During a recent episode of the TV show, Aidan Doyle, host of ‘This Week in Forex” welcomes Barclays to NYC. Scheduled to open September 28, 2012, Barclays Center will showcase the world’s most thrilling entertainment and sports events, as well as being the new home of the Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team.
See the video clip to your right!
|Previous Day||Last Week||Last Month||Last Year|
|EUR/USD||1.2990||0.04 %||-0.54 %||4.68 %||-3.86 %|
|GBP/USD||1.6250||0.29 %||0.30 %||3.17 %||5.31 %|
|USD/JPY||78.2084||-0.08 %||0.40 %||-1.48 %||2.24 %|
|USD/CHF||0.9322||0.06 %||0.11 %||-3.71 %||2.89 %|
|USD/CAD||0.9755||-0.23 %||0.81 %||-1.20 %||-4.38 %|
|EUR/GBP||0.7995||-0.24 %||-0.83 %||1.47 %||-8.70 %|
|EUR/JPY||101.591||-0.04 %||-0.15 %||3.14 %||-1.70 %|
|GBP/JPY||127.082||0.20 %||0.69 %||1.64 %||7.66 %|
|EUR/CHF||1.2108||0.11 %||-0.44 %||0.81 %||-1.07 %|
Correction or reversal? That is the question we have to ask of the dollar’s performance this past week. With the close on Friday, the Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (ticker = USDollar) managed to close out its first bullish week in five. Yet, how long can sentiment hold out on the merits of these latest rounds of support? Is it the cumulative influence of previous rounds of external support that keeps risk up and the dollar down or is it the hope for more in the future?
- Dollar’s First Positive Close in Six Weeks Doesn’t Confirm Reversal
- Euro Lower Against All Crosses Last Week, More to Come?
- Australian Dollar Following Sentiment, China and Rates Outlook
- British Pound Wins a Late Drive, Leverages Longest Rally Since 2004
- Swiss Franc Nearly Three Weeks Off the EURCHF 1.2000 Floor
- Canadian Dollar Faces Event Risk, But How About Volatility?
- Gold Briefly Tests 7-Month High, Speculative Positioning Building
Dollar’s First Positive Close in Six Weeks Doesn’t Confirm Reversal
After a hearty round of selling, the dollar finally managed to bounce this past week. In fact, EURUSD closed out its first bearish week in six with the close below 1.3000. Yet, we need to look beyond the simple positive / negative performance and more to the character of the move. Though the greenback advanced, there was very little momentum from the currency or the risk aversion move that typically supports the safe haven. A better qualifying term for both investor sentiment and the currency would be ‘consolidation’ rather than ‘reversal’. Yet, given a recently expanded stimulus effort, extraordinarily low US yields and anemic speculative participation levels; a dollar rally requires clear risk aversion to build a trend.
Moving forward next week, the dollar will be in a highly unstable situation – at the extreme of a sharp selloff after fundamental drive has dried up. Though we could see the extension of congestion as we await heavier event risk in the opening weeks of October (NFPs, rate decisions, scheduled developments in the Eurozone crisis, the start of the 3Q earnings session, etc), it will be difficult to restrain risk barometers like the S&P 500 from build another head of momentum. Having likely peaked on global stimulus efforts this month, the greater and more portentous risk is a sudden selloff that stokes extremely low volatility measures and thereby throttles the dollar higher. However, calling reversals is always a risky business. It is better to find fundamental and technical confirmation for a dollar move (bullish or bearish) before committing to a trend trade.
Euro Lower Against All Crosses Last Week, More to Come?
Despite the euro’s standing in the risk spectrum and the points of progress in the region’s financial crisis fight, the currency suffered uniformly against its major counterparts this past week. Whether paired against the high-yield Australian dollar or the safe haven US dollar, the euro ended the week in the red last week. In a market where risk aversion is the dominant theme, a more critical group of FX traders could amplify their concerns in the euro’s persistent troubles. Yet, sentiment was more ‘flat line’ than dive. This consistency outside the narrow view of risk appetite – as well as the level of progress made in the euro’s selloff – is a clear sign of intrinsic fundamental weakness.
The normal culprits were still in force through the past week. Concerns about the stability of the sovereign debt market and banking sector feed into the general concern of the Euro-area crisis. If we were running on the ‘normal’ schedule of buying time through last minute rescue efforts, the euro would still be in the grace period following the ECB’s freshly promises Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program – a vow to buy unlimited government bonds of those countries that meet conditions for support until their yields are at ‘reasonable’ levels. Instead, doubt is creeping in to disrupt the passive rebound.
