Interest Rate Differentials.
Pick a pair, any pair.
Many forex traders use the 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 swings.
An interest rate increase in one currency combined with an interest rate decrease in the other currency is the perfect equation for sharp swings!
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%.
That’s a huge difference so always remember to distinguish between the two.
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