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AUD/NZD Pullback Testing Pivotal Support

Talking Points


AUD/NZD Pullback Testing Pivotal Support

Chart Created Using FXCM Marketscope 2.0

Broader Technical Outlook

We’ve been tracking this trade for some time now on SB Trade Desk with the breach & re-test of former slope resistance at 1.0724 earlier in the month shifting the focus to the topside on AUDNZD. The advance has now taken out a key confluence region at 1.1010/20 where the 100DMA, the 61.8% retracement and a long-term trendline extending off the January 2014 low converge.

Immediate support is eyed here with our general outlook remaining constructive while above 1.0910/20. A breach higher targets resistance objectives at 1.1113/15, 1.1213 & trendline resistance dating back to March 2011 high ~1.13.


AUD/NZD Pullback Testing Pivotal Support

Notes: AUDNZD has been trading within the confines of a well-defined ascending median-line formation with the pullback now testing confluence support at 1.1010/20 (note the weekly open at 1.1019). A break below this mark risks a decline back towards support objectives at 1.0966 & the 50% retracement at 1.0920 with a break sub 1.0861 needed to shift the focus back to the downside.

Interim resistance stands at 1.1080 backed by targets at 1.1113 and the upper median-line parallel / 1.1164. A quarter of the daily average true range (ATR) yields profit targets o 24-26 pips per scalp. Added caution is warranted heading into New Zealand Trade Balance data later tonight & the RBA Interest Rate decision early next week, with the releases likely to fuel volatility in Kiwi & Aussie crosses, respectively. As we approach thin holiday illiquid conditions, it’s worth reviewing principles that help protect your capital. We call these principles the “Traits of Successful Traders.”

For updates on this scalp and more setups throughout the week subscribe to SB Trade Desk

Relevant Data Releases Next Week

AUD/NZD Pullback Testing Pivotal Support

Other Setups in Play:

—Written by Michael Boutros, Currency Strategist with DailyFX

Follow Michaelon Twitter @MBForex contact him at or ClickHere to be added to his email distribution list

Join Michael for Live Scalping Webinars on Mondays on DailyFX and Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday’s on SB Trade Deskat 12:30 GMT (8:30ET)

Struggling with your strategy? Here’s the number one mistake to avoid


USD/JPY Continues to Coil Ahead of Japan CPI, Month-End Flows

Talking Points:

- USD/JPY Range in Focus Ahead of Japan Consumer Price Index (CPI).

- AUD/USD Falls Back from Monthly High Ahead of Australia 3Q Private Capital Expenditure.

- USDOLLAR Preserves Bull-Flag Formation Despite Mixed U.S. Data.

For more updates, sign up for David’s e-mail distribution list.


USD/JPY Daily Chart

Chart – Created Using FXCM Marketscope 2.0

  • Even though USD/JPY struggles to preserve the bullish formation from October, the pair may face range-bound prices in the days ahead as the pair continues to close above 1.2240 (78.6% retracement) following the breakout from earlier this month; will continue to watch former support around 123.80 (50% expansion) for near-term resistance.
  • Despite forecasts for a slowdown in Japan’s core-core Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Bank of Japan (BoJ) looks poised to retain its current policy at the December 18 interest rate decision as Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remains upbeat on the economy and sees the central bank achieving the 2% inflation goal over the policy horizon.
  • The DailyFX Speculative Sentiment Index (SSI) shows retail crowd remains net-long USD/JPY since November 18, but the ratio appears to be working its way back towards recent extremes as it climbs to +1.51 as 60% of traders are now long.


AUD/USD Daily Chart

  • AUD/USD may continue to fall back from a fresh monthly high (0.7282) as Australia’s 3Q Private Capital Expenditure report is expected to show another 2.9% decline following the 4.0% contraction during the three-months through June.
  • Even though the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) keeps the door open to further embark on its easing cycle, more of the same at the December 1 policy meeting may generate range-bound prices in AUD/USD as the pair appears to be trapped in a wedge/triangle formation.
  • Failed attempts to close above 0.7270 (38.2% retracement) may foster a larger pullback in the days ahead, with the first downside region of interest coming in around 0.7180 (61.8% retracement).

Join DailyFX on Demand for Real-Time SSI Updates Across the Majors!

