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5 Most Watched Indicators

Discussion in 'Forex Discussions' started by painofhell, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. painofhell

    painofhell Content Contributor

    Jun 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Currencies do not become weaker or stronger randomly. A large portion of a currency's value is based on confidence in the economic strength of the country. Economic strength is judged by certain key indicators that are closely watched in FX trading. When these economic indicators change, the value of a currency will fluctuate. A currency is a proxy for the country it represents and the economic health of that country is priced into the currency.

    Fundamental releases have become increasingly important market movers. When focusing on the impact that economic numbers have on price action in the FX market there are 5 indicators that are watched the most because of their potential to generate volume and to move prices in the market.

    Why Does Economic News Impact Short-Term Trading?
    The data itself is not as important as whether or not it falls within market expectations. Besides knowing when all the data is released, it is vitally important to know what economists are forecasting for each indicator. For example, knowing the economic consequences of an unexpected monthly rise of 0.3% in the Consumer Price Index, the Actual, is not nearly as vital to your short-term trading decisions as it is to know that this month the market was looking for CPI to fall by 0.1%, the Consensus.

    Analyzing the longer-term ramifications of an unexpected monthly rise in prices can wait until after you've taken advantage of the short term trading opportunities presented by the data typically within the first thirty minutes following the release. Market expectations for all economic releases are published on our calendar and you should track these expectations along with the release date of the indicator.

    Average Pip Ranges
    1. Non Farm Payrolls - Unemployment
    Avg. Move: 124 Pips

    FOMC Interest Rate Decisions
    Avg. Move: 74 Pips

    Trade Balance
    Avg. Move: 64 Pips

    CPI - Inflation
    Avg. Move: 44 Pips

    Retail sales
    Avg. Move: 44 Pips

    1. Non Farm Payrolls – Unemployment
    The unemployment rate is a measure of the strength of the labor market. One of the ways analysts gauge the strength of an economy is by the number of jobs created, and the percentage of workers unable to find jobs. Strong job creation is indicative of economic growth, as companies must increase their workforce in order to meet demand.

    Release Schedule: First Friday of the month at 8:30am EST

    2. FOMC Interest Rate Decisions
    The Federal Open Market sets the discount rate, which is the rate at which the Federal Reserve Bank charges member banks for overnight loans. The rate is set during the FOMC meetings by the regional banks and the Federal Reserve Board.

    Release Schedule: 8 meetings scheduled per year. Date is known in advance so check the economic calendar

    3. Trade Balance
    The balance of trade measures the difference between the value of goods and services that a nation exports and the value of goods and services that it imports. A trade surplus results if the value of exported goods exceeds that of imported goods, whereas a trade deficit exists if imported goods exceed exported goods.

    Release Schedule: Generally released around the middle of the second month following the reporting period. Check the economic calendar

    4. CPI – Consumer Price Index
    The CPI is a key gauge of inflation, as it measures the price of a fixed basket of consumer goods. Higher prices are considered negative for an economy, but since central banks often respond to price inflation by raising interest rates, currencies sometimes respond positively to reports of higher inflation.

    Release Schedule: Monthly - around the 13th of each month at 8:30am EST

    5. Retail Sales
    Retail sales is a measure of the total goods sold by a sampling of retail stores. It is used as a gauge of consumer activity and confidence as higher sales figures would indicate increased economic activity.

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