Tag Archive | "Markets"

The Risks In The U.S. Stock Markets Nobody Wants To Discuss

The Risks In The U.S. Stock Markets Nobody Wants To Discuss

When it comes to investing, nothing kills good returns more than nationalism. And nationalism rules at large investment firms.

As of March, 2007, the major U.S. stock market index, the S&P 500 stands, at a notch above 12,000 stands below the 1,250 level it stood at seven and a half years ago. So over seven and a half years if your portfolio has tracked the S&P 500’s index as most U.S. professional money managers aim to do, you have slightly less money, in absolute terms than you had seven and a half years ago. In terms of purchasing power, with the rapid deflation of the dollar, your same amount of dollars buys much less today. That’s a whole lot of waiting for a whole lot of nothing.

And that’s the good news.

The bad news is, as of 2007, the performance of the U.S. stock market is likely to become even worse for the rest of this decade. Why? For starters, check out the poor credit quality of thousands of American companies, many of which like the American consumer, seem to be overleveraged in debt.

Standard & Poors, a highly respected financial services firm that ranks the credit ratings of corporations all over the world, released a report on May 24, 2006 that declared a “Downgrade Potential Across Credit Grades and Sectors.” Standard and Poors covers corporations based in Asia/Pacific, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and the U.S.

This report stated that 85% of the corporations at risk for a potential downgrade in their credit rating (a rating that judges the corporation’s ongoing financial viability) were based in the U.S. or Europe, with the majority (61%) based in the U.S.

A breakdown by sector looks even worse. 80% of the corporations at risk within the automotive industry for a credit downgrade, 88% within the consumer product industry, and 88% of the retail/restaurant industry were all BASED IN THE U.S.

And don’t think that these statistics are skewed because the U.S. constitutes the largest percentage of the global stock market capitalization. According to a February, 2006 Forbes Online report, 75% of all publicly traded companies are non- U.S. based corporations.

But back to my opening statement:

When it comes to investing, nothing kills good returns more than nationalism. And nationalism rules at large investment firms.

To illustrate this point, it’s not just the small cap stocks, but also the large cap stocks of foreign countries that don’t trade on the stock exchanges of other countries. The overwhelming majority of clients at large investment firms don’t hold some of the leading, most innovative, most well-managed and fastest growing companies simply because these stocks are not traded on their domestic stock markets. For example, Samsung, a Korean company that is a world leader in high-end electronic goods, and LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) a French company that is a world leader in luxury brand goods including Pucci, Fendi, Tag Heuer, Sephora, Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, Givenchy, DKNY, and Hard Candy do not even trade on American stock exchanges. And it’s not just the American stock exchanges. These two companies don’t trade on a lot of Asian stock exchanges either.

To buy them, you either have to open up a foreign trading account or purchase them through market makers that have been known to mark the price of foreign stocks up by as much as 15%. This means on a round trip buy and sell of the stock, you’ve lost 30% already. While mark-ups this high are generally rare, it does happen. And most times, because brokers don’t do the research to discover what they’re trading at on the foreign exchanges, they pay these outrageous mark-ups without even realizing that they are doing so.

Sure, your financial consultant may have recommended that you start buying heavily into foreign markets, so you may say that I’m wrong. But think about when this happened. After there was major instability in your domestic markets or before? Was it a pro-active or re-active decision? If it was a reactive decision, it’s still better than no reaction, but still this means that there is no forward-thinking about these types of decisions at all. Furthermore, how is your financial consultant gaining exposure to foreign markets for you? Through crappy investment vehicles like mutual funds that get hammered with every correction or through investments in strong individual stocks? In addition, many times financial consultants at investment firms ignore outstanding companies merely because their firm does not provide analyst reports of this company for them to read.

When the conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Lebanon reached a peak in 2006, I remembered reading an article that stated that money was beginning to flow back into the U.S. dollar for investors seeking a safe haven for their money. Articles like this amaze me due to the complete lack of understanding journalists have about certain economic conditions. Just as they keep telling investors that the U.S. markets are the safest stock markets in the world, they’ll keep telling investors that the U.S. dollar is the safest currency to own – but that’s an entirely different article for another day.

Want to truly find the safest havens for your money?

Then learn how to invest yourself for you are more likely to be led astray as long as you continue to listen to financial journalists or allow someone else to manage your money.

