Forex Blog: Currency Trading News & Analysis.

January 7th 2007

Commentary: 2006, the year that was

The books have been closed on 2006 for more than a week, which means it is time for the forex blogger to give his first-ever ‘state of the markets’ address. After a dull and static 2005, forex markets roared back into action in 2006, with several notable developments. On everyone’s radar screens, the world’s most important currency, the USD, declined by over 13% against the Euro and the British Pound. Analysts attributed the decline to narrowing interest rate differentials between the US and the rest of the developed world, as the US monetary cycle peaked while the rest of the world continues to raise rates.

In addition, several countries, notably China, Russia and several OPEC nations announced that they had already begun to diversify their foreign exchange holdings. This process is becoming auto-catalytic, which means that as the USD declines, it makes less financial sense for Central Banks to hold USD-denominated assets, which causes the USD to decline further, and so on. Meanwhile, the US economy is sputtering, and a majority of economists believe the Federal Reserves Bank will lower interest rates in 2007.

The Yen initially joined the ranks of the Pound and the Euro in their upward march, before retreating back to earlier levels, due to a couple reasons. First, low interest rates continue to make the carry trade a viable trading strategy, as investors borrow in Yen and invest in higher-yielding currencies, which effectively keeps the Yen grounded. Second, Japan’s Central Bank has repeatedly threatened to intervene in forex markets on behalf of the Yen, which has made investors wary about betting too much on its appreciation.

The Chinese Yuan accelerated upward, due primarily to American political pressure and the threat of trade sanctions. Meanwhile, the Thai Baht appreciated almost 20% against the USD, prompting Thailand’s Central Bank to step in and impose draconian capital controls intended to curb speculation. Emerging market currencies fared equally well on the heels of strong economic fundamentals and intelligent monetary policy that kept inflation on check. If these trends continue, expect 2007 to be a repeat of 2006.

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Posted by Adam Kritzer | in Commentary, Investing & Trading | No Comments »

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© 2004 - 2024 Forex Currency charts © their sources. While we aim to analyze and try to forceast the forex markets, none of what we publish should be taken as personalized investment advice. Forex exchange rates depend on many factors like monetary policy, currency inflation, and geo-political risks that may not be forseen. Forex trading & investing involves a significant risk of loss.