Fundamental Analysis

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Fundamental Analysis is simply the process of identifying and understanding the "factual reasons" why the market is moving in the direction that it is currently moving within the overall trend. This is in contrast to simply identifying that a trend or price move has already happened. Identifying that a market has already had a price move is the job of Technical Analysis which is all backward-looking. Understanding why a particular currency or market is moving is the job of fundamental analysis which is forward-looking and allows you to use this information to try and predict where prices might go in the near future.

Fundamental Analysis is an extremely underserved subject when it comes to retail traders and how they obtain their trading knowledge. In this Wiki, we will explore all the various aspects of fundamental analysis and how you can apply that to your own trading for improved performance.

This Wiki is a part of our Essential Forex Trading Guide. Be sure to check that out HERE.

Introduction to Fundamental Analysis


Fundamental Analysis goes far beyond a simple Technical Analysis approach which is what the typical retail trader will use to make their trading decisions. Understanding Fundamental Analysis will give you more conviction because you can have confidence that you are trading the real reasons why the market is moving rather than simply guessing by using some variation of chart pattern or indicator to make your trading decisions.

When we understand the exact reason why something is happening we suddenly have much more confidence in our trading. If we can interpret what the market is thinking then we have the potential to predict which way the market will move next. In other words, if we know what the market is thinking and what it might do next then we can make precise trading decisions in line with the market's intentions. Doing this will do wonders to help you with your objective of making a profit from your trading. We simply trade in line with why the market is doing what it is doing.

For example, if there are very good reasons for the market to be scared and go into risk-off mode then prices will likely fall in risk-on assets. Knowing this, traders can take action to profit from this information. Conversely, if there is a reason for the market to be confident and chase after profits then the market will likely rally in risk-on assets. Having this information offers a huge potential to improve your trading performance and certainly puts you well ahead of the typical retail trader.

We will learn much more about how we can profit from knowing the fundamentals later but for now, it’s important that you understand and have a healthy respect for fundamentals and just how much more powerful they can be to your overall performance.

If we look at the chart below, we can see the EURUSD moved in a volatile upward direction after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi’s comments vowing to do whatever it takes to preserve the single currency. However, the institutional players in the markets started to see deflationary pressure in the EUROZONE and realized this would force the European Central Bank to take action to maintain its price stability and policy mandates. This coupled with an improving US economy indicated to professional traders that the interest rate differentials, or relative yield curves on US and ECB debt, would widen and thus put downward pressure on the Euro relative to the US Dollar. You can see that the EURUSD fell quite steeply and there were a lot of profitable trading opportunities for months for anyone who knew how to take advantage of this information.


Don’t worry if you don’t quite understand all this jargon just yet. In the upcoming sections, you will gain a clear understanding of all of this and much more. This is just one example to start our understanding.

Fundamental Analysis and Real Life Scenarios

Fundamental Analysis absolutely does not require a doctorate in economics, a university degree, or anything other than basic human intelligence and a desire to learn a new subject. And just so that you know we are not lying to you we will use some real-world examples to demonstrate why fundamentals are not something to shy away from.

So you’re a smart person and you have done some really cool things in your life, right? You have probably accumulated a ton of knowledge on a variety of different subjects over the years, right? We are willing to bet that you have actually gotten pretty good at certain things that you once had no idea how to do before, right?

Ok, so let’s say that you are a carpenter by trade. The first day that you started learning about the subject of carpentry you were probably pretty clumsy with the tools and unsure if you were doing things properly. However, over time and lots of practice with your tools and measurements, you increased your skills in carpentry and eventually, your high level of skills demanded a much higher hourly wage than when you first started out.

Or let’s say that you’re an accountant. It probably took you a lot of time to study and learn everything you needed to know in order to become an accountant. You probably obtained a college or university degree that took 3 or 4 years to get. Once you had all the knowledge down then you had to go out and practice what you learned from your schooling in the real world. It was tough at first but I bet you can now do things with no effort at all that you previously fumbled over and struggled to do.

Or maybe you’re a bodybuilder. When you first started out you might have been skinny but after many gruelling hours in the gym, you eventually packed on a bunch of muscle. The first time you hit the bench press it was a struggle to pump 50 pounds but after time and practice, you can now easily lift 5 times that. Do you see the common theme in these examples?

Whether you are using numbers and spreadsheets, your body to lift heavy weights, or the finesse you now have as a master carpenter, the process you went through to become great is exactly the same thing; you learn the basics, you put in a lot of time and practice, and then you became really good at what you do. It doesn’t matter what subject you are talking about, the process of learning and executing your knowledge of the fundamentals is the exact same as anything else you want to become great at in life.

A basic understanding of fundamentals is all you need to get started and be pretty competent at the same time. If you stick to it you will naturally learn more and more elements and refine your knowledge and understanding along the way. That is how all learning works. You start out by learning some basic knowledge and then go out and practice it until you become competent.

Learning about the fundamentals is pretty much following the same process that you have been doing in all areas of your life for your entire life. The more time you spend with the market using your knowledge of the fundamentals the better off and more profitable you will become in your trading.

A Trader's Personal Story on Fundamentals

It seems fitting at this point for me to interject a personal story about how one professional trader came to understand the power of fundamentals for the first time. We will keep this trader nameless for the sake of not creating any bias but he was once a fairly well-known fundamental and sentiment day trader on the internet whereas now he prefers to be behind the scenes and do his own thing.

