Trading Strategies Based on Geopolitical Risks


Understanding the influence of geopolitical events on trading is crucial for success, especially in the volatile forex market. This article delves into the types of geopolitical events that affect financial markets and provides key insights into risk management and strategic trading during such times.

Understanding Geopolitical Events

Geopolitical events refer to significant occurrences that impact the relations between nations on a global scale. These events can shape economic policies, trade relations, and international alliances, thereby exerting a considerable influence on financial markets.

Types of Geopolitical Events

These are the most common types of geopolitical events:

Political Elections and Transitions

Elections, whether presidential, parliamentary, or local, are pivotal events that can induce market volatility. For instance, the US Presidential election can affect not just American markets but also international equity, forex, and commodity markets.

Trade Negotiations and Agreements

Trade talks can either ease or escalate tensions between countries. A case in point is the US-China trade war, which impacted a variety of asset classes, from equities to commodities like soybeans and steel.

Military Conflicts and Terrorism

Military confrontations or acts of terrorism have immediate and often lasting impacts on markets. The uncertainty that follows such events tends to drive investors towards safe-haven assets like gold or US Treasury bonds.

Economic Sanctions and Policy Changes

Sanctions or regulatory changes have a far-reaching impact. For example, the imposition of sanctions on Iran led to increased oil prices due to reduced global supply.

The Role of Sentiment and Market Psychology

Beyond the tangible impacts of geopolitical events, sentiment and market psychology play crucial roles in shaping market trends. Traders' perceptions and emotional responses to these events can significantly influence asset prices, often amplifying or mitigating the effects of the actual geopolitical occurrences.

Preparing for Geopolitical Event Trading

Here are some techniques that can help traders prepare for geopolitical events.

Risk Assessment and Strategy Selection

Accurately assessing the risks of geopolitical events is pivotal for traders. This involves a thorough evaluation of the event’s potential market impact and selecting a trading strategy aligned with the identified risks. Some may opt for low-risk day trading strategies to mitigate short-term volatility while still participating in market movements.

Building a Geopolitical Event Trading Toolkit

Keeping an eye on reliable research sources and news feeds is crucial. These sources offer insights into the geopolitical landscape, aiding traders in making calculated moves. Economic calendars serve as another invaluable tool, marking crucial dates that could influence asset prices.

Risk Management and Capital Allocation

Effective risk management strategies in the stock market often involve setting precise stop-loss and take-profit levels. In forex, risk management techniques may differ slightly but generally rely on these same measures. Defining these levels helps to mitigate losses while capitalising on gains. Equally important is the concept of position sizing and leveraging, which directly influences the level of risk a trader is exposed to.

Event-Driven Trading

In a trading environment rife with geopolitical risk, trading strategies typically focus on three crucial timeframes: before, during, and after a significant geopolitical event.

Trading Leading Up to the Event

In the run-up to a known geopolitical occurrence, traders often adopt a cautious stance. Here, the emphasis is on accumulating information and adjusting trading strategy to mitigate undue risks. Asset diversification and hedging are common practices during this period.

Trading the Event Itself

As the event unfolds, market volatility usually spikes. Traders need to be agile, adapting their strategies to real-time information. High-risk, high-reward assets may provide substantial returns, but they should be approached cautiously, especially in forex markets where volatility is already high. Here, strong risk management when trading forex becomes crucial, as the market can move rapidly and unexpectedly.

Post-Event Trading Strategies

After the event concludes, markets often go through a period of correction or consolidation. It's essential for traders to reevaluate their positions and strategies in light of the new geopolitical landscape. This post-event period is an opportune time to reassess asset allocation and risk parameters.

Trading Strategies for Geopolitical Events

In the tumultuous landscape created by geopolitical events, traders often resort to specific strategies to mitigate risks and capitalise on market movements. The particular assets that appreciate or depreciate can be context-dependent, but there are general trends to watch for.

To observe how these markets move during geopolitical events, head over to FXOpen’s free TickTrader platform. There, you’ll find 1,200+ trading tools ready to help you navigate the markets with confidence.

Safe-Haven Assets

Traditionally, assets like gold and US Treasury bonds have served as safe havens during times of geopolitical unrest. For example, significant military conflicts that have a global impact often drive up gold prices as investors seek stability.

Safe-Haven Currencies

In the forex risk management, the US dollar, Swiss franc, and Japanese yen are commonly considered safe-haven currencies. These currencies typically appreciate when uncertainty rises as investors look for less risky assets.


Maintaining a diversified portfolio can help traders lessen their exposure to any single asset that might be adversely affected by geopolitical factors. For instance, sanctions on oil-producing countries could potentially lead to higher oil prices. Traders might consider investing in oil futures or related equities in anticipation of such an event.

The Bottom Line

Navigating the markets during geopolitical events requires keen awareness, thorough preparation, and strategic execution. This article aims to equip traders with the insights and tools needed for such endeavours. For those looking to apply these principles in a real-world trading environment, consider opening an FXOpen account to trade the safe-haven assets and currencies discussed here.

This article represents the opinion of the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand only. It is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation with respect to products and services provided by the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand, nor is it to be considered financial advice.

Latest from Trader’s Tools

What Is a BTST Strategy, and How Does One Trade It? What Is the Gold/Silver Ratio, and How Do Traders Use It? What Is the Wolfe Wave, and How Can You Trade It? Analytical XRP Price Forecasts: What Are the Expectations for 2024-2030? What Is a Liquidity Sweep and How Can You Use It in Trading?

Latest articles


Tech Stocks Back in Vogue as Nasdaq 100 Rallies to Record High

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index (US Tech 100 mini on FXOpen’s TickTrader platform) reached a new all-time high on Monday, closing the trading session at 18,684.2 according to FXOpen pricing, fueled by renewed investor enthusiasm for technology


Gold Price Reaches Historic High

According to confirmed information, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, considered a potential successor to the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, died in a helicopter crash in a mountainous area near the border with Azerbaijan. The helicopter also carried Foreign Minister

Forex Analysis

Commodity Currencies Retreat from Local Highs

Despite the cooling labour market in the US and declining inflation, the American currency continues to move towards new highs. For instance, the USD/JPY currency pair might update the current month's high at 156.70, the NZD/USD sharply

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.