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Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/CAD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

GBP/CAD Exogenous Analysis

The UK and Canada Current Account Differential

The current account differential between the UK and Canada can determine if the GBP/CAD pair is bullish or bearish. If the differential is positive, it means that the UK has a higher current account balance than Canada. This would imply that the GBP is in higher demand in the forex market than the CAD; hence, it is a bullish trend for the pair. Conversely, if the current account differential is negative, it means that the UK has a lesser current balance than Canada. It would imply that the GBP has a lower demand than the CAD in the forex market; hence, a bearish trend for the pair.

In Q3 of 2020, the UK had a current account deficit of $20.97 billion while Canada had a $5.83 billion deficit. Thus, the current account differential is -$15.14 billion. We assign a score of -2.

The interest rate differential between the UK and Canada

The interest rate differential is the difference between the Bank of England’s interest rate and that by the Bank of Canada. In the forex market, carry traders use the interest rate differential to decide whether to buy or short a currency pair. When the interest rate differential is positive, traders will earn the differential by going long. If the differential is negative, traders can earn the differential by shorting the currency pair.

Therefore, if the GBP/CAD pair’s interest rate differential is positive, the pair is bound to adopt a bullish trend. Conversely, if negative, the pair is bound to be bearish.

In 2020, the interest rate in the UK dropped from 0.75% to 0.1%. In Canada, the BOC cut interest rates from 1.75% to 0.25%. Therefore, the interest rate differential is -0.15%. The interest rate differential between the UK and Canada has a score of -1.

The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Canada

This differential measures the changes in the growth rate between the two economies. It is a preferred method of comparison since economies are of different sizes. Naturally, the economy with a higher GDP growth rate will have its currency appreciate more. Therefore, if the GDP growth rate differential is positive, it means that the GBP/CAD pair is bullish. If negative, then the pair is bearish.

During the first three quarters of 2020, the UK economy has contracted by 5.8%, while the Canadian economy has contracted by 3.3%. This makes the GDP growth rate differential -2.5%. Hence, a score of -1.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and Canada Current Account Differential -2 10 A differential of – $15.14 The UK has a higher deficit than Canada
The interest rate differential between the UK and Canada -1 10 -0.15% Expected to remain at -0.15% until either economy have recovered
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Canada -1 10 3.30% The Canadian economy contracted at a slower pace than the UK economy
TOTAL SCORE -4

The cumulative score for the exogenous factors is -4. This means that we can expect the GBP/CAD pair to trade in a downtrend in the short term.

However, technical analysis shows the pair adopting a bullish trend with the weekly chart trading above the 200-period MA. More so, the pair is seen bouncing off the lower Bollinger band. Keep an eye on the near-term changes in the exogenous factors.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/NZD Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

GBP/NZD Exogenous Analysis

  1. The UK and New Zealand Current Account Differential

The current account differential between the UK and NZ is the value of the subtraction of the NZ current account balance and the UK’s current account. For the GBP/NZD pair, if the current account differential is positive, it means that the UK has a higher current account balance than NZ. Thus, the price of the GBP/NZD pair will increase. Conversely, if the differential is negative, NZ has a higher current account balance than the UK. Theoretically, this means that traders would be bullish on the NZD; hence, the GBP/NZD pair price would drop.

In Q3 2020, NZ had a current account deficit of $2.48 billion while the UK a deficit of $20.97 billion. This means that the current account differential is -$18.49 billion. Thus, we assign a score of -5.

  1. The interest rate differential between the UK and New Zealand

The interest rate differential for the GBP/NZD pair is the difference between the UK and NZ’s interest rate. Carry traders and investors would direct their money to the currency, which offers higher interest rates. Therefore, if the interest rate differential for the GBP/NZD pair is positive, it means that the UK offers a higher interest rate than NZ. Hence, traders will be bullish on the GBP/NZD pair. Conversely, if the interest rate differential is negative, it means that NZ has a higher interest rate than the UK. This means that traders would be bearish on the GBP/NZD pair.

In 2020, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut its official cash rate from 1% to 0.1%, while the BOE cut the interest rate from 0.75% to 0.1%. In this case, the interest rate differential is 0%. Thus, we assign a score of 0.

  1. The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and New Zealand

This differential shows which economy is expanding faster between the NZ economy and the UK economy. Comparing domestic economies using their GDP growth rates is more effective than using absolute GDP figures since they vary in size.

If the GDP growth rate differential is negative, the NZ economy is growing faster than the UK economy. This would result in a bearish trend for the GBP/NZD pair. Conversely, the pair will have a bullish trend if the differential is positive since it would mean that the UK economy is expanding more than the NZ economy.

The first three quarters of 2020 saw the NZ economy expand by 0.4% and the UK contract by 5.8%. In this case, the GDP growth rate differential is -6.2%. Hence, the score of -4.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and New Zealand Current Account Differential -5 10 A differential of – $18.49 NZ has a lower current account deficit than the UK.
The interest rate differential between the UK and New Zealand 0 10 0.00% The 0% interest rate differential is expected to persist in the short-term. That’s because neither the RBNZ and the BOE have scheduled changes in the monetary policy
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and New Zealand -4 10 -6.20% New Zealand’s economy expanded by 0.4% in the first three quarters of 2020, while the UK contracted by 5.8%
TOTAL SCORE -9

GBP/NZD exogenous factors have a cumulative score of -9. It means we should expect a continued downtrend in the pair for the short term.

In the above image, we can see that this pair’s weekly chart trading below the 200-period MA for the first time since August 2019. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

GBP/JPY Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

GBP/JPY Exogenous Analysis

  • The United Kingdom and Japan Current Account Differential

The current account data is the most comprehensive measure of a country’s participation in international trade. It is the sum of net exports, net factor income, and net transfer payments. Remember that in the forex market, the value of a country’s fluctuates depending on its demand. Therefore, when a country has a current surplus account, it means that the demand for its currency is higher, and vice versa.

In this case, the current account differential is the difference between the UK and Japan’s current account balance. If the current account differential is positive, it means that the GBP will appreciate more than JPY hence a bullish GBP/JPY. Conversely, if the current account differential is negative, JPY will appreciate faster than the GBP hence a bearish trend for GBP/JPY.

In Q3 2020, Japan had a current account surplus of $15.4 billion while the UK had a $20.97 billion deficit. Thus, the current account differential between GBP and JPY is – $36.37 billion. Thus, the UK and Japan current account differential have a score of -3.

In the forex market, the interest rate is one of the most closely monitored economic indicators. Suffice to say, traders and investors monitor every other domestic economic indicator to predict the interest rate policy changes. The interest rate differential for the GBP/JPY pair is the difference between the UK’s interest rate and that in Japan.

If the differential is positive, traders and investors can receive better returns by selling the JPY and buying the GBP, hence, bullish GBP/JPY. Conversely, if the interest rate differential is negative, currency traders would prefer to sell the GBP and buy JPY hence, the bearish GBP/JPY pair.

In 2020, the BOE cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.1%, while the BOJ has maintained an interest rate of -0.1%. Therefore, the GBP/JPY interest rate differential is 0.2%. It has a score of 4.

  • The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Japan

The GDP growth rate differential measures the difference between the UK and Japan’s average annual growth rate. This is an effective way of comparing two economies since all economies vary in size and composition.

When the GDP growth rate differential is positive, it means that the UK economy has expanded more than Japan. Hence, the GBP/JPY will be bullish. Conversely, if the differential is negative, Japan’s economy has expanded faster than the UK’s. Hence, the GBP/JPY pair will be bearish.

In the first three quarters of 2020, the UK economy has contracted by 5.8% while Japan contracted by 3.5%. The GDP growth rate differential is -2.3%. Thus, we assign a score of -3.

Conclusion

Indicator Score Total State Comment
The UK and Japan Current Account Differential -3 10 A differential of – $36.37 The UK has a current account deficit of $20.97 billion, while Japan has a surplus of $15.4 billion. This is expected to continue to widen as both economies recover from the pandemic
The interest rate differential between the UK and Japan 4 10 0.20% Both the BOJ and the BOE have no plans to change their monetary policies in the foreseeable future. This means the differential will remain at 0.2% in the short-term
The differential in GDP growth rate between the UK and Japan -3 10 -2.30% The UK economy contracted more than the Japanese economy. As economic recovery progresses, this differential could change
TOTAL SCORE -2

The cumulative score for the exogenous factors is -2. That means that the GBP/JPY pair is set on a bearish trend in the short-term.

Technical analysis of the pair shows the weekly chart attempting to break below the middle Bollinger band.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

EUR/GBP Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

EUR/GBP Exogenous Analysis

  • The EU and the UK Current Account to GDP differential

This indicator is used to measure how competitive an economy is in the international market. When a country has a higher trade surplus, the current account to GDP ratio is higher. Conversely, if a country has a lower trade surplus or deficit, the ratio is smaller.

Typically, economies with a higher surplus in terms of the balance of trade tend to have more exports than imports. That means that their value on exports is higher than imports, implying that the domestic currency is in high demand in the forex market. Similarly, a running deficit means lower demand for the domestic currency in the forex market since it is a net importer.

In 2020, the EU current account to GDP is expected to hit 3.4% while that of the UK -4%. The differential is 7%. Based on the correlation with the exchange rate of the EUR/GBP pair, we assign a score of 6. That means we expect a bullish trend for the pair.

This helps determine where the most investor capital will flow. Expectedly, investors will direct their capital to the country with a higher interest rate to earn superior returns. In the forex market, traders tend to be bullish when a currency pair has a positive interest rate differential and bearish if it has a negative interest rate differential.

In the EU, the ECB has maintained interest rates at 0%, while the BOE cut interest rates from 0.75% to 0.1%. Therefore, the interest rate differential for the EUR/GBP pair is -0.1%. Based on the correlation with the EUR/GBP exchange rate, we assign a score of -2.

  • The EU and the UK GDP Growth Rate differential

The differential in GDP growth helps to efficiently compare economic growth by eliminating the aspect of the size of different economies.

For the first three quarters of 2020, the EU economy has contracted by 2.9% while the UK has contracted by 6.8%. That makes the GDP growth rate differential between the two economies 3.9%. It means that the EU economy contracted at a slower pace than the UK. Based on the correlation with the EUR/GBP price, we assign a score of 5.

Conclusion

The exogenous analysis of the EUR/GBP pair has a score of 9. This inflationary score means that we can expect a bullish trend for the pair in the short-term.

Our technical analysis shows the pair trading above the 200-period MA. More so, notice that the EUR/GBP pair bounces off the lower Bollinger band crossing above the middle band, supporting our fundamental analysis. Happy  Trading.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

USD/CHF Global Macro Analysis – Part 1 & 2

Introduction

When conducting the global macroeconomic analysis, endogenous and exogenous factors are considered. These analyses can be used to explain the price dynamic of a currency pair. In this case, we will analyze the endogenous factors that drive the economy in the US and Switzerland. We will also analyze the exogenous factors that primarily drives the price of the USD/CHF pair.

Ranking Scale

A sliding scale from -10 to +10 will be sued to ranks the impact of the individual endogenous and exogenous factors on the currency. A negative ranking for the endogenous factors means that they had a depreciating impact on the individual currencies, while a positive ranking means they resulted in currency appreciating.

Similarly, a negative ranking for the exogenous factors implies that they’ve had a bearish impact on the currency pair, while a positive ranking means they’ve had a bullish impact.

Summary of USD Endogenous Analysis

From the above table, we can see a clear deflationary effect on the USD currency and implies that it has depreciated in its value since the beginning of the year. You can find the complete USD Endogenous Analysis here.

Summary of CHF Endogenous Analysis

Overall, the endogenous analysis of CHF has a score of -5. That implies that the CHF is expected to have depreciated marginally in 2020.

  • Switzerland Inflation Rate

The rate of inflation is used to measure the changes in the price of consumer goods in Switzerland over a specified period – usually monthly or yearly. Here are the components of the CPI in Switzerland: Housing and energy, which accounts for 25% of the total CPI weight; 16% for healthcare; Transport accounts for 11%; Food and non-alcoholic drinks 11%; hotel and restaurant services 8%; 4% for Household goods and services; and clothing 3%. Education, communication services, and alcoholic beverages cumulatively account for 7% of the total CPI weight.

In November 2020, the YoY CPI in Switzerland dropped by 0.7%, while the MoM CPI dropped by 0.2%. The fall in prices of the hotel and holiday packages contributed to the drop in the inflation rate. The Switzerland CPI is at the lowest point since January 2018.

Based on our correlation analysis, we assign the Switzerland rate of inflation a score of -3.

  • Switzerland Unemployment Rate

This economic indicator shows the percentage of the total Swiss labor force that is actively seeking a job. Note that not all unemployed portion of the working-age population are seeking employment; so, they are not captured by the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate can also be used to show the rate at which the economy is adding or cutting job opportunities. This can be used to show economic growth.

In October 2020, the Swiss unemployment rate was 3.2%, down from highs of 3.4% in May, while the employment rate in Q3 2020 was 79.7%. Although it is higher than the 79.1% registered in Q2, it is still significantly lower than the pre-pandemic rate of 80.4%.

The Swiss unemployment rate has a high correlation with the GDP, but since it only increased marginally, we assign it a score of -2.

  • Switzerland Manufacturing PMI

The Swiss procure.ch Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index surveys the executives in the manufacturing sector. The index is a measure of the Swiss manufacturing sector’s performance and serves as a leading indicator for business expectations.

The Manufacturing PMI is an aggregate of five components: new orders, which a weight of  30%, output 25%, employment 20%, supplies 15%, and inventory 10%. The manufacturing sector is expected to expand when the index is above 50 and contract when the index is below 50.

In November 2020, the Swiss procure.ch Manufacturing PMI increased to 55.2, the highest since December 2018. Based on the correlation analysis with the GDP, we assign a score of 7 since it shows a robust expansion.

The Swiss services industry employs over 60% of the working population and accounts for 73% of Switzerland’s GDP. This makes the services PMI a crucial indicator of the overall economy. The Services PMI is obtained through a comprehensive survey of 300 purchasing managers in the services sector to evaluate the changes in business activities.

The survey covers areas such as customer new orders, purchasing, and sales prices, and changes in the employment level.

In November 2020, the Swiss services PMI dropped to 48 from 50.4 in October, primarily attributed to new orders’ contraction. Although it is almost double the 21.4 recorded in April, it is still lower than the 57.3 recorded in January 2020. We, therefore, assign it a score of -4.

  • Switzerland Consumer Confidence

In Switzerland, consumer confidence is used to evaluate households’ opinion on the overall economy and their financial position. Typically, consumer confidence is higher when there is high GDP growth, and the unemployment rate is low.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the Swiss consumer confidence was -12.8, better than Q2 -39.3. Consumer confidence is used to show the likelihood of how much households will spend in the economy. Hence we assign it a score of -2.

  • Switzerland Government Gross Debt to GDP

The Swiss government debt is the totality of the government’s amount owed to both domestic and foreign lenders. This debt is expressed as a percentage of the GDP o help determine the indebtedness of the economy. Lenders also use this metric to determine if there is a possibility of default by the government. Typically, government debt that is less than 60% of the economy is considered ideal.

In 2019, Switzerland’s government gross debt to GDP was 41%, and it’s projected to hit 49% in 2020 due to increased government expenditure to curb the economic slowdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Swiss government’s gross debt to GDP has been steadily declining since 2004, averaging at around 37%. Based on our correlation analysis and the fact that it has marginally increased in 2020, we assign a score of -1.

Now we know that both USD and CHF have depreciated according to their respective endogenous indicators. Please check our next article to know if this pair is expected to be bullish or bearish in the near future according to their exogenous indicators. Cheers.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

USD/JPY Global Macro Analysis – Part 3

USD/JPY Exogenous Analysis

In the exogenous analysis, we will analyze economic indicators that exhaustively compare the performance of the US and the Japanese economies. These factors impact the dynamic of the USD/JPY pair in the forex market. They include:

  • US and Japan interest rate differential
  • The difference in the GDP growth in the US and Japan
  • Balance of trade

US and Japan interest rate differential

The interest rate differential is the difference between the interest rate in the US and that of Japan. Investors would prefer to invest their funds in a country that offers higher returns. Furthermore, carry traders are often bullish on the currency with a higher interest, which ensures that they earn higher yields.

The Bank of Japan has kept the interest rates at -0.1% since 2016. The current federal funds rate in the US is 0.25%. Thus, the interest rate differential for the USD/JPY is 0.35%. Since there are no foreseeable changes in the interest rates in either country, we assign it an inflationary score of 2.

Balance of trade

Balance of trade determines whether a country has a trade surplus or deficit in international trade. A trade surplus results from a country’s exports being of higher value than that of its imports. A deficit occurs when the imports are of higher value than exports. Japan mostly exports machinery and electronics, which puts it at a significant advantage due to the value of these goods. On the other hand, the US is a net importer.

In October 2020, japan has a trade surplus of ¥872.9 billion, which has been steadily increasing since June. The US has a trade deficit of $63.9 billion, which has been growing throughout the year.

The balance of trade differential between the US and Japan has been widening in favor of Japan. Based on our correlation analysis with the USD/JPY, we assign it a score of -6. It means that if this trend persists, we expect the USD/JPY to be bullish in the near term.

The difference in the GDP growth in the US and Japan

Although the US has a higher GDP than Japan, we can compare the two economies based on their growth rates.

The US economy had a GDP growth rate of 33.1% in Q3 2020, while Japan’s economy expanded by only 5%. The US economy is seen to be expanding at a faster pace than that of Japan. Based on the correlation with the price of the USD/JPY pair, we assign an inflationary score of 2. This means that we should expect a bullish trend on the USD/JPY pair if the US economy keeps expanding faster than that of Japan.

Conclusion

The total score from the exogenous analysis of the USD/JPY pair is -2. This implies that in the near term, we should expect a bearish trend in the pair.

Technical analysis of the USD/JPY pair shows that the weekly chart is still trading way below the 200-period MA. Furthermore, the pair has failed to successfully breach the middle Bollinger band, which has served as its resistance level. All the best!

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

US 10-Year TIPS Auction – Everything About This Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

For any long-term investment, taking the future rate of inflation into account is paramount. The reason for this is because inflation eats into the expected returns. Thus, if you could find a way to insulate your investments from this, you most definitely will. The goal of any inflation-protected investment is to ensure that you are cushioned from the reduction in the purchasing power.

Understanding the US 10-Year TIPS Auction

TIPS refers to Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. As the name suggests, these are US government-issued securities meant to provide investors with protection against the effects of inflation.

US 10-Year TIPS are Inflation-Protected treasury bonds issued by the US Department of the Treasury. The principal on these bonds is meant to finance spending activities by the US government and is redeemable after ten years.

TIPS auction refers to the sale of the inflation-protected treasury bonds by the US Department of Treasury. Originally, the 10-Year US TIPS are auctioned twice a year – in January and July. The reopening auctions are done in March, May, September, and November. Thus, these auctions are scheduled every two months.

Discount rate: The percentage difference between the price at which the TIPS is bought at auction and the one at which it can be redeemed.

Maturity: For the US Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, the maturity period refers to the maximum time an investor can hold the bonds before redemption. These bonds are usually issued with a maturity period of 5, 10, and 30 years from the auction date. Usually, the minimum duration of ownership is 45 days. Therefore, one can choose to sell their TIPS before maturity or hold them until maturity.

How to Buy TIPS

TIPS can only be bought in electronic form. The minimum amount of TIPS one can purchase is $100 and increments of $100 after that. The maximum amount that a bidder can purchase in a single auction is $5 million. During the auction, the interest rate on the TIPS is determined by the competitive buyers.

The competitive bidders usually specify the yield that they are willing to accept. The competitive bidders for TIPS are large buyers such as brokerage firms, investment firms, and banks. The competitive bidders set the yield for the TIPS, which requires one to have an in-depth knowledge of the money markets. Competitive bidders are required to submit the number of TIPS they intend to buy and the return on investment they seek. This return is the discount rate.

Not all competitive bids are accepted at the auction. When the competitive bid is equal to the high yield, less than the full amount wanted by an investor might be accepted. The bid might be entirely rejected if it is higher than the yield accepted during the auction. The non-competitive bidders are regarded as “takers” of the yield set by the winning competitive bidders.

Once the bidding process is over, the treasury distributes the issuance. Let’s say, for example, that in an auction, the US Department of Treasury is auctioning $20 billion worth of TIPS. If the non-competitive bids are worth $5 billion, they are all accepted. The remaining $15 billion is then distributed among the competitive bidders. The lower competitive bids are filled first until the $15 billion is exhausted.

Using the US 10-Year TIPS Auction for Analysis

Since the TIPS’s primary goal is to safeguard against the effects of inflation, the interest rate paid on them can be used as an indicator of possible inflation rates in the future.

Before we explain how the US 10-year TIPS auctions can be used for analysis, here are two things you need to keep in mind.

  • TIPS’s interest rate is paid semi-annually at a fixed rate, which is usually based on the adjusted principal.
  • Whenever inflation rises, the interest rate rises, and when there is deflation, the interest rate drops.

Once TIPS have been auctioned and traded in the secondary market, when inflation in the economy rises, the principal on TIPS increases as well. Thus, the interest rate payable on these TIPS increases as well. During the TIPS’ subsequent issues, the interest rate payable will reflect the prevailing rate of inflation. Furthermore, the discount rate set at the auctions can be used to gauge the level of confidence that investors have in the US economy. The lower discount rate shows that the current investment atmosphere in the economy is risky; hence, investors are willing to take lower returns than risk losing their principal in other markets.

On the other hand, when investors can get better returns in other markets within the economy, they would demand a higher discount rate. Furthermore, when there is deflation in the economy, the principal on the TIPS falls along with the interest rates payable.

Impact on Currency

Theoretically, the auction of the US 10-year TIPS can impact the currency in two ways. By showing the confidence level in the economy and by showing the prevailing rates of inflation.

When the interest rate payable on the TIPS increases, it shows that the levels are increasing. This increase shows that the economy is growing, which is good for the currency. Furthermore, the higher discount rate at auctions implies that investors can get better rates elsewhere in the economy.

Conversely, the currency will depreciate relative to others when TIPS’s interest rate decreases, which implies that there is deflation in the economy. This instance can also play out if discount rates at the auction are at historical lows. It shows that the economy is performing poorly and that investors may not get better returns elsewhere.

Sources of Data

US Department of Treasury is responsible for the auction of the US 10-year TIPS. The data of the latest TIPS auction can be accessed from Treasury Direct. Treasury Direct also publishes data on the upcoming TIPS auction, which can be accessed here.

St. Louis FRED publishes an in-depth series of the US 10-year TIPS.

Source: St. Louis FRED

How US 10-Year TIPS Auction Affects the Forex Price Charts

The most recent auction of the US 10-year TIPS was on September 17, 2020, at 1.00 PM EST. The data on the auction can be accessed at Investing.com. The US 10-Year TIPS auction is expected to have a low impact on the USD, as shown by the screengrab below.

During the recent auction, the rate for the 10-year TIPS was -0.996% compared to -0.930% on the July auction.

Let’s see what impact this release had on the USD.

EUR/USD: Before US 10-Year TIPS Auction on September 17, 2020, 
Just Before 1.00 PM EST  

Before the auction, the EUR/USD pair went from trading in a steady uptrend to a subdued uptrend. The 20-period MA can be seen going from a steep rise to almost flattening as the candles formed just above it.

EUR/USD: After US 10-Year TIPS Auction on September 17, 2020, at 1.00 PM EST

Immediately after the release of the auction data, the pair formed a 5-minute “Doji” candle. Subsequently, the EUR/USD pair continued to trade in the subdued uptrend with candles forming just above an almost flattened 20-period MA.

Bottom Line

From these analyses, we can establish that the US 10-year tips auction has no significant impact on the forex price charts. The reason for this could be because most forex traders do not keep an eye on bond auctions but instead focus on more mainstream indicators like the CPI and GDP.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact Of The ‘US Redbook’ News Release On The Forex Market

Introduction

The growth in any economy is primarily driven by the growth of retail sales to households. For this reason, monitoring retail sales data can be the most suitable way of gauging if the economy is expanding or not. In most national retail sales data, the data is collected through surveys. However, having an index solely based on the growth of same-store sales can help provide a more accurate sense of growth in the retail industry.

Understanding US Redbook

Redbook Research Inc. is an American company primarily dealing with market research on the momentum of retail sales, macro and quantitative analysis, and consumer demand factors in public and private retail sectors. The company publishes the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index, also known as the US Redbook, which is considered one of the most respected proprietary indicators on retail sales in the US.

The Redbook index measures the growth in the US retail sector. The index uses a sales-weighted of the year-over-year growth in sales of the same store. About 9000 large general merchandise stores primarily operating in the US retail sector are sampled. When these sampled stores’ monetary value is measured, their combined output accounts for about 80% of the national retail sales. Note that in the US, the official government retail sales data is compiled and released by the Department of Commerce.

The Redbook index is published weekly. In this publication, the report extensively analyses and explains the current trends in retail sales and the economy. Since households’ demand is highly elastic, the weekly US Redbook publication can capture the most recent trends in consumer demand. Thus, the Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index provides advance data on the trends in retail sales in the US.

In this report, the comprehensive analysis covers the sales in the current month, the quarterly sales, year-on-year and annual sales, company rankings, and data on historical sales. The 9000 retailers are categorized into; Apparel Specialty, Sporting Goods, Home Improvement, Home Furnishings, Books, Toy & Hobby, Department, Discount, Footwear, Furniture, Drug, Electronic, Jewellery, and Miscellaneous.

Using US Redbook in Analysis

We have already established that the US Redbook’s retail index provides a comprehensive and advance trend in household consumption patterns.

When the weekly US Redbook retail index increases, it means that households’ consumption is on the rise. At its core, higher levels of consumption are driven by increased disposable income in the economy. An increase in household consumption means that there is a general increase in demand in the economy. When households’ demand increases, it could mean that the economy’s unemployment levels have reduced. Since more people are gainfully employed, there is increased disposable income for households, hence the increase in consumption represented by the rise in the Redbook index. Similarly, it could also mean that wages received by households are increasing, which increases disposable income.

Conversely, when the weekly Redbook retail index drops, it means that households have reduced disposable income. The reduction in disposable income could directly result from increasing levels of unemployment or a reduction in wages received by households. With less disposable income, people will be forced to cut back on their consumption. In both these cases, the US Redbook retail index increase implies that the economy is expanding; conversely, a drop in the index shows that the economy is contracting.

Source: Trading Economics

The US Redbook retail index can also be used as a precursor to economic recessions and recoveries. We already know that the majority of growth in the economy is driven by consumer demand. It is estimated that household consumption accounts for up to 70% of economic growth. Now, picture this. When the consumer demand is consistently dropping, suffice to say the GDP should also be expected to drop significantly. This period will be marked by a reduction in production and increased unemployment levels. Note that recession is described as a consistent drop in GDP for two successive quarters.

Source: St. Louis FRED

At the onset of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the weekly US Redbook retail index continuously dropped. From the period between March to May, the index dropped steadily. This period coincided with a drop in the US GDP. Due to the nationwide imposed lockdowns and social distancing rules, unemployment surged to historic highs of 14.7%. Naturally, demand in the economy was depressed.

In times of recessions, the US Redbook retail index can be handy in changes in household consumption. Policymakers can implement several expansionary policies meant to stimulate the economy. Since the official government retail sales data is published monthly, the US Redbook can be used to show any immediate response by households. The US Redbook index can therefore be used to show if the expansionary policies are working as they are expected to. One such instance can be seen after the US government implemented the 2020 stimulus package worth $2 trillion. The US Redbook retail index can be seen to be rising from the lowest points of May 2020.

Impact of US Redbook on USD

When the US Redbook retail index increases, we can expect the USD to appreciate relative to other currencies in the Forex market. A consistently rising index implies that the economy is steadily expanding, the unemployment rate is falling, and there is a general increase in money in the economy. In such a situation, governments and central banks might step in with contractionary fiscal and monetary policies. These policies are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and avoid unsustainable inflation levels due to the increase in the money supply. Such policies make domestic currency appreciate.

Conversely, a dropping US Redbook retail index shows that the general economy might be contracting. Consequently, expansionary fiscal and monetary policies like lowering interest rates might be implemented to stimulate the economy. Such policies make the domestic depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

Redbook Research Inc. published the weekly, monthly, and annual US Redbook Retail Sales Index. In-depth and historical data on the US Redbook Index is available at Trading Economics.

How US Redbook Index Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

Redbook Research Inc. published Retail Sales Index the latest data on October 20, 2020, at 8.55 AM EST. The news release can be accessed at Investing.com. This release is expected to have a low impact on the USD.

The MoM index increased by 1.0% in the latest publication compared to 0.4% in the previous reading. Similarly, the YoY index showed an increase of 2.5% compared to the previous 1.2%.

Let’s find out if this release has an impact on the USD.

EUR/USD: Before US Redbook Release on October 20, 2020, just before 8.55 AM EST

Before the release of the US Redbook data, the EUR/USD pair was trading in an almost neutral trend. The 20-period MA is seen to be flattening with candles forming just around it.

EUR/USD: After US Redbook Release on October 20, 2020, at 8.55 AM EST

The EUR/USD pair formed a 5-minute bearish candle immediately after the publication of the US Redbook report. Subsequently, the pair continued trading in the earlier observed subdued uptrend.

Bottom Line

This article has established that the US Redbook report is a crucial leading indicator of retail sales and consumer demand. However, in the forex market, its significance is diminished since most traders pay close attention to the US Department of Commerce’s monthly retail sales data.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Is Long Government Bond Auction and What Should You Know About It?

Introduction

Every government must finance its expenditures with a mixture of debt and revenue. Through debts, governments issue a mixture of short-term and long-term debt instruments to the public. When these debt instruments are being issued, they have an interest rate, one which government will pay the debt holders until maturity. For economists and financial market analysts, the interest rate paid can be used to analyze the government’s creditworthiness and the expected rate of inflation.

Understanding Long Term Bond Auction

A bond in finance is a fixed-income asset issued by an entity to borrow money from investors. Investors get to receive a fixed interest depending on the quantity they purchase. This fixed interest, called a coupon,  is usually paid at predetermined intervals until the bond reaches maturity.

