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Fundamental Analysis 基本面分析: Page 2 of 7

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Why Interest Rates Matter for Forex Traders

Simply put, interest rates make the forex world go ’round! In other words, the forex market is ruled by interest rates.

A currency’s interest rate is probably the biggest factor in determining the perceived value of a currency. So knowing how a country’s central bank sets its monetary policy, such as interest rate decisions, is a crucial thing to wrap your head around.

One of the biggest influences on a central bank’s interest rate decision is price stability, or “inflation”.

Inflation is a steady increase in the prices of goods and services.

Inflation is the reason why your parents or your parents’ parents paid a nickel for a soda pop in the 1920’s, but now people pay twenty times more for the same product.

It’s generally accepted that moderate inflation comes with economic growth.

However, too much inflation can harm an economy and that’s why central banks are always keeping a watchful eye on inflation-related economic indicators, such as the CPI and PCE.

Country Central Bank
Australia Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
Canada Bank of Canada (BOC)
European Union European Central Bank (ECB)
Japan Bank of Japan (BOJ)
New Zealand Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ)
Switzerland Swiss National Bank (SNB)
United Kingdom Bank of England (BOE)
United States Federal Reserve (Fed)

In an effort to keep inflation at a comfortable level, central banks will mostly likely increase interest rates, resulting in lower overall growth and slower inflation.

This occurs because setting high interest rates normally forces consumers and businesses to borrow less and save more, putting a damper on economic activity. Loans just become more expensive while sitting on cash becomes more attractive.

On the other hand, when interest rates are decreasing, consumers and businesses are more inclined to borrow (because banks ease lending requirements), boosting retail and capital spending, thus helping the economy to grow.

Yippee!

 

Effects of Interest Rates in Forex
What does this have to do with the forex market?

 

Well, currencies rely on interest rates because these dictate the flow of global capital into and out of a country. They’re what investors use to determine if they’ll invest in a country or go elsewhere.

For instance, if you had your choice between a savings account offering 1% interest and another offering .25%, which would you choose?

Neither, you say?

Yea, we’re inclined to go the same route – keep the money under the mattress, ya know what we mean? – but that’s not an option.

Ha! You would pick the 1%, right?

We hope so… because 1 is bigger than 0.25. Currencies work the same way!

The higher a country’s interest rate, the more likely its currency will strengthen. Currencies surrounded by lower interest rates are more likely to weaken over the longer term.

Pretty simple stuff.

The main point to be learned here is that domestic interest rates directly affect how global market players feel about a currency’s value relative to another.

Interest Rate Expectations

Markets are ever-changing with the anticipation of different events and situations. Interest rates do the same thing – they change – but they definitely don’t change as often.

Most forex traders don’t spend their time focused on current interest rates because the market has already “priced” them into the currency price. What is more important is where interest rates are EXPECTED to go.

It’s also important to know that interest rates tend to shift in line with monetary policy, or more specifically, with the end of monetary cycles.

If rates have been going lower and lower over a period a time, it’s almost inevitable that the opposite will happen.

Rates will have to increase at some point.

And you can count on the speculators to try to figure out when that will happen and by how much.

The market will tell them; it’s the nature of the beast. A shift in expectations is a signal that a shift in speculation will start, gaining more momentum as the interest rate change nears.

While interest rates change with the gradual shift of monetary policy, market sentiment can also change rather suddenly from just a single report.

This causes interest rates to change in a more drastic fashion or even in the opposite direction as originally anticipated.

So you better watch out!

Interest Rate Differentials

Pick a pair, any pair.

Many forex traders use a technique of comparing one currency’s interest rate to another currency’s interest rate as the starting point for deciding whether a currency may weaken or strengthen.

The difference between the two interest rates, known as the “interest rate differential,” is the key value to keep an eye on. This spread can help you identify shifts in currencies that might not be obvious.

An interest rate differential that increases helps to reinforce the higher-yielding currency, while a narrowing differential is positive for the lower-yielding currency.

Instances where the interest rates of the two countries move in opposite directions often produce some of the market’s largest swing.

An interest rate increase in one currency combined with the interest rate decrease of the other currency is a perfect equation for sharp swings!

Nominal vs. Real Interest Rates

When people talk about interest rates, they are either referring to the nominal interest rate or the real interest rate.

What’s the difference?

The nominal interest rate doesn’t always tell the entire story. The nominal interest rate is the rate of interest before adjustments for inflation.

 

real interest rate = nominal interest rate – expected inflation
The nominal rate is usually the stated or base rate that you see (e.g., the yield on a bond).

 

Markets, on the other hand, don’t focus on this rate, but rather on the real interest rate.

