Forex Trader to Halt Services Due to “Uncertainty in Europe”

Activist Post

In what may foreshadow an extremely volatile week for the euro, the large Forex trading company OANDA announced that it will halt currency trading this Sunday.  In a statement from the company, they said their decision is “very much tied to the uncertainty in Europe.”

They claim “there is the potential for extreme exchange rate volatility at a time when global currency markets are closed” should the Greek elections signal a rejection of the ECB’s bank bailout and austerity package.

Here is the entire statement from OANDA:

OANDA will halt trading this Sunday, June 17, from 6:00 AM EDT until approximately 3:00 PM EDT. I would like to further explain OANDA’s reasoning for this action. 

First off, OANDA is the only forex provider that permits off-market, weekend trading. In truth, volumes during the weekend are much lower than typical trading days, but OANDA has made this available as a service for its clients rather than an opportunity to increase corporate revenues. 

The decision to halt trading is very much tied to the uncertainty in Europe and in particular, the Greek election. Given these events, there is the potential for extreme exchange rate volatility at a time when global currency markets are closed. OANDA’s concern is that exchange rates could undergo significant fluctuations as the exit polls are being made public. If these fluctuations are wide enough, accounts that under normal conditions would be considered well-capitalized, could become subject to a margin call.

By halting trading and holding the closing prices steady during this period, we aim to shelter traders from the potential for price spikes. Of course, once trading resumes, new market rates will come into effect and while the hope is that prices will have settled by this time, some accounts may still face the risk of a margin call. 

This is why we have issued a warning recommending that traders reduce positions if they determine they are vulnerable from a margin perspective. At the very least, all traders should review their accounts prior to the weekend and ensure they have sufficient capital to prevent a margin call when trading resumes at the new market price. 

On a final note, anyone with open positions during this time, regardless of their choice of forex broker, is at risk when exchange rates reset upon the resumption of trading. Yes, sending out this message is to inform our traders of the trading halt, but it is first and foremost intended to inform the investing community of the potential volatility in the coming days and to provide sufficient time to make any necessary adjustments.

The Telegraph reinforces this concern stating a “nervous world awaits Greek polling day.”

The common fear propagated by those who desperately wish to hold the multi-nation euro currency together is repeated by the Telegraph:

…there is widespread concern that if the radical Leftist coalition Syriza triumphs it will precipitate Greece’s exit from the single currency. That could endanger Spain, Italy and others, further weaken the region’s hobbled banks and lead to a worldwide credit crunch, reminiscent of the 2008 crisis. (my emphasis)

The Greek election is being dubbed a battle between the “euro versus drachma”, both of which provide Greece with challenges.  However, if Greece returns to the drachma, it would presumably devastate confidence in the euro which is already on shaky footing due to the increasing amount of bailouts needed to keep the scheme alive.

Many eyes will be on the Greek elections this weekend and its potential to change the future of the euro.  The bigger question is what will happen to currency markets next week if the “radical” anti-bank bailout, anti-austerity party wins in Greece?

Read more articles by Activist Post HERE.

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