Dollar Gains Momentum as the EUR Flatlines; JPY Rallies

After some surprising data regarding U.S. jobless claims yesterday, the USD saw moderate gains against its primary currency rivals. The European Central Bank (ECB) appears to be slow to recognize the required solutions to their economic woes, and Japan has regained a level of safe-haven investment as China's growth diminished through the first quarter of 2009. Safe-haven currencies appear to be gaining strength as the rest of the world's currencies continue to suffer from the recession.

USD - U.S. Dollar Rises on Positive Economic Data

The greenback rose against most other major currencies on Thursday due to speculation that the U.S. economy is starting to show some tentative signs of stability, thus boosting demand for the USD. Early U.S. economic data showed a decline in initial jobless claims, a plunge in U.S. housing starts and a slower rate of decline in manufacturing in the Philadelphia region.

In late afternoon trading, the Dollar was up 0.4% versus the EUR to $1.3170 after rising to a session high of $1.3128. The USD was also high against the Pound gaining 0.4% to $1.4917. The greenback, however, gave up nearly all of its earlier losses against the Japanese Yen. It was last down less than 0.1% at 99.28 Yen.

The Dollar has tended to gain ground during periods of economic uncertainty and financial turmoil, benefiting from falling equities as investors flee into other Dollar-denominated assets. The Dollar tends to rise on bad news because it is often seen as a safer place to park money during periods of market uncertainty and heightened risk aversion. In a sign that the world economy is still struggling, figures on Thursday showed China's annual economic growth slowed to its weakest rate on record in the first quarter, while Euro-Zone industrial output plummeted in February.

This weak economic data from around the world has reduced confidence that the global economy would recover anytime soon, therefore boosting safe-haven flows into the U.S. currency.

EUR - The EUR Loses Momentum

The European currency pared most of its losses against the Dollar. It was last down 0.3% at 1.3177 versus the USD. Against the Yen, the EUR traded at 130.95, after depreciating yesterday as much as 1.6% to 129.37. The currency may extend its decline against the Yen even further, after falling to the lowest level this month on speculation that policy disagreement among the region's central bankers will undermine efforts to end the recession.

Separate figures showed Euro-Zone industrial output plummeted by a record 18.4% year-on-year in February and inflation halved to an all-time low, reinforcing expectations that the 16-nation economy is deteriorating and that interest rates may fall more. The European Central Bank (ECB) is due to announce on May 7th whether it will follow counterparts in the U.S. and the U.K. in pumping money into the economy by purchasing assets. ECB policy-makers have already indicated they may support cutting the 1.25% target rate below 1% and purchasing debt securities to pump money into the ailing economy.

Analysts have said that the EUR is likely to remain bearish due to market distrust of the European economic outlook. The European currency will probably fall below the strong support level of 1.2900 later in the month.

JPY - Yen Gains On China's Disappointing GDP

The Yen jumped against the Dollar and other major currencies on Thursday after data showed China's economic growth slowed to its weakest on record, disappointing market players who had bought higher-yielding currencies in anticipation of more upbeat numbers.

China's annual GDP growth slowed to 6.1% in the first quarter from 6.8% in the final three months of last year, prompting market players to reverse positions and buy the Yen back. The Japanese currency jumped 0.3% against the USD to 99.15 Yen, and 2% against the GBP to 148.63 Yen.

The Japanese currency's biggest gains yesterday were versus the Australian and New Zealand dollars on speculation that the slowdown in China's economic expansion will deepen the world's recession. The JPY rose as much as 2.4% against the Aussie to 70.69 yen, and versus the New Zealand dollar, it appreciated 2.9% to 56.05 yen. These gains may continue through the rest of April.

Crude Oil - Crude Oil Gains on U.S. Jobs Data

Crude Oil prices rose above $50 a barrel on Thursday, after the United States, the world's largest energy consumer, witnessed the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fall last week, but continuing claims rose to a record as the recession struck hard. However, its gains remained limited as mixed data from the United States and China reminded investors that any signs of economic recovery were tentative.

