Posts Tagged "Market"

Kiwi in Flight

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014 in Commentary, Featured, Market News

It’s been a long time coming. Of the major currencies commonly traded, there have been no interest rate increases since 2010 when Australia last increased its overnight rates. Australian rates didn’t last long at those levels and were reduced in stages soon afterwards, matching the other major economies. This time though, things feel different. On Wednesday evening this week, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced a rise in interest rates from 2.5% to 2.75% (well, Thursday morning in New Zealand at the time). An interest rate increase in any of the major currencies is as rare as New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi. It’s currency, nick-named the kiwi was already strong and on the announcement, it flew higher. This might not be great news for mortgage holders in New Zealand and it might not get picked up by many commentators, but to me, this is a significant turning point. New Zealand is a small economy, not even in the top 50 in terms of GDP. Yet it’s currency is traded as one of the 8 majors. During the economic crisis and fall out after 2008, interest rates have been slashed. Other major economies went further and adopted measures such as quantitative easing (QE) to stimulate their economies. The talk is still of how to reduce the dependence of measures such as QE and “normalise” economies. In this regard, the Fed has its own tapering programme running at the moment. To me, the significance of the announcement is that it marks the beginnings of what could be called “normal” again. The New Zealand economy has been growing strongly. Export demand is healthy and many economic indicators suggest strong demand in the local economy with the prospect of inflation. How refreshing to see interest rates being used once more as a weapon to protect against inflation. As for the rest of the Western economies, I suspect they’ll be looking enviously at the Kiwi success. In Europe and the USA, the spectre of deflation has not been totally eliminated. In Japan, they are still working at creating inflation. In the UK and USA, we still have greatly indebted consumers, companies and governments. We’ve had the artificial stimulus of ultra-low interest rates for several years to get our economies bumbling along. Let’s hope the kiwi in flight is the light at the end of the tunnel we all hope...

Read More

Out of the Woods

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Featured, Market News, News

Out of the Woods

The non-farm payroll (NFP) figures a week ago did not suggest to me that we are out of the woods just yet. After strong numbers for several months on the spin, January’s low numbers weren’t significantly revised upwards and the numbers for February came in on the low side. This suggests that while growth in the world’s largest economy is continuing, it is not doing so at the pace set last quarter. This is two months of lower than expected jobs growth. Not the end of the world by any means, as it is only two months of data. Maybe the frozen weather conditions are slowing the rate of growth? Once spring arrives, it will be full steam ahead again? I have a niggling doubt in the back of my mind though. It is not just the USA with figures that aren’t as optimistic. We saw GDP figures for Japan today, which while they are growing, are hardly setting the world alight. As for the Eurozone, it seems that growth of 0.3% is treated as really great news. When I look at the UK economic figures for the past month or so, they too have been as damp as the weather. The levels of growth talked about in the final quarter of last year seem to be on hold for now. The sharp drop in CPI does not suggest a strong demand in the UK economy. Confidence is a word frequently associated with the conditions for economic growth. Where is this confidence right now? One look at some of the emerging economies tells a story. Take Turkey for example. Its exchange rate has been hammered recently, leading to the Turkish Central Bank intervening in the markets to protect its currency. Within 48 hours, the impact of the intervention was lost and the Turkish Central Bank responded by raising interest rates quite dramatically to protect the currency. Turkey was not the only emerging market to suffer. Several others raised interest rates as money flowed out of these countries back to “safe haven” assets. For a fortnight or so, there was a real sense of “risk off” again. Growth figures from China are often cited as a trigger for changes in economic expectations and a trigger for the risk attitude. We could be on the verge of economies slowing again. That could be a bit tough for the Eurozone, as it hasn’t really got started. With Yellen, the new lady in charge at the FED, I wouldn’t want to bet on the current taper in QE continuing at the same rate if weak figures continue. This afternoon, Yellen signalled she wants to review more data prior to making any changes. She also said the recovery has been slow by historical standards. The confidence levels seem to be weaker now than a few weeks ago. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England gave a similar message last Wednesday. The tales of caution are all around, rather than descriptions of economies that are out of the...

Read More

My Experience with the Forex Market by Olivia Rust

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Featured, Learning to Trade?

My Experience with the Forex Market by Olivia Rust

The forex market is something that has always held my interest and, as the New Year came, I decided that I would actively try to gain more knowledge about the foreign exchange market. My understanding of the industry has been very limited until recently. I attended a very interesting seminar with Mark Walas from Plan B Trading. I had done a lot of research about the industry via the internet and with every website informing me that they had the right strategy for me, being a complete novice, I can see how easy it would be to fall into these traps. I decided to attend a seminar to see how exactly the Forex market works and if it’s something that I would be able to succeed in. In my mind I had already placed myself in the minority (I am a 22-year-old female) and I imagined that retired male professionals would predominantly surround me. How wrong was I? The course had attracted a range of delegates and there were an assortment of different ages, backgrounds and sexes. I was in a mixed bag of retired men looking to make extra money and learn new skills to younger women hoping to be able to provide the finances to see their children through a decent education. There were even two 19-year-old females who said they were there to learn a skill they can use throughout their lives. There were also varieties of reasons as to why we had all gathered to learn more about the Forex market. A common theme amongst us was curiosity; we were all intrigued as to how Mark could help us and the methods he was willing to share with us. Other motives included delegates wanting to ‘learn to earn’, to make money consistently and to be able to change their lifestyles. Some attendees (such as myself) had never traded before and others had traded previously but had not achieved their desired results and therefore wanted to accept the help offered. I learnt that the factors that make a successful trader include: – Disciplines and Rules – Patience and Timing – Psychology – Risk Management – Preparation Each of these aspects were discussed at length within the two and a half hour seminar. It was a great introduction to trading and the foreign exchange market, the information that Mark provided was compelling and invaluable which is why I have signed up for Trading 101. Over $4 trillion is traded on the Forex market daily but I feel it’s important for me to fully understand many aspects of the market before I begin my journey as a trader. If you’re also looking to try your hand at trading, get in touch with Plan B Trading here. This blog was written by Olivia...

Read More