Technical Analysis is probably the most common and successful means of making trading decisions and analyzing forex and commodities markets.
Technical analysis is a method of forecasting price movements by looking at purely market-generated data. Price data from a particular market is most commonly the type of information analyzed by a technician, though most will also keep a close watch on volume and open interest in futures contracts. The bottom line when utilizing any type of analytical method, technical or otherwise, is to stick to the basics, which are methodologies with a proven track record over a long period.
Technical analysis differs from fundamental analysis in that technical analysis is applied only to the price action of the market, ignoring fundamental factors. As fundamental data can often provide only a long-term or “delayed” forecast of exchange rate movements, technical analysis has become the primary tool with which to successfully trade shorter-term price movements, and to set stop loss and profit targets.
Technical analysis consists primarily of a variety of technical studies, each of which can be interpreted to generate buy and sell signals or to predict market direction. Please see our Technical Studies page for a detailed description of these studies and their uses.