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Currency markets – Spanish property 20 July 2006

Currency markets – Spanish property 20 July 2006

Summary of Overnight News:
• The FTSE-100 will open sharply higher this morning following last night’s strong gains in New York, as dovish comments by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and sliding oil prices allowed investors to put the crisis in the Middle East to one side and put a bit of blue on our screens to match the skies outside.

• US stocks surged higher on Wall Street last night after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reassured the market with his view that economic growth seems to be moderating and inflation remains contained, traders noted.

• ‘Clearly we don’t want to tighten too much to cause our economy to grow more slowly than its potential,’ Bernanke said during questioning before the Senate Banking Committee.
• Investors interpreted Bernanke’s testimony as a sign the Fed is close to ending its streak of interest rate hikes, dealers added.
• The DJIA closed 212.19 points higher at 11,011.42, its best performance of 2006, while the Nasdaq ended up 37.49 points at 2,080.71.

USA

Figures out Today:
13:30 US jobless claims (w/e 15/7) k Prev 332
13:30 CA wholesale sales (May) %m/m Prev 0.1
15:00 US leading indicators (Jun) % Prev -0.6
17:00 US Philadelphia Fed (Jul) Prev 13.1
19:00 US Minutes of 29 Jun FOMC Meeting

• Yesterday’s 0.3% rise in the US June core CPI tipped the balance to another 25bp rate hike on 8 August. But a less hawkish than expected and fairly noncommittal testimony from Chairman Bernanke added a fraction more ambiguity to the chance of an imminent rate hike, with the focus seemingly more on the longer term impact on inflation from moderating growth. His testimony, which gave strong boost to US and European share prices and Treasury bonds, came as the Fed released forecasts suggesting that it is prepared to bring US inflation down gradually, to minimise the damage to the real economy.

UK

Figures out Today:
09:30 Retail sales (Jun) %m/m Exp 0.2 Prev 0.5
09:30 Retail sales (Jun) %y/y Exp 2.7 Prev 4.0
09:30 PSNB (Jun) £m Exp 7000 Prev 6583
09:30 PSNCR (Jun) £m Exp 13000 Prev 16246
• UK retail sales (09:30) are forecast to have edged up during June, by around 0.2%. Overall, the quarterly performance of the retail sector should have improved considerably in Q2 which should underpin tomorrow’s release for GDP, expected to have grown 0.7% in Q2, inline with the MPC’s central projection.

Japan

Figures out Today:
06:00 JN BoJ Monetary Policy Minutes
EURUSD @ 1.2590 GBPUSD @ 1.8435 GBPEUR @ 1.4640 USDJPY @ 116.85

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Currency markets – Spanish property

Currency markets – Spanish property

Summary of Overnight News:
• The FTSE-100 will open sharply higher this morning, pushed by a strong performance in New York last night.
• Elsewhere, IBM’s second-quarter profit rose nearly 11 percent, slightly exceeding analysts’ forecasts despite another period of lacklustre revenue growth. Executives acknowledged weakness in IBM’s two biggest divisions, services and hardware.
• From April through June, IBM earned 2.02 bln Usd, 1.30 Usd per share, on revenue of 21.9 bln, the company said.
• In Asia, share prices rebounded in the morning session, after the Nikkei slumped over 400 points yesterday, as bargain hunters stepped back into the market supported by Wall Street’s overnight rise.
• However, while the broad picture was brighter, there was a reluctance to push the upside too aggressively ahead of US June CPI data, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s testimony to Congress starting later today, and a string of earnings reports from US high-tech firms such as Intel Corp, Apple Computer and Microsoft, due out this week.
• The Hang Seng ended the early session up 99.77 points at 16,143.71 while the Nikkei finished the morning better by 184.11 points at 14,621.35.
• Meanwhile, oil prices rebounded this morning in Asia as continued concern about Iran’s nuclear program and Israel’s attacks on Lebanon kept the market volatile, dealers said.
• New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, was at 73.91 Usd a barrel, up 0.37 Usd from 73.54 Usd in late US trading overnight. Brent North Sea crude for September delivery was up 0.58 Usd at 74.94 Usd.

