Forex trading strategies are based on fundamental and technical types of analysis. This article gives you a better understanding of both types and ways of implementing them into your Forex trading strategies.
FOREX FUNDAMENTAL ANALYSIS
Political and economic changes are the basis here as they frequently affect currency prices. Forex traders relying on this analysis gather information about unemployment forecasts, political ideologies, economic policies, inflation and growth rates from news sources. Most forex traders combine Forex trading strategies to plot actual entrance and exit points and double-check the information.
Forex trading strategies consider that just like most markets the market is controlled by supply and demand. The two most critical affecting factors for them are interest rates and the strength of the economy that is affected by changes in the GDP, trade balances and the amount of foreign investment.
There are many forex indicators released by government and academic sources on a weekly or monthly basis. The most important and commonly followed are: interest rates, international trade, CPI, durable goods orders, PPI, PMI and retail orders. These are pretty reliable measures of economic health and are closely followed by all traders that rely on fundamental analysis while mapping out their Forex trading strategies.
Interest rates can strengthen or weaken the currency. In some cases high interest rates attract foreign money, however high interest rates frequently cause stock market investors to sell off their portfolios. They do so believing that the higher cost of borrowing money will adversely affect many companies. If enough investors sell off their holdings it can cause a downturn in the forex market and negatively affect the economy. Which of these two effects will take place, depends on many complex factors. Usually economic observers agree on how the current change in interest rates will affect the general economy and currency prices.
International Trade. If there is a trade deficit, it is usually considered a negative indicator, as more money is leaving the country than entering it. This can have a devaluing effect on the currency, but usually trade imbalances are already factored into the forex market consideration. If a country normally operates with a trade deficit, currency price should be unaffected. It will change if the deficit is greater than expected.
The cost of living (CPI) and the cost of producing goods (PPI) are important indicators as well. You should also watch the GDP (the value of all the goods produced in the country) and the M2 Money Supply which measures the total amount of currency for a country.
In the US alone there are 28 major indicators that have a strong effect on the financial market and should be closely watched. This information can be found on the Internet and is provided by many brokers. Use it for working out your Forex trading strategies.
FOREX TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
Technical analysts in any market depend on the quality of their charts.
It is based on the following assumptions:
1. Combined market forces (political events, economic conditions, seasonal fluctuations, supply and demand) cause currency price movements considered in Forex trading strategies.
2. Currency prices on the Forex market follow trends. Predictable consequences have been linked with many recognized market patterns.
3. Forex trading strategies can rely on historical trends to predict current price movements. Forex market data has been collected for the last 100 years, over that time certain patterns have become emergent. Human psychology and the way people react to certain circumstances are the basis of these patterns.
Most forex traders consider technical analysis to be of critical importance even though they may also use fundamental analysis to support and confirm their Forex trading strategies. Unlike fundamental analysis, forex technical analysis can be applied to many currencies and markets at the same time. Since forex fundamental analysis requires detailed knowledge of the economic and political conditions of a certain country, it is nearly impossible for any single trader to perform it properly on more than a few countries.
Forex beginners may consider the complexities of technical analysis overwhelming and even unnecessary but if you wish to ensure the success of your Forex trading strategies do not ignore both forex analysis types.
Any quality online Forex broker should be able to supply you with a large variety of online charts for technical analysis. Working out your Forex trading strategies, you can purchase in-depth professional charts, there is usually a monthly fee involved in gaining access to this information. There is also free software available to help you with charting. Good charts are updated in real time.
Mapping out your Forex trading strategies, you should learn the market and study trends before you begin active trading. Most brokers will provide you with a practice account where you can place “paper trades” – practice forex trades where no real money is made or lost. But they act just like a real trade, so you can see exactly how your trade would have turned out if you had placed it for real. This allows you to become familiar with your broker’s system as well as learning about the market without risking any money.
The second part of this article explores various charts and indicators you need to use while planning your unique Forex trading strategies.
READING FOREX CHARTS
Price charts can be simple line, bar or even candlestick graphs. They show forex prices during specified time intervals that can be anywhere from minutes to years.
Line charts are the easiest to read, they give a broad overview of forex price movement. They only show the closing price for the specified interval and make it easy to pick out patterns and trends.
With a bar chart the length of a line displays the price spread during the time interval. The larger the bar, the greater the price difference between the high and low price for that interval. It is easy to tell at a glance if the price rose or fell, because the left tab shows the opening price and the right tab the closing price. Then the bar will give you the price variation.Pprinted bar charts can be difficult to read but most software charts have a zoom function so you can easily read even closely spaced bars while mapping out your Forex trading strategies.
Forex candlestick charts are very similar to bar charts – they both show high, low, open and closed prices for indicated time periods. Originally developed in Japan for analyzing candlestick contracts, they are very useful for analyzing Forex prices and are therefore a handy “tool” in Forex trading strategy planning. However the color coding makes it easier to read the chart, green candlestick indicates the rising price and the red – the falling price.
The actual candlestick shape in reference to the candlesticks around it will tell you a lot about the price movement and will greatly aid your analysis. Depending on the forex price spread various patterns will be formed by the candlesticks. Many of the shapes have exotic names, but once you learn the patterns, they are easy to pick out, analyze and use while working out your Forex trading strategies.
Forex price charts are not usually used alone. To get the full effect, you need to combine them with some technical indicators: trend, strength, volatility and cycle indicators. The most commonly used indicators are:
1. The Average Directional Movement Index (ADX) helps indicate if the market is moving in a trend in either direction and how strong the trend is. If a trend has readings in excess of 25 then it is considered a stronger trend. Effective “tool” when planning your Forex trading strategies.
2. The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD) shows the relationship between the moving averages which allows you to determine the momentum of the forex market. Any time that the signal line is crossed by the MACD it is considered to be a strong market.
3. The Stochastic Oscillator compares the closing price to the price range over a specific time frame to determine the strength or weakness of the forex market. If a currency has a stochastic of greater than 80 it is considered overbought. However, if the stochastic is under 20 then the currency is considered undersold.
4. The Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a scale from 1 to 100 that compares the high and low prices over time. If the RSI rises above 70 it is considered overbought where as anything below 30 is considered oversold.
5. The Moving Average is created by comparing the average forex price for a time period to the average price of other time periods.