Maturity is the duration in which an investor must hold the bond before they can redeem and get their principal back. It is the bond’s maturity that determines whether it is categorized as a short-term or long-term bond.

Long-term bonds are bonds that have maturities of more than one year.

On the other hand, long bonds are bonds with the longest possible maturity that the issuer can issue. For most governments, long bonds usually have a maturity of up to 30 years.

Long bond auction refers to when bond issuers offer the sale of long bonds to the public. It is at these actions where the rate is fixed. This rate is what bondholders will receive for holding the long bonds until maturity.

Bond yield is the return an investor can expect to receive from buying a bond. The bond yield usually comes into consideration when the bond starts trading in the secondary market. We will later see how this yield can be used for analysis.

Here is a list of long government bonds for the developed economies.

  • Austria 10-year bonds
  • The US 30-year bonds
  • Dutch 10-year bonds
  • Portugal 10-year bonds
  • Spain 50-year Obligation
  • France 30-year OAT
  • UK 30-year Treasury Gilts
  • Germany 30-year Bunds
  • Italy 30-year BTPs

The rate attached to these long bonds during auctions can tell us a lot about investor sentiment of these economies.

Using Government Long Bond Auction in Analysis

The rate ascribed to the bond at auction is what bondholders will expect to receive at predetermined intervals until maturity. Comparing this rate with the rates on past auctions, we can form an opinion about the debt situation of the country and the expected rate of inflation by the investors.

For investors, buying a bond is the equivalent of owning an asset that has a predetermined future cash flow. Since it is virtually unheard of for governments to default on interest rate payments or the repayment of principal upon maturity, long government bonds can be said to be risk-free. With this in mind, the only potential risk that bondholder faces is inflation. In fact, inflation has been called the “bond’s worst enemy.”

You see, a rise in inflation means that some percentage will erode the future purchasing power of money. This erosion of the value of future cash flows means that investors must demand a higher interest rate at long bond auctions. At the back of their minds, investors envision that the rate they demand at bond auctions must also include the expected inflation rate. Effectively, higher rates on bonds help mitigate the erosion in purchasing power of their future cash flows.

Source: St. Louis FRED

At the auction, the bond buyers would feel the need to bid for higher rates if they believe that the rate of inflation will remain relatively stable. In this scenario, they can be assured that the purchasing power of their expected cash flows won’t be eroded. So, what does long bind auction tell us about inflation? The rate at an auction will increase compared to the previous auction if investors believe that future inflation will rise. Conversely, the rate at the auction will decrease when investors hold the conviction that future inflation will remain relatively stable.

The other way government long bond auction can be used for analysis is by using the bond yield. For most economists and financial analysts, the yield is the most closely monitored aspect of a bond. The reason for this is because bond yield offers broad information about a country’s debt situation. Here’s the formula for calculation the bond yield.

Let’s use some simple calculations to illustrate how this works.

Say when the bond is being issued, it has a price of $1000 with an annual coupon payment of $50. Remember that the coupon payments are fixed and cannot change; investors can expect to receive this $50 until maturity.

In this case, the bond yield is 50/1000 * 100 = 5%

Now, imagine that the economic situation of a country is worsening, and it becomes increasingly indebted. In this case, the price of the bond will decrease, let’s say to $900, which means that the yield on the bond increases to 5.56%. Conversely, if the country’s economic performance improves, the bond prices will increase, meaning that the yield will fall. In our example, if the price increased to $1050, the yield will decrease to 4.76%.

Impact of Government Long Bond Auction on Currency

Using the yield on the long government bonds published during an auction, we can determine the economic performance. Therefore, when the yield increases, it means that economic performance in the country is worsening. To forex traders, this can be taken as a deep-seated economic contraction, which will make the domestic currency depreciate relative to others. On the other hand, if the yield falls during an auction, it could be considered a sign of economic prosperity. In this case, the domestic currency will appreciate.

Sources of Data

Globally, the central banks are responsible for auctioning long government bonds. Trading Economics has an exhaustive list of global government bonds and their yields. The United States Department of the Treasury, through TreasuryDirect, publishes the data on the US bond auctions.

How Government Long Bond Auction Affects The Forex Price Charts

The recent auction of the US 30-Year Bond was on October 8, 2020, at 1.00 PM EST and accessed at Investing.com. Low volatility is expected upon the release of the auction date.

In the October 8, 2020, auction, the yield on the US 30-year bond auction was 1.578% higher than the 1.473% of the previous auction.

Let’s see if this auction impacted the USD.

EUR/USD: Before Government Long Bond Auction on October 8, 2020, 
just before 1.00 PM EST

The EUR/USD pair was trading in a steady uptrend before releasing the US 30-Year Bond Auction yield. The 20-period MA can be seen rising with candles forming above it.

EUR/USD: After Government Long Bond Auction on October 8, 2020, at 1.00 PM EST

The pair formed a 5-minute bearish “hammer” candle immediately after the publication of the US 30-year bond yield. Subsequently, the pair traded in a subdued uptrend. The release of the data had no impact on the USD.

The auction of long government bonds serves a vital role in the economy. However, as we have observed in the above analyses, their impact on the forex market is not significant.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact Of ‘Machinery Orders’ Fundamental Indicator News Release On The Forex Market

Introduction

Industrial and manufacturing productions are one of the pillars of any economy. Whenever policies are implemented, governments tend to focus on ways to improve or increase production in the country. The main significance of manufacturing and industrial production is that they create employment opportunities in the local economy and ensure value addition to domestic products, making them competitive in the international markets. Furthermore, they contribute majorly towards technological advancements, which is why data on machinery orders is vital.

Understanding Machinery Orders

As an economic indicator, machinery orders measures the change in the total value of new orders placed with machine manufacturers, excluding ships and utilities.

The data on machinery orders are categorized into orders by; the private sector, the manufacturing sector, governments, overseas orders, and orders made through agencies. All these orders exclude volatile orders from power companies and those of ships.

Source: Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

The machinery orders by electric companies and that of ships are considered too volatile. This volatility is thanks to the fact that ships and the machinery used by electric companies are extremely expensive. Furthermore, these orders usually are placed once over long periods. Therefore, including these orders might unfairly distort the value of the machinery orders data.

To get a clear picture of what machinery, in this case, means, here are some of the components that are included in the machinery orders data. They are metal cutting machines, rolling machines, boilers, power units, electronic and communication equipment, motor vehicles, and aircraft.

Machinery orders from the government are categorized into; transport, communication, ministry of defence, and national and local government orders.

In the industrial sector, machinery orders are categorized by the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors. The nonmanufacturing orders include agriculture, forestry, fishing, construction, electric supply, real estate, finance and insurance, and transportation. Some of the categories of orders in the manufacturing sector include; food and beverages, textile, chemical and chemical production, electrical and telecommunication machinery, and shipbuilding.

Using Machinery Orders for Analysis

By now, you already understand that machinery orders data encompass every aspect of the economy. It ranges from domestic government orders, agriculture, manufacturing and production, services delivery, and even foreign orders. As a result, the monthly machinery orders data can offer a treasure of information not only about the domestic economy but also foreign economies as well.

Source: Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

When companies invest in new machinery, it is considered a capital investment. Capital expenditure is usually considered whenever there is an anticipation of increased demands and services provided by the company. In this case, companies must scale up their operations to increase supply to match the increased demand. In the general economy, an increase in aggregate demand can result from increased money supply in the economy. Thus, it can be taken as a sign that unemployment levels in the economy have reduced or that households are receiving higher wages. Both of these factors can be attributed to an expanding economy.

Note that machinery, in this case, means heavy-duty machinery. Typically, these types of machinery take long in the production and assembly lines. At times, orders have to be placed weeks or months in advance. Therefore, the machinery delivered now may have possibly taken months in the assembly line. When the machinery orders increase, we can deduce that these machinery producers and assembly plants have to employ more labor.

Consequently, an increase in machinery orders means that unemployment levels will reduce. In turn, households’ welfare will improve, and aggregate demand for consumer products will rise. In the end, discretionary consumer industries will also flourish. A decrease in the machinery orders will tend to have the opposite effect.

Suffice to say, the machinery in question here are not cheap. Most companies finance their capital expenditure using lines of credit. Therefore, an increase in machinery orders could imply the availability of cheap credit in the economy. Access to cheap financing by companies and households stimulates the economy by increasing consumption and investments. As a result, the increased aggregate demand leads to an increase in the GDP and expansion of the economy.

Machinery orders data can also be used as an indicator of the economic cycles and to predict upcoming recessions and economic recoveries. When firms anticipate that the economy will go through a rough patch and demand will fall, they cut back on production. Scaling down operations means that they won’t be ordering any more machinery to be used in the production. Conversely, when companies are optimistic that the economy will rebound from recession or a depression, they will order more machinery to scale up their production in anticipation of the increased demand. Furthermore, when the economy is going through an expansion, the aggregate demand tends to increase rapidly. This rapid increase forces companies to increase their machinery orders to enable them to keep up with the demand.

Impact on Currency

The machinery orders data is vital in showing the current and anticipated state of the economy. For the domestic currency, this information is crucial.

The currency will appreciate when the machinery orders increase. Machinery orders are seen as a leading indicator of industrial and manufacturing production. Therefore, when the orders increase, the economy can anticipate an increase in industrial production. And along with it, a decrease in the level of unemployment. Generally, the increase in machinery orders means that the economy is expanding.

Conversely, when machinery orders are on a continuous decline, it means that businesses expect a more challenging operating environment. They will scale down their operations in anticipation of a decline in the demand for their goods and services. In this scenario, higher levels of unemployment should be expected in the economy. Since the economy is contracting, the domestic currency can be expected to depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

In this analysis, we will focus on Japan since one of the world’s leading producers of heavy machinery. The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, releases the monthly machinery orders data in Japan. Trading Economics publishes in-depth and historical data of the Japanese machinery orders.

How Machinery Orders Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, published the latest machinery orders data on October 12, 2020, at 8.50 AM JST. The release can be accessed at Investing.com. The release of this data is expected to have a low impact on the JPY.

In August 2020, the monthly core machinery orders in Japan increased by 0.2% compared to the 6.3% increase in July 2020. During the same period, the YoY core machinery orders were -15.2% compared to -16.2% in the previous reading. Both the MoM and YoY data were better than analysts’ expectations.

Let’s see how this release impacted the AUD/JPY forex charts.

AUD/JPY: Before the Machinery Orders Data Release on October 12, 2020, 
just before 8.50 AM JST

Before the release of Japan’s machinery orders data, the AUD/JPY pair was trading in a steady downtrend. The 20-period MA was falling with candles forming below it. Fifteen minutes before the news release, the pair formed three bullish 5-minute candles showing that the JPY was weakening against the AUD.

AUD/JPY: After the Machinery Orders Data Release on October 12, 2020, 
at 8.50 AM JST

As expected, the pair AUD/JPY pair formed a long 5-minute bearish candle. Subsequently, the pair traded in a renewed downtrend as the 20-period MA steeply fell with candles forming further below it.

Bottom Line

Although the machinery orders data is a low-impact economic indicator, its release had a significant impact on the forex price action. This is because better than expected data shows that the Japanese economy might be bouncing back from the coronavirus-induced recession.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Importance Of ‘Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index’ Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

65%! That’s the average global economic output that households’ consumption contributes to economic output. Since inflation tends to go hand-in-hand with demand, most monetary policy decisions are centered around, ensuring a sustainable inflation rate in the economy.

You see, a manageable inflation growth can be the difference between a healthy economic growth, overheating heating economy, or a stagnating one. Therefore, understanding the factors that contribute to the overall inflation rate cannot just be the preserve for governments and central banks. This information can prove useful to forex traders as well.

Understanding PCE Price Index

To understand the PCE price index, we first need to understand PCE itself. Personal consumption expenditures measures how much households spend in an economy within a particular period. The consumption tracked by PCE includes consumption on durable goods, nondurable goods, and services.

Durable goods are consumer items that last for more than three years, such as cars and household appliances. On the other hand, nondurable goods include perishable consumer items like foodstuffs. The services, in this case, includes any services that might be sought by households ranging from professional services such as legal services to home-care services.

How PCE is Measured? 

As we have already established, most of the production within an economy is meant for household consumption. The government can be able to deduce the PCE using the GDP data. Firstly, the local manufacturers’ shipment data is used to estimate the amount designated for household consumption.

Next, deducing the consumption of services, the government uses data on revenue collected for utilities, professional services commissions, and receipts for services rendered. Net imports (i.e., imports fewer exports) are added, and the national inventory changes are subtracted. The resulting data represents the amount of consumption by households within the economy.

Purpose of the PCE Data

While PCE can be used to show the growth of aggregate demand and economic growth, it is also used to compute the PCE price index. The PCE price index is also known as PCE inflation. It measures the changes in the price of household goods and services over a specific period.

After obtaining the PCE data, it is converted into prices paid by the households. The conversion is achieved using the consumer price index. Note that the PCE price index incorporates the taxes paid, profit margins of the producers and suppliers, and the cost of delivery. Thus, the PCE price index is a broad measure.

Difference between PCE Price Index and the CPI

It is worth noting that both these indexes are used to measure the rate of inflation in an economy. However, the most notable difference between them is that the PCE data is derived from the GDP data and businesses’ surveys. CPI data, on the other hand, is arrived at from surveys conducted on the households. Based on their different sources, the PCE data covers a lot of the items that households on which household spend. Therefore, the PCE price index data tends to be smoothened since a significant change in the price of a single item won’t grossly distort the index.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Using PCE Data in Analysis

The PCE price index can be used as a broad measure of inflation within an economy. While CPI is a good measure of inflation, the PCE price index tracks the price changes in more goods consumed by households. More so, the price changes reflected in the PCE price index represents the cost of production, taxes, and the cost of delivering the goods and services to the consumers. Furthermore, using the core PCE price index eliminates the volatile prices of a few items, such as gasoline prices will distort the index reading compared to CPI.

Source: St. Louis FRED

As a measure of economic growth, the PCE data is unrivaled. Seeing that the PCE data itself is derived from the GDP figures, the changes in the immediate consumption by households can be used to track how the economy will grow in the short term. To properly gauge whether the increased expenditure on consumption is real or a result of inflation, the following factors are considered.

Firstly, is the quantity purchased by households increasing with little change in the prices? Are the households buying higher quantities at higher or lower prices? Are households spending more money to purchase lesser quantities? Since the PCE price index tracks broad changes in consumption, these factors will help determine whether the economy is growing or merely the prices of goods and services changing.

The changes in the PCE data can be used to show the conditions in the labor market. Household consumption represents the aggregate demand in the economy. Thus, when PCE increases, it shows that demand is increasing. The trickle-down effects of increased aggregate demand increase in the aggregate supply and expansion in production. The increased production implies that more labor will be needed hence lower unemployment levels and improved welfare. Conversely, decreasing PCE can be a leading indicator of worsening labor market conditions.

Impact on Currency

A straight line can be drawn from PCE to inflation to monetary policies. Demand is one of the primary factors behind inflation. In the forex market, the changes in PCE and PCE price index can be used to predict likely monetary policies. Note that most central banks use the PCE price index to set the target rate of inflation.

A continuous increase in PCE and rising PCE price index shows that inflation in the economy is increasing. Central banks are likely to implement contractionary monetary policies such as hiking interest rates to avoid an overheating economy. The contractionary policies make the currency appreciate relative to others.

Conversely, decreasing PCE levels accompanied by a lower PCE price index may be an indicator of a stagnating economy. Central banks are more likely to lower interest rates to stimulate the economy. Such expansionary policies make the currency depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

In the US, the Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes the Personal Income and Outlays report monthly. This report contains the PCE and PCE price index data. St. Louis FRED has an in-depth and historical analysis of the US’s PCE and PCE price index data.

How PCE Price Index Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

In the US, the most recent publication of the PCE price index data was on October 1, 2020, at 8.30 AM EST and accessed at Investing.com.

Below is a screengrab from Investing.com. We can see that moderate volatility is expected in the forex market when the PCE price index data is released.

In August 2020, the core PCE price index increased by 1.6% from 1.4% in July 2020. This increase is expected to have a positive impact on the USD.

EUR/USD: Before PCE Price Index Release on October 1, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM GMT

The EUR/USD pair was trading in a steady uptrend before the publication of the PCE price index data. The 20-period MA was steeply rising with candles forming above it.

EUR/USD: After PCE Price Index Release on October 1, 2020, at 8.30 AM GMT

After the release of the PCE price index data, the pair formed a 5-minute ‘Doji’ candle. As expected, the stronger USD made the pair adopt a bearish stance with the 20-period MA steeply falling and candles crossing over below it.

As observed, the PCE price index data release has a significant effect on the forex price action. Perhaps the relevance of the PCE data comes from the fact that the US Federal Reserve uses it to set the target inflation.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

US Crude Oil Inventories – Understanding This Fundamental Forex Driver

Introduction

Oil is one of the most universally used commodity. Its uses span every aspect of our lives, and we can’t escape from not using it. In the US, for example, the transportation sector consumes about 68% of the total oil in the economy while industries consume 26%. Therefore, by monitoring the inventories of crude oil, we can be able to deduce the changes in economic activities.

Understanding US Crude Oil Inventories

As an economic indicator, the US crude oil inventories measure the change in the stockpile of crude oil in major oil deports in the US. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) publishes the crude oil inventories report weekly. This report tracks the changes in the number of barrels of commercial crude oil that is held by US firms.

The report is called Weekly Petroleum Status Report and is published on Thursday of every week. Below is a list of items from the report.

  • The US petroleum balance sheet
  • US crude oil refinery inputs
  • The daily average of US crude oil imports
  • The daily average of US commercial crude oil inventories. These inventories exclude those held by the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
  • The daily average of the total oil products supplied over the last four-week period

Using US Crude Oil Inventories

The uses of crude oil affect our daily lives. Although there has been a conscious shift towards green energy, crude oil, and its products are very much still part of our lives. To properly understand the implications of crude oil inventories on the US economy, we need to go back to supply and demand basics. Say that a supplier stocks inventory with the knowledge that there is consistent demand.

This demand is based on historical averages, of course. Now, if the supplier starts to notice that their inventory is increasing over time, it could mean that demand for their product is decreasing. Similarly, if their inventory gets depleted faster than average, it could indicate that demand for their product has increased over time. It is the same case with the US crude oil inventories.

When the crude oil invitatories increase, it is an indicator that demand for crude oil has gone down. The two significant consumers of oil in the US are the transportation sector and in industries. Suffice to say, when there is a substantial increase in the US crude oil inventories, the demand from these two sectors can be expected to have significantly declined. Let’s think about what we can infer about the economy using this logic. In nonfarm employment, the US industries are the largest employers in the labor market.

Since crude oil is used to run industries, crude oil inventories can be used as a leading indicator of economic health. A decline in demand for crude oil could mean that the industrial sector is cutting back on production and manufacturing. Being one of the largest employers in the US, scaling down industrial operations translates to massive job losses. There will be an overall increase in unemployment in the economy. The resultant unemployment also has its ripple effects on the consumer economy. Due to the decrease in disposable income, households will only spend on essential goods and services. As a result, the consumer discretionary industry will take a hit.

This increase in the US crude oil inventories can be witnessed towards the end of the first quarter in 2020. At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing guidelines halted industrial activities and traveling. The demand for US crude oil took a hit, and inventories dramatically increased.

Source: Investing.com

Conversely, a continuous decrease in the US crude oil inventories could mean that crude oil demand is increasing. Any significant increase in the demand for crude oil can be taken as an increase in economic activities in the US’s transportation and industrial sectors. An increase in crude oil demand in the transportation sector could imply that more people are buying vehicles, which is an indicator of improved household welfare. In the industries, an increase in demand for crude oil means that industrial activities are expanding. This expansion translates to increased job opportunities and lower unemployment rates.

However, note that it is more plausible that a decrease in oil inventories can be a direct result of cutbacks in oil production by drilling companies. Back to the basics of the economy, the laws of supply and demand. It is inherent for any producer to strive to obtain the highest possible price in the market. According to the laws of supply and demand, oil producers might be attempting to stabilize the oil prices by cutting back on production. When prices are falling due to a decrease in demand, crude oil producers will try to cut back on drilling to stabilize the price. After all, it doesn’t make any economic sense to oversupply the market at lower prices while operation costs remain the same. This scenario was witnessed at the beginning of the second quarter of 2020. The graph below shows the decline in oil rigs that were operational in the US at the beginning of Q2 2020.

Source: Trading Economics

Due to depressed crude oil demand, crude oil prices were on a freefall, which led to cutbacks in production, hence a significant decline in inventories. Note that this decline in the US crude oil inventories does not coincide with economic expansion.

Impact of US Crude Oil Inventories on USD

We have observed that the increase in inventories can be associated with a decline in demand for crude oil. This decline in demand can imply that operations in major crude oil dependent sectors are scaling down. These are signs of economic contractions, which will make the USD depreciate in the forex market.

Conversely, when the inventories decrease, it could mean that the demand for crude oil has increased significantly. For economic sectors that are heavily dependent on crude oil, it means that they are expanding. Since this can be an indicator of economic growth, the USD can be expected to increase in value in the forex market.

Sources of Data

The US Energy Information Administration publishes the US crude oil inventories every week. Trading Economics has in-depth and historical time series data on the US crude oil inventories.

How US Crude Oil Inventories Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The latest publication of the US Crude Oil Inventories was on October 21, 2020, at 9.30 AM EST. This release is available at Forex Factory. When the US crude oil inventories are published, low impact is expected on the USD.

In the latest release, the US crude oil inventories decreased by 1 million barrels compared to 3.8 million barrels in the previous week. This change was more than analysts’ expectations of a 0.5 million barrels decline.

Let’s see how this release impacted the USD.

GBP/USD: Before US Crude Oil Inventories Release on October 21, 2020, 
just before 9.30 AM EST

The GBP/USD pair was trading in a steady uptrend before releasing the US crude oil inventories data. The 20-period MA is seen to be steadily rising with candles forming above it.

GBP/USD: After US Crude Oil Inventories Release on October 21, 2020, 
at 9.30 AM EST

The pair formed a 5-minute bullish candle indicating the weakness of the USD. It continued trading in the steady uptrend for a while before adopting a neutral trend.

The US crude oil inventories data is a low impact indicator in the forex market. As shown above, the release of the data had no impact on forex price action.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Mortgage Market Index’ Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

In the recent past, the real estate market has been a critical indicator of economic performance. As with any other aspect of the financial market that intertwines with consumer demand, the significance of the mortgage market cannot be overstated. Knowing if mortgage applications have increased or reduced can tell a lot about the demand in the housing market and households’ welfare. This index can be a leading indicator of demand in the economy.

Understanding the Mortgage Market Index

Primarily, the mortgage market index tracks the number of mortgage applications over a specific period. In the US, for example, the mortgage market index is compiled by the US Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The MBA mortgage market index is released weekly. MBA has an association of about 2200 members encompassing the entire real estate financing industry. The companies included in the association are deal originators, compliance officers, deal underwriters, servicers, and information technology personnel. These companies are active in residential, multi-family, and commercial real estate.

Owing to its vast network of real estate companies across the country, MBA is in the best position to provide comprehensive coverage of the mortgage applications made. The published data shows both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted changes in the US’s number of mortgage applications. Furthermore, the report also includes the Refinance Index,  which shows the number of applications made by households wishing to refinance their mortgages. The report also includes seasonally adjusted and unadjusted ‘Purchase Index,’ which shows the number of outright purchases in the real estate sector during that week.

Furthermore, this weekly report analyses the change in the Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) applications. As the name suggests, the ARM is a mortgage in which the interest rate payable on the balance varies throughout its life. The number of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are also included in the report. It further analyses the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with Jumbo loan balances and conforming loan balances. Jumbo loan balances are those above $510,400 while conforming loan balances are less than this amount. Finally, the MBA mortgage market weekly report analyses the change in the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Using the Mortgage Market Index in Analysis

The change in the number of mortgages in an economy tells a lot about the prevailing economic conditions. These conditions range from demand in real estate to prevailing monetary policies. Both of these aspects are integral in the growth of an economy.

When the mortgage market index is rising, it means that the number of mortgage applications has increased. The increase in mortgage applications could imply that there is a growing demand for real estate. One thing you have to know, when people decide to invest in the housing market, it normally means that they have increased disposable income and have thus fulfilled all other intermediate needs.

An increase in disposable income in the economy means that more people are gainfully employed or that wages have increased. In both these circumstances, we can deduce that the economy is expanding. The reason for this deduction is because when demand in the real estate market expands, it means that demand in the consumer discretionary industry has also increased. Thus, the output in the economy is higher.

More so, when the mortgage market index rises, it could mean that households and investors in the economy have access to cheap finance. Either they are creditworthiness has improved, or the market interest rates are lower. When the interest rate is lower in the market, it is usually due to the central banks’ expansionary monetary policy.

Such expansionary policies are adopted when the central banks aim to stimulate the growth of the economy. It means that people have access to cheap money and can borrow more. When there is a growing money supply in the economy, households can increase their consumption, and investors can scale up their operations. Overall, the economy will experience an increase in output, thus in the GDP.

Furthermore, it could also mean that households who previously could not afford to service a mortgage can now be able to afford mortgages due to low-interest rates. This scenario played out towards the end of the first quarter of 2020 when the US Federal Reserve made a series of interest rate cuts. The MBA mortgage market index is seen to have hiked. This hike can be taken as a sign that households and investors were taking advantage of the expansionary policies by increasing their holding in the real estate sector.

Source: Investing.com

On the other hand, a drop in the MBA mortgage index means that the demand for demand in the housing market is waning. The decrease in demand could be synonymous with an overall contraction of demand in the economy. The contraction of aggregate demand can be taken as a sign that the overall economy is also contracting. Similarly, it can also be taken as a sign that the public has lost confidence in the housing market as during the 2007 – 2008 housing market crash.

Source: Investing.com

Impact of the Mortgage Market Index on Currency

In theory, the domestic currency should be susceptible to fluctuations in the mortgage market index.

When the index increases, it can be taken as a sign that there is an increased money supply in the economy. Under such circumstances, contractionary monetary and fiscal policies might be implemented, such as hiking the interest rates. When such policies are adopted, the domestic currency tends to increase in value compared to other currencies in the forex market.

Conversely, when the index is continually dropping, it can be taken as an indicator of overall economic contraction. In this instance, expansionary policies might be implemented, like lowering interest rates to encourage consumption and prevent the economy from slipping into a recession. These policies make domestic currency depreciate.

Sources of Data

In the US, the mortgage market index is compiled and published weekly by the Mortgage Bankers Association. A historical time series of the data is available at Investing.com.

How the US Mortgage Market Index Affects The Forex Price Charts

The latest publication by the MBA was on October 21, 2020, at 7.00 AM EST. As seen in the screengrab below, a low impact on the USD is expected when the index is published.

For the one week to October 21, 2020, the mortgage market index was 794.2 compared to 798.9 in the previous publication.

Let’s see how this publication impacted the USD.

GBP/USD: Before US Mortgage Market Index Release on October 21, 2020, 
just before 7.00 AM EST

Before the publication of the US Mortgage Market Index, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a weak uptrend. In the above 5-minute chart, the 20-period MA is almost flattened with candles forming slightly above it.

GBP/USD: After US Mortgage Market Index Release on October 21, 2020, 
at 7.00 AM EST

The pair formed a 5-minute bearish candle after the release of the index. It later traded in a neutral trend as the 20-period MA flattened, and candles formed around it.

Bottom Line

This article has shown that the US MBA Mortgage Market Index plays an essential role as an indicator of demand in the housing market. But as shown by the above analyses, this economic indicator has no significant impact on price action in the forex market.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Foreign Securities Purchases Impact on Forex Currencies

Introduction

For the longest time, the performance of a country’s financial and capital markets has been touted as an indicator of economic health. On the other hand, foreign investors’ participation in the local financial and capital market can be taken as a sign of confidence in the local economy. Therefore, monitoring foreign securities purchases can be used as a gauge of investors’ confidence in the local economy.

Understanding Foreign Securities Purchases

Foreign securities purchases measure the involvement of foreigners in the domestic financial and capital markets. It includes the value of local bonds, stocks, and money-market assets bought by foreigners over a particular period.

The financial market is considered the backbone of any economy. Every sector of the economy is interconnected with the financial market, not just by transactions. Companies, businesses, and governments use the financial and capital markets as a source of funds. Through IPOs, companies can raise funds that will be used for business expansions. Governments issue bonds and treasury bills in the money markets, which are used to fund government expenditures. In the secondary markets, however, these financial assets’ prices tend to reflect investors’ sentiments.

Therefore, foreign investors’ level of participation in the local financial markets can be used as a leading indicator of economic sentiment.

Using Foreign Securities Purchases in Analysis

Primarily, the data of foreign securities purchases shows foreign interest in the domestic economy. This data has various applications to government agencies, investors, and even forex traders.

The stock and money markets are driven by sentiment. The basics of how the financial market works is that; you buy a financial asset when prices are low and sell when prices are high. For example, in the stock markets, the price of a company’s stock is tied to its financial performance. So, when its performance is well, the share price will rise, and when the performance is deteriorating, the share price will fall. Another critical factor that drives the fluctuation in share price is a sentiment about the company’s performance.

When traders anticipate that the company will have a windfall – either increased demand for its core products or the launch of a new product line – the share price will rise. The rise in the share price is driven by the fundamental laws of demand and supply. The price will rise when there is an increased demand from investors to buy the shares, which means that those buying exceed the number of those selling. The price will fall when investors are selling the shares, which increases its supply relative to those demanding to purchase it.

Using this aspect of the stock markets, when foreign investors flood the domestic market to purchase shares, it means that they anticipate that the companies will perform better soon. As we have explained, a better financial performance by a company could result from increased demand for its products or expansion in business operations.

Since the stock market is forward-looking, increased buying activity can be interpreted as a vote of confidence that economic conditions are going to improve. Let’s take the example of the S&P 500. On October 19, 2020, the index closed just above 3400 from lows of 2237 on March 23, 2020, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Therefore, a rebound in the stock markets can be taken as a sign that investor confidence is increasing and improving economic conditions.

