European officials have expressed unconcealed relief at Scotland's vote against independence from Britain. In Brussels, the European Commission said the Scottish vote was good for a "united, open and stronger Europe". EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that "The European Commission welcomes the fact that during the debate over the past years, the Scottish government and the Scottish people have repeatedly reaffirmed their European commitment.”
The dollar climbed to a new six-year high against the yen and rallied against the euro after the Federal Reserve gave more guidance on its intentions to raise interest rates amid an economic recovery in the US. The dollar rose by 1.1% against the yen to a high of ¥108.39, its strongest level since September 2008. The euro fell as low as $1.2852, a new 14-month low. Emerging-market currencies also weakened against the dollar, with the Turkish lira hitting a fresh six-month low.
Investors have bet heavily on the dollar in recent weeks believing that a strong US recovery would prompt the Fed to send a stronger signal on when it would raise interest rates from near zero. The dollar has recently gone on its longest winning run in more than 17 years, rising against a broad basket of currencies for nine straight weeks, according to the ICE US Dollar Index. Higher interest rates would make the dollar more attractive to yield-seeking investors.
With more investors looking past the BRIC countries for the next big emerging market opportunities, Africa is ready for an investment boom. There are several challenges when it comes to investing in Africa, including unemployment, poverty, corruption and conflict. All of these are genuine obstacles to the business environment, but Africa’s economic foundations have been strengthening. Developed economies are only just shaking off the side-effects of the global economic downturn of 2008-2009, but Africa recovered quickly and is now displaying strong economic fundamentals.
Usually regular borrowers on global markets, Russian companies are finding their funding lifeblood cut off by banks and asset managers who worry their investments will get caught up in the stand-off between Moscow and the West. According to Bloomberg data, corporate offerings of foreign-currency bonds since the Crimea incursion have fallen by 69% to $7.1 billion so far this year from the same period last year. With military tensions still running high between Russia and Ukraine and the ongoing imposition of tough Western economic sanctions, it has become more and more difficult for companies to issue bonds or obtain loans, a situation that could eventually threaten some of them with default.
The world’s largest banks are introducing reform to their currency trading divisions in an effort to regain the trust of customers and pre-empt regulators’ efforts to impose changes on an industry damaged by allegations of manipulation. The banks are taking action in the wake of several authorities opening investigations into claims that dealers leaked confidential client information to counterparts at other firms and colluded to rig currency benchmarks used by money managers.
In August, the Financial Stability Board, the regulatory task force for the Group of 20 economies (G20), proposed widespread change for the FX industry. The world's top banks have backed the majority of the recommendations to reform the setting of the leading global currency benchmark following allegations of market rigging in the world's largest and least regulated financial market.
FXCM: Founded in 1999 in New York, FXCM is a leading global provider of foreign exchange trading and related services. It provides services through its own online trading platforms and through third-party platforms such as MetaTrader 4. FXCM allows retail and institutional clients to speculate on global foreign exchange markets in what is known as "margin forex trading". Outside the US, FXCM also provides trading in contract for difference (CFDs) on major indices and commodities such as gold and crude oil. FXCM was one of the early developers of online FX trading. Its business model allows retail clients to speculate on forex markets with leverage. FXCM promotes a "no dealing desk" business model for its currency products, taking prices from a number of major banks and allowing clients to trade the best price at any given time.
OANDA: With its launch of fxTrade in 2001, OANDA was one of the first companies to offer fully automated online currency trading. OANDA was founded on the belief that technology and the Internet would globalise the marketplace, creating an unprecedented need for currency-related products and services. OANDA uses innovative computer and financial technology to provide Internet-based FX trading and currency information services to everyone from individuals to large corporations and from portfolio managers to financial institutions. It has access to one of the world's largest historical, high frequency, filtered currency databases. OANDA was co-founded by Michael Stumm, a professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, and Richard Olsen of The Olsen Ltd, a leading econometric research and development firm.
AvaTrade has been an innovative pioneer in online trading since 2006. The company was created as a combined effort of financial professionals and experts in web-commerce with the goal of perfecting the online experience for retail traders. The company's total trading volumes surpass $60 billion per month, and its user-oriented perspective, combined with solid financial backing, is unique in the field of online trading. It offers a broad range of platforms and services, aiming to create the optimal trading environment for every level of trader. AvaTrade offers a full spectrum of trading instruments including FX, stocks, commodities and indices. Based in Dublin, it has regional offices and sales centres in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Sydney and New York.
KBL European Private Bankers: Founded in 1949, KBL European Private Bankers engages its clients in dialogue, provides them with independent investment advice, and strives to meet their evolving needs through a range of tailor-made services and products. It provides a range of investment solutions through its Global Investor Services, Global Financial Markets and Asset Management departments. The group has subsidiaries across nine European countries and is expanding its horizons to capture future opportunities in high-growth emerging markets, including the Middle East and Asia. The company’s mission is to be a preferred European private banking group that cares for clients and colleagues as if they were members of its own family, always putting their long-term well-being first.
FXOpen: Founded in 2003 as an educational centre of technical analysis, FXOpen is a New Zealand-based retail FX broker offering online trading services via the MT4 platform. It provides access to the Electronic Communication Network (ECN) to execute trades in currencies and precious metals. The company has international offices in Australia, United Kingdom and Russia, forming part of FXOpen Group. It is represented worldwide but is mostly present in Europe and Asia. Liquidity for trades can be obtained from other traders, brokers, financial institutions or even FXOpen itself. ECN models do not have large liquidity pools and clients are often unaware of where their trade liquidity is coming from or the depth of the market price. This is how FXOpen can offer such low spreads and commission structures.