USDOLLAR(Ticker: USDollar):

USD/JPY Continues to Coil Ahead of Japan CPI, Month-End FlowsUSD/JPY Continues to Coil Ahead of Japan CPI, Month-End Flows

Chart – Created Using FXCM Marketscope 2.0

  • Despite the mixed data prints, long-term outlook for the USDOLLAR remains tilted to the upside as the bull-flag formation continues to take shape; will retain the approach to ‘buy-dips’ in the greenback amid expected for a December Fed rate-hike.
  • With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, thin market conditions may produce choppy/whipsaw-like price action until full market participation returns next week, with market attention turning to the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) report, which is expected to show another 200K expansion in November.
  • As the continuation pattern remains in play, USDOLLAR may continue to coil for a run at 12,273 (161.8% expansion) to 12,296 (100% expansion) as it continues to hold above former-resistance around 12,049 (78.6% retracement) to 12,082 (61.8% expansion), with the topside region of interest standing around.

USD/JPY Continues to Coil Ahead of Japan CPI, Month-End FlowsUSD/JPY Continues to Coil Ahead of Japan CPI, Month-End Flows

*As we approach the holidays and thus illiquid markets, it’s worth reviewing principles that help protect your capital. We call these principles the “Traits of Successful Traders.”

Three Factors Warn of Perfect Storm in FX Markets – Caution Advised

Read More:

Bearish AUDJPY as Topping Pattern Matures, Awaiting Key Support Break

COT – Largest AUD Net Spec Short Position Since March

USD/JPY Technical Analysis: Shaken, Not Stirred Above 122

Webinar: Dollar Crosses at Key Juncture Ahead of US Holiday

— Written by David Song, Currency Analyst

To contact David, e-mail Follow me on Twitter at @DavidJSong.

To be added to David’s e-mail distribution list, please follow this link.

Trade Alongsidethe DailyFX Team on DailyFX on Demand


The ECB Fires a Warning Signal, but Will They Deliver in December?

Talking Points:

-The ECB warned of a ‘sharp repricing in global risk premia’ given the Fed’s potential interest rate hike in December combined with the economic slowdown with Asia.

- This is being taken as yet another reason to sell the Euro in anticipation of an expected increase to the bank’s QE program at their December meeting, but with so many warning signs flashing at the same time, it may reason for the bank to take a cautious approach and look to re-evaluate QE AFTER the December FOMC decision.

- With liquidity already thin, any shocks or suprises could lead to massive movements, and should the ECB not increase their program in December, we may see the EUR/USD catch a strong-bid higher, not too indifferent than the June 2014 ECB meeting (further explained below).

At the bi-annual Financial Stability Review, the European Central Bank fired off a warning signal to rest of the world. The ECB mentioned the obvious, and two of the same factors that we’ve been discussing for months in these Market Talk articles: The slowdown in Asia combined with Fed ‘liftoff’ can create huge moves to re-price risk assets. In plain speak, that means that as interest rates go up, investors may begin to question these exuberant valuations that have been built into global equities as super-low (and other asset classes like real estate) interest rates drove investment flows into risky asset classes (like stocks).

But as rates rise, this changes matters considerably. Now, not only is the opportunity cost of investing in stocks higher (because interest rates moving up means there is more opportunity to invest in bonds v/s stocks), but we’re also looking at a long cycle of rate hikes that will continually add pressure on the operating environment for many companies in even the strongest of economies. This is just another reason to not be so aggressive with stock allocations in the investment portfolio over the next 10 years, and this rising rate environment can significantly change the prospect of companies within that economy.

But this problem isn’t relegated to ONLY strong, developed economies. As a matter of fact, the case can be made that the more developed an economy is, the more vulnerable it may become as this situation further develops; and this is because of globalization and that fact that the global economy is essentially in this mess together. If the past six years have taught us anything, it’s that currency-driven trade and capital flows don’t provide long-lasting relief to economies. We’ve seen this story play out numerous times in numerous economies by now. Economy A weakens their currency with some type of intervention policy, and this helps exports temporarily as this cheaper currency makes those exported products cheaper in international markets. This increase in business provides hope that the policy may actually work, so the QE program is ‘tapered’ or ‘slowed down,’ and then the currency increases in value and that boost to exports is gone even quicker than it came in the first place, and that economy is back in the same mess that they were in before, but this time holding even more debt.

