Forex At Eye Level, Guide to Currency Trading .pdf
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The Forex quick guide
for beginners and private traders
This guide was created by Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform, and is offered FREE
to all Forex traders.
Make your Forex learning much more efficient:
Register now at Easy-Forex™
and get FREE 1-on-1 LIVE training, in your language!
Joining is free and simple, and it gives you online access to many supporting
tools, such as Forex outlook, Forex charts, info-center, and more.
In this book: (click a chapter title below to directly get there)
How to use this book
Forex? What is it, anyway? (a simple introduction, for the
What is Forex trading? What is a Forex deal?
What is the global Forex market?
Overview of trading Forex online
Training for success
Technical Analysis: patterns and forecast methods used
Fundamental Analysis and leading market indicators
Day-Trading (on the Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform)
Twenty issues you must consider
Tips for every Forex trader
Disclaimer (risk warning)
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Introduction: how to use this book
This book has been developed to help the Forex beginner, though experienced
and professional traders may find it a handy reference.
Beginners and novice traders are likely to benefit from reading the entire
text, starting with Chapter 1, which provides a basic overview of what
currency trading is, and how to get started.
The chapters are set out in a logical flow, but do not need to be read in order
to make sense, as each works as a discrete unit unto itself. You may prefer to
focus first on those chapters that you feel will complement your particular
knowledge base best. Chapter 11 is a glossary of terms (listed alphabetically)
used in the Forex business, that will prove helpful as you read this book, and
may serve as a valuable reference as you become an experienced currency
With the help of this guide, you will soon be ready to start trading Forex – in
fact, with the assistance of the online Easy-Forex™ team, you can start today.
We wish you success in your trading, and hope you find this book interesting,
helpful and enjoyable.
Before you start, please remember:
Forex trading (OTC Trading) involves substantial risk of loss, and
may not be suitable for everyone. Before deciding to undertake such
transactions, a user should carefully evaluate whether his/her financial
situation is appropriate for such transactions. Read more in the "RISK
WARNING" section on Easy-Forex site / Risk Disclaimer.
Always ask your Forex dealer (the TRADING PLATFORM you wish to
trade with) the questions we prepared for you in this book (chapter 9).
Selecting the appropriate Forex TRADING PLATFORM is essential for
success in handling your trading and monitoring your activity, as well as
maximizing profits, while minimizing losses and costs.
Your comments and suggestions are highly appreciated (and may well be
incorporated in our next edition)! Be our guest and write us:
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 Forex? What is it, anyway?
The currency trading (foreign exchange, Forex, FX) market is the biggest and
fastest growing market on earth. Its daily turnover is more than 2.5 trillion
dollars. The participants in this market are central and commercial banks,
corporations, institutional investors, hedge funds, and private individuals like
What happens in the market?
Markets are places where goods are traded, and the same goes with Forex. In
Forex markets, the “goods” are the currencies of various countries (as well as
gold and silver). For example, you might buy euro with US dollars, or you
might sell Japanese Yen for Canadian dollars. It’s as basic as trading one
currency for another.
Of course, you don’t have to purchase or sell actual, physical currency: you
trade and work with your own base currency, and deal with any currency pair
you wish to.
“Leverage” is the Forex advantage
The ratio of investment to actual value is called “leverage”. Using a $1,000 to
buy a Forex contract with a $100,000 value is “leveraging” at a 1:100 ratio.
The $1,000 is all you invest and all you risk, but the gains you can make may
be many times greater.
How does one profit in the Forex market?
Obviously, buy low and sell high! The profit potential comes from the
fluctuations (changes) in the currency exchange market. Unlike the stock
market, where share are purchased, Forex trading does not require physical
purchase of the currencies, but rather involves contracts for amount and
exchange rate of currency pairs.
The advantageous thing about the Forex market is that regular daily
fluctuations – in the regular currency exchange markets, often around 1% - are
multiplied by 100! (Easy-Forex™ generally offers trading ratios from 1:50 to
How risky is Forex trading?
You cannot lose more than your initial investment (also called your “margin”).
The profit you may make is unlimited, but you can never lose more than the
margin. You are strongly advised to never risk more than you can afford to
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How do I start trading?
If you wish to trade using the Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform, or any other, you
must first register and then deposit the amount you wish to have in your
margin account to invest. Registering is easy with Easy-Forex™ and it accepts
payment via most major credit cards, PayPal, Western Union. Once your
deposit has been received, you are ready to start trading.
How do I monitor my Forex trading?
Online, anywhere, anytime. You have full control to monitor your trading
status, check scenarios, change some terms in your Forex deals, close deals,
or withdraw profits.
Easy-Forex™ wishes you enjoyable and successful Forex trading!
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 What is Forex trading? What is a Forex deal?
The investor's goal in Forex trading is to profit from foreign currency
More than 95% of all Forex trading performed today is for speculative purposes
(e.g. to profit from currency movements). The rest belongs to hedging
(managing business exposures to various currencies) and other activities.
Forex trades (trading onboard internet platforms) are non-delivery trades:
currencies are not physically traded, but rather there are currency contracts
which are agreed upon and performed. Both parties to such contracts (the
trader and the trading platform) undertake to fulfill their obligations: one
side undertakes to sell the amount specified, and the other undertakes to buy
it. As mentioned, over 95% of the market activity is for speculative purposes,
so there is no intention on either side to actually perform the contract (the
physical delivery of the currencies). Thus, the contract ends by offsetting it
against an opposite position, resulting in the profit and loss of the parties
Components of a Forex deal
A Forex deal is a contract agreed upon between the trader and the marketmaker (i.e. the Trading Platform). The contract is comprised of the following
The currency pairs (which currency to buy; which currency to sell)
The principal amount (or "face", or "nominal": the amount of currency
involved in the deal)
The rate (the agreed exchange rate between the two currencies).
Time frame is also a factor in some deals, but this chapter focuses on DayTrading (similar to “Spot” or “Current Time” trading), in which deals have a
lifespan of no more than a single full day. Thus, time frame does not play
into the equation. Note, however, that deals can be renewed (“rolled-over”)
to the next day for a limited period of time.
The Forex deal, in this context, is therefore an obligation to buy and sell a
specified amount of a particular pair of currencies at a pre-determined
Forex trading is always done in currency pairs. For example, imagine that the
exchange rate of EUR/USD (euros to US dollars) on a certain day is 1.5000
(this number is also referred to as a “spot rate”, or just “rate”, for short). If
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an investor had bought 1,000 euros on that date, he would have paid 1,500.00
US dollars. If one year later, the Forex rate was 1.5100, the value of the euro
has increased in relation to the US dollar. The investor could now sell the
1,03300 euros in order to receive 1,510.00 US dollars. The investor would then
have USD 10.00 more than when he started a year earlier.
However, to know if the investor made a good investment, one needs to compare
this investment option to alternative investments. At the very minimum, the return
on investment (ROI) should be compared to the return on a “risk-free” investment.
Long-term US government bonds are considered to be a risk-free investment since
there is virtually no chance of default - i.e. the US government is not likely to go
bankrupt, or be unable or unwilling to pay its debts.
Trade only when you expect the currency you are buying to increase in value
relative to the currency you are selling. If the currency you are buying does
increase in value, you must sell back that currency in order to lock in the
profit. An open trade (also called an “open position”) is one in which a trader
has bought or sold a particular currency pair, and has not yet sold or bought
back the equivalent amount to complete the deal.
It is estimated that around 95% of the FX market is speculative. In other
words, the person or institution that bought or sold the currency has no plan
to actually take delivery of the currency in the end; rather, they were solely
speculating on the movement of that particular currency.
