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Positive Economic Data Does Not Support Sterling

By , July 29, 2014 5:21 pm

Various pound notesMacroeconomic data from Great Britain was positive today, but this did not help the pound. The currency was flat against some of its major counterparts, including the euro and the Japanese yen, and dropped versus the US dollar.

The number of mortgage approvals rose from 62,007 in May to 67,196 in June. It was higher than the median forecast of 63,000. The data suggests that the housing market continues to expand even though the Bank of England took steps recently to cool growth in order to prevent housing bubble.

The International Monetary Fund commented about UK monetary policy in a report yesterday:

Accommodative monetary policy is appropriate for now, given weak inflation pressures, but policy might need to be adjusted quickly if inflation takes off. Interest rate increases may also need to be considered if macroprudential tools are insufficient to deal with financial stability risks from the housing market.

The IMF also said that “sterling is moderately overvalued”.

GBP/USD dropped from 1.6981 to 1.6945 as of 23:02 GMT today. GBP/JPY was at 173.01, and EUR/GBP traded at 0.7913, both being virtually flat.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Great Britain Pound, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

100 French MPs Demonstrate in Support of Assyrians in Mosul

By , July 23, 2014 1:03 pm

100 French MPs Demonstrate in Support of Assyrians in Mosul

Posted 2014-07-23 17:02 GMT

French Parliament members demonstrate in Paris in support of Assyrians in Mosul, who have been targeted by ISIS.Paris (AINA) — One hundred members of the French Parliament demonstrated in front of the parliament building today in support of the Assyrians of Mosul, who have been targeted by ISIS. The demonstrators expressed their solidarity with the Assyrian of Mosul by carrying signs with the Arabic letter “n”, which is the first letter of the word “Nasrani” (Christian) in Arabic. ISIS has marked all Christian homes in Mosul with this letter (AINA 2014-07-19).

Since taking over Mosul, ISIS has destroyed nearly half of the 30 churches in the city and occupied the rest, converting them into mosques and headquarters.

Nearly 2,000 Assyrian families have fled Mosul to the Assyrian villages in the north, including Ankawa and Dohuk. The water and electric service that was supplied from Mosul to the surrounding towns and villages has been cut off by ISIS. Residents are now using well water and their is a life-threatening shortage of water.

In a statement issued today, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako said this is the worst disaster to hit Iraq’s Christians since the coming of Genghis Khan.

Assyrian International News Agency

Yen Loses Support of Fundamentals, Halts Rally

By , June 30, 2014 8:35 am

Watermark on the Japanese yen billThe Japanese yen halted its rally today and actually fell against some of its major peers as economic reports were not favorable to the currency. Today’s drop followed Friday’s big rally, meaning that part of today’s losses may be attributed to profit-taking.

Japan’s industrial production rose 0.5 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, while analysts predicted a 0.9 percent increase. Housing starts slumped 15.0 percent last month from a year ago, more than was expected by market participants (10.1 percent).

The yen is currently attempting to hold ground as Friday’s reports led to optimistic outlook for the currency, which did not wane yet despite today’s data. Among them were the inflation report that demonstrated stable price growth and employment data that demonstrated an unexpected drop of the unemployment rate. The Japanese currency is struggling to find a direction as indicators did not provide a clear picture of Japan’s economic performance.

USD/JPY was near 101.33 as of 11:29 GMT today after opening at 101.37. EUR/JPY ticked up a little from 138.34 to 138.40 following the drop to 138.10. GBP/JPY went up from 172.59 to 172.74.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Japanese Yen, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

US activities showing deep support for ISIL: Analyst

By , June 23, 2014 1:12 pm

US activities showing deep support for ISIL: Analyst
By: Press TV on: 23.06.2014 [06:32 ] (135 reads)

US activities showing deep support for ISIL: Analyst

Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:32AM

Interview with Gordon Duff

Related Viewpoints:

‘Is ISIL really ‘Sunni’? Not at all’

Press TV has conducted an interview with Gordon Duff, an editor at Veteran’s Today, from Ohio, about the US sending advisory troops to Iraq amid a terror crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Tell us what you think about this announced US strategy when Obama says that targeted and precise military action will be taken, but no combat troops. What does that imply?

Duff: Some of the things we are hearing would make sense and should make sense, but we wonder how Obama is being advised on this.

