An algorithm is a set of instructions to be followed in a step-by-step manner by a computer. Algorithmic trading is the use of algorithms to automatically open and close trades according to predefined parameters. For instance, an algorithm can be programmed to observe the overbought and oversold conditions of a given market and to automatically open and close positions when certain criteria are met.
Arbitrage is when traders take advantage of price inefficiencies between markets. If, for instance, you become aware that a certain asset is selling for a higher price on Market A than you are able to purchase it for on Market B, then buying it at the cheaper price and selling it on the more expensive market would be an example of arbitrage. In practise, arbitrage becomes harder to take advantage of the more interconnected markets become.
The global forex market is open 24/5 and is divided into three trading sessions in each day. These sessions refer to different regions of the globe as they open and close for business throughout every 24 hour period. The Asian session is the first to open after the weekend, it runs between 11 pm and 8 am GMT and includes countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China and Russia.
When trading, you will be presented with two prices for any asset that you're interested in, the bid price and the ask price. The ask price (also known as the offer price) is the lowest price at which sellers are willing to sell the asset in question. In short, if you are buying you will receive the ask price.
Currencies are quoted in pairs. The base currency is the first currency in any currency pair. For example, in the EURUSD pair the base currency is the Euro. The exchange rate tells you how much of the second currency in the pair you need in order to buy a single unit of the first currency. A EURUSD exchange rate of 1.14 means that you need to spend 1 dollar and 14 cents in order to purchase 1 Euro.
A bear market is a market that has consistently fallen in value. Sentiment in a bear market is negative, traders choose to sell the assets that they are holding, reasoning that further drops in price are imminent. Bear markets have a self-perpetuating nature as widespread selling inspires further selling. This occurs until the market in question becomes oversold and thus an attractive investment opportunity again.
Bearish sentiment is the negative sentiment surrounding an asset or entire market. Such sentiment is usually followed by widespread selling, which causes prices to fall and can lead to a bear market if the selling is sustained.
The bid/ask spread is the difference between the lowest price that sellers are willing to take in order to part with a certain security and the highest price that buyers are willing to pay for that same security. An easy way to remember this bid/ask dynamic is that if you are selling you will get the bid price, whereas if you are buying you will get the ask price.
As a trader you will be quoted two prices for any security that you are trading. The bid price is the highest price that buyers are willing to pay. The ask price is the lowest price that sellers are willing to receive in order to part with that same security. When selling you will receive the bid price.
Bollinger bands is a type of indicator used in technical analysis. It was developed by John Bollinger and is classified as a volatility indicator. Essentially, Bollinger bands compare current highs and lows to historical price action. Bollinger bands are calculated using a moving average line and two bands, each plotted one standard deviation above and one standard deviation below this moving average line. When the bands are far apart, volatility is considered to be high. When they move closer together and hug the moving average line, volatility is considered to be low. Many traders use Bollinger bands to indicate overbought and oversold conditions. If an asset's price consistently touches either the upper or lower band it is regarded a sign of being overbought or oversold, respectively, and thus likely to reverse.
Bonds are fixed-income securities that allow an issuer to borrow money in return for interest payments throughout the life cycle of the bond. The amount borrowed is payable by the issuer when the bond in question matures. Bonds are issued by a variety of entities, including governments, corporations and local authorities. The desirability of a bond will fluctuate throughout its life as interest rates change. If a bond is paying out more than the prevailing interest rate, investors will flock to the bond in question, driving up its price until its effective rate is on a par with the prevailing interest rate. If, on the other hand, interests rates rise higher than the bond is paying out, bond holders will sell the bond, thus driving down its price until again its interest payouts are on a par with the prevailing interest rate.
A breakout occurs when a security's price suddenly breaks into new territory. The term is most commonly used to describe a positive move, where price action pushes through a known area of resistance, allowing the security to trade higher.
In finance, brokers bring buyers and sellers together, allowing them to trade between themselves, effectively making a market. Brokers receive commissions for each trade they broker or alternatively a mark-up on the bid/ask spread offered to clients.
