Tuesday, August 25, 2009

US Dollar Guru (Part II)

By Ahmad Hassam

Suppose you have the data and calculated the currency correlations of the major pairs. The correlation between GBP/USD and EUR/USD is 0.68. This correlation coefficient means both the pairs move in the same direction 68% of the time.

USD/CHF and EUR/USD have a correlation coefficient of -0.975. This is pretty close to (-1). It means both these pairs move in the opposite direction almost all the time. To be precise 97.5% of the time if USD/CHF moves up, the pair EUR/USD will move down!

You have this information. It tells you how much these pairs move in the same or opposite directions. Suppose you trade both the pairs USD/CHF and EUR/USD by going long at the same time. What you will be doing is in fact canceling both the positions.

If you win on USD/CHF, you will lose on EUR/USD and vice versa. The two trades would effectively cancel each other due to the negative correlation between the two pairs. A savvy investor would go long on USD/CHF and go short on EUR/USD. So you are shorting USD in both the trades and diversifying the USD bearish investment.

You can make entry and exit decisions for each trade based on currency correlations. Suppose GBP/USD starts showing volatility. It approaches a resistance level. You plan on going long on a breakout.

However, you notice that the other three pairs are not moving as much as the GBP/USD. EUR/USD is not moving up. USD/CHF is not moving down. USD/JPY is not moving down. This means that the move in GBP/USD is solely pound driven related to some news in the British economy.

Now you know that the move in GBP/USD pair is Pound driven and not US Dollar driven. You can take advantage of this information by ignoring the GBP driven move and waiting for a later opportunity that involves simultaneous correlated moves of all the major pairs.

Lets take another example to make things more clear. Suppose you have taken a short position on EUR/USD currency pair. You want to know will the currency pair proceed down towards your profit target. You also want to know can it go against you. If so when to exit the trade with a small loss!

Your EUR/USD has broken the S1 support pivot level and heading towards M1. By looking at the pair EUR/GBP, you find that it has paused at its S1 support pivot level and is showing signs of reversing to the upside.

In this type of a situation, knowledge of currency correlations can tell you if EUR/GBP breaks through the S1 level, you are poised for a profitable trade. However, if it reverses and heads back to the upside, you should watch the indicators and exit before taking a big loss. As you mature in forex trading, you might consider trading a basket of all the major currencies.

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