Forex Trading - Economic Indicators in Fundamental Analysis

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Forex or currency trading can be analyzed and traded using two methods. One is technical analysis and another is fundamental analysis. This article will focus on fundamental analysis.

Fundamental analysis refers to trading forex based on the economic and political performance of the country as these two factors generally influence the exchange rate. Fundamental traders use a variety of news and economic indicators to support their decisions in trading. The news and numerical indicators are usually announced or published by the government or experts at certain period intervals such as monthly or quarterly. With the availability of internet, these indicators are easily accessible and hence, traders are able to react to the news faster.

There are many numerical indicators available and some have marked influence on the market price while others affect the exchange rate moderately and some even less. The effect of those indicators that highly influence the currency market can be observed in the price chart after the release of the indicators or news. Upon release, there is a catalytic effect leading to a high and rapid fluctuation of the currency market.

Listed below are some of the indicators that notably affect the economic growth and inflation that in turn, influence the exchange rates:

• Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - this indicator represents the monetary value of all products and services generated in a country over a specified period of time. It is considered the greatest indicator of a country's economy. This information is released on the last day of the quarter, 8.30am EST by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

• Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) - this is one of the statistics included in the employment report. The report details information such as pay roll, unemployment and job growth. NFP is regarded as the most important due to its significance to the economic growth and inflation. This report is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the first Friday of every month at 8.30 EST.

• Consumer Price Index (CPI) - this index is used broadly as a measure of inflation. It is considered as an indicator on the effectiveness of government policy. A rise in CPI signifies inflation while a fall denotes deflation. This piece of news is usually released by Bureau of Labor and Statistics around the 20th of each month, 8.30am EST.

• Retail Sales - it is a significant measure of consumer spending based on the data supplied by the retail stores on the monetary values of the merchandise sold as well as their inventories. This data is published by Bureau of Census around the 12th of each month, 8.30am EST.

There are many more indicators such as Purchasing Managers Index, Industrial Production, Consumer Confidence Index, Trade Balance and Housing Starts which are released on different day of the month and therefore providing ample opportunities to trade forex based on fundamental analysis.


Trading Forex With Trend Line Indicators

Trend Lines are the most powerful technical analysis tools. They allow you to gauge the trends direction, identify potential reversal levels and enter trades with low risk and high reward. In this article, you will learn how to use trend lines indicators in FOREX trading.

Trend lines are a basically a dynamic support or resistance level. Unlike horizontal levels which are a static level, the trend line is a level that advances with time. The trendline can be either ascending trendline or descending trendline.

There are two main methods of trading trend lines.

Method 1: Bounce

The core of this trading method is that support or resistance are a psychological barrier that price does not break easily. Traders that are trading the bounce wait for price to touch a support or resistance trendline, and to begin a reversal. They then join the new trend, entering in the direction of the reversal.

This method has two main advantages: the first one is that the trading signal behind the trade is based on support and resistance and therefore is strong and reliable. The second advantage is that the trade is taken close to the level, which means that the stop loss is very tight and risk:reward is good.

Method 2: Pullback

The pullback method is slightly different, though it is also based on support and resistance. The basis of the pullback method is waiting for price to break the trend line and then retrace back. Then, traders enter trade in the direction of the breakout.

This method is more reliable than the bounce method as the trader enters trade after a breakout has been validated, and therefore has the trend on his side. However, these trades are much less frequent and therefore it is hard to base your entire trading methodology on this method alone.


RSI is the Best Trading Indicator For Beginning and Advanced Forex Traders

Monday, March 7, 2011

Have you ever wondered what trading indicator you could always use regardless of your skill level? RSI, the Relative Strength Index, is such an indicator. It is an indicator that can be used as a standalone trading system without the need for any other method.

Helpful for the beginner

If you are new to trading Forex, simplicity is important. The RSI indicator can help you understand what is happening on your charts with a minimum of learning. Most Forex educational formats teach you about every tool in the toolbox when you don't need all of the tools in the toolbox to trade Forex.

The problem with Forex education

Suppose you went to college to get a degree in a particular kind of mathematics. While you were in school however you had to take classes in every aspect of mathematics so that when you were done you still didn't really know that much about the area of mathematics you were interested in. For the most part Forex educational systems teach you about everything in a "vanilla" sort of way so that when you are done you look around - after spending $5,000 - and are still wondering how to trade Forex.

