Reaction of the Forex Market to a Fundamental Release

Lets take one through an example of how to use a fundamental data release to trade Forex. Then we will show an example of a political crisis.

Release of a Fundamental Indicator (Non-Farm Employment Change)

On November 3rd, 2006, the United States Department of Labor released a monthly report called the Non Farm Payroll. This fundamental indicator (the term for a report or release) measures the change in employment in the United States for the previous month, excluding the farming sector.

For this release the figures came in above expectations of economists. As a result the Dollar strengthened that day as the data suggested that the labor sector of the US economy was doing better than expected.

As you can see, on November 3rd, there was a huge surge as price moved downward from around 1.2770 to 1.2680, a move of 90 points, or "pips" in forex lingo. There aren't any other candles in the surrounding time period where price moves as much as the 30 minutes after the release of the Non Farm Employment data.

A Political Crisis

Nukes This chart shows the reaction of the currency market to a geopolitical crisis. In this crisis, North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon in a test of their nuclear capabilities. How a particular currency will respond to geopolitical dangers depends on many factors. Here, the Japanese Yen suffers because it is a neighbor of North Korea and because the two countries have tense relations they are opposed to each other militarily. Obviously, any attack by North Korea on Japan would damage the Japanese economy. When traders got wind of these developments on Friday, October 6th, they sold the Yen and bought the Dollar. The price changed around 100 pips, meaning the amount of Yen you needed to get one Dollar went up from 117.90 to 118.90. Or, in other words it now cost one more Yen to buy a US Dollar.

Safe Haven

Since a nuclear test by North Korea is very Yen negative, the Dollar would do better since it's the opposite currency in this particular pair. The Yen's weakness withstanding, the Dollar would have still gained on this geopolitical event because it is considered a "safe haven" currency. During times of danger, investors will move their money out of riskier investments and put them into more stable ones. Since the US is the sole superpower left in the world, it naturally attracts those investors that want to park their money in a safer economy.

The US's "safe haven" status doesn't always work in times of danger in the world. If there is a geopolitical event that directly affects the United States, such as a terrorist attack, or something less immediate, such as military posturing against a state like Iran investors might sell the Dollar. Traders would be worried that the threats might come to action and there would be a war between the two countries. A war with Iran weakens the Dollar because the US economy is so tied to the oil market, of which a large proportion travels through the Persian Gulf. A military engagement against Iran would disrupt oil deliveries and cause hardship for the American economy in other ways. So, as we mentioned before, there are many factors to consider during a political crisis to see what effect it will have on a particular currency.


Last Modified: 2009/10/27 20:43:08
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