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Special Hardanalytics article: Volatile Markets

Volatility is a feature of markets, part of the regularities which characterise the behaviour of Forex pairs. It can be seen on a recurring basis, for example around news events and towards close of markets on Friday.

However Forex pairs can also become volatile, that is pairs can display volatile responses to events. As volatility can be seen around news events, it can also be seen on what might be termed larger scale news events, such as the Brexit vote. The focus of these events, the currency which is tied into the locus of the events, may display a greater tendency to volatile reactions, but it can also be seen in other pairs, perhaps to a lesser extent, depending on the currency or the nature of the event.

So what might volatility be characterised as ? It can be seen as irregular and large responses, because of some larger context within which the pair is enmeshed, for example market close, or a market responding to a revaluation, or a new landscape. These kinds of responses make volatility hard or unwise to trade. Even if a stop-loss is used, sharp movements back and forth can wreak havok with one. So the usual protections can become problematic.

However if a market has become prone to volatility, then a stop-loss might still potentially provide protection, if the sudden volatility takes place within a more usual set of market responses, such as trends, ranges and quiet moments before trends or ranges, or is characterised by sudden directional movements, rather than oscillations (which can be typical of recurring news events).

On a more speculative level it might be said that volatility can in some cases be an end or a beginning, that is volatility can be seen on charts around market turns or changes in the way a pair is moving, whether on short term or longer term charting.

Losses can exceed your deposits. Issued by IG markets limited
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Depth versus Range of Assets when Choosing a Broker

When choosing a broker the kind of assets offered can be an issue of some importance. Typically CFD brokers offer a range covering Forex Pairs, Indices, Commodities and Shares.

In the not so distant past, before CFDs opened up commodities, shares and indices to leveraged trading, Spot Forex brokers offered a range of Forex pairs and Metals. Some of these brokers are still here and while augmenting their offering with CFD assets, may still maintain a focus on Forex and Metals.

There are brokers which offer a large number of total assets, some offer significantly less. Typically the bulk of any offering is made up of Share CFDs. This can extend the offering into thousands of assets.

Because a broker offers a lesser amount of total assets does not mean it is lacking, as traders may end up trading a small number of assets and may even focus on a few or even one. Becoming specialised in one asset may enable the trader to explore the behavior of the asset in depth and over time.

However there is some excitement in having a large range of assets to trade from and becoming specialised in one asset, the trader may move to another and repeat the process.

It can be worth considering classes of assets, as different asset classes may behave in different ways and at different times.

It is possible that familiarity with one asset class can then throw some light on the behavior of another asset class, again to the extent this may be possible. What can be interesting is seeing similarities between asset classes, shown in regularities, such as patterns and movement around big figures.

Thus the range of assets can be as important as the number of assets, since this itself can potentially point towards an understanding of the ways prices can move, across markets.