The RSI has 4 signals to learn

Suppose you could learn 4 different signals on one chart. Suppose that when you looked at a trading chart regardless of currency pair or time frame,that with a few calculations you knew more about what was going on on that chart then most professionals. RSI allows the trader to get an immediate picture of what is happening on a trading chart in a matter of minutes.

Manually or automatically

RSI has been around since 1978 and is still used extensively to determine whether prices on a trading chart are overbought or oversold. This is NOT the correct use of RSI. It does not determine whether prices are overbought or oversold. However this is what most books and educational formats will tell Forex traders. The 4 signals of RSI are positive and negative divergence and positive and negative reversals. All 4 of these signals can be plotted manually using the drawing tools on a chart or they can be implemented automatically using an indicator called The RSI Paint Indicator.

Why these signals are so important

In the 9 1/2 years - 2000 to June 2010 - there were over 9200 of these signals on RSI hourly charts. You can imagine how many more there were on 15 minute charts. On hourly charts over that period, reversal signals averaged over 70 pips per trade. If 25% of those trades were one kind of reversal that would mean roughly a total of 17,000 pips per year or 71 pips averaged per trading day on hourly charts.

Nothing else is needed

RSI does not need trend lines to tell the trader when to trade. It doesn't need Fibonacci, or Gann or Elliott Wave. RSI is a standalone trading indicator that measures momentum in the market and uses the 4 signals above to tell the trader when to trade.

If you are just starting out in Forex or you have been trading unsuccessfully you should consider the small investment in learning RSI a step in the right direction. You can learn more about RSI by reading the eBook, RSI Fundamentals, Beginning to Advanced.


Forex Trading - The Best Forex Indicator

I don't believe in fancy indicators or indicators on other convoluted indicators. This is all made too complicated by forex traders.

At the same time, I think a lot of traders try to under simplify too reaction to all the over complication. I've heard of traders that don't use any indicators and just stare at price and take trades. Believe me, there are some who have the experience to do that. 99.99% chance that you're not one of them.

You do need a guide when staring at the hard right edge of the chart. I wish I could just tell you to use a simple moving average and just move on. Ha! That doesn't quite work. You need something a little more advanced than that.

However, the ultimate indicator does use moving averages. I'm talking about the MACD. I'm sure you know it. It charts at the bottom of your charts as a histogram. What it's telling you is the difference between two different moving averages. In other words if you were to chart a 5 period MA and a 15 period MA, then you would notice that at times the two lines are getting closer together. That's when the histogram would show just little spikes. Other times the MAs are moving further apart. When this happens, the MACD shows bigger spikes. So you can track the difference between two moving averages with this MACD.

Now, how the heck is that useful? It's useful because when a move in the market is running out of momentum, the longer moving average will catch up to the shorter moving average, even if the price is making new highs. When that happens, you get a divergence. The price just made a higher high, but the MACD made a lower high.

This doesn't mean the price will change direction every time, but it does mean that there is a better than 50% chance that the price will change direction. You can place your stop (mental stopless) at the top of the high and wait for a break downwards, enter on the down break and hold it for at least the size of your stop. Then get ready to exit on the sign of a turn around.

This is the simplest, best, easiest trade I am aware of. Most traders discount the power of MACD divergence. You don't have to be one of them.

Oh, I forgot to give you my best MACD settings. I use 5-15-1. Of course, you are free to use whatever you'd like, but that has worked the best for me.


What is the Best Swing Trading Indicator?

Swing traders could not ask for much more than an indicator that could offer the chance of knowing in advance when the market they were trading was at its breaking point. If you could know in advance when a market was ready to turn, this would greatly increase your chances as a trader of entering into a profitable trade. Luckily, such indicators already exist and when used properly they offer to give you an enormous edge while trading. These indicators are known as momentum indicators.

While many indicators are lagging, momentum indicators are leading. Put simply, they offer a glimpse at future price movement before it has occurred. Momentum indicators work on the basis of measuring a currency pair's level of momentum. As a currency pair begins to slow down and lose speed or momentum, the indicators warn of this and alert traders that a possible retracement in future price movement may be about to happen. By plotting a currency pair's momentum, a trader can know in advance when markets may be preparing to pull back.

