There are many ways of depicting the price action on a forex trading chart. Bar charts, candlestick charts, line forex trading charts are a few of the many options available, with each offering its own advantages in some aspect of analysis and utility. But they all do the same thing: they plot the prices of a day (or some mathematical manipulation of the price data) to the time series on the horizontal axis which is then used by traders to evaluate and understand the market action for the purpose of making a profit.
Charts are the keys that allow us to unlock the secrets of forex trading. The subject covers a vast ground, and only by continuous practice can we expect to acquire the necessity fluency and expertise in evaluating them. The language of forex charts is really the language of currency trading. It will take some time to learn it, but when you are a native speaker, so to speak, your imagination and creativity are the only limits to your potential.
Since currencies are traded in pairs, it’s impractical and not very useful to draw a pure USD currency chart. Instead we have the option of drawing (or rather having the software plot for us) a chart of the USDJPY pair, or the AUDUSD pair, since it is only possible to quote a currency in terms of another. On the other hand, there are some forex charts that take weighted average of such currency pairs to derive an overall index for a currency. The famous USD index, is a good example.
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Currency values never remain stationary, and it is this dynamic that gave birth to one of the most popular trading strategies of all time, the carry trade. Carry traders hope to earn not only the interest rate differential between the two currencies (discussed above), but also look for their positions to appreciate in value. There have been plenty of opportunities for big profits in the past. Let’s take a look at some historical examples.
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In every foreign exchange transaction, you are simultaneously buying one currency and selling another. In effect, you are using the proceeds from the currency you sold to purchase the currency you are buying. Furthermore, every currency in the world comes attached with an interest rate set by the central bank of that currency's country. You are obligated to pay the interest on the currency that you have sold, but you also have the privilege of earning interest on the currency that you have bought. For example, let’s look at the New Zealand dollar/Japanese yen pair (NZD/JPY). Let’s assume that New Zealand has an interest rate of 8% and that Japan has an interest rate of 0.5% In the currency market, interest rates are calculated in basis points. A basis point is simply 1/100th of 1%. So, New Zealand rates are 800 basis points and Japanese rates are 50 basis points. If you decide to go long NZD/JPY you will earn 8% in annualized interest, but have to pay 0.5% for a net return of 7.5%, or 750 basis points.