SNB Shocks Global Markets

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Last Thursday (January 15) around 4:30 a.m, SNB (Swiss National Bank) surprised everybody and woke the markets up by ending the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro and lowering interest rate to -0.75% from -0.25%. The announcement was unscheduled. It was shocking to everybody and there’s more come to the story.

After seconds of the announcement, CHF rode in fastest  bull mode in the modern history. EUR/CHF went on free fall with no ground stop. SNB’s floor rate of 1.2000 for EUR/CHF was broken. A lot of people were long EUR/CHF with stops just below 1.2000. Not only the CHF pairs were effected, but also other pairs. Stops were triggered in seconds (or minutes) and panic spread like wildfire. Imagine a highway with all the automobiles driving more than 200mph and large truck in the middle suddenly stops in a second.

In September 2011, Swiss National Bank (SNB) called its currency (Swiss Franc) “Massive Overvaluation”. They wanted to weaken the Swiss Franc to improve their economy. Therefore, they set a floor rate of 1.2000 of EUR/CHF exchange rate. In a statement, they stated “The SNB will enforce this minimum rate with the utmost determination”. They were saying that they will do everything in their power not to allow the exchange rate break the floor rate. Their tone was still same in the late 2014. Ever since, they have been buying the foreign exchange in unlimited quantities, until last thursday (January 15, 2015).

After abandoning its currency, SNB stated that “Swiss franc is still high”. Well, it is even more higher now. Immediately after the announcement, CHF pairs sky-rocketed. EUR/CHF dropped from above 1.2000 to about 0.9705, over 2000 pips drop in one day. USD/CHF dropped from around 1.0200 to 0.8350, almost 2000 pips drop in one day. The reason for SNB’s action “divergences between the monetary policies of the major currency areas have in increased significantly”. They are referring to Euro, which has depreciated a lot against USD, which has caused Swiss franc to weaken. That’s why they say that defending floor rate “no longer justified”. At the end of their statement, they said “remain active in the foreign exchange market to influence monetary conditions”. That’s what scares me. After what they did, we need to be cautious and not trade CHF pairs at this time.

 

EUR-CHF
EUR/CHF – Weekly

 

USD-CHF
USD/CHF – Weekly

 

SNB’s action looks suspicion for two reasons. First, SNB announces this sudden change of plans just a week before ECB meeting. Second, it looks like that IMF (International Monetary Fund) was not kept in loop.  I believe SNB is trying to buy time. The question is “For what?”. If they are trying to buy time, the move by SNB is only temporary (less 4 months).

 

2015-01-16-PROPHET
Comparison Chart – EUR/USD and USD/CHF

 

As to ECB, they have been decreasing the interest rates, which has caused Euro to decline a lot.. This week on Thursday (January 22, 2015), ECB will be releasing the results of their meeting. There has been a chatter (still is) that ECB will be announcing a full-blown Quantitative Easing (QE). At this time, I believe the interest rates will stay the same. Regarding to QE, I think QE will be announced, but limited. They might wait for Greek election results, which takes place on Sunday (January 25, 2015). Greece may exit Euro union and have their own currency. If they do, the currency will go down in value. I think full-blown QE will be announced in March 5.

Not only traders were effected, but also brokers such as FXCM. FXCM experienced significant losses ($225 million) and they may be in a breach of some regulatory capital requirements. When the news came out, their stock “FXCM” fell from around $12.50 to just below $1 (about 90% decline). In the morning of Friday, its stock was halt due to news pending. At 3:55, Dow Jones reported that Leucaidia National Corporation would be proving $300 million in cash to FXCM to continue normal operations. The agreement is in the form $300 million senior secured term loan with two-year maturity and an initial coupon of 10%. Immediately after the news, FXCM surged from around $1.50 to $4.50 (about 350% increase).

FXCM Ticker - SNB Effect
“FXCM” stock

 

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Technical Difficulty

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There was a technical difficulty. I had to restore back everything. Latest post that was posted recently about SNB was/is missing. Therefore, I have to re-write everything from the beginning. I will post it as soon I finish it. Thank you.

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US Retail Sales

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Yesterday, on January 14, 2014, the U.S Census Bureau released Retail Sales data for the month of December, 2014. It was disappointing and unexpected. Retail sales fell 0.9% (-0.9%) in December (+0.4% in previous month). “Core” retail sales (excludes the prices of autos and gas), fell 1.0% (-1.0%) in December (0.1% in previous month).

Plunging oil prices led to to a 6.5% drop in gasoline sales, the largest drop since 2008. In December, many people and media were saying that the holiday sales were going to be strong. Economic recovery and the falling gas prices would lead consumers to spend their hard earned money in other areas, such as department stores, etc. Yesterday’s release told us otherwise. Excluding auto and gas, retail sales fell 0.3%, (expected gain around 0.4%). Retailers that did well, are bars, restaurants and stores that sell home furnishings. December is one of the months that many people party. Therefore bars and restaurants did well. Many people might like to start their new year by clean and fresh furnishings in their home. That’s why home furnishings did well. I believe the drop in retail sales are only temporary, for now. We never know what future might hold.

I believe technology will be successful more than anything (except needs; foods and drinks). Late 1990s and early 2000s transformed, especially young people into whole new generation. 2015 will be the beginning stage of new era of technology (again). Drones and 3-D printing, google glass and “The Internet of Things” will start to go into mass-market. I think we are too early for drive-less cars to go into masses (maybe, in 2 years). People will be wanting to try the new technology. 3-D printing will lead to many inventions, making certain market more competitive. Drones and google glass will probably transfer people into being photographer or not. New things will be added into existing products, emotionally leading people to buy them.

One wrong move from the government or large companies (that have significant impact on the economy including jobs, etc) will either slow down and shut down “economic recovery”, leading to another crisis.

 

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NZD/USD Technical Analysis

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NZD/USD 1H Chart
NZD/USD 1H Chart
NZD/USD Daily Chart
NZD/USD Daily Chart

Shorted around 0.7820. As of right now, it’s still open.

Trade at your own risk. These are my own opinions and analysis.

Note: The screenshots were taken around the night of Jan 12, 2015.

 

1H Chart:

It’s false breakout because the candlesticks did not close above the line. It’s a weak hammer because it’s in the middle. Stronger hammers should appear on bottom in a clear trend.

OU – Opposite of U                                                                                                                                                                                  I made up OU because of my experience in chart analysis. I realized that formations like that have strong impact most of the time. It consists of 3 candlesticks. OU can appear anywhere. It signals bearish market.  For it to signal bullish market, it has to be in a formation of U. It doesn’t matter what the color of middle candlestick. But it has to be a small body or a doji. First and last candlestick has to be about the same body size with each other.

 

Daily Chart:

I said “more like Double bottom” because it’s not in a “perfect condition” of how real double bottom should look like. It’s in a “good” or “75% out of 100% condition”

As you can see, doji was backed or supported by strong support line.

Bearish Engulfing Pattern was very strong because it was backed or supported by resistance and trend line. It was also supported by small body or doji. Forex market is open 24 hours. You may be asking “why is there gap between doji and first candlestick of engulfing pattern?” The answer is that the doji was closed on Friday 5 P.M and first candlestick of engulfing pattern opened on Sunday 5 P.M.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me anytime.

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