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The Art of Not Trading

With the holiday season lingering on and a new year on the cusp of arrival, traders may glance at the calendar and notice there is not much economic news to anticipate on Friday to cap off a light week. In situations like these where there can be lulls in bullish and bearish momentum due to a lack of fundamental catalysts, it can be helpful to remember that abstaining from trading is often its own discipline. With this in mind, let’s consider three ways traders can be productive during bouts of time where financial markets may not yield many trade setups. After all, the art of not trading is hard to navigate, but is essential for remaining profitable.

1) Rest

The Art of Not Trading

This may seem obvious or cliché at face value; however, guaranteeing meaningful rest for yourself is of the utmost importance when it comes to excelling in any skill. Just as athletes and manual laborers need rest days so that their muscles can adequately repair, time off from purely mental activities like trading is crucial for avoiding burnout and preventing recklessness. Besides simply making an effort to spend time away from the trading environment, ensuring a certain quality of rest can be quite helpful as well. Whether that means indulging in some extra sleep, spending time with old friends, exercising at the gym, or making time for an often-neglected hobby, good rest takes many forms for everyone. Whatever that happens to be for you, fitting restfulness into your lifestyle truly is an aspect of healthy trading, not a departure from it.

2) Backtest

The Art of Not Trading

Because trading is a game of risk management and probabilities, setting aside time for pouring over historical data can be of great benefit when it comes to exploring a strategy. Whether you are considering implementing a brand-new approach or polishing a formula you judge to be tried-and-true, subjecting any strategy to backtesting is always time well spent. For those interested in learning more about how to backtest, feel free to watch this video and much more from A1 Trading’s YouTube channel, and explore a selection of Metatrader Trading Software offered here.

3) Read

The Art of Not Trading

It often appears to be the case that many retail traders fall into the trap of over-relying on technical analysis over fundamental analysis. While reading charts and utilizing technical indicators can be incredibly helpful, it is important to remember that currencies, equities, and commodities are real things with actual value, and that their worth is not reducible to patterns on a screen. Investing your time in conducting fundamental analysis, such as reading up on the economic performance of the host country of a currency you trade or keeping up with news about the geopolitical tensions influencing a commodity’s availability, can be illuminating. By making an effort to understand the nuances of a particular currency pair or other asset, you may find that your biases as a trader grow more nuanced as well. For those interested in using a market scanner that offers supplemental fundamental analysis, the EdgeFinder is fantastic.

Best Currency to Buy?

As the fiscal year comes to a close, consumers will likely finish shopping for the holidays, and traders and investors will get some respite thanks to a long weekend due to bank holidays around the world. While concerns about further stock market selloffs may be lingering in the minds of some, a promising set of assets is likely flying under most retail traders’ radar: Kiwi Dollar pairs. NZD has retained incredible strength in recent months, owed primarily to a remarkable New Zealand economy and a hawkish central bank; despite few bits of recent or upcoming news that could become fundamental catalysts, the New Zealand Dollar remains highly esteemed by the EdgeFinder. As we consider trade setups for the near future, it is worth asking: could NZD currently be the best currency to buy?

Three Pairs to Watch

According to the EdgeFinder, which provides nuanced supplemental analysis for traders, some of the pairs that earn the strongest biases are still NZD pairs. For those who are bullish on the Kiwi Dollar and interested in finding potential trade setups, the following pairs are well worth monitoring. They are listed below in order of signal strength, along with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) GBP/NZD - Earns an ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Currency to Buy?
Best Currency to Buy?

2) AUD/NZD - Earns an ‘-8’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Currency to Buy?
Best Currency to Buy?

3) NZD/CAD - Earns an ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Best Currency to Buy?
Best Currency to Buy?
3 Pairs to Avoid (For Now)

As many readers are aware, the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanner, can be incredibly helpful in the process of discerning which assets are worth watching for potential trade setups. Whether someone is planning on buying or selling currency pairs, commodities, indices, or more, EdgeFinder analysis is so holistic that its ratings and biases can be a go-to supplement for bulls and bears. However, one feature of the EdgeFinder’s that is rarely mentioned, yet quite meaningful, is its generation of ‘0’ ratings and ‘Neutral’ biases. Most days, there is a small handful of assets that earn these reviews; rather than being irrelevant, these ratings can be quite beneficial to keep in mind, as they alert traders to a high level of uncertainty. With that in mind, here are 3 pairs to avoid (for now), as they currently earn such ‘0’ ratings, warranting caution.