This is basically what is happening in Europe right now. We discussed the historical trajectory of where the EUR/USD is in the article on Friday, The Euro: From Whatever it Takes to Whatever it Must. The Euro was basically looking like it was done in the summer of 2012. The PIIGS of Europe raised enough questions as to long-term economic viability that many had just begun to assume the Euro was going to break-up. Yields on government bonds out of Portugal, Italy, Spain and Greece were approaching (or in some cases, even eclipsing) junk bond levels! But on July 24th, 2012, Mario Draghi dropped the ‘whatever it takes’ promise to keep the Euro together. Over the next two years, the Euro ran higher from the 1.2000’s to almost 1.4000; but this wasn’t necessarily a good thing for Europe. Because a stronger Euro meant that it was more expensive for foreigners to travel to Europe, or to buy exported European goods (like Volkswagen automobiles), and this added a crimp to European industry and the European recovery as a whole.

This had become so severe that we had started to see Europe deflating again, and in May of 2014, Mr. Draghi stepped up to the plate in announcing the ECB was going to investigate QE. No formal announcement was made at that meeting other than an announcement would likely be forthcoming. Investors sold the Euro in anticipation of an announcement at the June ECB meeting (very much like what is happening today with the December ECB meeting). In June, we got a disappointment in no QE announcement from the ECB, and the Euro spiked up from 1.3500 to 1.3700, but in July we finally got the news that everyone was looking for, and the Euro started its dead-drop of ~3,000+ pips that ran into March of this year.

There is just one problem: At this point, European QE hasn’t yet begun to ‘work.’ As in, we saw some initial signs of inflation which many had hoped would prelude growth, but that hasn’t yet materialized.

After that low in EUR/USD was set in March, the Euro started a bear-flag formation that saw the EUR/USD trade within a rather consistent up-ward sloping channel at the bottom of the down-trend. This was one of the ways that we illustrated to traders that trend-resumption entries could be sought out in the article, Is the EUR/USD Down-Trend Ready for Resumption.

But the rising channel in EUR/USD simply meant that European recovery was going to be even more difficult, and when combined with the multiple pressure points being seen in the world right now, namely a major commodity sell-off, a significant slowdown in Asia and that first rate hike out of the Federal Reserve in over nine years; the prospects of European recovery don’t look very attractive.

So the siren calls for more QE have been ringing. And in October, Mr. Draghi gave the world the initial sign of what they wanted by announcing that the bank would review their QE-program at their next meeting in December. It’s important to note here – no announcement has been made. No QE-increases are imminent yet, and given the fact that Mr. Draghi has largely gotten what he already wanted from that announcement in seeing the Euro move lower, we may be in for a redux of May/June 2014, in which much of the world is expecting a bombshell in December that doesn’t actually drop until January or March. The first ECB meeting of 2016 is on January 21st, followed by another on March the 10th.

With a very pensive Fed meeting on the calendar for December 16th, combined with the continued development of these various ‘themes’ around the world, we may see the European Central Bank take a step back, and elect to keep some powder dry in case markets put in another August-like reversal (as the ECB has just indicated that they’re afraid of). If history is any guide, the ECB is in no rush to fire this liquidity cannon unless they’re fairly certain that it will a) provide impact b) won’t be offset two weeks later by a rate hike out of the US and c) will try to remain as flexible as possible as the Euro-zone has considerable issues outside of Economics at work right now (defense/stability/war on terror).

Now is not the time to take a leap of faith if you’re a European Central Banker.

The ECB Fires a Warning Signal, but Will They Deliver in December?

Created with Trading Station II; prepared by James Stanley

— Written by James Stanley, Analyst for

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US Dollar May Rise on PCE Data, Thin Trade May Boost Volatility

Talking Points:

  • US Dollar May Edge Higher as PCE Data Boosts December Rate Hike Bets
  • Kneejerk G10 FX Volatility May Be Amplified in Thinning Pre-Holiday Trade
  • Australian, NZ Dollars Rebound in Asia After Yesterday’s Underperformance

A quiet economic calendar in European trading hours is likely to put a busy US data docket in the spotlight. October’s Core PCE figures may prove most interesting. The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation is expected to put price growth at 1.4 percent, the highest in 10 months. That may help boost an interest rate hike at December’s FOMC meeting, which may offer a near-term boost to the US Dollar. Follow-through may be limited however considering traders already see the probability of a 25bps increase at 77.5 percent (according what is priced into Fed Funds futures), the highest yet this year.

