Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Moves The Forex Markets?

Investors in any market, be it securities or currencies, want to know what causes price fluctuations so they can predict when these may occur and make a profit. While stock investors research publicly traded corporations to make trading decisions, those trading Forex must consider what influences the currency exchange rates between nations. Forex can be volatile with significant fluctuations in short term prices, so it is especially important for the Forex trader to understand what drives these movements.

The Forex markets trade 24 hours a day between Sunday and Friday afternoon and the Forex market is very volatile. Just as with equities, pricing on the Forex is influenced by economic and political factors of each nations base currency. The U.S. dollar is used to back 90% of all the transactions on the Forex market and as the US economy plays such a significant role in the world economy, economic data released by the government will affect the market prices. Below are some of the prime economic news releases that Forex traders tend to look at when determining whether or not to enter a position:

1. Interest Rate Decisions
2. GDP rate increase/decrease
3. Unemployment data
4. Inflation: Consumer/Produce price
5. Retail Sales
6. Consumer Confidence Surveys
7. Business Confidence Surveys
8. Trade Balance
9. Manufacturing Confidence Surveys

However, while all of these news releases no doubt play a short term role in price movements on the Forex and other financial markets, their influence is very temporary and the prices can be short lived, hence the volatile nature of the market can make trading these instruments vert challenging.

There is another factor of course that does play a role in the movements of all financial markets and that is human behavior. Indeed, Psychology is a very significant factor in any investment decision and its effects can be studied in financial charts. Four human emotions play very big roles in the price movements on the Forex:

Greed Fear Faith Hope Greed compels even technical traders to ignore profit targets and chase a trend too far or too add to a position which can drive prices.

Fear of loss is a very common human emotion and it definitely causes many traders & investors to hold on to a losing position rather than exit for a loss. Stop Loss orders being triggered can also drive prices if they provide substantial liquidity, such as those from large institutions.

Faith - is a process where trader has such a strong belief in their trade that they just blindly hold on.

Hope, is where a trader is normally to scared to close out a losing position and just hopes it comes back. Frequently these traders will even add to a losing position, 'hoping' to make up some losses.

Technical analysis can also factor into price movements as this is part of pattern behavior, where people will react to certain patterns. Consider that if most traders are looking for the same patterns, then it is likely that price action movements will occur from those patterns, such as 50EMA hit etc.

So essentially, the market moves based on a mix of news, human psychology and technical analysis and pattern traders.

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