Euro, British Pound in Focus Ahead of Interest Rate Announcements (Euro Open)

The Euro and the British Pound could see substantial volatility ahead with interest rate announcements from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England on tap in the forthcoming session. Overnight data revealed that Australia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell as the economy added 27.3k jobs in April.

Key Overnight Developments

• New Zealand Unemployment Surges to Highest in Over 6 Years
• Australian Dollar Gains as Jobs Surge, Unemployment Rate Falls

Critical Levels

The Euro was little change din the overnight session, oscillating in familiar territory around the 1.33 level. The British Pound followed suit, trading sideways in a well-defined 50-pip range above 1.51.

Asia Session Highlights

New Zealand’s Unemployment Rate surged to 5.0% in the first quarter, the highest in over 6 years, as the economy shed 1.1% of its workforce in the three months through March. The latest data on business confidence suggests a majority of firms expect conditions to deteriorate over the next 12 months, meaning hiring is likely to remain tepid for the time being. Indeed, a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg reckons the jobless rate will register above 6% in both 2009 and 2010. This will trim disposable incomes for those out of work and encourage precautionary saving for those that are still employed, weighing on spending. Private consumption is the largest component of GDP, so turmoil in the labor market is likely to keep a lid on economic growth. The economy shrank for the fourth consecutive period in the fourth quarter of 2008, shedding -0.9%, and is likely to contract again in the first three months of this year. Faced with deepening recession, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand lowered interest rates to just 2.5% at the last policy meeting and explicitly stated that they “consider it appropriate to provide further policy stimulus to the economy [and] expect to keep [interest rates] at or below the current level through until the latter part of 2010.”

Meanwhile, Australia’s Unemployment Rate unexpectedly dropped to 5.4% in April, down from 5.7% in the previous month and markedly lower than economists’ forecasts of a 5.9% result. The economy added 27.3k jobs, a stark contrast to expectations of a -25.0k decline. The details of the report were even more encouraging, with a 49.1k surge in full-time employment easily overwhelming a -21.8k drop in part-time jobs. The data implies that Australian firms are becoming more optimistic about future demand and expanding production capacity, supporting the central bank’s assertion that existing monetary and fiscal policy measures will adequately support economic recovery. The Australian Dollar jumped 70 pips higher as the data crossed the wires and tested as high as 0.7560 over the following 45 minutes.

Euro Session: What to Expect

Interest rate announcements from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of England (BOE) headline the economic calendar in European hours. The ECB has notably parted ways with major counterparts in the US, UK and Japan by opting for a “measured approach” to monetary stimulus despite deepening recession and a credible deflationary threat. This is drawing increasing accusations of inadequacy, a trend that is sure to be amplified by rising unemployment levels as the crisis wears on. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet’s clearly defensive rhetoric is not helping matters, legitimizing calls across grumbling electorates to free national monetary capabilities from the ECB’s lackadaisical posture. Clearly, this threatens the very existence of currency union itself if politicians eager to be re-elected succumb to populist pressure. Trichet delayed the day of reckoning in April by promising a final decision on quantitative easing in May. If today’s summit sees more waffling, the Euro could succumb to substantial selling pressure as traders price in a longer path to recovery as well as the political implications of inaction.

Turning to the UK, the recent signs of stabilization in lending as well as a handful of upside surprises in consumer confidence and retail sales are likely to give the BOE enough reason to hold off on making substantive changes to interest rates (already at 0.5%) or existing quantitative easing measures. Still, unemployment is at the highest in over a decade and the outlook for economic growth remains decidedly ominous: NIESR, a think tank, has said the economy could “continue to decline for up to another year” while the International Monetary Fund revised down their UK economic growth projections by -1.3%, calling for the economy to shed -4.1% through 2009. If this is enough to produce an expansion of the central bank’s asset purchasing programs, the British Pound could slip.

In Switzerland, the Consumer Price Index is expected to fall for the second consecutive month in April, signaling that the inflation is shrinking at an annual pace of -0.6%, the most in over three decades. Deflation threatens to complicate the current economic downturn if expectations of lower prices become entrenched, encouraging consumers and businesses to perpetually hold off on spending and investment as they wait for the best possible bargain. Needless to say this is quite dangerous, opening the door for the mountain nation to sink into long-term stagnation.

Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Euro, British Pound in Focus Ahead of Interest Rate Announcements (Euro Open)
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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!