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Sara is Co-Editor of Smart Investing Daily. As Senior Research Director and global correspondent, Sara Nunnally's diverse resume includes studies in art history, computer science and financial research. She has appeared on news media such as Forbes on Fox, Fox News Live, and CNBC's Squawk Box,... More
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  • Invest in Currencies 1 comment
    Jul 27, 2009 12:50 PM

    Invest In Currencies

    Hot Commodity Trends: Investors Flock To Currencies

    A Taipan Publishing Group Investment Research Report

    By Sara Nunnally, Senior Research Director, Taipan Publishing Group

    As the global economic recovery inches ahead, investors are seeking out new investment ideas. The hottest sector right now for commodity investments is currencies.

    The world revolves around the U.S. dollar… Major commodities are priced in dollars. Most of global trade is done in U.S. dollars. The dollar is the biggest foreign reserve currency in the world.

    That’s why currency investors need to know what the dollar is doing at all times.

    It’s kind of like a heliocentric point of view: The greenback is still the King Currency.

    Let’s take a look at what’s been happening with the dollar over the past week, and what currency investors need to know before they wade into these markets.

    On Tuesday, news services such as MarketWatch reported that the U.S. dollar was soaring after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s comments on the economy.

    The news article, by Polya Lesova, reported, “The dollar rose against most other major currencies Tuesday, as comments by Ben Bernanke eased concerns that policy-makers won't act decisively to head off inflation spawned by efforts to counter the credit crisis.”

    In other words, the Fed’s exit strategy will be slow and vague, as to keep any transition smooth.

    Not Everyone Is Smiling

    But this news was not greeted with smiles from all the analysts.

    Bloomberg’s Scarlet Fu and Sapna Maheshwari reported, “The dollar will weaken as ‘considerable skepticism’ about U.S. monetary policy leads foreign investors to view it as a risky asset, said Steven Englander, chief currency strategist at Barclays Capital Inc.”

    In fact, the U.S. dollar fell against all 16 currencies Bloomberg tracks, and 0.4% against the yen.

    Interestingly, it climbed 0.4% against the euro.

    But that climb didn’t stick around. Earlier today, CNNMoney reported that the greenback fell to nearly a seven-week low against the euro.

    “The dollar slipped on Thursday, edging close to a seven-week low against the euro and a basket of currencies as slight gains in European shares suggested risk appetite was holding up after a mixed bag of corporate earnings,” reported CNNMoney.

    This has kept the U.S. Dollar Index below 79, and is giving the currency a bearish tone.

    Investors Pile Into Currencies

    But with renewed interest in the euro and other currencies, investors have ample ways to play these currency moves. And the type of currency investor may surprise you…

    The Wall Street Journal found, “Even as volumes have been declining among institutional currency investors, the individual-investor side keeps increasing.”

    This news is perfect timing, as Taipan Publishing Group’s currency expert Harinder Singh is now the editor of Currency Profits Trader.

    Here’s what Harinder has to say about these recent currency moves:

    The equities markets continue their gains this morning, helping currencies as usual, which has pressured the U.S. Dollar Index to below 79. A dip below 80 for the index last week was bearish and negated the hope for holding and reversing from that level. The U.S. Dollar Index now has to emerge above 79, and then will find resistance near the 80 area as it attempts to rebound from the oversold level.

    There are some other factors affecting the U.S. dollar…

    Commodities, Commodities, Commodities

    “The commodities gains continued in the morning with crude oil above $65 and gold near $950, helping commodity currencies like Aussie and Canadian dollars, and putting additional pressure on the U.S. dollar,” says Harinder.

    It seems that oil is taking over the role of gold as an inflation hedge and storehouse of wealth. Oil is trading at $64.50 this morning despite recent data that says crude inventories surged last week. According to The Wall Street Journal, “oil inventories increased by 3 million barrels last week, contrary to analysts’ expectations of a 1.7 million barrels draw. Gasoline stocks also rose more than analysts’ estimates.”

    Over the past five trading sessions the price of oil has rallied along with the rest of the market on an expected increase in demand and a falling dollar. But an extra 1.2 million barrels in the weekly numbers is a lot. You would expect it to sell off.

    With such a large hangover in oil supplies and low demand, why isn’t oil at $30 like many predicted? It would seem that the price of crude is like Wile E. Coyote – it has run off a cliff, stopping in mid-air, legs churning, waiting to look down.

    It could because oil is priced in dollars and investors are seeking an inflation hedge.

    The Inflation Hedge

    A bigger question is why has gold not broken through $1,000 per ounce when the greenback is heading for $1.60 per euro.

    According to Reuters, “Spot gold was at $947.00 an ounce at 1214 GMT, from $948.15 an ounce late in New York on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures for August delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were flat at $946.90 an ounce.”

    Oddly, that’s exactly where gold was trading this time last year. That said, gold has been in an ascending triangle and keeps attacking the $1,000 mark. It will break it on the first CPI report that shows real inflation.

    In the meantime, if the dollar stretched into oversold territory, it might experience a rebound.

    Harinder notes, “The rebound may not change the current downtrend of the U.S. dollar (unless the index can cross above 80); still the correction can offer new opportunities.”

    Global Currencies

    But investing heliocentrically in the U.S dollar isn’t the only way to profit from currencies.

    True currency investors know that everything is connected to everything… like a spider web. If a fly gets trapped in one section, the spider feels it no matter where he is.

    Take the British pound, for example…

    The pound sterling has definitely been affected by the U.K.’s shrinking GDP. RTT News reported, “The UK's sterling that plummeted against its major rivals following the second quarter GDP report declined further ahead of commencing the New York session on Friday.”

    Second quarter gross domestic product for Britain shrank 0.8%. Before this data came out early Friday morning, analysts had forecast a loss of only 0.3%.

    Biggest Drop on Record

    The Associated Press reported, “[Britain’s] economy has now shrunk by 5.6 percent since the second quarter of last year, the biggest drop since quarterly records began in 1955.”

    Yet, this second quarter GDP report is somewhat positive, because, despite the decline being worse than expected, it was still less of a decline than the previous quarter. This 0.8% drop is one-third of the 2.4% loss in the first quarter.

    Overall, Britain’s economy is improving, just not as quickly as anticipated. Reuters stated that the GDP numbers “served a reminder of how fragile things are.”

    “Britain was the first major country in the region to publish GDP data for the period and, even if the fall paled next to the first-quarter drop of 2.4 percent, it prompted some economists to question how fast things will normalise there,” reported Reuters.

    Specifically, many economists are concerned that the drop may indicate that the third quarter will not see any growth either.

    Currency Profits Trader

    Harinder Singh, editor of Taipan Publishing Group’s newest service, Currency Profits Trader, had anticipated a lower GDP number. Before the GDP report came out, Harinder wrote, “Expectations are for a quarterly decline of 0.3%, while the previous quarter’s decline was 2.4%. I have a feeling the actual decline could be worse than 0.3%.”

    In fact, Harinder has an overtly bearish approach to the U.K. and the British pound:

    I see lot of problems for the British economy and hence for the pound sterling. It has held well due to some positive data, such as a monthly retail sales gain of 1.2% from last month, which saw a decline of 0.9%. The U.K. budget deficit may approach 100% of GDP, and some banks and insurers still may not be solvent without additional help. The IMF has warned the U.K. to control its deficit spending, otherwise it could hurt the currency.

    To profit off today's recession, take advantage of these 3 hot commodities. Visit Taipan Publishing Group's site, 3 Hot Commodity Trends, for more information.

    Disclosure: No positions

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    I like the short hair.
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