The most recent stage of the ongoing Greece rescue continues to be drawn out. According to officials, the coalition government has agreed on only €9.5 billion of the €11.5 billion budget cuts necessary to tap the next round of Troika funds. Beyond struggling to simply meet the spending cut requirements, there is a growing belief that the country will require a further write off on debt pulled in the first rescue program – a considerable escalation that speaks to the deep troubles the nation faces. Perhaps more market-moving for next week, however, will be the management of the Spanish portion of the region’s troubles. Spain is expected to present its 2013 Budget next Friday, the same day that the Bank of Spain is scheduled to release the delayed bank sector stress test results and Moody’s updates its review of the region’s debt. An ‘optimistic’ slant to this wave could prove damaging to the euro over the long run as it may delay an inevitable request for support from the ECB’s new program and leave the market’s to potentially drive yields higher again to force a last-minute (and less-effective) rescue.
Australian Dollar Following Sentiment, China and Rates Outlook
There are three leading fundamental drivers when it comes to directing the Australian dollar: risk appetite trends, yields forecasts (for its carry position) and China’s health (through growth and trade connections). Risk trends have meandered this past week and look murky heading through the immediate future. The 12-month rate forecast has found some level of balance between 80 and 100 bps worth of cuts which may find some alteration with the RBA financial stability report. More promising though are key Chinese growth readings on the docket.
British Pound Wins a Late Drive, Leverages Longest Rally Since 2004
GBPUSD was virtually doing little more than consolidation through much of this past week, until a notable rebound from Thursday to Friday closed out the period in the green. For those keeping track, that moves the weekly tally of bullish candles to seven – the longest series since December 2004. The markets abhor extremes. A correction is extremely likely, but it is a mild consolidation or aggressive retracement?
Swiss Franc Nearly Three Weeks Off the EURCHF 1.2000 Floor
It has been nearly three weeks since EURCHF left the 10-pip band above 1.2000. Once again, we have to ask whether this is a permanent trend change. Speculators were not the source of the SNB’s trouble for keeping a floor and neither are they likely the primary factor in keeping this cross buoyant. Instead, we should keep a close eye on the Euro-area crisis level. If funds start pouring out of the region for safety, back to 1.20.
Canadian Dollar Faces Event Risk, But How About Volatility?
There are a few, meaningful macro-economic indicators scheduled for release in Canada next week. The question is whether they will be market-moving. The July retail sales and GDP figures are good measures of growth – an important factor when we are drawing comparison to the United States and fellow ‘investment’ currencies. That said, USDCAD won’t like move on this data. The loonie-crosses are another story.
Gold Briefly Tests 7-Month High, Speculative Positioning Building
Gold managed a fifth consecutive, close-over-close bullish week. This is now the longest run since the market peaks back in September of last year. Yet, we before that seven-week run, we had a series of five-period moves that led to extremely tame corrections (in a much larger bull trend). With net speculative positioning (COT) at the highest level in six-months and ETF holdings at records, interest can offset stalled stimulus.
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Where you can also obtain a full list of upcoming event risk and past releases,
The Week ahead
Will Spain seek a bailout?
Another week has passed and the ECB’S OMT programme has yet to be triggered. The missing link is Spain. It continues to resist the pressure to make a formal request for funds. This is testing the markets’ patience, and caused some volatility in the Spanish bond market last week. However as we start a new week there is hope that Spain will apply for a bailout after reports on Friday that Spanish officials were in negotiations with the EU to come up with the conditions Spain would be expected to adhere to before they received bailout funds. Reports suggest that Madrid will only request funds if conditions are based on structural changes to its economy rather than more austerity cuts. There is a good chance that Spain could get what it wants, but only if it applies for a bailout in the coming weeks. If it waits until it has to apply for funds: it runs out of money and struggles to sell debt or pay its bond redemptions, then it could find that the European authorities are less willing to give Madrid what it wants. Thus, if Spain can agree with the EU a list of acceptable conditions in returns for funds then we could see Madrid apply for a bailout or provisional line of credit in the next week or so.
A sovereign bailout for Spain also has significance for the wider market as it would trigger the ECB’s OMT programme. Once this happens the ECB becomes a lender of last resort for the currency bloc. This is considered an important step to stabilising the sovereign crisis and if it happens then we may see Spanish bond yields fall sharply over the medium-term.