Bull markets exist when prices consistently rise for a sustained period of time. Sentiment during bull markets is overwhelmingly positive, with traders purchasing assets in the hope that they will continue rising in value. Bull markets are often self-perpetuating and can be extremely vulnerable to the formation of bubbles as more traders flock to the same securities.
The Cable is the nickname that traders use to refer to the GBPUSD exchange rate. The name is taken from the cables that were laid between Great Britain and the United States in the mid 1800s, enabling GBPUSD exchange rates to be kept in sync between the two nations via telegraph.
Candlestick charts are by far the most popular chart type employed by traders the world over. They go back to 19th century Japanese traders, who used them to plot the fluctuating price of rice. Each candlestick represents the price action that has taken place in a given period of time, and includes that period's open, close, high and low prices. Candlesticks comprise a body (the rectangular part) and a wick (the lines extending above and below the body). The top and bottom of each rectangle represent the opening and closing prices, while the wicks above and below the body represent the highs and lows reached within the given period.
Carry trades take advantage of interest rate differences between currencies. Typically, a carry trade will involve selling a currency with a low interest rate on margin and using the proceeds to purchase a different currency with a higher interest rate.
A contract for difference is a type of financial instrument that allows traders to speculate on an asset without having to purchase it outright. Instead, CFD contracts allow you to trade the difference between the price when the trade was made and when it is finally closed. The derivative nature of CFDs allows for trades to be made on all sorts of underlying assets. LCG currently offers CFDs on FX, shares, indices, metals, futures, bonds and interest rates.
Chart patterns are formations of candles used in technical analysis to provide buy and sell signals. Technical analysts have managed to formalise a large number of such chart patterns and individual candlestick shapes, each representing a variety of underlying market conditions.
A closing order is an instruction for an open position to be closed when the price reaches a predefined level. A closing order will remain active until the conditions you have defined are met, in which case it will be filled and your trade will be closed.
The Consumer Price Index is an economic indicator that is usually released on a monthly basis. It tracks the changing value of goods and services purchased by consumers within a country. Inflation is closely related to the value of a country's currency as central banks can raise interest rates to counterbalance rising inflation. CPI is considered an important indicator by traders, as rising consumer prices are one of the most accurate indicators of inflation within a country. When a nation's CPI data comes in lower than expected, it is considered a good sign for the national currency.
Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new species of digital currency, allowing for the transfer of tokens between parties across the internet without any intermediaries. They generally consist of a public ledger of transactions, with all nodes on the network agreeing upon its state through the use of some kind of consensus algorithm. Bitcoin was the first truly decentralised cryptocurrency and has been in existence since 2008. To date there are over 700 different cryptocurrencies in existence, also referred to as Altcoins.
Commodities generally come in two varieties, hard and soft. Hard commodities are those that are extracted from the ground, such as precious metals and crude oil. Soft commodities are those that are grown and harvested, such as coffee, sugar and wheat. For commodities to be tradable over an exchange, they must be certified as being of a standardised quality and quantity. In this way they can be considered as interchangeable with any other commodity of the same kind coming from another producer. This standardisation, also known as a “basis grade”, is essentially what allows commodities to be traded over modern exchanges.
All currencies are traded in pairs. This is because to buy Currency A, you are also effectively selling Currency B (i.e. the currency that you are using to purchase Currency A). The first currency in every pair is known as the base currency, the second currency in each pair is known as the quote currency. The exchange rate that you are given for a currency pair essentially tells you how much of the second currency (quote) you need in order to purchase a single unit of the first currency (base). So, a GBPUSD exchange rate of 1.30 tells you that you need to spend $1.30 in order to purchase £1.
Day trading, or intra-day trading, is a style of trading that takes advantage of price fluctuations that occur throughout the day. Day traders tend to exit their chosen markets by the end of the day, taking their profits or cutting their losses so as to be considered “square” at the close of each day. Day traders are highly valued market participants as they contribute liquidity and price efficiency to the markets they trade.
