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Currency Values

Foreign Exchange Basics: How To Handle Forex News

If you want to make money from the forex market then you will need to know foreign exchange basics. You may have a good mathematical understanding of trends and charts but it is also important to understand the foundation on which the currency trading markets are based. If you do not, you could enter a trade at exactly the wrong time.

The forex market is heavily influenced by national and international news and current affairs. This especially relates to financial news but other major events can have an effect too. These may be expected or unexpected.

For example a disaster such as a major earthquake or terrorist attack is usually unpredictable but could affect currency values. There is not much you can do about this except always to be sure to use stop losses.

A more predictable event would be the announcement that the Olympic Games will be held in a certain country. This could strengthen confidence in that country’s economy and lead to a rise in the value of its currency. At the same time the other major contenders for the Games may suffer a fall in currency values. So it is important for a trader to know when an announcement like that is expected, and which countries are involved.

Similar situations are the financial reports that are released almost daily in many countries. Less regularly, but usually foreseeable, there will also be announcements about interest rates, inflation, gross domestic product and other matters of national economic importance.

Try to avoid trading on rumors. You might see news reports or hear other traders speculating that an announcement will go one way or the other. Do not trade on the basis that they are right. First because they still could be wrong, and second because if it is such a sure thing, the price has probably already changed to take into account the rumors and you will not gain much even if they are right.

Do not forget that you are always trading on two nation’s currencies, not just one. If your own country is one of them, you will have much easier access to financial reports for that currency and it is easy to forget to check on events in the second country. This is particularly true for Americans because dollar news tends to dominate the forex alerts anyway. It is even more true if you are trading the dollar against a minor currency. You may have to take positive steps to ensure that your information is not one-sided.

Even if you are just beginning as a forex trader, it is important to keep in mind these aspects of fundamental analysis for the forex market. Exiting the market before any major announcement is usually the best move for a beginner. As you become more experienced you may develop a system based on this type of forfundamental analysis, but it is important to become familiar with all of the foreign exchange basics first.

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Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 Introduction No Comments

Fx Fundamental Analysis: How The Economy Affects Fx Trading

There are basically two types of currency exchange trading: forex fundamental analysis and technical analysis. There is a lot of debate about which is better. In fact, both are important.

The simplest way of looking at these two methods of analyzing the market is to say that fundamental analysis considers the world economy while technical analysis looks at charts. In this article we will consider the different fundamental or economic factors and how they can affect your trades.

It will be clear to anybody who has even the most rudimentary understanding of the currency markets that a nation’s economic status will have an effect on the value of that nation’s currency. A healthy economy means a strong currency, just as a company’s stocks will rise in value when that company is doing well.

Any time that a major financial or economic report is due from one of the main players in the world economy, you can expect to see an effect on the foreign exchange markets. This includes reports of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, statements of the national debt, inflation, employment levels and trade deficits. Many of these reports are given out regularly at predetermined times and dates, and you will see a lot of volatility in the forex markets around those times.

It is very important to keep track of when these reports are due, not only in your own country but in all of the countries whose currencies you regularly trade. You cannot rely on national newspapers and television for this. They do not carry international economic news at a sufficiently detailed level. You need specialist publications. Many people use the internet for this purpose.

However, it is not only the economy that counts. Social and political forces also have a strong influence on a nation’s currency values. Events such as an election, civil unrest, or a natural disaster can cause fluctuations in values.

Some of these events are difficult or even impossible to predict, but you can still base trades around what is likely to happen after the event. You can use historical analysis to see what happened in the currency markets the last time there was a similar event.

If you want to base your trading around fundamental analysis of the forex markets you will need to be the type of person who enjoys following the financial, political and economic news.

The alternative is to use information about upcoming events to avoid trading at those times. People who prefer to rely mainly on technical analysis will do this. But you still need to know what is happening, in order to keep out of the market. So even for somebody who prefers basing their trades on charts, forex fundamental analysis is important.

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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 Economic Conditions No Comments

What Is A Forex Pip?

When you start to look around forex websites online, you will soon see references to the forex pip. Your gains and losses will be measured in pips. Something else that is measured in pips is the spread, the difference between the bid and ask prices which is the main cost of forex trading and how the brokers make their money. So it is clearly very important to understand what is a forex pip.

The word is an acronym standing for percentage in point (or sometimes, price interest point). It is the smallest increment of changes in values. It allows us to measure a rise or fall in currency values in percentage terms instead of in dollars and cents.

Why do we need to talk in pips? The reason for this is simple. In the foreign exchange market there is no world currency in which to express values. The US dollar may be the most commonly traded currency but it is not involved in all trades. If you are trading cross rates, i.e. two other currencies such as EUR/GBP or any other combination that does not involve USD, it would not make any sense at all to express your gains and losses in terms of US dollars. Instead, we need something that is a small percentage of the value of whatever currencies we are dealing with.

This means that the monetary value of a pip varies according to the currency.

Most currencies are quoted to four decimal points. For example you might see the bid price for EUR/USD quoted at 1.3642 and ask price 1.3644. The difference (the spread) is 0.0002 or 2 pips. Here a pip is 0.01% of a lot.

