The Forex Factory Calendar is an essential piece of kit for forex traders of all experience levels. Here, then, is a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of this Forex news calendar. Follow our Forex Factory Calendar guide, and you will learn how to read the calendar, extract the best bits, and kickstart new and profitable strategies.
First, though, let’s debunk some of the myths. Technical traders arrogantly think they do not need to pay attention to Forex Factory news as they already adopt a technical approach. While there is no requirement to pore over the news, it is beneficial to have a heads-up about what is incoming. Particularly, if it is a bombshell that could disrupt the market and wreck pending orders and open positions.
Find out here how to use the forex factory calendar to best effect, understand Forex Factory events, and use the forex factory calendar like a seasoned pro.
Forex Factory Calendar Step 1
- 1 Forex Factory Calendar Step 1
- 2 Forex Factory Calendar Step 2
- 3 Forex Factory Calendar Step 3
- 4 Forex Factory Calendar Step 4
- 5 Forex Factory Calendar Step 5
- 6 Understand Forex Factory events
- 7 Fiscal policy announcements
- 8 Macroeconomic Data and Indicators
- 9 Which fundamentals should I be tracking?
- 10 Geopolitics
Get started. The forex factory calendar can look daunting at first sight. But if you know how to use the forex factory calendar properly, you can use it to your advantage.
Head over to forexfactory.com now. Once there, it looks confusing, but bear with us. Our guide will lay out what you need to know.
Forex Factory Calendar Step 2
The next step is configuring the Forex Factory calendar to suit your needs. First up, set the time zone by clicking the time at the top right. You will want to do this to synchronize the news with your time zone. Be careful to hit the correct time zone.
You can also choose between a 12-hour clock readout or a 24-hour clock. Remember to click “Save Settings” to store your customizations.
Back on the calendar tab, you should now see your local time displayed and each news event synching with your local time.
Forex Factory Calendar Step 3
Next, configure the event filters to suit your needs. Here is where you determine which news events are displayed and which currencies. To set these filters, click the “Filter” tab at the top right on the main calendar page.
Spend some time on this step to get the filters tweaked to your exact personal preferences. Otherwise, you run the risk of missing what’s relevant amid all the other noise. You can filter news events by impact, event type, and currency.
Hovering the cursor over the colored boxes below “Expected Impact” pops up a color-coded explanation. We recommend that you focus primarily on high and medium impact events to get an overview of critical upcoming factors that will affect the market.
Remember to click “Apply Filter” to save your changes. You can fine-tune them later by repeating this step.
Forex Factory Calendar Step 4
This step helps you to configure your preferred time frame view. Click on the left-hand panel containing the calendar; this pane enables you to set your preferred view, be it one day, a week, or a month.
Set up pre-set time frames by using the hyperlinks below the calendar. Selecting the week view is best for most people as it gives you a heads-up for the entire week rather than, say, the next 24 hours.
Forex Factory Calendar Step 5
It is possible to drill down further by expanding an event to review the additional details. Beware that you do not lose sight of the bigger picture by being distracted by fine details, which is more critical for price-sensitive trading.
Click on the folder icon to open the extra information such as source details, frequency, and the timeline of the event. The ‘x’ at the top of the pane closes the window.
Before continuing, it is worth repeating that the details, while interesting, should be used sparingly. Anything beyond this and it can become more distraction than an asset.
Part two: How to use the Forex Factory calendar guide
Feel free to continue experimenting with the Forex Factory calendar. A Forex Factory demo account will let you see how the site works and see the rolling news impacting the markets in real-time.
Understand Forex Factory events
Okay, we have now set up the calendar. But how to use the Forex Factory calendar for the best results?
White noise levels out there are quite high. Don’t risk information-overload. You have to tune that out and concentrate on events that will move the market. Hence, the importance of setting filters to only high and medium impact news events.
To help out a little more, here is an inexhaustive list of significant event categories you should be routinely monitoring closely. These include fiscal and interest rate announcements, macroeconomic data and indicators, and geopolitics.
Fiscal policy announcements
Monthly statements are issued by the central banks, along with their take on economic conditions. These are accessible on forexfactory.com. The monthly roundups by the central banks are the most critical data points to keep an eye on firmly.
Other data points are essential, too. But the central bank statements are a weather-vane of what is up ahead, mainly if they are about to change interest rates. Short term rates are lowered to stimulate growth and raised to keep inflation in check.
From the forex trader’s viewpoint, any change, or hinted at change, in interest rate is enough to tip the markets and hit forex prices. Therefore, you must know how to use the Forex Factory calendar properly.
As a rule of thumb, expectations of rising interest rates fuel higher currency valuations, while the opposite holds for expectations of lower rates.
Macroeconomic Data and Indicators
If the central banks are the weather-vanes, macroeconomic data and indicators are the barometers.
