8.19.2009

European Currencies on the Rise along with Risk Appetite

Yesterday's sudden boost in equity markets world-wide has helped drive many of the riskier currencies, such as the EUR and GBP, higher versus their primary currency rivals. Safe-havens such as the Dollar and Yen took a small beating yesterday as well from this news. With investor confidence on the rise in Europe, a rally for the European currencies may be overdue. This in turn could also push commodity prices higher in the short-term.



USD - Dollar Plummets on U.S. Equity Market Rally

The Dollar fell during much of Tuesday's trading against a number of its major currency pairs, as U.S., European and Japanese equities rallied. This was partially sparked by a sharp increase in German investor confidence, and better than forecast earnings from top U.S. companies such as Target and Home Depot. Demand for the greenback slumped versus a number of major currencies in early trading, as the rally in equities led to a fall in demand for safe-haven assets.

The USD declined against the British Pound by a massive 200 pips to 1.6550. This performance was owed to mounting British inflation. Against the EUR, the USD also saw much bearishness, as the EUR/USD pair slided significantly in early trading. However, this was in some senses short-lived, as U.S. Building Permits and other
weak housing data poured some demand back into the USD. Thus the
USD did make a short recovery, as the EUR/USD cross finished trading at the 1.4128 level. The USD/JPY pair finished even for the day at 94.75, as demand for these low-yielding currencies was lower yesterday.

Looking ahead to today, there is much data that is likely to determine the volatility of the forex market, and the strength of the U.S. Dollar; the most important of these being the publication of U.S. Crude Oil Inventories at 14:30 GMT. A lower figure could help push-up Oil prices, whilst putting downward pressure on the USD. The opposite result could in-turn strengthen the USD. Data from across the Atlantic, such as British CBI Industrial Orders Expectations and the Current Account publication from the Euro-Zone is also likely to have important implications for the USD in Wednesday's trading.

EUR - Pound Climbs on Higher Inflation Figures

The Pound climbed yesterday on higher inflationary figures, as the Office for National Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index was at 1.8% in July, significantly higher than the forecasted 1.5%. This proves that the Pound has been far more resilient in this economic crisis than many analysts had forecast. This led currency analysts to the conclusion that the Bank of England (BoE) may come up with a much more disciplined monetary policy in the near future.

The British currency jumped against the Dollar by 200 pips to the 1.6550 level, and the GBP/JPY pair rose by 200 pips to the 157.00 level, as demand for the lower-yielding/safe-haven JPY fell in Tuesday's trading. The GBP gained about 90 pips vs. the EUR, as the pair reached the 0.8535 level. Much of this was owed to data from Britain. Also, it proves that even the strong European economic data on Tuesday was unable to help the EUR make inroads into the GBP. The EUR/USD finished trading slightly higher near the 1.4130 level, despite making inroads into the Dollar in earlier trading.

Today, there are several economic publications that are expected to drive-up the GBP and EUR crosses. From Britain, there is the MPC Meeting Minutes and CBI Industrial Order Expectations at 08:30 GMT and 10:00 GMT respectively. From the Euro-Zone, there is the release of the German PPI figures at 06:00 GMT, and the publication of the Current Account at 08:00 GMT. These key releases are expected to set the trend for both the British and Euro-Zone currencies in today's trading. In order to make big profits today, it's advised that you open your EUR and GBP positions now.

JPY - Yen Collapses against the Pound

The Yen collapsed against the Pound on Tuesday, as the pair finished 200 pips higher at the 157.00 level. This rise in the GBP and fall in the JPY was largely due to higher than expected GDP figures from Britain. However, the JPY bearishness yesterday was also owed to global stock market rallies owed to higher than forecast earnings for a number of top U.S. companies. This reduced the demand for lower-yielding assets, such as the JPY.

The JPY actually finished trading almost unchanged against the USD, but lower vs. the EUR. There have been fears recently that the Yen may be in for a steep decline if Japan doesn't continue increasing its exports. These fears have been exasperated despite the Japanese economy officially rising out of recession in the previous quarter. The JPY is set to move today on important economic releases from Britain, the U.S. and the Euro-Zone.

Crude Oil - Crude Oil Soars to Over $72 a Barrel

The price of Crude Oil soared by about $3.25, or over 4%, to just over $72 a barrel, reversing 3 consecutive days of losses. Crude was boosted as the Dollar was bearish in much of Tuesday's trading, which increased demand for commodities. The weakened USD was caused by global stock market rallies led by the U.S. This was also caused by optimistic economic data from Germany, the largest economy of the Euro-Zone. Furthermore, the weak USD led to higher demand for riskier assets.

Oil prices may continue rising for a number of reason's in today's trading. We have seen the commodity over-sold in recent trading days. Additionally, many optimistic signs from leading and fast-growing global economies have led many investors to realize that there may be a big jump in Crude Oil demand in the near future. Additionally, as long as market optimism stays high, so will the demand for Crude Oil.

