Business

Kids or Krone: Norway traders fight 7am data release

Norwegian crown notes Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Currency dealers say the move to early data release could cause volatility in the crown

A plan to change the time of Norway's economic data releases has riled the country's currency and bond dealers.

They have complained that the 7am start could damage trade as well as making it tricky to get their children to kindergarten.

Statistics Norway plans to change the time, currently at 10am, next month.

Traders say that releasing growth and job numbers so early could lead to sharp swings in the Norwegian crown as there will be few around to trade it.

This is because it is very thinly traded outside the country.

"In different countries data is released when markets are open and there is strong liquidity," said Sindre Stoeer, chief executive officer of the Norwegian Securities Dealers Association.

He added that the move could ultimately lead to uncertainty about the currency and make it slightly weaker.

Torstein Arne Bye, director of economics, energy and the environment at Statistics Norway said: "We want to publish the statistics early so that people can make use of the data as early as possible when they start work."

Deterring trade?

But Erica Blomgren, chief strategist at SEB in Oslo investor interest in Norway's currency had been falling off recently and this move could serve to make trading even thinner.

She said the new time for the data would make it more likely to be overlooked by traders outside the region, making them even less inclined to trade in the currency and bond markets: "The Scandinavian banks will keep trading but certain speculative accounts [such as hedge funds] from other countries may be deterred."

Aside from such professional arguments, the statistics office said it had received complaints about its negative effect on family life, as it would interfere with taking children to kindergarten early in the morning.

Mr Bye said he had considered this argument - but it did not wash.

He said the office was giving thought to the other objections but was still planning to start releasing data from 7am from 23 September.

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