A derivative is a tradable financial instrument that has no value in and of itself. Derivatives take their value from an underlying asset, such as gold, crude oil, foreign exchange pairs, share prices, indices, exchange rates, bonds etc. Essentially, anything with a price feed can be traded as a derivative. Derivatives allow traders to speculate on the future value of an asset, without having to purchase it outright. For example, contracts for difference (CFDs) allow for just the difference between open and close prices to be traded without any further commitment between the two parties engaging in the trade.
You are likely to hear the word dove used to characterise the policies, sentiment or general outlook of a central banker or FOMC member. Traders don't just keep track of economic statistics, they also pay close attention to the various announcements and public addresses of economic policy makers. When you hear of this or that central banker as being a dove, or doveish in their outlook, this means that they are in favour of keeping interest rates low due to the fact that they do not consider inflation to be a pressing issue.
Economic calendars are used by traders to keep on top of all the economic data due to be released in the days and weeks ahead. The release of economic reports is usually a regular, pre-scheduled affair, so traders use economic calendars to know exactly what data are due to be released, from which countries and when. This is important as the data in question could affect the open positions of a trader or provide new opportunities.
An economic indicator is any report on the performance of an economy or a specific sector of an economy. Economic indicators are periodically released by central banks and are used by traders as a gauge of a country's economic health and future prospects.
In FX trading, an electronic communication network is a network of price feeds from different liquidity providers, allowing traders to access the best bid and ask prices aggregated from the liquidity available to the network. Primarily used by institutional traders and individuals trading large accounts, ECN trading is particularly useful for those who regularly trade large volumes, as it allows for orders to be executed at the best available prices through the different available liquidity tiers.
An entry order is an instruction for a position to be opened on your behalf when the price reaches a level that has been predefined by you. An entry order will remain active until the conditions you have defined are met, in which case it will be filled and your position will be opened.
Your equity is your account balance, plus or minus any unrealised profits or losses from any open positions you are currently holding. The word also refers to the stock issued by publicly listed companies.
Forex is available for trading 24 hours per day, 5 days a week. Each trading day is divided into 3 sessions that represent the business hours of different regions around the world. The European session is the trading day's middle session, coming online as the Asian session begins to draw to a close and before the North American session opens for business. It includes all the major European currency markets, including Germany and France but is usually associated with London, which remains the European epicentre of foreign exchange trading. The European session runs between 7am to 4pm GMT.
Expert Advisors are algorithmic trading strategies developed specifically for the MT4 trading platform. They allow you to trade automatically by turning your trading strategies into sets of instructions that are recognised by the platform. EAs have been instrumental in making the word of algorithmic trading available to retail traders. Today there is a very active development community and market for EAs, as well as a variety of tools for their creation.
The EMA indicator is used in technical analysis to provide a moving average of the last X number of periods of an asset's price action, which is then plotted over the current price action on a chart. EMAs differ from simple moving averages by giving more weight to the most recent periods.
In technical analysis, Fibonacci retracements provide support and resistance levels on an asset's price chart. Fibonacci retracements are not just simple high and low points, they conform to the ratios discovered by the 13th century mathematician which they take their name from. When drawing Fibonacci retracements, you can expect to see lines on your chart conforming to the Fibonacci levels of 23.6%, 38.2%, 50%, 61.8% and 100%. When going from low to high, each line represents a possible support level. When going from high to low, each line represents a possible resistance level. As with all technical indicators, these levels can be self-fulfilling, particularly if enough traders on the same market are observing them.
Floating profit and loss is the money you have either gained or lost, depending on the current price action of your open trades. It is referred to as floating because profits or losses have yet to be locked-in as the trade in question is still active.
FOMO is one of a new breed of slang-like acronyms used by a younger generation of online traders. FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out, and is used to refer to the mass collective buying or selling that often takes place when an asset is rapidly rising or falling in price. FOMO is considered a negative trait for traders and one that they must work hard in order to avoid.
The foreign exchange market is a global, decentralised market for the trading of currencies between governments, banks, corporations, funds of various kinds and individual traders. Also referred to as forex, or FX, it is the largest, most liquid market in existence, with a daily turnover in excess of $5 trillion. This market trades 24 hours per day, 5 days a week, with each 24 hour trading day being divided into 3 sessions, the Asian, European and North American.
