The first thing to notice about currency prices in the Forex market is that there are two of them, called the bid price and the ask price. The second thing to notice is that they don’t favor you, the trader, they favor the broker, because that’s how he makes money.
The ask price is what you pay should you wish to purchase that currency pair. Using the GBP/USD as an example, let’s say you believe the pound is going to strengthen against the U.S. dollar, meaning that the chart of the two currencies is going to go up on the graph.
In such a trade you would be purchasing the pound now at a lower rate, so that you can sell it later at a higher rate(Hopefully). And, since the pound is the base currency and it controls the direction of the trade, to purchase the pound means to purchase the currency pair. Such a trade is called opening a long position.
The bid price is the exact opposite. The bid price is what you would pay if you wanted to sell, or short, that currency pair. To continue the example of the GBP/USD, let’s say you believe the U.S. dollar is going to strengthen against the pound, rather than the other way around. In this trade, you would be purchasing the dollar now (and selling the pound) in order to sell it later.
But remember, it’s the base currency that controls the direction of the trade. When you purchase the cross currency, by definition you’re selling the base; in other words, you’re selling the currency pair rather than buying it. So all the signals are reversed: the chart will go down on the graph and the price of the currency pair will decrease.
But because you sold or shorted the currency pair rather than purchased it, you want the price to decrease, because it’s the price of the base currency that’s going down while the price of the cross is going up. In our example, if you shorted the GBP/USD, you would earn a profit if the price of the pair went down.
Calculating the number of pips you earn in a short trade is the same as for a long trade. Just ignore which was the purchase or the sale price and subtract the lower number from the higher one. The difference is the amount of your gain.
Note that the ask price is always higher than the bid. You have no choice but to buy high and sell low when trading on the Forex market.
The difference between the bid and the ask is called the spread, and that’s the amount of money the broker takes as his commission.
Obviously, the smaller the spread, the more money you get to keep out of what you make. Spreads are competitive among brokers; keeping their spreads small is one means of attracting customers. And spreads among the most popular currency pairs are generally smaller than those for pairs that aren’t as commonly traded, which is one of the best reasons for sticking with the “majors,” as they’re called.
Forex Market Hours
The Forex trading market is unlike some of the other trading markets. The Forex market stays open and moving 24 hours a day. This allows the traders to trade at any time, and the long waits until the market opens do not happen in Forex like they do in the stock market. One thing that successful traders will learn, however, is the right, or optimum, time to make the trade. This aspect of the market hours is very crucial to a market trader in terms of success.
The Forex market may stay open twenty four hours a day but it is better to trade when the market is active, as there is more activity and chances to make a profitable trade during the active times of the market. An active market translates into a bigger volume of trades. This means that there are more active currency moves when the market is active, and this will create a better chance of catching a trade that makes a profit. When the market is very calm and slow, most Forex traders consider it a waste of their time to trade.
The Forex market is open around the clock, and this is because the four major Forex markets are open at different times. The major markets are the New York market, the Tokyo market, The Sydney market, and the London market. The New York market is open from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon Eastern Standard Time. The hours for the Tokyo market are from seven in the evening to four in the morning Eastern Standard Time, and for the Sydney market they are from five in the evening to two in the morning Eastern Standard Time. The London market hours are from three in the morning until noon Eastern Standard Time. This means that both the New York and London markets are open from 8 a.m. until noon EST, the Sydney and Tokyo markets are open from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. EST, and the London and Tokyo markets are open from 3 a.m. until 4 a.m. EST. The times when these markets overlap, and are open at the same time, there is the highest volume of trades and the best chance to realize a profitable trade.
The Forex market is open 24 hours a day, but specific markets have set trading times. The 4 main markets in Forex are London, Tokyo, New York, and Sydney. By understanding the specific hours each market trades, a Forex investor can make a better profit from trading currencies. The times that are overlapping between these markets offer the best chances for great trades in the Forex market. This is because the market is more active with a greater volume of trade, which translates into more profitable trades.
The Basics Of Forex Analysis
The Forex trading market is an around-the-clock cash market where the currencies of nations are bought and sold, typically via brokers. For example, you buy Euros, paying with U.S. Dollars, or you sell Canadian Dollars for Japanese Yen. Forex prices can change at any moment in response to real-time events, such as political unrest, crude oil prices, inflation, import and export prices, or industrial production.
Currency market players typically use “Forex analysis” as a tool in predicting currency price movements. Forex analysis itself is divided into two types: fundamental and technical. A fundamental analysis uses economic and political factors as a means of predicting currency movements. A technical analysis uses reliable historical data as a means of forecasting these movements. The purpose of this article is to discuss the basic principles of fundamental and technical analysis.
A fundamental analysis uses economic and political factors, such as housing starts, the unemployment rate, or inflation, as a means of predicting currency movements. Fundamental analysis is concerned with the reasons or causes for currency movements. Many Forex traders who rely on fundamental analysis plan their trading strategies around a number of key U.S. Government economic indicators. Some of these indicators are the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Foreign Exchange Rates, Import and Export Prices, Industrial Production/Capacity Utilization, the Composite Index of Leading Indicators, Consumer Credit, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Retail Sales, Housing Starts, the Employment Cost Index, and Consumer Confidence.
All of these Federal economic indicators have a marked effect on both the stock market and Forex. Some of these indicators are released weekly, while others are released monthly or quarterly. Their sources include the Federal Reserve Board, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Forex traders must take other economic indicators into consideration as well. The world’s leading economies (for example, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, and Germany) also release their own economic indicators that will have an impact on the Forex market. For example, leading economic indicators in the United Kingdom include Housing Prices, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Vehicles per 1,000 People, Telephones per 1,000 People, and the Percentage of People Employed in Agriculture.
A technical analysis uses historical data as a means of predicting currency movements. The technical analyst believes that history repeats itself over and over again. Technical analysis is not concerned with the reasons for currency movements (for example, interest rates or inflation). Instead, it believes that historical currency movements are a clear indication of future ones.
Investopedia states that “In a shopping mall, a fundamental analyst would go to each store, study the product that was being sold, and then decide whether to buy it or not. By contrast, a technical analyst would sit on a bench in the mall and watch people go into the stores. Disregarding the intrinsic value of the products in the store, his or her decision would be based on the patterns or activity of people going into each store.”
For example, during the back-to-school buying season, the technical analyst might observe that more people are going into clothing stores than into stores selling flowers. Likewise, the technical analyst might observe that more men are going into stores selling flowers on Valentine’s Day than into clothing stores.
Here is another example. Oil prices dramatically increase, thus creating inflation. Interest rates rise as a means of controlling inflation. One historical result of higher interest rates is less money to spend, thus slowing economic growth. Another historical result is increased foreign investment in the currency affected by the higher interest rates, thus strengthening it.
The technical analyst typically uses charts as a tool for predicting currency price movements. The three most popular kinds of charts are line charts, vertical bar charts, and candlestick charts.
Some Forex traders depend on fundamental analysis while others depend on technical analysis. However, many successful Forex traders use a combination of both strategies. However, the important point to remember here is that no one strategy or combination of strategies is 100% certain.
“The bust creates the buy in opportunity, and the boom creates the fortune.” Michael “MJ The Terrible” Johnson – Founder & Owner – Masters of Money, LLC.
Forex: Frequently Asked Questions – https://www.mastersofmoney.com/forexfrequentlyaskedquestions/
Risk disclosure: *All investments involve risk. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we highly advise that you seek the advice of a properly licensed and trained investment professional.