There are two basic approaches to analyzing the currency market, fundamental analysis and technical analysis. The fundamental analyst concentrates on the underlying causes of price movements, while the technical analyst studies the price movements themselves.
Technical analysis focuses on the study of price movements. Historical currency data is used to forecast the direction of future prices. The premise of technical analysis is that all current market information is already reflected in the price of that currency; therefore, studying price action is all that is required to make informed trading decisions. The primary tools of the technical analyst are charts. Charts are used to identify trends and patterns in order to find trading opportunities. The most basic concept of technical analysis is that markets have a tendency to trend. Being able to identify trends in their earliest stage of development is the key to technical analysis.
Fundamental analysis focuses on the economic, social and political forces that drive supply and demand. Fundamental analysts look at various macroeconomic indicators such as economic growth rates, interest rates, inflation, and unemployment. However, there is no single set of beliefs that guide fundamental analysis. There are several theories as to how currencies should be valued.
Technical Analysis or Fundamental Analysis?
Technical analysts can follow many currencies at one time. Fundamental analysts, however, tend to specialize due to the overwhelming amount of data in the market. Technical analysis works well because the currency market tends to develop strong trends. Once technical analysis is mastered, it can be applied with equal ease to any time frame or currency traded.