This is a Guest Post by Tom Cleveland from ForexCharts.net
Financial Markets are Tense, But the Fate of the Euro Hangs in the Balance
Financial markets are presently in a “stuck place”. Nearly every index from stocks to commodities and even to currencies has been hovering in a tight trading range for the past several weeks. Traders have been frustrated, as volatility has also remained low. There is opportunity in chaos, but not when prices are jerked back and forth in “whip-saw” like movements. Treading in these waters often results in being sliced to ribbons in a heartbeat.
Ranging markets, however, eventually morph into meaningful trends. The timing is the only issue to resolve, and, in circumstances like these, the best approach tends to be to take a longer-term outlook and try to draw insights from this broader perspective. This type of analysis combines basic fundamentals with technical data to form a basis for projecting near-term prospects. The “EUR USD” currency pair has become the current focal point for the trading community. Its fate will dictate the direction for stocks, instead of the other way around, but it presently floats at levels that seem to defy gravity.
The following diagram of the Euro versus the Greenback paints the recent “picture” for our analysis:
The hourly pricing behavior of the “EUR/USD” is presented for the past ten months, together with several indicators and other technical information. The “Ichimoku Kinko Hyo” indicator system is often helpful at longer timeframes where “noise” levels are lower and pricing patterns are more predictable. The “Kumo Cloud”, represented by the Aqua/Blue shaded regions on the chart, is the most distinctive aspect of this system.
Here are a few technical insights from the above diagram:
The Euro has been trending downward for months within a defined channel, depicted by the parallel red lines;
The Euro, to the consternation of all, has rebounded from the lower trend channel line on two occasions during this period. The explanation for this source of strength has been threefold. Foreign exchange reserve managers around the world have shifted their portfolio allocation back to Euros after the crisis was reduced. Central banks have also stepped in to ensure adequate liquidity in the region. Lastly, banks and corporations have repatriated foreign earnings to prepare for the oncoming recession in the region;
A pronounced “Head-and-Shoulders” pattern has recently formed, but the “neckline” has been tested on several occasions to no avail. Traders would expect an abrupt fall down to the $1.24 level based on this pattern alone;
The “Ichimoku” indicator speaks to two issues. The “Kumo Cloud” has mirrored the upper trend channel line, and the Euro has had difficulty each time it has attempted to penetrate the cloud. Secondly, all moving averages and current prices have converged within the cloud, uncertain as to their next move.
Basic software trading platforms provided by currency brokers can be used to create this same analytical picture. From a fundamental perspective, Europe is headed for another business downturn. Bond yields for weaker member states are rising. Iran is adding uncertainty to the oil market. China is ratcheting back its growth in response to less demand from the West. Lastly, the U.S. recovery appears to be losing steam and bringing back memories of last year’s failed recovery rally, but the possibility of a “QE3” program from the Fed has bolstered the strength of all currencies versus the Dollar.
All signs point south for the Euro. Currency experts have forecasted its fall for months, some down as far as parity. Its gravity-defying act will have to conclude at some point. The question is not “if?” but “when?” Only time will tell.
There’s stuff that forex charts will teach you that I simply can’t. So I have a simple challenge for you this week…
Watch 3 Currency Pairs This Week
I’ve selected three currency pairs for you to watch. The exercise is very simple.
Step One: Fire up a Forex Chart. If you’d like a great free chart, use the free netdania chart from dailyfx.com. This chart is great because it has all the basic tools and you can just go there with your browser. No account needed.
Step Two: Open up a window for each of these three currency pairs: EUR/USD, GBP/JPY and AUD/CHF. I chose these three currency pairs because they contain 6 different currencies. This way you’re guaranteed to see three different, completely unrelated chart patterns.
Step Three: Draw trendlines on Daily, 4-hr and 1-hr charts.
