At a time when there is increasing concern about the reliability of news sources, and when global trade is in a state of flux, it has never been more important to have access to a reliable, frequently updated source of information about international market behaviour. Ideally, this should be accompanied by further sources focused on the specific sectors you’re interested in; and, to put it all in context, international news and current affairs. When you’re well informed you’ll be in a much better position to make decisions quickly should interesting investment opportunities arise.
Every news channel has its own bias and its own priorities, so it’s a good idea to watch different ones in order to stay up to date with a variety of issues. Following them on Twitter is an even easier way to do that. Sky tends to be particularly good for breaking news, but English-language versions of news services based around the world can be quicker at picking up on events in their regions. Never discount the impact of breaking news on market behaviour. The destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York is the event most often cited to demonstrate how far-reaching it can be, but you’ll find it easy to trace with any major terrorist attack, natural disaster or national election result, and smaller events have their own, subtler effects.
Finding a good site for global trade analysis and commentary is essential, and although you can bring in additional sources, in this case it’s a good idea to keep your main focus on just one in order to avoid the distraction and confusion that comes with multiple analyses of everything. Find a publication whose analysts you trust on global subjects and stick with it. Seek out counter analysis only in relation to specific national economies or sectors, where you can afford to go into more depth. Nobody can stay on top of everything, so good information management is about what you cut out as well as what you add in. When you focus on a particular country, visit the websites of the relevant government departments there to find out how news is likely to impact national policy.
In some situations, it’s best to go to the source. The World Trade Organisation has an extensive news archive which is really useful for putting events in context, especially when you want statistical information to use in your analyses. At the other end of the scale, when your focus is on a specific company, you should check out its own press releases. They may contain a degree of spin, but over time you will become adept at filtering that out and they can still give you useful information. It’s also worth visiting the websites of major banks and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when you’re trying to stay ahead of a rapidly shifting financial situation.
Once you’ve acquired the habit of following global trade, you’ll find that you keep coming across useful snippets of information in the unlikeliest of places, but getting the basics covered is essential to your trading success.
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