However, the sticky point is conditionality. We doubt that Spain will willingly accept more harsh austerity terms in return for a sovereign bailout. The government is losing popularity and there have been some violent protests in the streets in recent weeks protesting against cuts currently underway. Thus, it’s hard to see the electorate accepting more cuts. However, the European authorities may not want to give Spain a free ride as there is a good chance that it will miss its 2012 deficit target. The latest budget deficit data from Spain showed that Madrid’s budget deficit was 4% of GDP by July, or EU39.8bn, which suggests that a large overshoot of its 6.3% target for 2012 is possible.
Spain is the biggest concern for euro markets at the moment. If it applies for a bailout in the next couple of weeks we could see the single currency and euro-based assets start to rise, if we don’t then they could just as easily sell off sharply.
Let’s be clear: yesterday was a historic day for the Federal Reserve. In an unprecedented move, never before seen, the Fed announced an open-ended quantitative easing program, in which $40 billion of agency mortgage backed securities (MBS) will be purchased each month until the labor market recovers
With a significant upgrade to the Fed’s stimulus efforts (an effective means for devaluing currencies) and strong run in risk appetite trends this past week, the dollar suffered mightily. Yet, the experienced fundamental traders understand that trends cannot subsist on momentum itself.
Dollar Suffers Worst Week in 8 Months, Reversal Serious Possibility
- Euro Posts a Five Week Advance, We May Cross 1.30 Again Soon
- Japanese Yen: BoJ May Have to Keep Pace to Move USDJPY Above 80
- Australia Notably Rejected at 1.06 Despite Positive Risk Move
- British Pound Quietly Runs its Most Consistent Advance in Five Years
- New Zealand Dollar May Have Better Luck with GDP than RBNZ
- Gold Run Winded but More Capable of Overtaking 1800
Dollar Suffers Worst Week in 8 Months, Reversal Serious Possibility
With a significant upgrade to the Fed’s stimulus efforts (an effective means for devaluing currencies) and strong run in risk appetite trends this past week, the dollar suffered mightily. The greenback looks fully engaged in a bear trend that threatens to drive EURUSD back towards 1.3500 and accelerate AUDUSD’s move towards 1.1000. Yet, the experienced fundamental traders understand that trends cannot subsist on momentum itself. The further we extend a move, the greater the burden of support for keeping it moving. That is a problem when it comes to the dollar’s selloff. While the amplitude is high now, the catalysts’ influence can burn off quickly. And, when a market moves to far, too quickly without a corresponding justification for progress; the situation is very different. That is the makings of a volatile reversal situation.
Looking at the progress of the market’s this past week, we can tell that risk has been pushed to extreme levels on the back of (arguably expected) stimulus efforts. With the introduction of the Fed’s new $40 billion/month MBS program (QE3), we have an open-ended program that seems to support the lasting drive for risk that is needed to fill the considerable gap between market values and a questionable risk-reward condition. From the S&P 500 (my favored barometer of risk), the result is a push to four-year highs via the strongest back-to-back weekly rally since last October. Under these conditions, the need for safety diminishes. Naturally, the Dow Jones FXCM Dollar Index (ticker = USDollar) responds with a remarkable four-week tumble – the worst performance for the benchmark since January. For those keeping score that leverages the reversal from the June 1high to a 535 (5.2 percent) plunge.
In speculative markets, momentum often begets more momentum; but we have already pushed this drive (in risk and dollar-selling) to an extreme. To keep this pace requires participation – specifically those willing to buy into risk at already elevated prices. While the Federal Reserve’s presence in the market can provide a level of confidence, the assumption of greater yield / dividends doesn’t improve with the central bank’s presence. Even if QE3 proved highly successful (unlikely given it is targeted), the payoff would take considerable time. In the meantime, we remain fully dependent on the perception of extremely low levels of risk to justify holding overextended positions that tout little potential for return beyond capital gains. For now, the five-year low in the FX volatility index (CVIX) seems to offer grounding, but implied volatility cannot drop much further. And, if growth-weighed yields are unlikely to rise anytime soon and the Fed’s participation is priced in, we’re in a risky spot.
Euro Posts a Five Week Advance, We May Cross 1.30 Again Soon
Speaking of strong risk-based runs, the Euro has certainly added some heat to its rebound from multi-year lows back in July. Stimulus efforts have slowly built up the necessary influence to turn the shared currency. The turn began with the combination of extremely quiet market conditions (whereby prevailing trends temper) and Spain’s request for a bank bailout (back on July 20). Momentum has come with a fresh round of capital injection at the same time that speculative participation seems to be picking up again. With the ECB announcing a potentially unlimited bond purchase program (the OMT), investors are willing to look at flexibility that can provide a dynamic response to the next wave of pain. Furthermore, the Fed’s efforts bolster global confidence and undermine the euro’s top competitor for safe haven status.
