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FXCM Adds ForexBaskets to its Retail Offering

FXCM announced today the introduction of foreign exchange baskets to its retail customers.

A foreign exchange or forex basket is comprised of a mix of several currencies, each initially starting with the same equivalent value. It allows traders to buy or sell a base currency, e.g. USD, against a basket of multiple currencies. The value of the basket will be determined by how the base currency performs vs the other currencies in the basket, since the time of the basket’s inception.

FXCM customers in all global regions, including the UK, Australia and South Africa, will initially be able to trade three different baskets: The Dollar Index Basket, The Yen Index Basket and The Emerging Markets Index Basket.

The Dollar Index basket reflects the change in value of the US dollar and is measured against a basket of major, highly-liquid currencies: the British pound (GBP), Euro (EUR), Japanese yen (JPY) and Australian dollar (AUD).

The Yen Index acts a Japanese benchmark and is designed to reflect the change in value of the Japanese yen against the Australian dollar (AUD) British pound (GBP), Euro (EUR) and Canadian dollar (CAD).

The Emerging Markets Index is designed to reflect the value of the USD against the Chinese Renminbi (CNY), Mexican Peso (MXN), Turkish Lira (TRY) and South African Rand (ZAR).

Brendan Callan, CEO of FXCM, commented: “Our customers typically trade different currencies at the same time to broaden their portfolio, diversify risk or hedge an existing position. Trading a basket of currencies offers them an efficient way to trade against multiple currencies. This reduces the risk of exposure or adverse movements in a single currency and lowers trade costs.”

JPY Gains, AUD Falls as China Weakens Yuan

Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist, at DailyFX, comments:

“China has triggered another sharp burst of risk aversion after devaluing the Yuan by over 0.5 percent at today’s daily fix, marking the largest downward revision since Augusts’ fateful readjustment.  The sentiment-linked Australian Dollar dropped alongside Asian share prices while the safety-linked Japanese Yen outperformed. Cycle-sensitive commodities including copper and crude oil fell while gold and silver traded higher. Chinese stocks were shut down for the day after hitting the limit-down threshold of 7 percent.

 “The consensus interpretation for the markets’ negative response is that Chinese devaluation speaks to a need for emergency stimulus expansion, which implies greater-than-expected malaise in the world’s second-largest economy. Weakening the currency can be seen as a form monetary stimulus however, so one might have expected markets to cheer Beijing’s actions. With that in mind, it seems as though price action reflects a reflexive response drawing surface-level parallels with Augusts’ panic selling rather than a sober evaluation of China’s actions on their fundamental merits.

 “Looking ahead, S&P 500 futures are pointing sharply lower, hinting that risk aversion is aiming to continue in the hours ahead. The economic calendar is relatively quiet, putting the spotlight on Fed-speak as the source of event risk du-jour. Comments from Richard Lacker and Charles Evans, Presidents of the Richmond and Chicago Fed branches respectively, are due to cross the wires.

 “The two policymakers represent the hawkish and dovish extremes of last years’ contingent of FOMC voters. Traders will look to their remarks for clues about the likely 2016 rate hike path. The central bank projected four 25bps increases last month while the markets continue to envision no more than two. Investors’ dovish lean skews volatility risk to the upside for the US Dollar in the event that cumulative commentary strikes a hawkish tone.”