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International currency market movement

Provide a brief summary of the currency market movements and activities from January 2nd 2018 to August 31st, 2018, such as international currency market movement; major events / announcement that may have caused noticeable movements in currency markets, etc.  Please select exchange rate of AUD with 4 other currencies and provide a table and diagram showing the monthly average exchange rate for each exchange rate from January to August, 2018 (the history of the exchange rate can be found at: http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/).  Please discuss about the possible reasons for the exchange rate movements for 3 of the 4 currencies with AUD, preferably linked to some analysis of fundamental economic policy or variables based on some sources of government policy announcement or press reports, e.g. Financial Times, Wall Street Journal etc.

In this section, you will analyse the trading strategy of your group and financial results. Your discussion in this section should include but not be restricted to the following: motivation or fundamental analyses that justify the choice of currency purchase or sale for each day, discussion of the results of profit/loss from the trading, etc. preferably linked to some analysis of fundamental economic policy or variables based on some sources of government policy announcement or press reports, e.g. Financial Times, Wall Street Journal etc.

Each group can use $1,000,000 Australian dollars. You can buy any currency available on one of these two web sites: www.bloomberg.com/markets/currencies/cross-rates or www.oanda.com/currency/converter.  

Trading period is from 9 am of 17th Sep to 6 pm of 21st Sep; minimum of 1 trade each on a different day; you can choose to trade only part of the currency/currencies you hold and keep the remaining currency/currencies; each trade (or holding of the currency/currencies) must be well motivated and justified (preferably linked to a source); take a screen snap shot or pdf print of the exchange rates you decide to trade from above web sites as a proof of your recorded trade rate; documentation must be accurate and easy to understand (it is your responsibility to ensure that the assessor has no difficulty to understand each trade, the calculations and the motivations for the trade); use suggested excel format for trade documentation; on each day the trade and proof of traded rates of the day must be documented and email to [email protected] by 10 pm on the same day with the excel file of trading strategy and results updated to the date. The email title should read like “Group x: Case study update—date”. The documented trades and the email document must be perfectly aligned.

International currency market movement

International currency market movement

Deriving an accurate prediction of the currency market movements and activities can be extremely difficult given the numerous fluctuations and varied externalities (Salisu, Oyewole, & Fasanya, 2018). Notably, there has been a drastic change in the currency market movements and activities from January 2nd, 2018 to August 31st, 2018. For instance, the Euro has recorded drastic improvements breaking above the Hawkish Draghi with a break of approximately 1.18. Such positive development from the Euro has seen the currency grow above its major competitors providing the region with a strong growth potential. Also, after experiencing a serious decline in 2016 and 2017, the GBP has recorded a modest reprieve from January 2nd, 2018 to August 31st, 2018 becoming one of the best performers among the G10 nations.

Moreover, the Australian Dollar which is mostly viewed as a proxy for China has faced a serious decline. Most financial analysts attribute such decline to the billions of tariffs that are currently being implemented by the Trump administration. Specifically, the trade war between China and the U.S has seriously weighted on the Aussie further affecting the country’s economic prospects. Another significant international currency market movement was recorded from the Brent crude oil futures which hit a fresh 4-year high. The rise can be accredited to OPEC’s decision to raise oil production only if the demand for this precious commodity was high among the consumers effectively snubbing president Trump’s demands to have the oil prices lowered.

In other parts of the world, the Norges Banks (Norway) has also seen a hike in interest rate early this year resulting into significant gain against the US Dollar. Also, the New Zealand currency (Kiwi) has experienced a negative growth against the US Dollar depreciating by approximately 12.25% over the stipulated period. The Swiss National Bank has recorded a strong growth in the economy with a 1% rise against the US Dollar and about 3.5% against the Euro. In addition, over the stipulated period, gold prices have managed to record an upswing, a fact attributed to the supportive impact of the US Dollar which has been weaker and this has resulted in a rise in yields (Du et al, 2017).  