Source: St. Louis FRED

However, note that there is a disconnect between the GDP and the performance of the stock market. Most people tend to make the mistake of assuming that the growth of the stock market is synonymous to an increase in the GDP. While this might be true in some cases, it is purely coincidental, because the stock market is only one component of the economy. While the economy’s growth tends to encompass all aspects ranging from the growth of the labor market to household consumption, the stock market is majorly a reflection of corporate profits. For example, while the S&P 500 recovered from March to October 2020, the GDP was on a steady fall.

Source: St. Louis FRED

The other way foreign securities purchases can be used for analysis is through the purchases in the money markets, especially government bonds and treasury bills. When foreigners swam the domestic market to purchase government securities, it can be taken as a sign that the domestic economy is offering better returns compared to other international economies.

Furthermore, increased foreigner participation in the domestic money markets can be taken as a sign that the local economy is regarded as a safe heaven. It is a vote of confidence that the domestic economy is stable and comparatively less volatile, which means that their investments will receive a steady return and no chances of an outright loss of capital.

Impact on Currency

As a leading indicator of economic sentiment, foreign securities purchase data can show what investors think about economic recoveries. When the foreign securities purchases increase in times of economic recessions or slump, it can be taken as a vote of confidence by the investors that the economy will rebound in the near term. The logic behind this is that no one would want to invest in an economy bound to fall or one that has no signs of recovery. In such an instance, the currency will appreciate.

Similarly, the local currency will appreciate relative to others since an increase in foreign securities purchases implies that the domestic economy offers better returns. These higher returns could be a direct result of higher interest rates. Higher interest rates mean that the local currency will appreciate.

Conversely, when the foreign securities purchases data is on a decline, it shows that investors are fleeing the domestic economy. They can either get better returns on investment in other economies or believe that the local economy is headed for rough times. In this case, the local currency will depreciate relative to others.

Sources of Data

Statistics Canada collates and publishes foreign securities purchases data in Canada. The data published is of the prior two months. A more in-depth and historical review of the foreign securities purchases in Canada is available at Trading Economics.

How Foreign Securities Purchases Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

For this analysis, we will focus on the August 17, 2020, release of the foreign securities purchases data at 8.30 AM EST. The data can be accessed from Investing.com. Moderate volatility is expected when the data is released.

In June 2020, Canada’s net foreign securities purchases were -13.52 billion compared to 22.39 billion in May 2020.

Let’s see what impact this release had on the CAD.

GBP/CAD: Before Foreign Securities Purchases Release on October 17, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM EST

From the above 5-minute GBP/CAD chart, the pair was trading in a steady downtrend before the release of the data. The 20-period MA was steeply falling with candles forming further below it. This trend shows that the CAD was strong during this period.

GBP/CAD: After Foreign Securities Purchases Release on October 17, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM EST

The pair formed a long 5-minute candle upon the release of the data. As expected, the negative net foreign securities purchases in Canada resulted in the weakening of the CAD. Subsequently, the pair traded adopted a subdued uptrend with the 20-period MA slightly rising and candles forming just above it.

Bottom Line

The foreign securities purchases data is a moderate-impact economic indicator. Since it only serves to show investor confidence in the economy, it does not result in high volatility when released. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The ‘Sentix Investor Confidence’: Revealing Market Sentiment

Introduction

The economy, financial, and forex markets are mainly driven by sentiment. Abstract aspects of demand and supply primarily drive these markets. A financial asset’s value will appreciate if a majority of investors believe that its future cash flows will increase. Conversely, the value of the asset will lower if these investors have a negative outlook on it. Therefore, knowing how most investors feel about the outlook of the economy can help you plan your future investments properly.

Understanding Sentix Investor Confidence

Investor confidence indexes are usually estimated by conducting surveys on investors and analysts throughout the economy.

In the EU, for example, the investors’ confidence is gauged using the ‘EU Sentix Investor Confidence’ index. Sentix is a German marketing and research firm predominantly dealing with behavioral finance. This index is compiled through a survey of about 2800 investors and analysts from across the 17-EU member countries. The primary role of the index is to obtain the confidence of the business people about the current economic climate and their anticipation about the future economy.

Sentix Investor Confidence Methodology

The Euro area Sentix economic report is categorized into the current situation and Expectations.

Current situation: This part of the report polls how the investors and analysts feel about the prevailing economic conditions. Ongoing geopolitical aspects inform the current economic conditions to the prevailing market conditions.

Source: Sentix

Expectations: As the name suggests, this part of the report concerns the future. Investors and analysts are polled to see what they think the future economic conditions will be. Do they expect the current conditions to improve, remain the same or deteriorate?

Both these parts of the report accommodate various economic indicators about the economy. The investors and analysts are asked their sentiments on various aspects of the economy, from the ease of doing business, labor conditions, interest rates to geopolitics.

As mentioned, Sentix surveys up to 2800 people who are mostly employees and investors in the private sector. The survey is conducted to ensure inclusivity of all economic sectors, thus obtaining a representative perspective about the state of the economy.

The results from the questionnaires are collated and indexed on a scale of -100 to 100. Readings of below 0 indicate that investors and analysts are pessimistic about the economy, with the severity of their pessimism increasing as the index approaches -100. On the other hand, a reading of above 0 shows optimism. The higher the index, the more optimistic the investors are about the economy.

Source: Sentix

Using Sentix Investor Confidence for Analysis

Keep in mind that the polled people for this index are experts – presumably authoritative in their various fields. Therefore, by following

Sentix

level of confidence in the economy can be incredibly helpful in making predictions about the economy at large.

Investments, in any economy, forms a major part of economic growth. When investors have a positive outlook about the economy, current, and future, we can expect them to make more investments in various sectors of the economy. Naturally, these investments create more jobs in the economy, increasing economic output, improving households’ welfare, and growing the GDP.

On the other hand, when the investors hold a negative outlook about the economy, they will halt any further investment plans. Some may go as far as cutting back on their investments. In this scenario, the industries in which they have invested in will be forced to scale down their operations. Consequently, the economy can expect a higher unemployment rate, depressed demand in the economy, reduced output, and a general contraction in the GDP.

Note that the current and the expectations of investor confidence aren’t always aligned. Policymakers can use this knowledge to make informed decisions on monetary and fiscal policies. When investors are confident about the current economic conditions but pessimists about the future, theoretically, governments and central banks could implement expansionary policies. Such policies will stimulate the economy and prevent any job losses, or adverse contractions of the economy in case investors shy away from further investing.

Furthermore, Sentix investor confidence is a vital indicator of recessions and recoveries. Let’s take the example of the ongoing coronavirus-induced recession. Towards the end of the first quarter of the year, investors were pessimistic about the future. They anticipated that the ravaging effects of the coronavirus would severely affect the economy. And true, as anticipated, the economy was ravaged. New investments during the months following the outbreak were at historic lows, and the unemployment levels globally were the highest ever witnessed. The Sentix investor confidence forestalls the current recession.

Similarly, the Sentix investor confidence index can be used to show signs of economic recoveries. Let’s still consider the example of the recent coronavirus pandemic; the Sentix investor confidence has been accurately used to show economic recovery signs. After governments and the European Central Bank (ECB) put in place economic expansionary measures, the Sentix investor confidence became less and less pessimistic. This showed that investors anticipated that the economy would recover.

Source: Sentix

Impact of Sentix Investor Confidence on Currency

As we mentioned earlier, sentiment is one of the major drivers of currency fluctuations. When the investor confidence is highly optimistic or improving from extreme pessimism, the domestic currency will appreciate. This appreciation is because investor confidence signals improvement in the economic condition, followed by lower unemployment levels, better living standards, and higher GDP levels.

Conversely, dropping levels in the Sentix investor confidence leads to the depreciation of the domestic currency relative to others. The depreciation is because forex traders will anticipate that adverse economic conditions will follow.

Sources of Data

Sentix conducts the surveys and publishes the Sentix Investor Confidence index for the Euro area.

How Sentix Investor Confidence Index Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

Sentix released the latest EU investor confidence index on October 5, 2020, at 8.30 AM GMT. The release of the index can be accessed at Investing.com. Since the investor confidence index is a low-impact indicator, low volatility is expected on the EUR.

In October 2020, the Sentix Investor Confidence index was -8.3 compared to -8.0 in September 2020. However, the October reading was better than the expected  -9.5.

Let’s find out how the October 2020 Sentix Investor Confidence index’s release impacted the ERU/USD price action.

EUR/USD: Before the Sentix Investor Confidence Index Release on October 5, 2020, 
just before 8.30 AM GMT

Before the release of the Sentix Investor Confidence Index, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a steady uptrend. The above 5-minute chart shows candles crossing above the 20-period MA and forming further above it.

EUR/USD: After the Sentix Investor Confidence Index Release on October 5, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM GMT 

After the release of the index, the EUR/USD pair formed a 5-minute bearish candle. However, the pair subsequently adopted a strong uptrend. The 20-period MA rose steeply with candles forming further above it. This trend shows that the EUR became stronger after the release.

Bottom Line

In the forex market, the Sentix Investor Confidence index is a low-impact indicator. In the current economic climate, however, this index can prove invaluable in predicting the directions of the economy – to show whether the Euro area economy is bouncing back from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Importance Of ‘Existing Home Sales’ Forex Fundamental Indicator

Introduction

In any economy, the real estate market provides insights about households’ sentiment of the future and their present welfare. Policymakers, central bankers, businesses, economic analysts, and individual consumers track real estate data. They do so, to deduce, in one form or another, information about the state of the economy. The Existing Home Sales figure is estimated to account for up to 90% of total home sales. For forex traders, existing-home sales data provides an invaluable insight into the economy.

Understanding Existing Home Sales

Existing homes are homes owned and occupied before being listed in the market. Therefore, existing home sales as an economic indicator show the data on the sale of homes pre-owned and pre-occupied before being listed in the market.

Existing home sales data captures the prices and sales volume of existing homes in a country. It is worth noting that the existing home sales data strictly records transactions that have been completed. This record is unlike the new home sales, which includes data on partial payments and agreements of sale.

Calculating Existing Home Sales

Each month, a survey is done to determine the volume of existing-home sales and their prices. In the US, for example, a survey is done by selecting a nationally representative sample of 160 Boards and Multiple Listing Services. This sample represents about 40% of the total existing-home sales.

A non-seasonally adjusted data on existing home sales is derived by aggregating the raw data from the sample. The aggregated data is then weighted to represent the national existing home sales accurately.

A seasonally adjusted existing home sales data is arrived at by annualizing. This adjustment helps to smoothen out the disparities that arise due to seasons. Here’s how the disparity comes along. Research has shown that home resales are higher during spring and summer and slows down during winter. Therefore, from November to February, the resale of homes is lower. Typically, it is assumed that people tend to search for homes when the weather conditions are more agreeable, thus increasing demand and, with it, prices of homes. This seasonal difference is removed with annualizing, creating a more realistic trend in the existing home sales.

Note that the annualized existing home sales for a particular month show the resales the month represents if the resale pace for that month were to be maintained for 12 consecutive months.

Using Existing Home Sales in Analysis

As an economic indicator, existing home sales are regarded as a lagging indicator. However, since the data shows the changes in the number of home resales and the prices, it can provide invaluable insight into the trend of households’ welfare and the general economic health.

Most of the transactions in real estate involve mortgages. Let’s take an example of an increase in existing home sales shows that more households can afford and service mortgages. This increase could be for a number of reasons.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Firstly, it could show that the welfare of the households has improved. The improvement could result from an increase in disposable income or an increase in the rate of employment. Increasing disposable income means that households have more money to invest in the real estate market, whether speculatively or not. An increase in the employment levels, on the other hand, means that households who previously could not afford to buy a home are now eligible for mortgages. I both these instances, the existing home sales data shows that the economy is expanding and the welfare of households is improved.

Secondly, increasing home sales imply that interest rates are low, allowing more households to borrow cheaply. The availability of lower interest rates shows that the demand in the economy is bound to increase, which leads to economic growth.

Thirdly, since existing home sales involve the current homeowners selling their property, it means that they believe they can get better rates in the current market. This is especially true for speculative investors who participate in real estate to profit from price fluctuations over time. Now, a speculative homeowner buys a home at a lower price to resell when prices are higher. An increase in the price of homes means the economy is currently performing better than it previously did. Thus, an increase in the existing home sales shows economic improvement.

Similarly, current speculating home buyers offer the sentiment that they believe the economy is going to perform better in the near term. Therefore, existing-home sales data can be used to show periods of economic recoveries and forestall an impending recession.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Impact on Currency

As we have seen, existing home sales can be used to gauge how the economy is performing. Although it is lagging, it can be used as a leading indicator for the aggregate demand in the economy as well as the general economic health. Let’s see how this analysis affects the forex market.

An increase in the existing home sales shows that the economy has been performing well. It also indicates that households’ welfare is improving, with higher employment levels and increased disposable income, which can further influence the growth of the economy. Similarly, since an increase in the existing home sales offers the sentiment of a perceived economic improvement, it translates to the increasing value of the country’s currency.

Conversely, a country’s currency will depreciate as the existing home sales reduce. Continually dropping existing home sales imply worsening economic conditions for the households. These adverse conditions could result from increasing unemployment levels, higher income taxes, or general anticipation of challenging economic conditions that force households to cut back on discretionary expenditures.

Sources of Data

The National Association of Realtors is responsible for the survey and the publication of the US existing home sales data. An in-depth and historical review of the existing home sales data, both seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted, is published by St. Louis FRED. Trading Economics publishes global existing home sales data.

How the Monthly Existing Home Sales Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The most recent existing-home sales data in the US was released on September 22, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET and can be accessed at Forex Factory.

The screengrab below is of the monthly existing home sales from Forex Factory. To the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, this is a low-impact indicator.

In August 2020, existing home sales were 6m compared to 5.86m in July. The sales were lower than analysts’ expectations of 6.05m.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Existing Home Sales Release on September 22, 2020, 
Just Before 10.00 AM ET

The pair was trading in a new-found steady downtrend. This trend can be seen with the 20-period MA steeply falling with candles forming further below it.

EUR/USD: After Existing Home Sales Release on September 22, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 5-minute ‘Doji’ candle. Subsequently, the pair continued to trade in the earlier observed downtrend.

Bottom Line

As expected, the existing home sales release had a negligible effect on the EUR/USD pair. Therefore, we conclude that in the forex market, existing-home sales data is a negligible indicator.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding The Importance Of ‘New Home Sales’ Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

In any economy, demand is one of the primary leading indicators of economic growth and inflation. Therefore, the aggregate demand data plays a vital role in predicting economic growth and possible monetary and fiscal policies. Although considered a lagging indicator, the data on new home sales provides insight into households’ changing demand and their income situation.

Understanding New Home Sales

As the name suggests, new home sales provide data on the newly built single-family that were sold or are for sale during a given period. New home sales data is also referred to as new residential sales. Sales mean that a deposit for the house has been taken or a sales agreement has been signed.

The data on new home sales is derived from a survey of a sample of houses from the building permits register. Since the data obtained is from a sample survey, it is bound to be subject to sampling variability as well as non-sampling error. Response bias, nonreporting, and under-coverage factors also influence this data. Nonetheless, the data is nationally representative.

The new home sales report shows data for the new privately-owned houses and new houses by construction stage. The report presents data that are both seasonally adjusted and those not seasonally adjusted.

  • The number of units sold during the period
  • The number of units for sale at the end of that period
  • The ratio between the houses sold and those for sale
  • The median and average sale price

How to use New Home Sales Data for Analysis

Although the new home sales data is generally regarded as a lagging economic indicator of demand in real estate, there is no dispute that broader macroeconomic trends influence new home sales. Here are some of the factors that influence new home sales.

Household income: Significant changes in the households’ disposable income will change their demand for new homes. Disposable income is the residual amount after paying taxes. These income changes could be brought about by an increase in wages, reduction in taxes, or investment windfall. If there is an increase in disposable income, households’ demand for new homes will increase. They could right away purchase already completed units or get into sale agreements for houses ongoing construction. Therefore, new home sales can be expected to increase during the period of increased household income. Conversely, a decrease in disposable income will make households cut back on non-essential expenditure, such as buying new homes. Consequently, new home sales will be expected to decline.

Unemployment: The rate of unemployment in the economy is directly linked to the households’ welfare. A lower unemployment rate implies that more households have income and can thus afford to put down deposits for a new home. Similarly, the unemployment rate reduction signifies that more people can afford to service a mortgage loan. Therefore, a low unemployment rate can be correlated to an increase in the demand for new houses, hence increasing new home sales.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Conversely, higher rates of unemployment mean that more people are out of gainful employment. This instance forces households to prioritize their expenditures to cater to the essential items. Furthermore, higher unemployment could mean that more households do not qualify for a mortgage. Thus, a reduction in the new home sales can be expected with increasing unemployment.

Interest rate: In the financial markets, the prevailing interest rate determines the cost of borrowing – especially home mortgages. When interest rates are low, it means that more households can afford to borrow cheaply. It becomes easier for households to service debt without digging too much into their income, thus ensuring no significant changes in their welfare. Since most households can afford to borrow cheaply when interest rates are low, the demand for new homes can be expected to increase.

When interest rates are high, the cost of borrowing increases, and with it, the cost of a mortgage. Higher rates would restrict some households from servicing expensive debt without significantly impacting their welfare. Thus, with an increasing interest rate, it can be expected that new home sales will decline.

Impact on Currency

The new home sales data can impact a country’s currency in several ways. Here is how.

The new home sales can be used to show economic recoveries. Buyers of new homes could be speculative buyers – those who expect these homes’ prices to increase in the future then resell. To them, to them, new homes are an investment. Thus, the new home sales data can be taken as a sentiment about the economy. An increase in the new home sales could imply that the future economy is expected to improve. Similarly, in times of recessions, like the current coronavirus-inflicted recession, the new home sales data can be used to show market recovery. Therefore, an increase in the new home sales can be seen as a sign of economic recovery, which increases the value of the currency relative to others.

The new home sales can also be used to show when an economy is headed for a recession. Typically, recessions are punctuated with declining economic conditions, such as an increasing unemployment rate. Continually declining new home sales could indicate a looming recession as economic welfare of households is deteriorating. Furthermore, in these circumstances, expansionary monetary and fiscal policies tend to be implemented. These policies are designed to prevent the worst-case scenario from playing out. In the first quarter of 2020, such expansionary policies were witnessed globally. They were meant to prevent extreme economic shocks from the coronavirus pandemic. These policies result in the depreciating of the currency relative to other currencies.

Sources of Data

In the US, for example, the US Census Bureau conducts the survey and publishes the new home sales data for the US. An in-depth and historical review of the US’s new home sales is available at St. Louis FREDTrading Economics publishes new home sales data for countries globally. Furthermore, you can access the forecast of the new home sales globally up to 2022.

How New Home Sales Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The most recent release of the US’s new home sales was on September 24, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET. The news release can be accessed at Investing.com.

The screengrab below is of the monthly new home sales from Investing.com. On the right, we can see a legend that indicates the level of impact this fundamental indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, high volatility is to be expected.

In August 2020, the new home sales were 1011K compared to 965K in July. The sales were higher than the anticipated 895K. Thus, a strong USD is expected.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before New Home Sales Release on September 24, 2020, 
Just Before 10.00 AM ET

Before the news release, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a neutral pattern as the 5-minute candles formed just around a flattening 20-MA.

EUR/USD: After New Home Sales Release on September 24, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 5-minute ‘hammer’ candle, indicating that the USD weakened. Subsequently, the pair adopted a bullish stance with the 20-period MA rising.

As shown by the above analyses, the US new home sales data release failed to produce significant volatility. Therefore, we can conclude that new home sales are insignificant in the forex market as an economic indicator.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything You Should Know About ‘Reserve Assets’ As A Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

In the current age of globalization and increasing international trade, every country strives to have a favorable balance of payment and a stable currency in the international market. As is with any other market, a currency’s exchange rate is majorly determined by the forces of demand and supply. For stability of its exchange rate, a country might opt to purchase its currencies from the international market to reduce its supply, using its reserve assets.

Understanding Reserve Assets

In finance, reserve assets refer to foreign currencies held and controlled by a country’s central bank. The central banks are mandated to use the reserve currency as they deem fit to benefit the local economy. A reserve currency is supposed to be a universally accepted currency whose value is relatively stable over time. The US dollar is the most preferred reserve currency. Other major currencies include the Euro and GBP.

Purposes of the Reserve Assets

A country’s central bank can use the reserve assets it controls in several ways.

The reserve assets can be used to influence the exchange rate of the local currency against international currencies. Countries can do this whether their exchange rate is fixed or floating. For a fixed exchange rate, a country will peg the exchange rate of its currency against a reserve currency. Pegging the local currency against another one means that the local currency’s value will adjust at the same rate as the other currency.

In this case, when the local government wants to increase its currency value, it uses the reserve assets to buy its currency from the international market. In turn, the demand for the local currency goes up along with its value. The main goal for currency pegging is to remove inflation or changes in the interest rates from impacting the trade between two economies.

Source: St. Louis FRED

For countries whose exchange rate is floating, the central banks use the reserve assets to adjust their currencies relative to that of the reserve currency. If a country wants to weaken its currency to make its exports competitive in the international market, it will sell its currency to buy reserve assets. Conversely, if it wants to increase its currency value, it will use the reserve assets to purchase its currency from the international market.

Another function of the is to shore up the economy in case of natural or human-made disasters. In such disasters, economic activities in the country may be crippled, which significantly lowers the exports. Consequently, the foreign exchange earned in the international market. The central banks use the reserve assets to ensure there is enough liquidity of foreign currency for importation.

Furthermore, in such disasters, investors may flee the country by withdrawing from the local banks. The resultant shortage of foreign currency will reduce the value of the local currency. The central banks can use the reserve assets to buy the local currency to prevent over-inflation and keep the local currency stable.

The country’s reserve assets are also used to meet its financial obligations, such as debt repayment. When a country borrows from the international markets, the interest payments are usually demanded to be paid in the reserve currency. Debtors prefer the reserve currency since it guarantees them that their cash flow is protected from rapid inflation. Therefore, having adequate reserve assets gives investors and creditors confidence that their capital is protected.

Using the reserve assets data for analysis

There is a minimum limit of reserve assets that a country is recommended to hold. This minimum threshold is meant to ensure that in case of any economic shocks, the country can fund essential imports in the short term. Furthermore, the minimum reserves should cover all the country’s debt obligations for about a year.

Therefore, when the reserve assets held by a country are dropping, it could indicate that the economy is experiencing shocks, and the central banks have stepped in to mitigate. When these levels are continually dropping, it means that the economic shocks being experienced are not reducing.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Considering that the reserve assets increase when the balance of payments accounts is improving, a drop in the reserve assets signals that a country in exceedingly becoming a net importer. A reduction in the number of exports or a drop in the value of exports results in net imports. Either way, it implies that the country’s living standards have deteriorated, and unemployment is on the rise.

All these factors point towards a shrinking economy. Conversely, a constant increase in reserve assets implies that the country is a net exporter, which could increase the quantity of exports or quality through value addition. These two factors signal a growing economy with possibly improving labor market conditions.

Impact on Currency

Apart from the direct influence of the exchange rate by buying and selling the reserve assets, here are some of the ways changing levels of a country’s reserve assets impact its currency. Higher reserve assets levels show that the country is well prepared to deal with any unforeseen economic shocks. For investors, this is a sign of stability and encourages them to invest in the country, which leads to lower unemployment and economic growth. Thus, increasing levels of reserve assets lead to a currency’s appreciation.

Conversely, a persistent drop in the reserve assets is negative for the currency. Dropping reserve assets is an indicator that the local currency is under pressure, and the central banks are selling reserve assets to stabilize the currency. Similarly, it could mean that exports in the economy have been reducing over time. Both these instances point towards an adversely affected economy.

Sources of Data

In the US, the data on reserve assets is published monthly by the US Federal Reserve Board, while in the EU, it is published by the European Central BankThe IMF publishes data on global reserve assets balances.

How Reserve Assets Data Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The most recent release of the EU’s reserve assets data was on September 15, 2020, at 10.00 AM GMT. The release can be accessed at Investing.com. The screengrab below is of the monthly reserve assets from Investing.com. To the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the FI has on the EUR.

As can be seen, this low volatility is expected upon the release of the reserve assets data.

In August 2020, the EU’s total reserve assets were 915.08 billion compared to 923.07 billion in July 2020.

EUR/USD: Before the Reserve Assets Data Release on September 15, 2020, 
Just Before 10.00 AM GMT

Before the publication of the reserve assets data by the ECB, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a neutral trend. The 20-period MA was flattening with candles forming just around it.

EUR/USD: After the Reserve Assets Data Release on September 15, 2020, 
at 10.00 AM GMT

After the news release, the pair formed a 5-minute “Doji” candle. Subsequently, the pair adopted a bullish trend with candles crossing and forming above the rising 20-period MA.

Bottom Line

The total reserve assets that a country holds is a crucial indicator of its economic health and balance of payments condition. But as can be seen in the above analyses, this indicator has no significant impact on the forex price action. We hope you found this article informative. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should you Know About Commitments of Traders (COT) Report?

Introduction

One of the most significant uncertainties for policymakers is the future economic performance. All the policies adopted by governments and central banks are geared towards influencing the future’s economic performance. Economists, financial analysts, and forex traders alike use models and economic indicators to predict future economic performance. The commitment of traders (COT) report gives some insight into future economic performance.

Understanding the Commitments of Traders Report

In the US, the COT report is published by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The COT report shows participation in the future market.

The COT report is comprised of four different types of reports. They are:

Legacy reports: This report breaks down the open interest positions of commercial, noncommercial, and retail traders into long, short, and spread positions. The report shows the total interest positions that are open along with the changes from the previous reporting period. This report is broken down into the long and short versions of ‘Futures Only’ and ‘Futures-and-Options-Combined’ segments. The Legacy COT report shows the open interests for 17 exchanges.

Supplemental reports: This report document contracts 13 agricultural commodities. These contracts are of both futures and options positions for noncommercial, commercial, and index traders together with nonreportable positions.

Disaggregated reports: This report covers the following five sectors; agriculture, petroleum, and its products, natural gas and its products, electricity, and metal. This report’s market participants are categorized into; producers, swap dealers, managed money, and ‘Others.’

Producers are entities whose core business activities involve the production, processing, and handling of physical commodities. These producers use the futures market to manage or hedge against risks potential to their core operations.

Swap dealer is one who enters into an agreement to exchange cash flows of a given commodity over a specific period. They use the futures market to manage and hedge against risks inherent in their swaps.

Money manager, as used in this report, means a registered commodity pool operator, an unregistered fund, or a registered commodity trading advisor identified by CFTC. They participate in the futures markets on behalf of their clients.

Others represent all other participants in the futures markets who cannot be placed in the above categories.

Traders in Financial Futures (TFF) report: This report shows the participants in the futures market for currencies, stocks, US Treasury securities, VIX, and Bloomberg commodity index. It categorizes market participants into; dealers, asset managers, leveraged funds, and others.

Dealer/ Intermediary is a participant on the ‘sell-side’ of a trade. Although they do not exclusively participate in the futures market, they have matched books meant to offset their risks. They are made up of large banks.

An asset manager is an institutional investor such as pension funds and insurance companies whose clients are predominantly institutional.

Leveraged funds hedge funds, registered commodity pool operator, an unregistered fund, or registered commodity trading advisors. Their activities in the futures market involve arbitrage across and within markets and taking outright positions.

Others include all reportable traders who cannot be placed in the above categories.

Using the Commitments of Traders (COT) Report in analysis

The COT report can be used to show whether investors are going long or short in the futures market. The CFTC collects the data used in making the COT report from reporting firms such as Futures Commission Merchants, foreign brokers, exchanges, and clearing members. Individual traders can also self-report by filling out the CFTC Form 40.

The COT report shows the open interests in the futures and options market as of Tuesday of each week. Since the COT report also shows the changes in the open positions, it can be used to show the sentiment about the economy over time. It is worth noting that the market positioning of the commercial traders and the noncommercial (speculative) traders is always the opposite of each other.

Commercial traders handle physical commodities. For them, it is natural to expect that the future price of their commodities will rise. In the futures and options market, commercial traders are hedging against risk; thus, they go short just in case prices fall. The noncommercial traders do not handle the underlying physical commodities, and thus, they are participating in the futures market speculatively and can either be long or short. Therefore, by looking at the behavior of noncommercial traders in the futures markets, we can gain insight into future price trends and the economy.

Take the above example of wheat futures, when the noncommercial traders are net short positioned in the futures market, the prices of wheat falls. Consequently, the wheat farmers and traders receive lesser pay for their products. In this case, their purchasing power is lowered, which decreases the aggregate demand in the general economy.

Impact on Currency

Forex traders pay close attention to the noncommercial traders in the financial futures. These speculative buyers tend to lead the market. When they are net long in a particular currency, it means that the demand for that currency will increase and, with it, its value relative to others. For most forex traders, the best way to trade forex using the COT report is by establishing the overbought and the oversold regions. These are the regions where trend reversal is imminent – when the noncommercial traders are at the lowest point could indicate a period of sustained short selling, and a reversal could follow.

The COT report can also be used to show a trend. For example, let’s take an instance where noncommercial traders are continuously net long on a particular currency in the futures market while the price for that currency steadily increases. With this strategy, forex traders can use noncommercial traders’ market positioning as confirmation of a trend.

Sources of Data

The US CFTC publishes the COT report.

How the publication of the COT Report Affects Forex Price Charts

The latest publication of the COT report was on October 2, 2020, at 3.30 PM ET. The release of this publication can be accessed at Investing.com.

The screengrab below is of the weekly CFTC speculative net positions of the AUD from Investing.com. To the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the AUD.

As can be seen, moderate volatility is to be expected.

As of Tuesday, September 29, 2020, the AUD’s speculative net positions was 8.9K compared to the previous Tuesday’s of 16.3K. Noncommercial traders are net-long in the AUD futures, which should be positive for the AUD.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

AUD/USD: Before the COT Report Release on October 2, 2020, Just Before 3.30 PM ET

The AUD/USD pair was trading in a neutral position before the release of the COT report. The 20-period MA was flattened with candles forming just around it.

