Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Does February Have In Store For Currencies?

January was a great month for the USD, and even better for the Japanese Yen, but what does February have in store for the currency market? Investors should pay close attention as currency expert Kathy Lien attempts to answer that question in her blog post below. Investors should know that past performance doesn't necessarily represent future performance, but it certainly can help investors make educated decisions.

In the beginning of January, I highlighted the effect of seasonality on the EUR/USD. At that time, I talked about how the EUR/USD has a natural bias to sell-off in the first month of the year as investors reverse their year end flows. Since 1997, the EUR/USD has sold off in the month of January 72.7 percent of the time. If we include the currency pair’s price action in 2009, the EUR/USD has now sold off 75 percent of the time in January. The combination of falling interest rates in the Eurozone, recession and a flight to safety into US dollars has led to the strongest January sell-off in the EUR/USD in more than a decade.

February Performance

Now that January is behind us, many forex traders may be wondering if there are any unique characteristics in the currency market for the month of February. Taking a look at more than 30 years worth of data, we have found that on average the trading range in USD/JPY tends to compress in the second month of the year. In fact, of all 12 months, the average trading range in USD/JPY is lowest in February. Lower volatility could mean stability for USD/JPY because high volatility hurts Yen crosses (A Turn in USD/JPY?).

Currency Performance Since January

The final chart (after jump) illustrates how all of the major currencies have performed against the US dollar in January. So far, the Japanese Yen has been the only currency to outperform the greenback.

This post can also be viewed on kathylien.com.

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