Technical vs. Fundamental Analysis: Exploring Currency Market Analysis

Find out about the technical and fundamental analysis for trading the forex market. Discover more about the indicators, trends, and approaches to currency analysis.

Technical vs. Fundamental Analysis: Exploring Currency Market Analysis


The forex market remains one of the largest and most liquid markets that is traded at all times, which has both advantages and disadvantages for traders. The trend of this dynamic market can be overwhelming for trading especially for the novice and the intermediate traders. Two primary approaches dominate forex market analysis: These are the two main approaches to financial market analysis, namely technical analysis and fundamental analysis. This piece is a detailed guide to help traders (newbie or pros) on how to stay afloat in forex trading, helping you make a better decision on your trading journey.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a method of analyzing past prices and volumes to predict future market trends. This approach is based on the idea that all the information is already incorporated in the price, and such patterns as trends are recurrent. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into technical analysis and the elements and methods used in the process.

Key Components of Technical Analysis

1. Technical Indicators

These are mathematical computations derived from previous price, volume, or open interest information. Popular technical indicators include:

  • Moving Averages (MA): These filter price data so as to establish trends within certain time intervals.
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI): This momentum oscillator is used to determine the rate of change and the momentum of price changes, hence the overbought or oversold conditions.
  • Support and Resistance Levels: These are price levels at which a currency seems to pause and turn around, which are considered to be market barriers.

2. Chart Patterns

There are many technical indicators that are used in trading, and most of them are based on the ability to identify certain patterns on price charts. Common patterns include:

  • Head and Shoulders: Indicates a shift from an upward trend to a downward trend in the stock market.
  • Double Tops and Bottoms: Point out potential turnarounds.
  • Triangles: Designate periods of consolidation that precede breakouts as well as many other patterns, some images are seen below:

3. ICT Concept

ICT is a trading system created by Michael J. Huddleston and known as Inner Circle Trader. It aims to identify market maker behavior, liquidity centers, and institutional activity. ICT pays attention to entry and exit strategies by utilizing price movement, order flow, and market formation to exploit market anomalies.

Chart image of a trader using ICT concept

Applying Technical Analysis

Traders apply technical analysis using the above tools and techniques, which include technical indicators, trend-following systems, oscillators, and more. By analyzing these indicators and patterns, the trader is able to make probable assumptions about the future direction of the price and arrange their trade based on this assumption.

Fundamental Analysis

However, fundamental analysis is based on macroeconomic factors that impact the currency's value. This approach looks at the fundamentals of the economy to assess a currency's ability and direction.

Key Economic Indicators

  1. Interest Rates: Interest rate policies set by central banks are important because they affect the value of the currency by attracting foreign funds.
  2. Inflation: High inflation usually weakens a currency, while low inflation is an indicator of a stable or strengthening currency.
  3. Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Higher GDP indicates a healthy economy, which may strengthen the currency.
  4. Political Events: Fluctuations in political stability, changes in policies, and shifts in geopolitical factors greatly influence the value of currencies.

Applying Fundamental Analysis

By analyzing economic indicators, traders can develop a macroeconomic outlook of a currency and predict its potential movement based on these indicators. For instance, when the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December 2015, the U.S. dollar strengthened significantly as investors sought higher returns from U.S. assets, increasing demand for the dollar. Conversely, the Brexit referendum in June 2016 caused the British pound to fall due to political instability and uncertainty, leading investors to shift to more secure currencies like the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen. These examples illustrate how government and bank policies can directly impact the value of a currency.

Similarities and Differences

Technical and Fundamental Analysis Comparison Table


Technical Analysis

Fundamental Analysis


Short-term (minutes, hours days or weeks) 

Long-term (weeks to months or years)

Data Focus

Price action and volume

Economic data and news events

Tools and Indicators

Moving averages, RSI, chart patterns

Interest rates, inflation, GDP, political events

Risk Management

Stop-loss orders, technical signals

Diversification, hedging against economic changes

Summary of Differences

Technical analysis is particularly useful for short-term trading since it is based on the price movements and patterns that are likely to occur within a short timeframe. Fundamental analysis that lays emphasis on economic indicators is most suitable for long-term trading. Both approaches use risk management, but it is done so using various instruments and methods.

Choosing the Right Approach

The choice of the kind of analysis suitable for application depends on the trader’s personality and level of tolerance to risk. While technical analysis might appeal to some traders because of its reactive and quick approach, others might prefer the systematic and encompassing approach of fundamental analysis. However, most great traders use both strategies to make quick profits and benefit from long-term economic shifts.

Factors to Consider

Trading Style: While technical analysis may be more suitable for day traders due to its real-time application, fundamental analysis may appeal to position traders. Traders all over the world use both, sometimes choosing Fundamental analysis as the major while technical analysis for temporary assessment and confirmation or vice-versa.  For instance, when a country like the U.S. enters a recession, it's obvious that the country's currency will start depreciating. With that at the back of any trader's mind, they will look out for a selling setup rather than a buy setup.  

Risk Tolerance: Technical analysis may lead to more trades and more exposure to short-term price fluctuations, while fundamental analysis may require long-term holding periods and fewer trades. Understanding your tolerance level and patience threshold will help you choose the perfect trading analysis. A trader with low tolerance or patience should do more Technical analysis than Fundamental analysis, and vice versa.

Market Conditions: Certain market factors may make one approach more suitable than another. For example, high volatility may require technical analysis to be implemented faster, while low volatility may require fundamental analysis.


It is important for anyone who intends to trade forex to have knowledge about technical analysis and fundamental analysis. Technical analysis focuses on the short-term trends and the behavior of the market and the price, while fundamental analysis involves the analysis of the factors that influence the value of a currency. By properly examining both methods, a trader will be better positioned to develop better decision-making strategies that fit the prevailing market conditions. As you progress through trading, it is advisable to use both strategies and see which one suits you best and helps you become profitable in forex trading.

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