It’s common knowledge that the volatile dynamics of international politics and conflicts have serious repercussions on the FX markets. In recent months, the upsurge in geopolitical tension between Russia and the Ukraine, as well as US military intervention in Iraq against the ISIS militant group, have resulted in a series of substantial price swings of the US dollar, the EU Dollar and the GBP. The EU Dollar recently retreated to a nine-month low, due largely to its inability to withstand investor scrutiny in light of Russia’s aggressive moves. As could be expected, the GBP shed value in tandem with the EU Dollar.
Optimism, however, isn’t far off. Although the US Dollar declined in value following the initiation of airstrikes in Iraq, prices have not been significantly affected. A recent, temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel has also helped provide a small level of comfort and reassurance for those assessing their positions in the US Dollar.
That being said, tensions have yet to fully abate in Easter Europe, where the Russian military remains poised to launch a series of devastating strikes against Ukraine. The sanctions levied against Russia have served as a moderately effective deterrent against Putin’s militaristic endeavours, although no formal withdrawal has occurred as of yet. Although Russian governmental representatives have declared that the military exercises they had undertaken near the border with Ukraine were now over, investors remain somewhat cautious.
The Australian Dollar recently dropped to two-month lows against the US Dollar. This decline is largely due to statements by the Reserve Bank of Australia declaring its intentions to cut growth and inflation forecasts while, simultaneously, keeping interest rates stationary.
As is becoming increasingly common, however, even the most informed of predictions can change substantially when global dynamics are as volatile as they currently are. Although the recent Ebola outbreak has yet to produce any substantial head-waves in the FX markets, any indications that the deadly virus had established its presence in Europe may also exacerbate existing volatility. Yet again, only time will tell if such issues will transform into pressing concerns requiring immediate attention.
It is likely that the vast majority of international investors will remain intently focused on current events until these substantial global conflicts reach some level of long-term resolution.