government securities. Further details of the auctions are provided in the accompanying market notice.

The Reserve Bank of Australia remains prepared to purchase bonds in whatever quantity is required to achieve the 3-year yield target. Any bonds purchased to support this target would be in addition to the $100 billion bond purchase program.

At today’s meeting, the Board also considered an updated set of economic forecasts. The global economy has been recovering from the initial virus outbreaks, with the recovery most advanced in China. Even so, output in most countries remains well short of pre-pandemic levels and recent virus outbreaks pose a downside risk to the outlook, particularly in Europe.

In Australia, the economic recovery is under way and positive GDP growth is now expected in the September quarter, despite the restrictions in Victoria. It will, however, take some time to reach the pre-pandemic level of output. In the central scenario, GDP growth is expected to be around 6 per cent over the year to June 2021 and 4 per cent in 2022. The unemployment rate is expected to remain high, but to peak at a little below 8 per cent, rather than the 10 per cent expected previously. At the end of 2022, the unemployment rate is forecast to be around 6 per cent.

This extended period of high unemployment and excess capacity is expected to result in subdued increases in wages and prices over coming years. In underlying terms, inflation is forecast to be 1 per cent in 2021 and 1½ per cent in 2022. In the most recent quarter, year-ended CPI inflation was 0.7 per cent and, in underlying terms, inflation was 1¼ per cent.

The Board views addressing the high rate of unemployment as an important national priority. Today’s policy package, together with the earlier measures by the RBA, will help in this effort. The RBA’s response is complementary to the significant steps taken by the Australian Government, including in the recent budget, to support jobs and economic growth.

The combination of the RBA’s bond purchases and lower interest rates across the yield curve will assist the recovery by: lowering financing costs for borrowers; contributing to a lower exchange rate than otherwise; and supporting asset prices and balance sheets. At the same time, the RBA’s Term Funding Facility is contributing to low funding costs and supporting the supply of credit to the economy. To date, authorised deposit-taking institutions have drawn $83 billion under this facility and have access to a further $104 billion.

Given the outlook for both employment and inflation, monetary and fiscal support will be required for some time. For its part, the Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range. For this to occur, wages growth will have to be materially higher than it is currently. This will require significant gains in employment and a return to a tight labour market. Given the outlook, the Board is not expecting to increase the cash rate for at least three years. The Board will keep the size of the bond purchase program under review, particularly in light of the evolving outlook for jobs and inflation. The Board is prepared to do more if necessary.

DGCX Registers Strong Interest in G6 Currencies and Silver Futures in October

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) continued its strong growth trajectory during the month of October, with its G6 currencies portfolio a standout performer during the month. The portfolio recorded an impressive year-to-date (Y-T-D) volume growth of 378%, compared to the same period last year. Among the G6 currency pairs, the Euro and British Pound Futures Contracts registered the strongest performances, recording an impressive year-on-year (Y-O-Y) ADV growth of 67%, and 392% respectively.

Market Participants also turned to alternative safe-haven assets last month, with the DGCX registering a spike in trading in its Silver Futures product, recording a Y-T-D volume growth of 99%, compared to the same period last year.

The Exchange also registered the highest volume, value and open interest (OI) in its Pound Sterling (GBP) FX Rolling Futures Product, which has now traded a combined total of 2142 lots valued at USD 28 million, since its launch in July – once again highlighting market participants’ appetite to leverage arbitrage opportunities. Notably the Weekly Indian Rupee (INR) Futures Contract registered the second highest trading value since the start of 2020 – recording an Average Daily Volume (ADV) of 495.

Les Male, CEO of DGCX

Les Male, CEO of DGCX, said: “During the month of October, we recorded strong interest in our currency and precious metal products, that not only reiterated the strength of our offerings, but our ability to enhance market participants’ liquidity and hedge risk. As the DGCX approaches its 15th year anniversary milestone this month, we are well placed to continue our strong growth trajectory, as well as provide our member base with effective products that help meet their hedging and trading needs. Our priority continues to be providing our members with a wide range of innovative products that help to manage their risk effectively – at a time when they need them the most.”

