Fundamental analysis and technical analysis. These are the two major techniques used to perform trades in the foreign exchange (forex) of currencies in today’s financial markets. Often one may have a preference of one methodology over the other, but one should be proficient in both of these strategies if they plan on participating in forex trading.
Fundamental analysis involves studying all the information about a particular country that could have any bearing on the movements of that country’s currency. These include the various leading and lagging economic indicators, political events and even climatic events such as hurricanes or earthquakes. One aspect of fundamental analysis that some traders use is the practice known as forex news trading. This means making a trade immediately after a major news announcement that is relevant to a country’s economy. The logic is that there are likely to be major rises or falls in a country’s currency in the immediate aftermath of such an announcement, and it is possible to do this because the foreign exchange markets never close. This method of trading has the potential for huge profits, but also carries huge risks.
The second primary method to use for forex trading is to base trades on empirical data garnered from reviewing currency trading charts, i.e. technical analysis. This method of establishing trading parameters is much more driven by attempting to identify trends in currency movements over time and extrapolating these trends out into the future by using forecasting methodologies. The most popular way to analyze trends and to forecast future movements is though review of Bar charts and Candlestick charts.
The Bar chart consists of a vertical line representing a time period – usually a day – and is designed to provide four specific pieces of information the highest and lowest prices that were reached during the period, and the opening and closing prices. Candlestick charts deliver the same four pieces of information, but in a way that many people find makes it easier to see at a glance what the markets are doing.
One important function of charts is to indicate support and resistance levels. Support is the price level at which demand seems to be strong enough to prevent the price falling further, and resistance is the price level at which selling, and thus supply, seems to be sufficiently strong to prevent the price from rising further. These can be indicated by horizontal lines at the lowest and highest points on the bar chart.
Most traders will actively evaluate both on a fundamental level and a technical level simultaneously. Analysis based on the impact of events will show up very quickly in a technical analysis of charts and many traders know how to factor for the expected impact against a currency for certain events occurring in a given country. Expect your learning curve to understand how to analyze the forex markets via the use of both fundamental and technical analysis to be somewhat steep, but the rewards are most definitely worth the effort.