The discussions he had about intelligence, surveillance and reconnasense, the US runs 24 passes a day of high resolution ISR satellite past Iraq already; the US maintains not only AWAC surveillance, but extensive drone high level surveillance over the entire Middle East on a daily basis and has since the Syrian war began years ago. And this covers this region.

I was in meetings with Iraqi officials over ISR capabilities in January. We know for certain that the US was aware that the ISIS was moving against Mosul; we were aware that the US knew exactly where their weapons were coming from – not through Turkey, but they were being shipped by the Saudis through the Gulf of Aqaba, through Jordan by train and that fighters were being brought in mass through Israel. There was no other way for this to be done.

So, the US claims we’re making that we’re only aware now that any of this happened is very false. We watched all of this happen and we watched all of it happen with full complicity of US allies. Now we’re acting as though we’re surprised, there’s something extremely disingenuous about this.

Press TV: When President Rouhani was asked about Iran’s role, to talk with the United States on this to try to resolve the situation and help the current crisis Mr. Rouhani also said that we have to see action by America against the ISISL militants or against terrorism in the region so that we could trust that the United States is actually genuine and honest about its efforts to fight terrorism in the region.

And a lot of people are blaming the US, as you just suggest there, for the spread terrorism in Syria now to Iraq, but at this point Iraq is calling on America for help assisting with air strikes – Do you think the United States however now, just forgetting about its role before this, is genuinely interested in tackling the issue of terrorism in Iraq?

Duff: As strange as this sounds I spent much of today reviewing this same subject with US military intelligence leaders and we had received information yesterday that weapons that the US had slated for destruction in Afghanistan have been shipped through Saudi Arabia through the Gulf of Aqaba.

Weapons that closely resemble many of those that were supposedly seized in Mosul are being shipped by the US to the ISIS.

Our concern here was that if you hear what President Obama is saying it almost makes one wonder if President Obama is entirely aware of what some sectors in the US are doing and if it isn’t quite possible that US intelligence agencies or private military contractors may very well be working against what the White House has stated as reasonable aims.

Obama sounds quite genuine and reasonably rational in what he says but he seems very poorly informed compared to those of us who know the area well and are watching what goes on are seeing.

We’re seeing US involvement deeply in support of ISIS – training, supply, continued supply of this group. We’ve been uncovering them by silencing… certainly signals intelligence the US receives tracks everything the ISIS does and we have a very broad capability as does Israel and Saudi Arabia that covers the entire Middle East.

And we wonder whether President Obama I being carefully informed and that maybe the Iranian president is aware of something there that President Obama may very well not be aware of.

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/06/21/367952/us-acts-showing-deep-support-for-isil/

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Maliki refuses to resign in exchange for U.S. air support

By , June 19, 2014 7:25 pm

Maliki refuses to resign in exchange for U.S. air support
By: Amir Abdallah on: 20.06.2014 [01:11 ] (53 reads)

Maliki refuses to resign in exchange for U.S. air support

June 19, 2014 by Amir Abdallah

nouri al maliki Maliki refuses to resign in exchange for U.S. air supportBaghdad (IraqiNews.com) The spokesman of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki indicated that the latter rejected the condition set by the United States which requires his resignation in exchange for launching air strikes on the terrorist elements of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant by the U.S Air Force.

On Thursday the British Guardian newspaper reported that the spokesman of Al-Maliki, Zuhair Al Nahar, said that ”the West should immediately support the efforts of the Iraqi government forces against ISIL instead of demanding a change in the government.” He stressed that Al-Maliki ” id not use the methods of sectarianism at all.”

The newspaper said that Al Nahar reported to the fourth leg “BBC” as saying, “our focus has to be on urgent matters such as air support, logistics and intelligence information to defeat terrorists who make up a real threat to the stability of Iraq and the region as a whole. “

http://www.iraqinews.com/baghdad-politics/maliki-refuses-resign-exchange-u-s-air-support/

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Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda

By , June 12, 2014 10:33 am

Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda
By: ZeroHedge on: 12.06.2014 [05:37 ] (98 reads)

Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/11/2014 19:05 -0400

.
It appears that the best diversion from Obama’s latest bevy of scandals, including the VA snafu and the Bergdahl fiasco, will be yet another war, one which Iraq just gave the green light for. As the WSJ reported moments ago, Iraq has privately signaled to the Obama administration that it would allow the U.S. to conduct airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft against al Qaeda militant targets on Iraqi territory, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday.