Free margin refers to the funds that you currently have available to post as margin. It does not include any funds that are currently being used to guarantee your existing positions. An easy way to think of free margin is that it is your current equity minus your margin.
The Federal open market committee is the policy making group of the US Federal Reserve. The group's mandate includes voting on whether interest rates are to be increased or reduced. Whenever an FOMC member gives a public address, you can expect traders to hang on their every word for any indication of future policy changes. Consequently, FOMC meetings and addresses are considered high impact indicators, particularly for USD traders.
This acronym is another example of a trading neologism used primarily by a younger generation of online traders. FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt and is used to describe statements that are made publicly to disinform traders and cause them to lose faith in their positions or to foment negative sentiment about a particular asset. In this sense, it can be considered the opposite of FOMO.
Fundamental analysis is a school of market analysis that takes as its basic assumption that an asset is always either overvalued or undervalued. According to fundamental analysis, assets are always moving towards their fair value by constantly taking into account and pricing-in everything that is going on globally. Fundamental analysts focus primarily on external factors, staying abreast of current affairs and geopolitical news as well as the economic reports and forecasts that affect the markets they trade.
The futures market allows buyers and sellers to speculate on the future value of an asset by agreeing upon a set future price for the asset in question, to be exchanged between them at predetermined later date. This allows a seller of, say, copper, to lock in the price that will be earned for it, thus hedging against the risk of it falling in value in the interim. In a similar way, it allows a prospective buyer of copper to settle on a stable price that will not change by the time the delivery of copper is required. While futures contracts presuppose that some exchange will take place upon expiration, futures are also traded as CFDs (contracts for difference), allowing traders to speculate on the changing prices of futures contracts without actually having to commit to taking possession of the asset being traded.
GDP is perhaps the most important economic indicator of a country's economic health. Gross domestic product is the total value of all the goods and services produced by a nation, adjusted for inflation. Most countries release their GDP figures on a quarterly basis in three different versions, a preliminary report, a second slightly revised estimate and a final version. Obviously the final version is the most accurate, however, the preliminary version is the one that tends to inspire the most trading activity.
The word hawk is used to characterise the policies, sentiment and outlook of a central banker, FOMC member or other economic policy maker. The public addresses of such highly influential figures are monitored closely by traders for any indication of policy change. When they are referred to as hawks, or hawkish in their outlook, this means that they are in favour of raising interest rates in order to combat inflationary pressures.
Hedging is a method used in finance to reduce the risk of being exposed to a particular security. Historically, gold has been an effective hedge against currency risk as it is considered a relatively stable store of value. Futures are also used to hedge against the risk of having to buy a certain commodity or instrument at a higher price, or needing to sell it at a reduced price, at a later date. Essentially, to hedge is to protect yourself against risk, often by investing in another asset that is inversely correlated with the one that you are exposed to.
Indices are collections of securities that represent the aggregated performance of entire market segments or stock markets. For example, the FTSE 100 (often referred to as the UK 100) tracks the performance of the 100 largest companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. Similarly, the DAX (often referred to as the Germany 30) tracks the value of 30 of the largest German companies traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Indices are a vital indicator of the economic health of a country, or certain sectors of its economy.
Industrial Production is an important economic indicator that keeps track of the total value produced by each country's industrial sector. The reason it is so valued by traders, is that a lot can be determined about the economic health of a country just by looking at its industrial production. This is because other areas of the economy, such as employment, earnings and GDP are closely related to and reliant upon industrial output.
Lagging indicators are economic indicators that only register change after changes in the broader economy are felt. For example, employment figures will tend to fluctuate only after other contingent areas of a country's economy change, such as inflation and industrial production.
Leading indicators are economic indicators that register changes that will soon be felt by the broader economy of a nation. A country's money supply and manufacturing orders are considered leading indicators as they will inevitably influence other areas of the economy.
LCG Trader is LCG's proprietary trading platform. Developed specifically to handle thousands of symbols at once, it is one of the few truly multi-asset trading platforms out there. It is also entirely web-based, allowing traders to access their trading accounts and manage their positions from the web browser of almost any device, wherever they happen to find themselves.
