Commodity Currencies – Trade Up

In case you haven’t noticed  – commodity currencies are strong across the board this morning. The Kiwi , Loonie as well the Aussie all making reasonable moves upward against nearly everything under the sun.

Generally associated with “risk” I do find it interesting that these currencies are exhibiting relative strength a short 24 hours ahead of the Fed’s Announcement. Further “blurring” the markets expectations of a “modest taper”, a “super taper” ( highly unlikely ) or no taper at all , seeing these currencies on the move could be perceived a couple of ways.

  •  Ramp job into tomorrow’s announcement ( with consideration/expectation of “selling at higher levels”) and selling the news.
  • Heightened expectations that “everything is gonna be just fine” and money flowing into these currencies early.

Unfortunately it requires “speculation” as to which way things are gonna go tomorrow as the market isn’t “giving it away” that easily. Low volume is also a contributing factor as price moves are exaggerated.

The Kiwi in particular is on a real tear this morning but “just now” bumping into its resistance zone.

I’ve stopped out on a couple of scalps from the night prior, as I’ve no intention of holding anything “for fun” under the current market conditions. JPY longs are a long-term hold regardless, and I’m out of all USD related pairs, more or less 85% cash – looking for entry after Wednesday’s announcement.


Old School Correlations – Late Night Thoughts

I’ve been watching the market like a hawk these past 2 days.

I’d spotted the weakness in USD, then in turn the Japanese “Nikkei” pushing up to its prior level of resistance…then it’s rejection, discussed the likelihood of the Japanese Yen (JPY) taking on strength in times of “risk aversion”, and just in the last few hours suggested that commodity currencies are under pressure.

I’ve taken on the “insanity trade”, and have been actively posting just about everything I can ( here and via Twitter, Google+, Linkedin and Facebook) over the past 48 hours as to what I’m looking at – and what I’m up to.

So what the hell  – here’s another nugget.

I’ve exited all “USD short” positions, and am currently looking at “risk off” type positioning via “long JPY” ideas, as well a couple other “crafty variations on risk” short AUD as well NZD.

The one variable I’d not really not “nailed down” this time around, was weather or not USD would “fall along side risk aversion” ( as it has several times these past 2 quarters ) OR if the old school correlation of “risk off = USD up” might rear its ugly head once again.

Global “risk aversion” WILL have USD as well JPY shoot for the moon as “safety is sought” on a macro / awesome / unbelievable / nut bar / chaotic / monumental level – while “risk is sold” in equal fashion.

I’m pleased to be free of any USD related trades, and almost hate to say it but…….we “could” ( and I do say “could” ) be close.

Kong “debating long” USD.

JPY pairs are most certainly rolling over here as suggested with Nikkei making it’s daily “swing high”. Commods look weak so that’s pretty much a given trade. What remains to be seen is where we fit the good ol US of D. My “hunch”? – We’ll have to wait a day for that.

Gold And Silver – Manipulation Explained

If you’re having trouble accepting the general idea that the U.S Federal Reserve will continue its assault on the U.S Dollar ( devaluing USD providing considerable relief to the current government debt obligations) then I can’t imagine you’ll be particularly thrilled with the following breakdown on gold and silver.

There is no greater enemy to the Fed than a rising price in gold or silver.

Against a backdrop of such extreme money printing and currency devaluation in the U.S, if left to reflect its true value” (as we’ve seen with respect to the price of gold priced in Yen)  the price of gold would now be significantly higher – and I mean SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER than we see reflected in the current “paper market”.

When ever Uncle Ben gets nervous about the price creeping higher, he simply calls his buddies at JP Morgan, sends them a couple suitcases of freshly printed U.S toilet paper and POOF!

JP Morgan piles in even further “short” (via naked short contracts placed at the CME / COMEX) and the “paper price” continues to flounder/move lower. Ben keeps printing useless fiat paper – and the continued “illusion of prosperity” runs across televisions country-wide.

As I understand it ( and please forgive me if I’m way off ) there is considerably more silver/gold current sold “short” than physical / actual metal currently “above ground” on the entire planet Earth, and as informed investors now look to take “actual delivery” of the physical as opposed to just “trading in the paper market” we are about to see some serious fireworks.

Many heavy hitters have already suggested that The Comex may soon be looking at default. (CME Group is the largest futures exchange in the world. Many commodities, of which gold is one, are traded on this exchange. The gold exchange – which is often still referred to as the Comex, its original name prior to being bought by the CME – is the largest gold exchange by volume in the world).

Take it for what it’s worth as JP Morgan is now under investigation by the FBI and other authorities – this all may fall into the category of “conspiracy theory” if one chooses to just bury their head in the sand. 

