Fundamental analysis, when referring to forex, involves studying the economy of a country to determine the effect this has on the value of its currency. Understanding the relationship between an economy and its currency value can allow a trader to determine, to a degree, the demand and a likely increase/decrease in value for a particular currency.
It gives information on how the big political and economic events influence currency market. Figures and statements given in speeches by important politicians and economists are known among the traders as economical announcements that have great impact on currency market moves. In particular, announcements related to United States economy and politics are the primary to keep an eye on.
Fundamental analysis is very effective at forecasting economic conditions, but not necessarily exact market prices. Studying GDP forecasts or employment reports can give you a fairly clear picture of an economy's health and the forces at work behind it. But you still need a method to translate that into specific trade entry and exit points. The bridge between fundamental data and a specific trading strategy usually comes from a trader model. These models use current and historical empirical data to estimate future prices and translate those into specific trades.
Fundamental Analysis is commonly defined as a method of evaluating a specific security in order to determine its intrinsic value by analyzing a host of economic and financial data. In the foreign-exchange market, a security would be a currency. Market participants are continually analyzing the emerging fundamental from a country in order to determine the intrinsic value of the country's currency. There are several key economic indicators that every trader should understand on a basic level. Fluctuations in the data of these key indicators will generally cause the value of a currency to rise and fall.
When economic reports are released, there is a certain amount of speculation on what the results may be. Forex traders buy or sell currencies in anticipation of this. For example, if the results of an economic report are expected to be negative, then traders tend to sell the currency in question ahead of the report's release, causing the price to fall. When this happens, the markets are referred to as being ‘priced in’ – meaning that by the time the event has taken place, the price has already changed as expected. When the data is released and is in line with the expected result, there is generally a minimum impact on the price movement. However, if the reported result is significantly different to the expected value, volatile price movement may occur as traders try to price in these new and unexpected results.
These are the single greatest driver of currency value over the long-term. Most Central Banks announce interest rates each month, and these decisions are watched very scrupulously by market participants. Interest rates are manipulated by Central Banks in order to control the money supply in an economy. If a Central Bank wants to increase the money supply, it lowers interest rates, and if it wants to decrease money supply it raises interest rates.
Inflation destroys the real purchasing power of a currency, and, therefore, inflation is very bad for the economy in most circumstances. Each year a normal rate of inflation between 2-3% is expected, but if inflation begins moving beyond the upward targets set by the Central Bank, a currency value will actually rise due to expectation of an imminent rate hike. Higher interest rates tend to fight off inflation.
GDP is the most important indicator of economic health in a country. A country's Central Bank has expected growth outlooks each year that determine how fast a country should grow as measured by GDP. When GDP falls below market expectations, currency values tend to fall and when GDP beats market expectations, currency values tend to rise.
We will discuss consumer demand in a moment, but people are basically what drive economic growth; therefore, unemployment is the backbone of economic growth. When unemployment levels increase, it has a devastating effect on economic growth; consequently, when the labor market contracts and unemployment increases, interest rates are often cut in an attempt to increase the money supply in the economy and stimulate economic growth.
As stated in the previous point, people are what drive economic growth; as a result, healthy consumer demand is essential to the normal, healthy functioning of an economy. When consumers are demanding goods and services, the economy tends to move forward, but when consumers are not demanding goods and services, the economy falters.
Even if you are a technical trader, it can still be very helpful to understand these basic elements of fundamental analysis. The best forex course will oftentimes offer further insight into how the emerging fundamentals drive price behavior.