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Risk Appetite Recovers, Drives the Dollar Back Down

Risk Appetite Recovers, Drives the Dollar Back Down

2011-02-01 22:56:00
John Kicklighter, Chief Currency Strategist
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Many of the necessary components were in place for a significant revival of a theme-driven market. With valuations on risky assets already running well beyond the potential for economic activity; we were just waiting for a meaningful catalyst to shake things up. With certain commodities pulling back, the S&P 500 finally slipping below the lower band of its abnormal rising trend channel and the dollar posting an overdue relief correction; it seemed the time was upon us. However, Friday's rumblings would prove a false alarm as risk appetite has quickly recovered from its wobbling. Subsequently, both my medium-term EURUSD short effort following its rising wedge break and short-term GBPUSD momentum fade would succumb. If I were presented with the same circumstances, I would certainly take the setups. A prominent fundamental development like a major shift in investor sentiment can carry significant opportunity. Yet, there will be false starts along the way. I won't let this turn me 'gun shy' about jumping on the next opportunity when it presents itself.

...

With EURUSD and GBPUSD extending their runs to fresh two month highs while the S&P 500 returns to its abnormally consistent bull trend, it is at least clear that it is not time to take large positions for a reversal scenario (a tumble in risk appetite and all the trading implications that carries). At the same time, I would not commit to any meaningful run that is dependent on risk appetite driving much higher. We are essentially stuck between overwhelming fundamentals and overwhelming technicals. So, while I wait for these conflicting signals to signals to work themselves out; it is prudent to drill down in time frame and look for short-term opportunities. After today's aggressive run (marking a significant two-day spell in risk's favor), there is an even higher probability of a short-term correction move. GBPUSD would seem to fit the bill for pure momentum; but there is a lack of short-term corresponding technical and fundamental support. Instead, I'm looking at USDCAD, NZDUSD and GBPAUD.

...

I have been looking at GBPAUD only from a daily perspectively recently and have completely overlooked the short-term congestion that has setup there. That said, I look for the recent range between 1.5925/00 and 1.61 to provide a hold with an entry at 1.5945 and a first target and initial stop of a reasonable 70 points. USDCAD is similarly near a congestion boarder at 0.99 after the biggest run in two months; so a reduced long from 0.9910 and 60 point stop and first target are reasonable. Finally, NZDUSD is hovering near the top of a two-and-a-half range after what could be construed as a exhaustion move. Here too, is a contrarian / momentum fade with an entry from 0.78 and 45 point buffer on both sides.

...

Other possibilities in the meantime include EURCHF returning to its head-and-shoulders, EURAUD testing the neckline of just such a pattern after breaking it Tuesday, AUDJPY temporarily ignoring its need for a meaningful bearish 'clear-out', GBPJPY near the top of its channel and there is still EURUSD and AUDUSD for their eventual reversals. Patience and good calls are essential.

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