Scalping in forex is a common term used to describe the process of taking small profits on a frequent basis. This is achieved by opening and closing multiple positions throughout the day. This can be done manually or via an algorithm which uses predefined guidelines as to when/where to enter and exit positions. The most liquid forex pairs are preferred as spreads are generally tighter, making the short-term nature of the strategy fitting.
The ‘Elliot Wave Theory’, named after Ralph Elliot, is one of the oldest forex strategies. He analyzed the stock price data for around 70 years and found out that human psychology (emotions, fear and greed) drove the market and that it moved iteratively. This is to say that the market switches between optimistic and pessimistic modes. In this strategy, the motive phase unfurls in 5 steps.
Any nation’s central bank, adjusts the rates of interest from time to time in order to contain or curb the inflationary trends. This, in turn, has a definitive effect on the currency market and traders assume trading positions accordingly. The central bank of a country does not act as it is a solid body. The interest rate is increased or decreased based on the vote cast by the members of the monetary policy committee. The number of members monetary committee varies from one bank to another. If the interest rate is cut, there will be more money in circulation. This makes it cheaper. If the interest rate is hiked, its value increases.
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Like most technical strategies, identifying the trend is step 1. Many scalpers use indicators such as the moving average to verify the trend. Using these key levels of the trend on longer time frames allows the trader to see the bigger picture. These levels will create support and resistance bands. Scalping within this band can then be attempted on smaller time frames using oscillators such as the RSI. Stops are placed a few pips away to avoid large movements against the trade. The MACD indicator is another useful tool that can be exercised by the trader to enter/exit trades.
The scheduled disclosure of economic reports, official statements and statistical data often act as catalysts for enhanced volatility facing the valuations of currencies. For active traders, being aware of industry expectations, actual data and the exact timing of the event itself are integral aspects to help manage risk and maximize potential opportunity.
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Divergence is a tool that helps the traders to learn the price behavior of the currency. This analysis generates patterns that will help to predict the direction of movement of the currency rates. Divergence, a leading indicator, helps traders to significantly increase their profits. This is because the likelihood of trading in the right direction and at the right time increases if this indicator is used along with others such as Moving Averages, Stochastics, RSI, Support and Resistance levels, etc.
To easily compare the forex strategies on the three criteria, we've laid them out in a bubble chart. On the vertical axis is ‘Risk-Reward Ratio’ with strategies at the top of the graph having higher reward for the risk taken on each trade. Position trading typically is the strategy with the highest risk reward ratio. On the horizontal axis is time investment that represents how much time is required to actively monitor the trades. The strategy that demands the most in terms of your time resource is scalp trading due to the high frequency of trades being placed on a regular basis.