Forex trading involves the buying and selling of currency pairs for profits over a short time. Trading differs from investments as the former is driven by the fluctuations in the currency markets. Moreover, economic events may create fluctuations in the Forex market, and tracking them is imperative to maximize gains. A forex calendar is an effective tool for tracking any forthcoming events and assessing its significant impact on the currency markets.
A forex calendar or economic calendar is a list of all the important events in a year, which may likely impact the Forex markets. Specifically used for planning trades and portfolio relocations, the Forex or economic calendar offers market indicators, chart patterns based on the forecasted events.
Simply put, a Forex or FX calendar is an active tool to aid traders to predict Forex market trends. They are economic indicators that enable traders to create Forex trading strategies. So, what are the events listed in the Forex or economic calendar?
Interest rate decisions, gross domestic product or GDP, consumer price index, the monetary policy of nations, among others, are few such economic events that generally impact the currency markets either directly or otherwise.
An Overview of an Economic Calendar
The economic calendar is an integral and effective tool that any successful modern trader cannot do without. The forex calendar provides economic data. And with this data, the trader can predict and speculate changes that may occur in the Forex markets. Typically, lucrative Forex trades revolve around an upcoming event and announcements that may impact the financial markets like GDP, price index, etc. And, professional traders look for opportunities to maximize their ROIs owing to the event-driven price movements.
The impact of similar events on the economy and the Forex market acts as a precursor aiding the traders to derive profitable trading strategies. Moreover, experienced traders rely on fundamental analysis, which includes analyzing past profitable Forex trading opportunities and its propelling events.
As one of the indispensable tools for both fundamental and technical analysis, Forex calendars alert traders about news, market trends, and the statement that may impact price movements in the financial markets.
In this article, we will learn all about using the Forex calendars, its importance, and tips for using them effectively. We will also determine the role of these calendars concerning the price movements of the currencies in the financial markets.
How to Use a Forex or Economic Calendar?
The objective of using an economic calendar is to make better trading decisions. It typically involves:
- Understanding the FX Calendar
The first glance of the FX calendar is often intimidating, especially to new traders and beginners. Always take the time to study the calendar to better understand how to navigate it. An FX calendar features time zone, nation, events, forecast, actual value, the previous value, time frame, etc.
- Selecting the Time
The next step in using an FX calendar is to configure the time based on the trader’s current time zone. Configuring the time zone is crucial to determining the accurate time of the news events. Traders must also consider factors like the exact time of the news release and the effective time frame to take the required actions.
- Determining the Events and Currencies
Most calendars can filter the type of events the trader is keen on using as market indicators. Users can set filters to showcase only those events and currencies on the economic calendar and compare the forecast with that of the past occurring. Most FX calendars also have options like low, medium, and high impact events filters. Enabling the filters will display only those news and currencies that interest you and makes the calendar appear less cluttered.
- Which News Releases Should I Trade?
Some of the vital events that experienced traders look for include (and are not limited to); gross domestic product, nonfarm payrolls, unemployment rates, consumer price index, monetary policy announcements, and announcements from the central bank, which may impact interest rates. Apart from the events, choosing medium and high impact data releases over the low impact events helps traders to look for events that would likely impact the market in a major way.
- Determining the Preferred Time Frame
Typically, an FX calendar has the following time frames; day, week, and sometimes months. Most often, professionals choose a time frame of a complete week as it enables them to consider the important dates for trade movements.
- Make Informed Forex Trading Decisions
Based on the events and the previous actual results, traders can make informed trading decisions, which is the end objective of using an FX calendar.
Now that we know the basics of using the FX calendar let’s understand the significance of the Forex calendar in trading.
Why Economic Calendars are Important
Profitable trading is when you buy for less and sell for more, and the difference is the gains you earn. Although this sounds quite straightforward, traders must consider certain factors like entry and exit points, stop-loss limits, etc. The future positions of the popular currency pairs, though dynamic, are often fluctuating. It is this volatility the trader banks on for better gains.
The role of the economic calendar like the ones found at Forex Factory is to provide information about the market changes. Such a calendar enables traders to plan trades based on the likely future positions of the currency pairs. Thus, a calendar like the one found on the Forex Factory site is ideal for options trading with better gains. Moreover, the calendar enables you to create trading strategies for a particular time or period with high-profit margins.
Does the Information Really Help Traders?
Experienced and professional Forex traders rely on fundamental analysis for trading signals. Forex news, economic data, and news events form the crux of fundamental analysis. And the calendar is an exhaustive resource of all that important economic data accounting for most of the Forex news events. Thus, most of the experienced FX traders interpret the information provided in the economic calendar to execute profitable trades.
Apart from economic factors, there are political aspects as well that directly influence the value and demand of national currency. Most often, a reliable Forex or economic calendar provides information on all the changes or volatility a currency may experience due to economic and non-economic aspects influencing the markets. It also provides data to create economic reports with leading and lagging indicators, impacting the traders’ movements.
