7.27.2009

Dollar Falls as Investors Turn to Riskier Assets

The rally in global stock markets has led to a sell-off of the safe haven currencies and pushed investors to higher riskier assets as many see the global recession coming to an end. The encouraging global economic data has also been helping push Crude Oil to the $69 price level.



USD - USD Depreciates, Consumer Confidence Growing

The steady improvement to risk appetite over the previous week has helped push the EUR/USD above 1.4200 at the start of this week's trading. While the greenback has been trading relatively flat versus the other major currencies, it is nonetheless accelerating towards intense volatility at the start of this week. The rally in global stock markets has helped convince investors to pull away from the safety of the dollar in exchange for riskier assets. In the forex market, this means a diversification towards the EUR, CAD and even AUD.

A sudden surge in the Asian stock markets at the end of last week has helped reduce demand for safe-havens like the USD and JPY, but their attraction has remained steady enough to prevent vast drops in value. Confidence may be climbing the world over, but investors may not yet be brave enough to jump whole heartedly back into riskier investments. A demand for safe-havens remains despite the boost in optimism.

Looking ahead this week, we'll complete another part of the picture for the US housing market with the New Home Sales report expected later today at 14:00 GMT. A more intricate look into American optimism will be delivered on Tuesday with the CB Consumer Confidence report, and week's end will provide traders with a look into the first portion of this year's second quarter GDP, which tends to have the most impact of the 3 reports released on this figure. These reports will no doubt put the USD at center-stage for the duration of the trading week and investors would be unwise to skip over this week's news events surrounding the US economy.

EUR - EUR Strengthens as GBP Sinks; Risk Appetite Climbing

The spectacular results from last week's PMI and German Ifo Business Climate report helped push the EUR higher against most of its currency pairs. However, the British Pound suffered heavy losses at the end of last week's trading due to worse-than-forecasted GDP results. Climbing back above the 1.42 level against the USD, and even spiking upwards of 0.8650 against the Pound Sterling, the EUR's gains were unmatched last week.

Precisely opposed to the value of the EUR, as pertaining to risk appetite, the Euro-Zone currency indeed strengthened due to the perception that its regional economy is stabilizing. This belief has helped stoke the notion that recovery is on the way by the end of this year. The subsequent return to riskier assets helps devalue safe-havens such as the Dollar, while pushing more diverse currencies, such as the EUR, higher against the other currencies.

No doubt the devaluation of the Pound also led to a boost in the value of the EUR by the sheer weight of regional competition. As the wave of risk appetite took hold last week, the GBP may not have offered investors the necessary level of security, which also helped boost the gains made by the EUR.

While economic releases from the Euro-Zone led the market last week, and also helped revive demand for the EUR, this week's trading will see no such thing. The EUR is surprisingly absent from this week's calendar as the US economy takes the wheel. If US data can encourage the recent return to risk appetite, then the EUR's rally may continue this week.

JPY - JPY Anticipating European Market Opening

The recent rise in risk appetite has helped the mild return of the Yen-denominated carry trade. With the JPY climbing modestly against most pairs, the gains seem to be muted as investors weigh the JPY as a safe-haven or carry-trade, and the balancing act has led to a series of consolidation trends in the JPY crosses.

It appears the Japanese Yen has leveled-off versus almost all of the major currencies in anticipation of a rather large impending movement. If the rally in Asian stocks continues from last week, investors may see the JPY lose value as the carry-trade returns with full force. For the time being, it appears as if traders the opening of the European markets to weigh in on positions placed at the end of last week. If expectations are correct, forex market participants could see a sharp drop in the value of the Yen in today's early trading hours.

Crude Oil - Oil Reaching $70 as Market Optimism Surges

As the US Dollar has declined over the last few trading days, the value of a barrel of Crude Oil has been appreciating. The steady climb back towards $70 a barrel has helped boost the GDP of many oil-producing Arab countries. The downside is the ever-present and growing connection between Middle Eastern economic growth and fluctuations in the price of oil, which has wrought havoc on these countries over the past few months despite efforts to diversify investment and industry.