The most current announcement in the currency markets is the $200 billion tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese goods. Undoubtedly, the high trade tensions between the US and China has resulted in a drastic drop in investors’ confidence and numerous speculative purchases and trade deals. Going forward, preemptive rebalancing of the portfolio remains to be one of the most important catalysts for changes in prices in the currency markets. In general, the Euro has remained strong over the period at $1.17, the US dollar has also been holding above JPY112.00 while the Sterling Pound has set a 5-month best at $1.3215. On the other hand, the Canadian dollar has greatly benefited from the improving prospects of the U.S dollar while despite poor performances; the Australian dollar is on the right course of re-establishment.  

Exchange rate table for AUD

According to Guofeng (2015), the currency market is a globally interconnected platform that can be affected by various factors such as exchange rates and currency values. Indeed, there are numerous major events or announcement that may have caused noticeable movements in currency markets that are clearly stipulated above. For instance, the Italian and Spanish political turmoil has had significant impacts on the global currency markets. According to Peltomäki, Graham & Hasselgren (2018), exchange rates are more likely to react in favor of those political parties with effective and reasonable fiscal and monetary policies that may prevent a possible downgrade of a country’s credit ratings.

Following widespread political instability in these two countries, consumer confidence reduced coupled with poor performances against the Euro and US Dollar among other major global currencies (Barai, Fullerton & Walke, 2018). Moreover, the announcement by the British Prime Minister earlier this year to conduct an early election in the UK has greatly affected the performances of the Australian Dollar.

The table below shows the monthly exchange rates of Australian dollar from January to August 2018 compared to four other countries.

Month

AUD Australian Dollar

US Dollar

EUR Euro

GBP British Pound

CAD Canadian Dollar

31st January 2018

1

0.7954

0.652045

0.575806

0.988967

28th February 2018

1

0.786972

0.637436

0.563368

0.989674

31st March 2018

1

0.775811

0.629215

0.555608

1.00303

30th April 2018

1

0.768174

0.625681

0.546203

0.978954

1st May 2018

1

0.75304

0.636819

0.559334

0.969333

30th June 2018

1

0.749633

0.64178

0.563811

0.983661

31st July 2018

1

0.732792

0.633313

0.562245

0.972467

30th August 2018

1

0.718891

0.635077

0.569566

0.956244

Table 1: Monthly of exchange rates of Australian dollar from January to August 2018 compared to four other countries

Source: OANDA (2018)

According to Su & Zhang (2018), the Australian dollar is the fifth most traded currency in the global currency markets. The table above compares the performances of the Australian dollar against some of the world’s biggest currencies name the US Dollar, the Euro, the Canadian Dollar, and the British Pound. Between the stipulated periods, the AUD performed strongly against the British Pound with the lowest being in January 2018 at 0.575806 and the highest being in April at approximately 0.546203 for every AUD. Correspondingly, the Australian Dollar comparatively had weaker performances against the Canadian Dollar with the lowest being in March 2018 at 1.00303 and the highest being in August 2018 at approximately 0.956244 for every AUD. The subsequent figures below show the monthly exchange rates from January to August 2018.

 

Table 2: Monthly exchange rates of AUD TO USD from January to August 2018

Source: Author’s own compilations

From the figure above, the Australian Dollar recorded highs and lows against the US Dollar between the stipulated periods. The AUD’s strongest performance against the US Dollar was in August 2018 at 0.718891 for every AUD with the lowest performance being in January at 0.7954.

 

Possible reasons for exchange rate movements for AUD

Table 3: Monthly exchange rates of AUD TO Euro from January to August 2018

Source: Author’s own compilations

From the figure above, the Australian Dollar recorded highs and lows against the Euro between the stipulated periods. The AUD’s strongest performance against the Euro was in March 2018 at 0.629215 for every AUD with the lowest performance being in January at 0.652045.