Because currencies are traded in pairs and exchanged one against the other
when traded, the rate at which they are exchanged is called the exchange
rate. The majority of currencies are traded against the US dollar (USD), which
is traded more than any other currency. The four currencies traded most
frequently after the US dollar are the euro (EUR), the Japanese yen (JPY), the
British pound sterling (GBP) and the Swiss franc (CHF). These five currencies
make up the majority of the market and are called the major currencies or
“the Majors”. Some sources also include the Australian dollar (AUD) within the
group of major currencies.
The first currency in the exchange pair is referred to as the base currency.
The second currency is the counter currency or quote currency. The counter
or quote currency is thus the numerator in the ratio, and the base currency is
The exchange rate tells a buyer how much of the counter or quote currency
must be paid to obtain one unit of the base currency. The exchange rate also
tells a seller how much is received in the counter or quote currency when
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selling one unit of the base currency. For example, an exchange rate for
EUR/USD of 1.5083 specifies to the buyer of euros that 1.5083 USD must be
paid to obtain 1 euro.
It is the difference between BUY and SELL, or BID and ASK. In other words,
this is the difference between the market maker's "selling" price (to its
clients) and the price the market maker "buys" it from its clients.
If an investor buys a currency and immediately sells it (and thus there is no
change in the rate of exchange), the investor will lose money. The reason for
this is “the spread”. At any given moment, the amount that will be received
in the counter currency when selling a unit of base currency will be lower
than the amount of counter currency which is required to purchase a unit of
base currency. For instance, the EUR/USD bid/ask currency rates at your
bank may be 1.4975/1.5025, representing a spread of 500 pips (percentage in
points; one pip = 0.0001). Such a rate is much higher than the bid/ask
currency rates that online Forex investors commonly encounter, such as
1.5015/1.5020, with a spread of 5 pips. In general, smaller spreads are better
for Forex investors since they require a smaller movement in exchange rates
in order to profit from a trade.
Prices, Quotes and Indications
The price of a currency (in terms of the counter currency), is called “Quote”.
There are two kinds of quotes in the Forex market:
Direct Quote: the price for 1 US dollar in terms of the other currency, e.g. –
Japanese Yen, Canadian dollar, etc.
Indirect Quote: the price of 1 unit of a currency in terms of US dollars, e.g. –
British pound, euro.
The market maker provides the investor with a quote. The quote is the price
the market maker will honor when the deal is executed. This is unlike an
“indication” by the market maker, which informs the trader about the market
price level, but is not the final rate for a deal.
Cross rates – any quote which is not against the US dollar is called “cross”. For
example, GBP/JPY is a cross rate, since it is calculated via the US dollar. Here
is how the GBP/JPY rate is calculated:
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GBP/USD = 2.0000;
USD/JPY = 110.00;
Therefore: GBP/JPY = 110.00 x 2.0000 = 220.00.
Banks and/or online trading providers need collateral to ensure that the
investor can pay in the event of a loss. The collateral is called the “margin”
and is also known as minimum security in Forex markets. In practice, it is a
deposit to the trader's account that is intended to cover any currency trading
losses in the future.
Margin enables private investors to trade in markets that have high minimum
units of trading, by allowing traders to hold a much larger position than their
account value. Margin trading also enhances the rate of profit, but similarly
enhances the rate of loss, beyond that taken without leveraging.
Most trading platforms require a “maintenance margin” be deposited by the
trader parallel to the margins deposited for actual trades. The main reason
for this is to ensure the necessary amount is available in the event of a “gap”
or “slippage” in rates. Maintenance margins are also used to cover
When a trader sets a Stop-Loss rate, most market makers cannot guarantee
that the stop-loss will actually be used. For example, if the market for a
particular counter currency had a vertical fall from 1.1850 to 1.1900 between
the close and opening of the market, and the trader had a stop-loss of 1.1875,
at which rate would the deal be closed? No matter how the rate slippage is
accounted for, the trader would probably be required to add-up on his initial
margin to finalize the automatically closed transaction. The funds from the
maintenance margin might be used for this purpose.
Important note: Easy-Forex™ does NOT require that traders deposit a
maintenance margin. Easy-Forex™ guarantees the exact rate (Stop-Loss or
other) as pre-defined by the trader.
If you don’t wish to deposit “maintenance margin”, in addition to the margin
required for trading, join Easy-Forex™: no “maintenance margin”, trade
from as little as $100!
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Leveraged financing is a common practice in Forex trading, and allows traders
to use credit, such as a trade purchased on margin, to maximize returns.
Collateral for the loan/leverage in the margined account is provided by the
initial deposit. This can create the opportunity to control USD 100,000 for as
little as USD 1,000.
There are five ways private investors can trade in Forex, directly or
The spot market
Forwards and futures
Contracts for difference
Please note that this book focuses on the most common way of trading in the
Forex market, “Day-Trading” (related to “Spot”). Please refer to the glossary
for explanations of each of the five ways investors can trade in Forex.
A spot transaction
A spot transaction is a straightforward exchange of one currency for another.
The spot rate is the current market price, which is also called the “benchmark
price”. Spot transactions do not require immediate settlement, or payment
“on the spot”. The settlement date, or “value date” is the second business
day after the “deal date” (or “trade date”) on which the transaction is agreed
by the trader and market maker. The two-day period provides time to confirm
the agreement and to arrange the clearing and necessary debiting and
crediting of bank accounts in various international locations.
Although Forex trading can lead to very profitable results, there are
substantial risks involved: exchange rate risks, interest rate risks, credit risks
and event risks.
Approximately 80% of all currency transactions last a period of seven days or
less, with more than 40% lasting fewer than two days. Given the extremely
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short lifespan of the typical trade, technical indicators heavily influence
entry, exit and order placement decisions.
You don’t need British pounds or Japanese yens to trade with them. Use your
own account base currency at Easy-Forex™.
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 What is the global Forex market?
Today, the Forex market is a nonstop cash market where currencies of nations
are traded, typically via brokers. Foreign currencies are continually and
simultaneously bought and sold across local and global markets. The value of
traders' investments increases or decreases based on currency movements.
Foreign exchange market conditions can change at any time in response to
The main attractions of short-term currency trading to private investors are:
24-hour trading, 5 days a week with nonstop access (24/7) to global
An enormous liquid market, making it easy to trade most currencies.
Volatile markets offering profit opportunities.
Standard instruments for controlling risk exposure.
The ability to profit in rising as well as falling markets.
Leveraged trading with low margin requirements.
Many options for zero commission trading.
A brief history of the Forex market
The following is an overview into the historical evolution of the foreign
exchange market and the roots of the international currency trading, from the
days of the gold exchange, through the Bretton-Woods Agreement, to its
The Gold exchange period and the Bretton-Woods Agreement
The Bretton-Woods Agreement, established in 1944, fixed national currencies
against the US dollar, and set the dollar at a rate of USD 35 per ounce of gold.
In 1967, a Chicago bank refused to make a loan in pound sterling to a college
professor by the name of Milton Friedman, because he had intended to use
the funds to short the British currency. The bank's refusal to grant the loan
was due to the Bretton-Woods Agreement.
Bretton-Woods was aimed at establishing international monetary stability by
preventing money from taking flight across countries, thus curbing speculation
in foreign currencies. Between 1876 and World War I, the gold exchange
standard had ruled over the international economic system. Under the gold
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standard, currencies experienced an era of stability because they were
supported by the price of gold.
However, the gold standard had a weakness in that it tended to create boombust economies. As an economy strengthened, it would import a great deal,
running down the gold reserves required to support its currency. As a result,
the money supply would diminish, interest rates would escalate and economic
activity would slow to the point of recession. Ultimately, prices of
commodities would hit rock bottom, thus appearing attractive to other
nations, who would then sprint into a buying frenzy. In turn, this would inject
the economy with gold until it increased its money supply, thus driving down
interest rates and restoring wealth. Such boom-bust patterns were common
throughout the era of the gold standard, until World War I temporarily
discontinued trade flows and the free movement of gold.
