Saturday, October 6, 2007

Australian Dollar Reaches Record High

The Australian Dollar recently touched a 20-year high against the USD, having risen 15% in the last month alone. In fact, the currency has proved to be one of the top performers against the USD in 2007, having benefited from continued weakness in the US economy. It has also been one of the chief beneficiaries of the Yen carry trade, in which investors have sold Yen in favor of higher-yielding currencies, which also include the Swiss Franc and New Zealand Dollar. Meanwhile, Australia's economy is surging, as Chinese demand for raw materials is unabated. Many analysts are asserting that the Australian Dollar can go no higher, citing technical factors. However, there seems to be just as many analysts who expect the AUD to test the outer limits of parity with the USD. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The chief equities economist at CommSec, Craig James, said the dollar was now likely to enter the “nervous nineties.”

Read More: Australian dollar the strongest in 20 years

Global forex volume surges

The Bank of International Settlements just released the results from its first survey of Central Banks in over three years, and the results were startling. Forex volume rose 71% to $3.2 trillion per day, cementing the status of forex as the world's largest market. Trading in forex derivatives also surged, to an average of over $2 trillion per day. While the role of the USD has slipped somewhat, it remains the world's reserve currency as evidenced by the fact that it represents over 40% of all forex volume. FinFacts reports:

"A significant expansion in the activity of investor groups including hedge funds" as well as individual investors also contributed to the increase."

Read More: Global daily turnover in currency markets rises...

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