Leverage is the use of borrowed capital in order to control an investment that its larger in value than the amount of available capital. In CFD trading, leverage is interest free, so it is not regarded as a typical loan. Leverage is normally presented as a ratio, for instance using leverage of 1:10 allows you to invest in a position that is worth ten times the value of your available capital. While the use of leverage can amplify your gains, it can also have the same effect on your losses should your trade move against you.
A limit order is an instruction to either buy or sell when the price reaches a predefined level. For a buy limit order the instruction would be to execute at X price or lower, for a sell limit order it would be to execute at X price or higher. Limit orders are a good way to prevent slippage as they essentially guarantee that a trade will be made according to certain price parameters or not at all. The disadvantage of placing limit orders is that in rapidly moving markets they run the risk of not being filled.
Liquidity refers to how many buyers and sellers are actively participating in a market. The more buyers and sellers, the more of an asset is available for trading. Highly liquid markets are able to handle a great deal of buying and selling activity without the price substantially rising or falling.
A long position, also known as “going long” or “longing” is the act of purchasing an asset under the assumption that it is due to rise in value. A simple way to remember this is that to buy is to go long.
MACD is a popular technical indicator that is used in technical analysis as a trend and momentum indicator. MACD is calculated using three separate moving averages. The first is the MACD line, which is calculated by subtracting the 26-period exponential moving average from the 12-period exponential moving average using closing prices. This is then plotted over a “signal line” to form a histogram that is usually displayed below the main chart. The signal line is calculated by taking a 9-period EMA of the above MACD line. Traders favour using MACD in strongly trending markets as it seems to perform well at signalling changes in strength and direction under these conditions.
Margin is essentially the amount of your trading account balance that must be secured as collateral in order to guarantee your open positions. Margin is usually presented as a percentage and is related to leverage in that the more leverage you employ, the less money you need to post as margin. For instance a 2% margin requirement is the equivalent of using 1:50 leverage, a 1% margin requirement is the equivalent of using 1:100 leverage, and so on.
Margin calls are received when you no longer have enough capital posted as margin to guarantee your open positions. This can occur when you have a trade that has gone against you and is threatening to take your balance into negative territory. When your margin is at 100% this means that all of your available capital is currently being used, allowing for no further positions to be opened, or further losses to be incurred. Most brokers will give you a margin call before this occurs, giving you the option to deposit more money in order to keep your positions. Failing that, they will begin closing your open positions, usually starting from the most unprofitable.
Market depth is a term used to describe how large an asset's order book is. In other words, how many buy and sell limit orders are available for execution as well as how much volume these orders represent. A deep market is one that can handle a great influx of either buy or sell market orders without the price moving substantially in any direction.
A market maker is simply any kind of brokerage business that brings buyers and sellers together, facilitating the execution of transactions between them. The term has been done a disservice in recent years by online FX brokers who have sought to convince their clients that all their trades are sent on to the interbank market and that none are internalised. This has rarely been the case, especially in the wake of the recent SNB event, which caused many brokers to either exit the industry, or go back to a market maker model, albeit surreptitiously. The truth is that a market is made whenever a buyer and a seller are brought together.
A micro-lot is one hundredth of a lot, which in FX trading equals to 1000 units of the base currency in question. Micro-lots have been introduced to make the trading of CFDs more accessible, especially for those who prefer to trade smaller volumes.
Minimum bid rate is one of the main events on the European economic calendar and is closely followed by EUR traders. The figures refer to Europe's main refinancing rate, which is determined on a month by month basis by the ECB (European Central Bank) and used as the basis for all other interest rates within the Eurozone. Interestingly, the announcement itself doesn't normally cause much of a stir as it is usually anticipated and priced-in before the release. However, the ECB press conference that follows can have a large impact on EUR markets as traders from around the world attempt to decipher the outlook of the ECB president.
MetaTrader 4, most commonly referred to as MT4, is a trading platform developed by MetaQuotes Software for the online forex trading industry. Released in 2005, it remains one of the most popular platforms among forex traders, despite the release of it's successor, MetaTrader 5, in 2010.