The Bretton-Woods Agreement was founded after World War II, in order to
stabilize and regulate the international Forex market. Participating countries
agreed to try to maintain the value of their currency within a narrow margin
against the dollar and an equivalent rate of gold. The dollar gained a premium
position as a reference currency, reflecting the shift in global economic
dominance from Europe to the USA. Countries were prohibited from devaluing
their currencies to benefit export markets, and were only allowed to devalue
their currencies by less than 10%. Post-war construction during the 1950s,
however, required great volumes of Forex trading as masses of capital were
needed. This had a destabilizing effect on the exchange rates established in
In 1971, the agreement was scrapped when the US dollar ceased to be
exchangeable for gold. By 1973, the forces of supply and demand were in
control of the currencies of major industrialized nations, and currency now
moved more freely across borders. Prices were floated daily, with volumes,
speed and price volatility all increasing throughout the 1970s. New financial
instruments, market deregulation and trade liberalization emerged, further
stoking growth of Forex markets.
The explosion of computer technology that began in the 1980s accelerated
the pace by extending the market continuum for cross-border capital
movements through Asian, European and American time zones. Transactions
in foreign exchange increased rapidly from nearly $70 billion a day in the
1980s, to more than $3 trillion a day two decades later.
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The explosion of the euro market
The rapid development of the Eurodollar market, which can be defined as US
dollars deposited in banks outside the US, was a major mechanism for
speeding up Forex trading. Similarly, Euro markets are those where currencies
are deposited outside their country of origin. The Eurodollar market came
into being in the 1950s as a result of the Soviet Union depositing US dollars
earned from oil revenue outside the US, in fear of having these assets frozen
by US regulators. This gave rise to a vast offshore pool of dollars outside the
control of US authorities. The US government reacted by imposing laws to
restrict dollar lending to foreigners. Euro markets were particularly attractive
because they had far fewer regulations and offered higher yields. From the
late 1980s onwards, US companies began to borrow offshore, finding Euro
markets an advantageous place for holding excess liquidity, providing shortterm loans and financing imports and exports.
London was and remains the principal offshore market. In the 1980s, it
became the key center in the Eurodollar market, when British banks began
lending dollars as an alternative to pounds in order to maintain their leading
position in global finance. London's convenient geographical location
(operating during Asian and American markets) is also instrumental in
preserving its dominance in the Euro market.
Euro-Dollar currency exchange
The euro to US dollar exchange rate is the price at which the world demand
for US dollars equals the world supply of euros. Regardless of geographical
origin, a rise in the world demand for euros leads to an appreciation of the
Factors affecting the Euro to US dollar exchange rate
Four factors are identified as fundamental determinants of the real euro to US
dollar exchange rate:
The international real interest rate differential between the Federal
Reserve and European Central Bank
Relative prices in the traded and non-traded goods sectors
The real oil price
The relative fiscal position of the US and Euro zone
The nominal bilateral US dollar to euro exchange is the exchange rate that
attracts the most attention. Notwithstanding the comparative importance of
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bilateral trade links with the US, trade with the UK is, to some extent, more
important for the euro.
The following chart illustrates the EUR/USD exchange rate over time, from
the inauguration of the euro, until mid 2006. Note that each line (the
EUR/USD, USD/EUR) is a “mirror” image of the other, since both are
reciprocal to one another. This chart is illustrates the steady (general) decline
of the USD (in terms of euro) from the beginning of 2002 until the end of
EUR-USD rates 1998-2008
In the long run, the correlation between the bilateral US dollar to euro
exchange rate, and different measures of the effective exchange rate of
Euroland, has been rather high, especially when one looks at the effective
real exchange rate. As inflation is at very similar levels in the US and the Euro
area, there is no need to adjust the US dollar to euro rate for inflation
differentials. However, because the Euro zone also trades intensively with
countries that have relatively high inflation rates (e.g. some countries in
Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, etc.), it is more important to downplay
nominal exchange rate measures by looking at relative price and cost
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The fall of the US dollar
The steady and orderly decline of the US dollar from early 2002 to early 2007
against the euro, sterling, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar and a few other
currencies (i.e. its trade-weighted average, which is what counts for purposes
of trade adjustment), remains significant.
In the wake of the sub-prime mortgage crises in the US, dollar losses
escalated and continued to feel the backlash. The Fed responded with several
rounds of rate hikes while weighing the balance of domestic growth and
When was the last time the EUR-JPY pair was over 150.00?
(Have a look at Easy-Forex™ professional charts).
The basic theories underlying the US dollar to euro exchange rate
Law of One Price: In competitive markets, free of transportation cost barriers
to trade, identical products sold in different countries must sell at the same
price when the prices are stated in terms of the same currency.
Interest rate effects: If capital is allowed to flow freely, exchange rates
become stable at a point where equality of interest is established.
The dual forces of supply and demand
These two reciprocal forces determine euro vs. US dollar exchange rates.
Various factors affect these two forces, which in turn affect the exchange
The business environment: Positive indications (in terms of government
policy, competitive advantages, market size, etc.) increase the demand for
the currency, as more and more enterprises want to invest in its place of
Stock market: The major stock indices also have a correlation with the
currency rates, providing a daily read of the mood of the business
Political factors: All exchange rates are susceptible to political instability and
anticipation about new governments. For example, political instability in
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Russia is also a flag for the euro to US dollar exchange, because of the
substantial amount of German investment in Russia.
Economic data: Economic data such as labor reports (payrolls, unemployment
rate and average hourly earnings), consumer price indices (CPI), producer
price indices (PPI), gross domestic product (GDP), international trade,
productivity, industrial production, consumer confidence etc., also affect
currency exchange rates.
Confidence in a currency is the greatest determinant of the real euro to US
dollar exchange rate. Decisions are made based on expected future
developments that may affect the currency.
Types of exchange rate systems
An exchange can operate under one of four main types of exchange rate
Fully fixed exchange rates
In a fixed exchange rate system, the government (or the central bank acting
on its behalf) intervenes in the currency market in order to keep the exchange
rate close to a fixed target. It is committed to a single fixed exchange rate
and does not allow major fluctuations from this central rate.
Semi-fixed exchange rates
Currency can move within a permitted range, but the exchange rate is the
dominant target of economic policy-making. Interest rates are set to meet
the target exchange rate.
The value of the currency is determined solely by supply and demand in the
foreign exchange market. Consequently, trade flows and capital flows are the
main factors affecting the exchange rate.
The definition of a floating exchange rate system is a monetary system in
which exchange rates are allowed to move due to market forces without
intervention by national governments. The Bank of England, for example,
does not actively intervene in the currency markets to achieve a desired
exchange rate level.
With floating exchange rates, changes in market supply and demand cause a
currency to change in value. Pure free floating exchange rates are rare - most
governments at one time or another seek to “manage” the value of their
currency through changes in interest rates and other means of controls.
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Managed floating exchange rates
Most governments engage in managed floating systems, if not part of a fixed
exchange rate system.
The advantages of fixed exchange rates
Fixed rates provide greater certainty for exporters and importers and, under
normal circumstances, there is less speculative activity - though this depends
on whether dealers in foreign exchange markets regard a given fixed
exchange rate as appropriate and credible.
The advantages of floating exchange rates
Fluctuations in the exchange rate can provide an automatic adjustment for
countries with a large balance of payments deficit. A second key advantage of
floating exchange rates is that it allows the government/monetary authority
flexibility in determining interest rates as they do not need to be used to
influence the exchange rate.
The EUR-USD has dropped? So what!
(you can profit in any direction it takes, provided you chose the winning direction…)
Who are the participants in today’s Forex market?
In general, there are two main groups in the Forex marketplace:
Hedgers account for less than 5% of the market, but are the key reason
futures and other such financial instruments exist. The group using these
hedging tools is primarily businesses and other organizations participating in
international trade. Their goal is to diminish or neutralize the impact of
Speculators account for more than 95% of the market.
