LONDON - A new Internet news service, CurrencyNetwork, has started operation, specializing in information for foreign exchange traders, brokers, and corporate treasurers.

CurrencyNetwork offers independent news and analysis affecting the world's foreign exchange market, which handles $1 trillion in daily volume. The service, which began last week, offers real-time currency prices, proprietary market analysis, commentary, and currency-related news from third-party sources.

Michael Hecht, founder and chief executive officer of CurrencyNetwork, called it the first foreign exchange Internet portal.

The Internet, he said, has enabled smaller investors to get involved in many financial markets, including foreign exchange. However, despite hundreds of news services on the Internet aimed at the more glamorous stock market, there is no corresponding news service for the foreign exchange market, which he said is far larger than the equities market.

"There is a real demand for such a service, with more and more people turning to the Web for research and to execute trades," said Mr. Hecht, who has been an independent money manager for wealthy families for 15 years.

He has hired five employees in London and two in Boston. From May 25 through May 30 the site received 50,000 hits; the unexpected volume caused some temporary disruptions, Mr. Hecht said.

CurrencyNetwork is free, but company officials plan eventually to charge subscribers on a tiered basis.

The service competes with other online news sources, such as ForexWatch, a service from Thomson Corp., publisher of American Banker, and MCM Corp's CurrencyWatch in New York.

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