Forex Blog: Currency Trading News & Analysis.

February 17th 2009

The reversal of Interest Rate Parity

Convention forex wisdom, as well as the "immutable" laws of economics, have long held that higher interest rates correspond with currency appreciation. This has been especially true in recent years, as risk-hungry investors used low-yielding currencies to fund carry trades, the proceeds of which were invested in higher-yielding alternatives. In the context of the credit crisis, however, this logic has been turned on its head, as the countries with the lowest interest rates have seen their currencies outperform. Emerging market economies that have turned bearish on inflation have likewise been rewarded with strong currencies, despite a potential imbalance in the risk/reward profile. This phenomenon suggests that investors are primarily concerned with deflation, and are parking their money in the countries they believe can best preserve their capital, even if the real rate of return is negative. One analyst argues this could spur further interest in gold, reports SeekingAlpha:

If it [the Euro] also joins the zero interest band-wagon then one may wonder what’s left for the currency markets to play with? Is this is a precursor to a crisis brewing here? Does gold get a further leg up – it’s a zero yield currency anyway!

Read More: The Currency Conundrum: Is It Another Leg Up for Gold?

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

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