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British Pound at Center Stage as Bank of England Publishes Meeting Minutes (Euro Open)

The British Pound is in focus in the European trading session as the Bank of England releases minutes from its August policy meeting when it unexpectedly boosted its quantitative easing program by 50 billion pounds. German Producer Prices are also set for release.

Key Overnight Developments

• New Zealand Wholesale Inflation Slips Again in Second Quarter
• Australian Leading Index Grew in June, Says Westpac
• N.Z. PM Key Seeks Single Market with Australia, FinMin Decries Spending

Critical Levels



The Euro yielded an effectively flat result in overnight trading having tried but failed to build upward momentum. The British Pound did inch lower however, losing its grip on the 1.6550 level to test as low as 1.6511.

Asia Session Highlights



New Zealand's Producer Prices remained flat in the three months ending June after two quarters of deflation, following a quarter which saw the largest magnitude in wholesale cost declines since the data began being recorded in 1976. On a yearly basis, input costs fell 1.2%, the first of such cost declines in more than five years. The quarterly data comes during a period in which commodities, as indicated by the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (SPGSCI) surged 25.6% following a quarter which saw the index remain flat. The interesting fact is that the SPGSCI plummeted 44% in the final three months of 2008. Thus it seems that there is a lag of about three months in the effect that commodity prices have on the cost that producers pay for raw materials. Looking further down the supply chain, output prices fell -0.7%, pointing to downward pressure on consumer prices as wholesale discounting is passed on into the final price tag and allowing the central bank some room to cut interest rates, a strategy that we have advocated previously.

On the other side of the Tasman Sea, Australia's Westpac Leading Index, which gauges the probable rate of economic activity about six months into the future, rose 0.7% in June after the previous month saw the outcome negatively revised to -0.4%. A rise of such proportions would be somewhat expected, given that the Reserve Bank of Australia revised it's growth forecast for the year up to 0.5% from a contraction -1.0% at it's August 6 meeting. Adding to these comments today, RBA Assistant Governor Malcolm Edey said that consumer confidence has returned to high levels, at a speech given at the 7th Annual Retail Financial Services Forum. Despite the optimism Edey was “wary of making any predictions,” he said. Nonetheless “in the past few months there have been encouraging signs of improvement.” The signs here referred to by the Assistant Governor must be primarily linked to the performance of equities, which have surged 27% between the start of March and the end of July. Broader economic conditions have not warranted the optimism, especially since retail sales plummeted when they were expected to actually grow, and especially after full-time jobs continued to be shed in favor of part-time ones.

Euro Session: What to Expect



German Producer Prices are expected to fall at an annual pace of -6.5% in June, the largest drop since records began in 1977. The result will foreshadow continued downward pressure on consumer prices, the headline inflation gauge, as lower wholesale costs filter down into the final price tag. The reading adds to building evidence that Germany and the Euro Zone as a whole may slip into deflation, threatening to leave the economy mired in a long-term period of stagnation as expectations of lower future prices discourage spending and investment.

The European Central Bank has thus far focused primarily on offering banks unlimited borrowing ability, including an unprecedented 442 billion euro in 12-month bank loans, in the hopes that this would be passed on to the overall economy to both stimulate growth and put a floor on prices by making money cheaper. So far, this has not worked: although interbank borrowing costs have stayed well below 0.5% for over two months, this has not filtered through into the economy at large. Indeed, loans to Euro Zone businesses and households grew just 1.5% in June, the lowest since records began in 1991. European banks have yet to come to terms with an estimated $1.1 trillion in unrealized sub-prime related losses (per the IMF), a hit that could be compounded by losses from default or devaluation in some of the newly-minted EU member states, and so may be perfectly content to sit on the money they have borrowed for the time being. The ECB has also flirted with the direct approach, putting in place a 60 billion euro bond-buying scheme. Although it is too early to tell for certain, this seems too small of a program to have any meaningful impact. The bottom line is that greater monetary easing is clearly needed if deflation is to be averted, but the central bank’s neutral posture points to either unwillingness or an inability to meaningfully anchor price expectations. While the Euro has enjoyed robust gains in the four months from the beginning of March on the back of a broad rebound in risk appetite, any return to focus on economic fundamentals could prompt a sharp a sell-off in the single currency.

In the UK, minutes from the most recent policy meeting of the Bank of England are due for release. Mervyn King and company had unexpectedly expanded their quantitative easing scheme by 50 billion pounds and left the door open to further expansion, saying its scope will remain “under review”. Up to that point, the program had largely failed to boost lending to the real economy. Indeed, loans to non-financial firms fell by a record 14.7 billion pounds while the pace of money supply growth fell for the first time in close to a decade in the second quarter. To that effect, traders will be combing through the meeting’s minutes for the rationale behind the BOE’s apparent belief that another 50 billion pounds in asset purchases will make a meaningful difference after the 125 billion pounds that have already been put to work.

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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!