Trading the USD/HKD is an excellent way to access the world’s two largest economies, the US and China. However, its fixed self-correcting system makes it best suited to experienced forex traders. This page will cover everything you need to know about trading the cross currency pair, from exchange spot rates to trends and forecasts. We also list the best brokers for trading the USD/HKD.
The Hong Kong Dollar
Hong Kong is one of the most attractive free-market economies for foreign investment. Its stock market is the 6th largest and its exchange fund has become one of the world’s biggest with reserves totalling 442 billion USD at the end of 2020. This is all rather impressive given the size of the island state.
Hong Kong is also widely considered a gateway into the Chinese mainland and despite the nation’s best efforts, its fortunes are becoming increasingly tied to the Asian superpower.
As a result, any geopolitical events tied to China can impact the volatility of the USD/HKD.
In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar was pegged to the US dollar.After months of unease, the HKD hit an all-time low of 9.6 HKD per USD.As a result, the nation abandoned the floating exchange rate and pegged the HKD to the USD in an attempt to stabilise the currency.
Today, the USD/HKD pair typically trades between narrow limits, 7.75 and 7.85, as fixed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).The fixed system self-corrects to maintain the stability of the HKD exchange rate.
Over its history, the pair has seen tumultuous times and maintaining the peg has not been easy.The US’ low-interest rates have caused problems for the HKMA, which has been forced to match them.As a result, property prices and the Hong Kong exchange rate have increased dramatically in recent years.
Influences On USD/HKD Movement
The USD/HKD is special in that many of the economic factors that influence movement in most currency pairs have a limited effect on the USD/HKD.Labour market conditions plus interest and inflation rates all have a muted effect on the pair given that it operates between a fixed, pre-determined range.As a result, many speculative investors are put off and generating profit requires skill and patience.
Fortunately, some factors still influence the quoted price of the HKD/USD:
- Economic growth – The strength of an economy is often reflected in the value of its currency.
When the Hong Kong economy is strong, HKD will rise against the USD. Conversely, a weakened Hong Kong economy will see the HKD fall against the USD.
- China – Hong Kong is closely linked with China which means that changes in the value of the Chinese yuan can heavily influence the value of the USD/HKD. This was seen during the Asian financial crisis when the HKD rose towards its upper limit several times. Usually, the currencies move in the same direction.
- Political stability – Political turmoil and major events can have huge implications on the value of a currency. Generally speaking, stability is likely to attract foreign investment and increased investment will lead to an appreciation in the currency’s quoted price.
- Market sentiment – If the value of the USD is expected to fall, there will be less demand as investors will typically need more of it to bank profit. A drop in value can mean more expensive exports and reduced competitiveness in global markets. Hong Kong relies on both imports and exports, so any change is felt heavily.
Pros Of Trading USD/HKD
- The Chinese economy – Hong Kong’s close ties with China means that for many, the HKD represents an accessible way to engage in the Chinese economy. China takes in more than half of Hong Kong’s exports and currently stands as the second-largest global economy. China’s position on the world stage is a real draw for many forex traders.
- Risk/reward ratio – Given the pegging of the USD/HKD pair, the risk/reward ratio is favourable.
The assurance of a bottom limit means that traders can operate within relatively safe parameters. This does mean, however, that generating large profits can prove challenging.
- Liquidity – The forex market generally promises a highly liquid environment with low bid-ask spreads. This makes FX trading popular over assets, such as stocks and cryptos.
- Costs – Transaction costs are usually incorporated into the spread and pips in forex markets, meaning traders typically don’t have to factor in additional commissions.
Cons Of Trading USD/HKD
As with any forex pair, trading USD/HKD does come with risks:
- Re-pegging – If HKD was to be re-pegged to the USD or even the CNY, it would have drastic implications for investments. Traders should ensure they are up to date with the latest financial news and conversion forecasts. Risk and money management strategies should also be implemented.
- Leverage – Leveraged trading is popular in the forex market but it does carry increased risk. Margin trading should only be used by traders comfortable with greater exposure.
- Political intervention – Political unrest, as seen in recent riots in Hong Kong, can have major implications on the pair’s valuation. Keep an eye on announcements from the Chinese government to stay ahead of trends.
USD Vs HKD Strategy Options
When it comes to USD/HKD strategy, different tactics work for different people.
Capital requirements, timescales and risk tolerance will all play a role. Whether you choose to use exchange rate historical data and monthly averages or live charts and forward rates, different tools work for different traders.
For those less interested in trading using USD/HKD historical exchange rates, live charts, graphs and forecasts, financial news is a great source of information to help inform investment decisions. Economic reports on the latest inflation and interest rates, GDP and consumer sentiment can all influence movement. Traders should stay abreast of updates to react quickly. The first movers stand the best chance of asserting an edge.
Oanda, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, DailyFX, online converters, TradingView and MarketWatch are just a handful of the resources available to traders. They provide live forex updates in addition to forecasts, daily USD/HKD buy and sell swap rates, plus commentary.
Carry trading is a popular strategy that enables investors to capitalise on low interest rates. Traders borrow more in currencies with lower interest rates and invest in high-yielding markets. The demand creates inflows of capital which strengthens a currency.
The recent widening of the gap between Hong Kong and US interest rates has seen a surge in investors opening new carry trade positions.
The relatively low-interest rates of the HKD means that some investors will look to borrow against the USD and invest in the HKD.
There is speculation that the HKD will be re-pegged amid concerns that the peg may be limiting growth in Hong Kong. Adjustments to the peg range or a peg break would allow for greater movement. There is also talk that the Hong Kong dollar could be pegged to the Chinese yuan in the future. However, the possibility of a slowdown in Chinese economic growth may halt that move for now.
There is also some discussion about the long-term prosperity of the Hong Kong dollar. Some experts argue that with the increasing Chinese influence over the state, the outlook is looking bleak for the HKD, which may become redundant.
Final Word On Trading USD/HKD
The narrow range of the USD/HKD cross currency pair means that it can be difficult to generate profit and traditional strategies don’t always yield the same results. For many, the pair’s potential primarily lies in business transactions and swaps. For those that do wish to trade the pair, it presents an opportunity to gain access to the relatively closed-off Chinese economy.
What is the USD to HKD exchange rate history?
The pair has seen a tumultuous history which has led to fluctuations in the quoted price of both the US and Hong Kong dollar.
The currency peg has stabilised much of this but with speculation over the adoption of a new peg, who knows what the future holds.
What is the USD to HKD dollar conversion?
The current exchange rate is displayed on a live price chart. This shows how many Hong Kong dollars are needed to buy 1 US dollar. This rate will fluctuate within the fixed limits established by the HKMA.
What influence does the BoC have over the USD/HKD?
The integration of Hong Kong’s economy with China means that the Bank of China exerts influence over the position of the HKD. Anticipating announcements from the BoC can help inform investment decisions.
What are the best HKD to USD forex converters?
There are many free currency converters available online.