Using Forex Charts To Succeed With Currency Trades
The use of Forex charts in foreign currency trading is fairly commonplace, but do they work? More importantly, can they help you make money with Forex? Find out here.
It is important to remember that when reading Forex charts, that there are two basic approaches for online Forex trading. These approaches are known as the fundamental analysis approach and the technical analysis approach. The fundamental analysis approach does not rely on the standard Forex charts that one often sees on Forex Websites. This type of analysis relies on both political and economic factors to help determine which trades to make. Charts used for fundamental analysis are only used as a point of reference, and not a means of making a decision. Technical analysis on the other hand will try to forecast where the prices are going by analysis of historical price activity. In essence, those traders who use technical analysis study the relationship between the price of currency and the time of that price.
The commonest traded pair of currencies are the common European currency, the Euro, and the American dollar. So by way of an example, we will use this pairing to help us illustrate how Forex Traders look at this information. In this example, the dollar is on the right hand side of the chart and the Euro is on the left hand side. The currencies being traded are expressed in relationship to each other in a pairing. Forex charges will always show how much of the currency on the right hand side is necessary to buy a unit of the currency on the left hand side. Looking at the chart you will notice that the number which is highlighted is the last price displayed on a specified date. The time of a change is recorded along the horizontal axis, at the bottom of a chart and the price scale is displayed along the vertical axis along the right hand edge of the chart. The time and the price are often in all caps to help the trader remember that technical analysis is about the relationship between the time and price of the currency at that time.
There are many ways to observe the price and time movement on a Forex chart. Some of these include bars, lines, point and figure, as well as Japanese candle sticks, which is the most popular charting method. With the candle stick method the body of the candle is represented by a fat, red section. Lines project from the top and bottom which are the upper and lower wicks. When you look at all the candles on a chart it is clear that bodies can be different sizes and, occasionally, there is no body at all! The same approach is used with wicks. Candle wicks can be of many different sizes, or there may be no wick at all. The length of the body of the candle and the length of the wick are decided by the price range for the candle. An illustration showing longer candles indicates more price movement during the time that they were open. The pinnacle of a candle wick is the highest price for that currency while the bottom of the wick is the lowest price. A currency (or candle) is bullish when the size of the candle at the close is higher than it was at the open. In plain language this means that there were more buyers than there were sales during the opening time period. On the occasions that candles have no wicks at all, the indication is that the price of the currency opened but then dropped off consistently until it closed.
Forex charts should not be considered a sure fire method for decision making, but they are a tool that can help a trader decide about a trade. Studies reveal that many Forex traders do use charts of some description on a regular basis. Historical trends do have their place in Forex trading as most traders will acknowledge, and using the charts to track historical trends can help a trader in making a decision today.
More often than not, the charts are online rather than on paper. Many companies provide this online service, and by joining a service that provides the charts via the Internet a trader is able to stay very current indeed on currency activity. Charts can be verified on a minute to minute basis. For those who principally do their trading based on historical accuracy this can be a real help. Most Forex traders though use a blend of the two approaches. One could for example, chart historical trends, but also pay close attention to political, cultural and economic events within a nation. You could also use charts or other methods to check and see if a particular political event as a recent historical parallel that can be verified to determine how the currency behaved in past times. Merely following a single system is usually not enough. A trader should also be, to some extent at least, a student of history and of economics. There are numerous tools at your disposal to help you do well with Forex, and using these tools effectively will make you a much better Forex trader.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Cory makes his living from computers as a consultant, and has been creating web sites and marketing them for a number of years.