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The Forex Market – Deciding When and When not to Trade

The movie ‘A Good Year’ begins with a scene that takes place in the financial centers of London, England where the protagonist Max Skinner earns over $70 million dollars in a single morning with his agressive trading style. There is a quote from that scene that is relevant to all traders: “The secret to riches is the same as the secret to comedy… Timing.”

In currency trading, knowing when to get in and knowing when to get out is what its all about. Having a profitable trading strategy is a great thing, but even the best trading strategy in the world will fall apart if it is not executed with proper entry and exit points. This article will show you a few forex market analysis methods that you can use to determine when is a good time to trade, and more importantly when to stay on the sidelines.

If you are already a trader then you have probably narrowed down a list of currency pairs (or perhaps just a single popular currency pair like the EUR/USD) that you feel comfortable trading and that fits your trading style. Once you know the pair you are trading, the next step is to open up your price charts and determine where the market is and where it is likely to go next.

One of the best ways to determine the overall trend of any set of price data is to overlay a 200-period moving average line. This principle applies whether you are looking at a 15-minute chart or a daily chart, and the nature of your trading strategy will determine how big of a price movement you are trying to capture and consequently which time frame is most relevant to your trading.

If you had a short-term forex trading strategy where you went for gains in the range of 10-30 pips per trade, a 10-minute or 15-minute chart would serve you well and you could look at your moving average line to see if the market is in an uptrend, a downtrend, or if there is no defined trend. You may likely want to stay out of the market if there is a sideways moving market because these market conditions are the hardest to predict.

It will also serve you well to bring up a longer term price chart for your chosen currency pair such as a 4-hour or daily chart and to bring up your 200-period moving average line on this chart as well to see what the overall activity of this currency pair has been over the past weeks and months. With this knowledge you will know what type of market conditions you are dealing with and whether you should trade an open position or stay out of the market.