This group includes private individuals and corporations, public entities,
banks, etc. They participate in the Forex market in order to create profit,
taking advantage of the fluctuations of interest rates and exchange rates.
The activity of this group is responsible for the high liquidity of the Forex
market. They conduct their trading by using leveraged investing, making it a
financially efficient source for earning.
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Since most Forex deals are made by (individual and organizational) traders, in
conjunction with market makers, it’s important to understand the role of the
market maker in the Forex industry.
Questions and answers about 'market making'
What is a market maker?
A market maker is the counterpart to the client. The Market Maker does not
operate as an intermediary or trustee. A Market Maker performs the hedging
of its clients' positions according to its policy, which includes offsetting
various clients' positions, and hedging via liquidity providers (banks) and its
equity capital, at its discretion.
Who are the market makers in the Forex industry?
Banks, for example, or trading platforms (such as Easy-Forex™), who buy and
sell financial instruments “make the market”. That is contrary to
intermediaries, which represent clients, basing their income on commission.
Do market makers go against a client's position?
By definition, a market maker is the counterpart to all its clients' positions,
and always offers a two-sided quote (two rates: BUY and SELL). Therefore,
there is nothing personal between the market maker and the customer.
Generally, market makers regard all of the positions of their clients as a
whole. They offset between clients' opposite positions, and hedge their net
exposure according to their risk management policies and the guidelines of
Do market makers and clients have a conflict of interest?
Market makers are not intermediaries, portfolio managers, or advisors, who
represent customers (while earning commission). Instead, they buy and sell
currencies to the customer, in this case the trader. By definition, the market
maker always provides a two-sided quote (the sell and the buy price), and
thus is indifferent in regards to the intention of the trader. Banks do that, as
do merchants in the markets, who both buy from, and sell to, their
customers. The relationship between the trader (the customer) and the
market maker (the bank; the trading platform; Easy-Forex™; etc.) is simply
based on the fundamental market forces of supply and demand.
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Can a market maker influence market prices against a client’s position?
Definitely not, because the Forex market is the nearest thing to a “perfect
market” (as defined by economic theory) in which no single participant is
powerful enough to push prices in a specific direction. This is the biggest
market in the world today, with daily volumes reaching 3 trillion dollars. No
market maker is in a position to effectively manipulate the market.
What is the main source of earnings for Forex market makers?
The major source of earnings for market makers is the spread between the bid
and the ask prices. Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform, for instance, maintains
neutrality regarding the direction of any or all deals made by its traders; it
earns its income from the spread.
How do market makers manage their exposure?
The way most market makers hedge their exposure is to hedge in bulk. They
aggregate all client positions and pass some, or all, of their net risk to their
liquidity providers. Easy-Forex™, for example, hedges its exposure in this
fashion, in accordance with its risk management policy and legal
For liquidity, Easy-Forex™ works in cooperation with world's leading banks
providing liquidity to the Forex industry: UBS (Switzerland) and RBS (Royal
Bank of Scotland).
Easy-Forex™ guarantees the accuracy, security and integrity of all
transactions. Read more here
20 of 20
 Overview of trading Forex online
How a Forex system operates in real time
Online foreign exchange trading occurs in real time. Exchange rates are
constantly changing, in intervals of seconds. Quotes are accurate for the time
they are displayed only. At any moment, a different rate may be quoted.
When a trader locks in a rate and executes a transaction, that transaction is
immediately processed; the trade has been executed.
Up-to-date exchange rates
As rates change so rapidly, any Forex software must display the most up-todate rates. To accomplish this, the Forex software is continuously
communicating with a remote server that provides the most current exchange
rates. The rates quoted, unlike traditional bank exchange rates, are actual
tradable rates. A trader may choose to “lock in” to a rate (called the “freeze
rate”) only as long as it is displayed.
Trading online on Forex platforms
The internet revolution caused a major change in the way Forex trading is
conducted throughout the world.
Until the advent of the internet-Forex age at the end of the 1990’s, Forex
trading was conducted via phone orders (or fax, or in-person), posted to
brokers or banks. Most of the trading could be executed only during business
hours. The same was true for most activities related to Forex, such as making
the deposits necessary for trading, not to mention profit taking. The internet
has radically altered the Forex market, enabling around the clock trading and
conveniences such as the use of credit cards for fund deposits.
Forex on the internet: basic steps
In general, the individual Forex trader is required to fulfill two steps prior to
Register at the trading platform
Deposit funds to facilitate trading
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Requirements vary with each trading platform, but these steps bear further
Registration is done online by the individual trader. There are various forms
used in the industry. Some are quite simple, where others are longer and
more time-consuming. In part, this can be attributed to governmental or
other authorities’ requirements, though some Forex platforms require more
information than is actually needed. Some even require a face-to-face
meeting, or to obtain hard copies of required documents such as a passport,
or driver’s license.
The key requirements for registration are the trader’s full name, telephone,
e-mail address, residence, and sometimes also the trader’s yearly income or
capital (equity) and an ID number (passport / driver’s license / SSN / etc.).
Typically, the Forex platform is not required to run a thorough check, but rely
on the registrant to be truthful. Nevertheless, each Forex platform conducts
certain routines, in order to check and verify the authenticity of the details
Registrants are required to declare that funds used for trading are not in
question, and are not the result of any criminal act or money laundering
activity. This is mandatory as part of a global anti-money laundering effort.
It is advised that the reader becomes familiar with Anti-Money Laundering
regulations, and the procedures associated with the prevention of this
New registrants must deposit funds to facilitate trading. However, the
majority of the Forex platforms today require that, in addition to funds used
for actual trading, an additional amount be deposited.
“maintenance margin” or “activity collateral”, its purpose is for the platform
to have an additional guarantee. Some of the platforms that require an
additional deposit do pay interest on the collateral, which is “frozen” under
the trader’s name.
The Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform does NOT require any additional guarantee,
and allows trading with 100% of the amount deposited. Easy-Forex™ is able to
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provide these advantages because it assures “guaranteed rates and StopLoss”. That means that there will never be any additional requirement for
funds as a result of a “gap” that causes you to surpass the Stop-Loss. See “20
issues you must consider” (Chapter 9) for more.
The trading platform operates 24 hours a day just as the global Forex market
runs around the clock.
However, many online Forex market makers require the download and
installation of software specific to their own trading platform. Consequently,
accessibility is limited to those terminals that have the software. Since Forex
trading is borderless, and may be performed at any given time, it is obviously
advantageous to have access to trading from as many locations as possible.
The Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform is a fully web-based system, which means
trading can be conducted from any computer connected to the internet.
Traders are only required to log-in, ensure they have available funds to trade,
or make new deposits, and commence trading.
The Trading Platform: real-time software
The main feature of any Forex trading platform is real time access to
exchange rates, to deal and order making, to deposits and withdrawals, and
to monitoring the status of positions and one’s account.
The Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform system uses web services to continuously
fetch the most current exchange rates. The most recent data displays without
the need for a page refresh. This includes account status screens such as “My
Position”, which updates continually to reflect changes in rates and other real
Easy-Forex™ guarantees the accuracy, security and integrity of all
transactions. Read more here
Transaction processing and storage
As soon as a transaction is executed, the relevant data is processed securely
and sent to the data server where it is stored. A backup is created on a
different server farm, to ensure data integrity and continuity. All of this
happens in real time, with no human intervention.
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Trading via brokers and dealing rooms (by phone)
Performing Forex trading via Dealing Room dealers (over the phone) requires
knowledge about the way dealing rooms work, and the terminologies used in
the course of trading.
At start, the client should specify whether he/she is interested in obtaining a
QUOTE (in order to make a deal) or just an INDICATION. In the case of an
indication, the price given does not bind the dealer, but rather provides
information about market conditions.
