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Wednesday November 19, 2008 - 15:06:22 GMT
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Uninspired Moves in a Meandering Market

Key News
• Russia Spent $57.5 Billion Backing Ruble in September, October, Bank Says (Bloomberg)
• Ireland Planning `Huge' Bank Rescue Plan: Irish Independent Link
• S&P 500 Failure to Rebound From `Retest' Points to New Lows, Charts Show (Bloomberg)

Key Reports Due (WSJ):
8:30a.m. Sep Consumer Price Index: Expected: -0.6%. Previous: 0%.
8:30a.m. Sep CPI, Ex-Food & Energy: Expected: +0.2%. Previous: +0.1%.
8:30a.m. Sep Housing Starts: Expected: -2.7%. Previous: -6.3%.
10:35a.m. Nov 14 US Energy Dept Oil Inventories
11:00a.m. Nov 14 API Oil Industry Report
2:00p.m. Oct FOMC Minutes

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a wide-spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

         Bertrand Russel

FX Trading – Uninspired Moves in a Meandering Market 

Last week I touched on the potential end to the sideways US dollar correction. Then all of a sudden some unidentified reckless group came in to buy stocks and keep them from finishing at lows not seen since 2003. As I also mentioned, that effort gave traders enough reason to flood money into the euro and stop the buck’s breakout effort dead in its tracks.

But common to the market of the last couple weeks, no one’s really wanted to follow through on any of the bigger moves mixed in to relatively morose markets. The euro faded after its big day last Thursday – perhaps because there wasn’t much substance behind the move.

Then yesterday, an abysmal report on the US housing market by the National Association of Home Builders gave reason to expect that crisis will last still longer. The US dollar, seemingly perversely on negative US data, woke up and went into rally mode. Of course we know it was because stocks got knocked back down for a retest of recent lows. But that didn’t last either.

Now, overnight, minutes came out on the Bank of England’s most recent monetary policy meeting. Recall that they surprised the market and lopped off 150 basis points from their benchmark lending rate. Turns out, they talked about going a full 200 basis points. That means further rate cuts are surely in the pipeline for the BOE. And that should mean the British pound suffers versus the buck as the BOE converges on Federal Reserve interest rate levels.

But I guess nobody told the British pound the news. It’s now finding a way to rally sharply against the dollar. Of course, when I say sharply I don’t mean the several hundred-PIP moves we’ve become accustomed to on a daily basis. The currencies seem to have calmed down from that recent phase. The British pound is, however, currently leading the pack and holding on to roughly 100 PIPs of upside this morning.

(Chart unavailable in text format.)

If the British pound finds a way to break above current levels, it could carry that move quite a ways.

And the pound isn’t the only currency with pent-up momentum. The euro is showing a narrowing sideways pattern (similar to the US dollar chart I showed you last week) that could lead to a big breakout move.

 (Chart unavailable in text format.)

Of course we’re going to need some conviction if these currencies go anywhere from here. At a time where the data continues to be poor from all corners of the globe, maybe technical levels become even more crucial than the fundamental morsels that typically excite this market.

Still ... it’ll probably make sense to keep an eye on stocks after economic data comes out in the US this morning!


John Ross Crooks, III
Black Swan Capital LLC


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