FX execution algorithms contribute to market functioning but bring new challenges

  • Execution algorithms (EAs) – designed to buy or sell foreign exchange according to a set of user instructions – have contributed positively to FX market functioning.
  • As EAs change the way market participants access the FX market and how trades are executed, they also give rise to new challenges.
  • Central banks and market participants must have access to the necessary data, skills and tools to allow them to assess the opportunities and risks of evolving markets.

Execution algorithms – designed to buy or sell a predefined amount of foreign exchange according to a set of user instructions – have seen a rise in usage amid an increasingly decentralised and fragmented trading environment according to a report published today by the BIS Markets Committee.

This has helped support price discovery and market functioning but also has the potential to create new risks, said the report, FX execution algorithms and market functioning.

The report examines the drivers and implications of the increase in EA usage in FX markets. It draws on a unique survey of 70 sophisticated market participants globally and extensive industry-wide outreach, and provides distinctive perspectives on the use of EAs, including by central banks.

Prepared by a study group led by Andréa M Maechler, Member of the Governing Board of the Swiss National Bank, it concludes that while EAs improve market functioning, they also create new challenges. In particular, they transfer execution risk from dealers to end users; contribute to changing liquidity dynamics and the underlying market structure; and raise the bar for market participants in accessing the data, skills and tools required to navigate this market successfully.

“The report provides an insightful stocktake of the growing use of FX execution algorithms by a broad range of participants in FX markets, and highlights both the benefits and the potential risks of such execution algorithms. This will help market participants gain a deeper understanding of such elements, which are becoming increasingly important in FX markets,” said Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Chair of the Markets Committee.

EAs may also create self-reinforcing loops and exacerbate sharp price moves, although initial observations from the Covid-19 pandemic suggest that these risks may be less acute than expected. Still, further research is needed.

“While the focus of the report is on the FX market, many of the findings are also of broader relevance to other fast-paced electronic markets experiencing similar trends. As those markets continue to evolve rapidly, access to high-quality data, novel skills and adequate tools becomes key in this context,” said Ms Maechler.

These issues require broad-based collaboration between the official and the private sectors. The Global Foreign Exchange Committee (GFXC) has already established workstreams on algorithmic trading and disclosures to examine them in detail.

Federal Court Orders Pennsylvania Man and His Companies to Pay More Than $1.2 Million in Forex Trading Scheme

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered an order of default judgment finding that Michael Salerno of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and his companies Black Diamond Forex LP, BDF Trading LP, and Advanta FX, fraudulently solicited members of the public to become foreign currency (forex) traders. The defendants are required to pay more than $1.2 million.  

The court’s September 24, 2020 order requires the defendants to pay $335,149 in restitution and a civil monetary penalty of $894,000, and also requires that Black Diamond Investment Group pay $1,488 in disgorgement. Additionally, the order permanently enjoins the defendants from engaging in conduct that violates the Commodity Exchange Act, from registering with the CFTC, and from trading in any CFTC-regulated markets.

The order resolves a CFTC enforcement action filed on April 17, 2018 charging the defendants with fraudulent misrepresentations and misuse of funds. [See CFTC Press Release No. 7718-18]

The CFTC charged that beginning in at least January 2017 and continuing through at least March 2018, Salerno and his Pennsylvania companies solicited individuals on websites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.com and their own websites to become forex traders. Defendants required prospective traders to pay risk deposits that defendants falsely promised to match with some multiple of company funds in proprietary forex trading accounts, and falsely promised to share a portion of the trading profits with the traders and to pay performance bonuses. They also falsely touted Salerno’s successful forex trading career, and falsely assured prospective traders that Salerno had amassed no less than $9.5 million in real estate sales that he was using to fund his proprietary trading companies. In reality, Salerno had not traded successfully in the forex markets, had filed for bankruptcy in the same year he claimed to have made real estate sales, and had been convicted of a felony and sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2005. Moreover, defendants never established live trading accounts for anyone, and misappropriated the risk deposits. 

The CFTC cautions victims that restitution orders may not always result in the recovery of money lost, because wrongdoers may not have sufficient funds or assets. The CFTC will continue to fight vigorously for the protection of customers and to ensure wrongdoers are held accountable.

The Division of Enforcement staff members responsible for this action are Elizabeth M. Streit, Joy McCormack, and Scott Williamson, as well as former staff member Barry Blankfield. 