USA

Figures out:
13:30 US CPI (Jun) %m/m Prev 0.4
13:30 US CPIX (Jun) %m/m Prev 0.3
13:30 US housing starts (Jun) k Prev 1957
13:30 US building permits (Jun) k Prev 1932
13:30 CA leading indicators (Jun) %m/m Prev 0.3
15:00 US Bernanke Report on Economy & Fed Policy

• A major London-based investment bank believes that, as was the case for June, the core CPI reading (13:30) will be the most important determinant of the FOMC’s decision on 8 August. Given their relatively benign forecast for the June core CPI, they look for the Fed to (finally) pause in August, though it is a close call. Clearly, a 0.3% rise in the June core index would fundamentally alter the inflation picture and would, in their view, dictate another tightening next month. A more complete treatment of the monetary policy outlook is included in the discussion of Bernanke’s Congressional testimony (15:00) where he will have a perfect opportunity to do two critical things:
a) shape market expectations for the 8 August meeting and
b) explain the Fed’s thinking and give markets, Congress, and the public a roadmap for how the FOMC might respond to various scenarios over the next six months.

UK

Figures out: 09:30 BoE MPC Minutes Exp 7-0 Prev 7-1
EURUSD @ 1.2495 GBPUSD @ 1.8280 GBPEUR @ 1.4630 USDJPY @ 117.45

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Economic Data And Its Influence On The Financial Markets

Economic Data And Its Influence On The Financial Markets

The things which contribute to price levels and action in the financial markets are numerous and diverse, and their influences can vary through time, and across different markets. This article identifies the different types of Economic Data influences and the role they play.

There are two ways economic information can influence prices. The first is in the macro sense. Macroeconomic inputs include:

Interest Rates
Economic Growth (GDP)
Government Budget Surpluses/Deficits
Trade Balances
Commodity Prices
Relative Currency Exchanges Rates
Inflation
Corporate Earnings (both for individual companies and the broad collection)

These elements will generally all have long-term inputs in to the pricing of any given market. They do not tend to move in sharp, dramatic fashion, so their influences also tend to be seen over longer periods of time.

That said, the release of economic data related to the above can be seen to have serious impact in the short-term activity in the markets. This comes primarily in the form of data releases. Some of the most important are:

Employment Data
Trade Data
GDP growth figures
Consumer & Producer Inflation rates
Retail and Wholesale Sales
Confidence & Sentiment Readings (U. Michigan survey, etc.)
Income & Spending
Production
Interest Rate policy decisions
Earnings releases

The markets can react in very, very dramatic fashion to these releases when they are out of line with expectations. The foreign exchange market, namely the EUR/USD exchange rate, provides a striking example.

On one Friday morning at 8:30 Eastern the monthly Non-Farm Payrolls report hit the wires. This report (released on the first Friday of each month) probably provides the most short-term volatility across all market sectors of any regular economic release. When the data comes in well off of market expectations, fireworks can ensue, as was the case in the example. Over the course of about 2-3 minutes EUR/USD fell more than 20 pips, turned around and rose about 60 pips, then fell back down to near where it had been before the data was announced (a pip being 1/10,000 of a Dollar). It then proceeded to run nearly 100 pips higher in fairly steady fashion over the course of the next hour.

Here is another example, this time of T-Bond futures.

When those payroll figures were released at 8:30 the market dropped more than two full points. One point on the T-Bond futures contract is worth 00, so each contract fell more than 00 in about two minutes. Consider that the margin on a contract at the time was probably around 00. That means a trader could have lost more than 80% on the trade in the blink of an eye.

It is also important to understand that in the futures pits such data events often result in fast market conditions. This means that the action is so hectic that there may literally be trading going on at several different prices in different parts of the pit. This is a risk of having open positions at the time of a major news release. The market may snap back fairly quickly, as in the chart above, but in the meantime the trader’s positions may have been liquidated on a stop order at a substantial loss.

Fortunately, all major economic releases are well documented. They are done on a pre-announced calendar which is readily available on any number of web sites, and of course in the business news media. In the vast majority of cases, one can also find out ahead of time from any number of sources what the expectations are for the release.

Foreknowledge of pending data events may not prevent losses which may result from unexpected figures. It will, however, allow the trader to recognize and understand when risks are increased. Make sure, especially if you are a short-term trader, to know what data is coming out. It can make a difference in your performance.

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Invest In China: Equity Markets

Invest In China: Equity Markets

China’s economy may be growing at the rate of almost 10% a year but its domestic capital markets are in a dismal state, forcing the private sector to disproportionate reliance on foreign investment for capital (particularly hard currency). Its domestic bond market is underdeveloped, its banks are saddled with bad debts, and both the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets have performed poorly in recent years.