One such momentum indicator is called the RSI. The RSI (relative strength indicator) shows levels of a currency pair that are considered overbought or oversold. When the indicator is in these areas, a trader should be on the lookout for potential price retracement. When a currency pair goes into overbought or oversold, there is a fairly good chance that it will retrace in order to adjust to the new price levels before it continues. By knowing in advance when this may happen, traders can close trades out early and lock in profits before they are wiped away and lost forever in the retracement.

If you want to know future price movement in advance, then take a look at momentum indicators, especially the RSI, today. The RSI is one of the oldest and most trusted trading indicators available. This may just be the trading indicator that you are looking for to give you an edge in your swing trading.


Do Bollinger Bands Work?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There is a lot of question asking whether the Bollinger bands work at all for a trader. From my experience using it, the answer is YES and therefore in this article, I will be sharing with you how I use the bands to trade. Those traders who have problems with using the bands are usually trading using it alone. In fact, there is no way you can trade with a single indicator. You must always trade with several indicators and then place your trade when most of them are showing a confluence of signs.

The Bollinger bands work best when it is used together with an oscillator like the stochastic of RSI. The upper and lower bands demonstrate the range that the currency is ranging and there are a few ways you can trade using this range.

1) Reversal Trading: When the currency hits one of the bands, you should immediately check the oscillator to see if it is oversold or overbought. If the price hits the upper band and the oscillator is showing overbought, this is a good SELL signal and if the price hits the lower band with the oscillator showing oversold, it is a BUY signal.

2) Breakout Trading: If the Bollinger bands are moving in a narrow range, it is a sign of consolidation and you should be waiting for the sudden movement of the price to enter a trade. This is how you can make use of the bands to trade breakout.

The Bollinger bands is definitely a good indicator to have and you must learn how to make use of it to improve your trading strategies.


Forex Trading - Combining Internal and External Indicators for Bigger Profits

If you are involved in forex trading, you obviously need to generate forex trading signals for profit and you will be able to make bigger profits and achieve long term currency trading success, if you combine a visual view and then trade off shifts in price momentum, so let's look at how to do this.

A Visual view

Be objective! The right price is the market price and you can see this clearly by using trend lines. There is no better way to spot areas of support and resistance to trade than to use trend lines.

Many traders however like to use subjective indictors to do this like cycles and Elliot wave but these require you to decide where support and resistance lies.

Why bother?

Drawing trend lines and looking at support and resistance gives you the reality and objective areas you can trade against.

You can use other indicators such as moving averages and Bollinger bands, but you need to start with trend lines and use these as back up.

Furthermore avoid Fibonacci retracments, they are simply assumed levels and they break at least as often as they hold.

An internal view.

As we have discussed above, good old fashioned trend lines will give you the reality of price and important support and resistance levels clearly right in front your eyes.

You now need to calculate the odds of success of trading into these levels.

You will need some momentum indicators to do this - these will tell you the strength of price movement up or down and help you calculate the odds of success.

For example if price momentum weakens into resistance chances are it will hold if it increases on a break of resistance chances are the trend will continue.

There are two great price momentum indicators that any novice can use effectively:

The relative strength Index (RSI)

Developed by trading legend Wells Wilder (if you have not read new concepts in technical trading get a copy) its over 25 years old but a classic work and this is a classic powerful indicator.

The stochastic indicator

Developed by George Lane, this is one of the best momentum indicators if not the best, you can use.

There easy to use in forex trading and are covered in our other articles in more detail.

Trading is an odds game!

Trading is an odds game and for this you need to see the reality of price as it is and then get the odds in your favour by watching shifts in price momentum.

It is the shifts in price momentum you can use to execute your trading signals and get the odds in your favour.

If you follow the above tips and get both an external visual view and combine this with price momentum, you will have the basis of a powerful currency trading system.

Furthermore, you will be using objective analysis and trading on the facts, rather than using subjective analysis, which means you have to predict, which by its very nature is doomed to failure.

Follow the above tips and they will help you get the odds in your favour when trading forex and lead you to currency trading success.


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