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The Impact of Economic Events on Forex Trading


The Impact of Economic Events on Forex Trading

The Impact of Economic Events on Forex Trading

Vantage Updated Updated Fri, 2024 April 19 06:42

The foreign exchange market, commonly known as the forex market or FX market, is a decentralised global marketplace where currencies are traded. It is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world, with trillions of dollars traded on a daily basis. 

The primary purpose of the forex market is to facilitate international trade and investment by allowing participants to exchange one currency for another. For example, if a company based in the United States wants to import goods from Japan, it would need to exchange its U.S. dollars for Japanese yen in the forex market. Currency exchange rates constantly fluctuate based on supply and demand dynamics, making forex trading an attractive opportunity for traders.

Key Points

  • Economic events directly influence forex markets by affecting currency valuations and investor sentiment.
  • Central banks play a pivotal role in forex trading through monetary policies that can appreciate or depreciate currencies.
  • Traders utilise various strategies and tools, including fundamental analysis and economic calendars, to navigate market movements during economic events.

What are economic events?

Economic events such as central bank announcements, interest rate decisions, GDP reports, employment data, and geopolitical developments can impact currency valuations and can act as catalysts for market movements. These events provide valuable information about the economic health of countries and regions, influencing investor sentiment and market expectations. Forex traders carefully analyse and interpret these events to gauge their potential impact on currency markets.

Economic events can have a direct impact on currency valuations, causing currencies to strengthen or weaken relative to others. 

Positive economic news, such as strong GDP growth or improving employment figures, tends to strengthen a currency, making it more attractive to investors. Conversely, negative events or disappointing economic data can weaken a currency’s value.

How Economic Events Shape Global Forex Markets

Economic events have a profound influence on the global forex markets, as they directly affect the economic stability and future outlook of nations. When traders and investors perceive an economy to be strong and growing, the demand for that country’s currency often increases, leading to appreciation in value. Conversely, if an economy is seen as weak or deteriorating, confidence wanes, and the currency may depreciate. 

For example, a consumer price index (CPI) that is higher than expected can cause the US dollar to rise, affecting various currency pairs. 

Consider the March 2024 CPI report, which showed a 3.5% increase on a year-on-year basis [1]. This report led to a 1.07% rise in the dollar, bringing it to 105.2 according to the dollar index [2]. This increase might be due to traders interpreting the trend as a sign of rising inflation, leading them to favour the US dollar and thus driving up its demand.

The interconnectedness of global economies also means that events in one region can have ripple effects worldwide. For example, a recession in a major economy like the European Union can lead to a decrease in global trade volume, affecting currency values far beyond the eurozone. 

Relationship between Economic Indicators and Currency Strength

Forex traders rely on economic indicators to assess the strength or weakness of a currency. Key indicators include interest rates, inflation rates, employment data, retail sales, and consumer sentiment. By tracking these indicators and comparing them across different economies and periods in time, traders gain insights into currency strength and potential trading opportunities.

Major currency pairs, such as EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and USD/CHF, are particularly sensitive to economic events. These pairs involve currencies from the world’s largest economies and are heavily influenced by their respective economic indicators and events. Traders should closely monitor events related to these currencies to anticipate potential market movements.

What could happen during a recession? 

During a recession, the forex market undergoes distinct changes. Economic events generate increased trading activity as market participants adjust their positions based on the outcomes and implications of these events. Higher trading volumes could be seen during these periods.

Increased volatility becomes prevalent as economic uncertainties rise, leading to wider spreads and larger price fluctuations. Investors seek refuge in safe-haven currencies such as the British pound (GBP), Swiss franc (CHF), Japanese yen (JPY), and US dollar (USD) due to their perceived stability. Riskier currencies, particularly those tied to recession-affected countries or dependent on commodity exports, may experience depreciation.

Trade flows are disrupted, affecting forex markets, while carry trades may see reduced demand. Economic data releases, such as GDP reports and employment data, gain heightened importance as they provide insights into the economic health of nations, impacting currency valuations. Central banks also play a vital role by implementing expansionary monetary policies, influencing currency valuations which will be covered more in the later part.