China’s stock exchanges (excluding Hong Kong’s) were originally created with the idea of raising funds for inefficient, poorly performing state-owned entities (SOEs) that the government for political reasons did not wish to abandon. In this way the stock exchanges could shoulder the burden previously borne by domestic banks (who would extend SOE loans that were often never repaid). Because of this history, we now see listings dominated by inefficient SOEs that free float no more than one-third of issued shares, thus ensuring continued government control. It also ensures that private shareholders have no say in management, leaving SOEs with fewer incentives to reform. Foreign investors are hampered by the bifurcation of shares into two types (leaving about two-thirds of shares off-limits to foreign investment) and rigid investment quotas that China imposes on overseas capital.

China is caught between two unpalatable alternatives – if it offers up its stake in the SOEs, it cedes control of to private interests and faces the possibility that those who cannot market their shares will fail (since a government bail-out would defeat the purpose of listing in the first place). This would increase already high unemployment rates and lead to unpredictable political consequences. On the other hand, as long as it maintains control of the SOEs and uses the equity markets to fund them, share prices are likely to remain anemic, depriving China’s private sector of the capital in needs to thrive at home and invest overseas. Foreign investors are hoping that China will soon take decisive action to resolve this dilemma.

Despite these difficulties, China’s equity markets have recently attracted a surprising amount of interest from institutional investors abroad who see buying opportunities in low share prices and are persuaded by government promises of reform. China has raised some overseas investment quotas recently (they are specific to each investor), and there is talk in the air of unifying the share market to allow foreign investors greater access. Many analysts predict a brisker pace of reform as soon as China’s banking sector is opened up to foreign competition in 2007 in response to China’s WTO commitments.

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Things To Know When Trading In The Forex Markets

Things To Know When Trading In The Forex Markets

Currency trading is a very personal kind of trading. It involves the particular techniques of an individual, along with a solid trading strategy. This vast world has so many plans, types of trades, and techniques that it can seem a bit confusing as to where you need to begin. These tips can help you make sense of the confusion.

If you find yourself unable to justify a decision or basing your trading on rumors, you should probably stop. A good trader needs to understand perfectly what he is doing, as well as, to be conscious of the risks taken. Before you trade, make sure you can justify and explain your actions.

Do not get ahead of yourself. Some new traders make the mistake of spending their profits before they actually pull out of the market. Until those profits are safely in your hands or bank account, they are not available for you to spend. You should never overstretch yourself on a gamble because it may not end in your favor.

The charts for the timeframe smaller than your usual trading period can help you pinpoint the best entry and exit points for your positions. If you tend to trade on the day, look at the hourly charts. If you trade on the hour, examine the fifteen-minute charts. The faster charts will show you the most advantageous moments to open or close your positions.

Traders that allow themselves to become overwhelmed tend to make mistakes. If you are starting to realize that you are having a hard time understanding what it is that you are doing then it is best to step away and clear your head before continuing on the same path.

If you are going to be trading using forex and have a specific time period set for a currency, analyze a time period slightly longer than that from the past to get a good idea of how it will fare given the duration you have decided on. This will help maximize profits and minimize losses.

When trading, begin small and grow your account as you’re seeing gains. Investing too heavily in the beginning, can only lead to financial misfortune and long term dissatisfaction. Remain cautious, especially early on and never continue to pour money into an account if all you’re finding is a losing game.

When starting out in forex trading, limit the amount of your trades per day to about 10 to 20 Pips per trade. Get great at making profits little by little. Once you accomplish making small amounts of money, start increasing the amount of Pips per trade slowly to try to make more money.

When your fitness routine dictates crunches, sit-ups or other exercises for the abdominal muscles, take deep breaths from your belly while you do them. Belly breathing places a small but detectable extra stretch on your abs. For the best results, time your breathing to match your exercise, so that you exhale at the very top of your crunch.

While trading currency uses a personal trading strategy, it does share the main goal of making the best trades you can so as to not lose money. As you have seen in these tips, there are various approaches, but they are all created around the idea of making bigger profits on better trades.

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Practical Advice On Learning To Trade In Forex Markets

Practical Advice On Learning To Trade In Forex Markets

Choosing to enter the Forex market could prove to be a very wise decision for you. However, if you are not sufficiently prepared you stand not just to fail but to quite possibly lose a significant amount of money. Although there is no guarantee in any market, you stand a better chance of success if you heed sensible advice. This article gives you shrewd tips that you won’t want to ignore.

If you are not sure about trading on Forex on your own, or if you just do not have the time, consider using a broker. They have knowledge of the market, and if you hire a proven broker, this can hopefully lead to more money in your pocket in the future. Be sure you and your broker discuss at length what your goals are.

