THE WEEKLY FX DRIVE THRU
My title for my main article in the blog last week was;
THE EUROZONE INCHES CLOSER TO ITS IMPLOSION
Sadly the events in Brussels, following on from those in Paris last year only re-affirm my point that after almost 20 years in existence the so called “union” in Europe is still no way near anything resembling satisfactory.
Security sharing is still null and void. The EUROZONE is a shambolic excuse of a failed project, which has “free movement without borders (The Schengen agreement)” at its core, something that was perceived to be a huge advantage while travelling throughout Europe. I would imagine that this will be gone very soon as controls will need to be re-introduced to offer populations something noticeable for security.
Take Schengen away; put back border controls and then ask what has been achieved in 20 years?
Bugger all of real note, as far as I can see. The single currency is not flexible enough for all participants. We also have a BREXIT (coming later in this blog), on the way so what is left?
After taking away the layers of bureaucratic “jobs for the boys” which are purely justifying one’s existence, as far as I can see we are back at square one with a simple trade agreement.
After BREXIT we will see EFTA (The European Free Trade Agreement) re-invigorated and probably the French and Germans along with Luxembourg and Belgium will keep the EEC (European Economic Community).
It will be like the last 50 years never happened. For those old enough to remember Europe it will be akin to that season of Dallas that was wiped clean after Bobby Ewing was shot, as the following season started with Bobby Ewing having a shower and the prior season was just a dream. In Europe it will be described as a bad dream… a really bad dream…a fecking awful dream.
I will cover this later, but the BREXIT fears are now intensified as a result of the Brussels attacks.
Looking at timescales, 5 years should un-wind the entire mess. Thankfully, feck all integration was actually completed in 20 years of the European Union and EUROZONE.
Personally, I just cannot see the “European Union” moving forward and should the BREXIT occur I predict a contagion effect.
THE FX MARKET PLACE:
LAST WEEK’S NEWS – MY THOUGHTS:
Apart from the tragic news in Brussels, from a Forex perspective did anything happen last week?
As you may know I am originally from Liverpool. I am usually never short of a wisecrack, or comment (straight or sarcastic), however after nothing really happening last week, I am finding it extremely hard to string a few words together.
Last week was dull, slow, tedious, boring and instantly forgettable week from a trading perspective. It was as if many institutions had decided to close shop earlier and have really long extended Easter breaks.
Personally, I had trading successes. I banked lots of pips. After my February huge pip loss on the back of two GBP/NZD trades following Boris Johnsons announcement to support the BREXIT campaign coupled with power and ISP outages here in Montreal with ice storms, my pip gains this month have been really good.
As mentioned, no news events stuck in my mind. No news events dramatically affected my open trades or triggered lots of limit orders.
The only exception was a little bit of FED speak. To raise or not to raise, is still the question. We had YES and NO members of the FOMC giving us their opinions. It was confirmed yet again that the April meeting will be a LIVE MEETING. So if the NFP numbers due this week are strong and the Average Hourly Rates show improvement the “will she / wont she” circus starts again.
But in real terms there was no news.
So, if it’s no news… it’s no thoughts.
WHAT’S ON MY MIND:
BREXIT… HERE WE COME
Going back to Margaret Thatcher times in the Prime Ministers office in the UK, the Brits have always appeared from the outside to have had a long but strained relationship with mainland Europe.
In fact, fadó, fadó – when I was in the sixth form in school, I voted “NO” to joining the then “Common Market” when Maggie’s predecessor Ted Heath took the UK into Europe.
(By the way, my school friend known as “Patto” accompanied me all the way from school to the voting station where he voted “YES” to cancel out my vote. So much for secret ballots; he was over me like a vulture watching where my “X” was placed triumphantly showing me his piece of paper with an “X” in the “YES” box… democracy was alive and well and at work!!)
Back to my point…
The UK has never been comfortable with the thoughts of being managed by Brussels. The mere thought of the use of the term “the United States of Europe” is enough to make many Brits vomit. The simple fact that non-elected people can override your own parliament is not something that many Brits can stomach. Britannia rules the waves and all that jazz!
It is however a very valid point. Bureaucrats in Brussels should not have power over how the Brits manage the UK.
In the past, these bureaucrats because they cannot change, harmonize or integrate anything in Europe have focused on issues such as: –
- Should ladies tampons attract VAT (sales tax)? The UK under David Cameron says NO, however Brussels says YES.