Traders can utilise technical analysis tools to identify key support and resistance levels to guide their decision-making. This analysis can be conducted on third-party platforms or specific brokerage platforms like Vantage, which can simplify the process for traders.

The Role of Central Banks in Forex Markets

Central banks play a crucial role in the forex markets, primarily through their monetary policy 

decisions, which can significantly influence currency values. These institutions, such as the Federal Reserve in the United States, the European Central Bank in the Eurozone, and the Bank of Japan in Japan, are responsible for setting interest rates and implementing policies that affect the economic health of their respective countries. 

When a central bank raises interest rates, it often leads to an appreciation of the country’s currency because higher interest rates provide higher returns on investments denominated in that currency, attracting foreign capital. 

For instance, Japan, which has a long-standing negative interest rate, just raised its interest rate for the first time in March 2024 to 0-0.1% [3]. The Japanese yen dropped to its lowest in 2024 following the news, falling as much as 1.2% to touch 150.95 per dollar [4].

Conversely, cutting interest rates can lead to currency depreciation as it signals an attempt to stimulate economic growth by making borrowing cheaper, which can increase inflationary pressures.

Moreover, central banks may also engage in quantitative easing (QE) or other forms of monetary easing to inject liquidity into their economies during periods of economic downturn. This action, while aimed at stimulating economic activity, can have the effect of weakening the country’s currency because it increases the money supply. 

Read our article covering all about central bank policies and their influence on the economy and market.

Approaches to Trading during Economic Events

During economic events like a recession, there are various approaches to trading utilised by traders, depending on their trading style and risk tolerance. These include the likes of: 

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis serves as a cornerstone in evaluating the repercussions of economic events on currency valuations. By examining economic indicators, financial reports, and central bank policies, traders can gain insights into the fundamental factors that drive currency movements. This analysis helps them understand the potential effects of economic events and make informed trading decisions.

Economic Event Calendar

To stay well-informed and prepared, traders often rely on economic event calendars. These calendars provide a comprehensive overview of important economic releases, such as GDP figures, employment data, inflation reports, and central bank announcements. By staying updated on the timing and expectations surrounding these events, traders can effectively plan their trades and position themselves accordingly.

Contracts For Difference (CFDs)

Using contracts for difference (CFDs) is another approach that traders can consider during economic events. CFDs enable traders to seize trading opportunities based on price movements without owning the actual assets, offering flexibility and the potential for leveraging their positions. 

Additionally, CFDs provide the opportunity to leverage positions, which can amplify market exposure and potentially lead to higher returns. However, it’s important to note that this increased exposure comes with elevated risk. This risk becomes particularly pronounced during economic events when market volatility tends to surge. Vantage Markets offers extensive support to traders before they enter into forex CFD trades, furnishing them with a suite of tools to aid in meticulous market analysis and risk assessment.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Trading Approaches

Traders need to consider the timeframe of their trades when considering economic events, as these events can generate both short-term and long-term trading opportunities. 

Short-term traders focus on capturing immediate market reactions, while long-term traders may seek to exploit longer-lasting trends resulting from the event’s impact on the overall economy. By aligning your trading strategies with the appropriate time frame, traders can effectively position themselves to take advantage of the specific opportunities presented by economic events.


Economic events significantly impact the forex market, affecting currency valuations, market volatility, liquidity, and overall trading activity. Traders must stay informed about economic indicators, news releases, and market sentiment to anticipate and respond effectively to these events. 

Proper risk management and constant monitoring of economic events are crucial for trading success.Ready to start your trading journey? Join Vantage Markets, an award-winning CFD broker that offers a comprehensive product range, user-friendly trading platforms, and exceptional customer support. Open your live account today.


  1. “US consumer prices heat up in March; seen delaying Fed rate cut – Reuters” Accessed 11 April 2024
  2. “US dollar surges to new 34-year high vs yen after hotter-than-expected inflation data – Reuters” Accessed 11 April 2024
  3. “Japan ends era of negative interest rates. A chief economist explains – World Economic Forum” Accessed 12 April 2024
  4. “Yen Falls to 2024 Low as Rate Gap Undercuts BOJ’s Historic Hike – Bloomberg” Accessed 12 April 2024
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