What microeconomics and indicators tell us is the underlying health of the economy which are often driven by exports and inward foreign investment.
You should, therefore, be tracking such info with the Forex Factory calendar. Having a handle on what is going on below the surface is invaluable to spot a currency trending.
Which fundamentals should I be tracking?
You should be tracking interest rate expectations, central bank policy, and any indicators that directly affect either. Getting to know your way around the Forex Factory calendar is time well spent.
To speed things up for you, here is a tip sheet on the ones to watch. The Forex Factory calendar is a good all-rounder in this regard as it flags up major headlines as high impact and offers explanations as to the significance of the news.
Quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP): About a month after the quarter ends, there is typically a preliminary or advanced reading available. A final reading follows about three months later.
The most important one to watch in your Forex Factory calendar news filter is the preliminary reading. The much later final text rarely deviates from the first reading.
Monthly jobs report: Another item for the Forex Factory news filters is the monthly jobs report. Monthly job news is much more significant to countries like the US and the UK due to these economies relying on consumer spending rather than exports or domestic manufacturing.
Monthly retail sales: The same applies here as an indicator of consumer spending.
Inflation data: Look out in your Forex Factory calendar for Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index data.
Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI): Use the Forex Factory calendar to track both the manufacturing and service sectors. A score of 50 or higher signals growth. Any number under 50 means a decrease.
Housing Data: This encompasses a diversity of monthly reports from new builds to home sales, etc. This data is a temperature test of the economy. It is also a good health indicator of banking, consumer lending, and spending, employment as housing has a significant influence on all of these sectors.
These suggestions above are good starting places while you are learning how to use the Forex Factory calendar.
Due to its inherently international nature, the forex market is highly sensitive to significant geopolitical events. Much more so than other markets.
Keep a close tab on geopolitics, particularly currency pairs that may be acutely sensitive to local events. Geopolitics hold a lot of influence over countries and consequently, their currency price. Valuations will move – and rapidly – to geopolitical changes as these will impact on such levers as interest rates, trade, growth, and a raft of factors underlying their economies.
It is, therefore, to get to grips with the Forex Factory calendar to minimize your risk in the same way that big money traders do as a matter of course.
The adage here is that geopolitical instability means markets sell and then ask questions afterward. The Forex market is hyper-sensitive to serious unrest of any kind and will retreat with its capital into currencies of safe haven to the whole thing blows over.
Set up this as a news filter, too, as positive or negative geopolitical data outranks economic data.
We have discussed a lot so far about newsgathering. Not so much about how to strategize this intel into trade positions that minimize risk.
This is where knowing how to use the Forex Factory calendar comes into its own. Being forewarned is crucial to preparing for a spell of stormy high volatility weather.
This third part of our guide, we examine how to use the Forex Factory calendar news to reinforce your forex trading and make it more profitable.
This last section brings everything together and discusses what role price action plays. We have the news, but we need to do something constructive with it, right?
Inextricably linked to the news are the pin bar and the inside bar. These are both byproducts of the press. When you distill it, all Forex trading strategies are born of the news in some way or another. But the pin bar and inside bar are the literal embodiment of the news and how it influences the markets.
The recommendation here is to stick to shorter time frames, daily and four hourly to better gauge the impact of a breaking news event.
The best pin bars are formed on the strength of significant news events. One of our favorites is the NFP pin bar because it is released at 08:30 EST, while New York’s four-hour candle burns out at 09.00 EST. A half-hour window is then available in which to react.
The price of USD pairs can rise or fall rapidly depending on the timing of a major news event. This news usually creates a four-hour pin bar.
The inside bar, meanwhile, can be considered the contrary twin to the pin bar. The pin bar depicts volatile movement, while the inside bar portrays market consolidation after a big move.
In short, pin bar forms on the news, and the inside bar follows up the next day, hence the latter being known as a breakout strategy. Pin bars, of course, can be traded daily or four hourly, but the inside bar is for daily time frames.
It is also worth appreciating that movement-causing news isn’t always immediately obvious. Market movements can occur well after the news event when the implications are fully realized.
By now, you should be feeling a lot more confident about how to use the Forex Factory calendar. But we will end this guide with a few concluding thoughts for you to take away and mull over.
Firstly, the use of the Forex Factory calendar is not of itself an entry into the forex markets.
If you know how to use the Forex Factory calendar properly, you will realize it is merely a handy tool. Being aware of upcoming events will help you make informed decisions. And it will help you book profits on open positions before potential volatility occurs.
There is a significant advantage as a price action trader compared to alternative methods. For you will know which way the wind is blowing.
Ready to use the Forex Factory calendar?
Do so right now without any coding by downloading the MT5 AM Broker, which comes with the Forex Factory calendar. Also, download Robo-Advisor 007 to get news trading Forex EAs.