Greenback Trades Lower Ahead of the U.S Housing Starts Report

The U.S dollar came slightly off highs against major counterparts on Monday, after a report that showed improved manufacturing conditions in the New York region in August. The Dollar earlier received a boost as commodities sold off following a sharp drop in Chinese equities overnight. Today the greenback declined before the Commerce Department reports housing data at 12:30 GMT on speculation the U.S recession probably eased further. The impact of a stronger- then-expected number will be positive from a risk point of view, analysts said, hence reducing demand for the dollar as a refuge.

USD - Dollar Gained from Drop in Equities However the Correction Is Imminent

Yesterday's trading experienced a moderate level of bullishness for the USD with the sudden weakness in equity markets bringing back a level of risk aversion. Expectations for a bearish Dollar in the optimistic environment that emerged at the start of this month have now begun to dwindle as stock markets continue to get squeezed. The safety of currencies such as the USD and JPY has grown throughout the beginning of this trading week.

Climbing as high as 1.4048 against the EUR, and as high as the 1.6275 price level against the Pound, the greenback is finally starting to show signs of bearishness after a long day of upward trading. Market fundamentals may have less to do with today's early morning movement, however, as economic data shows a continuation of yesterday's trends. A technical correction is underway, but data releases expected at the opening of European and American markets should drive some volatility in today's trading.

The opening of the European markets will reveal consumer sentiment in Germany and the Euro-Zone in the form of the ZEW sentiment reports at 9:00 GMT today, while the US markets will release data concerning inflation and the number of building permits issued last month for the construction of new homes. These will mark the important calendar events for today and traders should be on guard for further USD depreciation if a market correction is indeed underway.

EUR - EUR Dampened from Risk Aversion; ZEW Report on Tap

After the recent drop in equities, the EUR has fallen off its latest gains against its primary currency counterparts. While still holding above the 1.40 level against the USD, the EUR was nevertheless trading at a two-week low versus the greenback yesterday. On the other hand, the EUR continued to out-perform the British Pound, climbing as high as 0.8645 before the opening of European markets yesterday. Versus the Yen, the EUR also suffered a set-back from equity losses, trading as low as 132.50.

On the positive side, Euro-Zone exports have risen, signaling growth in the troubled region and pointing to future appreciation for the EUR against most of its rivals. However, the demand for riskier assets took a beating yesterday after the sharp fall in global stock markets. Most information regarding the 16-nation currency this week point to sharp movements in both directions following individual data releases. EUR traders should anticipate the heavy news week ahead and prepare for volatility.

Being released today at 9:00 GMT are the ever-important ZEW economic sentiment reports from Germany and the Euro-Zone. Both reports are expected to show an increase from the previous reading, while remaining below the significant 50.0 mark. This sends the mixed signal of demonstrating growth in optimism, but a modicum of hesitation about market strength as well. British inflationary data may also generate volatility for the GBP, but traders should focus more closely on the ZEW reports as these will drive today's market.

JPY - JPY Correction Due, European Confidence Deciding Factor

As one of yesterday's leading currencies following the sharp drop in equity markets worldwide, the JPY is now experiencing a distinct technical correction. Whether this recent downward move will sustain itself may depend largely on the data releases at the opening of the European and US markets for each of the Yen's currency rivals individually.

Climbing as high as 94.20 against the USD, 132.50 against the EUR, and 153.50 versus the Pound, things now appeared to have reversed ever since this morning's trading witnessed a sharply declining JPY opposite these leading currency rivals. If market optimism is shown to have increased in Europe following the ZEW sentiment reports at 9:00 GMT, the JPY could continue to see sharp losses versus its rivals as risk aversion begins to abate.

Crude Oil - Oil Slumps below $68 a Barrel, but Returning to Bullishness

After last Friday's surge above $73 a barrel, Crude Oil now trades near the $69 price level with a few bullish signals being provided by the market. Yesterday's drop in equities, and subsequent boost in the value of the USD, helped drive oil prices below $70 a barrel, but this morning's rally in risk appetite is proving positive for commodity prices. Since the start of today's trading, Crude Oil has climbed over $1.00 and continues to experience bullishness.