Follow your plan at all times and trade with discipline. No matter how good your system is, you won’t make money if you aren’t strictly following it. Do not ride hunches or tips that you hear through the grapevine. Stick to your plan and work it every day.

To help you invest wisely in the FOREX market you need to practice. Before you start throwing your hard earned money into an account, use a demo account to get you up to speed on how the everything works. A new FOREX trader must be well-versed on analyzing and actual trading before they put down their hard earned cash.

Don’t put all your money up on one trade. Divide your trading money into smaller segments, and use them for individual trades. Following this basic principal you can avoid losing all of your money when one trade goes bad, since you can only use a smaller portion of your trading money.

A good forex trading tip is to not trade within time frames that are too short, such as fifteen minutes. Trading within a short cycle can be way too much and luck is definitely a factor. It’s better to trade within a moderate time frame such as four hours or longer.

Remember that if you have a perfect strategy for trading in an up-market, it may not be ideal for a down-market. The foreign exchange is very sensitive to market conditions, and you must be able to respond appropriately to the direction in which the market is going. You should test your strategy in all market conditions to see what works best.

When you purchase units with forex, pay attention to the leverage. This represents how much of a risk you are taking. A high leverage means you are investing money that is not yours. You can make more profit by temporarily borrowing money: but you must find the kind of leverage ratio that matches your skills.

Hopefully you are now better prepared for the possibilities that await you. If you still have unanswered questions then ask them. Continue to seek out reliable sources of information to arm you with knowledge and confidence. It is an electrified market that holds the promise of prosperity and excitement; but you must have a disciplined approach. Stick to proven guidelines, and you can do well.

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Stock Markets Of The World

Stock Markets Of The World

“Stock Market” is a term that is used to refer both to the physical location for buying and selling stocks, and to the overall activity of the market within a certain country. When you hear “The stock market was down today,” it refers to the combined activity of many stock exchanges.

The major exchanges in the US are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (Amex), and NASDAQ.

The correct term for the physical location for trading stocks is the “Stock Exchange.” A country may have many different stock exchanges. Usually a particular company’s stocks are traded on only 1 exchange, although large corporations may be listed in several.

Investing Around The World

There are stock exchanges located throughout the world, and it is possible to buy or sell stocks on any of them. The only restriction is the oparating hours of each exchange. Both the NYSE and NASDAQ, for example, operate from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Other exchanges have similar opening hours based on their local time. When you trade on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, your order will be executed sometime between 9:30 pm and 4:00 am New York time.

The locations of the major stock exchanges of the world are:

Japan (Tokyo Stock Exchange)
India (Bombay Stock Exchange)
Europe (London Stock Exchange, Frankfurt Stock Exchange, SWX Swiss Exchange)
the People’s Republic of China (Shanghai Stock Exchange)
United States.

Stock Market Fluctuations

The economic health of a country will strongly influence its stock market. When the economy is doing well the market is bullish. Bull markets occur during times of high economic production, low unemployment and low inflation. Bear markets, on the other hand, follow downturns in the economy. When inflation and unemployment are rising, stock prices are usually falling.

Stock price fluctuations are also driven by supply and demand, which in turn are dependent to a great degree on investor psychology. Seeing a stock price rise rapidly can cause investors to jump on the bandwagon, and this rush to buy drives the price up even faster. A falling price can have a similar effect in the other direction. These are short-term fluctuations. Stock prices tend to normalize after such runs.

The stock exchange is only 1 of many opportunities for people to invest. Other popular markets include the Foreign Exchange Market (FOREX), the Futures Market, and the Options Market.

FOREX: World’s Largest Market

The FOREX is the biggest (in terms of value) investment market in the world. FOREX traders buy 1 currency against another and can profit from small changes in currency value. Most FOREX trades are entered and exited in 1 24-hour span, and traders have to keep a close watch on the market in order to make profitable trades.

The Futures Market

The Futures Market is a market of contracts to buy and sell certain goods at specified prices and times. It exists because buyers and sellers of goods wish to lock in prices for future delivery, but market conditions can make the actual futures contract fluctuate considerably in value.

Most investors in the futures market are not interested in the actual goods — only in the profit that can be realized from trading the contracts.

The Options Market

The Options Market is similar to the Futures Market in that an option is a contract that gives you the right (but not the obligation) to trade a stock at a certain price before a specified date. These options can be traded on their own or purchased as a form of insurance against price fluctuations within a certain time frame.