Here is his story in his own words:

Many moons ago I was working with a start-up Forex brokerage in my home city of Toronto. We were a boutique firm that catered to high-net-worth clients. I was the port of call for these wealthy traders. I came to the firm as a former big-shot equities trader that these high-net-worth clients could talk to and have some comfort knowing that they weren’t talking to some dollar phone monkey. Basically, I was a friendly, successful, and highly knowledgeable trader tasked to provide a high level of service that these very wealthy clients expected.

I can remember having many long and detailed conversations with these traders and it always blew my mind how similar their trading strategies were. 100% of them were pure technical traders. I was coming from being a statistical arbitrage and market inefficiency trader so technical analysis was something that I had never really used before because it just wouldn’t work with what I was doing at the equities prop firm.

Some of the systems I was told about were ridiculously complicated and others were as simple as a moving average cross-over system but the key takeaway here is that they were all pure technical analysis trading methodologies. Many of these traders talked a lot about how it was their poor trading psychology was what was holding them back. A small amount of these wealthy traders talked about having some risk management procedures as well. But, I never once heard any of these people talk about fundamental or sentiment based strategies. To be honest, I did not even know what the fundamentals were at that point because no one had ever talked to me about them.

For the most part, all of these clients were wealthy and had been quite successful in business and in life outside of trading. But, all of them wanted to add more money to their bottom line through trading in the exciting world of Forex.

We had client accounts with as much as 10 million dollars in them. However, the one thing that I can truthfully say is that 100% of our clients lost money. Literally 100%, that’s not a joke; we did not have one single profitable client. From time to time a client would go on a tare make a few bucks but they would quickly give it back. This was a time when I saw the most insane destruction of money I had ever seen in my life. I saw clients lose millions, sometimes in just a few days, it was absolutely incredible. Some of these clients would lose more money in a week than I had made in my life up to that point.

So there were three major things in common with this group of traders:

  1. They were all wealthy successful people outside of trading.
  2. They all used technical analysis exclusively for their trading.
  3. They all lost money.

Don’t you find that fascinating? I know I sure did. I went from being a hot shot successful arbitrage and inefficiency trader to working with an upscale Forex broker where all its clients lost money using various technical analysis systems. If I’m honest I really didn’t know much about technical analysis other than what I had read in a few books. At that point, I had never once put technical analysis into practical application with real dollars in the real markets because my style was all built around arbitrage and inefficiencies in the US equity markets. I certainly had no knowledge of the fundamentals either.

As a side note, after about 4 years of trading the US equities market as an arbitrage and inefficiency trader, the US markets started to get more and more efficient making it increasingly difficult for me to make as much money as I was used to making. This is why I got involved with the start-up Forex brokerage. It was time to start exploring this hot new Forex market that everyone was talking about and I figured why not do it on the institutional level….You know, get a paycheck and learn a ton. This is a route I highly recommend for people who need a paycheck and want to learn how to trade Forex in their spare time.

All right, back to my story. After about six months of watching these traders lose incredible amounts of money, I was dead set on creating a trading methodology that would do the exact opposite of what our clients were doing. I knew all these guys were doing was trading some technical system so it was obvious that I didn’t want to build a trading system around technical analysis too. After all, these traders were incredibly successful outside of trading so it was reasonable of me to assume that they were not raging lunatics but rather that the systems they were using to trade was what were actually flawed instead.

I didn’t know it right away when I set out on my journey to figure out a great Forex trading methodology that was the exact opposite of technical analysis is actually fundamental analysis. If technical analysis is black then fundamental analysis is white. In trading terms, they are the opposite of each other. It took me many months of struggle but I did finally figure out how to apply fundamental analysis in a way that I could day trade the Forex market.

Objections to Fundamental Analysis

Objection #1: Applying the Fundamentals is Unnecessary Because you Only Need to Look at the Charts

The first objection people have to fundamentals is that you only need to look at the charts and that applying fundamentals is too complicated and an unnecessary process.

This is not correct for several reasons. In later sections, you will hear us refer to Technical Analysis as being like driving a car but only using the rearview mirror to navigate your journey. It will work sometimes, such as on a really long and straight road, but overall you will have a lot of accidents and it would be ridiculous to try and drive a car like this.


Looking at the above chart is confusing yet many traders think that they can use all kinds of indicators to predict future price movements. Indicators, such as the Stochastic, have nothing to do with why the price is moving; it merely tells you that the price has done something and shows you this information in a visual way.

Another logical point to consider is that professional institutional-level traders use tools such as the Bloomberg terminal and Reuters Ikon. These are very famous information gathering terminals that you may have heard of before. They are built specifically to get news and information to traders as fast as possible. The cost of a Bloomberg terminal is about $2,000 USD per month and comes with a two year contract. So in order to have access to a Bloomberg terminal you basically need to spend $50,000 right off the bat.

Why would these fundamental tools be so expensive if big funds and professional traders made their money staring at price charts and indicators which can be found for free literally anywhere? Really try and think about that for a minute. Is it actually possible that the road to riches is floating around for free for everyone to take advantage of? It simply doesn’t add up that fundamentals are unnecessary when so many professional traders and money management firms are paying such high prices to get this type of information as fast as possible.

Obviously, fundamentals help them make smart trading decisions which is why they are willing to pay a lot of money for that information. Have you ever heard of a large money management firm paying $2,000 per month for a technical indicator tool? Maybe there are some but we would be very surprised if any of them did.