AUD/USD: After the COT Report Release on October 2, 2020, at 3.30 PM ET

The AUD/USD pair formed a -minute bullish candle after the COT report’s release indicating that the AUD had appreciated relative to the USD. However, the pair could not sustain a bullish trend since it later continued trading in a neutral trend.

The effects of the COT report are long-term. For this reason, the weekly publication of the report has little impact on the short-term forex market.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding ‘Employment Trends Index’ and The Impact Of Its News Release On The Forex Market

Introduction

In any economy, the employment rate can be said to be the primary driver of economic growth. Due to its importance, several fundamental indicators track the labor market changes and many more attempting to predict the future of the labour market. Government and central banks’ policymakers may feel comfortable poring through all these economic indicators for the labour market, but for regular forex traders and households, keeping track of all these labour market indicators can be tiresome and even confusing. The Employment Trends Index (ETI), one of the most relevant labour market indicators, is making it easier to understand the labor market trends.

Understanding the Employment Trends Index

The Employment Trends Index is made by aggregating eight labour market economic indicators. The ETI report breaks down which labour market indicators positively impact the ETI and ranks them from the most positive to the least. Through the aggregation of these indicators, the “noise” in the labor market trend is filtered out. It is worth noting that these labour market indicators have shown to be accurate in their areas. These indicators are explained below.

Initial unemployment claims: This labour market indicator is collated and published by the U.S. Department of Labor. The indicator is published the Thursday of every week, and it shows the number of people who filed for the unemployment benefits for the first time. It is thus considered the latest indicator of unemployment.

Job openings: The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics publishes this economic indicator. These job vacancies show the gap in the labour market that needs to be filled. It indicates the unfulfilled demand in the labour market and the desirable skills sought by employers. It further shows the potential of households to be gainfully employed in the short term.

Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes this statistic. It shows the relationship between the labour market and business cycles since most businesses hire more temporary workers during peak periods and expansion phases.
The ratio of Involuntarily Part-time to All Part-time Workers: Published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this indicator shows the number of employees who are forced to work part-time. The indicator can be correlated to sub-optimal economic conditions, which would make filling positions full time uneconomical. An increasing ratio indicates worsening economic conditions.
Industrial Production: This indicator shows the level of output in sectors such as mining, manufacturing, and energy. The U.S. Federal Reserve Board publishes it. An increasing industrial production indicates that the employment levels are increasing while dropping industrial production levels signals higher levels of job loss.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find “Jobs Hard to Get”: This indicator shows the scarcity of employment opportunities in the economy. Higher percentage signals either a stagnating or a shrinking economy. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey publishes it.
Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now: This statistic shows the lack of particular expertise in the labour market. It is published by the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation.
Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales: This indicator shows the level of engagement in the labour market, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes it.

How to use the Employment Trends Index an analysis

The fact that the ETI aggregates most of the crucial labour market indicators makes it an ideal tool for analyzing the economy.

Since the labour market is considered one of the primary drivers of the economy, monitoring its trend can be used to detect the onset of recessions or recoveries. Here’s how. When the ETI is continually dropping, it indicates that the labor market conditions are worsening progressively. This condition is accompanied by a constant drop in the aggregate demand and supply, most consumer discretionary industries will go out of business, and the economy will progressively contract. Conversely, during a period of economic recession, an increase in the ETI signifies that the economy is on a recovery path.

An increase in the ETI does not necessarily mean that each of the underlying eight labour maker indicators improved. A higher ETI could mean that most of these indicators were positive, or they all were. In either of these instances, it means that the overall labour market is improving – it shows that labour conditions are improving. One of the most notable impacts of an improving labour market is the improvement of households’ welfare, which increases the aggregate demand and supply in the economy.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Conversely, a dropping ETI could be caused by a majority of the underlying labour market indicators being negative or all of them being negative. In either of these instances, the labor markets’ conditions are deteriorating, a condition usually punctuated with higher unemployment levels.

Impact on Currency

The ETI could be associated with contractionary and expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Here are some of the ways that the ETI could impact a country’s currency. A continually increasing ETI means that the labour market has been enjoying a long period of constant growth. Such an instance signifies that the economy has been expanding, the welfare of households improving, and the unemployment levels low.

In any economy, if these conditions are not sustainable, an overheating economy with unsustainable levels of inflation becomes prevalent. In this case, the governments and central banks may be induced to implement contractionary monetary and fiscal policies. Thus, in the forex market, an increasing ETI can be a precursor for higher interest rates, which makes the currency appreciate relative to others.

A constantly dropping ETI is negative for the currency. The dropping ETI means that the overall labour market has been performing poorly. It means that more people are losing their jobs, wages are low, overall aggregate demand is dropping, and the economy is shrinking. With higher unemployment levels, governments and central banks tend to implement expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to stimulate demand and prevent the economy from sinking into a recession. These expansionary policies, such as lowering interest rates, makes the currency drop in value relative to others. In the U.S., the ETI data is published monthly by The Conference Board.

How the Employment Trends Index Report Release Affects Forex Price Charts

The latest release of the ETI report was on September 8, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET and accessed at Investing.com. The screengrab below is of the monthly ETI from Investing.com. To the right is a legend that indicates the level of impact the fundamental indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, low volatility is to be expected.

In August 2020, the ETI was 52.55 and increase from 51.37 in July 2020.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the ETI Report Release | September 8, 2020. Before 10.00 AM ET

As seen in the above EUR/USD chart, the pair went from trading in a neutral trend to a steady downtrend. The 20-period M.A. is steeply falling with candles forming further below it.

EUR/USD: After the ETI Report Release on September 8, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET

After the ETI report release, the pair formed a bearish 5-minute “Doji” candle. Subsequently, the pair adopted a weak bullish trend with candles forming just above the 20-period M.A.

Bottom Line

In the forex market, traders rarely pay close attention to the ETI. Most traders prefer gauging the underlying aggregated indicators separately, which explains the lack of impact by releasing the ETI report since the index shows what traders already know. It only serves to show the trend.

Categories
Forex Indicators

Everything About ‘Treasury Bill Auction’ Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

One of the primary ways any government funds its budget is through debt – borrowing. When borrowing, a government can do this from the international markets or locally, from its citizens and businesses. When taking debt locally, a government uses treasury bills and bonds. As is with any form of debt, borrowing using treasury bills, the government is obligated to pay interest upon the maturity date.

The interest rate that the government offers for its treasury bills gives an invaluable insight into the confidence investors have in the economy. Therefore, to understand the borrowing patterns of the government, the interest rates it is obligated to pay, we need to understand treasury bill auctions.

Understanding Treasury Bill Auction

To better understand how the treasury bid auction works, we first need to understand a few terms.

Treasury bill is a short-term debt instrument used by governments to borrow money over a short period – usually less than one year. Because the central banks back the treasury bill, they are considered to be of lower risk and secure form of investment.

Treasury bill auction is a weekly public offering of treasury bills by the central government with maturities ranging from one month to one year. The auction is the official avenue through which central banks issue their treasury bills.

Maturity is the maximum time that a treasury bill holder can hold it before they are eligible for redemption. Treasury bills have maturities ranging from days up to one year. Note that the longer the maturity period of a treasury bill, the higher the interest rate will be.

Discount is the difference between the price at which the treasury bills are issued and the face value of the treasury bills. It is customary for the treasury bills to be issued at a discount and be redeemed at face value upon maturity.

During the auctions, participants are generally divided into two categories – competitive and non-competitive bidders. Before the auctioning process begins, the central banks make public the following information about the treasury bills: the date of the auction; the day of the treasury bill issue; eligibility of auction participants; the amount of the bills being auctioned; and the time when the bidding ends.

When the auction begins, the competitive bids are accepted first to determine the discount rate for the treasury bills. These competitive bills are submitted on a pro-rata share of every Treasury bill auction. It is worth noting that the winning bid determines the interest rate that will be paid out on each issue of a treasury bill. Furthermore, the demand for treasury bills is determined by the prevailing market and economic conditions and sentiment. It is this demand and the interest rate that will be of importance in our subsequent analyses.

Since the pricing of the treasury bills is done through a bidding process, the winning bid is usually one that has the lowest discount rate. Such bids are preferred to ensure that the interest rate the government pays investors is kept as low as possible.

After investors have purchased the treasury bills, they are then free to sell, trade them, or hold until maturity.

How can treasury bills auction be used for analysis?

Using the auction of the treasury bills in the analysis is relatively straightforward. The biggest draw of the treasury bills is because of the presumed zero risks of default since the government backs them. As we mentioned earlier, the primary determinant of the discount rate at the treasury bill auction is the demand. This demand is driven by factors such as macroeconomics, market risks, and monetary policies.

When other markets such as equity markets appear to be less risky or offer better returns, investors in the treasury bills will demand higher discounts. The higher discount translates to a higher interest rate attached to the treasury bills. Furthermore, when the rate of inflation is rising, investors will demand a higher discount rate for the treasury bills to offset the effects of inflation.

Source: St. Louis FRED

When there is rapid economic growth, investors have several options that could earn them higher returns. Therefore, they will demand a higher discount from the government, which results in a higher rate. Similarly, when the economy is heading towards a recession, investors deem treasury bills as safe-haven investments. The resulting excess demand for the treasury bills leads to lower discounts received by the investors.

Thus, the change in the yield attached to the treasury bills gives us significant insight into the state of the economy.

Impact on currency

We have seen that the rate of the treasury bills being auctioned is a reflection of the prevailing market conditions or anticipated economic performance.

When the rate received at auction is higher, it signals that the economy is performing well. Furthermore, higher rates for the treasury bills imply that there will be increased interest in investment opportunities in the country, which results in increased demand for the local currency. Higher rates could also translate to the increasing rate of inflation, which forestalls contractionary monetary and fiscal policies. For the forex market, this translates to a well-performing economy hence the appreciation of the currency relative to other currencies.

Conversely, when the rate of treasury bills at auction are falling, it implies that the economic fundamentals are performing poorly. There will be a net outflow of capital and investment. Furthermore, the forex market would anticipate expansionary monetary policies, which result in the depreciation of the currency relative to others.

Sources of Data

In the U.S., the treasury bills are auctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury. You can access the latest data on the auction of treasury bills here. The data on the upcoming auction of the U.S. treasury bills can be accessed from TreasuryDirect, which allows you to buy and redeem securities directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in paperless electronic form. You can access the in-depth review of the current and historical data on the U.S. treasury bills from St. Louis FRED. You can access the global data on Treasury bills from Trading Economics.

That’s about Treasury Bill Auction and the respective details related to this fundamental indicator. We did not see any reaction at all on the Forex price charts related to this indicator, but as explained above, we know the relative impact. We hope you have found this article informative. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding ‘Social Security Rate For Employees’ Forex Fundamental Driver

Introduction

The Social Security Program of the United States is the government insurance program for retirees, disabled, and survivors. It is one of the most extensive Government Spending programs and affects the majority of its population. Hence, it is a macroeconomic statistic, and changes in the same results a significant impact on its citizens. An insight into the Social Security Rates and how it affects the individual and the economy as a whole can help us understand the monetary structure of the United States.

What is Social Security Rate For Employees?

The Social Security Program (SSP) is managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the United States. The SSA is a federal agency and defines the SSP as a protection program against income loss due to retirement, disability, or death. The Social Security Program is officially called the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

The funds collected by the SSP are divided between two funds, namely the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds. Retired workers and their families, or survivors (ex: wife of an expired husband) receive benefits from the OASI funds. The DI trust funds provide benefits to the disabled and their families. The benefits are paid out monthly to the eligible people.

The Social Security Programs receives its funds primarily from the currently active employees enrolled in the program, employers, and as well as self-employed citizens. The funds received at present are not stored for the future, instead, they are utilized to pay out for the currently eligible retirees. The cycle goes on, and it means the current employee pays out for the already retired people, and when the employee himself retires would be paid out through funds collected from the paying employees at that time.

Apart from the employee, employer, and self-employed, funds receive income from investments and interests on investments, and taxations of benefits. For the year 2020, the Social Security Rate is 12.4%, which is evenly divided amongst the employer and the employee. Hence, the employee pays 6.2% of their income. Generally, It is deducted monthly from their income. On the other hand, the self-employed people like small shop owners or freelancers are subject to pay the full 12.4% themselves.

The benefits apply to people who have enrolled and have paid for a minimum of ten years. The retirement age at which they are eligible for collecting their pension is 62, while people who wait longer, like the age of 66 or 70, receive higher and better benefits accordingly. The Social Security Tax has a cap limit of $137,700, above which the earned income is not subject to the tax deduction.

How can the Social Security Rate For Employees numbers be used for analysis?

Since the Social Security deductions are directly taken out from the gross salary, it directly affects the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) and thereby Consumer Spending. Both of these are macroeconomic indicators bearing high significance in terms of currency market volatility. Suppose the taxes increase, Consumer Spending decreases, which can drive the economy into a recession. Consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the United State’s GDP.

The program collects from millions of people and pays out to millions of people. The transactions are in billions of dollars every year. Any change in the percentage is bound to affect a large chunk of the country’s population directly. Hence, the changes in the rates are less frequent over the years and change only during significant policy reforms.

The regressive nature is often criticized, meaning the more affluent section of the society ends up paying lesser than the lower-income bracket people due to the tax cap limit. Also, the model of the Social Security Program is a cause of worry for many as the increased life expectancy and the diminishing worker-to-retiree ratio will ultimately result in depletion of funds soon.

As the population stops to grow, and more people retire than the number of people actively working will ultimately force the Government to either raise taxes or retirement age-limit or decrease benefits. None of those above options is favorable, and the Government needs to plug this gap in funds sooner than later.

 Impact on Currency

The Social Security Rate for the employees is revised every year. Most of the time, it tends to remain constant and changes only in small incremental steps over a few years at a time. Therefore, the volatility induced in the currency markets is negligible unless significant changes occur. Above all, the changes would be priced into the market through news updates long before official statistics are published. Hence, Social Security Rate for employees is a low-impact indicator and can be overlooked for more frequent statistics in the currency markets.

Economic Reports

The Social Security tax rates for both the employee and employer are provided by the Social Security Administration of the United States on its official website. The historical figures of the same are also available. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) also maintains the tax rates for employees of its member countries on its official website.

Sources of Social Security Rate For Employees

Social Security Rates for employees is available on the Social Security Administration website.

Social Security Rates for employees is also available on the OECD’s official website.

Social Security Rates for employees (similar policies with different names) across the world can be found in Trading Economics.

How Social Security Rate For Employees Announcement Affects The Price Charts

For employees, the social security tax is deducted through payroll withholding by the employer. This rate is split in half between the employee and the employer. Since the social security rate in the US is 15.3 %, an employee contributes 7.65% of their earnings up to $137,700.

The screengrab below shows the current social security rate for companies in the US from Trading Economics.

The latest review of the US social security rate was on October 10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET, and the press release can be accessed here.

USD/CAD: Before Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, just before 4.00 PM ET

As can be seen on the above 15-minute chart, the USD/CAD pair was trading on a neutral trend before the news release. This trend is shown by the candles forming around an already flat 20-period Moving Average. This trend signifies relative market inactivity at this time.

USD/CAD: After Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET

After the news release, no market volatility is observed. The US/CAD pair forms a 15-minute “Shooting Star” candle. Afterward, the pair struggled to alter the trading pattern with the candles attempting to cross below the 20-period Moving Average but subsequently continued trading in the previously observed neutral pattern.

USD/JPY: Before Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2020, just before 4.00 PM ET

Before the news release, the USD/JPY market is on a weak uptrend. The pair can be seen struggling to maintain this trend as observed by multiple bearish spikes. The pair adopts a downtrend 30 minutes before the news release.

USD/JPY: After Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET

After the news release, the pair forms a 15-minute bearish candle. However, the news is not significant enough to maintain the earlier observed downtrend.

USD/CHF: Before Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2020, just before 4.00 PM ET

USD/CHF: After Employee Social Security Rate Release October 
10, 2019, at 4.00 PM ET

Before the news release, the USD/CHF pair shows a similar trading pattern as the USD/CAD pair. The pair was trading on a neutral trend with 15-minute candles forming around a flattening 20-period Moving Average. As the USD/JPY, the pair showed signs of reversing into a downtrend 30 minutes before the news release. After the release, USD/CHF formed a 15-minute “Shooting Star” candle. It later continued trading in a downtrend with subsequent candles forming below the 20-period Moving Average.

Bottom Line

On October 10, 2019, the US effectively increased the social security rate. Theoretically, this is supposed to be positive for the USD. However, as shown by our analyses, this news release had no significant price action impact on any currency paired with the US dollar.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Asylum Applications’ Fundamental Indicator

Introduction

People from war-ravaged countries seek refuge in neighboring countries for their protection and survival. There are countries where military conflicts, wars, and political tensions were so adverse that people had to leave their homeland to go to an entirely different country to protect their life and survive barely. An understanding of the refugee movements, the price neighboring countries pay, and the corresponding economic impacts for the host countries is worth knowing.

What are Asylum Applications?

It is essential that we first clarify the fundamental differences between the terms refugee, migrant, asylum seeker before we understand asylum applications.

Refugee: They are the people fleeing from their home country to neighboring countries due to armed conflict, political wars, and persecution. Their conditions are so adverse that the only way to save their life is to seek shelter in neighboring countries. The prospect of a career, financial independence are out of the question, and it is just a matter of survival for these people.

Migrants: These are the people who move out of their country of origin in pursuit of a better standard of living and to improve life quality. The reasons can include better education, finding work, or reuniting with families. Unlike refugees, migrants can return to their native safely. Migrants are subject to the immigration laws of the recipient countries.

Asylum seekers: Asylum seekers are people who have claimed to be a refugee, but their status has not been yet evaluated. This individual would have applied for asylum (place to stay) because he/she will be persecuted if returned to their homeland. Not all applicants will qualify as a refugee but will have to go through the due process to become one. Asylum applications refer to the number of people who have come from other countries to seek asylum in the host country.

How can the Asylum Applications numbers be used for analysis?

War-ravaged countries primarily produce refugees in such large numbers that the neighboring countries would need to provide aid by providing protection, shelter, food, clothing, and water. The provisions for these asylum applicants would have to be provided by the local and central Government. Based on the available resources that can be dispensed to provide aid, countries may choose to close their gates and refuse entry too.

It is difficult to give accurate estimates of the effect of asylum applications on the economy due to lack of before and after data estimates. Some researches have shown poorer host countries have had a negative impact while developed nations have had zero or some positive impact. It has also been found that the applicants have actively sought work to improve their living conditions in the host country.

It is worth noting that the countries from which people flee are often surrounded by countries of similar economic strength, meaning the host countries are also underdeveloped nations. For such countries hosting a large influx of asylum seekers would also be burdensome and negatively impact their economic conditions. Only in a few cases, there are scenarios that people have sought asylum in a developed nation. Most of the time, people move to a developed nation as migrants to seek better work and not as a refugee.

Some researches have also shown that the funds received through the relief providing organizations and programs like the World Food Program (WFP), which provide in cash or directly food, add to the income of the host country, thus boosting the economy. Adding people into the host country also increases consumer demand, as well as revenue generated through the refugees who have found work also boosts the economy.

The influx of the refugee is generally small and lies on the border sides of the country. The overall impact on the economy is many a time negligible and is significant only when the host country is a small economy in itself and is underdeveloped. The way the host country’s Government manages refugee situations also determines whether they lose or benefit out of it.

Only when the influx of asylum seekers increases suddenly due to an overnight development of some critical situations is the effect felt on the host country. Under such circumstances, the host country may need to allocate resources to provide aid, which would impact the Government spending budget. The more the funds allocated for such rescue programs, the lesser the funds available for the Government to spend on economy-boosting activities.

Large scale influx of asylum seekers can also add to unemployment in either the refugee camps or the jobs taken away from host country citizens by the refugees. Refugees are desperate for work and would offer their labor at a very minimum rate compared to the citizens of the host country. All these effects come into play during extreme war-like situations in neighboring countries; otherwise, the economy comes to a natural equilibrium in due time with negligible impact.

Impact on Currency

The impact of Asylum applications on economy and currency is not always clear due to lack of sufficient before and after scenario data. Asylum application data comes into use during critical times when we are trying to trade currencies of the host or the crisis countries. Any volatility in the market created would be through the general market sentiment reacting to the news and not from the statistics.

Hence, asylum applications are a low-impact indicator that is only useful in critical times for data gathering and analysis. Therefore, the currency markets overlook it as they would have priced in any economic shocks presented through media ahead of the statistics.

Economic Reports

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) publishes monthly reports on asylum application count as and when they receive reports from the Government authorities of different countries. The consolidated data of the same reports are also available on Trading Economics.

Sources of Asylum Applications

We can find refugee briefs on UNHCR official website for reference and latest updates on refugee migration. Asylum Applications for available countries are consolidated and available on Trading Economics.

That’s about Asylum Applications and their importance. We hope you find this article informative and useful. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Do You Know That ‘IP Addresses’ of A Nation Is Also Considered A Macro Economic Indicator?

Introduction

The advent of the Internet and the rapid growth of technology over the years has dramatically changed the way we define development and living standards. The number of literate people nowadays do own an electronic gadget with access to the Internet. It was not the case long before, but now access to the Internet is seen as a growth measure for countries. Understanding the IP addresses count as a means to assess how developed a nation is fascinating to acknowledge and look back on how the Internet changed the world.

What is an IP Address?

Each electronic gadget with internet access has a unique identifier called its IP address. An analogy would be like the “from” address in a post letter. Successful transfer of to-and-fro of data from mailer to recipient is possible when “from” and “to” addresses are clear. The unique address of your computer machine is used to relay data across a network in either direction.

The majority of the networks today use TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) as a means to communicate with other machines over a network. The unique identifier for a computer is known as its IP address.

There are two standards for IP address: IPv4 and IPv6 (v stands for version). All computers have the IPv4 address, and it is the prior version consisting of (24 =32 bit binary digits). At the same time, it will soon exhaust all possible combinations as more people start accessing the Internet. A sample IP address would look like “138.23.45.23” this. The IPv6 (26 = 128-bit binary digits) is the later implementation that came into the picture when we realized the limitation of IPv4 as the Internet was not an immediate trendsetter during its initial launch. The IPv6 will have six numbers as part of the address and would look something like “12.158.23.61.3.23” this.

How can the IP Addresses numbers be used for analysis?

Ten-twenty years ago, this article would be invalid as the Internet’s popularity grew exponentially until today to become an indispensable part of most economies. The Internet is now the primary source of information and communication. In today’s world countries, where the majority of people do not have access to the Internet are seen as third-world countries. It is a meaningful inference, though. Countries that have high literacy rates are bound to be aware of the Internet, computers, and similar electronic gadgets. People are rapidly incorporating technology all across the world and, through the Internet, are more connected than ever before.

Even if we look at the statistics and see the countries with one of the highest number of IP addresses are generally the most developed nations. Likewise, countries with the least number of IP addresses are generally underdeveloped nations. As more people are educated, have enough money to own a computer or electronic gadget, and have access to the Internet are likely to have a better living standard than those who do not.

One likely drawback of this type of inference would be that the IP address count is also a function of the population. Countries like India or China that have a large population count would easily surpass those who have a relatively small area of land and population. In that case, a percentage of the total population could be used to compare how many people have access to the Internet. In this digital age, the Internet is a powerful tool to incorporate new technologies, take advantage of access to external resources, and rapidly grow.

Businesses that do not have a “.com” are typically seen as not an established brand themselves. A digital presence of a business is almost mandatory as it has become one of the primary sources through which people know about the company. People, businesses, corporations, and governments are all accessible to us via the Internet. Hence, IP addresses count can give us more insight into how developed a country is than we think.

For instance, Bangalore, a city in India, is nowadays referred to as the Indian Silicon Valley due to a massive number of IT and Software companies operating as a primary business center there. With India incorporating electronic gadgets and the Internet (3G, 4G, and now 5G soon) boosted the economy, providing rapid growth and for consecutive years had one of the highest GDP growth rates globally. In this sense, the IP address count trend can be used to forecast growth trends in other developing countries.

Internet is a gold mine, companies like Facebook, Google have a net worth in billions, and the traditional definitions of large businesses do not apply to internet giants. Making proper use of the Internet and the available resources can potentially help in earning huge revenues. Even currency or stock trading are all done online for which we need internet access. Even this very article you are reading requires an internet connection and a computer (or a mobile) to begin-with.

Impact on Currency

The IP address count of countries serves as a general measure of prosperity. The relative growth of countries by the count and percentage share can be used to understand how open and adaptive countries are to the latest technologies. The countries with increasing IP addresses are likely to undergo a transformation and achieve high economic growth. We can forecast long-term trends through these statistics due to which it is a low-impact leading economic indicator as currency markets focus on current economic trends.

Economic Reports

The global count of IP addresses across countries is available through an internet company known as Akamai. However, the quarterly consolidated and graph plots of these statistics of most countries are available on Trading Economics.

That’s everything about IP Address Forex fundamental driver. It is obvious that there won’t be any impact on the price charts after the news release of this economic indicator. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact Of ‘Total Vehicle Sales’ Data On The Forex Market

Introduction

Vehicle sales figures offer us much insight into the consumer demand and overall health of the economy. Changes in vehicle sales figures could also be used for predicting the near-future direction of economic growth. Understanding how vehicle sales figures can be used to infer upcoming trends in crucial economic indicators could always give us the advantage of being ahead of the market trend.

What is Total Vehicle Sales?

Total Vehicle Sales represent the overall number of domestically produced vehicles that have been sold. The reports could be monthly, quarterly, or even yearly, depending on the reporting vehicle manufacturing companies. In other words, Total Vehicle Sales is the annualized new vehicles sold count for a given month.

The automotive industry represents a vital component of the United States economy. It makes up about 3% of the total GDP and remains the largest industry in the manufacturing sector. It is responsible for employing lakhs of people in the United States and transacts in billions each year.

How can the Total Vehicle Sales numbers be used for analysis?

At first, the importance of the vehicle sales figure may not be apparent, but vehicle sales serve useful for economic analysis. A vehicle is a significant purchase for people. People buy vehicles when they are confident about their ability to make payments. It is possible only when they have considerable disposable income or procure loans at lower interest rates.

When people’s disposable income is considerable, it means the people are affluent financially and reflects the good health of the economy. On the other hand, when loans are available to more people at lower interest rates, it means there is sufficient monetary stimulus from Central Banks to promote economic growth and money is easy to come by. Such inflationary pressures stimulate economic growth and indicate that the economy is likely to grow steadily.

The increase in vehicle sales figures reinforces the positive affirmations forecasted by other economic indicators like consumer spending or interest rates. As consumer spending comprises more than two-thirds of the GDP, an increase in vehicle sales likely indicates a healthy two or three quarters that are going to continue in the economy.

Equity markets respond and perform exceptionally well around the Total Vehicle Sales figures, as the increasing figures in sales imply increasing profits for the related companies. The increase in profits due to sales is doubled down by the stock prices soaring higher, and vice-versa also holds. Hence, the vehicle sales figures are given much-deserved attention every month by the equity traders and the media. To some degree, currency markets feed off from the equity markets, but the effect is noticeable only when the changes are significant.

Vehicle purchases are considered to be discretionary spending, and when people are paying for such items, it indicates the economy is flourishing. The relation between vehicle sales and economic growth also becomes more apparent during recessions, where vehicle sales drop significantly. During the Great recession of 2007-2009, vehicle sales fell by 3 million.

With rapid development in the automobile industry, more durable vehicles that last longer, unlike older models, are coming into the market.  It means people need not buy new vehicles as frequently as before. Hence, recent trends should incorporate this factor also into the statistics.

Alongside this, there is a shift in the industry due to disruptive brands like Tesla introducing electric cars as a contrast to combustion engines. It affects the industry and the dependent oil and gasoline industries as well. Self-driving and Artificial Intelligence equipped automobiles are catching up with the people, and this could soon invalidate many traditional jobs that came as a result of the regular gasoline cars and trucks.

The current COVID-19 pandemic already cost the economies of most countries much than they could handle, and many industries suffered heavy losses. The silver lining for the automotive industry is coming from the fact that as people resume their regular life by going back to their work require a safe commute. Things are looking brighter for the automobile industry as more people are considering the safety assured through private commute over the risk involved in the public transportation system.

Impact on Currency

Vehicle Sales acts as a coincident indicator that reflects the health of the economy at the current state. The currency markets are focused more on the leading indicators before the trends pick up. Total vehicle sales prove to be more useful for the equity markets for trading on the automobile and other related industries, but currencies require more than just vehicle sales.

Hence, overall Total Vehicle Sales are a low-impact indicator for the FOREX market and are useful in double-checking or reaffirming our leading indicator predictions. Economists and business analysts will use total vehicle sales data to report current economic health, but currency traders can overlook this indicator for other macroeconomic leading indicators.

Economic Reports

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) provides monthly reports on total vehicle sales on its official website. Apart from this, the St. Louis FRED website also details the same figures historically in a more comprehensive and visually depictive way.

Sources of Total Vehicle Sales

We can obtain Total Vehicle Sales figures for the United States from BEA.

For analysis purposes, the St. Louis FRED website offers better resources and ease of access for Vehicle Sales figures.

We can obtain Global Total Vehicle Sales figures for the majority of the countries from Trading Economics.

How Total Vehicle Sales Data Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US economy, total vehicle sales data is an important leading indicator of consumer spending and consumer confidence. It measures the annualized number of new vehicles sold domestically in the reported month. The most recent data related to this was released on August 3, 2020, at 7.00 PM ET. The total vehicle sales is a combination of all car sales and all truck sales data and can be accessed from Investing.com here. The historical data of total vehicle sales can be accessed from Trading Economics here.

The screengrab below is of the monthly total vehicle sales from Investing.com.

As can be seen, the total vehicle sales data is expected to have a low impact on the USD upon its release.

