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Almost every day there are major economic data releases that could have a significant impact on your current open positions. These important figures are seen as statistical evidence to back up views on whether or not a region is doing well.
Most global economic data releases are similar across the major world economies but, for the benefit of example, the US and its currency will be used.
Typically, these releases are closely followed by those who look to trade foreign exchange, but be aware that these releases also affect global stocks, commodities and treasuries. A major point to be aware of is that the biggest moves in the market usually occur if the figures come out majorly against general consensus.
Most economic data is preceded by economists and investment banks expressing a view on what they think these figures might be like, and publishing these views or expectations in advance. Released quarterly at 1. This is the broadest measure of US transactions with the rest of the world.
This quarterly statistic measures US trade in goods and services and includes income from investments overseas and payments to entities overseas. A positive value current account surplus indicates that the flow of capital from these components into the US exceeds the capital leaving the country more money coming in than leaving the country. A negative value current account deficit means that there is a net capital outflow from these sources there is more money leaving the country than coming in.
Rising long-term current account deficits can have negative implications for the US dollar as it impacts the likelihood of future interest rate hikes if the economy is not doing so well. This statistic is the difference between US exports and imports of goods and services, such as cars, electronics, textiles, banking and insurance.
A positive balance is known as a trade surplus and this occurs if there are more exports than imports of the above goods and services. Export demand also impacts production and prices at domestic manufacturers. The implications over the long term of a deteriorating trade balance is to put downward pressure on the dollar. Released monthly at 1. The CPI is calculated by taking price changes for each item in the predetermined basket of goods and averaging them; the goods are weighted according to their importance.
Changes in CPI are used to assess price changes associated with the cost of living. Food and energy prices account for about a quarter of CPI, but they tend to be very volatile and distort the underlying trend. A rapid increase in the value of the CPI figures can give way to inflationary fears as rising prices could lead the central bank to respond by raising interest rates.
Raising rates generally leads to less disposable income, reducing spending and thus decreasing inflationary pressure. This is because some investors may decide to hold money in deposit as cash to earn interest rather than investing in the market, which is seen to be more risky. This index measures the change in price of factory produced goods. The PPI is a goods-only index and does not include the cost of transportation, wholesaling and retailing. It does not measure costs in the service sector.
A rapid rise in PPI is considered inflationary and can depress bond prices and increase long-term interest rates. The impact on the US dollar and stocks is not usually clear and has to be read in conjunction with other economic data releases.
It is intended to represent the total number of paid US workers of any business, excluding:. Job creation is an important leading indicator of consumer spending, which accounts for a majority of overall economic activity. The non-farm payrolls statistic is used by government policy makers and economists to determine the current state of the economy, and predict future levels of economic activity.
If employment is strong, interest rates and the US dollar will normally rise. If the figures are weak then interest rates and the dollar will usually fall. A strong payrolls figure can provide the stock markets with a boost if it signals a recovery in the economy. Make sure to note this date in your diaries each month. Released weekly at 1. This is the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week.
Market impact fluctuates from week to week and there tends to be more focus on the release when traders need to diagnose recent developments, or when the reading is extreme. If unemployment claims increase, you might expect the stock market and US dollar to fall in value.
Usually, GDP is expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. As one can imagine, economic production and growth what GDP represents have a large impact on nearly everyone within that economy. For example, when the economy is healthy, you will typically see low unemployment and wage increases as businesses demand labour to meet the growing economy.
This figure represents the total of durable and non-durable goods sales to consumers. Services are largely excluded from this statistic. The retail sales figure have additional relevance during the Christmas period as this sector makes a large percentage of its total yearly revenue at this time.
Monthly changes are often erratic and the data is subject to later large revisions. Despite this, the implications of strong retail sales can be good news for stocks and the US dollar and vice versa. Released monthly at 2. This economic report measures changes in output for the industrial sector of an economy.
The industrial sector includes manufacturing, mining, and utilities. Although these sectors contribute only a small portion of GDP gross domestic product , they are highly sensitive to interest rates and consumer demand. This makes industrial production an important tool for forecasting future GDP and economic performance.
Industrial production figures are also used by central banks to measure inflation, as high levels of industrial production can lead to uncontrolled levels of consumption and rapid inflation.
An acceleration of growth in industrial production is, in the first instance, positive for the US dollar and can put pressure on interest rates to rise. The PMI is an index based on a survey of corporate purchasing managers from construction, services and manufacturing on the state of the industry as they see it.
PMI is a very important sentiment reading, not only for manufacturing, but also for the economy as a whole. Although US manufacturing is not the huge component of total gross domestic product GDP that it once was, this industry is still where recessions tend to begin and end.
For this reason, the PMI is very closely watched, often setting the tone for the upcoming month and other indicator releases. The magic number for the PMI is A reading of 50 or higher generally indicates that the industry is expanding. If manufacturing is expanding, the general economy should be doing likewise.
As such, it is considered a good indicator of future GDP levels. Another useful figure to remember is The different levels between 42 and 50 speak to the strength of that expansion.
The index is designed so that a reading above 50 means that purchasing managers expect manufacturing conditions to improve. PMI readings should rise as the pace of spending remains healthy. Accelerating manufacturing output will strain capacity, pushing producer price inflation higher. If the PMI is well above 50, interest rates and the dollar may rise.
There are a lot of other minor statistics in addition to the ones mentioned above. These are released on an ongoing basis and serve to further reinforce the overall statistical picture of the US and for that matter, any other economy at any particular point in time.
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The figures that matter Most global economic data releases are similar across the major world economies but, for the benefit of example, the US and its currency will be used. Current account balance Released quarterly at 1. Non-farm payrolls Released monthly at 1. It is intended to represent the total number of paid US workers of any business, excluding: General government employees Private household employees Employees of non-profit organisations that provide assistance to individuals Farm employees.
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