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Dollar Rally Stalls at Critical Levels

Dollar Rally Stalls at Critical Levels

2010-03-22 14:54:00
John Kicklighter, Chief Currency Strategist
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The US dollar has enjoyed a considerable rally (or retracement of previously suffered losses depending on your view of the market) over the past three active sessions. However, this morning, the currency revisited significant technical levels amongst its many crosses. This meaningful high can be seen quite clearly on the Dollar Index with a hold at the 81-range high. Yet, for our purposes the individual technical boundaries are more important to us because they are tradable. This leveraged volatility is becoming more frequent; yet the boundaries on activity are just as stable as they have been at any point over the past month and a half. This is not a condition that can last for long. In fact, with each passing day that the greenback holds to its congestion band, the more prolific the eventual breakout will be. However, the more difficult question at this point is what direction the market will take when that breakout does come. Though the markets can remain irrational for some time, I believe that there is too much premium built into the market which will be worked off as economic expansion and yield income prove insufficient to cover the substantial risk of volatility going forward.

For positioning, there is an endless supply of potential dollar-based breakouts. The critical technical boundaries are more than obvious for across the board. Most prolific in my opinion is the built up opportunity for a USDJPY breakout. A move below 89.85 would simply introduce cheaper entry for a long-term bull trend I expect to develop sooner or later. At the same time, a move above 91 will turn a prominent bear trend. For short-term potential, EURUSD is near the floor of its 1.38/3450, USDCHF is testing former support at 1.0650, USDCAD is looking at 1.02 and AUDUSD is probing 0.91. Most of these setups are wait-and-see; but I am already short AUDUSD. The break of a near-two month rising wedge formation was significant enough to move on; but a drop below 0.91 is important for progress.

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