Foreign Exchange Market, Debt and Build-Up of Foreign Assets 2015-2019

The set of economic policies implemented from December 2015 facilitated capital flight worth over USD 86 billion and created the conditions that unleashed a new crisis derived from external debt overhang, according to a report prepared by the BCRA at the request of the Federal Executive.

The residents’ build-up of foreign assets increased as a result of a huge paradigm shift brought about by the foreign exchange, monetary and debt policy carried out by Mauricio Macri’s administration aiming at market deregulation.

The combination of these measures sparked off a major crisis that affected Argentina’s economy, shrank growth and investment, increased unemployment and led to a deterioration of income distribution.

During such period, the build-up of foreign assets was remarkably concentrated: the top 100 economic players made net purchases worth USD 24.679 billion, and the top 10, USD 7.945 billion. On another note, 6,693,065 individuals and 85,279 legal persons bought foreign exchange.

Concentration can also be observed, as stated in the BCRA’s report, when segregating individuals and legal persons: just 1% of companies that made net purchases bought USD 41.124 billion, and only 1% of individuals that were net purchasers bought USD 16.2 billion.

Upon taking office in 2015, Mauricio Macri’s administration opened the door for a first stage of capital inflow, which extended to early 2018; 8 out of 10 dollars that entered the country derived from debt issue and speculative capital. The inflow of foreign exchange from government and private debt, and speculative portfolio investments amounted to USD 100 billion. Upon the reversal of capital flows in early 2018, the government decided to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which granted a record loan for USD 44.5 billion.

Throughout the 2015-2019 period, capital flight tripled. Even during the first stage of large capital inflows, residents’ build-up of foreign assets climbed to USD 41.1 billion. As from May 2018 capital flight accelerated, escalating to USD 45.1 billion.

Investing in China’s Stock Exchanges

China is the world’s second-largest economy, with a population of 1.4 billion contributing around 30 per cent of global growth in the last eight years.

China made impressive economic and social developments the previous years, but the market reforms are incomplete, and it’s per capita income remains at 25% of the average of the high-income countries. Chinese Government forecasts that it will eliminate absolute poverty by 2022. Statistics show that there are an estimated 372.8 million people below the “upper middle income” international poverty line of $5.50 a day.   

The Chinese economy has registered an impressive growth the last decade but now faces a major threat as USA has imposed tariffs to Chinese products. Chinese companies now facing increasing market-access challenges in the US, especially in B2B markets. A recent example is the ban of Huawei Technologies and ZTE from the telecom-infrastructure market, but also, federal government restricting its purchases of goods and services from Chinese companies but also discourages its core vendors from buying from China.

According to many analysts, China will overtake the U.S. by 2030 to become the No. 1 economy by GDP in the world.  China’s size and GDP growth rate, which hit 6.6% in 2018 and forecasts setting the growth rate at 6.3% for 2019, it’s not a surprise that global traders and investors are interested in China stocks and China funds.

Investing in Chinese companies involve risks such as currency risk (forex), volatility, regulatory risks, and country risk. Traders can buy stocks listed on the main Chinese stock exchanges, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. There are also many Chinese companies, that are listed in US Stock Exchanges through ADR’s.

Shenzhen Composite Index Technical Analysis

The Shenzhen Composite Index (SZSE Composite) is trading at 1631.88 registering gains for the second day in a row after yesterday the SZSE Composite tested successfully the 50-day moving average and managed to rebound keeping the bullish momentum for the index as now it trades above all major moving averages. On the upside immediate resistance stands at 1,696 the high from September 11th 2019, while the next resistance is at 1,798 the high from April 8th 2019.

Shanghai Composite Technical Analysis

The Shanghai Composite Index trading at 2,947 gaining 18.20% since the beginning of 2019 while for the 12-month period is adding 14.10%. In the daily chart, the momentum is positive as the index is trading above all major daily moving averages. The index found support at 2,920 the 100-day moving average. On the upside, first resistance for the Shanghai Composite Index stands at 3,042 the high from September 16th, while the next barrier will be the high from April 22nd at 3,274. On the flipside support for the index stands at 2,885 the 200-day moving average while next support is at 2,764 the low from August 15th.