There are many fundamental indicators available to the Forex traders today. If you count all of them only for the major currency pairs you’ll get more than a hundred distinct indicators — macroeconomic, monetary, economical, financial, weather-based, etc. For many traders it’s difficult to follow all of them, as it requires time and efforts in addition to the necessity to learn about the effect of all these fundamental indicators on various currency pairs. This article lists 3 most important (in my humble opinion) fundamental indicators that have the highest impact on the currency rates and are quite easy to follow as they are reported not so often.
- GDP or Gross Domestic Product is the main indicator of the macroeconomic strength of the country. The growth of GDP signals a stronger economy and a more competitive currency because the global investors will have to buy this currency in order to invest in this country, and they will want to invest in it because its economy is growing. GDP reports are usually published quarterly but they have three states of revision (advance, preliminary and final) published with the monthly intervals. GDP strongly affects currency pairs both in short-term and long-term. You’ll have a trading opportunity during the time of the release, as the volatility spikes up, and you’ll be able to adapt your long-term positions to the new data after the release.
- Interest Rates are set by the world’s central banks and are the main tools of the monetary regulation. Higher interest rates provide more value to the affected currency, while the lower interest rates decrease the value of the currency. Interest rates are usually revised every month or two during the special monetary policy meetings of the central banks. Interest rate decisions greatly depend on the growth of GDP and other macroeconomic indicators. Currency pairs react with the high volatility to the unexpected interest rate changes. It’s important to monitor the trends in the interest rates to forecast the long-term trends of the traded currencies.
- Unemployment Rates are influential indicators both for currency traders and for the monetary authorities when they set the interest rates. Non-farm payrolls are considered to be the most important of the unemployment indicators in USA and they are released monthly. Major currencies usually react with the short-term tendencies to such releases. Weekly reports on jobless claims can also be considered but they aren’t as influential.
In many cases it’s enough to be up to date with these fundamental indicators to understand the possible market trends in Forex. But, of course, if you wish to get a more detailed picture you shouldn’t limit yourself only with these indicators, especially if you pose yourself as a pure fundamental currency trader.