A Busy News week Promises High Volatility

The dollar was slightly more volatile over the past week than usual, and the explanations for this have been getting trickier by the day. As for this week, forex traders are advised to take positions on trades, as a string of data releases coming out of Europe and Japan are likely to affect the greenback's main currency crosses.

USD - USD Rallies - Benefits from Safe-Haven Appeal

The USD has experienced a positive day of trading during the today's early morning hours. Closing last Friday slightly up versus the majority of its currency pairs and crosses, the USD continued this bullishness and appears poised to maintain its recent momentum. Gaining against the EUR, the greenback is currently trading near the 1.3435 price level, and even climbing as high as 1.1240 against the Swiss Franc, a high not seen since 10 days ago.

As U.S. data illuminates the economy in a positive glow, large exporting countries like China have begun to purchase more and more U.S. Treasury Notes despite the various cautions for doing so. A number of negative results from the European economies, and even Canada last Friday, have pushed many investors into the safe-haven of the USD and JPY. Again, despite some warnings that the USD's safe-haven is not as stable as many believe, traders continue to purchase the greenback for portfolio protection. Without a strong shock to forex trader confidence, this behavior will likely continue throughout the next few trading days.

With a severely lacking mix of indicators being released from the U.S. economy this week, the likely mover behind the forex market in the coming days appears to be the EUR. However, there does appear to be 2 indicators worth marking in your calendars. On Tuesday we are expecting the Building Permits report which may actually, for the first time in months, show that the housing sector is on the rebound. This could help the Dollar's rally continue through to the second indicator due to be released on Thursday. The Unemployment Claims report on Thursday may be more important than most expect considering last month's Non-Farm Payroll report indicated a sharper contraction in employment than most expected. This could prove to be USD-negative.

EUR - Euro-Zone Fundamentals Weak as GDP Shrinks

Across-the-board weakness may be the best way to describe the EUR's activity in today's early trading sessions. Losing strength to every major currency pair, the EUR is a little worse for wear. Dropping to 1.3435 against the USD, 127.30 against the JPY, and even as low as 0.8870 against the Pound Sterling, the 16-nation currency has been on the receiving end of negative news since last Friday's GDP figures illustrated a larger regional contraction than most analysts had foreseen.

As was illustrated by the various reports from countries within the European Monetary Union (EMU), the national and regional economies throughout the Euro-Zone suffered a deeper economic contraction than was forecast, and the EUR is suffering the consequences. This growing weakness doesn't seem to be abating either.

With a heavy news week ahead, the EUR will no doubt be steering this week's forex market. However, most expectations are for a continuation of the recently poor showing of Euro-Zone fundamentals. The weakness in regional GDP means that the 16-nations of the EMU are struggling to produce the jobs, manufacturing, and industrial output to remain as competitive as is necessary. With French and German manufacturing and services data expected on Thursday, this week's data has the potential to show that the Euro-Zone is indeed still within a deep recession and not yet on its way out. The other possibility is for a sudden surprise batch of news which shows the regional economy rebounding strongly, in which case the EUR may go bullish.

JPY - Yen Out-Performs Other Currencies

The Yen has out-performed all of its competitors in recent days. Regaining most of the strength lost in the previous few weeks, the JPY has now fought back to some of the highs not seen in months. Climbing to 94.80 versus the USD, a level not seen since mid-March, the Yen actually appears to have regained its safe-haven status. It also climbed to the 127.30 level against the EUR, a range not seen since late-April.

This week also appears to be an exciting news week for the JPY, a statement not often made by economic analysts in the forex market. With 2 large indicators due to be published, the Yen may actually be a driving force in this week's market. On Tuesday, the Japanese Cabinet Office will release its preliminary GDP figures which are expected to show that the Japanese economy may have shrunk by 4.2% in the first quarter of 2009. Also due this week is a decision by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) on its short-term interest rates. As rates are still near 0%, a reduction seems unlikely. The information released by the BoJ, however, may give traders and indication of the future monetary policy decision to come.

