A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. When it comes to trading, this very first step is analysis. No matter what asset you are going to work with, you won’t be able to make much headway without a preceding research. And to many novice traders, the wide range of analysis methods may seem quite intimidating. However, most of them belong to two main groups: technical and fundamental analyses.
Technical analysis is a trading discipline employed to identify trading opportunities by analyzing past market data, primarily price and volume, while fundamental analysis takes into account the general state of the economy. Basically, a security's value is evaluated based on a company’s business results such as sales and earnings, and when talking about technical analysis, charts, candle patterns, and indicators are in play.
So what part of the market shall we start the journey with? Indices, stocks, futures, bonds, crypto… Oh wow, we feel like a kid in a candy store – don’t know where to look first. Ok – eeny, meeny, miny… No, no, that’s not how it’s done. Let’s find something liquid, supply-and-demand balanced with small start-up capital and preferably available at any time of day or night. Currencies!
The forex market is attractive to many, but sometimes, when people just start getting to know forex, it scares them with its complexity and uncertainty. The fluctuations in the Forex market occur depending on the technical and fundamental aspects of the market. That's why the vast majority of forex traders start their day by looking at the economic calendar for the upcoming session. Economic calendars usually focus on the scheduled releases of economic reports for a given country. As forex trading is international by nature, this is the great instrument to lean on.
Examples of events that are listed on an economic calendar generally include GDP data, employment reports, central bank announcements, shifts in government policy and even random tweets from certain world leaders.
Most economic calendars provide a short description of each event and a value for Actual, Forecast, and Prior expressed as percentage or currency value. Forecast represents the positive or negative influence the event is assumed to carry on the market. Previous refers to the change recorded after the last same-nature news, and Actual tracks the objective price movement.
Whatever country you are in, whichever market you fix your eyes on, pay special attention to news from the US. While the markets react to most economic news from various countries, the biggest movers come from the states. America is the financial superpower, being dominant in geopolitics, industry, technology, science and lots of other fields.
Speaking of geopolitics. Take a look at the current global concern, and you will see a direct correlation between the troubles the world is experiencing and market ups-and-downs.
For example, here is what happened to the British pound. The currency showed the worst result in history in relation to the US dollar – it has lost about 11% over the year.
What will happen to the GBP/USD pair next? The energy crisis, unemployment, accelerating inflation, influx of refugees – instead of spending resources on economic development, the country is diverting them to calm the situation. The reasons supporting the pound against the US dollar in recent months are the multiple interest rate hikes by the Bank of England and the rollback of possible tax cuts. Some traders may earn from this in the short run.
It’s also worth remembering that inflation reports and central bank speeches are not the only things which carry weight. The market reacts sharply to pandemics, wars, natural disasters, political unrest and protests, and upcoming elections. And the last two years have had more than their fair share of those. Hopefully, the market will survive the elections in 2024 – fingers crossed!