April Fears Ahead of Fed, Spain & China

by Ashraf Laidi
Apr 18, 2012 19:04 | 29 Comments

Forced Liquidation or Improved Sentiment?


Recent intermittent bounces in EURUSD in the face of surging Eurozone spreads are said to be reflecting possible liquidation by European banks unloading US assets to relieve an ensuing shortage of US dollars. Other explanations were attributed to the IMF buying Irish and Portuguese bailout tranches during the late European trading hours, taking advantage of cheaper levels (lowest since Feb 15). But as long as traders find no confidence in battling the coordinated efforts of asset-buying central banks and the Fed produces no new dissenters to the ultra low rates til 2014 mantra, risk currencies may be assured to find support.

Spanish government bonds are now the latest victim of bond traders typical one-country assault amid speculation that Spain will be the 4th recipient of a Eurozone bailout. At a time of deepening recession, Spanish authorities have selected education and health sectors for 10 billion in budget cuts. Cuts in these sectors have yet to prove successful or sustainable the he Eurozone. Little surprise that the biggest yield gainers are of nations, which have not yet been bailed outSpain and Italy. Considering that Greece, Ireland and Portugal were each bailed out when their 10-year yields crossed the 7% level, we ought to watch Spanish yields, currently at 5.9%.

The chart below shows how zero purchases from the ECBs Securities Market Programme (SMP) was replaced by the LTRO-1/2 program and Greek Private Sector Initiative deal (PSI), all of which were effective in shorting up risk appetite and the euro at the expense of sovereign yields. Unless the ECB acts with the next dosage of stimulus (LTRO, SMP or swap operations with the Fed, EURUSD is most likely to finally break the $1.2950 floor.


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April Fears Ahead of Fed, Spain & China - ECB Smps EURUSD Apr 17 (Chart 1)


No Game-Changer So far

As long as the aforementioned dynamics continue to offset each other, EURUSD could remain in its $1.30-$1.32 range, inside which algo traders shall squeeze each and every drip of this hefty range.

Just as we were told that tipping points are usually not governed by a singular event, no single event is likely to produce the game-changing pattern to the current consolidation in currencies. Instead, the combination of mounting challenges to Spains ambitious deficit-reduction efforts, returning risk-aversion ahead of a potentially-hawkish surprise at the April 25 FOMC and softening signals from Beijing could build sufficient buying momentum in the US dollar at the expense of the euro, and finally break the $1.2950 support.

Back in March we warned about the recurring declines in April and beyond. April has proven a difficult over the last 2 years. US markets topped out in late April 2011 as well as in April 2010.
Meanwhile, the VIX is on its way of posting the first positive month since September. The last time we had 6 consecutive monthly declines in the VIX was in 2003, which was also the end of the Feds easing campaign following the 2000 tech bubble.

S&P500 is off its April 10 lows when it fell 4.5% from its 4 year highs attained earlier in the month. But we should watch out for the 7% peak-trough declines before making any decisions on whether the decline is the start of a deeper correction rather than merely a pullback re-energizing the next leg up. 7% has proven the maximum decline the S&P500 index has posted without making any deeper correction. The last time the S&P500 fell by 7% was in Oct-Nov 2011. And the prior occasion before that was in Feb-March 2011. Whether the next decline will be significant (more than 10%) or simply profit-taking, setting up for the next rally remains to be seen.
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April Fears Ahead of Fed, Spain & China - SPX April Apr 11 (Chart 2)


While market observers usually focus on the S&P500 and the VIX individually, we assess the equity index relative to its own volatility index, which best captures the balance between the bulls and the bears. The technical developments in the SP500/VIX ratio illustrate a familiar and typically bearish pattern (head & shoulder formation). As such, the right shoulder signifies a failed attempt of the ratio to recapture the head (top of spring 2011). The significance is also highlighted by the fact that the failed recovery nearly matches the left shoulder, the high of early 2010.


