Saturday, August 30, 2008

Forex Turmoil: Still On The Sidelines

During the last few weeks of topsy-turvy price movements I've been playing it safe. I like to buy carry trade pairs, but they've been heading down a lot.

Now, the big question, when will things start to turn around? A few of the pairs are getting into historically low valuations. For example, take a look at the GBPJPY pair on google finance -- click the 5yr option when it loads.

Sure, we could set new lows, perhaps for a months or years, but the odds of the UK having lower interests rates than Japan seems rather extreme. At some point, when things do finally settle down in another year or more, the GBPJPY will start to get attractive.

Other pairs, such as GBPUSD or EURUSD, which represent a bet against the US dollar make me nervous. While there is a possibility that some parts of the world, notably Australia, New Zealand and Asia, can avoid a recessionary period it's also very possible that the sinking US dollar will create a large enough trade advantage to shift the slowdown from the US to other countries as their own companies find it harder to compete internationally.

Anyway, I don't know how it will play out and from what I've learned buying a currency without having a clear notion of what you expect to happen is akin to gambling. Sure, you can be wrong when you believe something, but at least then you aren't throwing your money at the toss of the dice... and often it is possible to figure out what is going on to some degree.

So, for now, I'm keeping an eye on the JPY crosses. Perhaps the AUDJPY, EURJPY, GBPJPY and CADJPY will find themselves showing up in my account?

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