When asking for QUOTE, the trader must specify the currency pair and the
deal amount (volume). For example: “Need a quote for EUR/USD in
It is wise to withhold from the dealer the intended direction of the deal,
specifying the pair only. Accordingly, the dealer then provides a quote
comprising two prices, buy and sell (“both sides quote”). The quote binds the
dealer for the very second it is given. If the trader does not immediately ask
for execution, then the price is no longer in force. The dealer would then tell
the customer “risk”, or “change”, meaning – the price quoted is no longer in
force. In such case, the trader should ask for a new price.
On the other hand, in order to make a deal, the trader must proclaim “buy”
or “sell”, together with the currency (or the price).
The trader asks for a quote for EUR/USD.
The dealer says “1.5010/15”.
If the trader wants to buy EUR, he/she says “buy" (or "buy EURO”, or
If the trader wants to sell EUR, he/she says “sell" (or "sell EURO”, or
The moment the trader says “buy” (or “sell”) he/she is bound to the deal,
regardless of the market situation.
Banks are closed at nights, weekends and holidays. Trade, deposit and
withdraw at Easy-Forex™, 24x7
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 Training for success
Understanding the nuances of the Forex market requires experience and
training, but is critical to success. In fact, ongoing learning is as important to
the veteran trader as it is to the beginner. The foreign currency market is
massive, and the key to success is knowledge. Through training, observation
and practice, you can learn how to identify and understand where the Forex
market is going, and what controls that direction.
To invest in the right currencies at the right time in a large, nonstop and
global trading arena, there is much to learn. Forex markets move quickly and
can take new directions from moment to moment. Forex training helps you
assess when to enter a currency based on the direction it is taking, and how
to forecast its direction for the near future.
Training with Easy-Forex™
Easy-Forex™ offers one of the most effective forms of training through handson experience. For as little as USD 25 at risk per trade, you can start trading
while learning in real-time. Easy-Forex™ strongly recommends starting with
very small volumes, and depositing an amount to cover a series of trades.
Learn the basics of the foreign exchange market, trading terminology,
advanced technical analysis, and how to develop successful trading strategies.
Discover how the Forex market offers more opportunities for quick financial
gains than almost any other market.
To learn more about the trading advantages of Easy-Forex™, join Easy-Forex™
(registration is quick and free, no obligation)
The many available resources and tools to train yourself
There are many free tools and resources available in the market, particularly
online. Among these, you will find:
There are many kinds of charts (see Chapter 6, Technical Analysis). Start with
simple charts. Try to identify trends and major changes, and try to relate
them to technical patterns as well as to macro events (news, either financial
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or political). Make an effort to determine the general magnitude of each
change on the chart (meaning: what is the $ value of the change, if you were
trading at that point).
Most platforms provide guided tours, demos or tutorials, either online or via
News / breaking news
Keep abreast of world news. Read all the headlines, particularly those directly
related to Forex. Check the impact of such news, if any, on the charts.
Read daily/weekly outlooks posted on Forex or general financial sites. Many
include alerts to upcoming reports and events such as market indicators and
interest rate decisions.
To read today’s professional outlook and view detailed charts, join EasyForex™ (registration is quick and free, no obligation):
Read forecasts, some of which are available free of charge. Bear in mind that
forecasts and predictions are made by people, none of whom can guarantee
the occurrence of future events…
Follow the indices of the leading markets (e.g. Dow-Jones, NASDAQ; Nikkei;
etc.). Compare them to the changes in the Forex market, as well as to
changes in particular currency pairs.
Pay attention to the release of economic indicators (for example – the
monthly unemployment rate in the USA), and try to identify their impact on
the market in general, and on specific currency pairs in particular.
Don’t hesitate to browse Forex glossaries, which are offered free on many
platforms. A given word may have different meaning as it relates to Forex and
to the terminology used by the Forex market participants.
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Seminars and courses
Try to attend professional Forex seminars. Some seminars are offered free,
often as part of a client recruitment process by a given platform; many are,
nevertheless, worth attending. Educational courses are offered online and by
many post-secondary institutions.
Read, or even just browse. Many books are offered free, or as part of a
service package to the trader. For many, historical background and technical
analysis are topics better covered in books than in an educational setting.
Internet forums / blogs
Visit and participate in Forex forums. This gives you an opportunity to learn
from the experience of others. Of course, remember that some forum
participants may be biased, promoting a given Forex platform or their own
No commissions? How about profit withdrawal fees?
(No hidden costs at Easy-Forex™. Join and trade without banking costs or other
indirect costs. Read more: www.Easy-Forex.com/ - Spreads and Commissions)
So much to consider…
To succeed as a Forex trader, you must take into consideration a wide variety
of factors such as:
commissions and fees;
ease of access to the trading platform;
minimum amounts needed for trading;
additional amounts needed (if any);
control over activity and positions;
the platform software requirements;
ease of deposits and withdrawals;
personal service and support provided by the platform;
the platform’s business partners;
the platform’s management, offices and outreach;
the products offered onboard the platform; and many others.
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Online training, no downloads
Easy-Forex™ is dedicated to educating its customers. Customers can access
FREE one-on-one online training. The training goal is to teach people specific
strategies for trading currencies over the internet. Both novice investors and
expert day traders have benefited from the training provided by Easy-Forex™.
The “demo” account idea
Many Forex platforms offer new registrants a “demo” account. A typical
example would provide 10,000 “demo” dollars that can be “traded” as a
means of learning how to succeed in Forex.
Easy-Forex™ does not offer “demo” accounts. Coming to understand that
reason must rule over emotion is the most important lesson a trader can
learn, and it cannot be done with play money. If there is no consequence to
indulging in emotional responses to the market, there is no learning, so
“demo” accounts tend to have little educational value. Rather, Easy-Forex™
allows you to start trading with just $100, including full access to one-on-one
training. New registrants are thus able to garner both an educational and
experiential benefit unavailable through simulated situations.
To get personal assistance and free training,
Join Easy-Forex™ (registration is quick and free, no obligation)
28 of 28
 Technical Analysis:
Patterns and forecast methods used today
Basic Forex forecast methods:
Technical analysis and fundamental analysis
This chapter and the next one provide insight into the two major methods of
analysis used to forecast the behavior of the Forex market. Technical analysis
and fundamental analysis differ greatly, but both can be useful forecasting
tools for the Forex trader. They have the same goal - to predict a price or
movement. The technician studies the effects, while the fundamentalist
studies the causes of market movements. Many successful traders combine a
mixture of both approaches for superior results.
If both Fundamental analysis and Technical analysis point to the same
direction, your chances for profitable trading are better.
In this chapter…
The categories and approaches in Forex Technical Analysis all aim to support
the investor in determining his/her views and forecasts regarding the
exchange rates of currency pairs. This chapter describes the approaches,
methods and tools used to this end. However, this chapter does not intend to
provide a comprehensive and/or professional level of knowledge and skill, but
rather let the reader become familiar with the terms and tools used by
As there are many ways to categorize the tools available, the description of
tools in this chapter may sometimes seem repetitive. The sections in this
Technical Analysis: background, advantages, disadvantages;
Various techniques and terms;
Charts and diagrams;
Technical Analysis categories / approaches:
[6.5] Some other popular tools.
[6.6] Another way to categorize Technical Indicators.
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[6.1] Technical analysis
Technical analysis is a method of predicting price movements and future
market trends by studying what has occurred in the past using charts.
Technical analysis is concerned with what has actually happened in the
market, rather than what should happen, and takes into account the price of
instruments and the volume of trading, and creates charts from that data as a
primary tool. One major advantage of technical analysis is that experienced
analysts can follow many markets and market instruments simultaneously.
Technical analysis is built on three essential principles:
1. Market action discounts everything! This means that the actual price is a
reflection of everything that is known to the market that could affect it.