So if the lot size was $100,000, one pip would be worth $10. For a lot size of $10,000, one pip would be $1.

That is the value of pips when the US dollar is the quote currency, i.e. XXX/USD. But when the quote currency is different, one pip is usually 10 units of that currency (e.g. 10 euros or 10 pounds). Or if your lot size is 10,000 units, one pip is 1 unit (1 euro or 1 pound).

The exception is the Japanese yen which has a much lower unit value than most currencies (you get a lot of yen to the dollar). Because of this, the yen is only quoted to the second decimal point. You might see a price USD/JPY 110.15. In this case one pip is 0.01 or 1% but in yen, not dollars. So the pip value is JPY 1000 which at that price would be worth US $11.015.

These differences can be confusing when you are just starting out. So it is better for beginners to trade consistently with just one currency pair.

If you are trading one pair regularly every day you will soon get used to how much a pip means in terms of your actual gains and losses in your account. You will know how much one pip is worth in dollars or in your own currency.

But when you are trading several different currency pairs, you have to deal with pips of different value. If you get confused, you could be taking greater risks than you planned or closing trades with less profit than you thought. It is much easier to deal with only one pair at first until you have a sound understanding of trading practices and forex pip values.

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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Glossary, Introduction No Comments

A Quick And Easy Foreign Exchange Tutorial

Your first foreign exchange tutorial will cover the basics of what you need to do to get started with forex trading. The aim, of course, is to have you making money by predicting the rise and fall of one currency against another and opening and closing your trades at the right moment.

It takes time to learn to be a successful forex trader but you can cut corners if you have a good introductory program that covers everything you need to know. This includes:

- understanding the principles of currency trading including managing your account, trading margins, and allowing for the cost of the spread

- technical analysis: discovering how to recognize trends in the markets, the different types of charts and how to interpret them so that you can profit from market movements

- fundamental analysis: understanding what to do in the face of major national or international economic events that are likely to impact on currency values.

- finding out how to minimize your risk and protect your trades with stops

- developing the power to apply your system without allowing losses or emotions such as fear to throw you off balance and affect your chances of earning long term profits

A good place to pick up hints and tips can be a forex trading online forum. There are many of these on the internet and members will comment about all kinds of issues relating to the market and their own trading. This can be a great place to go if you have questions.

However, forums have some drawbacks. One is that the advice you get may be very contradictory. There is more than one way to trade forex profitably and it can be confusing to be receiving advice from several different people, each with their own approach. It is usually better to stick to your own system.

The other problem with taking advice on forums is that you do not usually know anything about the people who are posting. Somebody could sound very knowledgeable and then it turns out they have only ever used a demo account and never made a real trade in their lives. Some people spend more time hanging out in forums than trading. Just because somebody is very active in a forum does not mean he or she is an expert.

So do not rely on forums, free guides or untested theories for your trading system. When you are starting out in forex trading you need a solid grounding in the basics and a system that is easy to follow and actually works. As with most things in life you usually have to pay for the best. So look for a foreign exchange tutorial that is part of a profitable forex system.

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Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 Introduction No Comments

What Is Forex Currency Trading In The Fx Market

What is currency trading? It is something that sounds quite simple and many people speak about it as if the meaning is obvious, but not everybody knows what it really is and how it works.

Currency trading is also known as forex trading. Forex (sometimes written FX) is short for foreign exchange.

You probably know that the value of each country’s currency goes up and down according to how well the country is doing compared with others. So for example, the value of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar will be higher or lower depending on reports of the Canadian and US economies. The same thing happens with all other currencies.

Currency values are constantly changing, so a trader can easily deal in them to make a profit. He or she can buy when a currency is worth less and sell when it is worth more, just as a stock trader would do.

The difference is that where stocks have only one value, their value on the stock exchange, a currency has different values compared with each of the other currencies. So for example the Canadian dollar might rise in relation to the US dollar but at the same time it could fall in relation to the Japanese Yen, if the Yen rose even higher.

Principles Of Currency Trading

Most forex market trading is margin trading. This means that instead of buying the whole value of the currency, you can invest in only a percentage. This allows a small deposit to control larger amounts. The principle of it is that a currency is very unlikely to change in value by more than a certain percentage of its value.

To simplify trading, currencies are traded in what is called pips, or price interest point system. These are the units of trading. They give a standard for comparison as the currency values change relative to each other. So you will hear traders talk of a currency gaining or falling by a certain number of pips, rather than talking in dollar terms.

How To Make A Profit With Currency Trading

In order to make a profit with currency trading, you need to have some idea of the likely movements of currencies. This knowledge can be gained by analyzing the markets or by applying a system that experienced traders have figured out from their own analysis.

If you are a beginner it is probably better to be receiving your information and analysis from somebody with more experience at first. You can pick up a lot of different systems online and watch how each one does, or you can work with an automated system. These are known as expert advisers or forex robots, and they will make the trades for you when the time is right according to the settings that you have programmed.

If you use an automated forex system you do not need to know what is currency trading in so much detail, although as with all things, the more you know the more success you are likely to have.

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Sunday, May 17th, 2009 Introduction No Comments