My day at Markets


It’s 6:30am. I am walking from the heavy snow storm in to the warm SEB Helsinki dealing room. Lights are still off and only the equity sales team is eyes firmly on their screens at the office. Today it’s my turn to write the market comment our team writes every morning. I start by opening my Bloomberg screens and begin to read through what has happened during US and Asian hours overnight. The news gives me insight what’s possibly going to happen when Europe steps in. Interesting events are Fed meetings, Asian data and especially Chinese events. In the commodity world e.g. OPEC meetings and US rig count data affect the oil price and give direction to the commodity world overall.

Slowly people are arriving into the office and by nine o’clock the daily buzz is in full swing. People are discussing market themes in small groups all over the room. This morning the equity desk is talking intensively about freshly released earnings reports and how the stocks will react. Interest rate guys are wondering about Fed actions in relation to what market is pricing in terms of interest rate hikes. They think Fed is too hawkish and the market is not buying their intentions. In FX and commodities the oil price and the EUR/USD rate are giving a bit of a headache. OPEC meeting is coming, but people are not buying the story of production cuts. Rig count is increasing and the oil price is just slipping lower. EUR/USD on the other hand doesn’t seem to be able to break the range no matter what.

Author: Nina Hellemaaniinahellemaa

I started my career within banking over 10 years ago. The year was 2007, and I had started studying at Hanken in 2005. I was a marketing major and applied for various summer jobs when SEB contacted me. I wasn’t the typical applicant. I hadn’t even taken the only mandatory Finance course, so you can just imagine my face when I was asked about the greeks in fx options in the interview… Greeks as in the country? Well even after all this I got the job since my manager wanted to test if a total rookie could handle the Markets environment.

The tension and the fast paced dealing room atmosphere got me hooked right away and after that summer I took all the finance courses I could. After a year of working part time I was offered a full time job. Bear Stearns problems had just hit the fan and Lehman was next in line. I was in the fore front of the market following the big shifts in financial markets. The banking crisis, and the Baltic crisis, really affected the markets, and thereafter the still ongoing sovereign crisis.

I’m part of SEB’s Markets Corporate sales team, where we serve large Finnish companies in FX, Commodities and Interest rate hedging related matters. The actual job is very versatile, one part being advisory, another analyzing the markets and a third being the actual dealing to name a few. The most boring day might turn into the most interesting day within minutes. An excellent example of this was when the Swiss Central Bank abandoned its EUR/CHF floor forcing the market to buy CHF like crazy. Another good and more recent example was the Brexit vote that led to extreme volatility and GBP weakness.

It’s already 5pm, the daily buzz is slowly calming down. The 24 hour FX trading is taken over by the New York desk. All the major data releases are done for the day and customers are slowly heading home. Some of us are still discussing the day’s events. How the Swedish CPI turned out and what happened to the Swedish krona. The equity desk is still up and running for a couple of hours. I’m packing my bags and heading to the kindergarten to pick up my son. This was a good day!

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