Forex Weekly Look Back: Oil prices turn negative for the first time in history, Plus500’s CEO steps down

Looking back at the most intriguing and popular industry news from the past week between 20th and 24th April on LeapRate.

US oil prices turned negative for first time in history this week. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for May delivery traded as low as -$40 a barrel, the first time ever that sellers have paid buyers to take oil contracts off their hands. The price recovered to a positive $1.35 by evening in the US, but remains at historic lows due to the combination of crashing global demand and an inadequate production cut commitment from OPEC and its allies. US WTI crude has sunk well below other oil benchmarks as the main storage hub in Oklahoma, which is where contracts for the oil are delivered, is rapidly filling up. June contracts for WTI crude remain above $20 a barrel, while Brent crude June contracts are over $25.

Sterling gained ground, albeit modestly, against other currencies on Wednesday morning. A string of better than expected inflation data painted a rosier image of the British economy than some were bracing for. Today’s gains for the pound follow several consecutive sessions of losses against the euro and the dollar, with the markets seeing positive undertones in the UK March inflation data. Or to put it another way, while the year-on-year inflation at 1.5% isn’t great, at least there were no nasty surprises.

The euro declines compared to all other major currencies during early Thursday trading following the publication of concerning data for Germany, the single currency’s largest economy. The Markit composite PMI, which measures manufacturing and services activity, plunged from 35 points to 17.1, shocking markets with a figure that came in way below market expectations. The plunge in economic activity from the powerhouse of Europe illustrates the scale of the recession sparked by the coronavirus fallout; euro traders should fasten their seatbelts.

Forex Weekly Look Back

Australian brokerage firm Synergy FX, acquired by ACY Securities in 2018, was revived as Synergy Markets, lead by its founder Christian Dove. Synergy Markets opened for clients earlier this week and based on Synergy FX’s good standing in the industry, the rebranded version is expected to do well in the market. FX veteran Christian Dove, who ran the company from 2011, was asked by ACY Securities, to take the lead. He explained the brokerage firm’s good reputation.

Online trading platform Plus500’s CEO Asaf Elimelech steps down and COO David Zruia will take over as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed. Elimelech has given his 12-month notice and will continue with the company to assist the transition, serving as a director of certain Group’s subsidiaries.

Оnline forex broker, ATFX released its market outlook for Q2 2020 predicting continued market volatility but ultimately softening. The broker’s in-house experts report their views on market influencing factors. The analytics in the report provided predictions on major currency pairs, commodities, equities and cryptocurrency for Q2. Alejandro Zambrano, ATFX’s Global Chief Market Strategist, who covers the major currency pairs such as EUR/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, and GBP/USD, explained his predictions for them in two most likely scenarios.

Equiti Capital, the institutional prime brokerage division of the Equiti Group, announced partnering with technology provider, Your Bourse, for expanding its liquidity distribution network. The collaboration gives Equiti Capital access to Your Bourse’s clients using the platform and provides an opportunity to attract new clients seeking to diversify their existing liquidity pool. Depending on their budget and needs, Your Bourse provides its clients with a variety of connectivity options – from Google Cloud in over 20 locations to cross-connects in Equinix data centres (LD5, NY4, NY5, CH1, HK1, TY3 and FR2).

Liquidity provider and prime brokerage, CFH and Gold-i Matrix NETwork announced joining forces to enable CFH’s multi-asset liquidity availability through Gold-i’s technology. CFH has a comprehensive range of asset classes and was eager to join Gold-i’s Matrix NETwork to expand its distribution to Hedge Funds and Asset Managers worldwide.

FXCM Group, online FX and CFD trading and cryptocurrencies provider, released its March report and announced decline in XAU/USD spreads. The company reported that spreads for cryptocurrency and some forex instruments were influenced by high volatility. The active trader average spread for XAU/USD was 15.7 pips and the active trader effective spread was 16.3 pips for March 2020 with significant decrease since last month when posted spreads were 35.1 pips and 32.3 pips, respectively. In comparison with the previous year, the numbers are still down with 35.1 pips and 35.0 pips, respectively for March 2019.

Read Also: