Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘uk’

Infographic: The world’s most powerful reserve currencies

October 8th, 2019

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | October 8, 2019

Visual Capitalist The world’s most powerful reserve currencies

 

When we think of network effects, we’re usually thinking of them in the context of technology and Metcalfe’s Law.

Metcalfe’s Law states that the more users a network has, the more valuable it is to those users. It’s a powerful idea that is exploited by companies like LinkedIn, Airbnb or Uber—all companies that provide a more beneficial service as their networks gain more nodes.

But network effects don’t apply just to technology and related fields.

In the financial sector, for example, stock exchanges grow in utility when they have more buyers, sellers and volume. Likewise, in international finance, a currency can become increasingly entrenched when it’s accepted, used and trusted all over the world.

What’s a reserve currency?

This visualization comes to us from HowMuch.net, and it breaks down foreign reserves held by countries—but what is a reserve currency, anyway?

In essence, reserve currencies (i.e. U.S. dollar, pound sterling, euro, etc.) are held by central banks for the following major reasons:

  • To maintain a stable exchange rate for the domestic currency

  • To ensure liquidity in the case of an economic or political crisis

  • To provide confidence to international buyers and foreign investors

  • To fulfill international obligations, such as paying down debt

  • To diversify central bank portfolios, reducing overall risk

Not surprisingly, central banks benefit the most from stockpiling widely held reserve currencies such as the U.S. dollar or the euro.

Because these currencies are accepted almost everywhere, they provide third parties with extra confidence and perceived liquidity. This is a network effect that snowballs from the growing use of a particular reserve currency over others.

Reserve currencies over time

Here is how the usage of reserve currencies has evolved over the last 15 years:

Currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves (2004-2019)
U.S. dollar Euro Japanese yen Pound sterling Other
2004 65.5% 24.7% 4.3% 3.5% 2.0%
2009 62.1% 27.7% 2.9% 4.3% 3.0%
2014 65.1% 21.2% 3.5% 3.7% 6.5%
2019 61.8% 20.2% 5.3% 4.5% 8.2%

Over this timeframe, there have been small ups and downs in most reserve currencies.

Today, the U.S. dollar is the world’s most powerful reserve currency, making up over 61% of foreign reserves. The dollar gets an extensive network effect from its use abroad, and this translates into several advantages for the multi-trillion-dollar U.S. economy.

The euro, yen and pound sterling are the other mainstay reserve currencies, adding up to roughly 30% of foreign reserves.

Finally, the most peculiar data series above is “Other,” which grew from 2% to 8.4% of worldwide foreign reserves over the last 15 years. This bucket includes the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar, the Swiss franc and the Chinese renminbi.

Accepted everywhere?

There have been rumblings in the media for decades now about the rise of the Chinese renminbi as a potential new challenger on the reserve currency front.

While there are still big structural problems that will prevent this from happening as fast as some may expect, the currency is still on the rise internationally.

What will the composition of global foreign reserves look like in another 15 years?

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

World Gold Council hedges its forecasts for 2019

January 11th, 2019

by Greg Klein | January 11, 2019

Both financial market instability and structural economic improvements bode well for its favourite metal, the World Gold Council reports. The WGC’s Outlook 2019 attributes an optimistic price outlook to an interplay of those two factors along with U.S. interest rates and the dollar.

Bullion and gold-backed ETFs would benefit as savings, investments, jewelry and technology drive up demand. The prognosis also sees central bank demand continuing to rise. Last year’s sovereign purchases reached the highest level since 2015 “as a wider set of countries added gold to their foreign reserves for diversification and safety.”

Accentuating gold’s safe haven status would be the financial market uncertainty apparent in higher volatility, European instability, protectionist policies and “an increased likelihood of a global recession,” the report states.

“Stubbornly low” bond yields offer poor protection against uncertainty, the WGC notes. Meanwhile Europe’s economy lags behind the U.S. as the continent faces Brexit, social unrest in France and separatism in Spain, among other challenges. Increasing protectionism and trade war rhetoric threaten economies with inflation and restrictions to “the flow of capital, goods and labour.”

Comprising 70% of consumer gold demand, emerging markets remain “very relevant” to gold’s long-term performance. China’s Belt and Road projects boost regional economic and infrastructure development. India’s economic modernization should continue last year’s 7.5% growth into 2019, “outpacing most global economies and showing resilience to geopolitical uncertainty.

“Given its unequivocal link to wealth and economic expansion, we believe gold is well poised to benefit from these initiatives. We also believe that gold jewellery demand will strengthen in 2019 if sentiment is positive, while increase marginally should uncertainty remain.”

To the allure of gold, the WGC attributes its returns on investment and its liquidity. Additionally, the metal provides an almost unique hedge that often correlates with the market in good times but detaches itself during negative periods, the council states.

While a stronger U.S. economy and dollar could stall gold, the last two months have shown a correction in equities along with weaknesses in other assets, said Joseph Cavatoni, WGC managing director for the U.S. and ETFs. With political uncertainty also troubling investors “we’re going to see gold start to have a much more relevant role to play in people’s investment portfolios.”

Not without skin in the game itself, the WGC represents some of the world’s top gold miners.

Download Outlook 2019: Global economic trends and their impact on gold.

Authors William Dalrymple and Anita Anand consider responses to India and Pakistan’s rival claims to the Koh-i-Noor diamond, now part of Britain’s Crown Jewels

October 17th, 2017

…Read more

Infographic: Explaining the October flash crash in the British pound

October 25th, 2016

Text by Jeff Desjardins | graphic by Top 10 Forex VPS | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | October 25, 2016

We all know that software is eating the world. For better or worse, that statement applies to the financial world as well. It is said today that 75% of all financial market volume is automated, though there are lower and higher estimates out there depending on the report.