Some of these factors are: fundamentals (inflation, interest rates, etc.),
supply and demand, political factors and market sentiment. However, the
pure technical analyst is only concerned with price movements, not with the
reasons for any changes.
2. Prices move in trends. Technical analysis is used to identify patterns of
market behavior that have long been recognized as significant. For many
given patterns there is a high probability that they will produce the expected
results. There are also recognized patterns that repeat themselves on a
3. History repeats itself. Forex chart patterns have been recognized and
categorized for over 100 years, and the manner in which many patterns are
repeated leads to the conclusion that human psychology changes little over
time. Since patterns have worked well in the past, it is assumed that they will
continue to work well into the future.
Disadvantages of Technical Analysis
Some critics claim that the Dow approach (“prices are not random”) is
quite weak, since today’s prices do not necessarily project future
The critics claim that signals about the changing of a trend appear too
late, often after the change had already taken place. Therefore,
traders who rely on technical analysis react too late, hence losing
about 1/3 of the fluctuations;
Analysis made in short time intervals may be exposed to “noise”, and
may result in a misreading of market directions;
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The use of most patterns has been widely publicized in the last several
years. Many traders are quite familiar with these patterns and often act
on them in concern. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, as waves of
buying or selling are created in response to “bullish” or “bearish”
Advantages of Technical Analysis
Technical analysis can be used to project movements of any asset
(which is priced under demand/supply forces) available for trade in the
Technical analysis focuses on what is happening, as opposed to what
has previously happened, and is therefore valid at any price level;
The technical approach concentrates on prices, which neutralizes
external factors. Pure technical analysis is based on objective tools
(charts, tables) while disregarding emotions and other factors;
Signaling indicators sometimes point to the imminent end of a trend,
before it shows in the actual market. Accordingly, the trader can
maintain profit or minimize losses.
Be disciplined, don’t be greedy.
Close your Forex the position as you originally planned.
[6.2] Various techniques and terms
Many different techniques and indicators can be used to follow and predict
trends in markets. The objective is to predict the major components of the
trend: its direction, its level and the timing. Some of the most widely known
Bollinger Bands - a range of price volatility named after John Bollinger,
who invented them in the 1980s. They evolved from the concept of
trading bands, and can be used to measure the relative height or depth
of price. A band is plotted two standard deviations away from a simple
moving average. As standard deviation is a measure of volatility,
Bollinger Bands adjust themselves to market conditions. When the
markets become more volatile, the bands widen (move further away
from the average), and during less volatile periods, the bands contract
(move closer to the average).
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Bollinger Bands are one of the most popular technical analysis
techniques. The closer prices move to the upper band, the more
overbought is the market, and the closer prices move to the lower
band, the more oversold is the market.
Support / Resistance – The Support level is the lowest price an
instrument trades at over a period of time. The longer the price stays
at a particular level, the stronger the support at that level. On the
chart this is price level under the market where buying interest is
sufficiently strong to overcome selling pressure. Some traders believe
that the stronger the support at a given level, the less likely it will
break below that level in the future. The Resistance level is a price at
which an instrument or market can trade, but which it cannot exceed,
for a certain period of time. On the chart this is a price level over the
market where selling pressure overcomes buying pressure, and a price
advance is turned back.
Support / Resistance Breakout - when a price passes through and stays
beyond an area of support or resistance.
CCI - Commodity Channel Index - an oscillator used to help determine
when an investment instrument has been overbought and oversold. The
Commodity Channel Index, first developed by Donald Lambert,
quantifies the relationship between the asset's price, a moving average
(MA) of the asset's price, and normal deviations (D) from that average.
The CCI has seen substantial growth in popularity amongst technical
investors; today's traders often use the indicator to determine cyclical
trends in equities and currencies as well as commodities.
The CCI, when used in conjunction with other oscillators, can be a
valuable tool to identify potential peaks and valleys in the asset's price,
and thus provide investors with reasonable evidence to estimate
changes in the direction of price movement of the asset.
Hikkake Pattern – a method of identifying reversals and continuation
patterns, this was discovered and introduced to the market through a
series of published articles written by technical analyst Daniel L.
Chesler, CMT. Used for determining market turning-points and
continuations (also known as trending behavior). It is a simple pattern
that can be viewed in market price data, using traditional bar charts,
or Japanese candlestick charts.
Moving averages - are used to emphasize the direction of a trend and to
smooth out price and volume fluctuations, or “noise”, that can confuse
interpretation. There are seven different types of moving averages:
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The only significant difference between the various types of moving
averages is the weight assigned to the most recent data. For example,
a simple (arithmetic) moving average is calculated by adding the
closing price of the instrument for a number of time periods, then
dividing this total by the number of time periods.
The most popular method of interpreting a moving average is to
compare the relationship between a moving average of the
instrument’s closing price, and the instrument’s closing price itself.
Sell signal: when the instrument’s price falls below its moving
Buy signal: when the instrument’s price rises above its moving
The other technique is called the double crossover, which uses shortterm and long-term averages. Typically, upward momentum is
confirmed when a short-term average (e.g., 15-day) crosses above a
longer-term average (e.g., 50-day). Downward momentum is confirmed
when a short-term average crosses below a long-term average.
MACD - Moving Average Convergence/Divergence - a technical
indicator, developed by Gerald Appel, used to detect swings in the
price of financial instruments. The MACD is computed using two
exponentially smoothed moving averages (see further down) of the
security's historical price, and is usually shown over a period of time on
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a chart. By then comparing the MACD to its own moving average
(usually called the "signal line"), traders believe they can detect when
the security is likely to rise or fall. MACD is frequently used in
conjunction with other technical indicators such as the RSI (Relative
Strength Index, see further down) and the stochastic oscillator (see
Momentum – is an oscillator designed to measure the rate of price
change, not the actual price level. This oscillator consists of the net
difference between the current closing price and the oldest closing
price from a predetermined period.
The formula for calculating the momentum (M) is:
M = CCP – OCP
CCP – current closing price
OCP – old closing price
Momentum and rate of change (ROC) are simple indicators showing
the difference between today's closing price and the close N days ago.
"Momentum" is simply the difference, and the ROC is a ratio expressed
in percentage. They refer in general to prices continuing to trend. The
momentum and ROC indicators show that by remaining positive, while
an uptrend is sustained, or negative, while a downtrend is sustained.
A crossing up through zero may be used as a signal to buy, or a crossing
down through zero as a signal to sell. How high (or how low, when
negative) the indicators get shows how strong the trend is.
RSI - Relative Strength Index - a technical momentum indicator,
devised by Welles Wilder, measures the relative changes between the
higher and lower closing prices. RSI compares the magnitude of recent
gains to recent losses in an attempt to determine overbought and
oversold conditions of an asset.
The formula for calculating RSI is:
RSI = 100 – [100 / (1 + RS)]
RS - average of N days up closes, divided by
average of N days down closes
N - predetermined number of days
The RSI ranges from 0 to 100. An asset is deemed to be overbought
once the RSI approaches the 70 level, meaning that it may be getting
overvalued and is a good candidate for a pullback. Likewise, if the RSI
approaches 30, it is an indication that the asset may be getting
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oversold and therefore likely to become undervalued. A trader using
RSI should be aware that large surges and drops in the price of an asset
will affect the RSI by creating false buy or sell signals. The RSI is best
used as a valuable complement to other stock-picking tools.
Stochastic oscillator - A technical momentum indicator that compares
an instrument's closing price to its price range over a given time period.
The oscillator's sensitivity to market movements can be reduced by
adjusting the time period, or by taking a moving average of the result.
This indicator is calculated with the following formula:
%K = 100 * [(C – L14) / (H14 – L14)]
C= the most recent closing price;
L14= the low of the 14 previous trading sessions;
H14= the highest price traded during the same 14-day period.
