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Currency Traders Struggle to Parlay Bad Volatility Into Profit

  • Fund returns lag jump in ECB, BOJ-driven price swings
  • Plenty of scope for more market upsets: Westpac's Callow
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Currency traders are getting whiplash from the pile-up of policy surprises that have come their way in the past six months. And because the big events have been unexpected, they’re struggling to translate rising volatility into bigger profits.

The Bank of Japan’s decision to adopt negative interest rates, a week after Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said they weren’t being considered, was the latest jolt. The yen’s 1.9 percent drop after the move was its biggest in more than a year, yet it paled in comparison to the euro’s 3.1 percent surge when the European Central Bank failed to impress with its December stimulus boost. China has switched policy several times since it devalued the yuan in August.