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Friday December 9, 2005 - 10:49:20 GMT
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Forex Trading Strategies

Only three more trading days to most important FOMC meeting in recent memory. USD move could be explosive.

Massive downward adjustment in Japan's Q3 GDP figures makes us wonder at the reliability of the growth figures from Japan.

MAJOR HEADLINES – PREVIOUS SESSION
• US Weekly Natural Gas Storage showed a draw of -59 bcf vs. -65 bcf expected. Natural gas prices for the spot month rose to record levels above 15 dollars on the news.
• Japan GDP for Q3 was adjusted down to 0.2% from 0.6% on a QoQ basis and the YoY GDP Deflator was adjusted down to -1.4% from -1.1%
• China Producer Price Index for November rose at a 3.2% rate YoY vs. 3.8% expected.

Market Moves
USD remained weak overnight as EUR/USD bounced well off lows. EUR/JPY also bounced much higher through resistance.

THEMES TO WATCH – UPCOMING SESSION
If you've been following this column for a while, you will have noticed how much we've been bedevilled by this massive bout of range trading and trying to call the short term direction. The tug of war has been between Scenario A that sees the USD strengthening in one last surge that would see EUR/USD down below 1.1640 (to perhaps 1.1600 or even 1.1500) followed by a quick recovery and break higher and Scenario B, which calls for EUR/USD to simply break higher. Both scenarios end with the EUR/USD higher - and we've been getting chopped up by trying to call for follow through on each short-term move in both directions, only to see immediate reversals. Now that we're so close to the FOMC meeting, and we think that the move could be very explosive in the wake of this meeting as the outcome is so uncertain and so highly anticipated, it's time to put on options positions and exercise a little patience.

Moves could be large enough that even if we are totally clueless on the direction, it may be profitable to buy a so-called "long strangle" where we buy both a downside and an upside scenario with an expiry data of next Friday. Ideas for strike prices could be 1.1700 puts and 1.1900 calls in EUR/USD (an indicative price as this is being written is approximately 60 pips with spot trading at 1.1800). It is extremely hard for me to imagine EUR/USD still trading within those two strike prices 1 week from now.

The ECB looks absolutely ridiculous with Bini Smaghi's comments on policy late yesterday that triggered near panic on the European treasury market before it partially recovered. We should ignore what he said ("We haven't come yet to the full treatment of vaccines to prevent influenza [a metaphor for inflation]") as they are totally inconsistent with remarks elsewhere and this man is not in the driver's seat at the ECB. That seat belongs to Trichet - whose comments should obviously be given the most weight. Although, speaking of Trichet comments, there's plenty to get confused about there as well (he seems to be stepping on the gas pedal and the brakes at the same time as he calls for vigilance and "no series of increases" in the same breath.) Still, his general line is much more dovish.

Up today we have the first University of Michigan results for December and the UK Trade Balance. With the interesting gas shortage story developing in the UK, we wonder if GBP is getting a bit stretched in the crosses - though GBP/USD still looks like it may continue higher if the 1.7450 area holds as support.

Note: the support/resistance levels used in the matrix’s of this document are levels derived from yesterday high, low and close. Reference in the text to other support/resistance levels will occur.

Risk warning
Saxo Bank A/S shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any recommendation, forecast or other information herein contained. The contents of this publication should not be construed as an express or implied promise, guarantee or implication by Saxo Bank that clients will profit from the strategies herein or that losses in connection therewith can or will be limited. Trades in accordance with the recommendations in an analysis, especially leveraged investments such as foreign exchange trading and investment in derivatives, can be very speculative and may result in losses as well as profits, in particular if the conditions mentioned in the analysis do not occur as anticipated.
Please read our full Analysis Disclosure & Disclaimer at www.saxobank.com/analysis/disclaimer.

Saxo Bank
www.saxobank.com

 

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