Forex Analysis: What it is & Best Analysis for Trading

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 19, 2024

Are you looking to make informed trading decisions and stay ahead of the crowd operating in the forex market? If so, forex analysis is your key to success. 

By evaluating market trends and predicting future movements, forex analysis empowers traders like you to maximize profits and minimize risk. This article will explore the topic of forex analysis, showcasing the top market analysis techniques for making strategic trading choices. Get ready to uncover the analytical secrets behind profitable forex trading that market professionals use.

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What Is Forex Analysis?

Forex analysis, also known as foreign exchange analysis, involves assessing various aspects of the currency market to make informed decisions, recognize trends and anticipate market movements. Currency market analysts use different strategies to interpret financial data, helping traders understand where prices might go next. 

Keep in mind that accurate forex analysis is essential for long-term profitability as a forex trader because it allows you to capitalize on both rising and falling exchange rates while avoiding adverse market moves.

How Does Forex Analysis Work?

By reviewing financial news, statistical reports and exchange rate charts in their forex analysis, traders can forecast upcoming shifts in currency pair exchange rates. These predictions can enable them to execute well-timed transactions at favorable exchange rates, generating trading revenue from even minor market swings. 

Three primary approaches to forex analysis exist — technical analysis, fundamental analysis and sentiment analysis — and each method provides unique insights to help guide your trading choices. These methods will be described further in the next section. 

Best Types of Forex Analysis

Three common methods exist for analyzing the foreign exchange market: technical analysis, fundamental analysis and sentiment analysis. Skilled forex traders combine these approaches to better understand market dynamics, make informed decisions and capitalize on opportunities. Take a closer look at each strategy and learn how they contribute to successful trading.

Technical Analysis

Forex technical analysis focuses on interpreting past exchange rate movements and trends through visual representations known as charts. They also use quantitative measures known as indicators that are calculated based on forex market observables like exchange rates, trading volume and open interest. 

This popular forex market analysis method assists traders in identifying recurring exchange rate patterns, estimating probabilities of directional moves and determining trade entry and exit points.

Fundamental Analysis

Forex fundamental analysis concentrates on reviewing the various economic, political and social factors that influence currency pair exchange rates. 

By studying relevant economic data releases, official central bank policies and relevant reports, news and announcements, forex traders can gain considerable insight into the fundamentals of a nation that can then impact the relative value of the currency it issues. 

In particular, fundamental analysis can help forex traders identify long-term economic trends, national growth prospects and geopolitical risks associated with particular currencies and the currency pairs that involve them.

Sentiment Analysis

Forex market sentiment analysis explores the emotions, beliefs and behaviors of currency market participants to evaluate the overall market mood. Analyzing trader psychology often sheds light on the collective opinions driving the forex market’s momentum. 

When optimism prevails, upward pressure builds on exchange rates making them rise. When pessimism takes hold, downward forces dominate to push exchange rates lower.  Also, market corrections often occur when sentiment is overwhelmingly one-sided. 

By reviewing official market sentiment reports like the weekly Commitments of Traders (COT) report issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  and assessing forex market sentiment as conveyed through surveys, market commentaries, expert opinions, social media buzz, options positioning and crowd behavior, forex traders can preemptively identify major shifts in market trends and exploit resulting trading possibilities.

Real-World Example of Using Forex Analysis

Now consider a concrete illustration of how currency traders can apply forex analysis in their everyday market operations. This example will focus on using technical analysis, where trading decisions are based on historical price data or exchange rate data and the levels of computed technical indicators.

A forex trader operating primarily in the GBP/JPY pair routinely inspects the pair’s bar charts for several different time frames to search for agreement between different technical indicators. They also identify prevailing short-, medium- and long-term trends both visually and using moving averages to smooth the market action. 

On one occasion, they identified a symmetrical triangle pattern on the daily GBP/JPY exchange rate chart within an overall bearish trend that appeared to be close to its breakout point. A recent bearish crossover was also observed on the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) indicator. 

Correctly perceiving these technical signs as a potential sell signal, they wait patiently for a breakout to the downside from the triangle pattern before initiating a short position at ¥149.50 protected by a stop-loss order just above the upper bound of the triangle at ¥150. 

After six days, their bearish forecast pans out, as the GBP/JPY pair descends further after falling below a support level she observed at ¥147.25. The trader then closes out her trade at ¥147, yielding a net profit of ¥2.50. 