With the right combination of market conditions, stimulus timing and struggle from counterparts, EURUSD has managed to tally a five-week rally and driving the pair’s recovery drive to over 1000 pips in less than two months. We have seen numerous five-week advances over the past seven years (one instance of six), and nearly everyone has seen at least a modest correction. For a fundamental impetus, we only need to look at the disproportionate level of trust of a truly skeptical market in another bid to buy time. Don’t be surprised to see 1.30 again soon.
Japanese Yen: BoJ May Have to Keep Pace to Move USDJPY Above 80
Risk appetite was firmly in control through the final part of this past week. Naturally, the market’s favorite funding currency would suffer under these conditions, but that doesn’t explain the USDJPY’s performance. Despite the Fed’s pledge to keep rates near zero until 2015, the pair is just below 80. Is this an appreciation of long-term fundamentals or perhaps fear that the BoJ may join ranks with flexible monetary policy?
Australia Notably Rejected at 1.06 Despite Positive Risk Move
You can’t help but notice the contrast. Where the S&P 500 was ascending multi-year highs and EURUSD reflected a troubled currency taking advantage of a renowned safe haven, AUDUSD was knocked back from notable resistance around 1.6000. With risk on and the RBA rate forecast improving, you’d expect this pair to lead the pack. This hesitance warrants caution not just for the Aussie, but for risk in general.
British Pound Quietly Runs its Most Consistent Advance in Five Years
Aggressive runs for the euro, dollar and equities are very distracting. Yet, we shouldn’t let a lack of volatility distract us from the most remarkable performance amongst the majors. GBPUSD has advanced now for six consecutive weeks. The last time that has happened was five years ago – back when the pair was trading a record highs. This makes this particularly remarkable is the sterling has little fundamental drive of its own.
New Zealand Dollar May Have Better Luck with GDP than RBNZ
Despite RBNZ Governor Bollard’s softening stance on the need for higher rates for the foreseeable future (at least until the end of his term that is), the kiwi has notably outperformed its Australian counterpart. That is particularly notable during a risk-on market phase that prizes yield over stability. Yet, to keep moving, fundamental support is needed to keep the advantage. Perhaps the 2Q GDP figures can provide.
Gold Run Winded but More Capable of Overtaking 1800
Overtaking 1800 next week depends on whether gold needs dramatic stimulus shocks to keep posting progress or if it can simply advance under slow but persistent efforts to devalue currencies. The Fed and ECB have laid the framework to deflate the value of their fiats, but how much more alternative store of wealth is their needed? Gold is expensive, but inflation is a lasting threat now. The market’s vote starts at 1800.
The Week Ahead
There was some thrilling action in financial markets last week. In the last 10 days EURUSD is up 600 points, the S&P 500 is comfortably above 1,450 and Brent crude oil is testing $117 per barrel and may test $120 in the coming days. The chief drivers have been stimulative monetary policies from the Federal Reserve in the US and the European Central Bank in the Eurozone. Both banks have pledged “unlimited” support to sort out their respective problems and for the first time since the financial crisis broke out in 2008 the Fed and the ECB have said they won’t stop until the problems are solved. This is aggressive action from the world’s most important central banks and the markets like it.
Looking at the Fed first, its QE3 programme will purchase $40bn per month of mortgage backed securities until the unemployment rate drops to a level acceptable to the Fed. The Fed did not state what this level was, but we believe it could be somewhere south of 7%. On the surface this looks like the Fed has left itself open to an unlimited liability on its balance sheet, which is dollar negative. But if the economy picks up and the unemployment rate starts to fall then the Fed may halt QE3. The Fed is trying to do two things with QE3: 1, anchor its latest round of unconventional policy to the performance of the economy and 2, reduce long-term interest rates even further. The Fed also pledged to keep interest rates between 0-0.25% until 2015 and is extending its Operation Twist programme.
|Ecuador US dollar||
|Peru new sol||
|Venezuela b. fuerte||
|Hong Kong dollar||
|New Zealand dollar||
|South Korea won||
|Czech Rep. koruna||
|Euro area euro||
|Saudi Arabia riyal||
|South Africa rand||
US TRADING DAYS
To understand how to trade currency pairs, one must understand opportune times to trade, the opportune times to either earn profit or lose and the oportune times to exit and enter the market. Currency pairs and I mean all currency pairs will not move unless a reason exists for them to move. So to understand when pairs move, whether they will move up or down will help to understand how this market functions. I begin with the United States trading day but understand this accounts for one market. How pairs trade in other markets is quite another story. We begin with the 6:00 a.m. hour.
