Tag Archives: forex trades

Selling EUR/USD at 1.3766

I have been on the sidelines and lacking conviction for the past two weeks.

First, I was expecting the US economy to fall harder and faster. More importantly, the Merkozy ‘promise to deliver a plan’ on Oct. 10 generated a 500 pip rally that left me scratching my

The headline risk surrounding this Sunday’s EU Summit became enormous. Yesterday’s Guardian article saying “France and Germany have reached agreement to boost the eurozone’s rescue fund to €2tn (£1.75tn) as part of a “comprehensive plan” to resolve the sovereign debt crisis.”

Aside from the numerous examples of bad grammar in this story (reached agreement?) there has been a wave of denials that has me convinced this story is bunk. The nail in the coffin was a WSJ report saying a bond insurance plan would be illegal under Europe’s no-bailout clause.

In addition, expectations are being ratcheted down for European bank recapitalization. The Greek bailout is fully expected but disappointing periphery growth is not.

It’s very difficult for me to price in what’s expected from the European Summit but betting against European policymakers has been the best trade of the year. Merkel and Finland’s PM today tried to scale back expectations but the market isn’t listening.

In addition, sentiment data remains negative. I’m a big believer in the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey as a leading indicator. Last week, it was once again near a 30-year low and the lowest non-recessionary level ever.

I see two possible trading outcomes from this weekend’s summit. Outcome 1: Discord, disagreement or disarray. Outcome 2: an agreement that falls short of expectations or becomes impossible to implement.

In Outcome 2, we may see the euro rally on the news. I believe this will be short-lived and an incredible opportunity to sell.

My plan is to sell EUR/USD now with a stop at 1.3936. It’s a wide stop, at almost 180 pips but I’m targeting a drop back to 1.32 – a 560 pip reward. I’m also prepared to add to this trade in the high 1.38s.


Trade Review: AUD/CAD (+311 pips)

Entered AUD/CAD long at 1.0248 on 12 Aug added on Aug 15 at 1.0295. Exited 23 Aug (+147 pips) at 1.0395 and 30 Aug (+164 pips) at 1.0459. Result: +311 pips.

Entered with a stop at 1.01 and a target of 1.05. Greatest open loss: 80 pips Greatest open gain: 340 pips.

Technicals were the primary driver for a long AUD/CAD entered on Aug. 12. The weekly chart caught my attention due to the dragonfly reversal. I also noted how rate hikes were overpriced in Canada.

My full reasoning was here

I noted that my next best idea was short CHF/JPY and that would have also been an excellent trade that was never in a negative position and gained as much as 600 pips in the same time frame.

After the break of 1.03 on Aug 14, we waited for a pullback and doubled our long position at 1.0295.

On Aug. 17 we noted there was no reason to take profits but the pair went on to post its worst one-day performance of the trade, falling 100 pips.

Despite this, we remained confident and felt a bounce to 1.03 (at least) was about to happen.

We went back to the weekly chart on Friday and it continued to look lucrative.

On Aug 22 we were rewarded with a surge to 1.04. We accurately saw this as a great time to take some profits. This allowed us to hang onto the second part of the trade for an additional 60 pips (above where we sold the first unit).

What I’ve learned: I may have rushed into buying the second unit after the break of 1.03. As we saw, there was a deeper pullback than I anticipated and this was the only time I was nervous about the trade. I targeted 1.05 so I may have exited the trade too soon. The weekly chart looks like it will get to at least 1.0550 but I’m nitpicking at a great trade.


What I’m happy about: Lots. I saw a lucrative pattern on a weekly chart and hung onto the trade for close to three weeks. The thing I’m most proud of is the way I sold the first part of the trade at the perfect time, nearly nailing the top on the bounce over 1.04 and locking in a nice profit that allowed me to easily wait out the next run toward the ultimate target. Opening a trade with two units or adding a second unit early on is my favourite manner of trading because it gives me this flexibility. I’m also pretty happy about noting that short CHF/JPY was my second favourite idea.









Sold AUD/CAD at 1.0459 (+164 pips)

We’ve wrapped up a great AUD/CAD trade by taking profits on the second part at 1.0459 for a gain of 164 pips. We sold the first part on Aug. 23 for a gain of 147 pips. The combined net gain of the trade was 311 pips. For those with interest earning accounts, this trade would have also provided positive carry for 18 days.

This was our only trade of the month and we loved every minute of it. We avoided the volatility elsewhere and were holding a profitable position nearly every day.

The trade was based on the weekly chart that we posted here and at chart.ly. We pointed out the dragonfly reversal and a noted that it pointed to a re-test of 1.05.

AUD/CAD reached as high as 1.0480 yesterday and has been up for four consecutive days. We may see another 40-60 pips of immediate upside in this trade but we’re now growing more bearish about the global economy and are looking to put on some trades reflecting that. We expect to see some sort of spike higher in risk trades followed by a reversal in the next day our two. Follow @FX_Button for all the trades.

I want to let this trade sink in and I will have a full review with charts tomorrow.


