Watching Central Bank Interest Rates For Forex Trading

Interest rates of central banks directly affect currency exchange rates. More precisely, exchange rate of a currency pair is affected by the ratio of two interest rates and the change of this ratio. Current central bank rates for most of traded currencies are widely present on the internet.

The matters get a bit more complicated though if you want to analyze historic interest rate data. Central banks of different countries have different regulations and names for their base rates and sometimes their policies change. This article will help you to clarify the subject and gather the history of central bank rate changes for the most popular currencies – USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, CAD, AUD и NZD.

American Dollar

Monetary policy of the USA is the competency of the Federal Reserve. History of changes to Intended Federal Funds Rate since 1990 is available on the Open Market Operations webpage. On 16 th of December 2008 the rate was set as a range of 0% to 0.25%, although usually the upper bound of 0.25% is being considered.


The European Central Bank publishes a few key interest rates for the eurozone on its webpage Key ECB interest rates. With regards to forex market we want to keep an eye on Main Refinancing Operations, comprising of Fixed Rate and Variable Rate, used interchangeably during different periods of Euro circulation. If you wanted to analyze pre-euro (before 1999) statistics for european economics you normally would take Deutsche Mark data, being the currency of the most developed economy of the eurozone. An archive of various rates of the Deutsche Bundesbank is available on its website.

Great Britain Pound

The Bank of England is registering the changes of its interest rates since 1694 (seventeen century!…). The name of the prime rate changed several times. Since 1997 it was known as Repo Rate, and since 2006 it is called Official Bank Rate. There is a link to a history of interest rate changes at the very bottom of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee 
Decisions webpage.

Japanese Yen

From the currency market perspective, the most important interest rate set by the Bank of Japan is Overnight Call Rate. Along with that, some of the official sources (the Swiss National Bank, for instance) pay more attention to Overnight Discount Rate. The BoJ publishes its monetary policy decisions on the Statements on Monetary Policy page, while Time-Series Data Search online service allows you to get time series for any japanese economic statistics. Being heavily dependent on export, japanese economy benefits from low interest rate, which sometimes reaches the extreme zero percents.

Swiss Frank

Making its decisions on the prime interest rate the Swiss National Bank takes three month LIBOR rate as a reference point. Target range of the Swiss National Bank is usually 1% broad, while currency markets watch the median value of this range.

Canadian Dollar

Data for Target for the Overnight Rate of the Bank of Canada can be found on its interactive webpage Rates and Statistics.

Australian Dollar

The Reserve Bank of Australia publishes its monetary policy updates, specifically Cash Rate Target values, on the Monetary Policy Changes webpage.

New Zealand Dollar

Official Cash Rate of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has been introduced in 1999. The history is present on the Official Cash Rate (OCR) decisions and current rate webpage.

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