British Pound Vulnerable as UK Cash Shortage Rises, Threatening Credit Rating (Euro Open)

The British Pound may see selling pressure in European hours as the UK Public Finances report shows the government’s monthly cash shortfall rose again in June, boosting fears that mounting fiscal debt may lead to a reduction in the UK’s sovereign credit rating. Switzerland’s Trade Balance figures are also on tap.

Key Overnight Developments

• Bank of Japan Says Global Economic Growth Faces Downside Risks
• Australia to Recover from Recession Later This Year, Says RBA
• Euro, British Pound Pare Gains Against US Dollar in Asian Trading

Critical Levels

The Euro saw a bit of selling pressure in overnight trading, testing as low as 1.4190 to the US Dollar. The British Pound also retreated, slipping -0.3% against the greenback.

Asia Session Highlights

Minutes from June’s Bank of Japan policy meeting said conditions in the global economy have “begun to stop worsening” and credit markets are “starting to regain stability”. Turning to Japan itself, the bank echoed familiar sentiments, saying that exports will continue to recover “mainly due to progress in adjustments in overseas inventories” while private consumption remains relatively weak “as the employment and income situation [is] likely to become increasingly severe”. On inflation, the BOJ said that the pace of consumer price growth is likely to turn negative, reflecting the declines in the prices of petroleum products, stabilization of food prices, and overall economic weakness. On balance, policymakers concluded that uncertainty surrounding the outlook for the global economy [remained] high” and warned that “risks to the outlook were still tilted to the downside” despite some early signs of improvement.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia released minutes from their July policy meeting. Policymakers struck a positive tone, saying the Australian economy has proved “more resilient than expected” as fiscal and monetary measures have been effective in stoking demand. The bank added that the full effect of lower interest rates is yet to be felt, with downside risks diminishing and the economy to recover later this year. Still, Glenn Stevens and company cautioned that the Australian labor market is likely to “remain soft for some time” and reiterated that they have “scope” to cut interest rates even though current policy is “consistent with fostering growth”. Perhaps most interestingly, the RBA said that exports have been “remarkably strong” on demand from China, a far different story than what is being seen in the latest Trade Balance figures.

Separately, New Motor Vehicle Sales rose for the third consecutive month in June, adding 5.7% following a 5.4% increase in the previous month. In annual terms, sales fell -7.2%, the smallest decline in nearly a year. The improvements are likely linked to the government’s aggressive stimulus efforts, including over A$12 billion in cash handouts to households. The big question going forward is if current momentum can be maintained as the flow of stimulus cash dries up. The RBA’s optimistic posture notwithstanding, the labor market continues to suffer, erecting barriers to a meaningful rebound in demand.

Euro Session: What to Expect

Switzerland’s Trade Balance surplus may continue to contract in June as the country’s top trading partners in the US and the European Union continue to struggle with recession, weighing on export sales. That said, the possibility of a move higher in the headline figure does exist: the UBS Consumption Indicator that forecasts the trend in private spending in the coming 3-4 months fell to the lowest level in over 5 years in May, hinting at lackluster domestic demand that could weigh on sales of foreign-made goods and trim import volumes. Recent trends in the Swiss Franc are supportive of such an outcome: the currency has declined 2.4% in trade-weighted terms since the beginning of the year, a trend that makes Swiss goods comparatively cheaper for overseas buyers while cutting into domestic consumer’s purchasing power of imported products.

Turning to the UK, June’s Public Finances report is set to show that the government’s monthly cash shortfall rose to 20.2 billion pounds from 18.8 billion in the previous month. The gap swelled for the first time in three years in 2008, rising 22.7%. Continued shortages will add to fears that mounting public debt may lead to a reduction in the UK’s sovereign credit rating. Indeed, a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg expects the overall budget deficit to average 12.4% of GDP through 2010, amounting to the worst fiscal position of any G10 nation.

Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - British Pound Vulnerable as UK Cash Shortage Rises, Threatening Credit Rating (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

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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.

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