Interbank market scan: Lagarde sees holding crypto as “unlikely.” Central Bank of Nigeria explains “no to crypto.” India pursues crypto law

Follow the links …

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Wednesday said she didn’t consider bitcoin to be a real currency, adding that central banks won’t be holding it as reserve currency anytime soon. ECB president Christine Lagarde says it’s ‘very unlikely’ that central banks will hold bitcoin in the near future (msn.com)

Following its ban on cryptocurrency-related transactions in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has explained why it was done. CBN  boss disclosed that the digital currency is used for money laundering and terrorism. CBN explains why cryptocurrency transactions were banned (withinnigeria.com)

Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has condemned the apex bank’s reason for stopping cryptocurrency transactions in the country. Moghalu condemns CBN’s reason for banning cryptocurrency transactions (withinnigeria.com)

On Tuesday (February 9), minister of state for finance Anurag Singh Thakur said that a cryptocurrency bill was being finalised and it would be sent to Union Cabinet soon. Cryptocurrency bill: Here’s what you need to know (msn.com)

Are central banks on the verge of a currency war with the U.S? Global central bank interventions raise specter of ‘currency war’ | Morningstar

“Bitcoin needs a couple more big endorsements, and that could be the key to take prices above the $50,000 level,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the foreign-exchange broker Oanda, wrote Tuesday.  First Mover: As Wall Street Fixates on Inflation Hedges, Good Luck Finding Bitcoin | Nasdaq

Bitcoin ‘can’t be stopped’: Nigerians look to peer-to-peer exchanges after crypto ban. Some Nigerians plan to continue using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies despite a directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria last week ordering banks to close down accounts associated with cryptocurrencies. First Mover: As Wall Street Fixates on Inflation Hedges, Good Luck Finding Bitcoin | Nasdaq

The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday announced the second extension of a rule to bolster the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Like the earlier extensions, this one will temporarily modify the Board’s rules so that certain bank directors and shareholders can apply to their banks for PPP loans for their small businesses. Federal Reserve Board – Federal Reserve Board announces the second extension of a rule to bolster the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Currency pairsExchange Rate as of 4:15 pm 8 February 2021 As of 1:00 pm EST Exchange Rate as of 10 February 2021
AUD/USD0.7656 0.7727
USD/CAD1.2781 1.2690
USD/CNY6.4664 6.4576
EUR/USD1.2035 1.2134
USD/INR72.8500 72.8500
GBP/USD1.3714 1.3841
USD/JPY105.4400 104.6600
USD/MXN20.1300 20.0543
USD/DKK6.1785 6.1317
USD/NOK8.5428 8.4504
Sources: Federal Reserve, Reuters

10 February 2021

Interbank market news scan: Tesla adds bitcoin to its balance sheet; Central banks, foreign exchange, cryptocurrency …

In the news …

Tesla’s move to invest $1.5 billion in bitcoin further solidifies cryptocurrency as an emerging reserve currency for technology companies. Tesla’s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase points to crytocurrency as tech company reserve currency | ZDNet

The Group of Seven (G7) financial leaders would kick off debate on Friday on emerging market debt problems, implementation of digital taxation and central bank digital currency, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Tuesday. Japan finance minister: G7 focus on emerging market debt, digital taxation and digital currency | Reuters

The French economy is still on course to rebound 5% this year despite the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the central bank said on Tuesday, reiterating its December forecast. French economy still on track for 5% growth this year: central bank (msn.com)

The U.S. Federal Reserve is beginning to incorporate the impacts of global warming into its regulatory writ, following in the footsteps of its global peers, according to a paper published Monday by the San Francisco Fed. Fed to weave ‘inescapable’ climate change risk into bank oversight (msn.com)

The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has told investment firms to beef up their surveillance of insider trading and market manipulation this year or face fines and other sanctions from the regulator. Central Bank aims to curb abuse as amateurs flood markets (msn.com)

Emerging market central banks delivered just one interest rate cut in December, signalling the fading out of an easing cycle that had started in 2019 and had exceeded the cuts during the 2008 financial crisis and the 2010 euro crisis. Emerging market central bank rate cuts fade further in January | Reuters

2:33 am EST, 9 February 2021

Government strategy: Is Biden staffing up for currency war with China and the Eurozone?

