There are many professional day traders out there who focus all their efforts on trading a particular instrument, whether it’s a currency pair or a stock market index. I personally have attempted to trade both in the past so I can speak from experience when I say that in general it is much easier to trade forex.
The main reason why is because when you trade one of the major currency pairs you can usually concentrate purely on technical analysis. In other words when you trade the intraday charts you can trade the forex pairs around pivot points and areas of support and resistance because the price movements can be quite predictable. However when you trade stock indices such as the FTSE 100 or the Dow Jones, for instance, the price movements are not always so predictable.
That’s obviously because these indices are made up of various different stocks and they don’t always rise and fall in tandem with each other. Yes you may get some days when all the constituents trade higher or lower, but most of the time certain sectors will be strong, whilst others may be flat or trading lower. Plus there are often occasions when individual stocks release some news concerning their company and as a result the share price moves independently of the wider market.
As a result of all this, you don’t always get as many predictable bounces off key support and resistance levels, for example, as you do when you trade the major forex pairs. Therefore they are much harder to trade with any confidence because you can never be sure of how the price will react around these key levels.
Another point worth making is that when you trade forex you can pretty much guarantee that you will have a large trading range for many of the most popular currency pairs, such as the GBP/USD, EUR/USD and GBP/JPY pairs, for any given trading day. The same cannot be said for the various stock market indices, however, because there are some days when the FTSE 100, and even the Dow Jones, will trade within a very narrow trading range.
So the point I want to get across is that on the whole it’s a lot easier to day trade the forex markets than the stock market indices. They respond very well to technical analysis, whether it’s fibonacci levels, pivot points, or simply trend lines and basic levels of support and resistance, whereas the same cannot always be said about the indices because of how they are derived.