The screengrab below shows the most recent changes in the monthly total vehicle sales data in the US. In July 2020, the monthly total vehicle sales were 14.5 million compared to 13.1 million in June 2020. This increase is expected to be positive for the USD.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on August 
2020, Just Before 7.30 PM ET

From the above 15-min EUR/USD chart, the pair can be seen to be trading on a neutral trend before the release of the total vehicle sales data. This trend represents a period of relative market inactivity with candles forming near a flattening 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After the Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on 
August 2020, 7.30 PM ET

After the data release, this Forex pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle, indicating that the USD became stronger as expected due to the increase in total vehicle sales. The data release was, however, not significant enough to cause any market volatility as the pair continued to trade in a neutral trend with the 20-period Moving Average flattening.

GBP/USD: Before Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on August 
2020, Just Before 7.30 PM ET

Similar to the trend that we have observed with the EUR/USD pair, the GBP/USD was trading in a neutral pattern before the data release with candles forming around a flattening 20-period MA.

GBP/USD: After the Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on 
August 2020, 7.30 PM ET

After the news announcement, this pair formed a 15-min bearish candle but continued trading in the neutral trend observed before the data release.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on August
2020, Just Before 7.30 PM ET

AUD/USD: After the Monthly Total Vehicle Sales Release on 
August 2020, 7.30 PM ET

As observed with the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD pairs, the AUD/USD traded within a subdued neutral trend before the data release. The pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle after the news release, but unlike the other pairs, it continued trading in a weak uptrend.

Although it plays a vital role as an indicator within the economy, it is evident that the total vehicle sales indicator does not cause any significant impact on the price action in the forex markets.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Loans to Private Sector’ Fundamental Forex Driver

Introduction

Private Sector has a significant and crucial role to play in the economic growth of capitalist economies. The development of private sectors can single-handedly drive the GDP and development of the country forward. Credits and loan availability to the private sector can significantly impact the pace of expansion of the country. Hence, an analysis of the loans disbursed to the private sector can offer us much insight into the country’s growth.

What are Loans to Private Sector?

Loan

It is a credit incurred by an individual or entity. The creditor is generally a financial institution or the Government. The lenders give borrowers money on certain conditions that can include terms relating to the repayment date, interest charges, or other transactional fees. A loan can be secured or unsecured. In secured loans, the loan is given out against collateral like property, mortgages, or securities.

Private Sector

It refers to the part of the economy, which is not under state or central government’s control. The private sector industries are mostly privately owned and for-profit businesses. Private sectors can produce productive jobs, higher income, productivity growth. When private sectors are complemented with the Government sector’s support, the growth rate is multiplied many folds.

Loans to Private Sector

It refers to credits provided to the private sector by financial corporations. Credit can be as loans, nonequity securities purchases, and trade credits, etc. Financial corporations here can be monetary authorities (ex: Central Banks), finance and leasing companies, lenders, pension funds, insurance companies, and foreign exchange companies.

How can Loans to Private Sector numbers be used for analysis?

Most modern economies are capitalist economies, i.e., most of the GDP is derived from the private sector that operates on profitability. Economic indicators like employment, wage growth, the standard of living, GDP, etc. are all heavily dependent on the private sector. In the United States, the private sector contributes more than 85% of the total GDP. Hence, private sector growth is almost equivalent to the country’s growth.

In capitalist economies, the private sectors are competitive, provide high employment, better income, and lie at the forefront of technological innovation in general. Due to competition amongst fellow business organizations, the benefits of working in the private sector far exceed that of the public sector.

Credit plays a vital role in the economic growth of capitalist economies. Credit serves as a crucial channel for money transmission from central authorities to the private sector. Loans can fund production, consumption, and capital formation for businesses that, in turn, generate revenue for the country.

Loans can help private businesses to expand beyond just the cash in hand and speed up their growth rate. The ease with which credit facilities are made available to the private sector will largely control the pace of economic growth. The Government and the Central Bank authorities’ support in providing credit to private industries have historically proven to be very beneficial for the state and country’s urbanization and rapid growth.

On the flip side, a decrease or lack of credit availability can significantly impact small and medium businesses, resulting in halting expansion plans, laying off employees, or in the worst close filing bankruptcy.

The public sectors can only take care of the essential services and set rules and regulations in different areas. The required development has to come from the private sector. But it is the private sector that can boost economic growth through investment, employment, competition, innovation, and better wages.

In the underdeveloped economies, the Government’s support in credit and business support to the private sector has mostly helped uplift people from poverty. In the developing economies, private sector investments have dramatically improved the standard of living for many countries like China, Japan, and India. Private sectors of developed countries already enjoy the support from the public and banking sector, which explains their high GDP and consistent growth rate.

Impact on Currency

An increase in loans to the private sector is a positive sign for the economy. It indicates more businesses are now creditworthy and are working on expansionary plans. A healthy increase in the number of loans to the private sector is good for the future economy. An increase in loans to the private sector also indicates the market is more liquid, and the currency will lose value for the same set of goods and services. Conversely, a decrease in loans to the private sector means the market is less liquid, and money is costly. Currency appreciates, but economic growth is difficult to achieve.

Loans to private sector statistics are useful for the Governments and international investors and companies to check the health of the private sectors in a particular economy. International companies open businesses where ease of doing business is high. For them, it is a useful indicator. Private Sector Loan is not a significant economic indicator for the FOREX markets. Hence it is a low impact indicator.

Economic Reports

The World Bank collects domestic credit data to the Private Sector as a GDP percentage on their official website. The dataset is annual and covers most countries. The datasets are updated once they receive the latest data from the respective countries.

Sources of Loans to Private Sector

The World Bank’s Domestic Credit to private sector reports is available here.

We can also find a consolidated list of Loans to the private sector on the Trading Economics website.

How Loans to Private SectorAffects The Price Charts?

Loans to the private sector is not a statistic most forex traders keep an eye when making their trades. The lack of interest is because it is considered a their-tier leading indicator. It is, however, essential to know how the release of this fundamental economic indicator affects the forex price charts.

The Eurozone private sector loans data is released monthly by the European Central Bank about 28 days after the month ends. It measures the change in the total value of new loans issued to consumers and businesses in the private sector. The most recent release was on July 27, 2020, 8.00 AM GMT can be accessed here. A more in-depth review of the economic news release can be accessed at the ECB website.

Below is a screenshot of the Forex Factory official website. On the right side, we can see a legend that indicates the level of impact the Fundamental Indicator has on the EUR.

As can be seen, low impact is expected on the EUR.

The screengrab below is of the most recent change in private loans in the EU. In June 2020, private loans grew by 3% as compared to the same period in 2019. This change represented a flat growth from the previous release. Based on our fundamental analysis, this should be positive for the EUR.

Now, let’s see how this positive news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Eurozone Private Sector Loans release on July 
27, 2020, Just Before 8.00 AM GMT

From the above chart, the EUR/USD pair is trading on a neutral trend before the data release. The candles are forming around the flattening 20-period Moving Average. This trend is an indication of relative market inactivity.

EUR/USD: After Eurozone Private Sector Loans release on July 
27, 2020, 8.00 AM GMT

After the news release, the pair forms a 15-minute bullish candle as EUR becomes stronger as expected. However, the news release was not strong enough to cause a shift in the pair’s trend since the pair continued to trade in the previously observed neutral trend.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

EUR/JPY: Before Eurozone Private Sector Loans release on July 
27, 2020, Just Before 8.00 AM GMT

Before the news release, EUR/JPY traded in a similar neutral trend as observed with the EUR/USD with the candles forming around a flattening 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/JPY: After Eurozone Private Sector Loans release on July 
27, 2020, 8.00 AM GMT

As observed with the EUR/USD pair, EUR/JPY formed a 15-minute bullish candle after the news release as expected. The subsequent trend does now significantly shift.

EUR/CAD: Before Eurozone Private Sector Loans release on July 
27, 2020, Just Before 8.00 AM GMT

EUR/CAD: After Eurozone Private Sector Loans release on July 
27, 2020, 8.00 AM GMT

The EUR/CAD pair shows a similar neutral trading pattern as the EUR/USD and EUR/JPY pair before the news release. After the news release, the pair forms a 15-minute bullish candle but later continued trading in the earlier observed neutral trend as the 20-period Moving Average flattens.

Bottom Line

Loans to the private sector play a vital role in stimulating a country’s economic growth. From the above analyses, the release of the loan growth data has an instant short-term effect on the EUR. The data is, however, not significant enough to cause any relevant shift in the prevailing market trend.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What is Producer Prices Change and what should you know about it?

Introduction

For forex traders, the producer prices change come as an afterthought. The changes in the prices of the output by domestic producers is a vital macroeconomic indicator since it is considered a leading indicator of inflation. Therefore, understanding how these changes impact the economy, the rate of inflation, and the currency can be useful to forex traders.

Understanding Producer Prices Change

Producer prices change in the United States is measured using the producer price index (PPI). The PPI is a weighted index that measures the change in the price of finished goods and services sold by producers.

The consumer price index is the most cited metric for measuring inflation. However, PPI can be used as a measure of inflation; because it tracks the changes in prices from the perspective of producers. CPI tracks price changes from the consumers’ perspective. Therefore, PPI can be used as the foremost tracker of inflation since it measures the changes in the prices of output before it is distributed to the consumers. PPI can be considered to the purest change in the prices of output since it does not include the changes caused by sales taxes and mark-ups by retailers. Hence, PPI is predictive of the CPI, as shown by the correlation in the chart below.

Source: St. Louis FRED

Since the PPI does not represent the general and final changes in the prices of goods and services in an economy, it is regarded as a weak economic indicator in the forex market.

How PPI is measured

Although the PPI is quoted as the change in the price of the producers’ output, it is measured in three distinct stages based on the level of production. They include the PPI Commodity Index, which measures the changes in the price of input materials, PPI Processing Index, which measures the changes in the price of intermediate goods, and Core PPI, which measures the finished output.

It is worth noting that the prices of food and energy are considered to be highly volatile and are therefore not included in the computation of the core PPI. This omission is justified by the fact that their prices are reliant on the short term supply and demand, which makes it difficult to compare these prices in the long-run.

As mentioned earlier, PPI is a weighted index. Weighting means the size and importance of the items sampled are used. The changes in prices compared to those of 1982 as the base year.

How can the PPI be used for analysis?

The inflation data is among the most-watched economic indicators because the rate of inflation informs the monetary and fiscal policies in a country. Being a leading indicator for the CPI, the PPI serves an important role. This role is precipitated by the fact that inflation is one of the primary drivers of monetary and fiscal policies.

Rising inflation signifies the availability of cheap money, which encourages spending and investments. The Federal Reserve then raises interest rates to reduce the amount of money in circulation. At higher interest rates, borrowing money becomes expensive hence reducing consumption. Similarly, it becomes lucrative for households to save money since they earn more. Postponing consumption tends to reduce the amount of money I circulation hence lower rates of inflation.

Inarguably, low rates of inflation result in a stagnant economy. Although inflation is good for the economy, when it gets out of hand, it results in a rapid depreciation of a country’s currency. It is for this reason that the central banks use interest rate policies to set the desired maximum and minimum inflation rate. In the US, for example, the Federal Reserve has set the country’s inflation target at an average of 2%.

An increase in the PPI signifies that the overall rate of the CPI will also increase. This increase will reduce the purchasing power of the country’s currency since the same amount of money will afford a lesser quantity of goods and services. Therefore, an increasing rate of inflation encourages consumption within an economy because savers will be afraid that their money will lose value.

This increased consumption leads to growth within an economy. Conversely, a decreasing PPI signifies that the overall inflation is likely to reduce. This reduction, in turn, encourages people to save their money hence reducing the rate of consumption in an economy.

Inflation can result in a feedback loop. Hence, rising inflation will encourage more expenditure and investment in an economy leading to further inflation. This feedback loop occurs when savers opt for consumption to avoid the depreciation of their money; this, in turn, increases the amount of money in circulation, which causes the purchasing power of money even to reduce further.

Impact on Currency

The end goal for any forex trader is to establish whether a change in any fundamental indicator will lead to an interest rate hike or cuts. This anticipation is what primarily impacts the price action in the forex market.

A rising PPI  signifies rising inflation, which would be accompanied by an increase in the interest rates. Since the increasing interest rate is good for the currency, an increase in PPI results in appreciation of the currency relative to others.

Conversely, dropping levels of PPI signifies that the overall rate of inflation will fall. Therefore, a steadily dropping PPI forestall a drop in the interest rate. Therefore, decreasing levels of PPI leads to a depreciating currency.

Sources of Producer Price Changes

The producer price changes data can be accessed from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with the monthly updates. A comprehensive look into the US PPI data can also be accessed from St. Louis FRED website. Statistics on global producer price changes can be accessed at Trading Economics.

How PPI Data Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The most recent PPI data was released on August 11, 2020, and can be seen at Forex factory here. A more in-depth review of the PPI report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be accessed at the BLS website.

As can be seen, both the monthly PPI and core PPI data are expected to have a high impact on the USD upon release.

The screengrab below shows the most recent changes in the MoM PPI and core PPI in the US. In July 2020, the monthly PPI increased by 0.5% compared to a 0.3% decrease in June. The core PPI increased by 0.6% in July compared to a 0.2% decrease in June. Both changes in the MoM PPI and core PPI were better than analysts’ expectations of 0.1% and 0.3% increase, respectively.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts of a few selected pairs.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

As can be seen from the above 15-minute chart of EUR/USD, the pair was on a steady uptrend before the release of PPI data. This trend is evidenced by candles forming above the steeply rising 20-period MA. However, 30 minutes before the release, the steady uptrend tapered with the 20-period MA peaking.

EUR/USD: After Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM ET

After the PPI data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle followed by a period of volatility. The pair later adopted a bearish trading pattern with the 20-period MA steadily sloping downwards, showing that the USD became stronger as expected.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

Before the news release, the GBP/USD pair showed a similar steady uptrend as observed with the EUR/USD pair. As seen above, the 20-period MA is steeply rising with candles forming above it.

GBP/USD: After Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM ET

After the PPI release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish “hammer” candle. As with the EUR/USD, the pair subsequently reversed the uptrend and traded in a steady downtrend, the 20-period MA sloping downwards.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

AUD/USD: After Monthly PPI Release on August 11, 2020, 
at 8.30 AM ET

Unlike the strong uptrend observed with the EUR/USD and GBP/USD pairs, the AUD/USD pair traded in a weak uptrend before the PPI data release. This trend is evidenced by candles forming just around the slightly rising 20-period MA. After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute “bearish Doji” candle signifying a period of volatility. The pair subsequently reversed the trend adopting a steady bearish stance with the 20-period MA sloping downwards.

Bottom Line

Although the PPI is a relatively low impact fundamental indicator compared to the CPI, this analysis has proved that its release has a significant impact on the price action. Forex traders should avoid having any significant positions open before the release of the PPI.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About Industrial Production MoM Forex Indicator?

Introduction

Before the Service sector dominated the Industrial sector as a significant contributor to the GDP, it was the industrial production alone that was seen as a measure of economic growth. It still holds for many developing economies. Economies like China, Japan, India, etc. all had significant industrial revolutions that helped their countries to improve their economy. The industrial sector still contributes a considerable percentage to the economy and employs millions of people.

What is Industrial Production MoM?

Industrial Production: It refers to the total output produced by the industrial sector. Here the industrial sector consists of the mining, manufacturing, electric, and gas utility sectors. It is like a mini-GDP report for the industrial sector. By definition, it must be apparent that it primarily deals with tangible commodities or physical goods. On the other hand, The Service sector comprises of non-tangible entities largely.

The Industrial Production Index goes as back as 1919 if required, and is published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the United States. The extended time-frame availability of data makes it a more robust, reliable economic indicator as more data points are available relative to other sectors.

The data is aggregated by combining data in different units. Some of the data may be in dollar terms, some may be in tonnes (e.g., the weight of barrels of oils and steel), or inferred by the number of hours worked. The logged-in hours are obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is expressed as a percentage of real output relative to a base period. The base year is currently 2012. The methodology incorporated to calculate the Industrial Production is the Fisher Ideal Index, where the contribution of each sector is weighted (the higher the contribution, the higher is the weightage in the index calculation).

Industrial Production Indices comes in YoY and MoM versions comparing production size with the previous year and month, respectively. The YoY figures deem more use to analysts and government officials to analyze the performance of the industrial sector for this financial year. The MoM (Month over Month) figures are useful for closely monitoring for the expected uptrends or downtrends during business cycles. The MoM figures are more useful for investors in this regard.

How can the Industrial Production MoM numbers be used for analysis?

We have to understand the significance of this statistic historically. Before the development of the service sector, i.e., before the era of computers and the internet, the most industrialized countries were the most advanced economies. Countries that had many factories manufacturing tons of commodities were seen as highly advanced economies back in the day. Hence, it is no surprise that at such times the Industrial Production figures were a direct measure for the economy’s economic activity and growth.

The general trend in economic growth has been that underdeveloped economies have the primary sector as a significant contributor to the GDP. The developing economies have the secondary sector (industrial sector) as the primary contributor to the GDP, while the developed economies have the tertiary (or service) sector.

For the United States, the Industrial Sector now contributes less than 20% to the overall GDP, while more than 80% comes from the Service sector itself. Although it may sound like only 20%, it is only in comparison, but individually the industrial sector is in itself huge and employs millions of people. 15-20% is still a significant contribution, and that is the reason why it is still being published as well as analyzed by investors, traders, analysts frequently to infer significant economic conclusions.

With machine automation, the advancement of technologies, and the introduction of artificial intelligence, many traditional jobs in the industrial sector are getting replaced. This trend is likely to continue further down the line. As of now, the Industrial Production figures bear some relevance, though it is only a matter of time that its contribution further falls and is overlooked by investors and analysts.

(Image Credit: St. Louis FRED)

The industrial sector is more sensitive to business cycles as well as economic shocks, as evident from the historical plot. The current COVID-19 pandemic has had a more significant impact on the industrial sector than the service sector due to the nature of business.

Impact on Currency

Since the Industrial Production figures only account for a few sectors of the economy, hence it is not a macroeconomic indicator encompassing all industries into its statistics. For this reason, the relative significance of this indicator in the currency markets is less. Whereas, investors looking to invest in stocks of companies belonging to the Industrial sector use Industrial Production MoM figures to make investment decisions. Overall, it is a low-impact coincident indicator that bears no significant volatility in the currency markets but has a significant influence on the equity markets.

Economic Reports

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System publishes reports of the Industrial Production statistics as part of its monthly “G.17 Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization” report on its official website. It is released around the 15th of the month for the previous month. It is a preliminary estimate and is annotated with a superscript ‘p’ in the tables. It is subject to revision in the subsequent five months as more data becomes available. The report details both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted versions for our convenience.

Sources of Industrial Production MoM

The Federal Reserve publishes Industrial Production MoM reports on its official website. The same statistics are available with more tools for analysis on the St. Louis FRED website. Similar Industrial Production MoM statistics for most countries is available on the Trading Economics website.

How the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US, the monthly industrial production data is released by the Federal Reserve about 16 days after the month ends. It measures the change in the total inflation-adjusted value of output produced by manufacturers, mines, and utilities. The most recent data was released on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET and can be accessed at Investing.com here. An in-depth review of the industrial production data release can be accessed at the Federal Reserve website.

The screengrab below is of the monthly industrial production from Investing.com.

As can be seen, the industrial production data is expected to have a low impact on the USD upon its release.

The screenshot below represents the most recent changes in the monthly industrial production in the US. In July 2020, the US industrial production increased by 3% down from a 5.7% increase in June. This change was in line with analysts’ expectations of a 3% change. Therefore, this is expected to be positive for the USD.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, Just Before 9.15 AM ET

Before the data release, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a renewed uptrend with the 15-minute candles forming above a steadily rising 20-period Moving Average. This pattern indicates that the USD was weakening against the EUR.

EUR/USD: After the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET

As expected, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle after the data release indicating a  momentary strength in the USD. The data was, however, was not significant enough to bring forth a change in the trading pattern. The pair continued trading in the earlier observed uptrend with the 20-period Moving Average steadily rising.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

NZD/USD: Before the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, Just Before 9.15 AM ET

Similar to the trend observed with the EUR/USD pair, the NZD/USD was trading in an uptrend before the data release. The 20-period Moving Average can be seen to be steadily rising in the above 15-minute chart.

NZD/USD: After the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET

After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle. As observed with the EUR/USD pair, NZD/USD continued trading in the earlier observed uptrend with the 20-period Moving Average steeply rising.

AUD/USD: Before the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, Just Before 9.15 AM ET

AUD/USD: After the Monthly Industrial Production Data Release 
on August 14, 2020, at 9.15 AM ET

Before the data release, the AUD/USD pair was trading in a similar uptrend pattern as the EUR/USD and NZD/USD pairs. After the data release, the pair formed a 15-minute bearish candle and subsequently continued trading in the earlier observed uptrend similar to the other pairs.

Bottom Line

The monthly US industrial production data an important leading indicator of the economy’s health. From this analysis, however, while the data release affects the USD, it is not significant enough to cause a shift in the prevailing market trend.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Importance of ‘Lending Rate’ News Announcement on the Forex market

Introduction

The ease with which money can be obtained within a country primarily drives the business sector and consumer spending. Consumer Spending and Businesses mostly make up the GDP of a country. Hence, understanding Lending Rates and its impact on the economy can help us build our fundamental analysis better.

What is Lending Rate?

Lending Rate: The rate at which a bank or a financial institution charges its customers for lending money. It is the fee that is to be paid by the customer for the borrowed money. Bank Lending Rate, in general, is the Bank Prime Rate.

Bank Prime Rate: It is the rate of interest that banks charge their most creditworthy customers. It is the lowest interest rate at which banks generally gives out loans. On the receiving end usually are large corporations with a good track record with the concerned bank. Generally, the loans taken are also huge.

Other forms of loans like house mortgage, vehicle loans, or personal loans, are all either partly or wholly based on the prime rate. It is also important to note that the Central Bank’s interest rates set the bank lending rate. For the United States, the Federal Reserve’s, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) determines the target fed funds rate.  Fed funds rate will ultimately influence all the Bank lending rates on account of competition.

How can the Lending Rate numbers be used for analysis?

Banks and financial institutions are the primary source of money for businesses and consumers across the country. Hence, Bank Lending Rates can mainly drive business direction and influence consumer spending.

The Central Banks will influence the interest rates through their open-market operations in the inter-bank market by purchasing or selling bonds. When Central Banks buy bonds, they inject money into the economy, thereby effectively inducing inflation. It is popularly referred to as the “Dovish” approach. When the Central Bank sells bonds, it is effectively withdrawing money from the economy, making money scarce and costly to borrow. It is popularly referred to as the “Hawkish” approach.

When the Central Bank wants to deflate the economy, they will sell bonds, and when they decide to inflate, they will effectively buy bonds. In the private sector, Consumer Spending makes up about two-thirds of the United States’ GDP, and the rest is mostly by the business sector. The ease with which money is made available to people and business organisations affects the economy in a big way.

When lending rates are low, businesses can procure loans easily; they can run, maintain, and expand their current businesses. On the other hand, when the lending rates are high, only the high-end companies can procure loans. Meanwhile the rest of the business struggle to stay afloat in the deflationary environment. Businesses would be forced to keep their expansionary plans on halt when loan rates are high.

Consumers are also encouraged to take on loans when the rates are low. It promotes consumer spending, which, in turn, boosts local business. On the other hand, when interest rates are high, consumers would tend to save more spend less. When spending is less, businesses also slow down, especially sectors that do business with non-essentials like entertainment, luxury, or recreation.

On the international scale, the lending rates and deposit rates of banks from different countries also drive the flow of speculative money from international investors. When the lending rate in one country’s bank is lower than the deposit rate in another country’s bank, investors can generate revenue through a “carry.” Investors will borrow from the low-yielding currency bank and deposit in the high-yielding currency bank. The difference between these two rates is the margin they make.

The above plot shows the actual plot between the interest rates differential (AUS IR – USA IR) and the AUD USD exchange rate. As we can see, whenever the difference between the interest rates rises in favour of AUD, the exchange rate tends to follow. There is a strong correlation between both in the long run.

Since the Central Bank’s interest rates primarily determine all the lending rates (all types), investors generally calculate interest rate differentials by subtracting interest rates of two countries to see potential “carry” opportunities. Hence, when low-interest rates are prevalent, currencies lose value, on account of inflation and also outflow of money into other countries where deposit rates are higher.

Overall, the lending rates and deposit rates together move the currency markets in favour of the country’s currency, having higher deposit rates.

 Impact on Currency

The underlying Central Bank interest rates influence lending rates. The market is more sensitive to Central Bank interest rate changes than the bank lending rates. The lending rates of banks are also not as immediate as the Central Bank’s interest rate changes. Hence, although lending rates impact the economy, its effects are only apparent after about 10-12 months.

Hence, Lending rates are a low-medium impact indicator in the currency markets, as the leading indicator Central Bank interest rates take precedence over bank lending and deposit rates.

Economic Reports

The lending rates of banks can be found from the respective banks from which we would want to borrow money. For the United States, the Federal Reserve publishes Monday to Friday the daily Interest Rates in its H.15 report at 4:15 PM on its official website. Weekly, Monthly, Semi-annual, and Annual rates of the same are also available. The average Bank Prime Rates are also available in the same report.

Sources of Lending Rate

The United States Fed Fund Rates are available here. The prim Bank Loan Rate is available in a more consolidated and illustrative way for our analysis in the St. Louis FRED website. Consolidated Bank Lending Interest Rates of different countries are available here.

How Lending Rates Affects Price Charts

The lending rates can either create expansionary or contractionary effects within an economy.  Let’s now have a look at how it affects the price action in the forex market. In the US, lending rates entirely depend on the Federal Reserve’s Fund Rate. On March 4, 2020, the lending rates were cut from 4.75% to 4.25%. This cut coincided with the Federal Reserves’ interest rate cut from 1.75% to 1.25% on March 3.

On March 16, 2020, the lending rates were reduced from 4.25% to 3.25%. This cut coincided with the Federal Reserves’ interest rate cut from 1.25% to 0.25% on March 15.

For this reason, the lending rates rarely affect the price action in the forex markets.

In the US, the Bank Prime rate is published every weekday at 4.15 PM ET. Below is a screengrab from the US Federal Reserve showing the latest bank prime rates.

As can be seen, the rate has remained at 3.25% from March 16, 2020. For this analysis, we will consider if the change on March 16, 4.15 PM ET from 4.25% to 3.25% had any effect on the price action of selected currency pairs.

EUR/USD: Before Lending Rate Change on March 16, 2020, 
Just Before 4.15 PM ET

Between 10.00 AM and 4.00 PM ET, the EUR/USD pair was on a neutral trend. This neutral trend is shown on the 15-minute chart above with bullish and bearish candles forming slightly above the flattening 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After Lending Rate Change on March 16, 
2020, 4.15 PM ET

As shown by the chart above, the EUR/USD pair formed a slightly bullish 15-minute candle after the daily release of the lending rates. As earlier mentioned, the release of the lending rates is not expected to have any significant impact on the price action. This sentiment is further supported by the lack of change in the prevailing trend after the news release since the pair continued trading on a neutral stance.

GBP/USD: Before Lending Rate Change on March 16, 2020, 
Just Before 4.15 PM ET

The GBP/USD pair showed a similar neutral trading pattern as the EUR/USD pair between 1.00 PM and 4.00 PM ET. This pattern can be seen on the above 15-minute chart with candles forming on the flat 20-period Moving Average.

GBP/USD: After Lending Rate Change on March 16, 
2020, 4.15 PM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a slightly bearish 15-minute candle but continued trading in the earlier neutral trend.

NZD/USD: Before Lending Rate Change on March 16, 2020, 
Just Before 4.15 PM ET

NZD/USD: After Lending Rate Change on March 16, 
2020, 4.15 PM ET

Unlike the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD pairs, the NZD/USD pair had a steady downtrend between 12.15 PM and 4.00 PM ET. After the release of the daily lending rates, the pair formed a bullish 15-minute candle, but just like the other pairs, the news was not significant enough to change the prevailing market trend.

As we noticed earlier, the lending rates move in tandem with the Federal funds rate. Since the lending rates have always remained unchanged in the market and forex traders have anticipated this, hence the lack of volatility accompanying the news release.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About ‘Households Debt to Income’ as a Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

Households Debt to Income is another metric that is used to assess the relative wealth and standard of living of people in the nation. It can give us hints on the spending patterns and circulation of currency and liquidity of the nation overall. Hence, Households Debt to Income ratio is beneficial for economists, investors, and also to deepen our foundation in fundamental analysis.

What is Households Debt to Income?

Debt-to-Income (DTI): The DTI is an individual financial measure that is defined as the ratio of total monthly debt payments to his monthly gross income.

Gross income refers to the income received from the employer or workplace and does not include any of the tax deductions.

The DTI is calculated using the below-given formula.

Disposable Personal Income (DPI): Disposable Personal Income, also called After-Tax Income, is the remainder of an individual’s income after all federal tax deductions. Hence, It is the amount people are able to spend, save, or invest.

Household Debt Service Ratio and Financial Obligations Ratio: The household Debt Service Ratio (DSR) is the ratio of total household debt payments to Disposable Personal Income (DPI).

Mortgage DSR: It is the total quarterly required mortgage payments divided by total quarterly Disposable Personal Income.

Consumer DSR: It is the ratio of aggregate quarterly scheduled consumer debt payments to total quarterly Disposable Personal Income (DPI). The Mortgage DSR and the Consumer DSR together form the DSR.

Financial Obligations Ratio: It is a broader measure than the Debt Service Ratio (DSR) as it takes into account rent payments, auto lease deductions, house owners’ insurance, and property tax.

How can the Households Debt to Income numbers be used for analysis?

DTI is a personal financial metric that is used by banks to determine the individual’s credit eligibility. A DTI ratio should be no more than 43% to be eligible for mortgage credit, but most banks prefer 36% as a healthy DTI ratio to lend money.

The household Debt Service Ratio & Financial Obligations Ratio is more useful, and large scale public data releases for fundamental analysis. The proportion of income that goes into servicing debt payments determines Discretionary Income, Personal Savings, and Personal Consumption Expenditures. Higher the Households Debt to Income ratio, the lesser the money available for other needs.