If you had a bond that carried a nominal yield of 6%, but inflation was at an annual rate of 5%, the bond’s real yield would be 1%.

Boohoo!

That’s a huge difference so always remember to distinguish between the two.

利率为何重要

       简单来说,利率主导了外汇市场。

       某一货币的利率很可能是该币种币值的最大决定因素。因此,了解一国央行的货币政策,比如说利率决定,对基本面分析来说至关重要。

       对央行利率决议影响最大的因素是物价稳定,即我们所说的“通胀”。

       通胀衡量的是商品或服务价格的增长情况。

       通胀可以向我们解释,为什么你的父母或你父母的父母在上个世纪20年代花5美分可以买一瓶苏打汽水,但是现在人们买相同的产品需要付出超过20倍的价格。

       一个被外界普遍认同的观点是,温和的通胀和经济增长保持同步态势。

       不过,过度的通胀则会损及经济,这也是为什么央行始终密切关注着和通胀相关的经济指标,比如CPI或PCE指标。

       为了将通胀控制在合适水平,央行最有可能采取加息措施,这将放慢经济和通胀增长速度。

       会出现这一情况的原因在于,将利率设定在高水通常将迫使消费者和企业减少借贷并增加存款,并对经济活动形成抑制。贷款成本变得更为高昂,而持有现金则变得更具吸引力。

       另一方面,当利率下降时,消费者和企业会更倾向于借贷,因为银行放松了贷款条件。这会推动零售销售和资本支出的增长,因此,有助于刺激经济。

       那么,这又与外汇市场有什么关系呢?

       简单来说,货币和利率息息相关,因为利率决定了全球资本是进入还是流出某一国。利率决定了投资者是投资某一国,或是其他地方。

       比如说,在提供1%存款利率和提供0.25%存款利率的两家银行中,你会选择哪一家呢?

       你可能会说,我才不会将钱存银行,把钱放在我家床底下不是很好吗?但是,那不是我们的选择。

       你会选择1%存款利率,对吧?

       我们希望如此,因为1要大于0.25,货币利率也同样有高低之分。

       一国利率越高,该国货币走强的可能性越大。低利率货币从长期来说更有可能走软。

       很简单,是吧?

       这里,我们学习的重点是,国内利率直接影响到全球市场参与者对该国货币较其他货币币值的看法。


PS:数据截止日期为2012年6月29日

利率预期

       市场会随着人们对不同事件或情景的预期不断变化。利率同样如此——利率也会变化——只是它不会经常变动。

       大多数交易者并不会把关注点放在当前利率水平上,因为市场已经为货币当前价格“计价”。他们更为关注的是利率的未来走势。

       我们也有必要知道,利率会随着央行货币政策的变化而动,更具体的说,会随着货币周期的变化而变化。

       如果利率在持续走低,或已经在相当长一段时间持续走低,那么利率朝反方向移动将很可能不可避免。

       利率在未来某一时候将会走高。

       你可以关注投机者对央行什么时候将会加息以及将会加息多少基点的预测情况。

       市场会告诉他们;关注利率的未来走势是投机者的天性。预期的变化意味着,其投机策略将开始变动,随着利率变动日益临近,投机者策略的调整意愿将更强。

       尽管利率会随着货币政策的逐渐变动而调整,但是市场信心可能会出现突然的变动,而这种变动仅仅只是因为一份货币声明报告。

       这份声明可能预示着利率的变动将会更加显著,甚至和最初预期的方向相反。

利差

       一些外汇交易者会通过不同货币的利差来确定某一货币是会走强还是走弱。

       利差是外汇交易者需要高度关注的因素。利差的变动能够帮助我们判断货币对的走势情况。

       货币利差的扩大利好高收益货币走势,而利差的收窄则利好低收益货币走势。

       两国利率呈反向运动通常导致一些市场出现巨大波动。一国加息,而另一国降息,市场出现剧烈波动行情很可能不可避免。

名义利率VS实际利率

       当人们谈论利率是,他们要买说的是实际利率,要么是名义利率。

       名义利率和实际利率之间有什么区别吗?

       名义利率并非始终告诉我们故事的全部。名义利率并未将通胀因素考虑在内。

                       实际利率=名义利率-预期率

       名义利率通常是基准利率(比如说债券的收益率)。

       而另一方面,市场并不会关注名义利率,而是关注实际利率。

       如果你持有某一债券,该债券的名义收益率为6%,但是通胀率为5%,那么这一债券的实际收益率只有1%。

       这可是很大的区别呀,所以,我们要始终记住名义利率和实际利率之间的区别。