Your head would absolutely spin if we jump up another “rung on the ladder” to discuss the London Bullion Markets, The Bank of International Settlements and The Fractional Gold System – let alone where China fits in.

Big Price Moves On Low Volume – How?

If you think about price itself being the “mind” of the market – consider that “volume” is the heart.

Try to think about volume as the amount of people behind a given move, or even the “emotional excitement” (or lack there of) surrounding  moves in a given asset. Volume measures the level of commitment in a move, and lets you know how many people are behind it.

When an asset makes a considerable move in price on very low volume ( as USD has now done over the past two “holiday” days ) we deduce that very few traders /investors  are actually involved (relatively speaking) – and that the movement lacks the commitment one would like to see when looking for momentum.

Simply put – if there are only buyers (and in this instance to “few” sellers) an asset can make considerable leaps in price with little actual participation. One could argue that on low volume days markets aren’t exactly balanced, so it’s not at all uncommon to see dramatic movements in price – even though fewer people are actually involved. Counter intuitive yes. Glad you’ve now got it under your belt? Excellent.

A valued reader asked me just today,  if I was considering throwing in the towel on my USD shorts. A valid question considering the giant leap in price we’ve seen here today. Hopefully,  now that you as well have the ability to factor “volume” into your analysis – you’ll be able to ride out a couple of these instances and stick to your guns / trust your instincts and not let the market push you around.

All good in Kingdom Kong – I haven’t even blinked.

Have a great weekend everyone.



Carry Trade And Aussie – Explained

You’re learning about currencies….you’re seeing the impact in markets – you’re having some fun. Who knows? Perhaps a few of you are even getting in there and placing a trade or two – good for you.

An important distinction to make when trading currencies, is to understand what “role” they play in the global economy “aside” from their normal function as a “token of value” in the given country of origin.

We all use money – yes…..but big banks use money in entirely different ways. Ways that can affect global markets regardless of “who” or “where”. I’ve mentioned the Carry Trade many, many times and encouraged you to read up  – as it is the most basic and simple example of how banks use “your savings” behind the computers and digital printouts – in order to generate massive profits. You don’t honestly think the money is just sitting there in a vault do you?

Banks ( as well Kong) utilize cash on hand to fund ventures via many foreign exchange strategies in order to turn profit. You are happy to see the printout on your stub when you check the balance – while your actual money is likely being put to work….far, far away in some foreign land.

Simply put – If I can walk in a bank in Japan and borrow money at next to “zero” % interest – then take that money and invest it in Australia where even the base savings account rate is 2.75% – boom – Carry Trade on.

So….the Aussie. The Australian economy has flourished over past years and in turn has been able to offer a considerably higher rate of return on savings than many other countries. So in times of “risk on” money flows to the Aussie like the Ganges River! As big banks ( and Kong) borrow low yielding currencies ( JPY and USD ) and purchase those that offer better returns. Simple as that.

Unfortunately we’ve got a problem here though. Australia is currently in its own “easing period” and has plans to further lower its interest rates ( as Japan as well the U.S has ) in order to keep the economy moving. This puts pressure on Carry traders with the knowledge that the Aussie will continue to “cramp this trade” as it continues to lower its rates….closing the gab between 0% and 2.75% ( not long ago it was 4.50%!) smaller and smaller as the Carry Trade starts to lose its appeal (viability).

This is of incredible significance on a global scale ( and another contributing factor in my longer term view ) as to provide further pressure on an already fragile global banking system. When big banks (and Kong) have one of their largest revenue streams / cash cows producing smaller and smaller returns, in a global environment that is clearly slowing – all the money printing in the world can’t make that one go away.

The Australian Dollar has taken a huge hit already, and as much as I had originally been looking for a solid bounce before getting short ( which I am still going to do ) I am confident that what this really suggests is that the big money has already been backing out in preparation for much further losses to follow. Nothing short term will change my mind about this…as I do look for higher levels in AUD – to sell, sell , sell , sell , sell.

Risk Currencies Not Participating

In the usual “risk on environment” the commodity related currencies are usually the big winners.

When investors feel that things are generally “safe” money moves from the safe haven’s into higher risk related assets and currencies in commodity related countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

This is not happening.

In fact (generally speaking) the commods (in particular AUD) are getting more or less hammered, and exhibiting extreme weakness in the face of equity markets still clinging near their highs.

When you see USD cratering as it has over recent days, but in turn see that the Australian Dollar is EVEN WEAKER – you know without question – Houston we have a problem.