The Households Debt to Income measures the degree of indebtedness of Households, or in other words, it measures the burden of debt on Households people. The higher the numbers, the greater the load and lesser freedom to spend on other things. As debt burden increases, Discretionary Spending (i.e., for personal enjoyment) decreases, and the income is used entirely to meet the necessities only.

An increase in DPI or decrease in debt payment (by foreclosure or servicing all installments at once) is the two ways to reduce the Debt to Income percentage.

The Households Debt to Income is an essential metric for Government and Policymakers as dangerously high levels in these figures is what led to the financial crisis of 2008 in the United States.

Impact on Currency

High Households Debt to Income figure slows down the economy as debt durations are usually serviced for years. Higher numbers also indicate decreased spending as people spend more money to save and to maintain repayments. This cut back on expenditures results in slowing down businesses, especially those based on Discretionary items (ex: Fashion, entertainment, luxury, etc.) take a severe hit. The overall effect would be a lower print of  GDP, and in extreme cases, it can result in a recession.

Households Debt to Income is an inverse indicator, meaning lower figures are good for economy and currency. The numbers are released quarterly due to which the statistics are available only four times a year, and the limitations of the data set make it a low impact indicator for traders. It is a long-term indicator and shows more of a long-term trend. It is not capable of reflecting an immediate shift in trends due to which the number’s impact is low on volatility and serves as a useful indicator for long-term investors, economists, and policymakers.

Economic Reports

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the United States releases the quarterly DSR and FOR reports on its official website. The data set goes back to 1980.

DSR & FOR Limitations: The limitations of current sources of data make the calculation of the ratio especially tricky. The ideal data set for such an estimate requires payments on every loan held by each household, which is not available, and hence the series is only the best estimate of the debt service ratio faced by households. Nonetheless, this estimate is beneficial over time, as it generates a time series that captures the critical changes in the household debt service burden. The series are revised as better data, or improved methods of estimation become available.

Sources of Households Debt to Income

The DSR and FOR figures are available here:

DSR & FOR – Federal Reserve

Graphical and Comprehensive summary of all the Households Debt related are available here:

St. Louis FRED – DSR & FOR

Households Debt to Income for various countries is available here:

Households DTI – TradingEconomics

How Households Debt to Income Affects The Price Charts

Within an economy, the household debt to income is vital to indicate the consumption patterns. In the forex market, however, this indicator is not expected to cause any significant impact on the price action. The household debt to income data is released quarterly in the US.

The latest release was on July 17, 2020, at 7.00 AM ET. The screengrab below is from the Federal Reserve website. It shows the latest household debt service and financial obligations ratios in the US.

The debt service ratio for the first quarter of 2020 decreased from 9.7% in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 9.67%. Theoretically, this decline in the debt to income ratio is supposed to be positive for the USD.

Let’s see how this news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Households Debt to Income Release on June 17,
2020, Just Before 7.00 AM ET

Before the news release of the household debt to income, the EUR/USD pair was trading on a steady downtrend. This trend is evidenced by the 15-minute candles forming below the 20-period Moving Average, as shown in the chart above.

EUR/USD: After Households Debt to Income Release on June 17,
2020, 7.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a bullish 15-minute candle indicating that the USD had weakened. The weakening of the USD is contrary to a bearish expectation since the households’ debt to income had reduced, the USD would be stronger. The pair later continued to trade in the previously observed downtrend.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, Just Before 7.00 AM ET

Before the news release, the GBP/USD pair had been attempting to recover from a short-lived downtrend. This recovery is evidenced by the candles crossing above a flattening 20-period Moving Average.

GBP/USD: After Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, 7.00 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish “Doji star” candle. The pair traded within a neutral trend afterward with the 20-period Moving Average flattening. As observed with the EUR/USD pair, GBP/USD did not react accordingly, as theoretically expected, to the positive households’ debt to income data.

AUD/USD: Before Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, Just Before 7.00 AM ET

AUD/USD: After Households Debt to Income Release on June 17, 
2020, 7.00 AM ET

Before the news release, the AUD/USD pair showed a similar trend as the GBP/USD pair attempting to recover from a short-lived downtrend. As can be seen, the 20-period Moving Average has already started flattening before the news release.

After the data release, the AUD/USD pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle. The pair continued trading in a neutral trend with candles forming on a flat 20-period Moving Average.

From the above analyses, the news release of the household to debt income data produced contrary effects on the USD. More so, the indicator’s impact on the currency pairs is negligible.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About Food Inflation & The Impact Of Its Release On The Forex Market

Introduction

Capitalist economies achieve economic growth using inflation as the primary fuel. Low and steady inflation rates are essential for achieving target GDP each year. Not all commodities inflate steadily and proportionally. Disproportional inflation amongst different sectors leads to over and underpricing of commodities. Food and Energy are the most basic of necessities in today’s modern society. Understanding how food inflation affects the population and the overall economy will help us better understand the inflation trends and their consequences.

What is Food Inflation?

Inflation is the typical increase in prices of commodities and a decrease in the purchasing power of money over time. Inflation is required to motivate people to work better to be able to afford it. If prices were stagnant, the necessity to grow or earn more would cease, thus halting the growth of a nation on the macro level. When that happens, people will remain in their current financial state and would not progress. Hence, inflation is the “necessary evil” or the required fuel for capitalist countries to achieve economic growth.

Food Inflation refers to the general increase in prices of food commodities. As prices inflate, our current income’s purchasing power erodes. Food and Energy are the necessities for us in this modern society. Although to some extent, Energy can be cut back on to get on with life, we cannot cut back on food.

Food is the fundamental right to every human being. Accessibility and affordability to food and water is a must for every individual regardless of their country. Food inflation monitors the affordability aspect of food within the nation; the consequences associated with it are more intricate than we might anticipate.

How can the Food Inflation numbers be used for analysis?

As people can procure fewer goods for a unit of currency over time, people can either cut back on expenses or earn more to compensate for inflation. Food expenses are mandatory expenditure part of income. High food inflation will take up a more substantial chunk out of the disposable income of individuals leaving less room for discretionary spending.

As the affordability of food decreases due to high food inflation, consumer spending is negatively affected. Consumer Spending is the primary component of GDP accounting for more than two-thirds of the nation’s GDP. In the same case, more people who are working on minimum wages find it more difficult to afford food and would be below the poverty line even when their wages are not.

Political implications would also be severe. The backlash from the public over Government’s inadequacy to control inflation would be severe and, at times, have led to strikes and bans in many countries over the years. The Government at such times faces severe criticism both from the public and the opposition parties and would likely lose the next elections.

Food inflation could also occur due to adverse weather conditions destroying crops, or mismanagement of supply and demand by the authorities, or even politically manipulating supply and demand for profit by local dealers. There have been incidents where supplies of grains were withheld to boost up the prices for better profits artificially.

In developing countries, there are incidents where Government-issued rations are also sold illegally for profit by some corrupt groups. Lack of proper support to farmers in terms of resources like electricity, water, seeds, loans could also impair them to produce a good yield. All such factors add to food inflation, whose burden falls upon the ordinary people.

It is necessary to understand that all other commodities excluding Food and Energy generally have at least some alternatives (or different brands) to choose from in case price inflates. For instance, people looking to buy clothes from a brand may switch to another brand to avoid paying the new inflated price. Food inflation effect cannot be avoided as quickly as was the previous case.

Government officials closely monitor the inflation levels and are politically committed to keeping inflation in check through fiscal and monetary levers at their dispense. Food and Energy prices are given special attention, and almost all the time, the response is quick and practical from the Government during times of disruption in the food supply.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries’ governments released relief packages to make sure there is no food shortage. Despite the fact many people slipped through the cracks of these protection measures, nonetheless, Governments did everything they could to avoid starvation.

 Impact on Currency

Food inflation is part of overall consumer inflation. Consumer inflation is the primary macroeconomic indicator for currency traders to assess relative inflation amongst currency pairs. Hence, food inflation is overlooked by currency traders for the broader inflation measures like the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE).

Nonetheless, food inflation is beneficial for the government officials to keep it in check all the time and also for the economic analysts to report the same. Overall, food inflation is a low-impact coincident indicator in macroeconomic analysis for currency trading that is overlooked for broader inflation measuring statistics, as mentioned before.

Economic Reports

The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes monthly inflation statistics as part of its Consumer Price Index report for the United States. This report has the food inflation statistics as the first criteria.

The St. Louis FRED also maintains the inflation statistics on its website and has many other tools to add to our analysis.

Sources of Food Inflation

Consumer Price Index from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics is available on its official website along with monthly updates.

We can find the same indexes along with many others with a comprehensive summary and statistics on the St. Louis FRED website.

We can find the global food inflation statistics of most countries on Trading Economics.

How Food Inflation Data Release Affects The Price Charts

In the US, the food inflation data is released simultaneously with the overall consumer price index (CPI) data. The data is released monthly about 16 days after the month ends. The most recent release was on August 12, 2020, at 8.30 AM ET and can be accessed at Investing.com here. A more in-depth review of the monthly report can be accessed at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

It is worth noting that since the food inflation numbers are released together with the over CPI, it will be challenging to determine the effect it has on price action.

The screengrab below is of the monthly CPI from Investing.com. On the right, is a legend that indicates the level of impact the Fundamental Indicator has on the USD.

As can be seen, the CPI data is expected to have a medium impact on the USD upon its release.

The screengrab below shows the most recent changes in the monthly CPI data in the US. In July 2020, the monthly CPI increased by 0.6% better than analysts’ expectations of a 0.3% change. This positive change is therefore expected to make the USD stronger compared to other currencies.

Now, let’s see how this release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

 

As can be seen from the above 15-minute chart, the EUR/USD pair was on a steady uptrend before the inflation news release. Bullish candles are forming above a steeply rising 20-period Moving Average, indicating the dollar was weakening before the release. Immediately before the news release, the uptrend can be seen to be weakening.

EUR/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 
2020, 8.30 AM ET

After the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle. Contrary to the expectations, the USD became weaker against the EUR since the pair continued to trade in the previously observed uptrend.

Now let’s see how this news release impacted other major currency pairs.

AUD/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, Just Before 8.30 AM ET

The AUD/USD pair shows a similar trading pattern as the EUR/USD before the inflation news release. The pair is on an uptrend, which heads for a neutral trend immediately before the news release.

AUD/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

As observed with the EUR/USD pair, the AUD/USD formed a bullish 15-minute candle after the news release. Afterward, the pair traded in a renewed uptrend with the 20-period Moving Average steeply rising.

NZD/USD: Before Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
Just Before 8.30 AM ET

NZD/USD: After Monthly CPI Release on August 12, 2020, 
8.30 AM ET

Unlike the EUR/USD and the AUD/USD pairs, the NZD/USD traded within a subdued neutral trend with an observable downtrend immediately before the news release. However, after the news release, the pair formed a 15-minute bullish candle and traded in a steady uptrend, as seen with the other pairs.

Bottom Line

In theory, a positive CPI data should be followed by an appreciating USD. From the above analyses, however, the positive news release resulted in the weakening of the USD. This phenomenon can be choked to the effects of the coronavirus expectations, which have made fundamental indicators less reliable.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Is ‘Interbank Rate’ and What Impact Does It Have On The Forex Market?

Introduction

The Interbank rate is an essential tool used by the central authorities to control the money flow within the economy. Changes in the interbank rate can add or withdraw money from the system overall, which can stimulate growth or slow down the economy, respectively. The Interbank rate drives interest rates for bank loans, which are the significant sources of capital for businesses and the general public. The understanding of the Interbank rate is crucial for our analysis.

What is the Interbank Rate?

The interbank rate is the percentage rate at which the United States banks lend each other money. A country’s Central bank dictates the banking practices for the banks within the nation. For the United States, it is the Federal Reserve which decides the interest rates and the banking practices. The central banks, in general, demand 10% of their total deposits be held as reserves to maintain liquidity and meet withdrawal needs.

Based on the interbank rate, banks having excess cash can lend money to the banks, which are falling short of capital to meet their immediate requirements or to maintain their minimum reserves.

What is the Interbank Rate – Second Definition?

The interbank rate also refers to the rate at which banks exchange currencies in the global forex market. The forex market consists of an interbank market, which is a significant part of the forex market system overall. This interbank market consists of big players. Most of those are banks, large financial institutions, investment banks, and mutual funds corporations and do not include retail forex institutions or traders.

The interbank rate numbers are what you see when you search in Google the currency exchange rate for a particular pair, but this is not the rate at which you can trade a pair. This rate is only available for the interbank market participants who are usually big financial corporations trading in millions and billions. The price you see is a jacked-up price of the interbank rate in your platform. Your rate is the sum of interbank rate and the spread which your platform charges for trade as profit.

The minimum transaction in the interbank market is in millions; hence the retail traders will not be able to afford the interbank rate. The interbank market participants trade currencies to manage their exchange rate and control interest rate risk.

Although, you can neither control nor trade at the interbank rate, important for traders to be aware of the interbank rate to avoid getting scammed by Forex brokers who main charge way above the interbank rate. The decentralized system of Forex allows for self-regulation, and hence the interbank rates hand the actual exchange rates available to traders are competitive and self-correcting. However, novice traders who are not aware of this might lose money by paying an excessive spread to brokers.

Economic Reports

Federal Reserve determines the interbank rate, and the average of all the interbank rates in all the lending transactions between the banks in the United States is called the Fed Funds Rate.

The interbank credit system is applicable for a short period, usually ranging from overnight to a maximum of a week. Hence, the interbank rate is also called the Fed Funds Rate.

The Federal Reserve announces the Fed Funds Rate based on a variety of factors like inflation, GDP growth, recession, monetary policy, etc. On the 1st of every month, the Fed Funds Rate is released.

How can the Interbank Rate be Used for Analysis?

The Fed Funds Rate drives money in and out of the economy. The Fed Funds Rate drives the interest rate on bank loans that is available to the public and businesses.

A higher Fed Funds Rate would mean that loans are now expensive than before. To take a loan now would mean paying more interest rate. Hence the general public is discouraged from taking loans indirectly. On the other hand, now it would be more profitable to save as they receive a higher interest rate on their deposits. Both these factors can change the general public sentiment on money spending. A high-interest rate environment withdraws money from the economy, thereby slowing down economic activity as people are less willing to spend.

Conversely, a low interbank rate encourages banks to give loans at a cheaper rate, and hence more businesses and people will be able to afford loans; this will ultimately lead to the injection of money into the system overall. When more money is available to a company or an individual, the natural tendency is to increase spending, businesses may use for expansion plans. All of this will stimulate economic growth and result in printing higher levels of GDP.

Impact on Currency

Traders and investors can use the Fed Funds Rate as part of their analysis. Since Central authorities use the fed funds rate to manage the economy and money supply, a historical correlation of interest rates with GDP growth rates can help us to determine the direction of the economy and the value of its currency.  It is a proportional indicator meaning higher interbank rates relate to currency appreciating phenomenon and vice versa.

Higher Interbank rates result in banks paying out higher interest rates for deposits, which can also attract foreign investors to purchase domestic currency to make a deposit and earn better returns on their investment.  Therefore, an increase in capital flowing into the economy and decreased local currency circulation in the rest of the world, thereby increasing its demand and worth.

A low interbank rate results in increased money flow into the system, which can be inflationary, thereby depreciating the purchasing power of its currency. Conversely, a higher interbank rate results in decreased money circulation in the system, which will be deflationary for the economy, and the reduced demand for goods and services will increase the purchasing power of the currency as people would tend to save than spend.

Even though the interbank rate changes do not immediately get reflected in the macroeconomic numbers like GDP and currency value, it is a slow indicator in that sense that it takes a particular time (weeks to few months) to show its effect in actuality. It is also important to know that the authorities use the interbank rate as a response or corrective measure to the current economic situation.

It is more of a gate check for inflation or deflation. It is more of an effect to a cause and not a cause in itself. It is a passive indicator in comparison to other indicators. It reflects more the past and current economic activities than upcoming financial situations. The initial temporary volatility in the currency after the news release is typical, but the long term effect reflects after a certain number of weeks only.

Sources of Interbank Rates

We can find out the Fed Funds Rate from the official website of the Federal Reserve System of the United States: Federal Reserve SystemSelected Interest Rates. We can also find a historical graphical representation of the effective fed fund rate changes in the St. Louis FRED website. For reference – Fed Fund Rate

Impact of Interbank Rate News Announcement   

The ultimate goal of any fundamental analysis is usually to determine if there will be a hike or a cut in the interest rates. As mentioned earlier, the interbank rate can also be referred to as the Federal funds rate. In the US, the Federal Reserve releases the interbank rate is determined by the FOMC which meets eight times in a year to set this rate

Below is a screengrab of the Federal Funds Rate from Forex Factory. On the right, we can see a legend that indicates the level of impact the Fundamental Indicator has on the corresponding currency.

The snapshot below shows the latest release of the Federal Funds Rate on July 29, 2020, at 1.00 PM ET. In the latest release, the FOMC recommended that the rate remains within the target of 0% and 0.25%. This range was within the analysts’ expectations.

It is worth noting that this year, the Federal Reserve has conducted two emergency rate cuts to combat the Coronavirus inflicted economic shocks. The first emergency rate cut was on March 3, 2020, at 10.00 AM ET, as shown by the screenshot below. The Federal funds rate was reduced to a target range of 1.00% to 1.25% from the previous range of 1.50% to 1.75%.

At another unscheduled emergency meeting on March 15, 2020, at 4.00 PM ET, the FOMC cut the federal funds rate by 1.00% to a target range of 0.00% to 0.25%.

Now, let’s see how this news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, Just Before 1.00 PM ET

As shown on the above 15-minute chart of the EUR/USD, the pair was on a progressing uptrend between 7.45 AM and 12.45 PM ET. This uptrend as evidenced by the subsequent bullish candles forming above the 20-period Moving Average.

EUR/USD: After Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, 1.00 PM ET

After the FOMC release of the Federal funds rate, there is a renewed volatility in the market. The initial market reaction was negative for USD since the FOMC kept the rate unchanged. The rate release did not result in a shift in the trend since most traders anticipate it and price in their expectations in the market.

Let’s quickly see how this new release has impacted some of the other major Forex currency pairs.

GBP/USD: Before Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, Just Before 1.00 PM ET

GBP/USD: After Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, 1.00 PM ET

The GBP/USD pair shows similar trends, as observed with the EUR/USD. There is a steady uptrend hours before the interbank rate release. Market volatility is present after the news release but not significant enough to alter the prevailing trend.

USD/CAD: Before Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, Just Before 1.00 PM ET

USD/CAD: After Interbank Rate release on July 29, 2020, 1.00 PM ET

For the USD/CAD pair, a weak uptrend is observed, with candles forming just around the 20-period Moving Average. After the interbank rate release, the pair shows the same weakness for the USD as observed with the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD.

Bottom Line

The interbank rate is a high-impact fundamental indicator in the forex market. The FOMC Statement, however, dampens its impact since it is focused on the future. It is therefore advisable for traders to avoid opening significant positions before this news release. Furthermore, reading the FOMC statement will help to gauge whether the Fed is hawkish or dovish about the future.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

How The ‘Corruption Rank’ Data Impacts A Nation’s Currency

Introduction

Corruption can very well be defined as seeking private gain through abuse of power that one has been entrusted. The biting effects of corruptions include:

  • Erosion of confidence in the monetary and economic system;
  • Hampering economic development;
  • Increase in current account deficits; and
  • Encouraging the growth of shadow economies

So, how does this affect a country’s currency valuation? Well, through GDP, of course! This correlation is explained in detail later on in this article.

Understanding Corruption Rank

Corruption rank is the ranking of countries worldwide based on how the countries’ public sector has been corrupted. It measures the extent of corruption by politicians and other public officials. Due to its nature of illegality and secrecy, there is no single indicator that directly measures the levels and extent of corruption in each country. The best measure of corruption rank is the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published by Transparency International.

The CPI is used to rate the countries based on perceived levels of corruption on a sliding scale from 0 to 100. A score of 0 is considered the most corrupt. A country with a score of 100 is considered to be clean of corruption. The CPI is constructed based on the opinions of business executives, public policy experts, financial journalists, and risk analysts globally.

The CPI is a result of 13 rigorous assessments and surveys on wide-ranging issues on corruption collated by several reputable institutions around the world, including the World Bank and African Development Bank. These assessments and surveys are conducted in the two years preceding the publication. They incorporate a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis which captures the manifestations of corruption, including:

  • Misuse of public resources;
  • Effectiveness of the prosecution of corruption cases by the judiciary;
  • The extent of bribery by firms and individuals to secure contracts, avoid taxations and payment of duties;
  • Bureaucratic loopholes that foster corruption; and
  • The effectiveness of anti-corruption measures implemented by the government

How Corruption Rank Impacts the Economy

To better understand how the corruption rank of a country influences its currency, we first must understand how corruption impacts a country’s economy.

Corruption inherently impacts the economy negatively. A specific study by the World Bank shows that the GDP per capita in countries with low CPI is about 60% less than for countries with a higher CPI. The negative effects of corruption are:

Overreliance on debt

Corruption results in a significant leakage in the budget. A country is thus forced to rely on debt, usually denominated in foreign currency. The interest payment leads to a higher share of revenue allocated to repayment in the short term instead of economic investments. This higher share of foreign borrowing also results in the local currency crisis.

Inefficiencies in the allocation of resources

Through bribery, the allocation of tenders is usually awarded to individuals and firms who are not qualified. As a result, most public projects are not completed, and the benefits to the economy foregone.

Creation of a shadow economy

Corruption facilitates the growth of several firms that avoid official registrations. As a result, the economy experiences a deficit in terms of taxation, import, and export duties payable. Consequently resulting in low GDP.

The exit of investors

Corruption leads to investors pulling their businesses out. This exit leads to reduced economic activities and accompanied by job losses.

A lower share of foreign direct investment (FDI)

Foreign investors often shun countries with rampant corruption since they seek a fair operating environment. Donor agencies such as IMF and World Bank also reduce their total outflows into such countries. Therefore, the recipient countries’ economy fails to benefit from such investments, which would have a multiplier effect within the economy. Also, because FDI is usually denominated in foreign currency, it usually boosts the recipient countries’ currency strength.

Reduced innovation

Corrupt countries offer very little protection in terms of patents and copyright protection. The lack of legal protection framework results in massive exportation of technology from such countries, thus denying the local economies the growth benefits.

Increase in current account deficits

Corruption creates a disincentive to invest in the local manufacturing and production industries. Apart from the drop in job creations, this leads to overreliance on importation to fill the local demand.

There is a direct inverse relationship between corruption levels in a country and its currency. The inverse correlation is because countries with higher perceptions of corruption have poor economic performance, while those with lower perceptions of corruption have better economic performance.

Consequently, a change in the corruption ranking is often accompanied by a corresponding change in the country’s GDP. In 2019, Sweden dropped in ranking from position 3 to position 4; this was coincided by a 6.37% drop in its annual GDP. During the same period, Malaysia ranked position 51 from 61, a period which coincided with a 1.68% annual GDP growth.

Source: ResearchGate 

How Corruption Rank Impacts a Currency

Although it is a rarely observed indicator, forex market investors should keep an eye on the annual release of the corruption rank. Because the corruption rank is based on two years’ worth of data, it is evident that the corruption rank signifies the underlying fundamental changes in a country’s economy.

High levels of corruption typically tend to be accompanied by a deteriorating economy. It is a known fact that the strength and fluctuation of a country’s currency are tied to its economic performance. Therefore, this is accompanied by a reduction in the valuation of the currency in the forex market.

Any improvements in the rank could forebode that the economy has been performing better, which will be accompanied by a significant appreciation in the country’s currency. Conversely, a drop in the corruption rankings signifies a deterioration in the economic conditions, which will result in the long-term changes in the currency’s value.

Sources of Data

The corruption perceptions index and the corruption rank are released annually by Transparency international. The corruption perceptions index can be accessed here and the corruption rank here.

How Corruption Rank Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

The corruption rank published annually by Transparency International rarely moves the forex market. It is, however vital for the forex traders to keep an eye out for CPI rank. As we have already discussed in this article, the CPI provides crucial information about the conditions of the underlying fundamentals of a country’s economy. The corruption rank is released annually following a two-year assessment and analysis. The latest CPI data for 2019 ranking 198 countries was released on January 23, 2020. A highlight of the release can be found on the Transparency International’s website.

Below is a snapshot of the top and bottom performers. The legend indicates the level of corruption in the country.

In 209, the US fell in rankings by one position, from 22 to 23 out of the 198 countries that were ranked. The screengrab below shows this position.

EUR/USD: Before Corruption Rank release on January 23, 2020

On the above chart, we have plotted a 20-period Moving Average on the EUR/USD chart. As can be seen, the pair had been on a consistent downtrend on the four-hour candlestick pattern. This downtrend is evident since the candlesticks are trending below the 20-period Moving Average. This similar downtrend on the four-hour candlestick chart can be observed on GBP/USD and NZD/USD, as shown by the charts below.

AUD/USD: Before Corruption Rank release on January 23, 2020

NZD/USD: Before Corruption Rank release January 23, 2020

For long-term traders, the pattern offers a great opportunity to go short on the above pairs, since the prevailing downtrends would favor them. Let’s now see how the price responded to the release of the corruption rank by Transparency International.

EUR/USD: After Corruption Rank release on January 23, 2020

After the release of the corruption rank, a persistent downtrend in the EUR/USD pair can still be observed. As shown on the daily chart above, the EUR/USD pair had a bullish candle on January 23, 2020. This strength is even though the US dropped in the corruption rank. Its CPI score dropped from 71 in 2018 to a score of 69 in 2019.

However, against the AUD, the USD can be observed to have weakened momentarily. The pair later regained its bullish trends. It is worth noting that the momentary strength in the AUD is because Australia performed better in the corruption ranking by climbing one position, as shown by the snapshot below.

The chart below shows the daily price action of the AUD/USD pair after the news release.

AUD/USD: After Corruption Rank release on January 23, 2020

The USD weakened against the NZD after the release of the corruption ranking. This weakness can be attributed to the fact that New Zealand ranked first with a score of 87. This ranking is shown by the screengrab below.

As can be seen on the daily chart below, USD weakened against the NZD after the news release.

NZD/USD: After Corruption Rank release on January 23, 2020

Corruption rank can be seen to have some mild effects on the price action of the selected pairs, but not enough to alter to the trend observed before its release. Although most forex traders rarely observe it due to the annual nature of its release, corruption rank provides vital information about the underlying fundamentals of an economy. All the best!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Job Vacancies’ as a Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

Job vacancies are a fundamental macroeconomic indicator. This article defines in detail what job vacancies are and further shows how the job vacancies affect the economy of a given country, and consequently, its currency.

What are Job Vacancies

Job vacancies are the number of new gainful employment positions that are created within an economy at a given point in time. In order to establish the number of job vacancies, surveys are usually done on employers about their businesses, recruitment, and job openings.

Job vacancies are considered if: there is a specific open position with work available for it; the job could commence within 30 days of advertisement whether or not a suitable candidate is hired, and the employers are actively recruiting workers for that particular job.

Purpose of Job Vacancies Statistics

The job vacancies statistics are meant to provide information about the level and structure of labor demand. The job vacancies statistics indicate the unfulfilled demand for labor and the desirable skills that are sought by the employers within an economy. As such, the job vacancies statistics provide the central banks and governments with an opportunity to analyze the trends in the labor market. The statistics can also be used to assess the structural analysis of the economy in terms of business cycles.

Job Vacancies as an Economic Indicator

Employers within an economy are continually looking to hire new workers to fill positions in their organizations. As such, job vacancies are a leading macroeconomic indicator of unemployment and employment rates. Thus, the more the job vacancies are available, the more the number of people who stand a chance to be gainfully employed and thus, leading to a reduction in the unemployment rate.

Conversely, fewer job vacancies imply that fewer people seeking employment get to be gainfully employed hence low employment rate in the economy. Thus, higher job vacancies signify an expanding economy while a reduction in the job vacancies implies that the economy is contracting or heading for a full-employment level. In this case, higher job vacancies result in appreciating the strength of a country’s currency while lower than expected job vacancies result in a drop in the currency value.

The statistics on job vacancies can also be used in the analysis of business cycles. The number of job vacancies is expected to be on a constant increase during periods of expansion because businesses are hiring more workers due to increased economic activities. At peak periods, the number of job vacancies is marginally decreased and remain plateaued since most businesses have achieved optimal operations. During the periods of contraction, the number of job vacancies is expected to be on a constant decrease due to a rapid reduction in the economic activity within a country, hence lower GDP output.

Thus, the statistics on job vacancies can be accurately used to predict the periods of economic boom and recessions. During the global economic crisis, the number of job vacancies in the US decreased from 4.4 mn in the 1st quarter of 2008 to 2.45 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, a period of recession. In the recovery period, the number of job vacancies increased from 2.72 million in the first quarter of 2010 to 4.92 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

How Job Vacancies Affect the Economy

By itself, job vacancies signify the level of economic activity within an economy. A higher and increasing number of job vacancies signify that the economic activities within a country are increasing hence the need for more workers. Similarly, a constant reduction in the number of job vacancies available implies that the economic activities in a country are cooling down, hence the need for fewer workers. More so, a reduction or plateauing in the number of job vacancies available could imply that the economy is heading for full employment.

Graph: 2019 January to December Scatter plot of US Job Vacancies and Real GDP.

Source: OECD Statistics and US BEA

As seen from the above scatter plot, from January 2019 to December 2019, there was a direct positive correlation between the change in the job vacancies in the US and the change in real GDP.

Job Vacancies and Impact on the Currency

As already discussed, job vacancies serve as a leading indicator for employment and unemployment levels. An increasing number of job vacancies implies that unemployment levels are bound to fall drastically. A steep fall in the unemployment rate, which is accompanied by a full rate of employment will result in higher inflation. The higher inflation is because the employers are competing to hire workers hence pushing up the wages at a faster rate. Increased rates of inflation will trigger the government and central banks to employ contractionary monetary policies aimed at keeping the inflation rate in check.