Crude Oil - Has the Price of Oil Reached its Peak for 2009?

The price of Crude Oil in recent weeks has been on a steady bullish trend. However, last Friday this trend may have been breached with a downward correction resulting from a decline in stock markets. With regional stock markets declining since last Friday, market demand for oil has come under scrutiny. While the United States may have published a series of positive growth data, the Euro-Zone illuminated its continued weakness with low GDP figures. Mixed with poor performing markets, economic growth and energy demand seem higher than they should be.

Most analysts are now backtracking by stating that the uptrend in oil seen over the previous weeks was due to a surge in market optimism that saw stock markets soaring and the USD dropping. However, as markets inevitably correct themselves after optimism has run its course, true values return. The sad truth is that demand for Crude Oil is still at an all-time low, and some analysts are reducing their 2010 forecasts. If this keeps up, the current price of $57.00 a barrel may be a high point in the coming weeks.

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US Dollar Rises as Stock Markets, US Index Futures Turn Lower in Asian Trading (Euro Open)

The US Dollar gained against most major currencies as stocks tumbled across Asian exchanges and US equity index futures traded down as much as 1% ahead of the opening bell in London. Overnight data saw New Zealand’s input PPI fell the most since 1976 in the first quarter while Japanese consumer confidence beat economists’ expectations in April.

Key Overnight Developments

• New Zealand's Producer Input Prices Fell Most Since 1976 in Q1
• Japanese Consumer Confidence Beat Expectations in April

Critical Levels

The Euro trended lower, shedding as much as 0.5% against the US Dollar. The British Pound followed suit, testing as low as 1.5117 to the greenback.

Asia Session Highlights

New Zealand Producer Input Prices tumbled -2.5% in the first quarter, the most since records began in 1976, as falling commodity prices drove down production costs. Output prices, the costs paid to manufacturers by re-sellers of finished goods, also fell by a record -1.4%. The metrics came in substantially below economists’ expectations: forecasts had called for input prices to remain unchanged and for output prices to gain 0.5%. The data suggests continued downward pressure on consumer prices, the headline inflation gauge, as a slimmer manufacturing bill translates into lower final price tags. Easing inflation will give the Reserve Bank of New Zealand substantial room to follow through on recent statements arguing that it is “appropriate to provide further policy stimulus to the economy [and keep interest rates] at or below the current level through until the latter part of 2010.”

Japan’s Consumer Confidence registered better than economists expected in April, rising to 33.2 from 29.6 in the previous month. The rise was foreshadowed by a similar result in April’s Eco Watchers survey. As with that reading, the reading remained below the 50 “boom-bust” level, suggesting consumers’ outlook continued to deteriorate, albeit at a slower pace. Rising stock prices and a robust government stimulus plan may have helped boost sentiment: the Nikkei has rallied 18.4% over the past two months; meanwhile, Prime Minister Taro Aso has pushed through a record-large spending package. Looking ahead, lackluster overseas sales are likely to keep a tight lid on industrial output levels, weighing on employment and discouraging spending. Indeed, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that global trade volume (including both goods and services) will shrink by a whopping -11% this year and add just 0.6% in 2010.

Euro Session: What to Expect

The Euro Zone Trade Balance report is expected to show a deficit of -0.3 billion euro in March, a narrowest monthly shortfall since June 2008. However, the reading is unlikely to be seen as encouraging as the headline figure would suggest considering the improvement will probably owe to falling imports rather than robust cross-border sales, underscoring acute weakness in employment and lackluster consumer spending. Indeed, the latest industrial production data saw output fell by the most on record as the global economic downturn weighed on overseas demand.

On balance, risk trends are likely to guide price action in European hours. Stocks tumbled across Asian exchanges and US equity index futures traded down as much as 1% ahead of the opening bell in London. This hints that risk aversion is creeping back into the market, boosting the safety-linked US Dollar and Japanese Yen.

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.
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!