Step Four: Watch what happens. 2-5+ times a day look at these charts. Keep the same trendlines that you originally draw. In your head form a guess as to what might happen. To think like a trader, you’ll want to guess several different “what if” scenarios.
Don’t Skip This Because It’s Simple
I know you’re thinking that this is a little too simple.But hear me out...
Depending on your level of experience, you may be trying “too hard” to be right!
A beginner doesn’t know what to do. Before even trying to make trading decisions, JUST WATCH THE CHARTS!
Watch the live charts to see what happens. Just be curious as if you were watching an ongoing sports game. You don’t have to be right or wrong, just be curious.
You’re never going to be a successful forex trader online unless you get used to looking at forex charts often. Why not take your time and just get a good feel for the charts?
This is also a great time to look for the patterns you’ve been learning about.
Forex Chart Exercise Video
Watch the video below to see how to go through your forex charts and “what you should do” to set them up
You just discovered online forex trading and you want to get started trading forex with the best online forex broker. Where do you turn when there are so many different brokers offering seemingly different offers? In this post I’ll help you pick the best online forex broker for your needs.
There are five main things to consider when picking online forex brokers:
Do you like their forex charts?They all have free charting software included, but each broker’s forex charts will be different. You can usually try the forex chart software for free in a demo (practice) account.
Do you like their platform? You should be able to easily navigate any online forex broker’s platform. Placing market, limit and stop orders should be easy for you to understand and do. You can practice this in a forex demo account.
How much to open an account?The minimum will vary according to the forex broker. This could be as low as $25, or several thousand depending on the online forex brokers you look at.
What’s the spread? The spread is the difference between the bid & ask price. Tighter spreads (smaller numbers) means more money for you. Most brokers will be fairly competitive.
Are they legit? Although legitimate new forex brokers emerge online from time to time, avoid brokers that are brand new, don’t have a professional website, don’t have a decent alexa rating (should be under 200,000). Alexa Tip: search for a website and you’ll see it’s alexa rating. If they aren’t in the top 200,000 worldwide, they are too new or too rinky-dink for you to mess with them.
So how do you pick the best forex brokers online?
Option #1 (laborous, full due dilligence): If you want to go through lists of online forex brokers to make sure you’re getting the best deal, you can check out forex-ratings.com for comparisons of online forex brokers. They’ve got a list 49 top online forex brokers along with ratings. I don’t fully agree with the ratings personally, but it is a good list to examine if you’re looking to do some research.
Option #2 (easy, follow my picks): Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen plenty of online forex brokers come and go. Here are my top five picks for the best online forex brokers. I’m picking them because I’ve either used them, or people I know and trust have used them. My picks also all pass my 5 guidelines above for good forex brokers.
Fxcm (Forex Capital Markets) – I’ve always liked FXCM. I started in my first demo account almost 10 years ago with them, and I’ve always liked using their platform. I’ve found it easy to use and they are a completely legitimate online forex broker. Plus with their micro-lot account, you can now trade forex for only $25!
ACM – The favorite of many forex traders that I know. Their platform is a little more advanced, but when you trade forex online for awhile you’ll start to like ACM more (like when you try a MAC, you understand how difficult windows is).
Easy Forex – The name says it all. A good broker for beginners. They are well established and have a great reputation for an online forex broker. Their platform and free forex charts are easy to use & you’ll enjoy using them.
Oanda – this is a major forex broker that’s been online for a long time. They cater to slightly more experienced traders, but beginners can use them successfully. They call a demo account an “fxgame account,” but it works the same as a demo.
FX Solutions – another broker that’s been around for ages. Many rapid forex traders have given me positive reports of FX Solutions in the past. They are one of the best.
There are certainly other good forex brokers online, but these are my top 5 short list of the best online forex brokers. If you were to pick any one of the 5 forex brokers above, you’ll probably have a great experience with their demo account, trading platform, and forex charts. If you want even more forex broker choices, feel free to explore 49 forex brokers & reviews to choose from!