Tags: Weak | Euro | Yen | Currency | carry | Trades

Weak Euro Ousts Yen in Tricky Currency Trades

By Dan Weil   |   Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 08:21 AM

Thanks to the euro’s weakness and low European interest rates, foreign exchange traders are using the currency in their “carry trades.”

Those are exchanges in which traders borrow in weak, low-interest rate currencies to invest in strong, high-rate ones.

“The hot guys are moving into using the euro as a funding currency,” John Taylor, chairman of FX Concepts, the world’s largest foreign exchange hedge fund, told Bloomberg.

“It’s not quite as cheap as the yen but it’s a lot safer in a crisis, because the worse the world looks, the worse the euro looks.”

Any traders who executed carry trades borrowing in euros to invest in the Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Brazilian real and Norwegian krone made 10 percent in the past six months, according to Bloomberg data.

A trader using the yen instead would have lost 7.4 percent, and a trader using the U.S. dollar would have lost 7.5 percent.

The euro carry trade may continue for a while.

“The ECB’s loose policy stance will extend the euro’s use as a funding currency versus the high-yielders, commodity currencies and emerging-market currencies,” John Normand, head of currency strategy at JPMorgan Chase, told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Europe’s financial crisis continues to hurt the euro.

“There are a lot of cracks in the financial system," Steven Butler, foreign exchange director at Scotia Capital, told Reuters. "The concern is that if these cracks get bigger, who would be able to contain it?"

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Thanks to the euro s weakness and low European interest rates, foreign exchange traders are using the currency in their carry trades. Those are exchanges in which traders borrow in weak, low-interest rate currencies to invest in strong, high-rate ones. The hot guys are...
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2010-21-02
 

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