Wednesday 4th March 2015
NEWS TICKER, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4TH 2015: The number of Spaniards registered as unemployed fell by 13,538 people in February, a fall of 0.3%. Even so, the government acknowledges that a massive 4,512,153 people remain without work. In a press release, the Ministry for Employment says said reduction in jobless was best monthly improvement in February since 2001. Seasonally-adjusted unemployment fell by 49,653 people. The government also says 300,333 fewer unemployed people since February 2014 was: "the largest year-on-year reduction in unemployment since 1999". The total number of unemployed Spaniards this month—the fourth February with Mariano Rajoy as Prime Minister—was still higher than all of the February data points for the last four years of the Zapatero government. The number of people registered with Spain's social security system rose by 96,909 in February - Record high inflows send Japanese ETFs’ AUM higher, surpassing $160bn. The Apac region excluding Japan has also seen strong inflows, pushing the AUM mark past $78bn. Investors are still avoiding the riskiest names in the region; firms whose CDS spreads have widened the most have seen negative returns - CBOE Futures Exchange reports February average daily volume in VIX futures was 166,547 contracts, a decrease of 23% from February 2014 and a decrease of 27% from January 2015. Total volume in VIX futures for February was 3.2m contracts, down 23% from a year ago and down 31% from the previous month - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended +1.03 points higher or +0.03% to 3403.89, taking the year-to-date performance to +1.15%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined -0.39% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined -1.14%. The top active stocks were SingTel (+0.47%), DBS (-1.48%), OCBC Bank (-0.86%), Noble (-3.08%) and UOB (-0.04%). The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Consumer Goods Index (+0.68%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Consumer Goods Index are Wilmar International (+0.31%) and Thai Beverage (+2.14%). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index, which declined -3.44% with Midas Holdings’ share price gaining +1.61% and Geo Energy Resources’ share price declining -1.57%. The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were the STI ETF (-0.29%), IS MSCI India (+0.37%), SPDR Gold Shares (+1.10%). The three most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were Ascendas REIT (+1.62%), CapitaCom Trust (-0.57%), CapitaMall Trust (+1.90%). The most active index warrants by value today were HSI25000MBeCW150330 (-7.69%), HSI24200MBePW150429 (-3.94%), HSI24400MBePW150330 (-7.32%). The most active stock warrants by value today were OCBC Bk MBeCW150803 (-13.56%), UOB MB eCW150701 (-1.97%), DBS MB eCW150420 (-22.61%).

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The Forex Review

By OANDA

 

Bank of Japan Pushes the Yen Lower

Friday, 12 April 2013 Written by 
Bank of Japan Pushes the Yen Lower The Bank of Japan (BoJ) captured the attention of the foreign exchange world last week when it started to live up to the expectations of the market. After much anticipation, and lots of preceding rhetoric, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda announced the BoJ’s plan to double its bond buying efforts to reach the 2% inflation target in the allotted two-year window. It was his comments on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s inflation goals while still at the Asian Development Bank that might have won him the top job at the Japanese central bank. Earlier this week, the program kicked into gear and the JPY lost 4% versus the USD and 5% versus the GBP. The main beneficiaries have been Japan’s exporters and holders of Japanese stocks with the Nikkei Index reaching new highs on the value of the yen. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) captured the attention of the foreign exchange world last week when it started to live up to the expectations of the market. After much anticipation, and lots of preceding rhetoric, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda announced the BoJ’s plan to double its bond buying efforts to reach the 2% inflation target in the allotted two-year window. It was his comments on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s inflation goals while still at the Asian Development Bank that might have won him the top job at the Japanese central bank. Earlier this week, the program kicked into gear and the JPY lost 4% versus the USD and 5% versus the GBP. The main beneficiaries have been Japan’s exporters and holders of Japanese stocks with the Nikkei Index reaching new highs on the value of the yen.

The decision has not been without its critics and some, such as George Soros, cautioned that the fall in the yen could be “an avalanche” that the BoJ could not stop if the Japanese people start to sell the currency. China and South Korea remain critical of the move, branding it a currency war before the Group of Twenty meeting last February. This week, the negative criticism persisted, but the words used were “monetary blackmail” instead of “currency war”. Those ugly words have not been uttered since the Group of Seven made it clear that as long as Japan’s monetary easing means are used for domestic aims, it does not imply unfair currency manipulation.

 



 

Pound Sterling Fluctuations Continue

The GBP is coming off annual lows versus the USD registered in mid-March. The disappointing nonfarm payrolls jobs report released last week in the U.S. boosted the GBP, though it still remains below the 1.54 level. Last Thursday, the U.S. unemployment claims release came in well-below expected estimates and that in-turn could hinder the pound’s recovery as less Americans claimed unemployment support.

 

 

During the week, the pound gained significantly versus the yen after the BoJ’s new round of easing was introduced. Japan’s bond buying program could double the Japanese monetary base by the end of 2014. Though Kuroda is attempting to follow through on his pledge to reach Prime Minister Abe’s desired 2% inflation target within a tight timeframe, he has also said the BoJ’s ambitions are “flexible”.

 

 

Rise of the United Mexican States

Changes in legislation and favourable U.S. economic conditions have pushed the Mexican peso to a 20-month high. The changes introduced by President Pena Nieto’s administration bolstered confidence in Mexico’s media and telecommunications industries. Last month, the Bank of Mexico cut the overnight rate from 4.5% by 50 basis points after the inflation targets were within range. Bank of Mexico Governor Agustín Carstens has called the rise of the peso a reflection of the nation’s economic strength.

 

 

That statement is tough to refute. The MXN has gained 23.55% versus the JPY, 12.2% versus the GBP, and 8.67% versus the EUR since the beginning of the year.

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst, OANDA
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. He covers central banks and global economic and political trends for OANDA. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and financial services marketing from the University of Toronto.

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