- Brussels and not the local butcher in the UK determine the percentage amount of meat in a sausage for it to be called a sausage. If a certain percentage is not meat it cannot be called a sausage!
Yes, you ‘ve got it; Brussels tackles the really big issues. Is it worth the Brits paying £35 million a day for this?
Now the UK does receive back subsidies and grants, the UK farmers receive money from the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and various research projects and infrastructural projects will also get cash back from Brussels. Last year, the UK received £5 billion back from Brussels after paying out £13 billion, therefore the UK was a net contributor to Europe by about £8 billion in 2015.
Of the 28 countries in the “Union” 10 are net contributors. Germany and are first and France second, the UK third with Holland fourth. So if the brits left it would leave a large hole to fill from a cash perspective.
The financial crash of 2008-2009 was a game changer all over the world. But the financial centres in Europe, London being at the heart, were hit hard.
The United States and the UK acted swiftly with QE (Quantitative Easing / Asset Purchasing) to keep the financial markets and banks liquid with cash to help ease pressure and to try to create a balance of stability and ease uncertainties.
The EUROZONE under the German’s direction, decided to feck up everyone’s lives with AUSTERITY. It was a painful approach that deepened the issues of unemployment, DEFLATION, poverty, lack of growth, reduced social welfare, pension payments being slashed, health cuts, cuts in education and in addition AUSTERITY halted infrastructure spending. Apart from this list AUSTERITY was fecking brilliant!
After 6/7 years of AUSTERITY, the EUROZONE decided that it had achieved none of the longer term goals that it had hoped to achieve, like a move in GDP / growth and inflation. It was then decided just as the United States were about to return monetary policy back to normalization that the ECB would introduce QE.
The Brits must have looked on in horror…WTF.
As the number of EUROZONE countries has increased the power of the UK “veto” has weakened in Europe. What was unanimity is now a qualified majority. In real terms if you do not adopt the single currency you are an outsider as most of the EUROZONE woes are EUR (€) related. There is a two-speed Europe and not using the €, effectively places you in the slow lane.
This final point was nailed home in the last UK general election by the UKIP (UK Independence Party). They asked the question – Why are we paying into something that is badly run, offers poor value for money and where we have zero real influence? The UK is no longer at the heart of Europe (I must admit I never thought that the Brits were ever anywhere near the heart, but that was the cry from the hustings!).
There is and always has been an under current of Europe bashers in the UK. The recent, tragic events in Paris and Brussels, plus the shambles of managing security data, managing the financial crash, complete stagnation in trying to move forward on banking regulation, sales tax harmonization, border alignments (this one has definitely gone now in my opinion), social chapter policies, minimum wages, social security benefit swaps between countries as populations move to follow the job opportunities, foreign policy agreements, managing the ongoing GREEK debt problems…has only added to the list that the bashers continually roll out.
As the shambles kept on attracting more and more headlines, there comes a time, as I have noted so many times in these blogs, that the voters eventually question mainstream politics and look to the fringes for a voice that resonates more.
It is happening now with Donald Trump in the U.S. although I could not see the Brits ever tolerating such a character in UK politics the way the U.S. has so far. The politically correct U.S., where you can no longer say Happy Christmas without fear of offending someone, has got its head so far up it’s own arse, it can no longer hear what’s sensible or not anymore (Sorry for sitting on the fence).
Back to the Brits…
The national interest is at stake, with voting powers changing, influence (whatever it was before) in Brussels, has now diminished and it’s all about National sovereignty. There was no chance that the Brits would ever give up the GBP (£), now that the focus will surely be on giving up sovereignty I expect the debates to be heated.
In my opinion the BREXIT debates will be focused on sovereignty.
The fear of a United States of Europe taking control of all aspects of your life will be aimed at the voters. You will not be able to complain to your local MP, as he or she will be in a wine bar in Brussels.
The status quo argument to remain inside Europe, but on the better terms negotiated by UK Prime Minister David Cameron (Safeguards for the city of London, Immigrant agreements and an opt out from tax harmonization etc.), will be argued as Europe is great for UK businesses, great for jobs and great for the financial services industry.
That will be countered by the fact that Europe needs our exports so we will do just as well outside, still trading than inside wasting money that could be spent on health and education.
You pick your argument and pick what box you are going to place your “X” in on June 23rd 2016.