With Australia’s economy so tied to its trade with China, there is little doubt that the global macro shift towards “risk aversion” is already very much in play as AUD has been completely obliterated with lots of room for further downside.

I’ve tried on several occasions to “trade a bounce” as we’ve seen surface evidence of “risk on” in equity markets but unfortunately – that’s all it is….. “surface”.

Clearly our friend “risk” is quietly sneaking out the back door.

Canada Update – TSX Rejection

I’m going to keep it short for the “non believers”.

The Canadian Index topped (in my view) back at 12, 800 on March …March something er rather.

As per the “normalcy bias” posts posted…then reposted…then reposted – it’s unlikely anyone up there gave the analysis a second thought as “this shit doesn’t happen in Canada!”

Here we can see a “retest” of the highs over the past few weeks…and the blatant rejection at “said levels” some weeks ago.

(you may need to click to enlarge this chart)



In any case…….it is what it is.

Isn’t it?

U.S Housing Recovery – Media Spin

Occasionally I’ll turn on the “CNBC T.V” widget within my Think Or Swim Trading Platform.

I get a chance to “see what you see” there in the U.S  – the wonderful rants n raves of the “oh so knowledgeable” and not at all “bias” staff of CNBC. This morning I was thrilled to hear of the massive recovery in housing in the U.S, with some “million plus new homes on the build” and the question came to mind……..

How can there be a housing recovery in the U.S when the price of lumber has absolutely tanked since March?



I am no economist ( by any means ) and do hope that perhaps one my valued readers can help me understand.

Seriously? – Can some one a little closer to the source explain this? – Or just better to go with the opinions / bullshit that the local media keeps throwing you?

For The Love of Commodities

I love commodities.

I love commodities for the simple reason that the “fundamentals” present such a simple story, and an excellent backdrop in forming  longer term trading plans. We humans (much like a given species of insect or household pest) are devouring our planet’s resources at breakneck speed and reproducing like flies. We’ve already crunched the numbers on “how much of this is left” and “how much of that”  – fully aware that the numbers don’t look good.

Simply put – as we continue to multiply and continue to consume (at ever higher rates)  we are going to run out of stuff. Then throw in the extreme changes in weather (likely brought on by our own doing) and you’ve got one hell of an equation for supply and demand. The depleting availability of commodities alone is one thing, coupled with massive population growth and you get the picture.

So… commodities and you will be rich. If only it where that easy. Looking at the $CRB (Commodities Index) we can see the turn has more or less just been confirmed.

The $CRB is now clearly making higher highs and higher lows.

The $CRB is now clearly making higher highs and higher lows.

As I trade currency this generally translates into a lower USD (as commods are priced in dollars) and likely advances made in commodity related currencies such as AUD, NZD and CAD. Others may choose to play it through stocks, futures etc

Regardless – looking at this longer term, and considering the fundamentals behind it – its difficult to envision the price of “stuff” to be going anywhere but up. Way up.


AUD/USD – A Trade In Gold

As China’s largest trading partner and the world’s second largest producer of gold – I often look to the Australian Dollar (AUD) movement, as an excellent indication of  “risk behavior” in general. As well (and more broadly speaking) many consider the “aussie” and excellent proxy for gold.

I don’t see the two assets correlation in an absolute “minute to minute” or even “day-to-day” way (as each comes with its own volatility and characteristics) but when looking at the bigger picture – similarities cannot be denied.

A 5 year weekly chart of AUD/USD – an almost mirror image of a similar long term chart of the gold ETF – “GLD”.

The Australian Dollar and its similarities to long term Gold chart.

The Australian Dollar and its similarities to long term Gold chart.

Now taking a closer look at the current price in AUD/USD and keeping in mind our fundamentals (currently suggesting a possible “blow off top” in risk, with continued devaluation of USD) things look very much in line for some additional upswing in AUD/USD.

AUD/USD at near term support and clearly still trending upward.

AUD/USD at near term support and clearly still trending upward.

This is another excellent example of how trades develop when one has the combination of “fundamental analysis” as well  “technical analysis” firing on all cylinders. The opportunities for considerable profit present themselves only when BOTH ARE ALIGNED. 

I see an extremely low risk / high reward set up developing here – if indeed we do get an explosive move upward in risk, as retail investors flock into stocks here near the top. One could certainly keep a relatively tight stop here, as well “buy around the horn” as I’ve suggested earlier – spreading out your risk on entry. There is lots of room to run here – with even 1.08 on a relatively near term horizon.

Monday’s arent the best day for entry as there is alot of jockeying going on. I generally will look to observe price action and see where things end up mid day.