Chapter 7 – Basic Trading Methods

Let’s start by defining few important terms:

  • Forecasted (Consensus or Expected) Figure: This is usually derived from a survey done by financial news organizations such as Bloomberg, Reuters, etc… Usually they get a number of economists, anywhere from 20 to 240, and ask them what number they think it will be. After getting all of the numbers, the highest and the lowest are taken out with the rest averaged out to a single “averaged” figure. That is why with different news organizations will have a slightly different consensus number.
  • Deviation: is the difference between the actual release number and the forecasted number. Let’s say that CPI is expected to be 3.0% and the actual number came out as 3.3%; the deviation is then 0.3%.
  • Actual Figure: This is the actual release figure from the official source of the information.
  • Revision: This is the revised change done for previous release figure, usually the month before. It could sometime impact the market greatly if the revision is huge. Usually if we have a good deviation with a good revision number, the market will react even more.

Fundamental Trading In a Nutshell: Every major news release has a forecasted or consensus figure determined by economists beforehand. If the actual release figure is different from the consensus or forecasted (or expected) figure, the market is surprised and will react to the release immediately. The bigger the surprise, or deviation, will produce bigger reaction. Based on historical data, we can predict that a particular deviation will trigger a minimum amount of pips movement. If a news release consistently moves over 40 pips with a particular deviation, we expect that a similar deviation in the future will likely to cause the market to move 40 pips.

Although we have to be flexible in our trading, news trading requires that a specific plan to be followed with specific set of rules to protect our investment. It is particularly important that we only take a trade when our expected deviation is hit, not we get a close enough deviation.

For example, if you have promised your teenage son a car on his 18th birthday on the condition that he gets straight A’s in school this semester, and he came home with a couple of B’s, you wouldn’t have to give him a car. We must regard news trading with the same kind of discipline because sometimes almost still means no.

To further drive this point, consider that since the forecasted number is an average, many fund managers or banks might be expecting a slightly different number than you and I, and if we take a close enough deviation to trade, we might just be going in the opposite direction against some of these big fund managers.


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About Kelvin Ching

I'm a professional Forex trader and I have been trading for over 7 years. I was a series 3 broker and a registered CTA with the NFA, the main regulatory agency in the United States, and I have been involved at the highest levels in commodity trading. I also have a background in Information Technology, graphics design, and programming... I'm the co-founder of, a site dedicated to fundamental analysis and news trading.

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