 

Table 4: Monthly exchange rates of AUD TO Canadian Dollar from January to August 2018

Source: Author’s own compilations

From the figure above, the Australian Dollar recorded highs and lows against the Canadian Dollar between the stipulated periods. The AUD’s strongest performance against the Canadian dollar was in March 2018 at 1.00303 for every AUD with the lowest performance being in August at 0.956244.

 

Table 5: Monthly exchange rates of AUD TO British Pound from January to August 2018

Source: Author’s own compilations

From the figure above, the Australian Dollar recorded highs and lows against the US Dollar between the stipulated periods. The AUD’s strongest performance against the British pound was in April 2018 at 0.546203 for every AUD with the lowest performance being in January at 0.575806. 


Possible reasons for the exchange rate movements for 3 of the 4 currencies with AUD

British Pound

The Brexit factor is a significant contributor to the financial instability and increased economic uncertainty in Australia. Remarkably, most investors in Australia currently favor trading in gold and US currency as a safe and most viable alternative and a haven for their capital asset (Olivella-Rosell et al., 2018). Therefore, the fluctuating performance of the AUD against the GBP can be directly attributed to the Brexit politics.    

US Dollar

Despite the overall positive performance of the Australian economy, various financial reports point at a comparatively weak performance against the dollar. Given Australia’s close economic ties with China, the current trade war between Beijing and Washington propagated by the Trump administration is already hurting the Australian dollar (Galeshchuk & Mukherjee, 2017). Specifically, the trade tariffs imposed on Chinese goods by the US is likely to push commodity prices up. Su & Zhang (2018) reiterates that the Australian dollar has a close relationship with commodity prices and subsequent rises are likely to affect the performances of the currency in the markets. Similarly, the decision by the US Federal Reserve to raise the interest rates has also contributed to the poor performance of the AUD against the USD (Guofeng 2015).     

Trading strategy and financial results

The Euro

The reserve bank of Australia has numerous effective reserve policies that it constantly applies especially when dealing with big trading blocs like the European Union. The EU is a large trading partner with Australia, and this explains why the reserve bank has implemented various policies to manage and address possible market volatilities. For example, the bank has a periodic target of inflation ranging from 2% t 3%. Moreover, political instability in EU-member countries such as Italy and Spain has further increased market volatilities and subsequent performances of the AUD against the Euro (Juszczuk & Kru?, 2018).      

The trading strategy of the group based on the above financial results

The group used daily trading strategy (daily pivots) and scalping to establish the exchange rate movements between 17th September and 21st September. The strategy involved assessing the stock’s daily volatility and establishing whether the speculations surrounding various market dynamics are likely to affect the exchanges (Nasdaq, 2018). The group attempted to buy at the low of each day and sold at the high of the same day. However, the group still recorded losses from the transactions further pointing at the volatile nature of the currency trading between the USD and AUD. On the other hand, scalping as a strategy used by the group to conduct the trading involved the exploitation of diverse price gaps and market uncertainties.

Specifically, scalping as a trading strategy involved buying and selling securities on the same day to receive the differences between the two transactions (Neely & Weller, 2011). The primary objective of scalping is to decrease the associated risks in the exchange markets. The traders depended on the small daily moves that are speculated to occur in the market especially with the ongoing trade war between China and the US. The primary objective of scalping is to minimize possible losses and maximize profits. As such, dramatic changes in prices or any other market dynamic is likely to result in a significant amount of losses or increased profits from the stipulated transactions (Szakmary, Shen & Sharma, 2010).          

The trading of $1,000,000 Australian dollars between the period of 17-21Sep and by 6 pm on 21st Sep 2018 was executed in various steps and different amounts as highlighted below.

