Lesson 7: Economic Numbers that Move the US Dollar
Lesson 7: Economic Numbers that Move the US Dollar
In our last lesson we finished up our series on what traders watch for when analyzing the long term direction of the dollar. In today's lesson we are going to continue our free forex course, with a look at where to go to find the economic data releases that move the dollar.
As you can probably imagine, we could spend many lessons and multiple hours going over each of the economic indicators that affect the price of the US Dollar. It is for this reason, that before getting into any of the actual indicators, I wanted to give everyone an overview of the broad things that move the market. As we have discussed in previous lessons the two broad categories that pretty much everything that moves the forex market fits into, are trade flows and capital flows, as covered in module 3 of this course.
Once you have an understanding of this, all that is necessary to understand how economic numbers move the dollar, is to understand which numbers are important to the market at the time, whether those numbers fit into the trade flows or capital flows category, and how they should affect the dollar as a result.
As we learned in module 8 of our basics of trading course, how the market reacts to economic releases is generally determined by two factors:
1. How important the market considers a particular release to be.
2. How close to market estimates the number comes in at. Remember that markets anticipate news, so generally if an economic release comes out as expected, there is very little if any market reaction to that release.
How important the market considers a particular economic release to be, is something that changes over time depending on what is happening from a US Dollar fundamentals standpoint. If there are worries that the economy is going into recession, then the market is going to be extra sensitive to any numbers, such as non farm payrolls and consumer spending, which may provide early warning signs that this is the case. Conversely, if the economy is heating up and the markets are worried that inflation may become a problem, then the most market moving numbers may be price data releases, such as the CPI and the PPI. For your reference, according to Dailyfx.com the most market moving indicators for 2007, in order of importance were:
1. Non Farm Payrolls
2. FOMC Releases
3. Retail Sales
4. ISM Manufacturing
6. Producer Price Index
7. The Trade Balance
8. Existing Home Sales
9. Foreign Purchases of US Treasuries (TIC Data)
We have discussed most of these indicators already, and for those which we have not, a quick google search, and review of the indicator in the context of whether it fits into trade flows or capital flows, should answer the question of why they move the market.
Although I am probably a little biased since I used to work with the people who run the site, I am a very big fan of Dailyfx.com as the place where I go to find out what economic data is due for release, and for commentary on the number after the release. They have a great global calendar which you can find at the top of the site as well as tons of both technical and fundamental commentary on everything that affects the US Dollar and forex market in general.
For this lesson specifically, if you click the calendar button at the top of the site you will see they have all of the economic data releases from the major countries of the world with the time of the release, the previous number, the forecasted number and the actual number which is updated after the release. You will also notice here they have links for the more important numbers giving a definition of the release, the relative importance of the release, and the latest news release relating to that release.
If you click back to the homepage of the site you will see lots of fx related reports which the Dailyfx staff puts out throughout the day. Two of my favorite reports are the Daily Fundamental report by Kathy lien, and the US Open Market Points by Boris Schlossberg which you can find in the middle of the page.
As we discussed in module 8 of our basics of trading course, the best way to get a feel for how economic numbers affect the market, and which numbers are in focus, is to start following the market on a daily basis and seeing how it reacts to various news events. As this is the case, I highly recommend following the commentary on Dailyfx.com as well as the forex commentary on InformedTrades.com, and start putting your analysis to practice on your real time demo accounts. If you have not registered for a free realtime demo account I have included a link above this video where you can do so.
That's our lesson for today, and that wraps up our discussion on the US Dollar. In the next lesson we are going to look at the next most traded currency in the world, the EURO so we hope to see you in that lesson.
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