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Economic calendar: Events that affect Forex trading

What is an economic calendar? An economic calendar (also called a forex calendar) is one which is designed to help traders and investors learn about forthcoming major economic information, such as the consumer price index, private medical insurance rates, and the nonfarm payroll. Even government reports are included. Economic Calendars operate on a much shorter timescale and they are generally released every hour or so.

One of the biggest challenges trading around economic indicators is knowing which events are the ones to keep an eye on.

These are a few important events that we keep an eye on.

1. Central Bank rate decisions

Every month the Central Banks of the world meet to discuss interest rates, causing some of the Forex markets highest volatility. Even more so when the interest rate hikes or there has been an unexpected cut.

The central bank has the ability to increase or decrease the discount rate of currencies, causing a drastic effect of macroeconomics including consumer borrowing and spending. With so much activity surrounding these decisions, investors keep close watch during these times to maximize their opportunities.

2. Non-farm payrolls

One of the most common reports Forex traders keep an eye on is the Non-farm Payroll Employment Report that’s produced by the U.S. Department of Labor. This report is valuable to investors because it tracks the number of jobs increased or decreased near the start of every month.

This opens allows investors to gauge the health of the economy and the height of interest rates. The higher the rate, the more intrigue will follow foreign traders to bite which, in turn, increases the overall demand for the U.S. dollar. The opposite goes for a loss in job market, which will lower the drive of demand.

3. Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate has close ties with the Non Farm Payroll released every month, and is defined as the percentage of the labor force that is actively in search of work. This is a key indicator of the health of an economy.

During a period where the U.S. labour market is weak, the Forex market could become bearish for the U.S. dollar. Indicators that unemployment will continue to rise can be seen after the GPD has bottomed out. When there is an extended period of unemployment and a deficit of jobs, the consumer sentiment will experience extreme damage causing consumer spending to have a larger impact on economic growth.

4. GDP: Gross Domestic Product

Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while leaned on as the largest measure of overall economic health, is often times pushed aside by investors because of the lack of urgency surrounding it’s publishing time. Because the data takes some time to compile, it sets up more time for trader to more accurately depict where the market is going. However, should the report be released with a different number than expected, this could cause a shift in the market.

Bottom line, as an investor it’s important to stay on top of GDP releasing simply to confirm your investments are in alignment with the what was predicted and what has come out each quarter.

5. FOMC: Federal Funds Rate

Every year the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meets eight times to determine the US monetary policy. If the outcome of the meeting strays from the current course it could directly affect the volatility of the Forex market.

When investing around this event, one of the key indicators of market volatility are the levels of interest rates in the currency pairs involved and their expectations surrounding their interest rates.If the Fed has made a changes to the federal funds rate, it will directly make a difference in the US dollar. This is crucial as it is one of the most important currencies in the Forex market.

6. Advanced monthly sales for retail trade

Advance Monthly Sales for Retail Trade, or retail sales, is the report the Census Bureau releases two weeks after each month in question. This report, in short, reports the number of percentage change from the month prior as well as the overall early estimate report of the nominal dollar value sales in the retail sector.

For shopaholics out there, this is an easy one to stay on top of — and for a good reason. Retail trade reports are golden nuggets for traders because the data is released a couple of weeks earlier than the Personal Income and Outlays report, giving headway to a more timely insight into this sector of the economy. Understanding this report is simple, if sales are increasing, it largely indicates a healthy economy lending itself to a bullish effect on the market and vice versa.

7. Macroeconomic and geopolitical events

When it comes to main drivers of movement in the Forex market, many fall under macroeconomic factors. The economy’s overall health is shaped by many of the following events that, as a whole, contribute to the stability of the markets.

These events include elections, monetary policy changes, financial crises and wars. Each of these large scale events influence the Forex market and its trade urgency as well as reshape the countries economy.

8. CPI: Consumer Price Index

Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the overall measure of the cost of goods and services and is a broad measure of inflation within the economy. This is to keep price stability in the economy, and drives massive market urgency when inflation levels are off target.

Investors look at the inflation rates to judge where the market is heading. When the inflation rate is sitting within the target rate, it’s a favorable position for traders. If it starts veering a little too far off track, this is a cause for concern as it has a negative trickle down effect into the market and overall health of the economy.

Non-farm payrolls

One of the most anticipated economic news reports in the Forex market, the nonfarm payroll report is published the first Friday of the month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The release also includes numerous other statistics, such as the unemployment rate. Currency pairs — especially those involving the U.S. dollar — often see large price movements after the data is released. It’s a great opportunity for day traders to take advantage of upcoming market vulnerability.

Event Calendar

Stay prepared!

Snipers are advice to stay out of the market until the data release.


6E is not aggressive enough for this month's release. Data spike price is only 25 tics, thereafter, price move slowly and only offer 2 immediate short opportunities on pull back. The next movement only came at ~11pm.

6E on NFP

NFP not only affect Currency pairs, it will also influence the movement of S&P as well. If you are following S&P, you might have notice that it was bullish for 2 days before NFP night. Right before NFP, at around 8pm, A "SS" formed for a reversal chart pattern - Double Top.


A good 72 tics profit from this chart pattern. Assuming using a standard example of 10 lots, that is US$9,000.

Using the same chart pattern Fibonacci focus, price started a downward trend that gave all my snipers trading with River waves pots of gold for the night (how much they catch it and how many pots of gold depends on their position sizing).

ES on NFP after 10pm

One of my new waves surfer is doing well during this NFP.

New surfer on board

A few thousand US dollars within 2 hours of trading with just 3 standard lots.

Out of the 3 SGX Indices that we are trading, Nikkei 225 are the one that react well to the U.S. market.

Nikkei 225 on NFP

Investment of time

How long does it take to become successful in trading? The truth is, there is no right answer.

Your success truly depends on your learning curve and time dedication. Traders spend a lot of time analyzing the markets and practicing strategies. Just like any other field, investment in education is important in determining your success. You need to be motivated to find the right program and practice your trading on small trading size to perfect your strategies. Those who do not make these commitments will spend significantly more time and risk losing more money trading.

Practice discipline and determination

Commodities market are volatile. Novice and seasoned traders alike will experience days of profit and loss and there is no “get rich quick” in trading. Making a profit is a slow and steady process, even for the most profitable. Any person or company who tells you otherwise is incorrect. Successful traders are skilled in maintaining their emotions and utilizing discipline. They never rush to complete trades based on impulse judgement, rather they trust that practiced and refined strategy will win out in the end.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Bottom line: learning to trade takes time. There is no overnight path to profit and becoming rich while trading. If you put in time and invest into education, there is a path to success. Remember, there are days of profit and loss. Those that claim “100% wins” and “you’ll never lose a trade” are steering you in the wrong direction. Your learning curve and path to success in trading depends on your commitment and determination.

Have a nice weekend :)

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