Buying UD Dollars

 

Figure 1: Buying UD Dollars

Source: OANDA (2018)

Selling the same US Dollars bought

 

Figure 2: Selling the same US Dollars bought

Source: OANDA (2018)

On this particular day, about $200,000 Australian dollars that were used to buy US Dollars generated approximately $142,965. However, when the same amount generated ($142,965) from the transaction was used to buy back Australian dollars on the same day, a loss of $204 AUD was recorded. The trading was motivated by a host of different factors that included speculations on the possible impacts of trade wars between China and the US on the economy of Australia (Nayak, Mishra & Rath, 2017).   

Buying UD Dollars

 

Figure 3: Buying UD Dollars

Source: OANDA (2018)

Selling the same US Dollars bought

 

Figure 4: Selling the same US Dollars bought

Source: OANDA (2018)

When $300,000 Australian dollars were used to purchase UD dollars on 18th September, approximately $215,102 was generated from the transaction. On the same day, $215,102 was used to buy back about $ 299,939 Australian dollars. On this day, the trader recorded a loss of approximately $61 AUD.   

Buying UD Dollars

 

Figure 5: Buying UD Dollars

Source: OANDA (2018)

Selling the same US Dollars bought

 

Figure 6: Selling the same US Dollars bought

Source: OANDA (2018)

On 19th September, the $200,000 Australian dollars used to purchase US currency generated approximately $144,057. Correspondingly, using the amount generated ($144,057) to buy back Australian dollars resulted in a trading loss of about $40 AUD.

Buying UD Dollars

 

Figure 7: Buying UD Dollars

Source: OANDA (2018)

Selling the same US Dollars bought

 

Figure 8: Selling the same US Dollars bought

Source: OANDA (2018)

On the other hand, the $150,000 Australian dollars that were to buy American currency generated about $108,750. On the same day, the $108,750generated was used to buy Australian dollars and this resulted in a trading loss of roughly $32 AUD.

Buying UD Dollars

 

Figure 9: Buying UD Dollars

Source: OANDA (2018)

Selling the same US Dollars bought

 

Figure 10: Selling the same US Dollars bought

Source: OANDA (2018)

Lastly, on 21st September, the remaining $150,000 Australian dollars were used to purchase US Dollars. The trader used the amount generated ($109,106) to buy back Australian dollars on the same day. The trader generated an approximate loss of $30 AUD from this transaction.

Trading $1,000,000 Australian dollars between 17th and 21st September generated an aggregated loss of $367 Australian dollars. From the initial amount invested ($1,000,000) over the five day period, the traders were only able to recover about $999,633 Australian dollars. Therefore, the traders could have formulated better trading strategies so as to record profits given that the primary objective of any business transaction if to maximize profits and minimize potential losses (Glaser & Risius, 2018).    

In general, the above trading depicted minor fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates. Menkhoff et al. (2011) accredit such fluctuations to various fiscal and monetary factors in an economy. For instance, with the current escalation of trade wars between China and the United States, Australia’s currency is expected to drop against the dollar due to market speculations. Neely & Weller (2013) supports that the primary objective of every Australian investor is to maximize profits while minimizing possible losses. Therefore, speculations caused by US-China trade wars have already caused a reduction in the demand for US dollars.      

Moreover, the fluctuations may have also been caused by the possible reduction in Australia’s balance of trade. Notably, Australia’s economy is largely dependent on that of China and the $200 billion worth of tariff imposed on Chinese goods entering the US is likely to affect the demand for Australian commodities. Therefore, the speculation of a possible trade deficit in case China reduces its demand for Australian products such steel has had a dramatic impact on exchange rate movements. 

Going forward, the group should consider using position trading strategy to conduct their exchange market businesses (Edwards, Magee & Bassetti, 2018). The recommended trading strategy involves using charts to accurately monitor the direction a market is taking (De Jong, 2018). Position traders rely heavily on market trends and accurately assess the ups and downs of market movements before making a decision whether to conduct a business (Evans, 2018). Therefore, given the high market volatility caused by the trade wars between China and the US, position traders will carefully analyze market conditions and avoid forecasting price levels.

