In a very rare step, US based Forex broker OANDA announced to its clients that it will not accept any trading activity between 10:00 GMT and 19:00 GMT on Sunday, June 17th.
Forex trading begins at Sydney at 19:00 GMT. While volume is usually thin at these early hours, it will probably be very high even at these hours. It will not be surprising if additional brokers take some steps to prepare for the extreme volatility expected as a result of the elections.
A big weekend gap is expected on Sunday: a decisive victory for the pro-bailout parties will likely result in an initial leap for the euro and a fall of the dollar and the yen.
Any other result, whether a victory for anti-bailout SYRIZA or yet another indecisive poll, will likely result in a crash for the euro and other risk currencies, with the US dollar and the yen on the winning side. See the 3 scenarios for the Greek elections for more.
Here is the message OANDA sent to its clients:
Due to the extreme volatility some market analysts foresee could result in the coming days, OANDA fxTrade will not accept any trading activity from 6:00 AM EST until approximately 3:00 PM EST, on Sunday, June 17, 2012. OANDA believes the convergence of a major market event during off-market hours represents a potential trading risk and has taken this rare step to protect traders from excessive rate fluctuations.
Please note that during this halt in trading, you can still access your account details but no trading activity will be accepted. For this reason, OANDA strongly recommends that all traders consider minimizing currency exposures prior to the trading halt.
If you do intend to maintain open positions during this period, be aware that OANDA will hold exchange rates steady during the trading halt. However, when trading resumes, rates will immediately adjust to the current market rate and it is possible that the updated rate could result in a margin closeout if the price has moved significantly against your positions. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate funds in your account to prevent a margin closeout.
OANDA apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.
Further reading: The ECB Pushed Spain to the Bottom – Will it Pull Spain Out Now?Get the 5 most predictable currency pairs