Last Friday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that the head of its markets group, Daleep Singh, has resigned to join the Biden administration as both Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor. This is the second prominent Biden administration choice being asked to sit in what apparently are two different policy realms: foreign and domestic. Dr. Susan Rice, who is an expert in foreign affairs, is currently Mr Biden’s assistant for domestic policy and chair of the domestic policy council in Mr Biden’s absence.

Mr Biden reportedly thinks of domestic and foreign policy as one and the same. One of the holdovers from the Trump administration is the focus on China. Mr Biden has expressed that China should expect “extreme competition” from the United States while emphasizing that there is room for accord without conflict. Mr Biden has signaled that avoiding conflict during intense competition may require falling back on existing international law.

Mr Biden’s China agenda will require buy-in from the American public. American manufacturers and farmers in particular were directly impacted by the Trump administration’s tariff war with China. Mr Biden will need a domestic policy agenda that gets Americans on board with his China initiative while crafting a policy agenda towards China that reflects benefits in the American domestic economy.

The currency portion of the foreign agenda toward China for now does not include a currency war. At the outset of her tenure Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen signaled that the US would abandon any remnant of the “strong dollar” policy favored by the Trump administration preferring instead to allow the market to determine currency rates. The dollar’s overall steady weakening in currency markets makes its domestically produced goods more attractive to foreign importers, a weakening not due to any market intervention on the part of the United States. In theory this makes domestically produced items more attractive price wise to US taxpayers and makes imports from foreign nations i.e. China, more expensive.

Secretary Yellen will be receiving direct messaging from the Executive Office of the President on China and likely on currency issues. Ms Yellen, as Treasury secretary, is a member of the National Security Council for which Mr Singh will now have a high staff role. Mr Singh has extensive experience in the area of foreign exchange having focused on U.S. interest rates and the currency markets for the better part of eight years when he was with Goldman Sachs. Secretary Yellen is also a member of the Domestic Policy Council where Dr. Rice will serve as chairman when Mr Biden is not present.

The government strategy takeaway here is to pay additional attention to the messaging from the national security council and the domestic policy council and ascertaining whether messages out of the Executive Office of the President and the Treasury Department are in sync when it comes to the US’ stance on currency markets.

Interbank market scan: End of US portion of trading day sees dollar mixed in light of no major Federal Reserve, Treasury actions

Currency pairsExchange Rate as of 9:48 am EST 3 February 2021The eventPost Event-Exchange Rate as of 4:15 pm EST 3 February 2021Impact
AUD/USD0.7612No major Fed or Treasury event0.7616Slight dollar weakening
USD/CAD1.2791No major Fed or Treasury event1.2781Dollar weakening
USD/CNY6.4580No major Fed or Treasury event6.4579No change
EUR/USD1.2018No major Fed or Treasury event1.2029Dollar weakening
USD/INR72.8358No major Fed or Treasury event72.8086Dollar weakening
GBP/USD1.3642No major Fed or Treasury event1.3635Slight dollar strengthening 
USD/JPY105.0100No major Fed or Treasury event105.0500Dollar strengthening
USD/MXN20.1116No major Fed or Treasury event20.2050Dollar strengthening
USD/DKK6.1900No major Fed or Treasury event6.1919Dollar strengthening
USD/NOK8.6078No major Fed or Treasury event8.5865Dollar weakening
Source: Reuters

Interbank market news scan as of 12:25 pm AST: Cryptocurrency, central banks, foreign exchange