References

Barai, D., Fullerton Jr, T. M., & Walke, A. G. (2018). EURASIAN JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS AND FINANCE.

Bayas, A. C. (2018). Currency Risk Management: Predicting the EUR/USD Exchange Rate.

DailyFX (2018) Forex Market news and analysis (economic calendar) Retrieved from https://www.dailyfx.com/calendar. (Accessed on 25th September 2018).

De Jong, J. (2018). The effect of fiscal announcements on interest spreads Evidence from the Netherlands.

Du, J., Wang, J. N., Lai, K. K., & Wang, C. (2017). Chinese Currency Exchange Rates Analysis: Risk Management, Forecasting, and Hedging Strategies. Routledge.

Edwards, R. D., Magee, J., & Bassetti, W. H. C. (2018). Technical analysis of stock trends. CRC Press.

Evans, M. D. (2018). Forex trading and the WMR Fix. Journal of Banking & Finance, 87, 233-247.

Fulop, A., & Kocsis, Z. (2018). News-Based Indices on Country Fundamentals: Do They Help Explain Sovereign Credit Spread Fluctuations?.

Galeshchuk, S., & Mukherjee, S. (2017). Deep Learning for Predictions in Emerging Currency Markets. In ICAART (2) (pp. 681-686).

Geissmann, T., & Obrist, A. (2018). Fundamental Price Drivers on Continental European Day-Ahead Power Markets.

Glaser, F., & Risius, M. (2018). Effects of transparency: analyzing social biases on trader performance in social trading. Journal of Information Technology, 33(1), 19-30.

Guofeng, S. (2015). Foreign Exchange Market. In Financial Reforms in Modern China (pp. 133-175). Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

Juszczuk, P., & Kru?, L. (2018, September). Selecting the Efficient Market Indicators in the Trading System in the Forex Market. In International Conference on Information Systems Architecture and Technology (pp. 122-133). Springer, Cham.

Menkhoff, L., Sarno, L., Schmeling, M., & Schrimpf, A. (2012). Currency momentum strategies. Journal of Financial Economics, 106(3), 660-684.

Nasdaq (2018) Forex currency market news. Retrieved from: https://www.nasdaq.com/forex/ (Accessed on 25th September 2018).

Nayak, R. K., Mishra, D., & Rath, A. K. (2017). An optimized SVM-k-NN currency exchange forecasting model for the Indian currency market. Neural Computing and Applications, 1-27.

Neely, C. J., & Weller, P. A. (2013). Lessons from the evolution of foreign exchange trading strategies. Journal of Banking & Finance, 37(10), 3783-3798.

Neely, C., & Weller, P. (2011). Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market. Journal of Financial Economics, 103(5), 60-64.

OANDA (2018). Currency Converter. Retrieved from: https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/ (Accessed on 25th September 2018).

Olivella-Rosell, P., Lloret-Gallego, P., Munné-Collado, Í., Villafafila-Robles, R., Sumpter, A., Ottesen, S. Ø., ... & Bremdal, B. A. (2018). Local Flexibility Market Design for Aggregators Providing Multiple Flexibility Services at Distribution Network Level. Energies, 11(4), 822.

Peltomäki, J., Graham, M., & Hasselgren, A. (2018). Investor attention to market categories and market volatility: The case of emerging markets. Research in International Business and Finance, 44, 532-546.

Salisu, A. A., Oyewole, O. J., & Fasanya, I. O. (2018). Modeling return and volatility spillovers in global foreign exchange markets. Journal of Information and Optimization Sciences, 1-32.

Su, F., & Zhang, J. (2018). Global price discovery in the Australian dollar market and its determinants. Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, 48, 35-55.

Szakmary, A. C., Shen, Q., & Sharma, S. C. (2010). Trend-following trading strategies in commodity futures: A re-examination. Journal of Banking & Finance, 34(2), 409-426.

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