More:

The Obama administration is considering a number of options, including the possibility of providing “kinetic support” for the Iraqi military fighting al Qaeda rebels who seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made.

Officials declined to say whether the U.S. would consider conducting airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft.

Wait, so the US is now the world’s largest mercenary army, doing the bidding of defenseless, third-world governments (which just happen to be drowning in crude)?

Iraq has long asked the U.S. to provide it with drones that could be used in such strikes, but Washington has balked at supplying them, officials said.

Until now.

And just like that the war in Iraq, “Bush’s war” according to so many, is about to come back with a vengeance this time under Nobel peace prize winning president, and what makes it most grotesque is that this time the US will be waging combat with at a military force that it itself is training and arming in neighboring Syria.

Which of course is good news for the military-industiral complex and US Q3 GDP, if not so good for millions of innocent civilians soon to be known as “collateral damage.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/iraq-gives-obama-green-light-commence-kinetic-action-against-al-qaeda

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Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda

By , June 12, 2014 2:23 am

Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda
By: ZeroHedge on: 12.06.2014 [05:37 ] (57 reads)

Iraq Gives Obama Green Light To Commence “Kinetic Support” Against Al Qaeda
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/11/2014 19:05 -0400

.
It appears that the best diversion from Obama’s latest bevy of scandals, including the VA snafu and the Bergdahl fiasco, will be yet another war, one which Iraq just gave the green light for. As the WSJ reported moments ago, Iraq has privately signaled to the Obama administration that it would allow the U.S. to conduct airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft against al Qaeda militant targets on Iraqi territory, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday.

More:

The Obama administration is considering a number of options, including the possibility of providing “kinetic support” for the Iraqi military fighting al Qaeda rebels who seized two major cities north of Baghdad this week, according to a senior U.S. official who added that no decisions have been made.

Officials declined to say whether the U.S. would consider conducting airstrikes with drones or manned aircraft.

Wait, so the US is now the world’s largest mercenary army, doing the bidding of defenseless, third-world governments (which just happen to be drowning in crude)?

Iraq has long asked the U.S. to provide it with drones that could be used in such strikes, but Washington has balked at supplying them, officials said.

Until now.

And just like that the war in Iraq, “Bush’s war” according to so many, is about to come back with a vengeance this time under Nobel peace prize winning president, and what makes it most grotesque is that this time the US will be waging combat with at a military force that it itself is training and arming in neighboring Syria.

Which of course is good news for the military-industiral complex and US Q3 GDP, if not so good for millions of innocent civilians soon to be known as “collateral damage.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/iraq-gives-obama-green-light-commence-kinetic-action-against-al-qaeda

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Traders Speculate that Brazilian Central Bank Won’t Support Real

By , June 3, 2014 2:24 pm

20 and 50 real billsThe Brazilian real is volatile today as Forex traders speculated that the central bank will not be supporting the currency anymore, refraining from an intervention in the currency market, but the actions of the bank make such viewpoint questionable.

The program of foreign-exchange swaps introduced last year was supporting the real, and last month’s comments of central bank President Alexandre Tombini about reducing demand for swaps were interpreted as a signs that the central bank does not want to provide support for the currency anymore. Yet the Central Bank of Brazil offered to extend maturities on 10,000 swaps today, compared to the usual amount of 5,000 per day. The bank sends confusing signs to the market, and traders are not certain how to react, resulting in volatility for the real.

USD/BRL traded at 2.2720 as of 20:09 GMT today after opening at 2.2735. The currency rose as high as 2.2810 and fell as low as 2.2582 intraday.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding the Brazilian Real, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

Forex News

Syria opposition welcomes Obama plan to ramp up support

By , May 29, 2014 6:24 am

Syria opposition welcomes Obama plan to ramp up support
By: afp on: 29.05.2014 [08:59 ] (86 reads)

Syria’s opposition National Coalition welcomed a pledge from US President Barack Obama to ramp up support for rebels fighting the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad.

BEIRUT: Syria’s opposition National Coalition welcomed a pledge from US President Barack Obama on Wednesday to ramp up support for rebels fighting the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“This additional support highlights the partnership between the United States and the Syrian people in ending the humanitarian disaster and putting Syria on the path to genuine democratic transition,” the bloc’s US representative, Najib Ghadbian, said in a statement.