Why 6:00 a.m. A United States trading day begins at 6:00 a.m. because that is the end of the British Bankers Association Libor release in which all currencies of the major nations are individually priced in the overseas markets. Libor is the London Interbank Offered Rate with the key word Interbank. Libor is a bank to bank transaction so what is transacted is a deposit rate. It may be called generally an interest rate but the proper term is deposit rate. Why this is important for the US is a deposit rate is now established for the US market. This deposit rate must then transfer to market prices since US markets are not yet opened for trading at the 6:00 a.m. time. Knowing the deposit rate ahead of market openings alerts to how markets will trade, up or down and alerts to whether open positions can run longer or a bail out is needed at the market open. It all depends on the direction of US deposit rates.
Economic Announcements. Most important economic announcements are released at 8:30 a.m. before the market opens because of the sensitivity of these announcements. Here is a time to profit or lose and here is where deposit rates may change up or down when the market opens. It all depends if the announcement was positive or negative for the US.
Market Open. The Libor deposit rate must now be priced in the market and is seen first in Treasury Bonds and Treasury Yields and then transfers to other financial instruments such as options, swaps, forwards, stocks.
10:00 a.m. Minor economic announcements are released at the 10:00 a.m. hour but so is the formal market Fix of the Libor deposit rate. At the 10:00 a.m. hour, the formal Libor Deposit rate is transferred and fixed/priced to the United States banking deposit rate for the day. Much volatility occurs during the 10:00 a.m. hour so its a chance to profit or lose.
11:30 a.m. European markets close and a dangerous time to trade because European interest rates change which means more volatility may hit the market.
2:00 p.m. Treasury markets close at the CME so positions must be decided at this point. Decided means a decision must be made to hold or to sell positions. One reason to hold may be to gain interest when rollover interest is credited to accounts at 5:00 p.m. Positions in the money will see positive interest credited to accounts on a per lot basis. A day trader wil sell positions at the 2:00 hour especially if those positions are profitable if they don’t wish to hold until the 5:00 p.m. rollover time.
Hope this post was helpful.
PIPS– Percentage Interest Point
Currency pair prices move continuously in the markets but those moves in changing prices are so small they are termed pips or formally known as percentage interest point. This term was invented to represent the smallest moves of currency pair prices. Comsider, if a currency pair moves 100 points or pips that move equates to 1 penny so a term was needed to define smaller moves in currency pair prices smaller than a penny.
All currency pairs are aligned as either 0.9987 or 1.9675. This alignment represents an exchange rate between two nations. To determine pip values, look at the last two numbers in the exchange rate. For example, if the EUR/USD is quoted at 1.2650 then moves to 1.2640, the EUR/USD moved down 10 pips. If the EUR/USD was quoted at 1.2650 and moved to 1.2660, the EUR/USD moved up 10 pips.
The only pair among the widely traded pairs that doesn’t follow the 4 decimal place rule is the Japanese Yen. The Japanese Yen is quoted to two decimal places. A Japanese yen pair is quoted as 79.56 as an example and looks like this USD/JPY 79.56. If USD/JPY is quoted at 79.56 and moves to 79.66, USD/JPY moved up 10 pips. If USD/JPY was quoted at 79.56 and moves to 79.46, the pair moved down 10 pips.
A 100 pip move up or down for Yen pairs still equates to 1 penny. The market term for a 1 penny move in any pair is Big Figure or slang, big fig.
The value of a pip depends on the type of lot traded. A standard lot equates to control of 100,000 currencies so each pip equals 1/100ths of a point, one full basis point or $10 per pip. That is factored as 0.0001 X 100,000 to equal $10 per pip.
A mini lot equates to control of 10,000 currencies so 0.0001 X 10,000 =$1per pip.
The new Micro lots are equal to 0.10, 10 cents per pip.
To factor exchange rates, divide dollar values by the exchange rate. For example, USD/CHF exchange rate =1.0570 divided by $10.00=$9.46 per pip. That is the payout in US Dollar terms against the Swiss Franc based on one standard lot.
If an exchange rate was aligned as EUR/USD where USD is in the second position then divide follar values by the exchange rate to determine dollar value payouts. USD in the second position will generally have a higher payout than USD in the first position.
Hope you enjoyed this lesson.