The theory behind this indicator, based on George Lane’s observations,
is that in an upward-trending market, prices tend to close near their
high, and during a downward-trending market, prices tend to close
near their low. Transaction signals occur when the %K crosses through a
three-period moving average called the “%D”.
Trend line - a sloping line of support or resistance.
Up trend line – straight line drawn upward to the right along
successive reaction lows
Down trend line – straight line drawn downwards to the right
along successive rally peaks
Two points are needed to draw the trend line, and a third point to
make it valid trend line. Trend lines are used in many ways by traders.
One way is that when price returns to an existing principal trend line’ it
may be an opportunity to open new positions in the direction of the
trend in the belief that the trend line will hold and the trend will
continue further. A second way is that when price action breaks
through the principal trend line of an existing trend, it is evidence that
the trend may be going to fail, and a trader may consider trading in the
opposite direction to the existing trend, or exiting positions in the
direction of the trend.
Don’t fall in love with your Forex position.
Never take revenge of your Forex position.
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[6.3] Charts and diagrams
Forex charts are based on market action involving price. Charts are major
tools in Forex trading. There are many kinds of charts, each of which helps to
visually analyze market conditions, assess and create forecasts, and identify
Most charts present the behavior of currency exchange rates over time. Rates
(prices) are measured on the vertical axis and time is shown of the horizontal
Charts are used by both technical and fundamental analysts. The technical
analyst analyzes the “micro” movements, trying to match the actual
occurrence with known patterns. The fundamental analyst tries to find
correlation between the trend seen on the chart and “macro” events
occurring parallel to that (political and others).
What is an appropriate time scale to use on a chart?
It depends on the trader’s strategy. The short-range investor would probably
select a day chart (units of hours, minutes), where the medium and longrange investor would use the weekly or monthly charts. High resolution charts
(e.g. – minutes and seconds) may show “noise”, meaning that with fine details
in view, it is sometimes harder to see the overall trend.
The major types of charts:
form, based upon
the closing rates
(in each time
unit), forming a
line. (Such chart,
on the 5-minutes
scale, will show a
line connecting all
the actual rates
every 5 minutes).
This chart does not show what happened during the time unit selected
by the viewer, only closing rates for such time intervals. The line chart
is a simple tool for setting support and resistance levels.
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Point and figure charts - charts based on price without time. Unlike
most other investment charts, point and figure charts do not present a
linear representation of time. Instead, they show trends in price.
Increases are represented by a rising stack of Xs, and decreases are
represented by a declining stack of Os. This type of chart is used to
filter out non-significant price movements, and enables the trader to
easily determine critical support and resistance levels. Traders will
place orders when the price moves beyond identified support /
This chart shows three
rates for each time
unit selected: the high,
the low, the closing
(HLC). There are also
bar charts including
which includes the
Opening rate for the
time interval). This
chart provides clearly
about trading prices
range during the time
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This kind of chart is based on an ancient Japanese method. The chart
represents prices at their opening, high, low and closing rates, in a
form of candles, for each time unit selected.
The empty (transparent) candles show increase, while the dark (full)
ones show decrease.
The length of the body shows the range between opening and closing,
while the whole candle (including top and bottom wicks) show the
whole range of trading prices for the selected time unit.
Following is a candlestick chart (USD/JPY) with some explanations:
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Pattern recognition in Candlestick charts
Pattern recognition is a field within the area of “machine learning”.
Alternatively, it can be defined as “the act of taking in raw data and taking an
action based on the category of the data”. As such, it is a collection of
methods for “supervised learning”.
A complete pattern recognition system consists of a sensor that gathers the
observations to be classified or described; a feature extraction mechanism
that computes numeric or symbolic information from the observations; and a
classification or description scheme that does the actual job of classifying or
describing observations, relying on the extracted features.
In general, the market uses the following patterns in candlestick charts:
Bullish patterns: hammer, inverted hammer, engulfing, harami, harami
cross, doji star, piercing line, morning star, morning doji star.
Bearish patterns: shooting star , hanging man, engulfing, harami,
harami cross, doji star, dark cloud cover, evening star, evening doji
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Chart system available at Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform
The Easy-Forex™ Trading Platform offers the following charting tools, for both
professional and beginner traders.
The chart types:
The time scales:
The view types:
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The "drawing line on the chart" types:
The Study types:
Please note: the above screen-shots were taken around mid-2006. The Easy-Forex™
platform continuously upgrades its system, while adding new features on a regular
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[6.4] Technical Analysis categories / approaches
Technical Analysis can be divided into five major categories:
Price indicators (oscillators, e.g.: Relative Strength Index (RSI))
Number theory (Fibonacci numbers, Gann numbers)
Waves (Elliott's wave theory)
Gaps (high-low, open-closing)
Trends (following moving average).
Relative Strength Index (RSI): The RSI measures the ratio of up-moves to
down-moves and normalizes the calculation, so that the index is expressed in
a range of 0-100. If the RSI is 70 or greater, then the instrument is assumed to
be overbought (a situation in which prices have risen more than market
expectations). An RSI of 30 or less is taken as a signal that the instrument may
be oversold (a situation in which prices have fallen more than the market
Stochastic oscillator: This is used to indicate overbought/oversold conditions
on a scale of 0-100%. The indicator is based on the observation that in a
strong up-trend, period closing prices tend to concentrate in the higher part
of the period's range. Conversely, as prices fall in a strong down-trend, closing
prices tend to be near the extreme low of the period range. Stochastic
calculations produce two lines, %K and %D, that are used to indicate
overbought/oversold areas of a chart. Divergence between the stochastic
lines and the price action of the underlying instrument gives a powerful
Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD): This indicator involves
plotting two momentum lines. The MACD line is the difference between two
exponential moving averages and the signal or trigger line, which is an
exponential moving average of the difference. If the MACD and trigger lines
cross, then this is taken as a signal that a change in the trend is likely.
Fibonacci numbers: The Fibonacci number sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21,
34 ...) is constructed by adding the first two numbers to arrive at the third.
The ratio of any number to the next larger number is 61.8%, which is a
popular Fibonacci retracement number. The inverse of 61.8%, which is 38.2%,
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is also used as a Fibonacci retracement number (as well as extensions of that
ratio, 161.8%, 261.8%). Wave patterns and behavior, identified in Forex
trading, correlate (to some extent) with relations within the Fibonacci series.
The tool is used in technical analysis that combines various numbers of
Fibonacci retracements, all of which are drawn from different highs and lows.
Fibonacci clusters are indicators which are usually found on the side of a price
chart and look like a series of horizontal bars with various degrees of shading.
Each retracement level that overlaps with another, makes the horizontal bar
on the side darker at that price level. The most significant levels of support
and resistance are found where the Fibonacci cluster is the darkest. This tool
helps gauging the relative strength of the support or resistance of various
price levels in one quick glance. Traders often pay close attention to the
volume around the identified levels to confirm the strength of the
Gann numbers: W.D. Gann was a stock and a commodity trader working in
the '50s, who reputedly made over $50 million in the markets. He made his
fortune using methods that he developed for trading instruments based on
relationships between price movement and time, known as time/price
equivalents. There is no easy explanation for Gann's methods, but in essence
he used angles in charts to determine support and resistance areas, and to
predict the times of future trend changes. He also used lines in charts to
predict support and resistance areas.
Elliott's wave theory: The Elliott Wave Theory is an approach to market
analysis that is based on repetitive wave patterns and the Fibonacci number
sequence. An ideal Elliott wave pattern shows a five-wave advance followed
by a three-wave decline.
Gaps are spaces left on the bar chart where no trading has taken place.
