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UKFOREX LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE SERVICE TO PROVIDE MERCHANTS WITH LOWER EXCHANGE RATES AND POWER GLOBAL GROWTH

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UKFOREX LAUNCHES NEW ONLINE SERVICE TO PROVIDE MERCHANTS WITH LOWER EXCHANGE RATES AND POWER GLOBAL GROWTH

New service to target sellers on international marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy

UKForex, part of OFX, one of the world’s largest international payment businesses, has today announced the launch of OFX for Online Sellers, a new online merchant solution that streamlines payments from international marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon into bank accounts in the USA, Canada, Eurozone, Hong Kong, Australia, and the UK. The new product will offer a faster, more competitively-priced transfer option to the millions of merchants that sell on global e-commerce marketplaces in Europe, North America, and Asia.

Forty-five percent of the trillion dollar global online retail market is attributed to online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, and current projections say that almost half of online global consumers will make purchases across borders by 2020.

Selling on international marketplaces means merchants can lose profits to foreign exchange payment charges when converting funds back to their home currencies – marketplaces and services like PayPal can take a cut of up to four percent. By enabling merchants to collect money in domestically held accounts, OFX for Online Sellers allows merchants to save on both exchange rates and transfer fees.

“Exchange rates and associated fees can mean the difference between growth and stagnation for many up-and-coming merchants,” said Jeff Parker, Chief Enterprise Officer for OFX. “The standard 3-5 percent that some marketplaces and banks charge to get money into a seller’s bank account can make a huge difference over the course of a year. With OFX for Online Sellers, we’re providing the means for merchants to reach new customers around the world.”

OFX for Online Sellers offers merchants:

  • Local collection accounts: to collect revenues in customers’ local currencies (USD, EUR, CAD, AUD and HKD), to be transferred to a sellers’ back account in pounds, at good rates and with reduced fees.
  • No account keeping fees and superior exchange rates: making significant savings on exchange rates. Additionally, there is no charge to open an online seller account and there are no account-keeping fees.
  • Rapid delivery and service: funds are delivered to home accounts quickly, with around the clock phone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Noelle Sandinsky, director of Australia-based Fridge-to-Go, uses Amazon to sell her products in the US and Canada. She says: “When we first started selling overseas, we were getting terrible exchange rates on our overseas income – since switching to OFX, we’ve saved 3-4%. The flexibility the account offers has given us better cash flow and more control. I also think customer service is where OFX stands out – other companies have treated me like a number, but the customer agents at OFX always pick up the phone and offer me great advice.”

Online seller accounts are typically approved within four business days and local collection account numbers are then delivered within two business days.

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FTSE 100 ends higher on improving economic activity; gains for the third week

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FTSE 100 ends higher on improving economic activity; gains for the third week 1

By Shivani Kumaresan, Amal S and Shashank Nayar

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 ended higher on Friday after the economy showed signs of improvement this month and was set to gain for the third consecutive week as investors bet that vaccine rollouts would spur economic growth.

British firms fared less badly during February’s lockdown than feared and are upbeat about the prospects for growth later in 2021 when they hope the roll-out of vaccines will allow a major relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, a survey showed.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.1% higher with miners and banking stocks gaining the most, while the mid-cap index gained 0.5%.

“There is optimism and hope that the vaccine rollouts will eventually help the economy improve while the market is awaiting the government’s lcokdown easing plans to be revealed next week,” said Keith Temperton, an equity sales trader at Forte Securities.

However, data on Friday showed British retail sales tumbled much more than expected in January as non-essential shops went back into coronavirus lockdowns.

The FTSE 100 has recovered nearly 35% from its March 2020 lows and is nearly 13% away from its highest level last year as record stimulus measures and massive vaccine rollouts helped improve investor confidence.

NatWest gained 5.2% and was the third biggest gainer on the FTSE 100 index after it said it would wind down its Irish arm Ulster Bank, as Chief Executive Alison Rose continues to slash away at underperforming parts of the state-owned lender after it swung to a loss in 2020.

Segro Plc rose 1.5% after the real estate investment trust reported a near 11% jump in annual profit for 2020.

Banking group TBC Bank fell 6.1% after a slump in annual underlying profit due to lower interest rates and limited lending growth in the fourth quarter from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Amal S in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Krishna Chandra Eluri and Jonathan Oatis)

 

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UK bond yields head for biggest weekly rise since June

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UK bond yields head for biggest weekly rise since June 2

LONDON (Reuters) – British government bond prices fell again on Friday as a global debt sell-off continued on expectations of hefty U.S. fiscal stimulus, putting gilt yields on course for their biggest weekly rise since June.

The spread between yields on British 10-year debt and its German equivalent widened to 100 basis points for the first time since March, partly reflecting the faster roll-out of COVID vaccines in Britain which has lifted some of the country’s economic gloom.

Ten-year gilt yields peaked at 0.693% at 1429 GMT, their highest since March 20 during the so-called “dash for cash” at the onset of the pandemic.

Based their latest level they are on course of just under 17 basis points the biggest since the week to June 5.

Sterling also rose above $1.40 for the first time in nearly three years on Friday although it was flat against the euro.

Gilt yields surged at the start of the COVID pandemic due to a scramble for U.S. dollar assets, until the Bank of England calmed markets by restarting its bond purchase programme.

If yields stay where they are, February will see the biggest increase in 10-year gilt yields since October 2016, when markets judged Britain’s referendum vote to leave the EU was having less of an immediate impact on the economy than first thought.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)

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Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities

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Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 3

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar lost ground on Friday, extending Thursday’s decline as improved risk appetite attracted buyers to equities and away from the safe-haven greenback.

The U.S. dollar has been weighed down by a string of soft labor market data, even as President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion spending package takes shape.

“What the foreign exchange market is looking at in the short term, is the dollar is going to be weak despite progress in the economy because this country has a huge deficit problem,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York. “The dollar index could easily test the lows of last September.”

Also weighing on the dollar, the real yield gap between the United States and Germany is at its tightest since March, analysts said, despite the recent rise in U.S. Treasury yields.

Bitcoin continues to hover at record highs, and the world’s largest cryptocurrency was last up 2.6% at $52,931.46, nearing $1 trillion in market capitalization.

Its smaller rival, ethereum, was last down 1.0% at $1,920.13.

The digital currencies have gained about 82% and 1,400%, respectively, year to date, leading some analysts to warn of a speculative bubble.

“There may be a place for (cryptocurrencies) somewhere down the road, but the theories that cryptos will replace paper currency are far-fetched,” Cardillo added. “It’s total speculation at this point and people are going to pay the price.”

The Australian dollar, which is closely linked to commodity prices and the outlook for global growth, was last up 1.15% at $0.7858, touching its highest since March 2018.

The New Zealand dollar also gained, closing in on a more than two-year high, and the Canadian dollar advanced as well.

Sterling rose to an almost three-year high amid Britain’s aggressive vaccination programme. It had last gained 0.34% to $1.40.

The euro showed little reaction to a slowdown in factory activity indicated by purchasing manager index data, rising 0.29% to $1.2126.

The yen, gained ground against the dollar and was last at 105.495, creeping above its 200-day moving average for the first time in three days.

(Reporting by Stephen Culp, additonal reporting by Tommy Wilkes; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

 

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