With European consumer sentiment reports expected, there is the possibility that a growth in optimism will help rally investors to riskier assets, thus lowering the Dollar in today's trading. With the greenback losing value, Crude Oil could gain strength on the USD's behalf. Traders should be on the lookout for any signs of positive growth in the Euro-Zone as this may trigger a return to risk appetite, and a potential sell-off of USD, helping to push oil prices higher.

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Euro, British Pound Fail to Build Momentum Ahead of CPI, ZEW Releases (Euro Open)

The Euro and the British Pound tried higher in Asian trading but failed to retain momentum, retreating against the US Dollar ahead of the UK Consumer Price Index and German ZEW survey of investor confidence due in European hours.

Key Overnight Developments

• RBA Weighs Risk of 'Choking' Demand If Rates Rise Too Soon
• Euro, British Pound Try Higher But Fail to Build Momentum

Critical Levels

The Euro corrected higher in Asian trading but the bulls failed to retain momentum, with the pair stalling near 1.41 ahead of the opening bell in Europe. The British Pound also tried higher to test as high as 1.6394 but reversed course late into the overnight session, yielding an effectively flat result.

Asia Session Highlights

The Reserve Bank of Australia said there is a "risk of an early tightening choking off confidence and demand prematurely" if it raises its benchmark policy rate too soon. There is some question as to whether recent improvements have been organically produced or if they have come on the back of fiscal stimulus. Indeed the bank weighed this scenario, saying that "a particular source of uncertainty was whether the recent growth in household spending was due mainly to the temporary fiscal measures," which would soon fade, or "a more general decline in risk aversion." Indeed, the bank does have a legitimate reason to worry. While Q2 spending rose by the most in nearly two years, the monthly June figure plummeted 1.4% despite expectations for an increase in retail sales of 0.5%. This downward trend is likely to continue, the bank said. In fact, their "staff liaison with retailers suggested that spending in July might be weaker than in earlier months."

The quick turnaround in rhetoric contrasts that from which RBA Chief Glenn Stevens stated at a testimony last week. In his comments, the 51-year old said that the bank would indeed raise the "emergency" level overnight cash rate once the economy began to show clear signs of recovery. More importantly, the RBA had revised it's 2009 GDP forecast significantly upward. Details released on August 7, revealed that the bank expects the Australian economy to grow by 0.5% this year - quite a contrast from the -1.0% economic contraction that had been originally anticipated. Nonetheless, the bank maintains that a strong recovery in Asia will stabilize global output. Australia's economy is still expected to grow in 2009.

Euro Session: What to Expect

July’s UK Consumer Price Index is expected to show that inflation shrank for the first month since January while the annual pace of price growth slowed to 1.5%, the lowest in over 4 years. The Bank of England has said that CPI will fall below 1% at some point in the third quarter in its quarterly inflation report published last week. From there, Mervyn King and company expect inflation to be “unusually volatile”: upward pressure is seen as past changes in energy prices drop out of year-on-year comparisons and from firms’ continued adjustments to a weaker British Pound (as compared to the peak in late 2007); meanwhile, downward pressure is seen as rising unemployment depresses wages. The central bank concluded that “inflation is more likely to be below [the 2% target level] in the medium term [than above it]”. On balance, this broad accounting of what to expect in the coming months suggests that, barring a wild deviation from the forecast, the CPI result is unlikely to prove considerably market-moving having probably been priced into the exchange rate at this point. Indeed, with interest rates already at 0.5% and a 175 billion pound quantitative easing scheme firmly in place, lending growth figures (showing the degree to which aggressive easing is filtering into the broad economy) are far more important to gauge future monetary policy than inflation data.

Turning to the continent, Germany’s ZEW Survey of investor confidence as well as the broader Euro Zone equivalent are both seen ticking higher in August, returning to levels seen in June after unexpeectedly turning lower in July. Last week, an analogous metric from the Sentix research institute ticked to the highest level in a year, with the accompanying statement saying that “the economic recovery is now being ‘discovered’ by a broader group of investors.” Still, a survey of economists polled by Bloomberg reveals that most market-watchers expect the Euro Zone to underperfrom the spectrum of industrial economies next year, so any optimism born of growing confidence that an armageddon scenario has likely been averted seems temporary at best, with European sentiment figures likely to head lower as analysts focus on questions of who will recover first.

Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst with Luis Gil, DailyFX Research
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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!