When the central banks increase the interest rate, it is aimed at reducing the rate of inflation by making borrowing expensive while encouraging the culture of savings. Thus, for forex market traders, they can anticipate a hike in the interest rate levels when there is a consistent increase in the number of job vacancies. The higher interest rate has the effect of increasing a country’s currency valuation.

Conversely, a constant reduction in the number of job vacancies, which comes after a period of a sustained increase in the total number of job vacancies, implies that an overheated economy is cooling down. An overheated economy is characterized by a prolonged period of positive economic development and higher levels of inflation brought about by increased wealth generation.

Thus, after the government has employed contractionary policies following the overheating of an economy, it can consequently be expected that this period will be accompanied by asset bubbles and an increase in the prices of assets. Higher wages means that most employers may not be able to hire more workers and let go of some of the existing employees, resulting in a sustained period of lower job vacancies.

The economy can be said to have plateaued and headed for a recession. For forex traders, a falling number of job vacancies could signify an impending dovish monetary policy meant to stimulate the economy and prevent excessive deflation. The dovish policies have a negative effect on a country’s currency.

How Job Vacancies News Release Affects The Price Charts

Although considered a low impact indicator, forex traders need to understand how job vacancies release impacts the price action. In the US, the job vacancies report is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics by conducting Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

JOLTS gives data on job openings, hires, and separations. The JOLTS report is released monthly about 40 days after the month ends. The latest, expected, and all historical figures are published on the Forex Factory website. The most recent release one can be found here. Job vacancies are advertised positions yet to be filled by the final business day of the month. A more in-depth review of the JOLTS numbers can be found at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Below is a screengrab of the Forex Factory website. On the right, we can see a legend that indicates the level of impact the Fundamental Indicator has on the corresponding currency.

The snapshot below shows the change in the JOLTS numbers. In the latest release, the number of job openings increased on a month on month between May and June 2020 from 5.37 million to 5.89 million. The increase was more than the 5.30 million forecasted by analysts.

Now, let’s understand how this news release impacted the Forex price charts.

EUR/USD: Before JOLTS release August 10, 2020

As seen on the chart above, we have plotted a 20-period moving average on the EUR/USD chart, which shows that the pair is on a strong downtrend. The steady downtrend is also evident from the fact that the candlesticks are just below the Moving Average. On the 15 minute timeframe before the release, between 1100 and 1330 GMT, the market is on a constant uptrend. This uptrend can also be observed in AUD/USD and NZD/USD pairs, as shown by the charts below.

AUD/USD: Before JOLTS release August 10, 2020

NZD/USD: Before JOLTS release August 10, 2020

It is evident that in such a period, going “long” in the market offers the best opportunity to take advantage of this short-term uptrend. However, since the general market trend is downward, we highly recommend following this trend.

EUR/USD: After JOLTS release August 10, 2020, 1400 GMT

After the release of the better than expected JOLTS numbers, there is a consistent downtrend on the EUR/USD. The mere increase in the number of job openings triggered the USD strength against other currency pairs. It is worth noting that the release of the JOLTS numbers was strong enough to reverse the immediate uptrend seen immediately before the release.

The same reversal to a downtrend after news release can be observed for the AUD/USD and NZD/USD pairs as well. This trend is shown in the charts below.

AUD/USD: After JOLTS release August 10, 2020, 1400 GMT

NZD/USD: After JOLTS release August 10, 2020, 1400 GMT

The positive job vacancies news had a significant impact on the strength of USD against other currencies. This strength is because the better than expected job openings signify that the US economy is on a recovery path following the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About ‘Social Security Rate’ – An Important Fundamental Forex Driver

Introduction

During the recent Coronavirus pandemic, the whole debate about social security has taken CenterStage. At a point in life, we all grow old. Since not everyone will go through life-saving for retirement, our main worry then would be; how to pay bills on time, how to provide for our families should we lose out jobs or become incapable of working.

Social security attempts to anticipate all this and offer practical solutions. So why should forex traders care about the social security rate? This article seeks to understand what impact of social security rate has on a country’s currency. To establish this, we first need to understand what it is and what it entails.

What is Social Security?

Social security has been given several definitions. In the UK, it is considered to be any form of monetary assistance from the government towards individuals who have inadequate or no income. In the US, social security is a federal program that is meant to provide retirees, the poor and the disabled with income and health insurance.

Thus, social security is the guarantee that a government gives to its vulnerable citizens that in the event they are exposed to a specific future risk, they will be looked after. The social security program, therefore, uses public resources to provide economic support for private citizens.

What is Social Security Rate?

This rate is the percentage of earnings that is charged on both the workers and their employers. It is used to fund the social security program.

How it is Calculated

Various countries have different mechanisms of arriving at the social security rate for both the employed and self-employed.

In the US, the social security rate is 15.3%. It is a combination of a 12.4% social security tax and Medicare tax of 2.9%. In 2020, the 12.4% social security tax is applied on everyone for all income up to $137,700; any amount earned beyond this threshold is exempt from the social security tax. The social security tax is deducted on an individual’s payroll through payroll withholding by the employer. This rate is split in half between the employee and the employer.

Therefore, an individual contributes 6.2% for social security and 1.45% of their earnings while the employer matches the other half. The employer then remits the withheld amount together with their contribution to the IRS. For those that are self-employed, since they are the employee and the employer at the same time, they have to pay both halves of the social security tax. In the UK, the social security rate is 14%. A comprehensive list of current and previous social security rates for every country can be found on the Trading Economics website.

Purpose of the Social Security

Conventional taxes are meant to be a revenue source for government expenditure or meant to be punitive. The social security tax is meant to a safety net for the contributors should they fall on hard times. It also functions as an economic guarantee for the most vulnerable in society. The chart below shows the dependency on social security benefits by various household income class in the US.

Source: AARP

Some of the benefits of the social security program include:

Retirement benefits

This offers workers and their dependents a replacement income for when they choose to retire. The earliest retirement age is 62 years. For one to be eligible for retirement benefits, they need to have worked for a minimum stipulated period. This period differs depending on the country. In the US, it is for ten years. The amount of money received largely depends on one’s lifetime earnings and the cost of living.

Disability benefits

Also known as disability insurance, the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability is meant to provide an income for the disabled. For one to be eligible, they need to have worked for a minimum number of years, depending on the age when the disability occurred.

Medical cover

This is the health insurance coverage that covers part of medical bills for ageing workers, people with permanent health conditions and those with disability.

Survivors benefits

This is meant to help those who are bereaved to cope

Social Security Rate and the Economy

The social security program differs in every country. However, in every economy, such programs are meant to provide stability to the households by providing a replacement stream of income, hence avoiding poverty. In the US alone, close to 56 million people are recipients of social security benefits.

Source: International Labour Organization

As shown in the chart above, higher expenditure in terms of social security corresponds to a higher GDP per capita. While some might argue that a higher social security rate reduces the amount of disposable income, the multiplier effect generated by the resultant social security benefits outweighs any short term loss.

It is worth noting that the families and individual who receive these benefits use the income to purchase goods and services. In 2019, it was estimated that the social security program injected over $1 trillion into the economy. Therefore, the presence of social security helps to maintain demand in the economy in times of crises and some cases, increase the demand.

The benefits of the social security program have a powerful multiplier effect within the economy. The businesses that receive this income from the consumers use it to increase production and hire more employees. These expansions, in turn, generate more revenue for the government to use in national expenditure while the earnings by the employees serve to create more consumption and increased savings.

How Social Security Rate Impacts Currency

As we have already established above, a higher social security rate creates a multiplier effect that generates more revenue within the economy. The strength of a country’s currency is a reflection of its economy. The growth in the national economy, therefore, corresponds to the appreciation in the value of the currency.

Conversely, lowering the social security rate will reduce the multiplier effect within the economy, which leads to shrinking of the national economic growth. For forex traders, lowering the social security rate could be a foreboding of a looming reduction in the national GDP growth, prompting expansionary monetary and fiscal policies. Therefore, in the long run, a low social security rate leads to the weakening of a country’s currency against other pairs.

How Social Security Rate News Release Affects The Forex Price Charts

Forex traders rarely pay any attention to the release of the new social security rates. This inattentiveness is because as an economic indicator, the social security rate is a low impact indicator. However, it is essential nonetheless to know how the news release of the social security rate affects the price action of different pairs.

In the UK, the national government through the Department for Work and Pensions sets the social security rate and is reviewed annually. A breakdown of the UK social security rate can be found HM Revue and Customs website. It should be noted that for the past 25 years, the US government has not changed the social security rate, as can be seen here. Below is a screengrab from the Trading Economics’ website on the UK and US social security rates.

UK social security rate

US social security rate

In the latest release on April 6, 2020, around 1100 GMT, the UK government revised the social security rate upwards from 12% to 14%. Now, let’s see how this news release made an impact on the Forex price charts.

GBP/USD: Before social security rate release April 6, 2020

We plotted a 20-period Moving Average on a one-hour GBP/USD chart. As can be seen on the chart above, the pair is in recovery with the candles crossing over the 20-period Moving Average and subsequently forming above it.

For the GBP/NZD and GBP/AUD pairs, the market is in a general downtrend before the announcement of the hike in the social security rate. This trend is evidenced by the subsequent candles forming below the 20-period Moving Average, as shown in the charts below.

GBP/NZD: Before social security rate release April 6, 2020,

GBP/AUD: Before social security rate release April 6, 2020

For forex traders, going long on the GBP/USD wile short on the GBP/NZD and GBP/AUD pairs would have been an excellent trading opportunity since the prevailing market trends would favour them.

Let us now see if the release of the new social security rates changed the market trend for these pairs.

GBP/USD: After social security rate release April 6, 2020

In theory, raising the social security rate should be positive for the GBP. Bust, as can be seen in the GBP/USD one-hour chart, the news release, did not have any impact on the pair to change the market trend significantly. The lack of impact can be observed for the GBP/NZD and the GBP/AUD pairs as shown by the charts below.

GBP/NZD: After social security rate release April 6, 2020

GBP/AUD: After social security rate release April 6, 2020,

Whereas the social security rate plays a significantly important role in the overall economy and the GDP, it is apparent that its impact in the forex market is negligible.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

GDP from Construction – Exploring The Fundamental Forex Driver

Introduction

Construction is the very first phase of an expected economic growth, which is more evident in the developing economies compared to the developed economies. New buildings, infrastructures, renovations are an indication of an expanding economy. GDP from construction is an important economic indicator to assess financial health and future economic expansion trends.

Construction

It is a part of the Secondary (Industry) Sector of an economy.  Construction refers to building and infrastructure works in all areas. The Construction Sector includes all physical making of infrastructures like bridges, transportation systems (roads, railways), dams, irrigation systems, naval ports, airports, pipelines, apartments, buildings, houses, commercial buildings, corporate structures, etc.

How can the GDP from Construction numbers be used for analysis?

The Construction Industry’s Economic Output is a significant economic indicator that is closely watched by both the private and public sectors. It is especially crucial for developing economies like China, as it is their main contributor to GDP. The GDP from Construction figures assist Central Authorities in policy reforms & economic-decisions.

Growth is essentially a process of invention of new things and discarding the old inefficient ones. Construction, in this sense, is nothing but that. It involves the erection of new buildings, renovations, expansions of the infrastructures that are currently existing. Increased GDP from Construction involves more people getting employed, better wages in the sector, and the extra demand for raw materials, etc. Hence we can say that the act of construction itself has a ripple effect on the economy.

Secondly, the GDP from the construction of corporate infrastructures or commercial structures implies that the constructed structures will be used for further economic activities. For example, a company doubling its company size is planning to double its staff and correspondingly the business that it generates. Hence, GDP from Construction figures improvement is indicative of an improvement in many other sectors.

All these improvements correlated with GDP overall also stimulate consumer confidence and encourages consumer spending, which further stimulates the economy and boosts growth. The Secondary Sector is composed of Industrial Output and Construction Output. For most countries, Industrial Output will be the dominant contributor to the GDP from the Secondary Sector.

We analyze GDP from Construction to understand the associated implications that more economic growth will be followed. For example, the construction of new power plants, or manufacturing industries, would show higher GDP from Construction this year. But the subsequent years, we will see higher GDP due to the newly added Industrial Outputs.

Hence, GDP from Construction figures can be used to assess future economic growth. Everything that is constructed is most likely to bring revenue through its usage in the future. Hence, GDP from Construction improvements can be a leading indicator for further improvements in GDP down the line.

The global Construction Industry makes up 13% of the World GDP, which is more than the Agriculture sector, which is about 7% of the World GDP. It means, overall, the global economy is improving at a rapid pace, with the Industrialization of many economies. It is forecasted to grow to 15% in 2020. China, India, and Japan are flourishing in this era with rapid Industrialization and achieving high GDP Growth Rates ranging from 5-20% in recent years.

GDP from construction can be used by investors to know which countries are transitioning from Developing Economies to Developed Economies. As GDP from Construction increases, it would be followed by GDP growth through increased Industrialization. Further down the line, the economies would transition to the services Sector as their main contributor to GDP.

Impact on Currency

The GDP from Construction is not a high impact indicator when compared to measures like GDP and GDP Growth Rates. GDP from construction does not portray the entire picture of the economy. However, it can be an essential tool for the Central Authorities to keep track of Construction Sector performance and its relative implications over the economy.

What construction is occurring can also serve as an indication of the economy type going to be built over the coming years. But, for the international currency markets, it does not serve as a useful indicator. It is a proportional and lagging indicator. Higher GDP from Construction is great for the economy and its corresponding currency, and vice-versa.

Sources of GDP from Construction

For the US, the corresponding reports are available here – GDP -BEA, GDP by Industry – BEA, and Construction – GDP. World Bank also maintains the Construction and Industrial Sector as a percentage of GDP on its official website, which can be found here – Industrial Sector (including construction) – World % of GDP. GDP from construction can also be found here – GDP Construction – World – Trading Economics.

GDP from Construction Announcement – Impact due to news release

The construction sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors today that has a great impact on the economy of any nation. Construction is one crucial sector that contributes to the economic growth of a country. The government and other regulatory authorities have always shown interest in this segment by investing significantly in various parts of the sector. Naturally, it will contribute to the GDP of a country and influence the reading released quarterly and monthly. When talking about the fundamental analysis of a currency or stock, investors make investment decisions based on the GDP and not on contributions made by individual sectors.

Now let’s analyze the impact of GDP on different pairs and witness the change in volatility due to the news release. For this purpose, we have gathered the latest GDP data of Japan, where the below image shows the fourth quarter’s GDP data released in March.

AUD/JPYBefore the announcement

We will first look at the AUD/JPY currency pair to observe the impact of GDP announcement on the Japanese Yen. In the above picture, we see the market has crashed lower due to some other news release, and currently, the price is at its lowest point. This means there is a great amount of selling pressure in the market, or sellers are dominant. In such a market situation, it is advised not to carry any position in the market before the news release.

AUD/JPY | After the announcement

After the news announcement, the price sharply moves higher and closes as a long bullish candle. This means traders sold Japanese Yen soon after the news release as it was below expectations and lower than the previous quarter. The volatility did increase to the upside for a while, but it did not sustain as the Japanese Yen was showing a lot of strength. One should trade after the market shows signs of trend continuation or reversal and not just based on the GDP data.

GBP/JPY | Before the announcement

GBP/JPY | After the announcement

The above images represent the GBP/JPY currency pair, where we see that the market has strongly moved lower as indicated by two big bearish candles before the news announcement. This means the Japanese Yen has gotten strong recently due to some other fundamental reason, and we cannot ascertain if this will continue or not. As volatility is very high, one should not take a position in the currency before the news release.

After the news announcement, volatility spikes to the upside, and the ‘news candle’ closes with a great amount of bullishness. Even though the price moves higher by a lot, it did not go above the moving average. The market has reacted adversely to the news announcement as the GDP was lower than last time and also below what was forecasted. If the price does cross moving average, this means the downtrend is still intact.

NZD/JPY | Before the announcement

NZD/JPY | After the announcement

The above pictures are that of the NZD/JPY currency pair, where we see a major crash in the market before the news announcement, which is visible in the first image. This pair also shows similar characteristics as in the above currency pairs, where the Japanese Yen has strengthened greatly. Ideally, we should be looking to sell the currency pair after a suitable price retracement.

After the news announcement, the market goes higher so much that it almost retraces the previous bearish candle, resulting in some weakness in the Japanese Yen. As the GDP data was weak, it brought disappointment in the market where traders sold the Japanese Yen and bought the base currency. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Understanding ‘GDP from Services’ As A Macro Economic Indicator

Introduction

The different proportion of contribution to GDP from the three sectors (primary, secondary, tertiary) can tell us a lot about the economic development stage a country is at the moment. GDP from Services can help us gauge the transition of countries from developing to developed status efficiently. Hence, it is useful for Central Authorities and business people to understand the growth of the Service Sector.

What is GDP from Services? 

Service Sector

It refers to the production of intangible goods, services to be exact, that are not goods. Services are intangible, non-quantifiable, and formless. The result of service may or may not produce a physical good. For example, a construction service would give the client a building, whereas a lawnmowing service would not. It is the largest sector in the global economy and bears high significance in advanced economies.

How can the GDP from Services numbers be used for analysis?

The three different sectors of an economy are associated with different activities. The primary sector is mainly associated with dealing with agriculture, farming. It answers the basic needs. The secondary sector deals with industrialization, where livelihood, employment are answered through the production of goods.

The tertiary sector comes into picture when the basic needs like food, employment, security are taken care of. The tertiary sector consists mainly of services. Countries that have Service Sector as their main contributor to GDP are generally considered the more advanced economies. Indeed, the underdeveloped nations will primarily struggle for food and water, where Agriculture would be the primary need to feed the population.

The industrialization growth will be associated with low-cost wage labors working in factories for mass production to compete in the global market. Whereas, the service sector will be associated with high-cost services generally to provide “good-to-have” commodities.

For example, a vegetable is cheaper than an industrial product. Likewise, an industry product would be cheaper than a service sector like antivirus software. The cost of a 1kg of potato is about 2.50 US dollars, whereas 1kg of potato chips from a company like lays would cost 10 US dollars, whereas a Netflix subscription (service) would cost around 10-15 dollars a month.

It is a general trend where a software employee (service sector) gets paid more than a factory worker (industrial sector). A factory worker generally gets paid more than a farmer (agricultural sector). It is easily observed the wealth generated from the Service Sector far outpaces that of the Industrial Sector and essentially the Agricultural Sector.

In general, countries start to grow from underdeveloped to developing nations through industrialization. China and Japan would be good examples of industrialization-led growth. Once a country has firmly established its primary and secondary sectors, it can reach the status of a developed economy through the service sector only. India and China would be good examples of developing economies, increasing their service sector to generate higher wealth.

Hence, GDP from Service is essential to assess the status of a country transitioning from an emerging or developing economy status to a developed economy. As the contribution of Service Sector to GDP increases, it implies that more percentage of people are engaged in higher revenue-generating activities, and have crossed the stages of addressing basic survival needs.

It is also essential to understand that GDP from Service can increase only when the country is firmly established and stable in the primary and secondary sectors. Because when primary and secondary needs are not answered, people will first engage in meeting primary needs and not providing services.

The developed economies have substantial contributions to GDP from Service Sector. For example, the United States and the United Kingdom, have about 80% of their GDP contributed from the Service Sector. Developing economies like India and China have over 50% of their GDP from Service Sector. Underdeveloped nations like Uganda have only 24% of the Service Sector.

Impact on Currency

Leading indicators like Services PMI or NMI already forecast the GDP from Service, which would mean the increases from GDP from Services is already priced into the market. It is a proportional and lagging indicator.

Also, GDP from Services does not paint the full picture of the economy. Still, it can be an essential tool for the Central Authorities to keep track of Service Sector performance and its relative implications to the economy. As established, the Service Sector is a significant contributor to the GDP in developing and developed economies.

Hence, Service Sector GDP improvements bring more prosperity to a nation than an equivalent improvement in Agriculture or Industrial GDP. Service Sector GDP increase brings wealth to a nation and improves the standard of living of its people better than any other sector. A country can become a developed nation only when its Service Sector GDP increases to 70-80% of its GDP.

In general, Higher GDP from Services is good for the economy and its currency, and vice-versa.

Sources of GDP from Services

For the United States, the BEA reports are available here – GDP -BEAGDP by Industry – BEA. World Bank also maintains the Service Sector’s contribution as a percentage of GDP on its official website – Service Sector – World % of GDPGDP from Services – Trading Economics.

GDP from Services Announcement – Impact due to the news release

In the previous section of the article, we saw the contribution made by the service sector to the GDP, and it’s importance in the growth of the economy. But when it comes to fundamental analysis of a currency, the service sector’s contribution alone is not of great importance to investors as it represents only a small portion of the whole GDP.

Therefore, traders and investors look at a broader figure, which is essentially the GDP itself, and take a currency position based on the GDP of a country. So an increase or decrease in the contribution of ‘Services’ to GDP does not have any impact on the currency.

Now, let’s analyze the impact of GDP on different currency pairs and observe the change in volatility due to the news release. The below image shows the latest quarter on quarter GDP data of New Zealand released in March.

NZD/JPY - Before the announcement

We will start with the NZD/JPY currency pair to examine the impact of GDP on the New Zealand dollar. The above chart shows the state of the market before the news announcement, where we see that the price was in a downtrend with the least number of retracements. Depending on the impact of the news release, we will position ourselves accordingly in the market. However, we should be looking to take a ‘short’ trade since the major trend of the market is down.

NZD/JPY - After the announcement

After the news announcement, the market moves lower by a little where the price closes, forming a bearish ‘news candle.’ The GDP data in the fourth quarter was lower than last time, which drove the price below the moving average. However, it did not cause a major crash in the market where the volatility slightly increased to the downside soon after the news release. One should wait for a price retracement before a ‘short’ trade.

NZD/CAD - Before the announcement

NZD/CAD - After the announcement:

The above images represent the NZD/CAD currency pair where we see in the first image the price violently moved lower, and few minutes before the news release, it has reversed from the ‘lows.’ Until the reversal is confirmed, we should be looking to sell the currency pair since the down move is very strong. Since a major news event is due, one should wait for its release and take a position based on the change in volatility.

After the news announcement, volatility expands on the downside, and the ‘news candle’ closes, forming a trend continuation pattern. The market reacted negatively to the GDP data since there was a decrease in the GDP by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. This can be taken as an opportunity for joining the downtrend where one can take a ‘short’ position with a stop loss above the ‘news candle.’

EUR/NZD - Before the announcement

EUR/NZD - After the announcement

The above images are that of the EUR/NZD currency pair, where the market is in an uptrend, and the price is currently at its highest point. The chart signifies weakness in the New Zealand dollar before the news announcement with no signs of strength. Technically, we will be looking to buy the currency pair after a pullback to a key technical level.

After the news announcement, the price moves higher and volatility expands on the upside, thereby further weakening the New Zealand dollar since it is on the right-hand side of the pair. At this point, one should be cautious by not taking a ‘long’ position as it would imply chasing the market. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Everything About GDP From Transport & Its Impact On The Forex Price Charts

Introduction

The Transportation Industry’s contribution to GDP is both direct and indirect. The real contribution of Transportation to overall economic growth goes beyond what the GDP can measure. Hence, Understanding the Role of Transportation in economic activity and its underlying importance that is both visible and subtle is essential for our overall fundamental analysis.

What is GDP from Transport?

Transportation

Transportation includes the types of services that are provided through operating vehicles, moving goods, or people over public transport systems like roads, railways, waterways, airways, etc.

The supply side of the Transportation system is called the Transportation Industry. It is also essential to note that the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industrial Classification System (NAIC) both consider Transportation as a separate industry. They do so through a standard set of definitions and criteria. Hence, not all Transportation services come under the Transportation Industry.

The Transportation services’ contribution to GDP can be measured in the following ways:

Final Demand: It is calculated by adding all the expenditures by households, private firms, and the government on Transportation related goods and services.

Value Added: It is calculated as the GDP contribution by the Transportation services overall. Transportation Value Added is a gauge of the transportation sector’s contribution to GDP. It is based on the difference between transportation services sold value and the goods and services used to produce Transportation.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) takes industry value added to be a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP.

From measurement viewpoint, three types of transportation operations can be distinguished:

  • For-hire operations: It includes those services conducted by transportation industries on a fee basis. A trucking company’s trucking operations is an instance of for-hire operations. 
  • In-house operations: also called, own-account operations, is conducted by non-transportation industries for their use. For instance, the Coca-cola company may transport its beverages to its local warehouse for storage through its trucks. 
  • Final user operations: Final users include the general population (end consumers) and the government who purchase transportation services like cars, trucks for their use.

Transportation Satellite Accounts: The Satellite industry segregates data by focusing on types of economic activity. Hence, the TSAs depict the contribution of for-hire, in-house, and household transportation services as they all form part of the Transportation Industry.

How can the GDP from Transport numbers be used for analysis?

The Transportation-related Final Demand metric is useful to compare the expenditures incurred on other industries like healthcare or housing. For sector-wise, growth analysis, investors can use this to gauge, which industries are experiencing increasing demand that can help them to invest accordingly.

On the other hand, it is not an accurate metric to measure the Transportation needed to support and sustain economic activity. For instance, if the investment into Transportation infrastructure is underfunded, then correspondingly, it will underestimate the final demand due to low economic output. The Transportation industry’s contribution in the year 2019 and 2018 has stayed around 3.2% of GDP as per BEA.

The value-added contribution of Transportation Industry to GDP is, however, understated for the following two reasons:

  • It only includes the contribution of for-hire transportation services. Many industries use transportation services for their use. In-house services do not contribute to GDP.
  • The extent to which industries depend on Transportation is not depicted in these figures. Mobility and interconnectivity between industries, states, and countries are critical factors in business growth in today’s interconnected international markets.

Accessibility to resources, end consumers are all enabled through Transportation and are heavily impacted with poor transportation infrastructure. The US Department of Transportation – Bureau of Transportation Statistics accounts for the TSA reports, and they, by far, depict the contribution of the Transportation industry better than other measures published.

Impact on Currency

GDP from transport does not paint the full picture of the economy but tells us the direct contribution of the Transport industry to the overall GDP. Still, for the International Markets, it does not serve as a useful indicator. It is a proportional and lagging indicator. Higher GDP from Transport is good for the economy and its corresponding currency, and vice-versa.

Sources of GDP from Transport

For the United States, the BEA reports are available here – GDP -BEA

We can use the GDP by Industry to get the transport’s contribution to GDP here –

GDP by Industry – BEATransportation Statistics –Annual Report – BTS

Transportation’s contribution to GDP for the world can be found here –

GDP from Transportation – Trading Economics

GDP from Transport Announcement – Impact due to news release

The main role of transport is to provide access to different locations to individuals and businesses. Transport facilitates a wider range of social and economic transactions than would otherwise be possible. Transport is an important sector in its own weight. Transport infrastructure and transport operations together account for more than 5% of the country’s GDP. In developed countries, further investment in that infrastructure will not only result in economic growth but also improve the quality of life, lower costs to access resources and markets, and improve safety.

Therefore, the transport sector is an important sector of the economy that many long-term benefits associated with it. Fundamentally speaking, investors would not invest based on a currency based on the contribution made by the transport sector alone, as its direct influence on the GDP is less. The transport industry indirectly helps in boosting the GDP by assisting in all business activities.

In today’s article, we will observe the impact of GDP on various currency pairs and observe the change in volatility because of its news announcement. For illustration, we have collected the latest GDP data of Switzerland, which was released in March. The below image shows that the GDP in the fourth quarter was slightly better than expectations and higher than the previous quarter.

USD/CHF | Before the announcement

Let us start with the USD/JPY currency pair in order to analyze the impact of GDP on the Swiss Franc. In the above Forex price chart, we see that the overall trend of the market is down where recently the price is moving in a ‘range.’ After the occurrence of a trend continuation pattern, a ‘sell’ trade can be taken with less risk. Conservative traders should wait for news releases and trade after the volatility settles down.

USD/CHF | After the announcement

After the news announcement, the price marginally increases that takes the market higher by just a few pips. We can argue that the GDP data had the least impact on the currency pair and did not induce any volatility in the market. As the data was as expected, it did not turn the market downside, and it moves as usual.

EUR/CHF | Before the announcement

EUR/CHF | After the announcement

The above images represent the EUR/CHF currency pair, it is clear that before the news release, the market is in an uptrend, and few minutes before the release, the price has been moving within a ‘range.’ This means the news event could either result in a continuation of the trend or a reversal of the trend.

Hence it is recommended to wait for the news announcement to watch the impact it makes on the price chart. After the news announcement, there is a slight increase in volatility to the downside after the close of news candle resulting in strengthening of the Swiss Franc. However, the ‘news candle’ itself appears to be impact-less, where there is hardly any change in price during the announcement.

NZD/CHF | Before the announcement

NZD/CHF | After the announcement

The above images are related to the NZD/CHF currency pair, where we see that the market is moving sideways before the news announcement. Just before the release, the price is close to the bottom of the ‘range.’ As the impact of these numbers is less, aggressive traders can take ‘long’ positions when technically the location is supporting for a ‘buy.’

After the news announcement, the market moves higher, and there is an increase in volatility to the upside. Since the GDP was not extremely bullish or bearish, the market did not react violently to the news release. Therefore, in such times we need to look at the charts from a technical angle. All the best!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Exploring The ‘GDP From Utilities’ Forex Fundamental Indicator & Its Impact On The Market

Introduction

The Utility sector is the safe-haven sector for investors during economic slowdowns. The volatility of the Utility Sector is very low compared to any other market, be it currency, stocks, or any other financial market. Understanding the nuances involved with the GDP from the Utility Sector can help us identify money flow patterns during slowdowns and growth periods.

What is GDP from Utilities?

Utility Sector

As per the Bureau of Economic Analysis Department of Commerce: The Utility Sector comprises of industries that provide the following utilities: electricity, natural gas, water, and steam supply, sewage removal. Hence, the Utilities Sector deals with the most necessary commodities for the functioning of modern-day society. It deals with the most indispensable resources.

Functioning of societies without electric power is impossible.

