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Friday February 4, 2005 - 16:43:38 GMT -

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The rangebound trading continued this week, with most of the majors trading in a 200 pip channel they didn’t escape from. The only range that was broken was that of the USD/CHF, to the upside. Pair cleared key fibo level around 1.1975 and looks poised for an eventual test of the 1.22 downtrend line level.

However, and as every month-starting week, this week was well driven by the unemployment report and the NFP number that came out on Friday,4. The NFP number increased by 146,000, to a adjusted record of 132.573 million, as employment broke the February 2001 peak for the first time. The official unemployment rate now is 5.2%, its lowest level since 2001. This good news, coupled with positive remarks from Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, regarding US trade balance deficit stabilization, may well have come to help the current USD recovery from a fundamental point of view.

I’ve always believed that the real driving forces of any financial market can’t escape from showing their next planned move. Thus, charts to me look like the “whisper” that alerts us of a possible big move, of a trend change, etc. Technical and Fundamental Analysis can’t work alone. Though I prefer technical analysis myself, I can understand charts better if I follow fundamentals at the same time. But there are some weeks when that doesn’t work, or even gets close to what one might call “work”.

This week could well be one of the latter. It was a week quite full of economic events, with the ISM number and the unemployment report at the top of them. One came out quite disappointingly (ISM number fell to 59.2 from previous 63), but the USD surged to break key levels against the CHF, and threatened to do so against the EUR, while on Friday, and despite of having a good unemployment report numbers, the USD initially crushed down, but it also quickly recovered losses back. At the time of this writing, it is again threatening key levels in EUR, holding above key levels in CHF, and mildly disappointing against the GBP, which halted USD bulls’ moves and moved only slightly to the downside. That also produced the EUR and specially the CHF 8which lost 320 pisp) loosing ground against the british currency. The CHF was the worst european currency performer, it lost big time against both the EUR and the GBP.

This week,in my opinion, we did not have just one winner across the board, but two or even three. It is true that the USD showed this week that its current outlook is much brighter than that at the end of 2004, but it is also true that the JPY is in great shape, and even in USD strong upmove days it managed to close at break-even or even gain some ground. The other week favourite was the GBP, specially against its fellow european currencies, to which it gained big time this week. The british pound was the first (coupled with the CAD) to show that the USD was in somewhat a rebounding form late 2004, and it confirmed that view by being the main loser during the first weeks of 2005. But it is its third straight week of gains or almost no-losses, which is giving it an extra-boost and make it much more resilient to the downside. However, bear in mind that in the long-term, it has triggered bearish signals, and that means we could see a sudden, fast and strong selling pressure in coming weeks.

This week’s closing levels (at the time of this writing) : EUR/USD 1.2935 (-100), USD/CHF 1.12050 (+180), GBPUSD 1.8855 (flat), EUR/GBP 0.6860 (-40), USD/JPY 103.70 (+30), USD/CAD 1.2485 (+80), AUD/USD 0.7720 (-30), NZD/USD 0.7115 (-10), EUR/CHF 1.5590 (+165), EUR/JPY 134.20 (-45), GBP/CHF 2.2715 (+320), GBP/JPY 195.60 (+50). CHF was widely the main loser across the board, it loss big time against the other majors and against the crosses as well.

Trading Wizards

Weekly Closing Basis Trading Ideas : Weekly Closing Basis Trading Ideas : holding the selling GBP (and the other european currencies too) against the USD and the buying of the greenback against the CAD from previous weeks. The selling EUR against GBP idea is working ok for some weeks now and further gains from that position can’t be ruled out.

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