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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Specialize In Trading USD (Part II)

By Ahmad Hassam

Suppose you have the data for the currency correlations of the major pairs. The correlation between GBP/USD and EUR/USD is 0.68. It means that 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 about the recent correlation coefficients. It tells you how much these pairs move in the same direction or opposite direction. Suppose you trade both the currency pairs USD/CHF and EUR/USD by going long. What you will be doing by going long on both the positively correlated pairs is in fact canceling both the long 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.

Currency correlations can help you in making entry and exit decisions for each trade. Lets suppose GBP/USD starts showing volatility. The pair approaches a resistance level. You plan on going long if there is a breakout.

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

You know now that the move in GBP/USD pair is GBP driven. The move is not US Dollar driven. You have isolated the cause of movement in GBP/USD pair and can take advantage of this information. Ignore the GBP driven move. Dont enter into any trade. Wait for a later opportunity. An 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.

Knowledge of currency correlations can tell you if EUR/GBP breaks through the S1 level, you are poised for a profitable trade in this type of a situation, However, you should watch the indicators and exit before taking a big loss if it reverses and heads back to the upside. You might consider trading a basket of all the major currencies as you mature in forex trading. - 23208

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