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Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

2016-08-13 04:04:00
John Kicklighter, Chief Strategist

'Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst.' It is a common saying, that most traders will connect to. I would adapt it to 'Prepare for the Best, Trade on the Worst'. In this context, I'm talking about the crushed volatility and quiet trading conditions we have been dealing with. I am prepared should breakouts and big swings return under the influence of global sentiment and shifting monetary policy tides; but for now, it seems range and reserved reach are what we are dealing with.

Among my existing trades, I have a NZD/CAD short which I took with the spike following the RBNZ rate decision that held a trendline resistance going back two-and-a-half years. With the quick reversal after that volatility, the first target was already hit (approximately +140) and the stop was trailed to breakeven looking to momentum to dictate the remaining half's exit.

I also have a long USD/JPY taken just above the rising trendline of lows going back to the post-Brexit plunge and the 50% Fib of the advance from record lows in 2011 to post-QQE high set last year around 100.65. This is very close to entry as of Friday's close and is a risk holding over the weekend given the extreme level of quiet. I will have to evaluate its risk from volatility in response to the Japanese GDP on Monday morning and see if it should be taken off before hand.

There are plenty of other pairs that look well positioned for great opportunity, unfortunately much of that opportunity is appropriate for very different conditions (such as markets that can produce major breakouts or trends). We are dealing with conditions more akin to ranges and small swings until the tides turn. Therefore, the ranges seen with pairs like USD/CAD (1.2950-1.3250); EUR/USD (1.1225 - 1.0975); AUD/USD (0.7750-0.7550) and NZD/USD (0.7325-0.6950) look appealing should timing and event risk provide.

I am also watching AUD/CAD. I missed the reversal from a descending trendline around 1.0100 as I was distracted. A break below the 20-day moving average and trendline support around 0.9900 would be a next move in a larger reversal, but this needs to be weighed carefully as it would look more like a trend trade - and these aren't trending markets - not yet at least.

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