FX Breakout Monitor: Sterling has a go above breakout levels
Head of FX Strategy
Summary: Sterling rushed higher through resistance as investors downgraded the No Deal scenario for Brexit today. Meanwhile, a slight souring of risk appetite and oil prices offers a modest boost to the yen and headwinds for EM and the commodity dollars.
Sterling has challenged below long-established range lows in EURGBP and was trading close to a significant longer-term resistance line in GBPUSD as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn voiced support for a second referendum if the Brexit plan didn’t shape up as hoped and prime minister May today promised a vote to avoid a No Deal and an option to delay Article 50 until the end of June if whatever new terms for her existing deal she can agree with the EU fails a vote on either March 13 or March 14.
In other pairs, a more defensive stance in risk appetite despite some additional euphoria produced by hopes for a US-China trade deal have driven a dose of JPY strength and risky currency weakness from yesterday’s extremes.
Breakout signal tracker
We have no open signals on our tracker. We may consider a GBP long trade versus CHF depending on the quality of today’s closing levels.
Page 1: yesterday we noted the potential EURJPY breakout – one that could stumble quickly if risk appetite is rolling over here. Elsewhere, it’s all about a clean sweep of potential breakouts in sterling to the upside if today’s price action more or less holds into the close of trading today.
Together with EURGBP, the GBPCHF breakout looks technically compelling if the developing situation doesn’t throw up any fresh headline risks over the next one to two weeks (we generally look at a maximum holding period of 9 days and we will look to track the GBPCHF breakout starting tomorrow if the close is reasonably strong today above the 1.3115 break level (would be nice for the price action to hold reasonably close to 1.3200 into the close to avoid too much “upper shadow”, i.e., retracement from intraday highs that point to less impulsive strength than a stronger close).
The following is a left-to-right, column by column explanation of the FX Breakout Monitor tables.
Trend: a measure of whether the currency pair is trending up, down or sideways based on an algorithm that looks for persistent directional price action. A currency can register a breakout before it looks like it is trending if markets are choppy.
ATR: Average True Range or the average daily trading range. Our calculation of this indicator uses a 50-day exponential moving average to smooth development. The shading indicates whether, relative to the prior 1,000 trading days, the current ATR is exceptionally high (deep orange), somewhat elevated (lighter orange), normal (no shading), quiet (light blue) or exceptionally quiet (deeper blue).
High Closes / Low Closes: These columns show the highest and lowest prior 19- and 49-day daily closing levels.
Breakouts: The right-most several columns columns indicate whether a breakout to the upside or downside has unfolded today (coloured “X”) or on any of the previous six trading days. This graphic indication offers an easy way to see whether the breakout is the first in a series or is a continuation from a prior break. For the “Today” columns for 19-day and 49-day breakouts, if there is no break, the distance from the current “Quote” to the break level is shown in ATR, and coloured yellow if getting close to registering a breakout.
NOTE: although the Today column may show a breakout in action, the daily close is the key level that is the final arbiter on whether the breakout is registered for subsequent days.