GBP/USD Breaks Out

Cable broke out on Tuesday. In yesterday’s post, we noted that we thought the bias was to the upside, despite the resistance around 1.6475. When that level broke, the pair rallied more than 100 pips. We talked about buying at 1.6500 and perhaps some of you did, but we did not have a buy order in play.


The reason we didn’t have a buy order is because we hoped the pair would come back and re-test 1.6475. It’s an effect called ‘buyer’s remorse’ where the pair will re-test a breakout level. This is generally where we like to pickup breakouts. Sometimes we miss the trade but it diminishes the number of false breakouts.


With cable trading at 1.6513 at the moment, we are getting an itchy trigger finger. What’s making us hesitant is that we have had 5 consecutive days of gains in the currency that we believe holds a heavy short interest. The weekly IMM data from the CFTC shows GBP is the only currency held short against the USD. That could mean we have been experiencing a short-covering rally. If that’s the case, it’s probably running out of gas and could reverse.


Ideally, we would like to see a day or two of consolidation with the pair generally holding above 1.6450. This would relieve somewhat overbought conditions and give us the confidence to aggressively buy. At the moment, we’re going to wait, watch and stay disciplined.


Our AUD/CAD trade was up more than 200 pips on Tuesday but has pulled back to 1.0312, which is still 60 pips above our first unit and 20 pips above the portion we added on Monday. We will stay patient but might trim some of our exposure on a close below 1.0296. We are still very confident in this trade and like how the technicals have progressed.


July Trade Review: AUD/USD (+92 pips)

Entered AUD/USD at 1.0950 on 26 July. Exited July 26 at 1.1042. Result: +92 pips

AUDUSD trade analysis July 26
AUD/USD 30 minute, July 26

Entered with no stop. Greatest open loss: 15 pips Greatest open gain: 110 pips

Sometimes a trade that is bought minutes or hours ahead of data looks whimsical but when it’s good, it’s often because it was set-up long beforehand.

I entered this trade because I became bullish Australian dollar after the RBA minutes on July 18 (my analysis here).

I became further convinced AUD/USD was going higher due to the breakout of the triple-top at 1.0789 on July 21.

AUDUSD tweet 21 Jul
Follow @FX_Button

I was waiting for a pullback but I knew that I wanted to be long into the decision. At the same time, it was risky to be holding USD positions because of debt ceiling talks and volatility in markets so I minimized those risks by buying hours before the decision on the bottom end of the recent range.

“We’re sure that the record of 1.1012 will fall,” we wrote.

What I should have known better: If I would have thought harder and prepared better, I would have realized what the break above resistance at 1.0789 was forecasting and been ready to buy on the pullback to 1.0800. I also left some pips on the table by covering perhaps too quickly. Eco data is always somewhat unpredictable, so I should have used a stop, even though I was watching the decision.

What I’m happy about: The fundamentals and technicals aligned and I jumped at the opportunity. What’s better than that?


July Trade Review: AUD/USD (+108 pips)

Entered AUD/USA short at 1.0735 on July 4. Exited July 18 at 1.0627. Result: +108 pips

AUD/USD daily July 2011
AUD/USD daily July 2011

Entered with stop at 1.0800 (65 pips). Greatest open loss: 54 pips Greatest open gain: 210 pips

I entered this trade ahead of the RBA decision on July 4. I expected a dovish statement and explained why in a post RBA Will Remain on the Sidelines, AUD Vulnerable  “The Australian dollar is likely to fall if policymakers do not take strong incremental steps toward future rate hikes,” I wrote. “The market is still hanging on to the idea that the RBA could hike in August but we see it as a long shot.”

I wanted to be short USD on July 18 so I exited the trade. Then the RBA minutes were more hawkish than I expected. I wrote this before exiting the trade RBA Minutes Disappoint Doves “What sounded like worries about employment and growth in the statement, read more like a simple adjusting of time frames in the minutes,” I wrote, noting that a high CPI reading late in July could put rate hikes back on the table.” Later in the month I used this perspective and I made money on AUD/USD longs.

What I should have known better: Not much. I could have booked a nicer profit on July 11 but I wasn’t prepared (see my trades in NZD/JPY and NZD/CHF for more).

What I’m happy about: This is what I do best – trades based mostly on fundamentals with some technical underpinnings. I entered the trade ahead of a fundamental event and left the trade as soon as the fundamentals changed. I also didn’t get shaken out by the nearly 300 pip rally on July 11-12.


July Trade Review: NZD/JPY (-26 pips)

Entered NZDJPY at 66.68 on 30 June. Exited July 29 at 66.92. Result: -26 pips

NZD, JPY, Chart
NZD/JPY May-July Daily

I entered this trade at the same time as my short NZD/JPY trade. I wanted to be short the carry trade at a time I thought stocks were overbought with many risks on the horizon. The stops were wide and this was meant to be a position that could last a month (which it did).

