8.28.2009

U.S. Consumer Spending Report at Forefront of Forex Trading Today

Forex trading to today are set to be driven by a batch of data from both the U.S. and Britain. The main release from the U.S. today that traders are waiting for is the Consumer Spending, also known as the Personal Spending report from the U.S. at 12:30 GMT. Forecasts put the figure at roughly 0.2% in July, about half the increase of June. However, the rise is mainly owed to the cash-for-clunkers program. Despite this, a positive figure may actually hurt the USD, as such a result could increase risk appetite. Therefore, in order to take advantage of end-of-week market behavior, open your positions in the USD, EUR, and GBP now.



USD - USD Falls Steeply on Thin Trading and Market Optimism

After a period of steady appreciation, the USD took a sharp nose dive at the end of European market hours to close yesterday's trading at 1.4364 versus the EUR, 1.6284 against the Pound, and 1.0877 against the CAD. The greenback fell due to several reasons that are linked to thin summer trading.

First, with Crude Oil advancing from industrial growth worldwide, the USD is experiencing some downward pressure from commodity purchases. With growth being forecast on the horizon, safety investments like the USD are losing some of their appeal. While the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States shrank less than expected, many economists are anticipating a rally in US stocks, Crude Oil prices, and riskier investments. These all point to further downward pressure on the Dollar in the days ahead. As such, yesterday's sharp drop was inevitable.

If today's figures on Personal Income and Personal Spending in the US confirm the rising trend of growth, the USD could see some added downward pressure. The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment report will also give credibility to these assumptions if it reveals market optimism is on the rise. Traders may anticipate a bearish Dollar if economic news continues to support these latest trends.

EUR - EUR Remains Bullish at End of Month Trading

The EUR's bullish rally against all major currency pairs continued yesterday with a surprising reversal to the EUR/USD's recent downtrend coming at the close of European markets. Closing at a surprising 1.4364 against the greenback, the EUR made significant gains on recent boosts to market optimism, risk appetite, and thin market trading. As the month comes to an end, a significant level of position shifting takes place and some trends may see a reversal at the start of September.

Market data from the Euro-Zone and Britain has lately put a positive spin on the 16-nation currency. Germany's Ifo Business Climate report on Wednesday showed an improvement to investor confidence in the German economy and other data yesterday continued adding momentum. While Britain's economic figures may also show positive data, the level of confidence in the British banking system, as well as their influx of cash from their quantitative easing program, has put a downward spin on the GBP. This trend may not come to an end anytime soon, but end of month trading usually generates enough volatility to surprise even the most veteran traders.

As for today, the Euro-Zone isn't scheduled to release any significant reports, but the British government will release its Revised GDP figures showing that Britain's economy likely shrank by 0.8% last quarter. Switzerland will also publish its KOF Economic Barometer today, measuring the relative strength of the Swiss economy. This report has the potential to add a level of volatility to the CHF not typically experienced in the average trading week.

JPY - JPY Ends August with Batch of Poor Data

Yesterday was a day of bearishness for the Japanese Yen. Losing on all fronts, the JPY finished the day at 134.48 against the EUR, 152.35 versus the GBP, and stable at 93.64 against the Dollar. With the recent surge in market optimism, combined with thin trading at the end of the month, the Japanese Yen has faced surmounting downward pressure as safe-havens are losing their appeal.

Adding to this downward momentum was a batch of negative data releases from Tokyo at the start of Friday's trading session. Household spending, Japanese CPI, and Japan's Unemployment Rate all showed worse than expected numbers, with unemployment climbing to 5.7% last month. Closing out the month with such abysmal data definitely does not help the JPY's strength.

Crude Oil - Crude Oil's Appeal as Alternative Investment on the Rise

The appeal of Crude Oil investments rose yesterday after the US Dollar weakened on thin trading, growing risk appetite, increasing demand for energy, and end of month investment shifting. As Crude Oil prices rose for the first time in 3 days, investors flocked to the commodity as an alternative investment. Failing to breach the $70 support level, the price of a barrel of Light Sweet Crude subsequently rose back to $72.68 by the end of Thursday's trading hours.

With global economies beginning to show signs of recovery, and countries such as Australia already on their way to substantial growth, energy prices are expected to pick up in the near future. Likewise, as strength returns to the market, the safety of the US Dollar will fall alongside it, adding further support to Crude Oil prices. A near-term target of $75 a barrel has become a popular goal for many speculators as a result.