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April Fears Ahead of Fed, Spain & China - SPX VIX Apr 18 (Chart 3)



We saw last week how each of the five major peaks in BRICs indices prompted (or coincided) pullbacks in G10 equities. As US equities enter a much-scrutinized earnings season, the catalysts for the long-awaited pullback are several (Feds possible signaling of escalating price pressures at April FOMC, further gains in yields, need of 2nd Portuguese bailout and policy uncertainty from Beijing).

Combining the historicity of April tops, the potential for more hawkishness at the April FOMC meeting and the cyclical progress of US jobless claims, Traders ought to keep an eye on this month.


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Comments (Showing latest 10 of 29) View All Comments
DaveO
N.Cornwall, UK
Posts: 5733
7 years ago
Apr 24, 2012 21:49
Their support is a bit slow mainly because the website is undergoing changes so some of the links are not working as they should. Try this contact for the software partner Gordon Lantz.
http://vcigroupltd.com/
cat0nip
Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 1632
7 years ago
Apr 24, 2012 21:30
until now they did not respond to my email about hardware requirements.
cat0nip
Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 1632
7 years ago
Apr 22, 2012 22:09
yes the bot trades the range identified by this 3 line break, there is hardly any better way for trend trading.
Qingyu
manchester, UK
Posts: 1763
7 years ago
Apr 22, 2012 17:33
Thanks! Dave and CAT! :)
DaveO
N.Cornwall, UK
Posts: 5733
7 years ago
Apr 22, 2012 12:23
A good description of 3 line break charts for anyone interested:-
http://stockcharts.com/school/doku.php?id=chart_school:chart_analysis:three_line_break
DaveO
UK
Posted Anonymously
7 years ago
Apr 21, 2012 1:00
Yes I think this would be the "3 line break" trend and exit range bar tool you are referring to. The charting can also display P&F or time candles if preferred.

Their range bars are "pure" unlike most other charting packages. I have their 6 page pdf explaining how they build range bars as apposed to how everyone else bastardises the correct method. I must say I am very pleased using their range bar charts specifically for forex and the indicators they have developed actually seem to work due to the smoothing effect. I have never been an indicator fan and as you know my pattern work is not ideal for paired assets.

Costs are relative to any additional gains as far as I am concerned and so far I think I am on the right side of that equation. Early days yet, only been with it for about a month. I should mention that the symbol menu only covers 19 pairs plus their special USDX but they are all the pairs I would consider monitoring and trading myself, more than enough for me.

I trade from the charts but also have the broker platform minimised in case of problems. The currenex broker platform is very low cpu demands. The currency strength charts gobble up the cpu more than 3 other charting progs I have open. The range bar charts are insignificant on cpu even with several workspaces stretched across multiple screens.

The 3 day trial is not long enough to digest everything and access to tutorials is restricted during the trial period. The company is split between software developer and educator/licensee.

Note to Ashraf, sorry we are at a tangent to your specific topic. I am not trying to promote this software, no financial interest whatsoever.
cat0nip
Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 1632
7 years ago
Apr 20, 2012 21:51
My robot trades what they call range bars with this difference of difference...method it identifies entry and exit. As long as the third strength difference is zero there is a range if not entry or exit. In a P&F this corresponds with a price up ( or down) entry. Thus they do just what my robot does however for every combination of strength data ( 15 so far) .
That is equivalent to automating feeding the spreadsheet.
Well I am honored that I found and realized all of that by myself.
But the problem is the broker interface. I am quite interested to give theirs a try but without a proper interface...hum.
DaveO
N.Cornwall, UK
Posts: 5733
7 years ago
Apr 20, 2012 21:01
They also have a spreadsheet where you can manually dial in the numbers to bring up some cute bar charts showing divergence/convergence. I believe they said they are planning to automate the feed into the spreadsheet.
DaveO
N.Cornwall, UK
Posts: 5733
7 years ago
Apr 20, 2012 20:50
FXDD malta for non US traders
DaveO
N.Cornwall, UK
Posts: 5733
7 years ago
Apr 20, 2012 20:47
They not broker. They claim to access large bank liquidity pools for the data. Not like a typical MT4 data fed meter. Part of the cost is in providing large data pool. Can also integrate a currenex broker to their charts for trade execution etc.