Impact on the Forex Market
The calendar can indirectly impact the FX market as traders make decisions to buy or sell a currency pair based on the data available on the calendar. In fact, the trader’s movements based on the data provided in the calendar can also impact the demand for goods from countries. Naturally, the higher the demand for goods, the higher the value of the particular nation’s currency. Simply put, for purchasing goods from a particular country, the buyer must first convert their currency to that of the country they are trading with. The bottom line is an FX calendar is a very useful tool that enables traders to make important Forex trade decisions. While this is a given, the FX calendar also impacts the Forex market making it an extremely vital tool for fundamental analysis due to its data releases. And, apart from Forex Factory, there are other FX calendars like Tradays, FXStreet, Exonoday, etc. So, which is the best economic calendar among a plethora of options? Let’s find out.
Which Economic Calendar Is the Best?
As we established earlier, there are many Forex or economic calendars in the market. Choosing the best that meets your trading requirements may get difficult. But when you consider certain aspects, determining the best gets convenient.
Consider the following questions and use the website version of the calendar to determine whether it would work for you or not.
- Is the economic calendar easy to use?
- Does it have enough filter options for data releases?
- Does it support a myriad of time frames?
- Is it easy to customize the economic calendar based on the trader’s preferred time zone?
Most importantly, consider if the economic calendar is free to use and whether it has a mobile app or not. And if yes, is it compatible with both Android and iPhone. While Forex Factory is one of the popular calendars, there is another easy to use an economic calendar called Tradays. It is an online calendar and is also available as an easy to download mobile application for trading on the go.
A free forex calendar: How do you use Tradays?
Tradays is a free calendar with many easy to use features. It is customizable in terms of time zone and time frames.
Listed below are some of the salient features of Tradays economic calendar;
- The calendar was developed by MetaQuotes Software Corp, the developers of the MetaTrader platform.
- The information showcased on the calendars is usually from the original sources, thus no licensing hassles.
- It supports over nine languages, including Germany. Also, most of the events can be easily translated into many languages used across the globe.
- It is easy to install, enabling widget users to incorporate it into their websites, blogs, etc., for free.
- It supports uninterrupted usage as it lacks ads. Also, any new event is instantly updated so that the user can make informed trading decisions in real-time.
Although there are many FX calendars, the trick lies in research and testing the calendar to determine whether the calendar would help you make trading decisions or not. Also, using the calendar the right way also matters to make the most of them. Below are some basic tips that would help new traders to learn how to use the calendar effectively.
Tips for Using FX Calendars
Identifying the Indicators
Generally, economic calendars predominantly have leading indicators and lagging indicators that aid in defining the economic trend. Identifying these indicators is crucial for trading where leading indicators represent large financial adjustments and lagging indicators represent the past performances.
Study the Data
Trades are made based on the trade movements, which reflect as data in the calendar. Make sure to estimate values by comparing the past data and forecast to understand the price fluctuations or volatility that would impact the market. The past data is important to rely on alongside the projected data. Thus, a thorough study of the data is of primary importance.
Determine the Factors that Affect Financial Markets
Certain factors, like inflation data, GDP, employment data, to name a few, often affect financial markets across the globe. Make use of these factors to derive projected data on how the market will change owing to these events.
Apart from the above listed, news events also play a major role. Let’s understand their significance, which is as follows.
Trading News Events
News events are basically the economic indicators that determine the risk involved and the level of risk. Nevertheless, high risk is often associated with high volatility where the gains are quite high.
The fact is that predictions are never 100% accurate. Nevertheless, they are an active aspect of fundamental analysis in trading Forex. While the calendars and trading strategies help, to a certain extent, what truly matters is studying the market for actual price movements to open and close trades.
Economic or financial data is regularly released in the market where it likely causes price fluctuations. In other words, economic data is used as a trading signal prompting the trader to make informed trading decisions. While some data is accurate based on past occurring, there are also forecasts determined based on the type of event. And, Forex calendars are useful tools of fundamental analysis that contain past data along with predictions based on upcoming events. Such calendars are ideal for tracking economic data releases that may impact price movements of currencies. The aim of using FX calendars is to aid the trader make informed trading decisions. While this may be true, it is also important to understand that predictions in Forex are never 100% accurate.
- Name some of the common trading strategies involving FX calendars
While traders design strategies based on their experience and real-time data, oftentimes, they also use strategies that revolve around the economic calendars. Trading in the direction of the news release and scalping following the news releases with pending orders are some such common trading strategies involving Forex calendars.
- What does trade in the direction of news releases mean?
Trading in the direction of the releases is quite common. Here, traders buy a national currency when the event is better than what’s forecast while they sell it when the value is lower than the projected value.
- What is a Pip in Forex?
PIP or Price Interest Point in Forex is the price movement of a currency based on the currency exchange rates. PIP enables traders to determine the difference in the price value to create trading strategies accordingly.
- What are some of the common features found in Forex calendars?
The trader’s time zone and also the exact time at which the news event or data is released; currency and currency pairs; actual value, expected value, and the previous value of the currency owing to the event are some of the commonly found elements in Forex calendars.