Stocks: Low Risk, Long-Term

All 3 of these markets are considered quite risky without considerable knowledge and experience. They also require close monitoring of market movements. Stocks, on the other hand, are less risky because movements of the market are usually more gradual. Although short-term investment strategies are possible, most people view stocks as long-term investments.

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Working The Forex Markets To Your Advantage (2)

Working The Forex Markets To Your Advantage

There is always a challenge when you’re dealing with the Foreign Exchange Market. That’s just the nature of the beast. The best thing you can do is to learn about how the market operates as a whole so that you will be ready to meet these challenges. This article can point you in the right direction and help you stay informed.

Practice, knowledge and discipline are needed in order to be successful in the Forex market. About ninety percent of those who start out in the market without the skills and information needed fail. The ten percent that succeed do so by sharpening their skills on demo accounts for years before entering the real money market.

When trading on FOREX, put your emotions aside! Stay calm and focus on your end goal! If you’re winning, the excitement can cause your judgment to become cloudy. If you’re losing, the frustration can cause you to make bad decisions to seek revenge. Take a moment! Step back, focus! What is the market telling you? Make your decisions with a logical/emotionless mindset. It will save you a lot of money in the end!

Talk to many different brokers before you choose one. Find out the many different services they offer, and what price points you can expect these to be set at. Brokers will often disclose, otherwise unknown information about other brokers, if they know you are searching among them. Use this insight to choose the best one for you.

Get a good computer. If you have viruses running rampant throughout your software, and a fan that does not cool your computer, you will not be in the Forex market for long. Forex is internet based trading, and if you do not have the proper capabilities to work with, you need to get them.

Get dressed every day, even if you plan on working in your home office. It will wake up your mind and body and get you prepared for a long day of looking over charts and finding trends. It will also allow you to take visitors as necessary without having to struggle to find something to throw on. You never know when a package might arrive!

Ignore those news shows that pretend to deal with finances. These shows are all about the bells and whistles and mostly deal with Wall Street-based stocks anyway. You’d be surprised at just how many people watch these religiously and think that they will somehow miraculously translate to Forex knowledge.

If you are new to Forex the best way to learn what it’s all about is to attend a few Forex trading seminars and take courses designed by professionals. You will greatly benefit from the experience of others. Learning to become a Forex trader involves much more than just reading a few articles on the internet.

Now, one article like this isn’t going to instantly-transform you into a market professional, but it will help you to grasp the concept of Forex trading. Once you begin to understand the basics, the entire picture becomes a little bit clearer. Bereft of the fog and confusion, you can start to see the entire forest and begin to profit.

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What Moves The Forex Markets?

What Moves The Forex Markets?

Investors in any market, be it securities or currencies, wants to know what causes price fluctuations so they can predict them and make a profit. While stock investors research publicly traded corporations in order to make trading decisions, those on the Forex must consider what influences the currency exchange rates between nations. Because it is so volatile with significant fluctuations in short term prices, it is especially important for the Forex trader to understand what moves the markets in order to be successful and make a profit.

Partly because trades occur 24 hours a day between Sunday and Friday afternoon, the Forex is a very volatile market. Just as with equities, pricing on the Forex is influenced by economic and political factors facing the nations involved in the currency pair. Because the U.S. dollar is used to back 90% of all the transactions on the Forex and its economy plays such a significant role in the world economy, economic data released by the government will affect market prices—temporarily. Here are some of the prime releases that Forex scalpers or day 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 forces 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 soon reflect them. It is not common for Forex scalpers or day traders to enjoy long-term success because the volatile nature of the market makes losses more likely with more trading.

There is another force that does play a role in the movements of all financial markets: human behavior. Indeed, Psychology is a very big 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 stopping points and chase a trend too far—to the point of loss or losing a significant portion of profits. Once an exit point has been reached—cash out.

Fear of loss is a very common human emotion and it definitely causes many investors to take a loss too hard and quit investing. However, simply setting acceptable stop/loss orders will prevent you from losing more than you are comfortable with.

Even faith and hope can cause us to chase profits too far or not get out when losses start to mount. Technical analysis, continuous back testing, and sticking with an investment strategy while being open to adjustment—these are all common traits in the most successful traders. Although the economic indicators and news releases do play a short term role in prices, it is ultimately human Psychology that moves the Forex.

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Forex Strategies

Trade:Forex, Oil and Gold

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