Pound Tumbles, Dollar Surges as Risk Aversion Hits Currency Markets (Euro Open)

The US Dollar surged higher to start the trading week as stocks sold off across Asian exchanges, boosting demand for the safety-linked currency. The British Pound bore the brunt of the greenback’s assault as risk aversion compounded last week’s dovish rhetoric from the Bank of England.

Key Overnight Developments

• Pound Tumbles Despite BOE Backtracking on King’s Comments
• Japanese Yen Surges on Safety Demand as Stocks Plunge in Asia

Critical Levels

The British Pound and the Euro both suffered sharp losses in overnight trading as stocks tumbled in Asia, driven lower by Friday’s disappointing US economic data, sending the MSCI Asia Pacific regional benchmark index down 1.2% and boosting demand for the safety-linked US Dollar.

Asia Session Highlights

The British Pound raced sharply lower in early trading as currency markets seemingly concluded that the Bank of England suspiciously “protests too much” after the UK Times Online cited unnamed sources at the central bank as saying King was trying to talk down sterling last week. The Pound began to accelerate lower last Monday after the BOE released an article titled “Interpreting Recent Movements in Sterling” as part of its quarterly bulletin which argued that the inability of drying up capital inflows to finance the current account deficit could mean a fall in the “the long-run sustainable real exchange rate”. Sterling bears were given extra fuel last Thursday when Governor Mervyn King said rebalancing the UK economy was “very necessary [and] the fall in the exchange rate that we have seen will be helpful to that process” in an interview with The Journal.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens struck a hawkish tone at a testimony to the Senate Committee in Sydney. Stevens said that Australia’s recession has been mild and the economy has done “quite well” as government stimulus “materially” supported growth, adding 2-3% to local demand. On interest rates, Stevens said that benchmark borrowing costs are “unusually low” and will need to go back to normal levels, adding that inflation targeting will guide the timing of adjustment to “more normal levels”.

Euro Session: What to Expect

A preliminary estimate of Germany’s Consumer Price Index is set to show that prices fell -0.2% in the year to September, marking the third consecutive month that the EU-harmonized metric has printed in negative territory. A reading in line with expectations is unlikely to prove market-moving: economists have called for year-on-year CPI to shrink -0.3% through the third quarter, and averaging September’s would-be reading with those recorded in the previous two months yields just about that outcome. The coming months present an opportunity for volatility, however: consensus forecasts have inflation coming back into positive territory in the fourth quarter and averaging around 1.2% through 2010; if this proves too rosy as the economy falters anew after the boost from fiscal stimulus (both at home and abroad) and the inventory cycle fizzles out, a drop in inflation expectations stands to prolong the slump in the Euro Zone’s largest economy. Indeed, consumers and businesses have little incentive to spend and invest in the present if they reckon prices will be lower in the future, bringing economic activity to a standstill. This will mean the ECB will keep interest rates at current lows longer than nearly all of its major counterparts (with the exception of Japan and Switzerland), weighing down the Euro.

Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
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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.
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5. High liquidity.
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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!