Non-farm payroll is a highly influential economic indicator that focuses on the state of the US labour market. Excluding farm workers, private household employees and those working for non-profit organisations, the figures reveal whether the US labour market has grown or shrunk in the previous month and by how many individual payrolls. The final figures are released on the first Friday of every month by the Bureau of Labour Statistics and are one of the highlights on the economic calendar for USD traders.
The global foreign exchange market is active 24/5, with each 24 hour day being divided into 3 overlapping sessions. These sessions begin as the currency centres of different countries around the world open their doors for another business day. The North American session is the final session of the day, coming online several hours after the Asian session has closed and midway through the European session. Though its centre is undoubtedly New York, it is also affected by the trading activities of Canada, Mexico and several South American countries. The North American session opens at 12 am GMT and closes at 8 pm GMT.
Options are a class of financial instrument that give the right, without any obligation, to either buy or sell a certain financial asset, at an agreed upon price, on a specific date. A “call” is an order to purchase, making the owner of this option a “holder”. A “put” is an order to sell, making the owner of this option a “writer”.
An oscillator is a type mathematical tool used in technical analysis to identify overbought and oversold conditions of an asset. Relative Strength Index, which is one of the most popular technical indicators, is an oscillator.
Parabolic SAR is a technical indicator that is commonly used in trending markets to signal optimal points of entry and exit. Taking as a given that trends cannot continue indefinitely, it seeks to identify trend reversal points. It does this by placing dots either above or below the current price action in order to indicate whether bears or bulls are in control. Parabolic SAR is particularly useful to short term traders as it performs best at anticipating short-lived changes in direction.
Period refers to the time frame an asset is being charted at. On a candlestick chart, a period simply refers to the amount of time represented by each candlestick. Modern trading platforms allow you to chart at a range of different time frames, from as little as 1 minute per candlestick all the way up to 1 month.
Pip is an acronym for “percentage in point”, which refers to the smallest decimal unit of a currency pair. Traditionally this has been the fourth decimal place for most currencies, a notable exception being the Japanese yen, which has historically been charted to the second decimal place. Most modern brokerages now use a fifth decimal place for the majority of the currencies they offer and a third decimal place for JPY. This extra decimal place is often referred to as a precision point.
A pivot point is a technical indicator used by traders to identify the direction of the general trend. Pivot points are calculated by averaging out the previous high, low and closing prices and then plotting the result over current price action. If current trading activity is taking place above the pivot point in question, then the trend is thought to be bullish, if trading is taking place bellow the pivot point in question then the trend is thought to be bearish.
Purchasing Managers’ Index is an influential economic indicator that is calculated by taking the survey responses of a large sample of purchasing managers. The respondents to the survey are asked about the general business conditions of their industry. The indicator itself comes in as a figure that is either above or below 50.0. A PMI above 50.0 indicates a sector that is growing, whereas a PMI figure below 50.0 refers to an industry that is shrinking. PMI is a leading indicator as the implications of its findings have usually yet to trickle down into the broader economy.
The Producer Price Index is an important technical indicator that focuses on the fluctuating prices of wholesale goods and services available to producers. PPI is released on a monthly basis and is considered a leading indicator, due to the trickle down effect of the prices it tracks on the broader economy. PPI is an important gauge of inflation due to the fact that rising prices for producers are normally passed on to consumers.
Price channels are simply the price action that takes place within an upper and lower boundary on a chart. These upper and lower bounds are arbitrarily drawn by traders using recent high and low points as a guide.
Profit and loss is the most important measure of a trader's performance. It is calculated by taking the sum total of all profits and dividing them by the sum total of all losses. If the result is a number that is greater than 1, the strategy being employed is deemed to be profitable. If the result is a number that is equal to or less than 1, then the strategy is at best breaking even.
A portfolio is a collection of securities that is held by an investor. It is considered prudent to have as diverse a portfolio as possible to protect against unforeseen downturns in individual markets.
