What is Forex Market Sentiment? Access Forex Sentiment Indicators!

Alexandros Theophanopoulos
11 Min read

This article will provide traders with a detailed breakdown of market sentiment in Forex trading. It will cover sentiment analysis, how to benefit from market sentiment, the different types of sentiment indicators available in the market, and more!

All Forex (FX) traders in the global trading community will always have an opinion concerning the Forex market. Additionally, everyone has a personal perception of why the Forex market is moving in a particular way, and it's during trading that Forex traders reveal this view in any trade they take.

A Forex trader must understand that the Forex market is a synthesis of different views, ideas, and opinions. Analyzing these differences can help to provide the overall sentiment of the market. 

Forex Sentiment | Introduction

Sentiment analysis is a kind of FX analysis that concentrates on indicating and consequently measuring the overall psychological and emotional state of all participants in the foreign exchange market.

This kind of Forex analysis strives to quantify what percentage of FX market participants are bullish or bearish, in other words, being optimistic or pessimistic. When the majority market sentiment Forex is successfully identified, a certain analyst will take up a position on the opposite side of the hypothesis that the crowd is mistaken.

Trading only on sentiment is a contrarian technique, depending heavily on bear and bull ratios, and other sentiment indicators. Instead, sentiment analysis is frequently applied in synthesis with fundamental or technical analysis, to add more depth to a trader's comprehension of the Forex market. You should be aware that utilizing all three types of analysis simultaneously can be overwhelming, but is certainly worth the effort.

Forex Sentiment | How To Apply

Market sentiment is a relatively new calculation that polls market experts, analysts, and strategists on their general feeling on the market. The purpose can be described as the following; when you look at sentiment in the Forex market, you want to see what investors' thoughts are on the market. Undoubtedly one of the oldest sentiment surveys is the American Association of Individual Investors, also known as the AAII Sentiment survey. The poll now is performed online and released every Thursday.

Certain businesses take into consideration trading data such as block trades or short interest, and also trends in stories published by financial news publications. There is also something known under the name of the 'ten-day advance decline line' for the S&P 500 index. That is the metric which tabulates the number of stocks that were up versus the actual number of stocks that were down, and if the number is negative for more than ten days, this means that it is more oversold in the Forex market.

There is an apparent paradox with the Forex sentiment. These polls or readings are just reflecting where the market has been and not where it is actually going. Most of the time this has led to the survey forecasting that the market will go against the vast majority. That means, in turn, that periods of high bullishness are eventually leading to sell-offs and periods of downturn, as well as market bearishness, signaling a market bottom.

If everybody is bullish on the Forex market at the same time, then there are fewer people to persuade to get into the market, so there is less future demand. Conversely, when the vast majority of people are bearish, they are going to become bullish in case the market turns around. As a consequence, this is going to end up creating more demand for stocks.

Forex Sentiment Indicators | How To

It would be a mistake to omit sentiment Forex indicators from this article. So what is a sentiment indicator? It is a numeric or graphical indicator made to show how a certain group feels about the market or a business environment, and perhaps also about other factors. Sentiment indicators aim to gauge the mood of the Forex market. You can find a lot of them on the internet. We would like to outline three particular indicators that you may find useful as examples:

  • Contrarian Methods with Sentiment Indicators
  • The Commitment of Traders Report
  • The Volatility Index (VIX)

Contrarian Methods with Sentiment Indicators

Crowd behavior is the basis of contrarian investing. That is, to sell when optimism is at its peak, and purchase when pessimism has peaked, and the market has actually bottomed out. This approach exists only due to the fact that prices are defined by market sentiment. The behavior of the crowd is a combination of a large number of biased thoughts and processes, and therefore, is virtually impossible to quantify.

There are some tools which are included in the category of sentiment indicators that we may use to define bullish or bearish sentiment. There are a lot of them, and an unlimited number of ways to interpret them. Sentiment indicators should be combined with other indicators, and with fundamental analysis as well. Moreover, FX sentiment indicators are transparent, and most often freely accessible too.

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The Commitment of Traders Report

The COT report (Commitment of Traders Report) can provide up-to-date information about trends, and the power of the commitment traders have toward this trend, by detailing the actual positioning of speculative and commercial traders in the diversity of future markets. You should bear in mind that Forex is an over-the-counter market (OTC), so the future market is utilized here as a proxy for the concrete spot market.

Additionally, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) publishes a new COT report every Friday. You may use it to get an idea of Forex market sentiment for a particular time period. The COT report in fact contains a lot of other useful information, however, the essence of the report is that it provides data that shows the net long or short positions for every available futures contract, for both commercial and non-commercial traders.

Volatility Index (VIX)

The VIX has a fair amount of popularity within the Forex trading community. This is generally because VIX is a sentiment indicator used to measure implied volatility. As you already know, volatility is the magnitude of a move in which a price diverges from the mean price over a set period of time. Furthermore, the VIX gauges the implied volatility rate, rather than the historical volatility of the options bought and accordingly sold on the S&P 500 Index.

This is the peculiarity of this market sentiment Forex indicator. In case we regard options as a protective method against a corrective price movement against a major trend, then we undoubtedly understand the following: The bigger the implied volatility is, the stronger the fear is among the certain trend-following traders that the Forex market is reaching an extreme.

Accessing the Admirals Sentiment Indicator

Clients of Admirals can download the MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin. This supercharges your MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 platform with more tools and indicators to aid in your trading. This includes a correlation matrix indicator, pivot point indicators, a mini-terminal and a sentiment indicator. 

Once you have downloaded the Admirals MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin, open the Navigator window and drag the Admirals - Sentiment Trader indicator onto your chart, as shown below. 

MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin

In the chart above, the Forex market sentiment indicator highlights the sentiment of all the major and minor currency pairs. The indicator shows that - at the time of writing - there were more clients short on pairs such as AUDNZD and CHFJPY. While the majority of clients are long on pairs with bigger blue areas such as AUDCAD. 

Traders can click on any of the currency pairs to view the Forex market sentiment information in more detail, as shown below. 

MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin

The screenshot above tells us that - at the time of writing - 85% of clients were long on AUDCAD on the one-hour (H1) chart. You can adjust the timeframes you want to see the sentiment on.

Traders can use this in a variety of different ways. Some will use this to trade with the crowd and some will wait for extreme long or short positions to wait for the unwind of these trades and potential market reversals. 

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As you can see, Forex sentiment plays a huge role in Forex trading and investing. The mainstream mood in the foreign exchange market is an identifier of market direction. Adhere to what traders talk about, whether they are bullish or bearish. It actually helps in gauging the psychological and emotional attitudes of all market participants. You can apply this analysis to predict market movements based on the current situation.

Furthermore, to make your analysis more precise and useful, you should consider using sentiment indicators. They can provide you with an insight into the underlying power of market movements. We advise you to look for extreme readings as a signal that prices are set to reverse. By understanding all that is mentioned above, you will understand what is market sentiment. Make sure to also learn about how volatility protection keeps you safe from volatility risks.

Frequently Asked Questions on Forex Market Sentiment

What is market sentiment in Forex?

Market sentiment in the Forex market is about understanding how the majority of traders are positioned - are there more long or short traders on a currency pair? This can then help to determine the overall sentiment to that currency pair. 

How do I find Forex market sentiment?

You can find Forex market sentiment by downloading the Admirals MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin for free and putting on the Sentiment Trader indicator onto your chart. This will then tell you the sentiment of major and minor currency pairs. 

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