ON AIR with F.A.C.E

I spend every Sunday with students looking at markets for the upcoming trading week. So I was happy to share this week’s insights with Dale Pinkert this morning of the Forex Analytix Community Experience (F.A.CE.). While F.A.C.E. may be a new community, Dale certainly is not. He is an expert trader who has great experience interviewing the best personalities and experts in the business. So it is always an honor to be asked to discuss my views on markets. The nugget I dropped today that Dale really liked:

Correlations are shot. There are no correlations right now in the market.

What do I mean? Watch my interview and market review to find out.

I Survived the Flash Crash

The GBP just crashed in epic proportions. The official number is -5% in 2 minutes and 3 seconds.


It is already being called a flash crash because of the sheer scale of it. And the craziest thing about it is that we were on the right side of it. The following quote is from this week’s Quid Report (Volume 79):

The follow-through lower already this week proves correct the assertion in Volume 76 – that the resumption of the long-term downtrend that is the Great British pound has indeed taken place…It is very likely that this bear trend is the direction sterling trades for the remainder of the calendar year.

The rest of the report this week goes on to outline the setups that took place at the beginning of this week. Most of the targets had been hit before the flash crash except for two trades. These positions are up HUGE.  I haven’t seen this much money on a single trade in a long time.


So I immediately issued a tweet to all Quid Report readers. This is not verbatim but it was definitely to this effect:

keep calm and carry on

If you were short the GBP ahead of this flash crash – GOOD FOR YOU! KUDOS! How you manage this trade is up to you. But no one will blame you if you close out these positions for all this big money. Taking big profits is the name of the game!

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Due to the holiday shortened week and it being the very last week of 2015, no Quid Report was published this week. Instead, I am doing a video update to last week’s written report. While I have been on many forex shows, this is my first time hosting a live broadcast. This should be a quick update and review for the week in progress. Enjoy! And please leave your feedback in the comments. Perhaps this will be a new thing for me in 2016.



Election jitters played out in trading last week as the GBP weakened across the board. Economists and financial media took to extreme headlines about sterling volatility spiking due to the uncertainty surrounding this particular general election cycle. The GBP did slide but election jitters did not take the GBP under siege. Rather, the Bank of England (BoE) hold on monetary policy last week gave the GBP a bit of reprieve from the election selling. Without a statement from the BoE after its policy announcement, the market is left to trade on its own expectations for a series of interest rate increases out of Great Britain to begin in early 2016. However, in the past few weeks, BoE members have taken to jawboning to temper those hawkish expectations.

In addition to hawkish expectations and election jitters, trading this month is already fraught with seasonality themes….

Read the full report: Quid Report, Volume 7 (subscribers only).

The Sterling Digest, 31 January 2015: central bank drama

Davos cartoon posted on Twitter
The World Economic Forum. The time of year when central bankers like to surprise.

It’s been an incredible month. Our first trading month of 2015 is in the books and it did not lack for surprises and drama. Crashing oil prices kicked off volatile trading as the new year began. The Swiss National Bank got things going with their surprise abandonment of their currency peg to the euro and interest rate cut into negative territory. The Bank of Canada surprised markets too with its interest rate cut much sooner than markets expected. The European Central Bank also managed to surprise with a larger than expected quantitative easing package. The Federal Reserve surprised markets too but in the other direction. While it did not make any changes to monetary policy, the $FED remains hawkish following Yellen’s hawkish signals in December. Finally, the Bank of England turned seemingly dovish with its hawks relinquishing their call for interest rate hikes. The incredible drama series that was January certainly sets the stage for a new normal to emerge in 2015.

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SNB Rocks The Whole World

The markets have been ROCKED this morning as the Swiss National Bank (SNB) just announced that they have abandoned the Swiss peg. After 2 years of active intervention in the currency market to hold the $EURCHF at 1.2000, with today’s announcement the SNB has effectively exited the forex markets. This is their 1st monetary policy announcement of 2015 and, while the rate announcement was scheduled, their decision was a major surprise.

The reaction from traders as the decision came down:

And the effect on the CHF pairs has been EPIC.

