For the third month in a row, FX 'traders' in AUD "guessed" the Reserve Bank of Australia's decision in the milliseconds before it was released to the public. Aussie regulators, seemingly furious at the blatant-ness of the front-running, confirmed they will be investigating the price spike overnight. As we noted last month, the rigged-ness of the markets was so clear as to suggest the decision was clearly leaked ahead of the public release as AUD spiked 70 pips on heavy volume in the 7 seconds before 230pm local time release. As ABC reports, concerns about whether some may be getting advanced notice of the central bank's impending decisions led RBA Governor Glenn Stevens to note his own concerns "about reports that there had been extraordinary trades before the release of the Reserve Bank decision yesterday." Will we see consequences this time?
It is the third straight month that money traders appear to have correctly guessed the RBA's next move.
"ASIC confirms it will investigate a spike in the Australian dollar shortly before the Reserve Bank's monetary policy decision today," ASIC said in a statement released late this afternoon.
"The investigation will look at trading in the dollar prior to the RBA's interest rate decision statement at 2.30pm (AEST)."
Most economists had correctly predicted that the RBA would keep rates on hold at 2.25 per cent at today's board meeting.
But many currency traders had expected a follow-up to February's rate cut, and as a result the Australian dollar climbed more than 1 per cent against the greenback after the on-hold decision was announced.
That rapid rise would have meant trades made even a few seconds earlier could have delivered a huge windfall.
Last month's suspicious trading took place around 45 seconds before the RBA's decision was posted.
Today's trading appears to have been much closer to when the decision was released, with the dollar's rise appearing to begin five seconds early.
The cases have raised concerns about whether some may be getting advanced notice of the central bank's impending decisions.
In March Treasurer Joe Hockey said he had spoken with RBA Governor Glenn Stevens about the currency trading.
"Obviously I was, like he was, concerned about reports that there had been extraordinary trades before the release of the Reserve Bank decision yesterday," he said at the time.
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We won't hold our breath for any scapegoats... Just ask Timmy G how his 'front-running' worked out? The 'leak' serves two purposes - 1) confirms the narrative the RBA wants to spin, and 2) adds moar money to bank coffers as bad loans are rising. The internal investigation, we are almost sure, will turn up nothing but an illiquid market that swng violently on a good guess by a few traders... sure, whatever.