Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Forex Strategy - How Do You Trade The Non-Farm Payroll Report?

In the development of your forex strategy do you wonder how you can trade the non-farm payroll report?

Seeing this is one of the most, if not the most, volatile announcement during the month (first Friday in every month) newer traders watch the huge movements and wonder how to make money from all that volatility.

The answer given below you may not fully appreciate until some explanation is offered.


"How do I trade the non-farm payroll report?"


"You DON'T!"

Or to put it another way, "By maintaining a neutral position!"

The market is far too volatile at this time to expect a high probability trade. There may be some gamblers out there who relish the thought of 'placing a bet' to go long or short. But serious traders know better.

Actually, the professional traders I know all say the same thing: "Stand aside and wait for the market to calm down."

This may take between 30 to 45 minutes in some cases and even then the direction of the market may be uncertain.

Some suggest you can trade volatile market movers such as the non-farm payroll report by waiting for the first leg of the move, up or down, then wait for price to pull back 10 or 15 pips, then enter a trade to catch the second leg of the move which often follows.

That's one possibility but still high risk. Personally I prefer to base my forex strategy on sound market assessment and carefully researched trades.

Trading The Aftermath

However, while many professional traders sit out the non-farm payroll report, that doesn't mean they don't trade afterwards.

After the market has made a violent move in one direction you sometimes see price stalling and then give a clear signal that it's momentum is exhausted.

Look For Combination Factors

This may be in the form of a candle pattern such as a hammer with a very large shadow which also happens to be on a key support or resistance level.

Now you can enter a trade with a small level of risk as you place your stop just above the high or low of the candle signal.

By applying a number of technical indicators to the chart pattern after a non-farm payroll report, you may see a point where a previous support/resistance level convergences with a Fibonacci retracement or extension, or the 200 EMA (Exponential Moving Average), or a pivot point.

If a distinctive candle forms at that level also you can expect a reasonable price bounce and extract a number of pips from the market.

This advice applies to all fundamental announcements which are considered 'market movers'.

By developing a cautious forex strategy based on sound trading principles, you will enjoy this business and get the satisfaction of seeing your account equity steadily growing.

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