Gaps can be created by factors such as regular buying or selling pressure,
earnings announcements, a change in an analyst's outlook or any other type of
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An up gap is formed when the lowest price on a trading day is higher than the
highest high of the previous day. A down gap is formed when the highest price
of the day is lower than the lowest price of the prior day. An up gap is usually
a sign of market strength, while a down gap is a sign of market weakness. A
breakaway gap is a price gap that forms on the completion of an important
price pattern. It usually signals the beginning of an important price move. A
runaway gap is a price gap that usually occurs around the mid-point of an
important market trend. For that reason, it is also called a measuring gap. An
exhaustion gap is a price gap that occurs at the end of an important trend and
signals that the trend is ending.
A trend refers to the direction of prices. Rising peaks and troughs constitute
an up trend; falling peaks and troughs constitute a downtrend that determines
the steepness of the current trend. The breaking of a trend line usually signals
a trend reversal. Horizontal peaks and troughs characterize a trading range.
In general, Charles Dow categorized trends into 3 categories: (a) Bull trend
(up-trend: a series of highs and lows, where each high is higher than the
previous one); (b) Bear trend (down-trend: a series of highs and lows, where
each low is lower than the previous one); (c) Treading trend (horizontaltrend: a series of highs and lows, where peaks and lows are around the same
as the previous peaks and lows).
Moving averages are used to smooth price information in order to confirm
trends and support-and-resistance levels. They are also useful in deciding on a
trading strategy, particularly in futures trading or a market with a strong up
or down trend. Recognizing a trend may be done using standard deviation,
which is a measure of volatility. Bollinger Bands, for example, illustrate
trends with this approach. When the markets become more volatile, the
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bands widen (move further away from the average), while during less volatile
periods, the bands contract (move closer to the average).
Various Trend lines
Pattern recognition in Trend lines, which detect and draw the following
ascending; descending; symmetrically & extended triangles;
wedges; trend channels.
[6.5] Some other popular technical tools:
Coppock Curve is an investment tool used in technical analysis for predicting
bear market lows. It is calculated as a 10-month weighted moving average of
the sum of the 14-month rate of change and the 11-month rate of change for
DMI (Directional Movement Indicator) is a popular technical indicator used to
determine whether or not a currency pair is trending.
The Parabolic System (SAR) is a stop-loss system based on price and time. It
is used to determine good exit and entry points.
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[6.6] Another way to categorize Technical Indicators:
The indicators and tools aim to provide information in various approaches:
• Cycle indicators
A cycle is a term to indicate repeating patterns of market movement,
specific to recurrent events, such as seasons, elections, etc. Many
markets have a tendency to move in cyclical patterns. Cycle indicators
determine the timing of a particular market patterns. (Example: Elliott
• Momentum indicators
Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices
move over a given time period. Momentum indicators determine the
strength or weakness of a trend as it progresses over time. Momentum is
highest at the beginning of a trend and lowest at trend turning points. Any
divergence of directions in price and momentum is a warning of weakness;
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if price extremes occur with weak momentum, it signals an end of
movement in that direction. If momentum is trending strongly and prices
are flat, it signals a potential change in price direction. (Example:
Stochastic, MACD, RSI).
• Strength indicators
Market strength describes the intensity of market opinion with reference
to a price by examining the market positions taken by various market
participants. Volume or open interest, are the basic ingredients of this
indicator. Their signals are coincident or leading the market. (Example:
• Support/Resistance indicators
Support and resistance describe price levels where markets repeatedly
rise or fall, and then reverse. This method shows the price levels at which
the market is expected to reverse and stay within the S/R levels (e.g. –
not exceeding the support or the resistance level). This phenomenon is
attributed to basic supply and demand forces. (Example: Trend Lines)
• Trend indicators
Trend is a term used to describe the persistence of price movement in
one direction over time. Trends move in three directions: up, down and
sideways. Trend indicators smooth variable price data to create a
composite of market direction. Generally, the trend could be either UP,
or DOWN, or TREAD (flat). (Example: Moving Averages, Trend lines).
• Volatility indicators
Describe the intensity of fluctuations in the market prices. A change in
the volatility level hints at a coming change in the price. Volatility is a
general term used to describe the magnitude, or size, of day-to-day price
fluctuations independent of their direction. Generally, changes in
volatility tend to lead changes in prices. (Example: Bollinger Bands).
Unlike the fundamental analyst, the technical analyst is not much concerned
with any of the “bigger picture” factors affecting the market, but
concentrates on the activity of that instrument's market.
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 Fundamental Analysis
and leading market (economic) indicators
Fundamental analysis is a method of forecasting future price movements of a
financial instrument based on economic, political, environmental and other
relevant factors, as well as data that will affect the basic supply and demand
of whatever underlies the financial instrument. In practice, many market
players use technical analysis in conjunction with fundamental analysis to
determine their trading strategy. One major advantage of technical analysis is
that experienced analysts can follow many markets and market instruments,
whereas the fundamental analyst needs to know a particular market
intimately. Fundamental analysis focuses on what ought to happen in a
market. Among the factors considered are: supply and demand; seasonal
cycles; weather; government policy.
The fundamental analyst studies the causes of market movements, while the
technical analyst studies the effect. Fundamental analysis is a macro, or
strategic, assessment of where a currency should be traded, based on any
criteria but the movement of the currency's price itself. These criteria often
include the economic conditions of the country that the currency represents,
monetary policy, and other “fundamental” elements.
Many profitable trades are made moments prior to, or shortly after, major
Leading economic indicators
The following is a list of economic indicators used in the USA. Obviously, there
are many more, as well as those of other leading economies (such as
Germany, the UK, Japan, etc.). In general, it is not only the numerical value
of an indicator that is important, but also the market’s anticipation and
prediction of the forecast, and the impact of the relation between
anticipated and actual figures on the market.
Such macro indicators are followed by the vast majority of traders worldwide.
The “quality” of the published data can differ over time. The value of the
indicator data is considered greater if it presents new information, or is
instrumental to drawing conclusions which could not be drawn under other
reports or data. Furthermore, an indicator is highly valuable if one may use it
to better forecast future trends.
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Note that in the USA most indicators are published on certain weekdays,
rather than on a particular monthly date (e.g. the second Wednesday in each
month, as opposed to the 14th of each month, etc.).
Each indicator is marked as High (H), Medium (M) or Low (L), according to the
importance commonly attributed to it.
[H] CCI - Consumer Confidence Index
The Conference Board; last Tuesday of each month, 10:00am EST, covers current
The CCI is a survey based on a sample of 5,000 U.S. households and is considered one of the
most accurate indicators of confidence. The idea behind consumer confidence is that when
the economy warrants more jobs, increased wages, and lower interest rates, it increases our
confidence and spending power. The respondents answer questions about their income, the
market condition as they see it, and the chances to see increase in their income. Confidence
is looked at closely by the Federal Reserve when determining interest rates. It is considered
to be a big market mover as private consumption is two thirds of the American economy.
[H] CPI - Consumer Price Index; Core-CPI
Bureau of Labor and Statistics; around the 20th of each month, 8:30am EST, covers
previous month's data
The CPI is considered the most widely used measure of inflation and is regarded as an
indicator of the effectiveness of government policy. The CPI is a basket of consumer goods
(and services) tracked from month to month (excluding taxes). The CPI is one of the most
followed economic indicators and considered to be a very big market mover. A rising CPI
indicates inflation. The Core-CPI (CPI, excluding food and energy, expense items which are
subject to seasonal fluctuations) gives a more stringent measure of general prices.
[H] Employment Report
Department of Labor; the first Friday of each month, 8:30am EST, covers previous
The collection of the data is gathered through a survey among 375,000 business and 60,000
households. The report reviews: the number of new work places created or cancelled in the
economy, average wages per hour and the average length of the work week. The report is
considered as one of the most important economic publications, both for the fact that it
discloses new up-to-date information and due to the fact that, together with NFP, it gives a
good picture of the total state of the economy. The report also breaks out data by sector
(e.g. manufacturing, services, building, mining, public, etc.)
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