This example demonstrates the usefulness of incorporating technical chart analysis, trend detection, chart points and trading signal confirmation when executing successful technical analysis-based trading decisions.

How to Apply Forex Market Analysis

Effectively applying forex market analysis is a key element of successful currency trading. To do this, you can follow these helpful steps:

Understand Market Drivers and Monitor Market Conditions

Understanding market drivers and monitoring market conditions helps make informed trading decisions. Different factors drive the forex market, such as economic indicators, political events, benchmark interest rates and central bank monetary policy. Monitoring these factors will enable traders to stay aware of trends and anticipate changes that could impact their trades.

Some key forex market drivers include:

  • Economic indicators: Strong economies generally experience appreciation in their currencies. Traders should pay attention to data releases like employment reports, inflation figures and gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates.
  • Political events: Political stability tends to attract foreign investment, pushing currency values higher. Geopolitical issues or elections can cause volatility and result in rapid price movements.
  • Central bank monetary policy: Interest rate decisions made by central banks directly affect relative valuations of the relevant national currency they pertain to. Forex traders should watch for official speeches and policy statements from influential central banks like the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank or the Bank of England.

Keep in mind that continually monitoring market conditions helps keep you prepared for market shifts and can create a sense of rhythm and pace for your trading activities. Tools like real-time news feeds, economic calendars and social media discussions can be helpful resources for actively monitoring the forex market.

Chart Currency Pairs

Active forex traders should review exchange rate charts for the major currency pairs, including EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY and USD/CHF and the minor pairs including AUD/USD, NZD/USD and CAD/USD. 

You can also review a chart of the US Dollar Index (USDX) to see how the U.S, dollar is performing relative to a basket that contains the Euro, British pound, Swiss franc and Japanese yen. 

If your broker does not provide a full-featured technical analysis platform, you can use the free MetaTrader suite to provide you with extensive and detailed exchange rate charts. Experiment with different chart types bars, lines, tick or candlestick charts and time frames to find those that work best for your trading strategy. 

Remember that currencies and their pairs all have unique features, so maintaining flexibility in your analysis style and methodology is helpful when looking at different currency pairs. 

Look for a Consensus in Multiple Markets

Experienced traders often search for a consensus in multiple markets to identify potential trends and turning points relevant to the currency market of interest. By charting other instruments on the same weekly or monthly basis as currency pairs, traders can compare forex market behavior with stock indices, commodities and interest rate markets to find confirming trends or possible future reversals to inform trading decisions.

Certain currency pairs react more strongly to commodity market shifts. For example, the AUD/USD exchange rate tends to be positively correlated with the price of gold, while the USD/CAD exchange rate tends to be inversely correlated with the price of oil. 

When reviewing multiple markets, remember that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Make sure you collect enough market data and consult only authoritative sources before reaching and acting on any conclusion, although it may help you to engage in peer discussions as well to confirm your analysis.

Pick and Time Your Trades Wisely

Selecting optimal entry and exit points is essential in forex trading. Reviewing exchange rate charts with longer time frames can help traders determine trends and locate turning points, while technical forex indicators can help you fine-tune entry points when trading. 

Some common technical indicators forex traders use include moving averages, the relative strength index (RSI) and Fibonacci retracement levels. Remember to treat these technical analysis tools as guides rather than absolute truths when using them in your trading plan and look for confirmation between them.

Adopting a systematic approach, monitoring the market closely and practicing patience tend to improve your chances of making a successful trade. Avoid rushed decisions motivated by emotions like fear or greed. Establish a structured trading plan, follow it consistently and periodically reassess your progress and change your plan if necessary.

Fundamental analysis plays a significant role in identifying economic trends. Important fundamentals include benchmark interest rates, unemployment rates and the GDP. Government budget announcements, political changes and central banks' monetary policy meetings can also affect the forex pairs they pertain to. 

Reviewing this information regularly can help forex traders gauge the health of economies and make more informed decisions when trading currency pairs. Also, remember to consult only well-respected financial publications, websites or blogs to stay informed.

When trading forex, generally remain cautious and don’t lose sight of the bigger picture in the face of countless details and short-term market noise. Do your best to focus on meaningful indicators and refrain from dwelling on trivial matters. Achieving a balance between your technical and fundamental analysis will typically lead to more educated and self-assured trading decisions.

