It’s not the news that creates forex market trends — it’s how traders interpret the news.
By Vadim Pokhlebkin
What moves currency markets? "The news" is how most forex traders would undoubtedly answer. Economic, political, you name it — events around the world are almost universally believed to shape trends in currencies.
A January 14 news story, for example, was high up on the roster of events that supposedly have a major impact on the euro-dollar exchange rate. That morning, the European Central Bank announced it was leaving the "interest rate unchanged at the record low of 1% for an eighth successive month." (FT.com)
The euro fell against the U.S. dollar after the news. But could it have rallied instead? You bet. In fact, traditional forex analysis says it should have. Here’s why.
Analysts always say that the higher a country’s interest rates, the more attractive its assets are to foreign investors — and, in turn, the stronger its currency. Well, U.S. interest rates are now at 0-.25% and in Europe, at 1%, they are 3 to 4 times higher. Isn’t that wildly bullish for the EUR? Apparently not, and wait till you hear why — because in today’s announcement ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet warned that European recovery would be “bumpy.” Ha!
By no means is this the first time a supposedly bullish event failed to lift the market. On June 6, 2007, for example, the ECB raised interest rates. Bullish, right? But the euro didn’t gain that day, either — the U.S. dollar did.
Watch forex markets with these "inconsistencies" in mind and you’ll see them often. In time you realize that it’s not news that creates market trends — it’s how traders interpret the news. That’s a subtle — but hugely important — distinction.
So the real question becomes: What determines how traders interpret the news? The Elliott Wave Principle answers that question head-on: social mood — i.e., how they collectively feel. Currency traders in a bullish mood disregard bad news and buy, leaving it to analysts to "explain" why. Bearishly-biased traders find "reasons" to sell even after the rosiest of economic reports.
If you know traders’ bias, you know the trend. How do you know? Watch Elliott wave patterns in forex charts – it’s reflected in there, on all time frames.
Vadim Pokhlebkin joined Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave International in 1998. A Moscow, Russia, native, Vadim has a Bachelor’s in Business from Bryan College, where he got his first introduction to the ideas of free market and investors’ irrational collective behavior. Vadim’s articles focus on the application of the Wave Principle in real-time market trading, as well as on dispersing investment myths through understanding of what really drives people’s collective investment decisions.
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