USD JPY BREAKOUT SHORT- CRISIS LOOMING?

As we continue to struggle in a very low liquidity environment for the Currency Market, the USD JPY has also fallen victim to the absence of meaningful, tradeable volatility. This has led to the formation of a 145-Pip Range within which the pair has moved since the middle of April this year. Short-term aggressive traders may have profited from this period of market indecision by trading between Support and Resistance despite the erratic nature of the candles. However, those focused on the larger picture could be rewarded for their patience with a strong bearish breakout of 300 Pips that seems to be looming following the break of two previous Uptrend Lines. 

The chart below shows the Range within which we have been for the last 3 months. Traders who enter and use the Resistance and Support boundaries for Stop Losses would have done so at the 102,75 and 101,30 price areas, respectively.


DAILY CHART















Trading based solely on Support and Resistance without strong candle signals can be a very risk strategy given the possibility of large price spikes at these areas. The absence of such strong candle signals also leads to unexpected Double Tops and Bottoms that appear at the mid-point of these Ranges. On the other hand, if these Range traders were to instead take a broader look at this currency pair, they would see the potential for even larger gains in the next few days.

The chart below shows that this Range is actually sitting atop the Outer Trend Line that has been in place since November of 2012. We can also see that the movement to this Trend Line followed the break of two Inner Trend Lines.


DAILY CHART



In general, trend reversals tend to occur whenever there are successive breaks of trend lines and/or long periods of indecision and sideways patterns. Whenever they are as large as the patterns that we are seeing here, however, they are usually associated with a major change in investor sentiment such as with the GBP USD prior to the safe-haven trading of 2008;


DAILY CHART - GBP USD
















And the return of risk-appetite to the markets in 2009;


DAILY CHART - AUD USD
















Given that we are seeing something very similar with the USD JPY, we are very likely to see a significant trend change associated with another major shift in market sentiment. If this actually takes place, it is likely to start with a break of the Support of the current Range setup.


DAILY CHART















Even though such a major trend change could last for several months, let's  examine what can take place in the very short-run period of 7 to 14 days.

As the breakout begins, there will be several price points of Support to provide traders with good exits for their trades. However, given the precocious nature of breakouts, the trader would need to know beforehand that a particular Support point targeted for profit, will in fact be hit before the trend ends.

This is where the concept of the Breakout Equivalent becomes useful. It measures the distance over which the breakout is expected to take place before coming to a slow or abrupt end. Knowledge of this price and how to measure it allows traders to set their pre-determined pip targets with greater certainty and avoid the trap of unexpected reversals. If this breakout actually takes place in favour of the Japanese Yen, the Breakout Equivalent target would be at 98,40, some 300 Pips away from the current price. 

This concept can be seen throughout the Currency Market, with the USD CAD providing a very recent example.


DAILY CHART - USD CAD
















In this case, the Breakout Equivalent took us very close to a major Uptrend Line that started in September of 2012. You will also notice that the breakout signal was strong enough to give traders the added confidence that we would not fall into the trap of a False Breakout to go long. Once a strong enough signal is given to start a breakout, pre-determined targets can be comfortably set to capture between 100 and 200 Pips (125 Pips in this example). 

Another major issue related to these setups is the holding period for our trades. Breakouts can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the speed of the market and the size of the Consolidation. This means that two currency pairs with similar size Ranges can reach their respective target at different times. Given that we do not necessarily want to hold our trades open indefinitely, what would determine our decision to stay in these trades for 4, 7, 10 or 14 days?



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Duane Shepherd 
(M.Sc. Economics, B.Sc. Management and Economics)
Currency Analyst/Trader
Contact: shepherdduane@gmail.com
Twitter: @WorldWide876
Facebook: DRFXTRADING 

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