Position traders do not concern themselves with the short term fluctuations affecting the securities that they trade. Position traders generally have a longer term outlook and are interested in fundamental trends, opting to hold on to an asset for months or even years at a time until their position is deemed to have “matured”. A position trader's style can be said to be diametrically opposed to that of a day trader.
A rally is a rapid and sustained upward movement in the price action of an asset. On many occasions a rally will catch traders by surprise by starting on what looks like a slight downturn. Rallies are characterised by an abundance of buyers in a market and a shortage of sellers.
In technical analysis, real body refers to the main part of a candlestick, excluding the wick. This is the rectangular part of each candle on a candlestick chart that represents the opening and closing prices of the asset being charted.
REKT is slang term used by online traders. It is an abbreviation of the word “wrecked” and refers to what happens when a position goes so far against you that the capital you have invested is effectively lost.
Brokers give re-quotes when the requested price a trader is trying to execute a trade at is no longer available. This typically occurs in fast moving, volatile markets. In these instances a new price is re-quoted to the trader, which is ordinarily higher for a buy trade and lower for a sell trade. Limit orders are a useful way to avoid re-quotes, however they come with their own risks as in volatile markets the may not be executed at all.
Resistance is any price level that an asset's price seems to be having difficulty trading above. Traders normally plot resistance lines on an asset's price chart by taking recent high points that price action consistently seems to fail to break above. The more a resistance level fails to be broken, the stronger it becomes in the minds of traders. When a resistance level is finally broken it tends to become a new line of support.
Retail Sales is a highly influential economic indicator that follows the monthly changes in the retail sales of an economy. The fact that retail sales account for such a large percentage of economic activity makes this indicator extremely important to traders and a good indication of the health of an economy. US retail sales are divided into two separate reports, retail sales and core retail sales, the latter excluding car sales as these large value items are thought to obscure the underlying trends.
In forex trading, positions that are kept overnight have to be rolled over. This is due to the way that banking institutions have historically settled with each other. In retail trading, forex is traded as contracts for difference (CFDs), with delivery never actually taking place. Instead, delivery is deferred indefinitely until a position is closed. Overnight positions are rolled over, which entails being closed and reopened at the original price plus or minus the swap, which is the difference between the interest rates of the currencies being traded.
RSI is a popular technical indicator that is used to identify overbought and oversold conditions. RSI is an oscillator that is calculated by giving the current price action a value between 0 and 100 depending on how it compares to the price action of the last 14 periods. This is displayed in a separate graph below the main price chart. A value of 70 and above is considered evidence of overbought conditions. A value of 30 and below is considered evidence of oversold conditions. Traders use these values to signal entry and exit points as well as attempting to identify trend reversals.
Scalping is the practise of trading at short term intervals. Traders who employ scalping strategies will typically enter and exit a market multiple times in order to take advantage of very small price swings. This can be done manually, or through the use of trading algorithms that have been programmed to repeatedly buy and sell when certain conditions are met.
Sentiment can be described as the collective feeling of all participants trading in a security, market or an entire economy. Sentiment is often described as being “bullish” or “bearish”, depending on whether it is positive or negative, respectively. Policy makers can also be described as being “hawkish” when they favour interest rate hikes and “doveish” when they advocate leaving interest rates as they are or lowering them. Sentiment alone can move asset prices a great deal without any basic change in fundamental conditions. Such moves, however, are often relatively short lived as the pull of fundamental factors is eventually reasserted.
Sentiment indicators differ from conventional economic indicators in that they are determined by survey results rather than economic statistics. This class of economic indicator is informed by the attitudes of certain key groups such as consumers and purchasing managers.
Also known as stock or equity, a share is a type of security that entitles the owner to a small fraction of a publicly listed company, as well as a piece of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Shares are publicly traded on exchanges and also as CFD contracts that allow traders to speculate on a share's fluctuating price without taking possession of it.
A short position, also known as “going short” or “shorting” is the act of selling an asset under the assumption that it is due to fall in value. A simple way to remember this is that to sell is to go short.
Simple moving averages are used in technical analysis to contrast current price action with an average of previous price movements. SMAs are calculated by adding the data of a given number of periods and dividing by that number. One of the weaknesses of this type of moving average is that all data are weighted equally, regardless of how old.