Know the Direction of the Underlying Trend

Determining the direction of the underlying trend is generally essential for long-term success in forex trading. By examining historical data on longer-term exchange rates and identifying consistent patterns or movements, traders can overlook minor market fluctuations and better assess the overall trend and when it seems likely to shift.

You can begin your trend analysis by reviewing a long-term chart of historical data for the selected currency pair. The dataset used to create this chart should cover years of data, preferably including multiple market cycles. Graphing this data on a chart allows traders to visually inspect the overall trend direction and assess how consistent it appears.

When analyzing historical exchange rate data for trends, consider the following:

  • Time frames: Opt for longer time frames, such as weekly or monthly charts, to obtain a wider perspective on the trend. Short-term fluctuations can distract you from seeing the bigger picture.
  • Support and resistance levels: Identify areas where the currency pair finds difficulty crossing either upwards or downwards. Support levels correspond to buyers stepping in, preventing the decline, while resistance levels denote sellers intervening to prevent appreciation.
  • Draw trend lines: Connect consecutive lows or highs to define an uptrend or downtrend. Upward-sloping trend lines indicate a bullish trend while declining lines suggest a bearish trend.
  • Moving averages: Calculate average closing exchange rates over defined periods and plot them over the exchange rate, such as 50-, 100- or 200-day moving averages. Observe how these averages are moving overall to gauge the general trend direction.

Once the baseline trend is determined, acknowledge any fundamental factors that may influence the observed trend and its future continuance, including:

  • Market conditions: Periods of high volatility, tight ranges or breakouts might challenge the existing trend. Resolve to remain flexible and update your trend analysis based on changing market conditions.
  • Economic indicators: Data releases, such as inflation, GDP and employment figures, can impact trends by indicating unexpected shifts in an economy’s underlying health.
  • Significant events: Major news events, such as elections, referendums, wars, natural disasters or pandemics, can introduce drastic shifts in currency pair trends, so watch out for them and plan accordingly, if possible. 

Regularly updating your market trend analysis helps you maintain alignment with the latest market conditions, thereby improving your chances of trading successfully. By knowing the direction of the underlying trend, traders can better position themselves to take advantage of prevailing directional market moves and reduce their exposure to detrimental market movements.

Forex Analysis is an Indispensible Trading Tool

Forex analysis helps equip traders with indispensable tools for identifying trading opportunities and navigating the currency markets successfully. 

Understanding the details of technical, fundamental and sentiment analyses will equip you with actionable information that will let you take advantage of promising trade setups and avoid nasty pitfalls. 

With diligent practice, patience and persistence, attaining mastery of these analytical disciplines should significantly improve your ability to trade the forex market successfully. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the 3 types of analysis in forex?


The three main types of analysis used in forex trading are technical analysis, fundamental analysis and sentiment analysis. Each market analysis method provides distinct insights to help boost the success of your trading strategies.


Which analysis is best for forex?


While no single market analysis approach reigns supreme, skilled traders typically combine methodologies depending on their needs and in different market scenarios. For example, day traders and scalpers typically rely more heavily on technical analysis, which excels for short-term market timing purposes, while swing traders often use both technical and fundamental analysis to inform their trading decisions, and trend traders tend to focus mostly on market fundamentals. Selecting which type of market analysis to prioritize will depend on your preferences, risk tolerance and trading objectives.


What is the most accurate indicator for forex?


No “most accurate” indicator definitively exists because of ever-changing forex market conditions and varying degrees of applicability across diverse time frames. With that noted, some widely used technical indicators include moving averages, the RSI, Bollinger bands, the MACD oscillator, the Average Directional Index (ADX) and Fibonacci retracement levels. Experienced forex traders will often test numerous combinations of indicators when developing a trading strategy, eventually settling on those producing consistently positive results that best suit their trading styles and goals.

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About Jay and Julie Hawk

Jay and Julie Hawk are the married co-founders of TheFXperts, a provider of financial writing services particularly renowned for its coverage of forex-related topics. With over 40 years of collective trading expertise and more than 15 years of collaborative writing experience, the Hawks specialize in crafting insightful financial content on trading strategies, market analysis and online trading for a broad audience. While their prolific writing career includes seven books and contributions to numerous financial websites and newswires, much of their recent work was published at Benzinga.