The National Coalition, which described itself as the best alternative to the Assad regime, added in the statement that it “appreciates American support to the Syrian people in their struggle”.

In a keynote speech to the West Point military academy on Wednesday, Obama vowed to increase US support for the rebels fighting Assad’s regime and to help them confront their extremist rivals.

“I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists and a brutal dictator,” said Obama.

The announcement comes two weeks after the US president met with the head of the National Coalition, Ahmad Jarba.

Officially, US support for rebel fighters in Syria has been limited to non-lethal aid amounting to US$ 287 million, though the CIA reportedly participates in a secret programme to train moderate rebels in Jordan.

Opposition leaders are particularly dismayed that the United States has balked at providing anti-aircraft missiles to rebels, fearing they could fall into the wrong hands.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Obama was ready to sign off on training missions for selected rebel groups, to counter the rising power of Al-Qaeda-linked extremists.

- AFP/fl

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/syria-opposition-welcomes/1126160.html

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Obama promises ‘full support’ to Ukraine’s President-elect Poroshenko

By , May 28, 2014 12:28 am

Obama promises ‘full support’ to Ukraine’s President-elect Poroshenko
By: Press TV on: 28.05.2014 [03:00 ] (59 reads)

Obama promises ‘full support’ to Ukraine’s President-elect Poroshenko

Tue May 27, 2014 8:38PM GMT

US President Barack Obama has called Petro Poroshenko, the newly elected president of Ukraine, and offered him Washington’s “full support”.

Obama said on Tuesday the United States would provide assistance to Ukraine as Poroshenko “seeks to unify and move his country forward,” the White House said in a statement.

On Sunday, the 48-year-old billionaire chocolate manufacturer claimed the Ukrainian presidency with about 55 percent of the votes cast in the election.

Obama “stressed the importance of quickly implementing the reforms necessary for Ukraine to bring the country together and to develop a sustainable economy, attractive investment climate, and transparent and accountable government that is responsive to the concerns and aspirations of all Ukrainians,” the White House said.

“The two leaders agreed to continue their conversation during the president’s upcoming trip to Europe,” it added.

In an interview on Monday night, Ukraine’s new president-elect said that he wants direct US military aid, saying “when your neighbor’s house is burning, you should lend him your hose.”

“We should cooperate in military technical assistance and in advising assistance. We are ready to fight for independence, and we should build up the armed forces of Ukraine,” Poroshenko told The Washington Post.

In a separate statement on Monday, he also said that one of his main priorities is to return Crimea to Ukraine.

“One of the first priorities of the work of the president and all Ukrainian authorities will be the solution of the Crimean issue: the return of the Crimea to Ukraine, the protection of the Ukrainians living in the Crimea, who, because of being Ukrainians, now suffer from extremely high pressure,” said Poroshenko at a news briefing in Kiev, the Interfax Ukraine reported.

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier, in which nearly 97 percent of the participants voted in favor of the move. On March 21, Crimea officially became part of the Russian territory.

On April 17, Russia, Ukraine, the US and the European Union agreed over steps to “de-escalate” the crisis in eastern Ukraine, where anti-Kiev protesters seized buildings in several towns and cities.

But, Ukrainian authorities have ordered military operations against pro-Russian protesters in both eastern and southern Ukraine, claiming that Russian special forces are fueling unrest in the country.

Moscow has dismissed as “nonsense” claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in Ukraine.

A fire at a Trade Unions House in the southwestern port city of Odessa earlier this month led to at least 46 deaths that had been sheltering opponents of the US-backed interim government of Ukraine.

According to reports, members of neo-Nazi Right Sector set the building on fire in Odessa. The victims were burnt alive within the premises and video footage showed bloodied and wounded survivors being attacked by the extremists.

According to a recent report in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the US Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation are helping the interim authorities in Kiev to end the crisis.

The newspaper, citing unnamed German security sources, reported that dozens of CIA and FBI agents are involved in the offensive against the pro-Russian activists.

Earlier this year, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland disclosed that Washington has “invested” about $ 5 billion in “promoting democracy” in Ukraine over the past two decades.

In early February, Nuland visited Ukraine and held meetings with anti-Kremlin politicians who organized anti-government protests that led to the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s democratically-elected president

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/05/27/364420/obama-offers-full-support-to-poroshenko/

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