What I should have known better: Similar to NZDCHF, I was away from my computer on July 11 and did not have a T/P order in. While I had a few days to still book a great profit in NZDCHF, this pair rebounded quickly to a loss. Still, it was an amateur mistake.

What I’m happy about: I wasn’t too concerned about the initial loss as I was willing to eat some pips in expectation that I would eventually be in the money. I’m very happy about the way I exited this trade. Sentiment was hurting due to weak GDP data, debt ceiling worries and downgrade worries but the S&P 500 bounced off the 200dma so I covered quickly and shrewdly for a manageable loss.


July Trade Review: NZD/CHF (-1 pip)

NZDCHF trade analysis FXButton
NZD/CHF daily May-Aug

 Entered NZDCHF short at 69.67 on 30 June. Exited  July 25 at 69.68. Result: -1 pip

This was one of two trades I entered in late June with wide stops. The reasoning was: 1) expectations of rising risk aversion. 2) Hikes overpriced from RBNZ. 3) Slowing in China. 4) Run-up beginning June 26 was overdone.

This trade went against me initially but I remained confident even when I was holding a loss of more than 100 pips. The 300 pip swing in my favour into July 11 was exactly what I was hoping for and it was precisely when all the reasons I entered the trade coalesced. The reason I didn’t get out of the trade with a large profit is quite sad… I wasn’t at my computer on July 11 and didn’t have a limit trade in place. At the very least, I should have lowered my stop to where I entered the trade, to lock in a profit.

What I’m happy about: The thesis for my trade was correct and I didn’t get shaken out early. I held the trade until it got back to my entry level.

What I should have known better: the T/P levels should have been ready. If not, I still had LOTS of time to get out with a 125+ pip profit from July 11-18. I stole a tie from the jaws of victory here.


Buy USD on Debt Ceiling Resolution, RBNZ Holds

Not long ago, Geithner was pronouncing the US would never lose its top rating but now the market is in the process of pricing in a downgrade. The S&P 500 fell 2% to 1305 on Wednesday and is the process of putting in its worst weekly performance in almost a year. The consensus is that the US dollar will continue to fall but it may not be as straight-forward as advertised. A continued decline in the stock market will provide a safe-haven boost to the USD as will higher bond yields. The resulting slowdown in the US economy may also weigh more heavily on Canada with risks to the other commodity producers and the economies most tied to US consumption.

At the moment, the situation is looking dire but what’s has been lost is that DEBT CEILING NEGOTIATIONS ARE MAKING PROGRESS. Boehner is reworking his proposal and appears to have his own party on board. Reid is also looking for additional cuts in order to satisfy the dollar-for-dollar demands from Republicans. The sides now don’t appear all that far apart and we estimate a 75% probability that will we have the framework for an agreement before markets close on Friday.

This will present the opportunity for a significant relief rally in the time between the passage of the legislation and decisions about the credit rating. There’s also the distinct possibility that the ratings agencies don’t have the courage to downgrade the US. Based on this, there is room for a bounce in USD/CHF and USD/JPY — both may have stabilized and at oversold levels.

We will enter longs in both these trades ASAP. Follow @FX_Button  on Twitter for live updates

THE RBNZ HELD RATES AT 2.50% as expected and Bollard said the economy grew more strongly than expected. The central bank leader telegraphed an upcoming rate hike by saying there is little need for the 50 bps March “insurance” rate cut to remain “much longer”. The market has priced in 100 bps in hikes in the next 12 months but nothing beyond 50 bps is guaranteed. Bollard may have done a good job talking down NZD by nothing that if the currency’s strength persists, it will reduce the need for rate hikes.


USD/JPY Set for a Breakdown, Be Long AUD/USD

It’s getting more difficult to avoid insults and hyperbole when describing the debt ceiling imbroglio. Surely you haven’t stumbled here looking for a recap of the day’s news so I’ll spare you the exercise save for a few thoughts. 1) On Tuesday it actually appeared that debt ceiling talks were moving backwards. 2) the real deadline is around Aug. 15. 3) We estimate the likelihood of a downgrade from S&P, Moody’s or Fitch at 70%. 4) the US looks increasingly to be on the precipice of another recession.

We remain short USD/JPY. We booked a 120 pip profit on the first leg of the trade and we’re up 51 pips on the second leg (entered at 78.46). We’re moving our stop down to our entry on the second leg, ensuring that we’re now trading with house money. We really like this position right now and if we were a tad more greedy we would be adding to it. It looks to us like there might be a sharp breakdown below 77.75.

Our latest trade is in AUD/USD which is hovering around 1.0950. It’s going higher. Four days ago on Twitter (July 21) with AUD/USD at 1.0830, we wrote “Beautiful breakout in AUD/USD. That will be testing 1.10.” We’ve climbed 120 pips since then and we’re sure that the record of 1.1012 will fall. The catalyst is going to be a high Q2 CPI reading (above 0.8% q/q on the trimmed mean) today. We are buying AUD/USD asap with the announcement coming on Twitter via @FX_Button. We will hold it until the news turns better on debt ceiling talks.