Slippage is the difference, usually calculated in pips, between the price you as a trader expect to be filled at when you press to buy or sell, and the price your order is actually executed at. While not much of an issue in highly liquid markets, volatility and the drop in liquidity that often ensues, can lead to orders being slipped when the price you have decided to trade on is no longer available.
Stochastic Oscillator is a technical indicator used by traders to plot current price action over the range of recent highs and lows. The indicator is used to identify overbought and oversold conditions as well as signalling bullish/bearish divergences.
Also known as a share or equity, a stock is a type of security that entitles the owner to a small fraction of a publicly listed company, as well as a piece of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Stocks are publicly traded on exchanges, but also as CFD contracts that allow traders to speculate on a stock's fluctuating price without taking possession of it.
A stop-loss order is a type of order that attempts to limit a trader's losses in the event that the market they are trading moves against them. It's essentially an instruction to automatically sell at a slight loss in order to avoid greater losses in the event of a fast moving market.
A stop order is an instruction to open a position only when the price goes beyond a certain level. In this way you can ensure that you receive your chosen entry price or better. Once your chosen price level is reached, your stop order will be executed as a market order.
Support is any price level that an asset's price seems to be having difficulty trading below. Traders normally plot support lines on an asset's price chart by connecting recent low points that the price has consistently failed to trade below. The more a support level fails to be broken, the stronger it becomes in the minds of traders. When a support level is finally broken it tends to become a new line of resistance.
In currency trading every position you take involves borrowing the quote currency in order to buy the base currency in the pair. Once per day, interest is payable on each of these two currencies, so a trader owes the interest rate of the borrowed currency and is owed the interest rate of the bought currency. This can either result in a positive or a negative sum depending on which of the interest rates are higher.
Swing trading is a medium-term trading strategy that attempts to take advantage of emerging trends and trend reversals. Swing traders hold onto their positions for longer than scalpers or day traders, attempting to sell high and buy low as price action oscillates between these points. Changing momentum is one of the things that swing traders look for in the assets they trade.
A take profit order is an instruction to a broker that a profitable trade be liquidated once the price of the asset being traded has reached a specified point. This type of order is employed to lock in profits rather than holding on to the position and risking a reversal.
Technical analysis is a school of market analysis that studies the internal dynamics of an asset's price action with a view to forecasting its future movements. Technical analysts presuppose that everything that needs to be known about a given asset has already been priced in, they also take as a given that trends repeat themselves and that market participants behave similarly in similar situations. For these reasons they focus exclusively on applying mathematical tools to historical price action and studying chart patterns in order to determine whether an asset is looking bullish or bearish.
A tick is simply the difference between the current market price and the next price to be quoted. This is not a fixed amount as the next price can vary greatly from the current price, depending on available liquidity.
Trade balance is an economic indicator that looks at the changing balance, on a month by month basis, of the goods and services imported and exported by an economy. A negative trade balance indicates that the country in question is running a trade deficit, meaning that it is importing more than it is exporting. A positive trade balance indicates that the economy in question is running a trade surplus, meaning that it is exporting more than it is importing. The reduction of a deficit or the extension of a surplus is considered positive for an economy.
Trailing stops are stop orders that dynamically adjust to recent price action, rather than statically awaiting to be triggered by price swings. For example, a trailing stop for a buy order will allow the price to rise but will only close the trade if the price drops by a certain percentage. Similarly, a trailing stop for a sell order will allow the price to drop and will only liquidate the position if the price rises by a certain percentage.
A trend is simply a pattern of either bullish or bearish price action exhibited by an asset. This happens when regardless of its short-term highs and lows the price still seems to be moving in a generally upward (bullish) or downward (bearish) direction.
Trend lines are plotted over recent price action in order to identify the direction of the underlying trend. Bullish trend lines are drawn diagonally over recent highs and bearish trend lines diagonally over recent lows.
Volatility is essentially the rapid oscillation above and below a certain mean. When there is a great deal of variation in the price of a security, particularly over short periods of time, it is considered to be experiencing volatility.