USDCHF 1 hour chart today

EURCHF 1 hour chart today

GBPCHF 1 hour chart today

The SNB also cut interest rates today to -0.75%. With the abandonment of the currency peg, this interest rate cut was absolutely necessary. The CHF has long been a safe haven currency. Switzerland is considered a financial haven and tax shelter for the ultra-wealthy and has a relatively robust economy. During times of uncertainty, market participants buy Swiss francs. So when the financial crisis hit in 2008, the CHF and USD both strengthened considerably. But a strong currency is a stranglehold on the local economy as it dampens exports demand in the face of muted local consumer demand in 2008. The Federal Reserve enacted quantitative easing in response. The SNB combated the markets with a currency peg. With the peg now gone, the SNB understandably hopes that negative interest rates will dissuade the market from buying francs. However, uncertainty abounds, given the epic moves we are experiencing in the commodities markets, and I doubt even negative interest rates will stem the tide of CHF buyers now coming back into the market.

With the European Central Bank (ECB) due to announce their decision on monetary policy next week, “interesting” doesn’t even begin to describe the forex markets at this point. Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face. Stay nimble traders.

Read also:

You’ll Never Beat Them. Join Them! (FaithMightFX)

UPDATE: The article was updated to reflect the interest rate cut decision.

You’ll Never Beat Them. Join Them!

It is well known that the Swiss National Bank (SNB) has been intervening in the currency market to keep the $EURCHF exchange rate pegged at 1.2000. The SNB is not at all willing to allow their currency to appreciate since the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The CHF, once considered a safe haven currency, had always rallied in the wake of increased risk aversion in the markets. As such, the strong currency dampened Swiss exports and forced the central bank to keep interest rates low. However, that did not dampen investors flight to the perceived safety of the CHF. Therefore in 2012, the SNB actively stepped into the currency markets to stem the appreciation of its currency.

As the financial markets recovered, risk appetite returned sending the CHF lower. During the 2013 rally in sterling, the $GBPCHF enjoyed a move higher to 1.5534. What is interesting, however, is the lack of downside the $GBPCHF has experienced in the wake of recent GBP weakness.

GBPCHF daily chart on Jan 11 2015

The daily chart has been trapped in a large range between 1.5000 and 1.5500. This has led me to believe that the SNB must also be intervening in the $GBPCHF albeit to a lesser degree than in the $EURCHF. We can see the bullish RSI is an indication of the strong buying interest even after the top of the range was touched and held as resistance. Remaining true it its range, price moved lower but found support mid-range at 1.5250. Without reaching the bottom of the range, the $GBPCHF looks poised to move back to the range top at 1.5500.

Majors Meltdown

Ivaylo Ivanov of SocialLeverage50 tweeted this sweet currency chart this morning before the US open. With 1 more day until it ends, it pretty much sums up the entire 3rd quarter of 2014.

stocktwits chart posted by ivanhoff
Everything at their chart extreme except for pound

Which surprised you the most? Sterling has been pretty resilient to the USD strength as it found favor in the face of a majors meltdown. The currencies of the G10 all melted this quarter and all to pretty significant support levels. Except for the pound sterling. Even the mega rally in the USD is at a significant resistance level. Is GBP a laggard? Or the exception? A signal of future strength in the currency? Or future weakness?

Source: Image credit

The Sterling Digest, 13 June 2014: SURPRISE!

Bank of England
BoE preps market for rate hikes

Bank of England Governor Carney has just shocked the market signaling that interest rate hikes could come sooner than the market expects. GBP has skyrocketed across the board on these comments and it should. I just sat in with FXStreet’s Dale Pinkert on Monday saying that UK fundamentals remain strong but I believed that sterling would take advantage of the low volatility and summer trading doldrums to consolidate further. I didn’t think Carney would rattle markets until the August Inflation Report. Instead, he is well ahead of schedule and has put sterling back on track to reach new highs across the board. Already, $GBPUSD has probed 1.7000 and $EURGBP has broken below 0.8000.

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Sterling Digest, 13 February 2014: phase two

Mark Carney, Governor of Bank of England
The honeymoon is over

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney delivered the long awaited Inflation Report after “scrapping” forward guidance just a month ago. What Carney gave is what some are dubbing stronger guidance. He recognized and upgraded the UK economic recover and then added more indicators to produce “Forward Guidance – Phase 2”. Whatever you want to call it, the markets liked it and sterling rallied hard across the board. The rally continued even during the Asian session as those traders got the opportunity to digest the Inflation Report and Carney’s remarks. Now with sterling at key resistance levels, does it have the strength to go higher? What’s even more interesting to watch is if sterling can continue to rally in the face of a dovish BoE.

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