Market Mechanics — Understanding Market Movements in the Foreign Exchange Market

Have you ever wondered what causes price movements in your forex charts? Or why the market usually retraces at some point even in clearly established trends? Or better still, why some retracements finally become strong enough to form a whole new trend? This article is aimed at answering the questions above. Notice that a good understanding of market mechanics will definitely help you as a trader by fine- tuning your entry, exit, and stop loss levels, thus yielding better trading results.

Before we delve into the topic, I will like to explain four major reactions that lead to price movements, and in what direction each of them effects their movement in the market.

  • Buyers entering the market: definitely, buyers entering the market will create a bullish reaction, thus causing upward price movement.
  • Sellers entering the market: in a similar manner, there would be a downward price movement when sellers enter the market thereby creating a bearish reaction.
  • Buyers leaving the market: when buyers are leaving the market, it gives a similar reaction as sellers entering the market. Therefore, this will cause a downward price movement.
  • Sellers leaving the market: sellers leaving the market will create a bullish reaction, thus causing upward price movements.

At every point in time while the market is open, a combination of some or all of the above is occurring. This means that the final price movement you actually see on your chart is the resultant of the market vectors listed above. For example, if we are in an uptrend, and are spotting bullish market reaction, it means that we have more net buyers than sellers which are causing the resultant upward movement. Now, as the swing tops out, those buyers who have been scoring profits all along will begin to bank their profits, thus buyers leaving the market. When this is happening, it causes a downward price movement as indicated above which we term retracement. Also, some sellers who were able to predict the end of the bullish swing will also jump in thereby augmenting the downward retracement. As price retraces to a bullish confluence below, those sellers, who entered at the top of the bullish swing, will begin to take their profits( sellers leaving the market), and more buyers will enter the market hoping to continue with the trend to the upside- the general result being a net bullish market reaction. The opposite is the case for a bearish trend.

So, what happens during a trend change? Most trend changes are signaled by fundamental analysis or by bigger investors massively closing out portions of their position which are usually huge enough to break levels of confluence in the previous direction of the trend. When this happens, emotion sets in, and other traders around the world will be keen in taking positions against the previous trend. This action increases the net volume in the new direction, thus creating a whole new trend.

by Chinedu Ilobinso