Market optimism has helped return many investors away from the USD and into riskier assets. This helps boost the demand for commodities as a method of portfolio diversification. While the current price range of Crude Oil may not be justified by recent supply and demand levels, it nevertheless reflects the value derived by speculation of future growth. The surge in market optimism helps bring about the purchase of Crude Oil as investors anticipate industry growth world-wide. If this week's news events continue to boost this optimism, Crude Oil may easily climb above $70 in the days ahead.

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US Dollar Avoids Breakdown Despite Stock Rally, Bond Auction Looms Ahead (Euro Open)

The US Dollar avoided a breakdown in overnight trading despite sharp gains across Asian stock exchanges as the market continued to look ahead to this week’s record-setting $115 billion US Treasury bond auction that promises to boost long-term interest rates and spur demand for the greenback. Germany’s GfK Consumer Confidence report is on tap in European hours.

Key Overnight Developments

• Bernanke Defends Fed’s Independence, Supports “Strong Dollar Policy”
• Buyers Returning to UK Housing Market, Reveals Hometrack Survey
• US Dollar Avoids Breakdown Despite Stock Rally, Bond Auction Looms Ahead

Critical Levels



The Euro and the British Pound traded near familiar levels against the US Dollar despite a sharp rally across Asian stock exchanges that would have been expected to weigh on the safety-linked greenback. The MSCI Asia Pacific added over 1% overnight, putting in 10 consecutive days of gains for the first time since 2004. We noted last week that the majors were showing signs of diverging from risk trends following the US Treasury’s announcement of a record-setting $115 billion bond auction that stands to boost long-term interest rates and spur US Dollar demand.

Asia Session Highlights



US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the central bank’s independence at the taping of a “town hall”-style meeting for PBS, saying the Fed is already “very accountable” to Congress and stressing that citizens don’t want Congress running monetary policy. On the economy, Bernanke said that credit markets are still “very constrained” and warned that employment won’t recover for “a while”, forecasting that the jobless rate will likely exceed 10%. Regardless, the Fed chief said he has “tremendous confidence” in the US economy, saying output will be “growing strong” within a few years. Answering critics that have argued policymakers’ actions would stoke future inflation, Bernanke said the Fed does not want to “over-stimulate” the economy and is “very confident” it has the tools to unwind the emergency liquidity-boosting measures put in place amid the financial crisis. Bernanke added that it was too early to judge the impact of the government’s stimulus plan, but stressed that Congress needs to come up with a plan to restore fiscal balance by trimming the burgeoning budget deficit. Commenting on currencies, Bernanke echoed the Treasury’s mantra of support for a “strong Dollar policy” and said a stronger US economy will bolster the greenback.

In the UK, the Hometrack Housing Survey revealed that real estate prices fell -7.7% in the year to July, the slowest pace of decline since October 2008. Details of the report revealed that property sellers were able to secure 91.5% of their initial asking price in the final transaction, marking the eighth consecutive month that their bargaining power has improved; meanwhile, the average time a property spent on the market before being sold fell to 9 weeks, the lowest in over a year. On balance, the survey reinforces reports of a rebound in buying interest that has been noted in other recent data. That said, rising unemployment may prove to be a barrier to a near-term rebound in real estate prices: the jobless rate is expected to top approach a whopping 9% by the end of this year, trimming incomes and hindering Britons’ ability to pay their mortgages. This is likely to boost repossessions, flooding the market with fresh supply and sending property values downward.

Euro Session: What to Expect



Germany’s GfK Consumer Confidence gauge is expected to stall at 2.9 in August after rising for two consecutive months in June and July. Last month, the market research firm commented that, “Reports that the inflation rate stood at zero percent in May are having a positive effect on income expectations and the propensity to buy.” Although falling prices stand to boost spending in the short term, entrenching expectations of deflation will work against consumption, encouraging people to wait for the best possible bargain and perpetually put off purchases. Clearly, this threatens firms’ revenues and darkens the outlook for employment, which in turn can reasonably be expected to put the brakes on any rebound in consumer sentiment. Most worryingly, the onset of deflation may already be at hand, with Germany’s Consumer Price Index set to show later this week that the annual pace of inflation turned negative for the first time in 23 years.

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.

Currencies

Currencies
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!