Crude Oil trading remained volatile during the session, as investors also digested separate sets of gloomy economic data from the U.S. and other countries. Cautious trading in U.S. stock markets also weighed on Crude Oil prices. News that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) seaborne oil exports, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will fall 560,000 barrels per day in the 4 weeks to May 2, was also supportive for prices recently.

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What is Forex?

If you would go out on a dinner with your friends or family and you mentioned that you were trading on the Forex market most of them wouldn’t know what you were talking about. The worst thing is that most of the Forex traders that join the Forex market don’t know what they are doing. Understanding what Forex is, is the first good step to your success at Forex trading.

The foreign exchange market (Currency, Forex, or FX) is where currency trading takes place. It is where banks and other official institutions facilitate the buying and selling of foreign currencies. Forex transactions typically involve one party purchasing a quantity of one currency in exchange for paying a quantity of another. The foreign exchange market that we see today started evolving during the 1970s when world over countries gradually switched to floating exchange rate from their erstwhile exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system till 1971.

Today, the Forex market is one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world, and includes trading between large banks, central banks, currency speculators, corporations, governments, and other institutions. The average daily volume in the global foreign exchange and related markets is continuously growing. Traditional daily turnover was reported to be over US$3.2 trillion in April 2007 by the Bank for International Settlements. Since then, the market has continued to grow. According to Euromoney's annual Forex Poll, volumes grew a further 41% between 2007 and 2008.

Forex Turnover

Forex Turnover
Main foreign exchange market turnover, 1988 - 2007, measured in billions of USD.
The purpose of Forex market is to facilitate trade and investment. The need for a foreign exchange market arises because of the presence of multifarious international currencies such as US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Yen, etc., and the need for trading in such currencies. Since you aren’t buying anything physical this kind of trading can be confusing. When buying a currency think of it as buying a part in that particular country’s economy because the currency rate reflects the economical situation of the country when compared to others.


List of most popular currencies on the Forex market

Forex used to be a closed market because only the “big boys” because you needed between 10 and 50 million $ to open an account. But today, with the development of internet, online Forex brokers have the possibility to offer their services to “little” traders. All you need to start is a computer, fast internet connection and information which you can find on this page also.

This enormous market is like the dangerous sea where you can meet lots of sharks and dangerous waters but at the same time it is the only one where two weeks of trading can hypothetically bring you $1,000,000 out of $1,000 of initial investment.

This is certainly hypothetically because a lot of newbie traders deal with their trades as gambling, that surely bring them to having nothing in the end. You should always keep the phrase "be careful!" in your mind. This market would give you its profit possibilities only if you learn the basic things hard and make lots of demo trading.

The statistics is that as much as 95% of traders come to losing their money at Forex, 5% have profit and less than 1% of traders make large fortune at Forex. You shouldn't produce, sell or advertise anything trading at Forex. Your assets are your knowledge, experience and a small amount of cash.

This market is a platform for banks, transnational corporations and individual traders to change the currencies they possess into other ones. This is the spot Forex market. At this market you can trade with up to 1:400 leverage which means that you'll get $400 on your account for each dollar invested. So, you can trade with the $400,000 sum having invested $1,000 onto your account.

Forex is unique among other world markets because in any time of day and night, somewhere in the world, a financial centre is open for business, banks and corporations exchange currency all the time, with a little lower frequency during the weekend.

Why to trade on Forex?

1. There is no commission fee for trading at Forex.
2. There is no intermediary, you can trade directly at Forex.
3. Forex is open 24-hours a day.
4. Nobody can influence the market for a longer period.
5. High liquidity.
6. Free demo accounts, analysis and charts.
7. Small accounts that allow everyone to try out his luck.

Hope this has answered a lot of questions you were asking yourself about Forex and that you can now start trading. Also make sure that you check out other articles on this blog which can help you earn your fortune.

Good luck to everyone!