The two primary approaches of analyzing Forex markets are technical analysis and fundamental analysis. Fundamental analysis comprises the examination of economic indicators, asset markets and political considerations when evaluating a nation’s currency in terms of another. The focus of fundamental analysis lies on the economic, social and political forces that drive supply and demand. There is no single set of beliefs that guide forex fundamental analysis, yet most fundamental analysts look at various macroeconomic indicators such as economic growth rates, interest rates, inflation, and unemployment.
Here we look at some of the major Forex fundamental factors that play a role in the movement of a currency:
Economic indicators are reports released by the government or a private organization that detail a country’s economic performance. These economic indicators can be released on a weekly basis, but the more common report is monthly. Indicators are based around a number of economical situations, of which the two primary factors are that of International trade and Interest. Subsidiary factors also include Consumer Price Index (CPI), Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), Durable goods orders, retail sales and Producer Price Index (PPI).
Currency’s Interest Rates
One of the major indicator factors, Interest rates, are a key economic function of any nation. Generally, when a country raises its interest rates, the country’s currency will strengthen in relation to other currencies as assets are shifted to gain a higher return. Interest rates hikes, however, are usually not good news for stock markets. This is due to the fact that many investors will withdraw money from a country’s stock market when there is a hike of interest rates.
The trade balance portrays the net difference (over a period of time) between the imports and exports of a nation. A trade deficit can be an economic disaster for a government and a currency. A deficit may appear when a country is importing more than it is exporting, meaning that more money is leaving and less is coming in. In some ways, however, a trade deficit in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. A deficit is only negative if the deficit is greater than market expectations and therefore will trigger a negative price movement.
Using the 10 Day Moving Average of the VIX (Volatility Index) to time a Reversal in the the S&P 500
Investors can get an idea of when the market may reverse when the 10 Day Moving Average (MA) of the Volatility Index (VIX) becomes significantly stretched away from its 10 Day Moving Average (MA). A simple example is shown below which compares the 10 Day MA of the VIX to the S&P 500.
Notice when the VIX got stretched significantly away from its 10 Day MA (blue line) to the upside (points A) that the S&P 500 made a bottom (points B) and then reversed to the upside.
Thus keeping track of where the Volatility Index is in relation to its 10 Day Moving Average can give investors a clue to when the market may be getting close to a near term bottom and possible upside reversal.