With all of these countries to choose from, there are easily five to ten economic news releases almost every day! Also, the great thing about focusing on news releases is that they are scheduled in advance, so you know exactly when you can schedule your trading hours.
You may be thinking that five to ten news releases per day may be a lot to keep up with, but you really do not have to pay attention to every single report – you can pick and choose. There are a few key reports, most of which come out every month, that produce a significant amount of pip movement.
For this lesson, we will focus on U.S. news and economic reports, mostly because the U.S. dollar is involved in a majority of currency trades, and therefore tends to have the most significant impact on the currency markets. Here is a list of some of the top U.S. market moving reports:
- Employment Growth
- Interest Rate decisions
- Trade Balance
- Gross Domestic Product
- Retail Sales
- Durable Goods
- Inflation reports (Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index)
- Foreign Purchases report (TIC Data)
Every country has a set of major reports similar to this list and can be as potentially volatile. Again, since these reports are scheduled in advance there are plenty of websites on the Internet with schedules and potential volatility rankings.
Things to Know When Trading News Reports
Now that we know “how” and “when” you can trade news reports, there are a few key concepts you should know before placing your first news trade.
- While the actual news number or report is essential to the long-term movement of a currency pair, in the short-term the difference between the market expectations and the actual release is what causes potential breakout opportunities. This means economic numbers and reports that come out as the market expected generally do not cause a strong market reaction.
- The quieter the market is before a news release, the more the market is poised for a significant move. Think about it: In a quiet market, less and less traders are buying and selling, possibly waiting for some sort of catalyst (like a news report maybe?). When this “catalyst” takes place, all of these traders waiting on the sidelines jump in at the same time causing a huge move in the market. So, the more traders wait (the quieter the market), the more will jump in after a news report (huge pips and a new Ferrari, right?).
- Depending on the significance of the economic report, and the amount of deviation of the actual to the forecasted number, news breakout opportunities are generally short-lived and may last for only a few minutes or even a few seconds. Trading news releases may be better suited for scalpers and day traders.