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Technical Analysis: Update on the Euro

November 3, 2011 1 comment

In our last article regarding the Euro published on May 16, 2010, The Euro Breaks Long-Term Support: Watch Out for Short Covering, we warned that although the situation seemed dire and the Euro futures had just broken down through a multi-year low, it was not the time to get on the short-selling bandwagon. At the time, I was expecting at the least a moderate sized bounce but we ended up getting a lot more than a “bounce”.

At the time of the post, the most recent close on Euro futures was $1.2369 and over the course of the next 12 months, it staged an enormous 20%+ rally (with a very nice, easy-to-trade trend I might add) up to a interim high of $1.4925. Since then however, new worries regarding whether or not Greece would default (or if markdowns were accepted by bondholders, how much of a markdown) and rising yields on the sovereign debt the other PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain).

So now with the possibility of a Greek referendum on whether to stay in the Euro and the possibility that Prime Minister George Papandreou will be forced to resign, what are the charts saying about the direction of the Euro, and possibly the direction of markets in general? Let’s take a look below:

(Click here for a larger image)

This first chart is a basic long term trend line analysis reflecting the development of a VERY large wedge/pennant formation. Wedge patterns are indicative of uncertainty and a lack of conviction among investors and are not effective at predicting price movements (aside from trading the range) until they break up/down out of the pattern. The fact that the Euro has broken below and above the lines at certain points further illustrates the lack of conviction.

However, there is slightly more evidence indicating downward price pressure from where the Euro currently is for two reasons. 1.) The trend line from the June 2010 lows that had been acting as support was breached to the downside and the Euro has just finished retracing to touch it in what is possibly a “kiss of death”. 2.) As you can see on this zoomed in daily version of the same chart, there was strong resistance at the top of the wedge’s range so it would be completely normal for the Euro to retest the lows of the pattern again. The daily chart also shows that the Euro ran into resistance at the 150 and 200 day SMA lines (white).

Despite the bearish trend lines that I mentioned above, I currently have no position on the euro (I’ll explain why on the next chart). I would however become very bearish if it were to break down below $1.3020 because it would be a clear break of the wedge and would also be indicative of a head and shoulders pattern.

The reason I am not positioned short at the moment is shown on the next chart that uses Fibonacci retracement analysis.

(Click here for a larger image)

The graph shown above paints a slightly different picture. While it’s true that the 61.8% line was not penetrated in the short setup from the interim high at$1.4925 to the recent low at $1.3139, the long setup from the same recent low at $1.3139 to the recent high at $1.4243 also held. This situation mirrors the indecisiveness that was evident with the wedge pattern above. However, this chart leans more towards the bullish side because the two setups mentioned above in this paragraph are taking place within a much larger weekly long setup from the June 2010 lows to the interim high at $1.4925. The bigger the setup more more trustworthy it is and the trend is in place until it isn’t.

Based on the Fibonacci chart, my bias at the moment would be long but with a stop at $1.3560. If I got  stopped out, I would then wait for the next 50% retracement to get short. At that point, both the trend line and Fibonacci analysis would be pointing towards the bearish side so it would be more likely for the Euro to break through the weekly support. It’s also important to note that in the last six years, the Euro has never held a full half way back 50% long after breaking trend (as the Euro already did back in September).

In this case, we have the only area where the two indicators agree, is that the outlook is still mixed until the Euro breaks out of it’s current range so the best way to play this would probably just be being patient and waiting for the market to tell us the next move. I’ll try and give an update on this later when a trend materializes.

Disclosures:
No current Euro positions.

-MJB

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