How ‘speculative’ is the AUD (and other currencies)?

November 11th, 2010

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Recently, we took a look at this report from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The average daily foreign exchange turnover (including derivatives) is around US$3.9 trillion. The Australian dollar is the 5th most traded currency (at 7.6% of volume).

So, roughly AU$300 billion of AUD are turned over daily. Of that, US$249 billion of the trade is in the AUD/USD currency pair alone.

Now, let?s take a look at Australia?s balance of payment data. If you take the last 4 quarters of import and export volume, approximately AU$500 billion worth of goods/services are traded in one year.

Compare the amount of AUD that is traded daily in the foreign exchange market and the value of the import/export in one year. What do you see?

Mind you, we are just taking the AUD as an example. The volume of daily turnover in the foreign exchange (for all currencies) far exceeds the value of import/exports. If you look at the report from BIS, between 2004 and 2007, turnover increased by 73%! No wonder forex trading has now become a cottage industry.

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