Bitcoin investors need to be prepared to “lose all their money,” European Central Bank governing council member Gabriel Makhlouf said, the latest warning from a central banker on the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin (BTC USD) Cryptocurrency Investors May Lose Everything, Banker Warns – Bloomberg

Colombia’s central bank board on Friday decided to maintain the benchmark interest rate at the historic low of 1.75% for a fourth consecutive month in a majority vote during its first meeting of the year. Colombia’s central bank holds interest rate at 1.75% in majority vote | Nasdaq

A Lebanese prosecutor charged central bank Governor Riad Salameh with dereliction of duty and breach of trust over the alleged misuse millions of dollars provided by the regulator last year. Lebanese Judge Charges Central Bank Governor Over FX Misuse (msn.com)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen faces one more headache on an agenda packed with everything from Covid-19 relief to addressing inequality and overhauling tax policy: tensions over foreign-exchange intervention. Yellen Faces ‘Currency War’ Redux as Strong Dollar Ditched – Bloomberg

India plans to introduce a law to ban private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and put in place a framework for an official digital currency to be issued by the central bank, according to a legislative agenda listed by the government. India proposes law to ban cryptocurrencies, create official digital currency (msn.com)

Apollo Currency (CURRENCY:APL) traded up 6.8% against the dollar during the twenty-four hour period ending at 13:00 PM Eastern on January 29th. Apollo Currency has a market capitalization of $13.98 million and approximately $1.63 million worth of Apollo Currency was traded on exchanges in the last day. Apollo Currency (APL) Price Up 7.5% Over Last 7 Days – Modern Readers

Interbank market scan as of 11:03 am AST: Central banks, foreign exchange

Currency pairsExchange Rate as of 11:07am AST 28 January 2021Exchange Rate as of 12:10 pm AST 29 January 2021
AUD/USD0.76810.7695
USD/CAD1.27741.2766
USD/CNY6.48226.4291
EUR/USD1.21181.2148
USD/INR73.050072.8335
GBP/USD1.37151.3722
USD/JPY104.0600104.7100
USD/MXN20.700020.2232
USD/DKK6.15546.1206
USD/NOK8.62428.5291
Source: Reuters

The Chinese yuan exhibited increased strength against the U.S. dollar. This may be due in part to decision of the People’s Bank of China to be more hawkish on interest rates and modifying the interbank market rate of the yuan to reflect tightening liquidity. (See links to two articles below).

News from the federal government …

Yesterday, the White House released the following statement addressing a call between members of the National Security Council and the European Commission:

“National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke by phone today with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Head of Cabinet Bjoern Seibert. Mr. Sullivan underscored President Biden’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and his intention to repair and revitalize the U.S.-EU partnership, including our trade and investment relationship. They discussed the importance of close U.S.-EU cooperation on the COVID-19 pandemic and global health security, as well as the global economic recovery and climate change. They also agreed to work together on issues of mutual concern, including China and Turkey.”

In other news: The markets ….

Julian Evans-Pritchard, Senior China Economist at Capital Economics suggests that the People Bank of China (PBOC) could be delivering a hawkish signal, in light of the recent surge in the interbank rates. PBOC: Surge in interbank rates is a hawkish signal – Capital Economics (fxstreet.com)

China’s yuan firmed on Thursday, as tight interbank liquidity heading into Lunar New Year pushed money markets rates higher, though gains were limited as a global stock market rout increased safe-harbour demand for assets like the dollar. China’s yuan inches up as tight liquidity pushes interbank rates higher | Nasdaq

Sweden’s central bank said it had agreed with the U.S. Federal Reserve to extend a $60 billion swap agreement signed during spring last year until Sept. 30 this year. Sweden’s Central Bank Extends Swap Arrangement With U.S. Federal Reserve | Investing News | US News

Bank of America was ringing alarm bells over equities on Friday, as it warned a correction is looming. Get ready for a 10% stock drop, driven by the 3 ‘Rs,’ warns Bank of America (msn.com)