My thoughts are that the BREXIT vote will be very close. Future uncertainty of a change versus we can be more effective on the outside retaining sovereignty are close calls to make.
However, I think that the BREXIT has a great chance of success following the recent refugee crisis and handling of ISIS terrorists in mainland Europe. These issues will in my opinion, tip the scales.
So what happens on the 24th June and soon after should the BREXIT vote prevail?
Note that Markets and big business are preparing for such an outcome should it occur.
The GBP would nose dive to 1.20-1.25 in my opinion. The crosses would nose dive as well and the EUR/GBP could be at parity in fairly short order. The EUR/GBP is one of the most liquid trading pairs in the FX market, that pair would be my “go to” trade.
The BOE and ECB would intervene in markets probably adding liquidity through more QE. The BOE would cut rates almost immediately.
It would probably take 18 months to two years to unwind the European Union connection legally. It would be the currency markets that should be having a field day.
Trade would continue, people would still go to work, ride a bike to school, take the train to the beach whatever… The UK is a member of the WTO and a revised Free trade agreement will be readied for the European Union.
It is the extra add-ons that fascinate me.
I believe that there would be a contagion effect. It would be harder for a single currency member to leave, but I guarantee you if the Brits do BREXIT there would be a contagion effect. Europe is ripe for fringe political parties to gather votes and influence. The inability of EUROPE to progress is astounding and with the security fears that are bound to result with the borders being re-instated again with Schengen gone, national sovereignty, which was previously not as high on the agenda will return to the mainland Europeans.
The fringe parties inside Germany (The Alternative for Germany), France (The National Front), Italy (Five Stars), Spain (Podemos), Netherlands (Party for Freedom) and Austria (Austrian Freedom Party), all want exits or have promised referendums on exits from the EUROZONE. Take it as read that GREECE and PORTUGAL are both the same as these counties that I have noted!
Initially there would be turmoil either side of the English Channel, then a calm before the storm.
I could write a book on this subject and no doubt before June 23rd this subject and the continuing woes inside the EUROZONE will be revisited several times again.
COMING UP THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK’S FOREX NEWS THAT INTERESTS ME:
(There are many more news items related to the Forex Market other than the ones listed below. These are the ones that interest me. You can go to www.forexfactory.com and www.tradingeconomics.com for a more comprehensive lists of all news events that are Forex related).
TUESDAY: USD – Consumer Confidence.
WEDNESDAY: USD – ADP Non-Farm Employment Change.
THURSDAY: CAD – GDP.
THURSDAY: CNY – PMi.
FRIDAY: USD – Non-Farm Payrolls & Average Hourly Earnings.
THE USD MAJORS – MY THOUGHTS (A REVIEW):
(In this section I have as usual kept my charts as minimalist as possible. With regards to charting in my opinion less is more!! I hope that they are clear. All readers regardless of level of experience should be able to follow my thoughts from my comments to the levels on the charts with ease)
My comments are contained on the charts. If you have difficulty getting them to expand please let me know. Sometimes word press is difficult.
EUR/USD – Weekly Closing Price: 1.1164
GBP/USD – Weekly Closing Price: 1.4099
AUD/USD – Weekly Closing Price: 0.7504
NZD/USD – Weekly Closing Price: 0.6654
USD/CAD – Weekly Closing Price: 1.3254
USD/CHF – Weekly Closing Price: 0.9772
USD/JPY – Weekly Closing Price: 113.08
U.S. Employment data are the big news events this week along with Consumer Confidence and the Chinese PMi data.
It should be a slow start to the week and liquidity will improve day by day as traders return from vacations.
I am expecting the usual volatility around the jobs numbers because these will be taken into account vis-a-vis all the rumours regarding a FED rate hike in April, which we have been told is a LIVE MEETING. The mere fact it’s described, as a LIVE MEETING should dispel the clever dicks that state Janet Yellen will only raise rates when there is a press conference attached. I think we can safely say the FED chair has raised a single digit to poo-poo that idea.
Remember it’s the average hourly rates that will get scrutinized the most for growth. If these numbers are increasing it shows resilience and strength in the U.S. economy and brings a FED hike into play.
As always, be savvy…
Always remember longevity in Forex trading can only be achieved through trading with good RISK and MONEY MANAGEMENT, and above all set your position sizes in accordance with the size of your account and allow for some flexibility.
The Pip Accumulator
DATE: 26th March 2016
BLOG REFERENCE: #22 FOREXTELL VERSION