Traders would be wise to keep in mind that liquidity is likely starting to drain ahead of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday that will keep the US markets offline on Thursday. This could make for a period of directionless drift in the G10 FX space into the week-end. However, thin trading conditions may amplify knee-jerk volatility in the event that an unexpected event risk spooks the markets. Seemingly potent moves generated under these circumstances may struggle for follow-through and unravel once liquidity returns.

The Australian and New Zealand Dollars moved higher in otherwise quiet overnight trade. The moves appeared corrective after the two currencies lagged their G10 counterparts in the prior session. The Kiwi outperformed, which may have reflected pre-positioning ahead of a 2020 government bond auction. Demand swelled at a bill sale yesterday compared, seemingly speaking to investors’ desire for NZD-denominated paper. This is a highly speculative hypothesis however.


Asia Session

European Session

Critical Levels

— Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for

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Contact and follow Ilya on Twitter: @IlyaSpivak


Fed Rate Hike Cycle Doesn’t Necessarily Bode Well for US Dollar

Talking Points

- Heightened probability of a move in December has been driving the US Dollar.

- Rising short-end US yields have supported recent greenback gains versus the Euro.

- Historical precedence around rate hike cycles beginning is messy at best.

Rate Hike Expectations Have Been Driving the US Dollar

The moment may finally be approaching: when the Federal Reserve begins the next stage of its policy normalization process and raises interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. Without mincing words, the process of the December rate hike being priced into markets has been nothing but the most significant tailwind for the US Dollar in recent weeks:

Chart 1: USDOLLAR Index vs Probability of a December Rate Hike

Fed Rate Hike Cycle Doesn't Necessarily Bode Well for US Dollar

The above chart passes both the not-so-scientific eye test (which can be very misleading, given a manipulated Y-axis – but not in this case) as well as the more rigorous and mathematical correlation study, which yields a significant +0.84 correlation between the USDOLLAR Index and the implied probability of a Fed rate hike (per the Fed funds futures contract) over the past three months. It’s not a far leap to suggest that the US Dollar’s broad strength between now and December 16 hinges on rate expectations remaining elevated.

Rising Short-term Yields are Indicative of the Fed/ECB Policy Divergence

Whether or not they stay elevated is a different story, but we’re concerned with the source of these rising rate expectations (as the above chart is merely a proxy for underlying market currents). Indeed, US yields themselves have been rising across the term structure, reflecting the expectation of higher rates on the horizon:

Chart 2: Nominal Change in US Yields

Fed Rate Hike Cycle Doesn't Necessarily Bode Well for US Dollar

The biggest rate rises have been seen on the short-end and into the belly of the yield curve, with the 2Y, 3Y, and 5Y notes showing the largest nominal increases over the past month (right when the European Central Bank laid the groundwork for a deposit rate cut at its December 3 meeting). These moves have corresponded with widening interest rate differentials in favor of the US Dollar. As of market close last week, the spread between the US Treasury 5-year note yield and the German 5-year bund yield widened to its widest level since 2005 (150-bps): this is the most readily available evidence of the Fed/ECB policy divergence on approach to their December meetings, and supports EUR/USD’s recent sustained move below $1.0700.

If these have been the conditions for the US Dollar rally, then surely they will be critical in determining the future path of the greenback; it is logical to suggest that deflating rate expectations and thus narrowing interest rate differentials could work against the US Dollar. Right off the bat, this is a concern going into the December 16 policy meeting, as the FOMC has showed the proclivity to lower expectations for the policy of future rates at recent meetings featuring updated Staff Economic Projections – which the upcoming meeting will be accompanied by.

