Before I pursue anything, I like to know exactly what I’m getting into. The same especially goes for trading. We’ve heard the benefits and why we should “trade the news,” but more importantly we should know the risks.
Market volatility can increase geometrically during news releases, which means the price can move as little as 5 pips to 20 pips (or even 50 pips and more during major news releases) in the matter of seconds. If you try to get your order filled during this type of volatility, you will probably get filled at a much different price than you anticipated. This is especially risky with limit entry orders.
For example, I once placed an order with a broker (one that guaranteed fixed spreads, but not execution) 15 minutes before a major news release on EUR/USD. Right before the release, the market was at 1.2320. I set my limit order to go long at 1.2360, with a profit level of 1.2383. The news came out bad for the U.S. dollar, which caused the market to shoot up 80 pips as soon as it was released. My long order was triggered, but unfortunately, I got filled in at 1.2390 – 30 pips above my limit price!! After the market settled for a bit, my profit target price was executed at a loss because it was set below the price at which I got filled in. Fortunately, it was only a 7 pips loss, but it was a costly lesson learned.
Some brokers prevent limit and market orders right before a major news release (some up to 30 minutes to an hour beforehand). This usually occurs with brokers who guarantee fixed spreads.The reason your trading platform “locks up” is not because the platform “crashed”, it’s because the spread is too wide and if the brokers offered them with their fixed spreads, they would lose money.
During major news reports and economic releases the market can swing 20 to 50 pips in a second! News volatility can be very dangerous, even for experienced traders. You may catch the strong initial move, but like so many times in these situations, it can turn against you into a losing trade just as fast.
Some brokers may guarantee execution but do not guarantee spreads, and during news events you’ll see spreads widen dramatically (I’ve seen a 3-pip spread turn into a 14-pip spread during a report). If you like to take small profits like 5 to 10 pips, this will hurt your chances of profitability and possibly keep you in a potentially losing trade.