Determining why foreign exchange rates move the way they do may seem a far too ambitious and challenging task, as it requires making sense of an unlimited array of factors ranging from fundamentals (macroeconomic changes, central bank actions, capital markets changes, corporate/dealer transactions, political and geopolitical factors, and news reports) to technicals (price charts, momentum, oscillators, moving averages) to pure flow-driven developments. Other books tackle the theories of international economics and finance that explain the principle drivers of foreign exchange rates. Since this book aims at focusing on the real-world developments impacting currencies, textbook theories take a secondary role in shedding light on the major developments in currencies. These theories are only briefly mentioned. Chapter 3 and 4 tackle the trends in major foreign exchange rates between 1999 and 2007, identifying the highest- and lowest-performing currencies, and citing the fundamental reasons for these developments.
This analysis calculates the annual changes in the values of currencies against one another to determine a ranking of currency returns. Performances are examined against a host of fundamental variables such as national GDP growth, world and regional GDP growth, interest rates and central bank action, capital flows, current account balances, and export dynamics such as commodities markets. The real-world developments that dictate the major trends in global currencies demonstrate the theories and paradigms that worked, and the reasons for their prevalence during those years.
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