Objection #2: Fundamentals are too Difficult Unless you have a High-Level University Degree

The next objection that people have, particularly retail traders, is that fundamental trading is hard or too difficult to understand unless you have been trained at an institutional fund or have some genius-level degree. If you go through all our information on fundamentals you will see that fundamentals are actually simpler than technicals if you know what to focus on and what to look for.

It is true that Fundamental Analysis can get complicated if you let it but we will not be looking deep into corporate earnings and debt sheets to find the information we need to make a good trading decision. Rather, we have tools that do the heavy lifting for us so that we only need to focus on what is important to the market right now at this moment. We then simply look to trade in line with what the market thinks is important. Why would we ever want to trade contrary to what the market is telling us is important? The market is king and we need to trade in line with the king, not against it.

Researching the fundamentals can be broken down into a simple step-by-step process that will literally only take you a few minutes each day. It certainly takes much less time than staring at price charts all day waiting for some sort of signal for you to be able to place a trade.

Objection # 3: All News is Priced into the Markets

Another related objection is that all past, present, and future news is priced into the market at any given time. This is related because understanding the news is a big part of how institutional traders trade using fundamentals.

Many so-called experts teach a method called Efficient Market Hypothesis or EMH for short. EMH states that all available information is priced into the market making any moves in the market totally random and therefore impossible to make consistent profits.

In a short demonstration, we will show why this is complete nonsense and that anyone who perpetuates the myth of EMH has probably never tried to trade and certainly has never traded successfully. EMH is an academic study that has no real application to the real markets. So if you are unfortunate enough to come across one of these naysayers don’t get discouraged. You can make your stake in the Forex or any other markets but you need to focus on the correct things which we will uncover in this and many other Wikis on this site.

The example that we will use is the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) quantitative easing (QE) program which was launched in April 2013 represented at point 1 on the chart below. When this program was made public we found out that it essentially involved the unlimited printing of Japanese Yen in order to devalue the currency and encourage inflation, spending, and growth in the Japanese economy. Of course, according to the basic laws of supply and demand, when there is an oversupply of something the price will fall and the same is true with currency.


The chart above is a weekly chart of the USDJPY currency pair. Since JPY is the second part of the pair the USD is going up against the JPY. Stated another way, the Yen is going down against the USD. You will notice that the USDJPY was rallying long before the QE program was made official because the market was taking clues from the Bank of Japan for months before the announcement actually happened and attempted to price in QE.

This is a great time to point out that when the market expects something to happen it will attempt to price it into the market in order to make some nice profits. This is another way that we can follow along with the market and make some nice pips as well.

In this scenario BOJ simply printed more money quicker than the natural rate of demand could absorb. When the program was launched there was a very high expectation from some well-respected currency analysts that the value of the Japanese Yen would fall over the following months.

The overall expectation was that the pressure of this QE program would eventually lead to the currency depreciating against the USD and rally the USDJPY pair up to 110.00. If the USD goes up against the JPY then this means that the JPY is actually falling.

This is a very well documented event but when the program was launched the price did not move up to 110.00 for over a year. It took about 15 months for that piece of news to get fully priced into the market. This allowed traders plenty of opportunity to get in and take advantage of this move without worrying about missing out the second the news was announced. Under EMH this kind of event is impossible, which as we have proven, is obviously completely wrong.

At point 2 the USDJPY rallied on the back of speculation that the BOJ would have to add to their QE program if they were to meet their inflation target of 2%. This is because inflation barely moved up from the first QE efforts and the market felt that the BOJ would need to step it up to get the job done. This was the market attempting to price in the QE2 program.

On October 31, 2014, the Bank of Japan announced the expansion of its Quantitative Easing program. However, as you can see from the 1,000+ pip rally after the second QE program was announced that there was plenty of time to get in and make a nice profit from this second piece of news.

This demonstrates that the market will always attempt to price in the news. However, it’s not able to fully price in or even understand the longer-term effects of this news on the currency valuation. This is not a unique event in the Forex market.

It is true that the USDJPY did rally for weeks in anticipation of the QE program being launched but by no means was the move even close to being priced into the market. Nor were these expectations priced into the market instantaneously as EMH would have you believe. When QE was launched the price was around 96.000 and eventually the rally gassed out around 126.000. That’s about a 3,000 pip rally over 2.5 years that you could have been trading on the long side. That’s right; you could have had an easy trade idea for 2.5 years if you just embraced learning and applying the fundamentals.

There are countless more examples, even on short-term day trading time frames, of times when the news is not fully priced into the market. This gives us a chance to see what is going on and get in to take advantage of some nice price moves. The truth lies somewhere in between the market attempting to price in the news and then reacting to the news itself.

The previous objections tend to be the most common reservations that people have when approaching fundamentals. There is really no reason to be concerned with these because what we are going to show you next will allow you to see for yourself how simple and how powerful the fundamentals really are.

Institutional and Retail Traders

There is a big difference in the way that a retail trader approaches the Forex or any other financial market from how a professional institutional trader will go about navigating them. What we mean by a retail trader is a person who typically trades from their homes and is not employed in the financial markets. An institutional trader would be someone who works at a hedge fund or an investment bank, think a corporate trader.

In the following Wiki, we will talk about the two different types of traders, what their differences are, and why you might want to consider trading and approaching the financial markets like one over the other.

The main Wiki for Institutional and Retail Traders can be found HERE.

Fundamental Supply and Demand

When discussing fundamental analysis there are some core principles that we need to be aware of. Supply and demand are at the heart of fundamental moves in all markets including Forex. Think of buying as demand and selling as supply.


When we have a situation where buyers are more aggressive than sellers this means prices will likely be bid up and move higher. When we say bid up what we are referring to is a situation where buyers are more willing to “step up” their buy orders in the hopes of getting a fill on the long side. Going long is the same thing as buying. This is what we refer to as demand. When more people want to buy at the current price this will cause the sellers to raise their offers to accommodate for the higher demand. Essentially, when we have a high-demand situation buyers are more willing to purchase at higher prices and sellers are less willing to sell at lower prices. Aggressive buyers will simply lift the offers to get long instantly. The other reason someone would want to lift the offer is to get out of an existing short position immediately. If there is a very real reason for the market to be aggressively buying then you definitely do not want to be holding a short position against that positive sentiment.


On the other hand, if we have a market where the sellers are more aggressive than the buyers this means that prices will likely go down. This is a situation where we have more supply than demand. Buyers naturally want to buy at lower prices so they will lower their bids to accommodate for this influx of supply. In this situation, sellers will be more willing to step down their offers. Aggressive sellers will simply take the bids in order to get short immediately. The other reason someone would want to take the bid would be to get out of their existing long positions. The concept is the same, you don’t want to be stuck holding a position that is contrary to the current price move and market sentiment because you could wind up taking a much larger loss than you anticipated.


At any one moment in time, the current price is thought to be the equilibrium between the forces of supply and demand. As new information is absorbed and disseminated into the market buyers and sellers will move prices based on what this new information fundamentally means to the value of the asset that they are trading. This happens on a tick-by-tick basis every day. Sentiment can and does change many times throughout a single trading session but to varying degrees.

For further information on Supply and Demand please check out our Wiki page devoted to all things Supply and Demand HERE.

Sentiment Analysis

We have a large Wiki on Sentiment Analysis HERE. Here we will do a short explanation of Sentiment Analysis.

The other most common driver of fundamental information is something called sentiment. We have already mentioned sentiment a few times now but up to this point we have not provided a definition of what sentiment actually is. Let's try and break that down now.

Let’s first think of fundamentals as the big "Macro Picture" of the health of an economy. If the particular economy is performing well and interest rates are rising then we would expect the currency of that nation to move higher over the long run. People want to invest in growing and stable economies that are performing well so this means that they will need to buy the local currency of that economy in order to invest in it. This is the most basic picture we can come up with for what fundamentals are.

Well, we know that currency prices just don’t go up in a straight line. It would be nice but that’s not the reality, unfortunately. Even though the big picture fundamental outlook may be overall positive there will be many days where the price actually goes down against the fundamental trend. In these times this means that the sentiment of the day has turned negative and forced price to be temporarily out of line with the big picture fundamentals.

Sentiment, in its most basic form, is the "Mood" of the market right now in the "Current" trading session. It’s similar to fundamentals except it lasts for much shorter periods of time. Sentiment can be in line with the fundamentals but it can also move price in the opposite direction of the fundamentals. The interesting thing about sentiment is that it can last anywhere from a few seconds to many weeks depending on how strong that sentiment is.

The importance of this aspect of supply and demand cannot be underestimated. Sentiment is so important that you will spend most of your time trying to identify the current sentiment for your trading opportunities. This is especially true if you are a shorter-term trader such as a day trader. If you are a day trader you will need to be in tune with how the market is feeling all day while you are trading.

Day traders will always want to keep the big picture fundamentals in the back of their minds, but for their biggest concern is what the market is thinking right now so that they can jump in and hopefully make some pips in the current trading session.

The very best trades happen are when the current sentiment is in line with the big picture fundamentals. These are the easiest trades because you have the power of the longer-term investors using the fundamentals and the shorter-term hedge fund traders using the sentiment all pushing the price together in the same direction. This is when you can make a lot of pips very quickly with trades that never try to go against you. This is one of the most important concepts traders should learn.

The very best trades look like the following:

  • If fundamentals + and sentiment + then buy all day long at good buy points.
  • If fundamentals – and sentiment – then sell/go short all day long at good sell points.

These are the type of trades that tend to last longer and move more in terms of pips or price. These are the trades that can make you a lot of money if you know how to identify the long-term fundamentals combined with the sentiment of the day properly.

Good trades look like the following:

If fundamentals are "Positive" and sentiment is "Negative" you have 2 options:

  1. Allow the negative sentiment to bring the price back to where it makes fundamental sense to start buying again.
  2. Trade the negative sentiment short against the positive fundamentals. This is where knowing how strong sentiment is will help you make some profitable trades against the big-picture fundamentals.

If fundamentals are "Negative" and sentiment is "Positive" you have 2 options:

  1. Allow the positive sentiment to bring the price back to where it makes fundamental sense to start selling again.
  2. Trade the positive sentiment long against the positive fundamentals. This is where knowing how strong sentiment is will help you make some profitable trades against the big-picture fundamentals.

At its most extreme, virtually nothing will stop a market until its participants have been fully satisfied. The markets are simply too large for one entity, authority, or even group of authorities to move prices in a direction that the markets don’t appear to want. Five billion dollars of transactions would represent a serious intervention by major a Central bank but would only represent less than 1% of the daily FX volume in the London trading session alone. But, when all of the big players agree that price should be moving in a particular direction this can lead to some fantastic trading opportunities with major upside potential for your trading account.

In later Wikis, we will expand on the concept of sentiment and give you the tools and strategies you need to trade with sentiment effectively. But for now, we just want you to understand that fundamentals that you determine by Fundamental Analysis are the big macro picture of what is going on in an economy and sentiment that you determine by Sentiment Analysis is the mood or the market right now in the current trading session. Sentiment is caused by fundamental economic data. Economic data releases and market-moving information that could come in many forms which we will discuss in other Wikis.

Exchange Rates

Exchange rates are an important aspect of understanding the full spectrum of fundamental analysis which is why we created a separate Wiki devoted entirely to Exchange rates. In this Wiki, you will learn about What an Exchange Rate is, Exchange Rate Examples, The Technical Aspects of Exchange Rates, How Exchange Rates are priced and Exchange Rate Pricing Theories.

The main page for Exchange rates is found here: Exchange rates

Money Supply

We have a separate Wiki on Money Supply so please click on the links to take you to those specific Wikis to obtain this information.

The main page for Money Supply is found here: Money Supply.

Intermaket Analysis

To get a good grip on financial trading we need to take a few minutes out to look at something called "Intermarket Analysis" and how various asset classes and markets relate to each other.

We have a dedicated Wiki for Intermarket Analysis which covers subjects such as the Links between Bonds and Stocks, The Links between Commodities and Bonds, Deflation and its Effects and much more.

The main Wiki on Intermarket Analysis can be found HERE.

Advanced Fundamental Analysis

Fundamentals and Sentiment

You may recall that the fundamentals, particularly for FX trading, tend to revolve around the Central banks of each nation and the expectations of the market for what that bank will do next with its interest rate policies. The Central banks use economic indicators to determine the state of the economy and then implement the various tools they have at their disposal. They do this with the hopes of improving the indicators they deem important to keep the economy stable and in line with their policy mandates.

To explain this effectively we have to break the concepts of this analysis down into two distinct parts:

  1. Fundamentals: The first part is the underlying fundamentals that we talked quite a lot about in previous sections. Fundamentals are the big macro picture for the economy being measured. For example, if you are trading the Australian Dollar then you need to understand the economic situation of Australia and what the central bank of Australia is concerned with.
  2. Sentiment: What we haven’t looked at too much are the things that are driving the price right this moment in the here and now. This is called sentiment and is the most important thing you need to concern yourself with if you are considering becoming or are a day trader.

Therefore, we have two core elements that we must be in tune with at all times; the underlying fundamentals and the ever-changing sentiment. This is an extremely important distinction to make so make sure that you have your thinking cap on as you go through this section.

The simplest way to understand the difference between fundamentals and sentiment is to imagine that the fundamentals are the big picture. This big picture is things that don’t change very often and are the things that are driving prices over weeks and months. Sentiment, on the other hand, are the short-term things that the market participants are obsessing over that are driving prices over hours and days in the current session and beyond.

Of course, sentiment can take over in the short term and move the price against the big picture fundamental trend. However, as long as the core principles remain in play the trend will typically resume at some point when the sentiment wares off and fades away from the market's memory.

The market tends to have a short-term memory when it comes to sentiment. This means that the sentiment must be very strong to drive prices for more than a couple of days. It's pretty common for the market to get really concerned with a specific news item and move prices hard in one trading session only to completely reverse that move the next session because there is some new piece of information that the market is focussing on instead.

Understanding that the sentiment can be with or against the big picture fundamentals is key. But the best trades will always be when the current sentiment is in line with the big picture fundamentals. This is because this situation will cause the most number of market participants to trade in the same direction at the same time. However, it's also key to understand that you can make a lot of pips when the sentiment is opposite the fundamentals because the market tends to forget about the fundamentals when there is a reason to think differently.

Understanding these two concepts and how they work provides us with the foundations for identifying various trading opportunities throughout the trading day. For example, some traders use the short-term sentiment as an opportunity to trade the longer-term trend at a much more attractive price. This means that these traders wait for a situation when the sentiment is actually opposite to that of the fundamental trend. This causes prices to correct in the short term setting up nice opportunities to get in the fundamental trend at a better price. At the same time, other traders may take advantage of the counter-trend sentiment and trade in line with it to make a quick profit.

As we have already seen, fundamentals are very important to successful trading but there are other core areas that must be developed if a trader is to become successful for the long run; Fundamental Analysis, Sentiment Analysis, Technical Analysis, Risk Management, and Trading psychology. The goal should be to get yourself to a point where you are proficient in all these areas so that you can achieve your goals.

One of the core things that most traders will likely need to improve is something called "Conviction". Conviction simply means having confidence in your trading. Traders use conviction to determine how good a possible trade is and how likely it is for that trade to yield a profit. With time and practice your conviction levels will naturally increase making your trading comfortable and seem like second nature.

If you have a high level of conviction in a trade based on all the things that you understand to be true then generally your chance of success is much higher. If you combine this with your own personal research for a specific opportunity then you have a chance at increasing your conviction level.

Traders that do not pay attention to their conviction levels, or simply don’t know how to increase their conviction levels, have very little chance of success. You must constantly be aware of your conviction, measure it, and control it in order to achieve a high level of success. Keep this in mind while researching a trade to determine both the underlying fundamentals and the short-term sentiment because your conviction level will directly influence your level of Trading psychology while you are in a position. The more factual reasons you can find to support a position, the more comfortable you will feel overall because you will know that you have done all you could to give yourself the best chance of success.

Central Banks

Central Banks are so important to the Forex market and all other financial markets that we have devoted an entire in-depth Wiki to all things Central Banks.

In this Wiki you will learn all about the major Central Banks and their structure and history, Interest Rates, Monetary Policy and Money Supply, Central Bank Monetary Policy Tools, Hawks vs Doves and so much more.

The main Wiki page for Central Banks is found here: Central Banks

Economic Data Releases

Just like Central Banks, Economic Data Releases are so important to all financial markets that we have created a separate Wiki for them. In this Wiki we will explore How and When Economic Data is Released, Expectations of Economic Data, Economic Data and Economic Cycles, Types of Economic Data, Specific Economic Indicators and so much more.

The main Wiki page for Economic Data Releases is found here: Economic Data Releases

How the Forex Market Relates to other Markets

We will now look at the concept of Intermarket analysis which we devoted some time to in previous sections.

Despite our sole intention of making a profit, we play a much more important role than is commonly thought. We as Speculators provide the market with large amounts of important liquidity and make the market far more efficient for all market participants to trade within.

It’s worth repeating that without Speculators just like us the global financial markets would grind to a complete halt almost overnight. This would cause industry, agriculture, and businesses around the world to fail quickly. This highlights the importance of why we need to take our position as Speculators very seriously. It also helps to prepare us to not have any negative preconceptions such as those that the media puts on us Speculators. Having this understanding can give us the confidence to participate profitably and successfully.

Speculators contribute to all markets and generate price movements across a broad range of asset classes. There are no modern markets where speculators don't play an important role in the overall structure and success of the particular market.


If you are interested in financial markets you have no doubt heard of bonds and likely have an idea of what they are.

A bond is simply a form of a loan. For example, you would borrow money from a bank but for a very large company or government, this would be impossible because banks are not in a position to lend such huge amounts of money safely while keeping their books balanced. It would be pretty crazy to think of thousands of companies going to banks and asking them for hundreds of billions of dollars to borrow. Instead of taking a loan from a bank these large governments and companies raise money by splitting that loan between thousands of investors on the open market in the form of a bond.

Any entity offering bonds to an investor is called an issuer. In exchange for this investor money, the government or company will promise to pay the money back at a certain date in the future which is known as the maturity date. They will also pay the investor a rate of interest to make it worth their while for parting with their money. This interest payment is called the coupon.

Bonds are known as fixed income securities because the amount of money the investor will receive at the end of the loan is known in advance and guaranteed by the issuer. The coupon is paid either once or twice per year depending on how the issuer has set up the bond.

At the end of the agreed lending period, the investor receives its original investment amount back. For example, you may buy a bond with a face value of $1,000 that has a maturity of 10 years and a coupon of 8%. This means that you will receive $80 per year for 10 years and then you will get your original $1,000 back at the end of the tenth year.

When purchasing a bond you are essentially purchasing debt in exchange for getting a specific yield.

There are two main types of bonds:

  1. Corporate bonds: These are issued by companies to raise money for things such as new plants and materials or to fund expansion projects.
  2. Government bonds: These are issued by governments to raise money for things like social programs or infrastructure projects. They could also be raising more money to pay off existing bonds and debt obligations. Many larger first world governments are in a situation where a huge part of their borrowing gores to pay off past debt.

For our purposes, the most important type of bond is a government bond because these are directly influenced by interest rates. This of course ties them in perfectly with FX trading. The entire FX world revolves around interest rates and interest rate expectations for the future of economies.

Because governments are very dependable and stable in most first-world nations the chances of them not paying the coupon or the original face value are relatively low. This makes bonds a low-risk investment. Because bonds are bought and sold on the open market it means that you can buy a bond rather easily but also sell it to another investor at any time before the maturity date if you need to.

Some people get confused about the price of a bond and the yield of the bond. When pricing bonds it’s important to remember that the face value is the price that is returned to the investor at the maturity date. The price of the bond is how much it would cost an investor to buy it from another investor before that maturity date.

When a bond is trading at a price above its face value then it is said to be trading at a premium. Whereas when it's trading below its face value then it's said to be trading at a discount.

The interest coupon can be set at a fixed interest rate that is tied to the face value. For example, if you buy a bond for $1,000 at a fixed rate of 10% you will receive $100 each year no matter what happens to the price of the bond in the markets. In the case of U.S. Treasuries, it can be tied to fluctuating interest rates or indexes. The price of bonds with a lower coupon tends to fluctuate more while the higher coupon bonds tend to be a lot more stable.

The maturity date can be anything from one day to 10 years and sometimes can even be as high as 100 years. This was the case in Mexico in 2015 when they launched the world’s first ever 100-year bond priced in Euros. The length of the maturity will also dictate what price it is because a bond with a 1 year maturity is much more predictable than a bond that matures in 100 years. In general, the longer the time to maturity the higher the interest rate will be.

This all revolves around risk and the higher the perceived risk the higher the coupon will pay to compensate investors for the higher amount of risk they are taking. To help investors navigate these risks there are several special bodies that exist to alert investors of the highest and lowest risk companies and government bonds available. This is aimed to help investors make better decisions on investments based on their own individual risk tolerances.

The three largest credit rating agencies are | Moodys, | Fitch, and | S&P. The market will pay close attention to what these agencies say and how they rate each issuer. They have several rating levels that split each issuer into either investment grade or junk grade. Issuers with a multiple A rating are considered the highest quality to invest with while BBB to single A ratings is still strong.

Anything that has a rating below BBB is considered speculative and much higher risk. These are commonly referred to as junk bonds.

Governments and their bonds that are rated as junk are not necessarily safe and must offer a much higher yield in order to tempt investors to part with their money. The most confusing part of the story of bonds to most traders is that there seem to be so many different prices to measure. So let's try to simplify this.

When you are reading through news articles and news feeds you will often hear analysts talking about something called the yield. The yield is simply the coupon amount divided by the price of the bond. To understand this better we will use an example to explain it. To do this we are going to over-simplify the process slightly but it will give you a good general idea of the point we are trying to get at.

Imagine you buy a bond with a face value of $1,000 and a coupon of 10%. If the price remains $1,000 then the yield is simply $100 per year. However, if the price of the bond goes down to $800 the yield now increases to 12.5% because the coupon payment is based on 10% of the original face value of the bond which was $1,000. This means that you will receive $100 per year on an $800 bond which is obviously higher than 10%. The math works out by taking the $100 original yield and dividing it by the new price of $800 which equals 12.5%.

The reverse is true if the price of the bond goes up instead of down. For example, if the price of the bond goes from the original face value of $1,000 up to $1,200 then the new yield is actually 8.3% because you had to pay more for the bond than the face value.

It's due to this effect that when trying to simplify the relationship between the price of the bond and the yield of the bond we can say that when the price of the bond goes up the yield goes down and when the price of the bond goes down the yield goes up.

If you are in the market for buying bonds your primary concern is gaining a high yield but if you are a bondholder and already have your yield locked in then you would like to see the price of the bonds increase so that you can have the option of cashing out for a much bigger profit later on. There is nothing better to a bond trader than getting a nice yield for a while and then cashing in on a profit for a higher face value.

The primary thing that we need to appreciate when thinking about bonds is the relationship with interest rates because they are just as important to bond markets as they are to FX markets. When interest rates rise the price of bonds in the markets fall. This raises the yield of older bonds to bring them into line with the new bonds that are being issued with higher coupons.

When interest rates fall the price of the bonds rise which lowers the yield of older bonds to bring them into line with newer bonds being issued with lower coupons. That’s why bonds are so affected by interest rate adjustments by Central banks. These rate adjustments also increase the speculation around bonds which causes plenty of price volatility.

There are 3 types of government bonds:

  1. Bills: These mature in less than one year.
  2. Notes: These mature between 1-10 years.
  3. Bonds: These mature longer than 10 years.

All of these marketable securities issued by the U.S. government are collectively known as treasuries. This makes the three types of bonds listed previously referred to as treasury bills, treasury notes, and treasury bonds.

US bonds are widely watched in the markets because they are regarded as the safest form of investment available. This is because they are issued directly by the U.S. government. These bonds or treasuries are also known as the risk free rate because they are considered to be free from risk. It's not to say that the U.S. government can never default on its debt obligations but the market regards this as so unlikely that they are willing to call U.S. treasuries the risk free rate.

Other first-world governments are regarded as being extremely safe. For example, the United Kingdom has never defaulted on its debt in its very long history on the global financial scene.

Because of the secure nature of bonds, and the fact that they can provide a guaranteed payout, they are extremely popular with large investment and pension funds around the world that are looking to ensure growth and income in the safest way possible.

Bond markets relate to FX on two main levels:

  1. They have a co-dependency on interest rate fluctuations and speculation: This means that by watching the bond markets we can sometimes get clues as to whether or not similar moves may happen in FX.
  2. The demand produced by attractive bond yield: For example, during times of increased risks, or low domestic yields, large funds may decide to invest in the bonds of a foreign government. An example of this is when a UK pension fund decides to buy some US treasuries in order to protect them from being overly exposed to UK assets. To do this they first need to buy U.S. dollars and sell their British pounds in exchange. This means that in order to trade the bond market they must first trade in the FX market. In very large volumes this can have a temporary impact on the price of various currency pairs which is why it's important for us to be aware of it.


So when we say commodities what are we actually referring to? Basically, commodities are raw products that typically come from nature. For our purposes here we are only going to talk about commodities that can be bought or sold on an exchange. There are loads of different types of commodities being traded in the financial markets from oil, gold, corn, milk, wheat, and so on.

As with most markets, the bulk of volume comes from us speculative traders who are simply betting on the price of the commodity going up or down. But as we have previously looked at, this type of speculative activity provides the commodity markets with much better prices to buy and sell from. People and companies, such as farmers and industrial producers rely heavily on there being adequate liquidity so that their businesses function smoothly.

Traders most commonly trade commodities via a futures contract. Commodities can be traded via a host of different instruments such as spot prices, options, ETFs, etc.

There are many different types of commodities all traded individually from one another. This trading is based on external factors such as supply and demand. However, the relationship between certain commodities and currencies is mainly based on how much of an impact the price movements on the commodities will impact the overall economic performance of the nation producing or importing them.

Let's use the Canadian dollar to demonstrate this. Canada is a major producer of oil and it’s one of the country’s largest exported products. So if the price of oil falls significantly over a sustained period of time then eventually this will start to reduce the amount of money that Canada makes on its oil. This will ultimately start negatively affecting economic data figures such as GDP and other growth metrics within Canada. If the economy stagnates and inflation starts falling then the Bank of Canada may be forced to cut its interest rates which in turn will cause the currency to devalue. This is why the price of oil is of great concern to traders holding Canadian dollars. Traders want to know what is happening in the oil markets and the reasons why so they can determine how much of an impact it will have on the future value of the Canadian dollar.

When it comes to FX the key to understanding the correlation to commodity prices lies in two key areas:

  1. Knowing which countries have heavy dependencies on either selling or buying commodities.
  2. Being tuned into how much focus the market is giving to moves on those commodities at any given time.

The truth is that commodity prices move around every day but not all of these moves will impact FX prices. This is because they may not cause the market to have any fears or hopes about the longer-term impact on the country’s economy.

For example, if oil prices] fall hard in a single session because of some kind of announcement from | OPEC, this may not necessarily cause any large moves on the Canadian dollar. However, if oil moves in a strong downtrend and the market feels there is a very good fundamental reason for this to continue then this could lead to more concern from the FX market as the uncertainty of that could lead to panic selling of the Canadian dollar. This panic selling could lead to more aggressive selling if there is negative data coming out of Canada as a result of the price move lower in oil. This will in term affect inflation negatively which is going to concern the Bank of Canada who may be forced to take action. This might lead to the market Speculating on an interest rate cut before the [Central banks] is prepared to announce a cut.

It's worth mentioning again that the speculation around interest rate cuts is just as important, if not more important than the interest rate cut itself. This is a really important point. The expectations of a risk event are just as, if not more, important than the actual risk event when it happens.

The same principles apply Australian dollar. It’s a huge exporter of iron ore and copper. If the prices in these commodities change over time it could have both a negative or positive effect on the price of the Australian dollar.

Another example is that of New Zealand which is a large exporter of dairy. Dairy makes up a big chunk of New Zealand’s GDP. So if we have changing dairy prices over time this too could have a positive or negative effect on the price of the Kiwi.

The key is not just to watch the commodity chart or try and trade a correlation, but to tune into the market’s reaction so that you can gauge how seriously the reasons for the move are being taken by the market and what the expected impact could be on the nation’s economy.

The main reason traders get confused when trying to conduct Intermarket analysis is that they try and interpret each move as a fixed rule. They get trapped into thinking that if oil goes up then the Canadian dollar must go up as well. The reality is that most of the time the markets might not even bat an eyelid at oil prices. But then all of a sudden the market becomes obsessed with oil causing the Canadian dollar and oil to become very closely correlated. This will happen until the market forgets about it and moves on to the next major concern or market hype.

Just remember that the market is made of people and people can be fickle and irrational. This is why it’s important for you to keep an eye on commodity prices and how they relate to certain currencies. However, most of your analysis should be news and sentiment based rather than price.


Equities are securities such as stocks or shares of companies from around the world. Traders use the stock market to gauge how well overall market participants are expecting the economy of that particular nation to perform. If the market is expecting the economy to do well and the growth to accelerate then the stock market will generally rally and push higher. This is also true if the market is expecting the nation’s outlook to be weak as the market will sell the companies within the nation’s indexes. At its most basic form, some economists define a strong economy as having a strong stock market.

As with commodities, this is not an exact science and most of the time the FX markets will trade off its own issues leaving stocks to move in their own way. At other times the Forex market will become obsessed with something happening in the equities market.

For example, maybe there is a big sell-off in a country’s stock market. If the selloff gets out of control this will likely creep over into to FX markets. When traders in the FX market get concerned they buy up safe haven currencies and sell off currencies that are considered to have more risk. This is exactly the type of scenario that tends to occur to bring both of these markets into the spotlight at the same time. A good example is when the stock market goes completely risk off because of some sort of major concern. This will cause safe haven currencies to benefit as traders look for safety.

Stocks can also be impacted by FX. For example, if a company has many offices or manufacturing plants around the world then they will need to buy the local currency in those countries in order to pay their staff in those different countries. If the price of the local currency rises faster than the company’s home currency this could cause the company's profits to fall because it’s costing them too much to buy the local currency. This will negatively impact the profit performance of the stocks in question.

Also, if these transactions that companies make are large enough they can have a limited impact on currency prices in the short term as they sell their home currency to buy the foreign currency.

Another thing that could impact a company is if a central bank implements a sustained campaign of dovish behaviour leading to the depreciation of its currency over a period of months or years. This can impact the future earning potential of companies that export a lot of products abroad. The depreciation of the currency can give those exporting companies a more competitive edge because the cost of developing their goods is now less and continuing to fall. This potentially means more profits and higher dividends leading to a higher share price.

As you can see, all markets can be interrelated on many levels and one does not always lead the other and none of them are necessarily related at all. However, when the market has a concern or an idea in its mind the correlations can be very powerful and lead to some excellent trading opportunities.

The main point of this section is to introduce you to the concept of Intermarket analysis but also to stop you from getting overly caught up in the rules of how each market is connected. The best thing to do is to mostly focus on using the market’s reaction to tell you when you should be focused on a particular correlation.

Economic Cycles

Economic Cycles are such an important and vast subject that we have a separate Wiki dedicated to all things on Economic Cycles.

In this Wiki on Economic Cycles you will learn about the State of the Economy, Inflation, Deflation and Hyperinflation. We will also explore the Four Phases of the Economic Cycle from the Expansion, Peak, and Recession right through to the Trough. We will then turn our attention to how economic data impacts and is impacted by the economic cycle. Rounding out the Wiki on Economic Cycles we will explore Leading, Lagging and Coincident Indicators within the economic cycle.

Please refer to the Wiki for further information on Economic Cycles.