Detailed view of forex
Different currencies pay different interest rates. This is one of the main driving forces behind foreign exchange trends. It is inherently attractive to be a buyer of a currency that pays a high interest rate while being short a currency that has a low interest rate.
Although such interest rate differentials may not appear very large, they are of great significance in a highly leveraged position. For example, the interest rate differential between the US dollar and the Japanese yen has been approximately 5% for several years. In a position that can be supported by a 5% margin deposit, this results in a 100% profit on capital per annum when you buy the US dollar. Of course, an even more important factor normally is the relative value of the currencies, which changed 15% from low to high during 2005 – disregarding the interest rate differential. From a pure interest rate differential viewpoint, you have an advantage of 100% per annum in your favour by being long US dollar and an initial disadvantage of the same size by being short.
Please refer to our page Forex Rates & Conditions for current Spreads, Margins and Conditions!
Such a situation clearly benefits the high interest rate currency and as result, the US dollar was in a strong bull market all through 2005. But it is by no means a certainty that the currency with the higher interest rate will be strongest. If the reason for the high interest rate is runaway inflation, this may undermine confidence in the currency even more than the benefits perceived from the high interest rate.