Table 1: Changes in FOMC Dots/Glide Path

Fed Rate Hike Cycle Doesn't Necessarily Bode Well for US Dollar

In just the past three meetings alone, we’ve seen the Fed start to lower expectations for the future policy path. For example, in the March 2015 Staff Economic Projections, the FOMC was looking at 1.875% as the year-end rate for 2016; by the September meeting, this forecast was lowered to 1.625% – one rate cut fewer than previously anticipated. Another downgrade to these expected future rates would very much be consistent with what the FOMC has done in the past few months.

Table 2: Probability of Rate Hikes across Upcoming Fed Meetings

Fed Rate Hike Cycle Doesn't Necessarily Bode Well for US Dollar

The projected path of future rates – the glide path – could be a significant factor in the market’s attempt to predict what the Fed will do in 2016. As it stands right now, markets (per the Fed funds futures contract) are pricing in a rate hike in December 2015, then twice more in 2016. Assuming that the Fed acts in December, markets are pricing in June 2016 and December 2016 for a 25-bps hike each, bringing the 2016 year-end expected rate to 1.00%.

As it stands, there are 62.5-bps between the market’s year-end 2016 forecast for the Fed’s main rate (1.00%) and the September FOMC projection (1.625%). Given the Fed’s tendency to lower the glide path as time marches forward, this divergence is likely to shrink – which means the Fed’s projections are going to be softer, undermining what’s been the key catalyst for the US Dollar’s strength the past several weeks: rising yields and interest rate differentials.

History Hasn’t Been Kind for the US Dollar Right after the Fed Hikes

At this point, we know what’s been keeping the US Dollar moving forward in recent weeks – heightened expectations of a Fed rate hike on December 16 – and how the market has expressed this bias – by pushing the US-German 5-year yield spread to its widest level in a decade, and EUR/USD back towards its yearly lows. Whether or not the US Dollar can keep its bull run going in large part depends on if the Fed can keep markets pricing in widening interest rate differentials in its favor. Around previous rate hike cycles, this has proved difficult; the Fed has typically raised rates quickly, leading to a corresponding increase in recession risk, thereby reducing potential future growth and undermining expectations for further rate rises. Sometimes, these concerns prove well-founded:

Chart 3: DXY Normalized Around the Start of Fed Rate Hikes

Fed Rate Hike Cycle Doesn't Necessarily Bode Well for US Dollar

In both the 90-day and 180-day windows after the beginning of the hike cycle, the US Dollar has averaged a loss of -1.12% and -2.10%, respectively, in the six major hike cycles since 1983. However, the longer you move away from the beginning of the cycle, the more bullish it gets: 360-days after the first hike have produced average gains of +3.58% on average. The stability of the long-run forecast is in question, however, as the 360-day standard deviation is nearly double that of both the 90-day and 180-day periods (which are quite close). Collectively, history tells us that in the near-term, the US Dollar tends to decline after a rate hike, but once you move closer to the one year anniversary, it’s more of a coin-flip.

General Observations Regarding the Past and the Future

There are some important differences to note between today and past hike cycles. The 360-day performance of the 1983 rate hike (+21.34%) came amid US GDP running at +5.63% in 1984; the 1986 performance circulated around the events leading up to the Black Monday 1987 market crash (a major concern at the time was the US trade imbalance with West Germany); the 1994 hike cycle coincided with the mid-1990s capital allocation out of developed markets and into emerging markets (culminating in the LTCM crisis); the rate hike cycle beginning in 1999 saw +175-bps added at the top of the tech bubble; and the 2004 hike cycle was initiated to confront rising inflation and was very much regarded with hesitancy as many believed it would choke off US growth.

None of these previous rate hike cycles bears resemblance to any of the other ones in terms of underlying economics or fundamental developments, and yet there is a seemingly clear pattern: across different time periods, the few months before the initial rate hike tend to be bullish for the US Dollar (something we’re presently seeing); and the first three- to six-months thereafter tend to be bearish for the greenback.

This is a unique period to begin raising rates, with each aspect today running counter to reasons why the Fed hike rates in the past. Unlike in 1983, US growth is growing at meager +2.1% annualized rate currently; unlike in the 1980s and 1990s, there isn’t a rush out of US Dollars and into foreign currencies seeking growth opportunities; and unlike in 2004, inflation is hardly a concern.