The Central Bank of Nigeria plans to obtain all the necessary approvals required to start the operations of a proposed commodities exchange within the next 90 days, Governor Godwin Emefiele said on Thursday. Nigeria Commodities Exchange to Start in 90 Days to Help Stabilize Food Prices – Bloomberg

The value of Dogecoin, a joke cryptocurrency that launched back in 2013, hit record levels on Thursday. Its price rose by more than 800 percent, reaching around $0.082, which raised its market value to around $7 billion, according to Coindesk, which monitors cryptocurrency prices. Dogecoin Price Tracker, Update as Cryptocurrency Value Skyrockets (msn.com)

Robinhood has restricted trading in cryptocurrencies a day after blocking new purchases of 13 stocks amid “extraordinary market conditions,” the app said. Robinhood Blocks Cryptocurrency Trading, Blames ‘Extraordinary Market Conditions’ (msn.com)

“Guys,” he told them, “I don’t know if bitcoin goes lower next month, but I think over the course of time, bitcoin will be higher.” To be more exact, Denier predicts the cryptocurrency will surge to $US55,000 per coin by the end of 2021, a 70% increase from its current price of around $US32,200. Webull CEO Anthony Denier predicts Bitcoin will surge to $55,000 by the end of 2021. He told us why he’s bullish on the cryptocurrency long-term. (msn.com)

Interbank market news scan as of 1:00 pm AST: Ahead of the Fed

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve is expected to release their federal funds target rate today at 2:15 pm. No deviation is expected from its earlier announced strategy to keep the financial system running over two percent inflation through 2023 in order to meet any shortfalls on the central bank’s journey to get the US on a consistent two percent path. No change in tactic or strategy.

Currency pairsExchange Rate Before EventEventPost EventExchange Rate Post Event
AUD/USD0.7666Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/CAD1.2774Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/CNY6.4822Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
EUR/USD1.2075Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/INR73.0065Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
GBP/USD1.3689Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/JPY104.0000Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/MXN20.1832Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/DKK6.1554Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
USD/NOK8.6452Federal Reserve announcementNo changes in Fed funds rate or discount rate expectedNo major movement due to Fed announcement expected
Sources: Federal Reserve, Reuters

In other news ….

China's yuan inched higher
against the dollar on Tuesday, underpinned by tighter cash
conditions in domestic money markets following a spike in
short-term borrowing costs. Yuan inches higher on tighter liquidity conditions | Reuters

Focus is zeroing in when various Libor rates will expire, something ICE Benchmark Administration Ltd. is expected to clarify in the weeks ahead. Pivotal dollar Libor rates will likely live on until mid-2023, yet other Libors around the world may well expire at year-end. Libor Marks ‘Important Day’ With Partial Fix for Derivative Risk - Bloomberg 

There are other crucial factors driving the price of copper higher — and grains, too — but China is a big one. China has been using its exceptionally strong currency, the yuan, to stockpile copper and grains. China is Using its Currency to Stockpile Copper and Grains | Nasdaq 


Foreign exchange rates released by Federal Reserve as of 5:15 pm AST

Currency pairsFederal Reserve as of 25 January 2021Reuters as of 25 January 2021
AUD/USD0.77280.7713
USD/CAD1.27111.2751
USD/CNY6.48106.4784
EUR/USD1.21791.2138
USD/INR72.980072.9545
GBP/USD1.36851.3664
USD/JPY103.7600103.7600
USD/MXN19.925020.1101
USD/DKK6.10816.1266
USD/NOK8.48208.5418
Sources: Federal Reserve, Reuters

In the news …

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released the December 2020 Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE) Household Spending Survey, which provides information on individuals’ experiences and expectations regarding household spending. The survey shows a continuation of relatively modest monthly household spending growth compared to pre-pandemic levels. Household Survey Shows Sustained Rebound in Year-Ahead Spending Growth Expectations – FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of NEW YORK (newyorkfed.org)