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Bank of China Plans to Cut Lending, Threatening Risk Appetite (Euro Open)

China’s third-largest bank by assets plans to reduce lending in the second half of the year, threatening risk appetite across financial markets that have seen the East Asian giant as the poster-child of global economic recovery. A revision of second-quarter UK GDP and Euro Zone consumer confidence are on tap ahead.

Key Overnight Developments

• UK Consumer Confidence Held Flat for Third Month in August, Says GfK
• Japan's Jobless Rate Highest in 33 Years, Spending and Inflation Plummet
• Bank of China Plans to Reduce Credit Access in the Second Half of 2009

Critical Levels



The Euro drifted modestly higher in the overnight session, adding 0.3% against the US Dollar. The British Pound followed suit, rising to test as high as 1.63 to the greenback.

Asia Session Highlights



Japan’s labor market continued to disappoint in July as the Jobless Rate rose to a greater-than-expected 5.7%, a 33-year record high, while the ratio of available jobs to seeking applicants unexpectedly dropped to a fresh all-time low of 0.42. Looking ahead, a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg suggests the pace of job losses will continue to accelerate at least through the second half of next year. This points to continued weakness in consumer spending as layoffs weigh on disposable incomes. Indeed, Household Spending fell -2.0% in the year to July, four times worse than forecast.

The economic outlook for the world’s second-largest economy was made all the more ominous as the Consumer Price Index fell -2.2% in the year to July, marking the sixth consecutive month in negative territory and threatening to send Japan spiraling back into another “lost decade” of deflation-fueled stagnation as consumers and businesses expecting lower prices in the future delay spending and investment, encouraged to perpetually wait for the best possible bargain.

In the UK, GfK Consumer Confidence disappointed in August, holding flat at -25 to show that pessimists among those polled for the survey outnumbered the optimists by the same margin for a third consecutive month, upsetting expectations of an improvement to -24. Expectations of economic conditions for the next 12 months and the propensity to commit to major purchases both deteriorated; the former for the first time since April. On the other hand, a gauge of saving intentions rose for the seventh consecutive month. A statement accompanying the release noted that, “While UK consumers are still cautious about the economy, they are less pessimistic than this time last year.”

The Bank of China Ltd, the country’s third-largest lender by assets, said it plans to slow credit growth in the second half of the year. The news reinforces the government’s efforts to rein in lending and may weigh on risky assets considering the market’s recent focus on China as the poster-child of recovery from the global downturn.

Euro Session: What to Expect



A revision of the second-quarter UK Gross Domestic Product is set to confirm that the economy shrank 0.8% in the three months to June to bring the annual growth rate to -5.6%, the worst in at least 53 years. Barring an unexpected, large revision in the headline figure or any of the key components (in particular the Private Consumption reading), the outcome is unlikely to produce much of a reaction in the currency markets having already been priced into the exchange rate. Indeed, the market seems focused more on the Bank of England’s dovish posture despite surface-level improvements in economic data: a trade-weighted index of the Pound’s average value topped out on 08/05, the day before the last rate decision, and has been trending lower ever since; a Credit Suisse index gauging traders' 1-year BOE rate hike expectations (as derived from overnight index swaps) topped out on the very same day.

Turning to the continent, Euro Zone Consumer Confidence is expected to rise for the fifth straight month to print at -21 in August, up from -23 in the previous month. The metric closely tracks a Morgan Stanley index of Euro Zone stock performance; indeed, the correlation now stands at a formidable 97.7% and has registered above 80% since October 2005. Equities listed on Euro Zone exchanges have added 5.7% so far this month, bolstering the case for an improvement in sentiment. The Euro Zone Business Climate Indicator is likely to follow a similar trajectory: this metric is 95.1% correlated to stock performance in the currency bloc. While these results will offer little by way of new insights, they may offer some additional near-term fuel to continue feeding the rebound in risky assets that began late into the New York trading session. The longer-term outlook is far more ominous, however: unemployment stands at 9.4%, the highest in a decade, while loans to Euro Zone businesses and households grew just 0.6% in July, the lowest since records began in 1991. Clearly, private demand can’t grow without the ability to earn or borrow money, making any rebound beyond the fleeting effects of government stimulus a distant prospect.

Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Analyst
Article Source - Bank of China Plans to Cut Lending, Threatening Risk Appetite (Euro Open)
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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!