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Trend Trading and Exhaustion Points
Before you decide to trade foreign exchange, carefully consider your investment objectives, experience level, and risk tolerance. You could lose some or all of your initial investment. Do not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Educate yourself on the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial or tax advisor if you have any questions.
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Follow the Smart Money using the Commitment of Traders (COT) Report
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Understanding and Trading the COT Report
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Click the sign up button to continue. And the weight these traders pull on the markets can sometimes be staggering enough to drive trends. As retail forex traders, our best bet is to trade like big financial institutions. A COT report will not tell you what positions any particular institutional trader is holding. Instead, it only reports a cumulative of all participants on various futures contracts.
And these market participants are divided into three trading groups:. Commercial traders are big institutions who are in the futures market to hedge against risks due to unfavorable price movements that could affect their investments. They only trade for the sake of reducing risk, not for profit. This analogy should help you understand better. Assume you own a big telecoms company in the United States. Your company imports computer chips from Japan.
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The Japanese chip supplier requests that you only pay them in Japanese Yen. The value of the dollar drops against the Yen. So you devise a genius plan to offset this loss. You purchase JPY futures. This genius plan makes you a commercial trader. The story is the other way around for non-commercial traders. Non-commercial traders are large speculators who already have a lot of money in the bank, but want to make some more by trading the futures market. Examples of these non-commercial traders include hedge funds, trading advisors, and other huge financial institutions.
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These institutions follow the trend unrepentantly. They buy in an uptrend and sell in a downtrend. They are speculators with smaller accounts who are also looking to make money from the futures market.
Retail traders fall into this category. You can easily access the COT report in the following steps:. Those steps take you to the most recent weekly report. But if you need details on past data, check the historical data section of the CFTC website. And if you need to check the weekly reports in a particular month, use the Historical Viewable section of the website. If you are going to make sense of what is before you on the report, here are some terms you must understand.
Forex trades are executed over-the-counter OTC. There is no central body, like NYSE, where all trades are recorded.
So, it is difficult to accurately track the volumes behind all forex trades. It is also harder to know what the big banks, the large speculators, and other market drivers, are doing. But with the COT report, forex traders can have an insight into these pieces of info. The COT report can serve as a powerful forex volume indicator when you use it rightly. Since CFTC releases the weekly report every Friday for all trades recorded before Tuesday, you can only use it for long-term trades.