Interbank market news scan as of 1:13 pm AST: central banks, foreign exchange, finance ministries

Currency pairsFederal Reserve as of 18 January 2021Reuters as of 21 January 2021Reuters as of 22 January 2021Reuters as of 25 January 2021
AUD/USD0.77230.77600.77160.7726
USD/CAD1.27091.26311.27211.2716
USD/CNY6.48006.45956.48106.4764
EUR/USD1.20991.21651.21711.2127
USD/INR73.080072.960072.975872.9366
GBP/USD1.35991.37251.36801.3656
USD/JPY103.8000103.5200103.8000103.7900
USD/MXN19.747019.717719.950020.1570
USD/DKK6.14696.11416.11106.1380
USD/NOK8.53108.42858.48238.5584
Sources: Reuters, Federal Reserve

The dollar’s strength has varied over various currency pairs since the Federal Reserve’s 18 January 2021 posting of currency rates.  The AUD/USD increased three pips while the USD/CAD increased seven pips over the relevant period. The USD/NOK and USD/MXN also saw increases over the relevant period of 219 pips and 410 pips, respectively.  The USD/JPY traded flat over the same period.

The rupee strengthened versus the dollar with USD/INR falling 143 pips over the relevant period. The Chinese yuan also strengthened versus the dollar with the exchange rate decreasing 36 pips over the relevant period.

A pip is equal to one hundredth of one percent or 0.0001.

In other news …

The following are the central parity rates of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, against 24 major currencies announced on Monday by the China Foreign Exchange Trade System: https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/267636046/market-exchange-rates-in-china—-jan-25

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the dollar today closed at Rs160.80 against the local currency as compared to Friday’s closing rate of Rs160.75. The rupee recorded a 0.03 per cent depreciation in its value. https://arynews.tv/en/pakistani-rupee-weakens-against-us-dollar-3/

The transition of Japanese yen (JPY) London interbank offered rates (Libor) to new benchmark rates risks falling behind the end-2021 deadline at the current pace of progress, which could delay the transition for legacy cash products and have an impact on interbank rate volatility. A more concerted push from regulators or industry groups may be needed if market inertia is to be overcome, says Fitch Ratings. https://www.fitchratings.com/research/banks/jpy-libor-transition-at-risk-of-falling-behind-schedule-24-01-2021

The new governor of the Saudi Central Bank faces the delicate task of balancing the need to preserve monetary reserves amid steep fiscal targets with potential support for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious investment plans, analysts said. New Saudi central bank chief may face monetary strains in investment push | Reuters

The Bank of Israel spent $21 billion to try to stop the shekel’s steep appreciation in 2020, with little success. How about $30 billion in 2021? Analysis – Bank of Israel vs the FX market: Can $30 billion stem the shekel’s ascent? | Reuters

Cheap money provided by central banks has been inflating assets and reshaping how we save, invest, and spend. So what’s next? https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-01-24/central-banks-are-creating-bubbles-everywhere-in-the-pandemic?sref=oriheOus

Interbank market news scan: Central banks, foreign exchange

With more than a trillion euros in stimulus still in the pipeline to the economy, the European Central Bank left its key bond-purchase program unchanged Thursday as the 19-country eurozone endures a winter economic slowdown due to the pandemic. European Central Bank stimulus on track as economy struggles – ABC News (go.com)

The Brazilian real strengthened on Thursday as bets grew for a more hawkish stance by the country’s central bank after it removed its “forward guidance” to keep interest rates low for a long time. EMERGING MARKETS-Brazilian real rises as central bank drops ‘forward guidance’ | Nasdaq

President Biden is expected to nominate Michael Barr, a former Treasury Department official, to a top post overseeing national banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., according to people familiar with the decision. Biden expected to tap Michael Barr as comptroller of the currency – MarketWatch

U.S. Treasury announces members of its senior staff. Treasury Announces the Appointment of Members of Senior Staff | U.S. Department of the Treasury

21 January 2021