One research even shows if electricity was not available for two weeks, 50% of survey members stated they could not survive. Water, Sewage systems, natural gas are all pillars for conducting our social life. Hence, these basic amenities produce profits; they are part of public service and hence are heavily regulated.

Within the sector itself, specific activities associated with utilities also vary. Electric power includes generation, transmission, and distribution. So some companies may only focus themselves on the sub-categories within the Utility sector.

Water supply includes treatment and distribution. Steam supply includes provision and distribution. Sewage removal consists of the collection, treatment, waste disposal through sewer systems, and sewage treatment facilities.

How can the GDP from Utility numbers be used for analysis?

Utilities generally give its investors stable and consistent dividends. It is relatively less volatile compared to other equity markets. During times of recession, the non-essential goods and services sectors take the worst hit while Utility Sector the least. As utilities are a necessity, their performance is consistent in the long run.

Typically investors buy utilities as long-term holdings for their dividend income and portfolio stability. During recessions, where the Central Authorities cut interest rates to stimulate the economy, investors flock to Utility stocks as a more secure alternative. When economic growth is restored, investors may find better alternatives than utility sectors.

Since this sector is heavily regulated, raising rates to increase revenue for the companies. The infrastructure required to run utility services are expensive and require high capital to maintain and upgrade over time. Hence, Utility providing companies have debts in their balance sheets, taken for maintenance and continuity. Hence, these industries are susceptible to interest rate fluctuations, as interests on their debts vary accordingly.

Consumers also have an impact on the Utility sector. Since many states let consumers choose their utility provider, the competition forces companies to keep competitive prices, that overall decreases their profits. Long-term power purchase agreements or water supply contracts can also incur dent on profits for companies when utility generation costs increase over time.

It is also crucial to know the growth of the Utility Sector is also a function of population and industrialization. Developing economies observe a rise in new factories, and industries would require higher utility services. The contrast in the sector’s economic size would be apparent while contrasting underdeveloped and developed economies.

Capitalization of utility services can lead to monopoly or resource control to private industries to their advantage for profits. Overall, we also must consider that utility services are to be accessible to all classes of people. Hence, regulation by the government is essential to keep it affordable for the lower sections of society.

The regulation also ensures that sustainable development is kept as a priority over profits. As the generation of electricity from fossil fuels like coal, and water supply from underground water, both of which are exhaustible. Therefore, revenue-wise, Utility Sector is not a significant contributor. In the United States, it contributed about 1.6% of value to GDP for the year 2018 and 2019.

Impact on Currency

The GDP from Utilities is a low impact indicator compared to the Broader measures like GDP Growth Rates and Real GDP. GDP from Utilities does not paint the full picture of the economy but tells us the direct contribution of the Utility Sector to the overall GDP. It is useful for long-term investors as a safe-haven during economic slowdowns.

Still, for the International Currency Markets, it does not serve as a useful indicator. It is a proportional and lagging indicator. Higher GDP from Utilities will impact the economy and its currency positively. Contrarily, low GDP from utilities will have a negative impact.

Sources of GDP from Utilities

GDP from Utilities Announcement – Impact due to news release

The Utility sector is an important part of any country as it consists of essential products that are consumed by people daily. Water, gas, electricity are some of the products of the Utility sector. Naturally, they play a vital role in economic and social development. Governments are responsible for ensuring access to service under an accountable regulatory framework.

Utilities are one of the key stakeholders in the economic development team. This industry is also important because all business requires these essential services to operate. Therefore, its contribution to the GDP is increasing year by year. When it comes to fundamental analysis of the currency, investors consider the nominal GDP as an indicator of the economy’s growth.

In today’s example, we will examine the impact of GDP on the value of a currency and see the change in volatility because of its news release. The below image shows the first-quarter GDP data of Hong Kong, where we see a big drop in the value from the previous quarter. Let us find out the reaction of the market to this data.

USD/HKD | Before the announcement

Let us first examine the USD/HKD currency pair to analyze the impact of GDP on the Hong Kong dollar. In the above price chart, it is clear that the market is moving within a ‘range’ where the overall trend is up. Before the news announcement, the price is at the bottom of the ‘range,’ which means there is a high chance of buyers getting active from this point. Aggressive traders can ‘long’ positions as the market is expecting weak GDP data for the first quarter.

USD/HKD | After the announcement

After the news announcement, the price rises by a few pips, and the market moves higher by little. As the GDP data was very bad, the rose higher, which resulted in the weakening of the currency. But this did not bring the kind of weakness and bearishness expected, as the GDP had dropped by more than 5%. This means the new release had the least impact on the currency pair.

EUR/HKD | Before the announcement

EUR/HKD | After the announcement

The above images represent the EUR/HKD currency pair, where we see that before the news announcement, the price has broken out of the small ‘range’ that was formed few hours before the news release. Until the breakout is confirmed, one should not consider buying the currency pair as the news announcement could lower the price and make this a false breakout.

After the news announcement, the market moves lower and volatility increases to the downside, resulting in the Hong Kong dollar’s strengthening. We witness an opposite reaction from the market in this currency pair, where the currency gains strength after the news release. This means the market has already priced in weak GDP data and reacted positively to the GDP data. We recommend using technical indicators to confirm the breakout and then take ‘long’ positions.

AUD/HKD | Before the announcement

AUD/HKD | After the announcement

The above images are that of AUD/HKD dollar, where we see that before the market is moving within a ‘range’ before the news announcement where the price is currently in the middle of the ‘range.’ Another thing we notice is that the overall trend of the market is up, which means we need to be cautious before taking a ‘sell’ trade in the currency pair.

After the news announcement, we see that the price marginally moves higher and closes with a slight amount of bullishness. This means the GDP did not impact the currency pair adversely and minimal effect on the pair. One could take a ‘short’ trade after price moves below the moving average.

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Does ‘Exports by Category’ Data Indicate About A Nation’s Economy?

Introduction

Export is an essential component of a country’s balance of trade. International trade is the heart of the FOREX market that constitutes the fundamental moves in currency pairs. The imbalance in various country’s balance of trade is offset by equal and opposite volatility in currencies. Hence, understanding the macroeconomic dynamics of trade relations, compositions, and how they are tied to currency values can deepen our fundamental analysis.

What are Exports by Category?

Export: It is the sale of domestically produced goods or services to the foreign market. If goods manufactured within the nation are sold to customers outside the country’s borders, it is referred to as an export. On the other hand, imports are the purchase of foreign goods or services by a country. Generally, a country exports a particular commodity because it either efficiently manufactures or is more capable than the importing country.

A country like Canada, which has abundant oil reserves, can export to countries like China, which has a massive demand for its industrial economy. Similarly, China may export electronics to other countries like the United States, as they have a competitive edge in that domain. Exports bring domestic currency into the country in exchange for produced goods and services. Imports bring in goods and services into the country and send out the domestic currency. Hence, countries must maintain a “balance” in its international trade to keep currencies in an equilibrium.

How can the Exports by Category numbers be used for analysis?

If a country’s exports exceed its imports, it is said to have a trade surplus or a positive balance of trade. On the contrary, if a country’s imports exceed its exports, it is said to have a trade deficit or negative balance of trade. Imports signify consumption, and exports signify production. In a perfect world, the trade balance would be zero, meaning a country would produce equal to what it consumes. In reality, the balances are skewed and change from time to time.

When a country exports, it accumulates wealth. Many developing economies like China have increasingly depended on exports for their economic growth. By investing heavily in optimizing its industries and resources, many developing economies could export goods at a lower price to developed economies. A trade surplus (exports exceeding imports) is generally seen as beneficial to the economy. Prolonged periods of trade surplus, drains the international market of that country’s currency, thereby increasing its valuation against other currencies.

When a currency valuation appreciates imports become cheaper as more goods can be procured per unit of currency. In general, a trade surplus is seen as beneficial, but it may not always be the case. For instance, a country might increase its imports of construction materials to develop its cities and state infrastructure. During this time, it may have a trade deficit, but later once the work is done, its exports may improve beyond its previous highs and pay off for the years it maintained a deficit.

Countries export and import in millions and billions of dollars. When a country exports goods, it does so in large quantities, and the corresponding transaction would also be significant. Such transactions amongst countries with different currencies need to be exchanged. Such exchanges in the international FOREX market occurring for fundamental reasons sets off the equilibrium.

By the natural market forces through demand and supply, currencies will come to a new equilibrium. The movement in currency values through such fundamental moves is accompanied by speculative transactions from investors and traders worldwide. Approximately 20% of all FOREX transactions occur for pure fundamental reasons while remaining occurs for speculative purposes.

Understanding the portfolio of exports a country has can help us get a fundamental idea about the underlying goods and service exports that influence currency moves. For instance, Australia depends heavily on Iron Ore exports (approximately 20%). The Iron exported is sold mainly to China and Japan. If business activity in China reduced because of some reason, a decrease in demand would reduce exports for Australia, followed by a corresponding drop in AUD currency value.

The below image depicts how AUD value against USD follows Iron Ore prices. Hence, countries that depend on fewer exports experience higher volatility than countries with a more diverse portfolio of export and imports.

Impact on Currency

The ‘Exports by Category’ is not an economic indicator but is an essential statistic to understand the country’s trade relations. The composition of exports of a country does not vary significantly every month as exports and imports are based on trade agreements and business contracts that generally last years at a stretch. Exports by Category can be used to identify which goods and services are potential influencers for currency volatility. Hence, overall it is an essential requisite for fundamental analysis but not an economic indicator.

Economic Reports

For the United States, the Census Bureau tracks all the import and export statistics on its official website. The international trades categorized based on trade partners and Categories of goods and services are also available.

Sources of Exports by Category

The Census Bureau’s International Trade Data, the Export & Import by Trade Partner, Foreign Trade has all the necessary details. Consolidated reports of Exports by Category for most countries is available on Trading Economics.

Exports by Category News Release – Impact on the Currency Market

We know that Exports is an important fundamental driver of an economy, that can significantly impact a nation’s currency. Digging deep into Exports, we can widen the heading into Exports by Category and Exports by country. In other words, the result of the two is reflected in the Exports data.

Exports by Category, not being an economic indicator, barely has any impact on the currency of an economy. Moreover, the data is based on trade contracts, due to which the numbers do not change often. Nonetheless, let us combine the Export by Category and Exports data to study the volatility change in the currency market.

Exports Report – USD

Exports by Category – United States

According to the reports, the US’s exports dropped by USD 6.6 billion from the previous month, reading USD 144.5 billion in May 2020. Looking at the Exports by Category data, all the top five categories saw a decline in Exports.

EURUSD – Before the Announcement

Below is the price chart of EURUSD on the 4H timeframe. Before the release of the Exports by Category (Exports), we see that the market is consolidating, and there is no clear trend as such. However, the market is slightly leaving lower highs and lower lows, indicating EUR weakness and USD strength.

EURUSD – After the Announcement

On the day of the news release, it is seen that the price showed bullishness in the beginning. However, it got rejected by the sellers by the end of the day.

In the following days, we can see that the market broke out from the consolidation and began to trend north, implying USD weakness and EUR strength. There certainly would be several factors to it, but one of the accountable factors can be the disappointing numbers projected by the Exports.

USDJPY – Before the Announcement

Prior to the release, we can see clearly that the USDJPY market was crashing down. However, it saw bullishness in the last week of June.

USDJPY – After the Announcement

The USDJPY price saw feeble volatility on the day the news was released. In hindsight, the market dropped and continued the predominant downtrend. This indicates that the USDJPY has negatively affected post the Exports by Category numbers.

GBPUSD – Before the Announcement

Before the report on Exports by Category, the GBPUSD market was in an evident downtrend, as represented by the trendline.

GBPUSD – After the Announcement

A day before the numbers were reported, the price aggressively broke above the trendline, indicating a reversal.

When the news released, the price tried going higher but was pushed right back down by the sellers. However, subsequently, the market did change direction and began to trend north.

Thus, it can be concluded that the market did not have an immediate effect on the prices but did have an expected outcome in the short-term. Cheers!

Categories
Forex Fundamental Analysis

Does The ‘Import Prices’ News Announcements Impact The Forex Price Charts?

Introduction

Import and exports make up a country’s trade balance that primarily drives currency value and economic growth. The two-way feedback between imports and exchange rates is critical to understand and how the trade balance affects currency value. Understanding changes in import prices can help us deepen our understanding of macroeconomic fundamentals of every country.

What is Import Prices?

Import prices are the cost at which foreign goods are purchased in the international market. Import prices are measured through import price indexes. Import price indexes measure the change in prices paid for goods imported to the domestic country. The import price index figures for a reference period relate to the prices of goods that have come into the country during the period.

Import prices are essential to a country’s trade balance. A country’s trade balance is the difference between its total exports and imports and is an economy’s major composition.

How can the Import Prices numbers be used for analysis?

The international market always tends to stay in an equilibrium of currencies. When a country’s currency is flooded into the forex market, its relative value falls against other currencies. On the contrary, when a particular currency leaves the international market and goes into the country, the deficit increases its value against other currencies. Hence, excess reduces value, and scarcity increases value.

In this sense, when a country imports goods and services, it does so by paying out or sending out its domestic currency into the international market. When a country exports a good or service, it sends out the product in return for dollars coming into the country. Hence, overall the total worth of exports and imports should be balanced to maintain the currency’s current value.

When a country imports more than it exports, it faces a trade deficit, and as a result, its currency value falls relative to other currencies. When imports exceed exports, it means the country is a net consumer of goods and services in the global economy. It is negatively contributing to global economic growth. When a country exports more than it imports, it faces a trade surplus, and as a result, its currency rises relative to others. When a country is a net exporter or provider, it is contributing positively to global economic growth.

In general, countries prefer to maintain a trade surplus, but may intentionally maintain a trade deficit by importing, to increase their exports and overall economic growth in the future. Countries in today’s modern world have increasingly become dependent on international trade for both imports and exports.

Countries that do not have a competitive edge in specific sectors prefer to import goods and services from other corners of the world where they may be more efficiently produced and are cheaper. Businesses rely on importing raw materials or intermediate goods for producing finished goods and services, or even consumption.

A strong currency will favor imports as more goods can be procured for a unit of currency. Prolonged deficits (imports exceeding exports) devaluate the currency, which is not suitable for the economy. Hence, countries’ central authorities closely monitor the import and export price changes to draw out policies or reforms if needed to ensure a trade balance. In a crude sense, a country’s exports are its income, and imports are its expense. Increasing imports and declining exports ultimately drive a country into a debt trap.

Import prices are useful for negotiating future trade contracts, tracing global price trends for certain goods and services, predicting future prices, and domestic inflation. It is also used to deflate trade statistics published by the government. Import price also helps the central authorities to decide which and how much of a fiscal or monetary lever is to be used to manage exchange rates.

Import prices are especially valued in the bond markets because of its direct impact. As importing prices become too high, it deteriorates the importing company’s profit margin, ultimately decreasing corresponding bond prices. Hence, bond prices decrease when import prices substantially increase. On the other hand, when import prices decrease, the profit margin for companies increases, and correspondingly the bond prices also rise, seeing the increased margin.

Impact on Currency

The currency markets are always focused on macroeconomic indicators and do not focus on indicators that focus on specific parts of the economy. However, import prices affect trade balance, bond markets, and even stock markets. The overall net import and export figures and trade balance reports constitute more precedence than the individual import prices report for the currency markets. Hence, it is a low-impact indicator in the currency markets and can be overlooked for other macroeconomic indicators.

On an absolute basis, significant increases in import prices for prolonged periods, deteriorate currency, and economic growth. In practice, multiple forces act for and against such figures, and import prices alone are insufficient to determine currency’s future direction.

Economic Reports

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes monthly import prices as part of its “Import/Export Indexes (MXP).” It is released every month around the second week for the previous month on its official website.

Sources of Import Prices

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Import/Export Indexes (MXP) is primarily used. It is also categorized into subtables by End-Use, NAICS (North American Industry Classification System), Harmonized System, and Origin. Consolidated Import prices for most countries is available on Trading Economics. The World Bank also maintains international trade data in terms of import value and export value indexes.

Import Prices – Effect on Price Charts

Import Prices is an important element in understanding the trade balance of an economy. However, it alone cannot affect the economic condition of a nation. It is combined with the Export Prices, and the difference between the two is what makes it vital.

Coming to the currency market, the Import Prices report mildly affects the volatility of a currency. If immediate volatility on the time of release is not observed, it could be reflected in the short term.

Import Prices Report

The below report represents the Import Prices of the US for the month of June. According to the data released on July 15, the Import Prices increased by 1.4% month-on-month, after a decline of 0.8% the previous month. Also, it beat the forecasted value of positive 1.0%.

Historical Impact Prices Report

Impact Level

The US Import Prices released by the US Department of Labor has a moderate impact on the currency market (USD).

USDJPY – Before the Announcement

Below is the price chart of USDJPY on the 15mins time frame. Before the report was released, the market was in a strong downtrend representing USD weakness.

USDJPY – Before the Announcement

When the news was released during the open if the New York session, the trading volume considerably increased, and the price continued to move south. However, later in the session, the prices reversed in favor of USD. This indicates that the market did have an impact on the report.

USDCHF – Before the Announcement

Before the news announcement, the volatility of the market was feeble. The price which was inclined down initially, but had begun to move switch direction during the release of the news.

USDCHF – After the Announcement

When the Import Prices news report was announced, the volatility was moderate in the beginning but reduced later in the day. The price which was showing bullishness prior to the news continued with the same sentiment. Thus, traders can follow their strategy without any hesitation as the news barely induce high volatility.

AUDUSD – Before the Announcement

Before the announcement of the report, the market was in an evident uptrend making higher highs.

AUDUSD – After the Announcement

Right when the report was announced and the North American session began, the market reversed direction from an uptrend to a downtrend. However, the price failed to make a higher high. The volatility increased significantly, which can be seen from the volume indicator.

The Import Prices is an essential indicator in as it is a factor of calculation for fundamental drivers. As we saw, even though this indicator did not really bring in volatility in the market, it indirectly does significantly affect the currency prices when combined with other drivers. Cheers!

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

What Should You Know About ‘Export Prices’ & Its Relative Impact On The Forex Market

Introduction

Exports and Imports are vital components of a country’s Trade Balance that directly affects currency value. Careful balancing of export and import prices is necessary for maintaining currency value. Understanding how export prices affect the overall trades, domestic businesses, and ultimately currency value can help us build a more accurate fundamental analysis.

What are Export Prices?

Export prices are the selling price on the products and services to be sold in the international market. It is the price of goods and services that are domestically produced and sold to foreign countries. Hence, it is the prices fixed on goods and services which is intended for sale by the exporter in the overseas market.

In the United States, the Export prices are measured as part of the “U.S. Import and Export Price Index.” Export price and Import price both together form a sort of “net” price that helps us understand whether we are exporting more and gaining, or importing more and losing.

How can the Export Prices numbers be used for analysis?

In today’s modern world, many nations have opened themselves up for international trade. It is quite common for foreign brands to compete with local brands in many countries. Globalization has led to rapid growth for the global economy. Exports and Imports are two essential elements of a country’s trade balance. Imbalance in trade creates a deficit or surplus that directly affects the country’s currency.

Increased exports and reduced imports mean more goods and services go out of the country, and currency comes in. When currency comes in, the foreign demand for currency increases, and thereby currency value goes up. If exports bring more currency into the country than imports send out, the country experiences a trade surplus, which is good for the economy and currency.

Increased import over export indicates more dollars are spent and go out in importing products and services than dollars coming in for the goods sent out. When the international market is flooded with a currency due to increased imports, its currency value falls against other currencies. In such a situation, a country is said to have a trade deficit. Export prices can rise for the following reasons:

Increased production cost

As the manufacturing or cost of the raw materials increases, it eats away the company’s profit margin. To avoid this, companies may translate these increased production costs to the end consumer by pricing their goods higher.

As companies not only have to compete with fellow local businesses, they need to compete with companies from other countries. An increase in prices through production cost inflation may put the country at a disadvantage and lose sales in the international market. Hence, even though export prices increased, the sales volume will decrease negating the effect. It generally does not work in favor of the country and its currency.

Increased demand

As demand for a particular good or service increases, the company may raise its prices to compensate for the limited supply. Price increase as a result of increased demand is always beneficial for the company, country, and currency. Export and import prices are used for many purposes, and some of which are:

  • Based on changes in export and import prices, we can predict future prices and domestic inflation.
  • We can evaluate currency values and exchange rates based on overall exports and imports for a given pair of countries.
  • It can be used as a reference for setting up other trade agreements and price levels.
  • It can also be used for identifying global price trends for any specific product or service.
  • They can be used to deflate or devaluate trade statistics.

Export prices are specifically more critical for developing economies, as through exports, they primarily achieve their growth. Export-led growth has benefitted developing economies to create wealth and developed countries to get goods at much lower prices in the international market.

Change in currency value also affects export and import prices. Weak domestic currency brings in more currency during exports while making it harder to import as they become relatively more expensive. A strong currency hurts exporters while it favors imports as more goods can be purchased per unit of currency.

Hence, we observe countries undergo “trade wars.” Trade war means countries intentionally devalue their currencies during exports and peg it higher during imports in their favor. Such tactics are regularly used by China, and seeing these other countries also do the same. Competitively devaluating or valuating domestic currency higher to make trades favorable to their countries is referred to as a Trade war. Hence, any increase in export price should solely happen through an increase in demand, as that is the only way the economy benefits in the long run.

Impact on Currency

Export prices alone do not provide us with a complete picture of a country’s trade balance. The overall export minus import price is what determines the overall currency value. Hence, for currency markets, the export prices alone do not provide the necessary insight. Therefore, it is a low impact indicator. But on an absolute basis, an increase in export prices is good for the economy and the currency and vice-versa.

Economic Reports

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes monthly export prices as part of its “Import/Export Price Indexes” at 8:30 AM around the middle of the month. It is reported in percentage changes compared to the previous month and is also reported by categorizing based on end-use.

Sources of Export Prices

We can find the Export Price as part of the Import/Export Price Indexes and end-use versions. We can find consolidated statistics on export prices for most countries on Trading Economics.

Export Prices – Impact Due To News Release

Export prices is an important fundamental indicator in analyzing other economic drivers. When it is combined with the Import Prices, the trade balance is obtained, which plays a vital role in the foreign exchange market. The trade balance is also a fundamental indicator that heavily impacts the currency of a country. Thus, traders always keep an eye on the release of the trade balance report.

Coming to Export Prices, it alone does not induce much volatility relative to that of the trade balance. However, since the trade balance is dependent on the Export Prices and Import Prices, traders do keep a watch on these data releases to get insights on the overall output of the trade balance.

Export Prices Report

Before is the latest report on Export Prices, which came out to be 1.4%. The Export Prices were expected to rise by 0.8%, but the actual number beat the forecast.

USDCAD – Before the Announcement

Before the announcement of the Export Prices data for the month of June, we can see that the market was in a fresh downtrend making news lows every step of the way.

USDCAD – After the Announcement

The news was published during the open of the New York session. It is seen that, right on the announcement of the data, the USD prices collapsed against the Canadian dollar. With the release of the report and the open of the New New York market, the market volatility was boosted.

In this case, we see that the market followed the direction of the overall trend. Thus, traders can take advantage of the volatility due to news and market open and trade based on their analysis. However, they should ensure that the report is within the normal range and not an outlier. During abnormal values, a trader may better off stay away from the related currency, and its pairs.

NZDUSD – Before the Announcement

A day before the release of the Export Prices report, the market was in an uptrend, signifying NZD strength and USD weakness.

NZDUSD – After the Announcement

Once the news was out, the volatility of the market remained the same, despite the open of the US market. This clearly implies that NZDUSD was stayed non-impacted with the Export Prices report. However, in the subsequent day, the market reversed its direction from an uptrend to a downtrend.

GBPUSD – Before the Announcement

On the day of the announcement of the data, the market was in a strong bullish movement. And the time of release, the price was trading right at the supply area.

GBPUSD – After the Announcement

Once the board released the report, the price aggressively turned around and shot south. The reason for the down move can be accounted for the supply region, while the increased volatility could be due to the news and the open of the North American markets. Cheers!

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Forex Fundamental Analysis

The Impact of ‘Youth Unemployment Rate’ News Release On The Forex Price Charts

Introduction

Youth unemployment is toxic to economic growth. It has long and short-term impacts on the economy that are concerning. With economies struggling to achieve growth and being vulnerable to the economic crisis, youth unemployment has become a more significant threat to growth than ever. Understanding the root causes and possible solutions to youth unemployment can help secure our future economic growth.

What is Youth Unemployment Rate?

Youth Unemployment Rate is the percentage share of the young labor force that is jobless. While the upper and lower limit of age categorizing youth varies across regions, the United Nations categorize people between the age of 15-24. Some countries extend the upper limit to the mid-thirties also.

Youth unemployment is a situation where young people who are actively seeking, willing, and able to work are unable to find a job. Youth unemployment rates generally tend to be higher than the adult rates in all countries across the world. Youth makes up roughly 17% of the world population, and more than 85% of them live in developing countries.

How can the Youth Unemployment Rate date be used for analysis?

Youth Unemployment is caused by many factors, the primary among them being:

Skill Gap

The first and primary root cause of youth unemployment is the gap between the traditional education system and current market skill requirements. The current knowledge acquired through graduation, or any degree is not tailored to the disruptive technological society. With technologies changing so rapidly, the education systems should also be updated to take these changing times into account and provide relevant knowledge.

Employment Regulations

With so many laws protecting employees through labor acts and minimum wage policies, companies are pickier in hiring. Also, companies do not want to invest their earnings into new youth training for months and then reap benefits. Hence, companies are offering part-time jobs or contract hiring work that youth has no choice but to take. During economic downturns, employment protection plans protect employees and leave the contract workers vulnerable. Hence, during economic downturns and downsizing, youths are the first to be laid off.

Public Assistance

Many countries provide income support and assistance initiatives to youth until economic conditions improve. While such programs are good or bad for the youth remains debatable, some say it creates dependence on such programs. Keeping the youth unemployed even longer through such programs will further throw them off the career track.

The effects of youth unemployment are worse than we imagine them to be!
Lost Generation

Unemployed youth are often referred to as the lost generation. They are called so not only for the productivity lost but also for the direct and indirect impact it has on the youth and their families. As the saying goes, “a good start is half-race won,” similarly, a lousy start is also half-race lost. Youth unemployment has said to affect earnings for twenty years.

The hierarchical structure of corporations and late employment of youth puts them on the back seat in the career race, making it very hard for them to catch up with their peers in terms of earnings, position, and skill. Since they have not been able to build up their knowledge and skill during the period of unemployment, there is a substantial decrease in lifetime earnings.

Mental Risk

If a job is hard to find for youth, they often lower their job requirements. More often, they compromise and do jobs that they do not like, and it has an impact on their happiness, job satisfaction, and mental health. It is also reported that unemployed youth are more isolated from the community.

Political unrest

In modern times, political tensions and anti-social behaviors have been attributed to long periods of youth unemployment. The youth who do not have any productive work to engage in are succumbing to such anti-social activities and hooliganisms more, lately.

Increased Public Spending

As more and more youth remain unemployed, benefits payment increase to accommodate the youth. Hence, more of the tax revenues are spent on providing support. Decreased spending inhibits the government from allocating funds where it is needed to assist economic growth.

Decreased Innovation

As youth remains unemployed, the divergent and out-of-box ideas are missed out in the companies. Youth brings energy, dynamism, fresh perspectives onto the table with each passing generation. As innovation decreases, companies die out, thus affecting the economy in the long-run.

Incarceration

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. If more youth remains unemployed, vulnerability to incarcerating activities increases, youth suicides also rise when unemployment is rampant in youth.

Impact on Currency

The Youth unemployment rate is an economic factor that affects the long-term progress of the economy more severely than the short-term. As seen, it has multi-layered negative impacts in terms of earnings on the youth and also on their families.

For the currency markets, the unemployment rate factors in the youth unemployment rate. Hence, youth unemployment is a low-impact coincident indicator that is more useful for the central authorities to make policy-based decisions.

Economic Reports

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes employment and unemployment statistics in their employment situation report every month. The report classifies it further based on age, sex, industry, etc. It is released on the first Friday at 8:30 AM Eastern Standard Time.

Sources of Youth Unemployment Rate

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes monthly employment and unemployment reports on its official website. Youth unemployment monthly and annual reports are available. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also maintains youth unemployment data on its official website.

Consolidated reports of youth unemployment rates across the world can be found in Trading Economics. World Bank also maintains records of Youth Unemployment Rates.

Youth Unemployment Rate – Impact Due To News Release

Youth Unemployment refers to unemployed persons looking for a job but cannot find the age range defined by the United Nations. This age group currently stands between 15-24 years. Youth unemployment rates tend to higher than the adult rates in almost every country. Forex traders look at general unemployment figures, which are the sum of unemployed persons across all ages and take a currency position based on the numbers. They do not consider the individual components of unemployment data as it does not provide a complete picture.

We will be analyzing be the latest youth unemployment figures of Australia and witness the change in volatility due to the news release. Looking at the below graph, we can say that youth unemployment increased in May by 2% compared to April. Even though the data is not very encouraging, let us determine the market’s reaction to this data.

AUD/USD | Before The Announcement

The above image shows the 15-minute timeframe AUD/USD chart before June 18, 2020. No trends have been established and shows no significant volatility.

AUD/USD | After The Announcement

The above image shows the highlighted candle that represents the news announcement. As the youth unemployment rate came in unfavorable to AUD, there is a significant bearish movement in the pair. The bearish move has happened because of the simultaneous release of the employment change and aggregate unemployment rate reports alongside.  Both the reports underperformed, driving the AUD value further down. The unemployment rate is a high impact indicator and has magnified the effects of youth unemployment figures.

AUD/EUR | Before The Announcement

The above image shows the 15-minute timeframe of AUD/EUR pair where AUD gained momentum till June 18 but only to fall back to its previous normal by 11:00 AM.

AUD/EUR | After The Announcement

The above image highlights the news candle, where we can see the biggest bear candle with the longest down wick throughout the range. The bearish pressures from unemployment rates and employment change have helped put the selling pressure on AUD against EUR.

AUD/JPY | Before The Announcement