Technical and Fundamental Analysis. Technical Analysis uses charts to try to forecast future currency prices by studying past market movements. Using this technique, a trader has the ability to simultaneously monitor multiple currency pairs by evaluating how others are trading a particular currency. In our experience, because so many traders use technical analysis, and their reaction to market activity tends to be similar, the validity of this technique is strengthened. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that feeds on itself, increasing the reliability of the signals generated from this analysis.
Support & Resistance
Perhaps the most effective and therefore the most popular form of technical analyses is the use of “support” and “resistance”. Support is the “floor” or lower boundary that a currency pair has trouble breaching. Resistance, on the other hand, is simply the opposite: it is the upper boundary that a currency pair has trouble penetrating.
Support and Resistance are important in range bound markets because they indicate the boundaries where the market tends to change direction. When and if the market breaks through these boundaries, it is referred to as a “breakout” and is usually followed by increased market activity. I use free stock charts and quotes online HERE.
Using Support & Resistance
We can use these support and resistance levels in many ways. A range trader would want to buy above support and sell below resistance while breakout. Trend traders, on the other hand, would buy when the price breaks above a level of resistance and sell when it breaks below support.
The concept is still the same as we stated earlier. We want to buy a currency pair if we anticipate the market moving up and then sell it at higher price. We can also sell a currency pair if we anticipate the market moving down and then buy it at a lower price.
Each currency has an overnight lending rate determined by that country’s central bank. If inflation is deemed too high, a central bank may raise the interest rate to cool down the economy. Conversely, if economic activity is sluggish, a central bank may reduce interest rates to stimulate growth. Lower interest rates usually depreciate the value of a currency – in part, because it attracts carry-trades. A carry-trade is a strategy in which a trader sells a currency with a low interest rate and buys a currency with a high interest.
The unemployment rate is a key indicator of economic strength. If a country has a high unemployment rate, it means that the economy is not strong enough to provide people with jobs. This leads to a decline in the currency value.
These key international political events affect the foreign exchange market, as well as all other markets.
In May of 2005, there was growing anticipation that France would vote against accepting the European Union Constitution. Since France was vital to Europe’s economic health (and the value of the Euro), traders sold the Euro and bought the dollar; this pushed the Euro down so far that many traders thought it couldn’t go any lower.
But, they were wrong. When France actually voted against the constitution, the EUR/USD currency pair fell by more than 400 pips in three days. Traders who bought the Euro lost thousands. On the other hand, traders selling the Euro made thousands.
Be aware that trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. The high degree of leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to invest in foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
Every trader makes mistakes, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with a trading environment before you invest your money. To improve your trading skills, try opening a free demo trading account with a Forex company.