The bottom line is that algorithmic trading is the dominant market player—and this has benefits and drawbacks for average investors. On the upside, markets are less volatile and presumably more rational because they are driven by computers instead of fallible humans.

On the other hand? Sometimes algos just go rogue and do something unpredictable.

When the British pound flash-crashed earlier this month, it was exactly this latter thing that happened.

The following infographic from Top 10 Forex VPS shares a play-by-play breakdown of how the British pound crashed a whopping 8% in just two minutes.

It’s interesting because it helps give a sense of how the piping works behind these trading algorithms. It’s also a cautionary tale of algos gone wild, showing how market momentum can be swung in a particular direction even without your average market participants being involved.

 

Explaining the October flash crash in the British pound

 

In the aftermath of Brexit, the British pound has subsequently morphed into a “political” currency that seems to get most of its trading action based on commentary and speculation about the country’s eventual withdrawal from the EU.

On October 6, François Hollande said that the UK must “pay the price” for Brexit. Trading algorithms reacted to this news that they deemed to be negative, and it triggered a GBP selloff. Once a massive knockout option was opened and a certain price broke, it triggered a number of automated stop-loss sellers.

After a few other algorithms kicked in, the British pound went from $1.26 to $1.1491 in a matter of just two minutes in USD terms. That’s an 8% slide in a globally significant currency.

Just 30 minutes later, the pound recovered to more normal trading levels.

The flash crash was just that—temporary. However, this does raise the question: what could have happened in a more extreme case of algos gone wild?

Graphic by Top 10 Forex VPS | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Thrifty Scots invent method of extracting gold from discarded electronics

August 31st, 2016

by Greg Klein | August 31, 2016

From Scotland comes a technological breakthrough perhaps inspired by Scottish frugality. The University of Edinburgh announced a new method that could help unlock up to 7% of the world’s gold. That’s the amount estimated to reside in “electrical waste”—old cellphones, TVs, computers and other digital devices. Boffins call the new process considerably more efficient and environmentally friendly than previous efforts.

Thrifty Scots invent method of extracting gold from discarded electronics

Some 300 tonnes of gold go into electronics each year, according to the scientists.

The new method first involves placing printed circuit boards in a mild acid to dissolve the metals. An “oily liquid containing the team’s chemical compound” then separates the gold from other metals.

But the potential for the new process alone isn’t clear. Researchers merely say it “could aid the development of methods for large-scale recovery of gold and other precious metals from waste electronics.”

The university described the study as one of many staff and student-led initiatives “to promote the so-called circular economy, which encourages reuse of materials and greater resource efficiency.”

Saves money too.

August 9th, 2016

Charts suggest silver bull market is consolidating Streetwise Reports
Potash producers hopeful of recovery Industrial Minerals
Looking for yield in all the wrong places Stockhouse
De Beers’ $520-million diamond sale defies summer slowdown NAI 500
JPMorgan Chase analyst says central banks rigged markets after Brexit GoldSeek
Five Quebec gold juniors that could be acquired soon SmallCapPower
Living in uncertain times: An updated picture of country risk Equities.com
Lithium contract prices begin Q3 move towards high China levels Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

August 5th, 2016

Potash producers hopeful of recovery Industrial Minerals
Looking for yield in all the wrong places Stockhouse
De Beers’ $520-million diamond sale defies summer slowdown NAI 500
JPMorgan Chase analyst says central banks rigged markets after Brexit GoldSeek
Five Quebec gold juniors that could be acquired soon SmallCapPower
Living in uncertain times: An updated picture of country risk Equities.com
What experts predict for the new silver bull market Streetwise Reports
Lithium contract prices begin Q3 move towards high China levels Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

August 4th, 2016

De Beers’ $520-million diamond sale defies summer slowdown NAI 500
JPMorgan Chase analyst says central banks rigged markets after Brexit GoldSeek
Five Quebec gold juniors that could be acquired soon SmallCapPower
Living in uncertain times: An updated picture of country risk Equities.com
What experts predict for the new silver bull market Streetwise Reports
Lithium contract prices begin Q3 move towards high China levels Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Canada welcomes move towards ratification of EU trade deal Industrial Minerals
A classic case of failed socialism: What’s next after Brexit? Stockhouse
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

August 3rd, 2016

JPMorgan Chase analyst says central banks rigged markets after Brexit GoldSeek
Five Quebec gold juniors that could be acquired soon SmallCapPower
Living in uncertain times: An updated picture of country risk Equities.com
What experts predict for the new silver bull market Streetwise Reports
Lithium contract prices begin Q3 move towards high China levels Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Nickel near eight-month high as metals gain on stimulus speculation NAI 500
Canada welcomes move towards ratification of EU trade deal Industrial Minerals
A classic case of failed socialism: What’s next after Brexit? Stockhouse
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

July 29th, 2016

Five Quebec gold juniors that could be acquired soon SmallCapPower
Brexit post-mortem GoldSeek
Living in uncertain times: An updated picture of country risk Equities.com
What experts predict for the new silver bull market Streetwise Reports
Lithium contract prices begin Q3 move towards high China levels Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Nickel near eight-month high as metals gain on stimulus speculation NAI 500
Canada welcomes move towards ratification of EU trade deal Industrial Minerals
A classic case of failed socialism: What’s next after Brexit? Stockhouse
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal