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   Since the early 1970s, with increasing internationalization of financial transactions, the foreign exchange market has been profoundly transformed, not only in size, but in coverage, architecture, and mode of operation. That transformation is the result of structural shifts in the world economy and in the international financial system. Among the major developments that have occurred in the global financial environment are the following.
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Price indicators

2:03 PM |

           Relative St rength Index (RSI): The RSI measures t he rat io of up-moves t o down-moves and normalizes t he calculat ion, so t hat  t he index is expressed in a range of 0-100. If t he RSI is 70 or great er, t hen t he inst rument is assumed t o be overbought (a sit uat ion in which prices have  risen  more  t han  market expect at ions). An RSI of 30 or less is t aken as a signal t hat t he inst rument may be oversold (a sit uat ion in which prices have fallen more t han  t he  market expect at ions).
St ochast ic oscillat or: This is used t o indicat e overbought / oversold condit ions on  a  scale  of  0-100%.  The  indicat or  is based  on  t he  observat ion  t hat  in  a st rong up-t rend,  period closing prices t end t o concent rat e in t he higher  part of t he period's range. Conversely, as prices fall in a st rong down-t rend, closing prices t end t o be near t he ext reme low of t he period range.  St ochast ic calculat ions produce t wo l ines, %K and %D, t hat are  used  t o  indicat e overbought / oversold  areas  of   a  chart .   Divergence  bet ween  t he  st ochast ic l ines  and  t he  price  act ion  of   t he  underlying  inst rument   gives  a  powerful t rading signal.
Moving Average Convergence/ Divergence (MACD):  This  indicat or  involves plot t ing t wo moment um l ines. The MACD l ine is t he dif ference bet ween t wo exponent ial  moving averages and t he signal  or t rigger l ine, which is an exponent ial moving average of t he dif ference. If t he MACD and t rigger l ines cross, t hen t his is t aken as a signal t hat a change in t he t rend is l ikely.

    Number theory:
Fibonacci numbers: The Fibonacci number sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 . . . ) is const ruct ed by adding t he f irst t wo numbers t o arrive at t he t hird. The rat io of any number t o t he next larger number is 61. 8%,  which  is  a popular Fibonacci ret racement  number. The inverse of 61. 8%, which is 38. 2%,

is also used as a Fibonacci ret racement number (as well as ext ensions of t hat rat io,   161. 8%,   261. 8%).   Wave  pat t erns  and  behavior,   ident if ied  in  Forex t rading, correlat e (t o some ext ent ) wit h relat ions wit hin t he Fibonacci series. The t ool is used in t echnical analysis t hat combines various numbers of Fibonacci ret racement s, all of which are drawn f rom dif ferent highs and lows. Fibonacci clust ers are indicat ors which are usually found on t he side of a price chart and look l ike a series of horizont al bars wit h various degrees of shading. Each ret racement level  t hat  overlaps wit h anot her,  makes t he horizont al  bar on t he side darker at t hat price level.  The most  signif icant  levels of  support and resist ance are found where t he Fibonacci clust er is t he darkest . This t ool helps gauging t he relat ive st rengt h of t he support  or  resist ance  of  various price levels in one quick glance. Traders of t en pay close at t ent ion t o t he volume  around  t he  ident if ied  levels  t o  confirm  t he  st rengt h  of  t he support / resist ance.
Gann numbers:  W. D.  Gann  was a st ock  and  a commodit y  t rader  working in t he '50s, who reput edly made over $50 million in t he market s. He made his fort une using met hods t hat he developed for  t rading  inst rument s based  on relat ionships bet ween price movement and t ime, known as t ime/ price equivalent s. There is no easy explanat ion for Gann's met hods,  but  in essence he used angles in chart s t o det ermine support and resist ance areas, and t o predict t he t imes of fut ure t rend changes. He also used l ines in  chart s t o predict support and resist ance areas.

[ c]       Waves
Elliott's wave theory: The El l iot t Wave Theory is an approach t o market analysis t hat is based on repet it ive wave pat t erns and t he Fibonacci number sequence. An ideal El l iot t  wave pat t ern shows a f ive-wave advance followed by a t hree-wave decline.

[ d]      Gaps

Gaps are spaces lef t on t he bar chart where  no  t rading  has t aken  place. Gaps can be creat ed by fact ors such as regular buying or selling pressure, earnings announcement s, a change in an analyst 's out look or any ot her t ype of news release.

An up gap is formed when t he lowest price on a t rading day is higher t han t he highest high of t he previous day. A down gap is formed when t he highest price of t he day is lower t han t he lowest price of t he prior day. An up gap is usually a sign of market  st rengt h,  while a down gap is a sign of  market  weakness.  A br eakaw ay gap is a price gap t hat forms on t he complet ion of an import ant price pat t ern.  It  usually signals t he beginning of  an import ant  price move.  A r unaw ay gap is a price gap t hat usually occurs around t he mid-point  of  an import ant market t rend. For t hat reason, it is also called a m easur i ng gap. An exhaust i on gap is a price gap t hat occurs at t he end of an import ant t rend and signals t hat t he t rend is ending.

[ e]       Trends
A t rend refers t o t he direct ion of prices.  Rising peaks and t roughs const it ut e an up t rend; falling peaks and t roughs const it ut e a downt rend t hat det ermines t he st eepness of t he current t rend. The breaking of a t rend l ine usually signals a t rend reversal. Horizont al peaks and t roughs charact erize a t rading range.
In general, Charles Dow cat egorized t rends int o 3 cat egories: (a) Bull  t rend (up-t rend: a series of highs and lows, where each high is higher t han t he previous one); (b) Bear t rend (down-t rend: a series of highs and lows, where each  low  is  lower  t han  t he  previous  one);  (c)  Treading  t rend  (horizont al- t rend: a series of highs and lows, where peaks and lows are around t he same as t he previous peaks and lows).
Moving  averages are  used  t o  smoot h  price  informat ion  in  order  t o  confirm t rends and support -and-resist ance levels. They are also useful in deciding on a t rading st rat egy, part icularly in fut ures t rading or  a market  wit h a st rong up or down t rend. Recognizing a t rend may be done  using st andard  deviat ion, which  is  a  measure  of   volat il it y.   Bollinger  Bands,   for  example,   il lust rat e t rends  wit h  t his  approach.  When  t he  market s  become  more  volat ile,  t he

bands widen (move furt her away f rom t he average), while during less volat ile periods, t he bands cont ract (move closer t o t he average).
Various Trend lines

Pat t ern recognit ion in  Trend  l ines,  which  det ect  and  draw  t he  following pat t erns: ascending;  descending;  symmet rically  &  ext ended  t riangles; wedges; t rend channels.

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Charts and diagrams

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Forex  chart s are  based  on  market  act ion  involving  price.  Chart s are  maj or t ools in Forex t rading. There are many kinds of chart s, each of which helps t o visually analyze market condit ions, assess and creat e forecast s, and ident if y behavior pat t erns.
Most chart s present t he behavior of currency exchange rat es over t ime. Rat es (prices) are measured on t he vert ical axis and t ime is shown of t he horizont al axis.
Chart s are used by bot h t echnical and fundament al analyst s. The t echnical analyst analyzes t he “ micro” movement s, t rying t o  mat ch  t he  act ual occurrence wit h known pat t erns. The fundament al analyst t ries  t o  f ind correlat ion bet ween t he t rend seen  on  t he  chart  and  “ macro”  event s occurring parallel t o t hat (polit ical and ot hers).
What is an appropriat e t ime scale t o use on a chart ?
It depends on t he t rader’ s st rat egy. The short -range invest or  would probably select a day chart (unit s of hours, minut es), where  t he  medium  and  long- range invest or would use t he weekly or mont hly chart s. High resolut ion chart s (e. g. – minut es and seconds) may show “ noise” , meaning t hat wit h f ine det ails in view, it is somet imes harder t o see t he overall t rend.
The maj or t ypes of chart s:

Poi nt and f i gur e char t s - chart s based on price  wit hout  t ime.  Unlike most  ot her invest ment  chart s,  point  and f igure chart s do not  present  a l inear represent at ion of t ime. Inst ead, t hey show t rends in price.
Increases are represent ed by a rising st ack of Xs, and decreases are represent ed  by  a declining st ack  of  Os.  This t ype  of  chart  is used  t o f il t er out non-significant price movement s, and enables t he t rader t o easily det ermine crit ical support and resist ance levels.  Traders  will place  orders  when  t he  price  moves  beyond  ident if ied  support   / resist ance levels.

Candl est i ck char t

This kind of chart is based on an ancient Japanese met hod. The chart represent s prices at t heir opening, high, low and closing  rat es,  in  a form of candles, f or each t ime unit select ed.
The empt y (t ransparent ) candles show increase, while t he  dark  (full) ones show decrease.
The lengt h of t he body shows t he range bet ween opening and closing, while t he whole candle (including t op and bot t om wicks)  show  t he whole range of t rading prices for t he select ed t ime unit .

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Online training, no downloads

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Easy-Forex™ is dedicat ed t o educat ing it s cust omers.  Cust omers can access FREE one-on-one online t raining. The t raining goal is t o t each people specific st rat egies for t rading currencies over t he int ernet .   Bot h novice invest ors and expert day t raders have benefit ed f rom t he t raining provided by Easy-Forex™. The “ demo” account idea Many Forex plat forms of fer new regist rant s a “ demo” account . A t ypical example would provide 10, 000 “ demo” dollars t hat can be “ t raded” as a means of learning how t o succeed in Forex. Easy-Forex™ does not of fer “ demo” account s. Coming t o underst and t hat reason must rule over emot ion is t he most import ant lesson a t rader can learn, and it cannot be done wit h play money. If t here is no consequence t o indulging in emot ional responses t o t he market , t here is no learning, so “ demo” account s t end t o have l it t le educat ional value. Rat her, Easy-Forex™ allows you t o st art t rading wit h j ust $100, including full access t o one-on-one t raining. New regist rant s are t hus able t o garner bot h an educat ional and experient ial benefit unavailable t hrough simulat ed sit uat ions.
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Day Trading On a Forex Platform

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(example, using the Easy-Forex platform

Step1: Deciding to perform a Forex deal

You have an intention to trade Forex, and you have your own reasoning for doing so - e.g. you feel that the USD will increase compared with the EUR.  The EUR/USD exchange rate is, at the time, around 1.5000 (the common presentation of the Euro-US$ pair is EUR/USD, meaning 1.5000 US dollars for 1 Euro). Your feeling can be based on your experience, or on technical analysis, or fundamental analysis, etc. For whatever reason, you belive that the USD will rise to around 1.4850 (EUR willbe down, which means USD will go up. Or you will need less USD for 1 euro). You want to profit if your forecast is correct, and so choose to make a trade.

Step2: Determining the deal

Below is a screen-shot of a day-Trading deal in the making and an explanation of each step required to put the trade into effect:

Select currencies:  Select the currency to buy and the currency to sell.  This is your  currency pair.  There is no connection between your   base working currency (or   account base currency , the currency in which you handle your Forex account and make deposits and withdravals)  and the currencies in the low in terms of Euro, and it will close the deal, and get more EUR for the USD you previosly 'bought' - hence, you make profit.

Select the Amount to trade:  Since Forex trading is ''non-delivery'' trading (i.e.- no physical currencies are transacted), the Forex deal (contract) has a "volume" , or "size" , meaning the amount of the currencies in this contract. You determine the volume of the contract, but you do not have to purchase the whole amount.  In general, you work in the most common leverage (see below), 1:100: therefore a deal of 10,000 Euro will require much less money to facilitate it.

Select the Amount (Margin) to risk:   This is your investment. This is the amount you risk, meaning the MAXIMUM amount you can lose.  On a 1:100 leverage, EUR 10,000 against USD thus requires only USD 100 (in fact, the actual leverage you are offered in this case is 1:150, since you "buy" EUR 10,000 with USD 15,000, according to the example rate of 1.5000, guaranteed using only USD 100 of your own money).

Stop-Loss rate:   This is a currency exchange rate at which your deal would automatically close in the event the market ran counter to your forecast.  In this event, you would lose your USD 100 investment.  You can define another Stop-Lose rate, however, the "Margin to risk" will change accordingly. There is a direct relationship between the Stop-Loss rate and the "Margin" (i.e the amount risked) required for the deal.

Freeze Rate:  This feature is unique to the Easy-Forex Trading Platform.  You see the rate for the deal and are almost ready to accept it, but before you do, you need another couple of seconds to think. With the freeze rate feature you are allowed a small window of time to either decline or accept the deal.

Accept:  When you are ready, click "Accept" and your deal is activated. You have enough money in your Forex account to make the deal, so it's in play. You are holding now an "Open Position" in Forex.

Set SMS Alert:  If you have signed up to the SMS Alert service you can set an alert for this deal.  You will be notified via text to your mobile phone when this deal closes (either because it reached it's  Stop-Loss or Take-Profit rate).

Please note, "Renewal until...":   The Day-Trading deal resembles a "spot" transaction (but is not identical).  The rates in the deal are the updated current rates ("spot"), and the deal may be closed anytime during the trading day. However, the trader can extend the deal to the following day (paying a small renewal fee).  Most platforms offer an automatic renewa of the deal, for a few days period.  The trader may close the position at any time.  If the trader closes the deal before the indicated closing time (usually it is 22:00 GMT), no renewal fee will be charged for that day.

 Step3: Checking account status

Below is a screen-shot of a typical "My Position" report:

With online platforms ,traders have 24x7 access in order to monitor open positions, to close positions, or change parameters (definitions) in the deal.
You can check your positions for Day Trades, Limit Orders and Forwards (if this is offered in your region).  You can also check the status of the SMS Alerts you have set.

To view the details of a specific deal, click on the + (plus) sign.

Visual Trading is unique to Easy-Forex and it allows you to easily view the significant details of your deal, in real time, as shown in the sliding graph on the right.

ID:  The reference number of the deal, as recorded in the platform.

Buy:   The volume of the currency "bought".

Sell:  The volume of the currency "sold".

Open Rate:  The exchange rate of the currency pair at the time the deal was oppened by the trader.

Current Rate:  The exchange rate of this currency pair at the time the trader is viewing the screen.

Stop-Lose rate:  The rate defined for automatic "stop-loss" of the deal.  The deal will close if this rate accurs in the market during the time the deal is active.

Take-Profit rate:   (Not defined in this example).  This is the rate at which the deal will close automatically assuming the market moves in the direction forecast by the trader.  When defined, this rate allows a trader to take profit automatically when a set rate is achieved, thus allowing the trader to focus on other tasks rather than watching the market closely.

Profit/Loss:   The current status of the trader's position.  This will be the profit (or the loss) from this deal, if it was closed at this very second.

Open date:  The day the deal was oppened by the trader.

Rolling until:  The last day to which the deal will be automatically renewed.

Amount (Margin) to risk:  The amount invested by the trader for the deal. This is the maximum amount the trader can lose.

Step4: Modifying your deal

This is where you can change Stop-Loss and Take Profit rates.  You can also test out profit and loss scenarios with the Trade Controller.

Change Stop-Loss:  The trader is allowed to change their Stop-Loss, at any time while the deal is still active.  As previously mentioned, doing so would affect the amount of margin needed for the deal.  If the trader changes the Stop-Loss downward (in a case where the position is losing, and is now near the automatic closing), then additional funds will be required for margin.  If the trader changes the Stop-Loss upward (in a case where the deal will already see a profit, and the trader wishes to define a higher Stop-Loss to decrease the original risk), then the difference will be credited.

Change Take-Profit:  Similarly, the trader is allowed to define, or change, a Take-Profit rate. Note that unlike a Stop-Loss rate, the trader does not have to define any Take-Profit rate; it simply allows the trader to focus on tasks other than rate-watching.

Trade Controller:  The trader can key in various hypothetical exchange rates to see their impacton their overall position (amount of profit or loss), if and when such rates accur in the market.  You can do this manually on the trading ticket or to make it even easier use the Trade Controller.

Inside Viewer:  This is a snapshot of all open Day Trades by traders on the Easy-Forex platform.  You can view the Popularity of a specific currency pair.  The Direction or percentage of buy or sell of a pair.  And the Structure of open deals, the average Stop-Loss and Take-Profit rates set by other traders.
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Fundamental Analysis

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   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 analysis can follow many markets and market instruments, whereas the fundamental analysis focuses on what ought to happen in a market.   Among the factors considered are; supply and demand; seasonal cycles; weather; govemment policy.

fundamental analysis for dummies, forex fundamental analysis, financial statement analysis, fundamental analysis tools, financial analysis report, financial ratio analysis

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 economic announcements.

Leading economic indicators

The following is a list of economic indicators used in the USA. Obviosly, there are many more, as well as those of other leading economies (such as Germanyi 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 worlwide. 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.
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.

CCI - Consumer Confidence Index

The Conference Board; last Tuesday of each month, 10:00am EST, covers current month's data
The CCI is a survey based on a sample of 5,000 U.S. household is considered one of the most accurate indicators of the effectiveness of govemment 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.

Employment Report

Department of Labor; the first Friday of each month, 8:30am EST, covers previous month data
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 lenght 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.)

Employment Situation Report

Bureau of Labor and Statistics; the first Friday of each month, 8:30am EST, covers previous month data
The Employment Situation Report is a monthly indicator which contains two major parts. One parts is the unemployment rate and the charge in the unemployment rate. The second part of the report indicates things like average weekly hours worked and average hourly earnings.   This data is important for determining the tightness of the labor market, which is a major determinant of inflation. The Bureau of Labor surveys over 250regions across the United States and covers almost every major industry. This indicator is certainly one of the most watched indicators and almost always moves markets. Investors value the fact that information in the Employment report is very timely as it is less than a week old. The report provides one of the best snapshots of the health of the economy.

GDP - Gross Domestic Product

BEA (Bureau of Economic Analysis); last day of the quarter, 8:30am EST, covers previous quarter data.
GDP is a gross measure of market activity. It represents the monetary value of all the goods and services produced by an economy over a specified period. This includes consumption, govemment purchases, investment, and the trade balance. The GDP is perhaps the greatest indicators of the economic helath of a country. It is usually measured on a yearly basis, but quarterly stats are also released.
The Commerse Department release an advance report on the last day of each quarter. Within a month it follows up with the preliminary report and then the final report is released yet a month later. GDP indicates the pace at which a country's economy is growing (or shring).

NFP-Changes in non-farm payrolls

Department of Labor; the first friday of each month, 8:30am EST, covers previous month data
The data intended to represent changes in the total number of paid U.S. workers of any business, excluding the following:
-general govemment employees;
-private household employees;
-employees of nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to individuals;
-farm employess.

The total non- farm payroll accounts for approximately 80% of the workers responsible for the entire gross domestic product of the United States.   The report is used to assist govemment policy-makers and economists in determining the current state of the economy and predicting future levels of economic activity. It is a very big market mover, due largely to high fluctuations in the forecasting.
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Technical Analysis

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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 effect, while the fundamentalist studies the causes of market movements.  Many successful traders combine a mixture of both approaches for superior results.

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 wit the terms and tools used by technical analysts.

As there are many ways to categorize the tools available , the description of tools in this chapter may sometimes sem repetitive.  The sections in this chapter are:

  • Technical Analysis: backround, advantages, disadvantages;
  • Various techniques and terms;
  • Charts and diagrams;
  • Technical Analysis Categories / approaches:
a. Price indicators;
b. Number theory;
c. Waves;
d. Gaps;
e. Trends;

  • Some other popular tools;
  • Another way to categorize Technical Indicators.
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 accound 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 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 consistent basis.
  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 Down approach is quite weak , since today's prices do not necessarily project future prices.
  • 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;
  • 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 cretaes a self-fulfilling probhecy, as waves of buying or selling are created in response to "bullish" or "bearish" patterns.
Advantages of Technical Analysis

  • Technical analysis can be used to project movements of any asset available for trade in the capital market;
  • Technical analysis focuses on what is 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 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 mainting profit or minimize losses.
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: İts direction, its level and the timming.  Some of the most widely known include:

  • 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 , and during less volatile periods, the bands contract.  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 in 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 advence is turned back.
  • Support / Resistance Breakout - when a price passes through and stays beyond an area of supportor 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 of the asset's price, and normal deviations 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.  It is 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;
  1. simple (artichmetic)
  2. exponential
  3. time series
  4. weighed
  5. triangular
  6. variable
  7. volume adjusted
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 calculatd 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 average
  • Buy signal:   when the instrument's price rises above its moving average
The other technique is called the double crossover, which used short-term and long-term averages.   Typically ,  upward momentum is confirmed when a short-term average crossed above a longer-term average.  Downward momentum is confirmed when a short-term average crossed below a long-term average.
  • MACD - Moving Average Convergence / Divergance - 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 of the security's historical price , and is usually shown over a period of tşime on a chart.  By then comparing the MACD is frequently used in conjunction with other technical indicators such as the RSI and the stochastic ascillator.
  • Momentum - is an oscillator designed to measure the rate of price change, not the actual price level. This ascillator consists of the net difference between the current closing price and the oldest closing price from a predetermined period.
Where:                   CCP- current closing price
                              OCP- old clossing 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 the indicators get shows how strong the trend is.
  • RSI - Relative Strenght 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 closses, divided by average  of N days down closses
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 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.

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Training for success

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Understanding the nuances  of the  Forex market requires experience and training, but is critical to succes.  In fact,  ongoing leraning is as important to the veteran trader as it is to the beginner.   The foreign currency market is massive, and the key to succes is knowledge.   Through training, observation and practice, you can learn hoe 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 asses when to enter a currency based on the direction it is taking, and how to forecast its direction for the near future.

Trainig with Easy-Forex

Easy-Forex offers one of the most effective forms of training through hands on 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 succesful trading strategies.  Discover how the Forex market offers more opportunities for quick financial gains than almost any other market.

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. 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.  Make an effort to determine the general magnitude of each change on the chart.

Guided tours

Most platforms provide guided tours, demos or tutorials, either online or via download.

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.

Forex outlooks

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 decision.


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.  Compare them to the changes in the  Forex  market,  as well as to changes in particular currency pairs.

Economic indicators

Pay attention to the release of economic indicators , 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 is it relates to  Forex and to the terminology used by the  Forex market participants.

Seminars and courses

Try to attend professional  Forex seminars.  Some seminars are offered free,  often as parts of a client recruitment process by a given platform ; many are, neverthelles, worth attending.  Educational courses are offered online and by many post-secondary institutions.

Forex books

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 agenda.

So much to consider...

To succed as a  Forex trader ,  you must take into consideration a wide variety of factors such as:

  • spread ("pips");
  • 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.
Online training, no downloads

Easy Forex is dedicated to educating its customers.  Customers can access free one-on-one online trading.  The training goal is to each 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 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.
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Overview of trading Forex online

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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-to-date rates.  To accomplish this, the Forex software is continuously communicating with a remote server that provides the most current exchange rates.  The rates quoted , inlike 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 1990s,  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 deposit 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 trading:

  • Register at the trading platform
  • Deposit funds to facilitate trading
Requirements vary with each trading platform, but these steps bear further discussion:


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 requirement 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 provided.
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 criminal activity.

Depositing funds

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.   Often called "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.
Trading Platform does NOT require any additional guarantee, and allows trading with 100% of the amount deposited. This site is able to provide these advantages because it assures "guaranteed rates and Stop-Loss". 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.

Trading online

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.   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 rate, 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.
Trading platform system user 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 time elements.

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.

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 EUR100,000"

It is wise to withold from the dealer the intended direction of the deal, specifying the pair only.   Accordingly, the dealer then provides a quote compirising 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 (orthe price).

An example:

  • The trader asks for a quote for EUR/USD
  • The dealer says "1.5010/15".
  • If the trader wants to sell EUR , he / she says "buy" (or "buy EURO", or "15").
  • If the trader wants to sell EUR , he / she says "sell" (or "sell EURO", or "10").
The moment the trader says "buy" (or "sell") he/she is bound to the deal, regardless of the market situation.
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What is the global Forex market?

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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 investment increases or decreases based  on currency movements.  Foreign exchange market conditions can change at any time in response to real-time events.

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 Forex dealers.
  • An enormous liquid marketi 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 current manifestation.

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  US 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 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 Bretton-Woods.

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 naions, 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 throught Asian, European and American time zones.  Transactions in foreign exchange increased rapidly from nearly $70 bilion a day in the 1980s , to more than $3 trillion a day two decades later.

The explosion of the euro market

The rapid development of the Eurodollar market ,  which can be defined as US dollars dposited 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 bagan to borrow offshore, finding Euro markets an advantageous place for holding excess liquidity, providing short term 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 euro.

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 bilateral trade links with 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 2004.

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 hight, 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 importand to downplay nominal exchange rate measures by looking at relative price and cost developments.

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