Therefore, with conditions so tentative, the Fed is unlikely to employ an aggressive strategy, and fitting in with their previous pattern of behavior, we would expect the Fed to exhibit this by reducing the glide path of its future interest rates. In doing so, it could hamper the recent uptick in US yields, especially in the 2Y to 5Y range, which have been the prime source of US Dollar strength over the past several weeks.

Until the Fed meeting on December 16, it is crucial for traders to continue to track the Fed funds futures contract to see where the US Dollar may be heading. Thereafter, it all depends on incoming data. Given how soft data (outside of labor figures) have been, asymmetrical risk to the downside may be rapidly growing for the US Dollar. There may be one more rally left in this US Dollar bull cycle, but from the onset, it seems unlikely that it will begin on December 16.

Read more: Three Factors Warn of Perfect Storm in FX Markets – Caution Advised

Lastly, as we approach the holidays and thus less liquid markets through the end of the year, it’s worth reviewing principles that help protect your capital. We call these principles the “Traits of Successful Traders.”

— Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Strategist

To contact Christopher Vecchio, e-mail

Follow him on Twitter at @CVecchioFX

To be added to Christopher’s e-mail distribution list, please fill out this form


Oil and Gold Prices Rise on Geopolitical Tension while Metals Recover

Talking Points:

  • Oil steadies near 2-week high as Turkey-Russia tension and refined-product rally prompted demand
  • Copper and metals head for first gains in 6 weeks on the back of oil surge
  • Safe haven gold, Aussie bonds and Japanese yen are back in favour amid tumult

Profit taking of US dollar before the Thanksgiving holidays and month-end flows led to lower USD. This provided additional support to commodity prices on top of macro and fundamental drivers.

WTI oil price retreated from a 2-week high after API reported a build of 1.9 million barrels at Cushing, even as refinery utilization continued to climb. Geopolitical tension involving Turkey and Russia triggered an oil surge toward resistance level at 43.46 (previously a support during October dip). A rally in gasoline futures and US refinery runs post-maintenance also spurred demand.

On a positive note, long-term crude demand may improve with the rise of refining hubs in Asia, the Middle East, and U.S. Gulf Coast. Reuters reported that Beijing will allow independent refineries to export refined fuel for the first time in 2016, in addition to state-owned refiners.

The sudden advance in oil price helped to lift up copper and metals. Copper price retraced above the 2.0650 support level for the first time in two days. If a breach of support does not occur today, there will be hope for copper price to retain in this area this week. Nevertheless, institutional investors are intent on bearish bets as net long positions of copper on the London Metal Exchange nearly halved for the week ended November 20.

The Turkey-Russia tension also propped up gold price for the first time in three days as investors flew to safety. Australian government bonds and Japanese yen also climbed while Asian equities markets traded mixed in the morning. Gold is approaching a resistance level at 1081.2 for the second time within the day as upside momentum prevails.

GOLD TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Gold is heading to test a resistance level at 1081.19 for the second time as upward momentum gathers strength. A breach is possible and that will lead prices up to the above region, capped by weekly high of 1088. Long-term bearish trend has not changed while gold prices remain in between a 6-year low and a crowded support area in 1085-1098.

Oil and Gold Prices Rise on Geopolitical Tension while Metals Recover

15-minute chart – Created Using FXCM Marketscope

COPPER TECHNICAL ANALYSIS – Copper price has climbed back up above a resistance/support level at 2.0650. The metal may struggle to remain in this proximity as Asian equities stayed mixed. If copper price closes the day above support level, there will be hope for a sustainable consolidation throughout this week.

Oil and Gold Prices Rise on Geopolitical Tension while Metals Recover

15-minuteChart – Created Using FXCM Marketscope

CRUDE OIL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS In spite of yesterday’s rally, WTI oil price is still capped by a long-term technical level at 43.46 – previously a support now a resistance. A breach or failure to break through this will be a test to the endurance of this week’s oil optimism. Thereafter, ensuing price action will offer according opportunities for the bulls or the range traders.

Oil and Gold Prices Rise on Geopolitical Tension while Metals Recover

Daily Chart – Created Using FXCM Marketscope

— Written by Nathalie Huynh, Currency Strategist for

Contact and follow Nathalie on Twitter: @nathuynh