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currencies

The US has not labelled Switzerland a currency manipulator, yet

Switzerland has made headlines of late as a potential candidate to be labelled a currency manipulator by the U.S. Treasury. For those countries at risk, a report recently published by the U.S Treasury sets out three key criteria the U.S. Treasury will use in order to assess whether a country is “pursuing unfair practices”. Firstly, the country would have a significant bilateral trade surplus wi…

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Czech out: Thoughts on the removal of the currency cap

The Czech National Bank (CNB) has removed its cap against the Euro, which I blogged about earlier this year. Though the signs had been pointing to an early removal (headline inflation had been within the target range since October last year and the CNB had hardened its signalling language), the timing of yesterday’s move at the central bank’s extraordinary meeting did come as a surprise. Curren…

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Three things to watch as the Czech National Bank removes its FX floor later this year

For over 3 years, the Czech National Bank (CNB) has maintained the Czech Koruna (CZK) exchange rate close to 27 CZK to the Euro (EUR), essentially using its currency – as opposed to interest rates – as the policy tool to achieve its inflation target. Earlier this month however, the CNB advised that this strategy would be exited “around the middle of 2017”. Though the timing remains ambiguous (t…

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A wrap up of 2016 bond and currency market performance

Turning back the clock to the first week of 2016, fears of a Chinese slowdown and the Federal Reserve beginning to normalise rates hit stock markets hard. By Valentine’s Day bond yields had fallen to – what was then – all-time lows.  But we hadn’t seen anything yet. Ongoing ECB QE, Brexit, UK QE, novel Japanese monetary policy, president-elect Trump and ECB tapering. In a year of political and …

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Emerging market debt: 2016 post-mortem and 2017 outlook

Despite a year of high political turmoil – which of course included the UK EU referendum and the US elections – emerging market assets proved surprisingly resilient to the various global events, even with rising core government yields in the second half of 2016.  Given that starting valuations at the beginning of the year, both with respect to credit spreads as well as currencies, were pricing …

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Emerging Markets debt: 2015 returns post-mortem and 2016 outlook

Following on from Gordon’s review of the best and worst performing fixed income asset classes last year, I wanted to take a more in depth look at how emerging markets performed in 2015 and what to look out for in 2016.

Some themes that drove the market in 2015 were the same themes than drove it in 2014. Once again, asset allocation was critical. Local currency debt, for the third year running, …

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Emerging market fixed income – 2014 performance

Emerging Market debt: 2014 returns post-mortem and 2015 outlook

2014 was quite an eventful year for Emerging market (EM) fixed income. After a period of strong performance which lasted all the way to September, markets corrected significantly in the latter part of the year as the escalation of the Russia crisis and the plunging oil prices triggered the most significant drawdown since the “taper tantrum” of June 2013. All in all, emerging markets still poste…

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Emerging market debt: notes from my recent trip to the IMF Annual Meetings

Last week I attended the IMF’s Annual Meetings in Washington D.C, where I had a series of very interesting meetings with government officials and other world financial leaders. The underlying theme behind most of the discussions was that emerging market countries continue their adjustment into a new phase characterized by less abundant liquidity and lower commodity prices. This adjustment proce…

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Stamping down on foreign flows into UK property could be sterling suicide

So now we know what the Bank of England intends to do about the UK’s housing market, a market that Governor Carney has previously referred to as the biggest risk to financial stability and therefore to the economic expansion (the IMF and the EC had similar warnings).The answer, in short, is not much at the moment – while Carney is not “happy” with the buoyant UK housing market, he is willing to…

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World Cup currency trading strategies: emerging vs. developed markets

With just under two months to go to the opening match and tensions already mounting within our team (we have 8 different participating countries covered – Australia, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and USA), we thought it was time for a World Cup themed blog. Our prior predictor of the 2010 World Cup winner proved to be perfectly off the mark. Based on expected growth rates in 20…

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