1) AUD/CAD - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

3 Pairs to Avoid (For Now)
Both currencies display some substantial degree of weakness relative to other currencies' host countries, such as Australia's unaggressive central bank, or the Canadian Dollar's relationship with (recently falling) oil prices as a 'commodity currency'.

2) NZD/USD - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

3 Pairs to Avoid (For Now)
Both currencies display some substantial degree of strength relative to other currencies' host countries, with both boasting solid GDP growth and fairly hawkish central banks.

3) GBP/CAD - Earns a ‘0’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

3 Pairs to Avoid (For Now)
As with AUD/CAD, both currencies here suffer from some substantial degree of weakness relative to other currencies' host countries, such as the UK's looming stagflation problem (recession combined with high inflation), and institutional bearishness for both the Pound and Canadian Dollar.
How to Trade JPY This Week

Today and tomorrow are primed to be significant for those trading the Japanese Yen, as well as Japanese bonds. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is tentatively scheduled to release a Monetary Policy Statement at some point today along with any interest rate adjustments, with a press conference to follow tomorrow. Buying pressure for JPY has been gaining steam over the past few months as traders bet on the BoJ finally pivoting away from extreme dovishness as annual inflation in Japan hits a historic 3.7%. However, while the BoJ seems likely to change course at some point, there have been few explicit signals to suggest that a newfound hawkishness could be just around the corner; for context, Japan’s economy has wrestled with a chronic deflation problem for decades. While the BoJ’s Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, has a planned retirement in April of 2023, what sort of tone his successor will set still remains a little way off. As retail traders contemplate how to trade JPY this week, it may be wise to focus more on fundamentals over speculation.

Three Pairs to Watch

The EdgeFinder is currently quite bearish on JPY ahead of the upcoming monetary policy news. For those interested in looking for potential trade setups for selling the Yen, the following pairs are rated favorably for JPY bears. They are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) CHF/JPY - Receives a ‘7’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

How to Trade JPY This Week
How to Trade JPY This Week

2) EUR/JPY - Receives a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

How to Trade JPY This Week
How to Trade JPY This Week

3) NZD/JPY - Receives a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

How to Trade JPY This Week
How to Trade JPY This Week
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade

As another dense news week draws to a close and financial markets continue to react to the latest flurry of interest rate hikes around the world, it can be helpful for traders to recenter on key biases. Before the weekend fully arrives, let’s check in with the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s market scanning software, to take note of the various ‘strong’ signals that have been generated in preparation for next week. The following list is composed of the 5 strongest pairs to trade according to EdgeFinder analysis: they are listed with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts. Additional fundamental and technical commentary will be provided accordingly.

1) USD/CAD - Earns an ‘8’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
USD beats CAD in every listed category besides inflation (although annual inflation in the US remains slightly higher than in Canada).
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
This yearlong uptrend has been impressive, with a sustained breakout above key resistance.

2) NZD/CAD - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
NZD beats CAD in every listed category besides inflation and interest rate divergence (although annual inflation in New Zealand remains higher than in Canada, and their benchmark interest rates are identical).
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
The past few months have given way to incredible bullish momentum following October's reversal.

3) EUR/JPY - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
EUR beats JPY in every listed category besides inflation and unemployment; interest rate divergence is especially significant in light of the EU's departure from ultraloose monetary policy, which contrasts sharply with Japan.
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
This yearslong uptrend has reached highs not encountered since 2015.

4) AUD/NZD - Earns a ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
NZD continues to beat AUD in every listed category.
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
The aggressive selloff continues following October's stunning breakout below trendline support.

5) GBP/NZD - Earns a ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
NZD continues to beat GBP in every listed category.
5 Strongest Pairs to Trade
Trendline resistance spanning over a decade continues to hold as key support is yet again retested.
Big Fed Decision Ahead

Fresh on the heels of today’s surprisingly low inflation data for the United States, all eyes will be on the big Fed decision ahead. Tomorrow afternoon at 2 pm ET, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC; the policy-making body within the Federal Reserve) will reveal their latest increase in the Federal Funds Rate, along with a corresponding statement and a new set of economic projections for the next two years (including interest rate forecasts). Following this, at 2:30 pm ET Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak at the FOMC press conference, where he will answer questions regarding monetary policy strategy, economic outlook, and more. All these events are likely to cause a great deal of volatility across financial markets, especially as equities investors eagerly await a slower rate hike pace.

With a 50 basis point rate hike forecast for tomorrow, instead of another brutal 75 basis point hike like those that have been implemented consecutively the past several times, traders and analysts will be on the lookout for more signals regarding a further pivot away from hawkishness. They may feel further emboldened in this search in light of the latest CPI data released this morning, showcasing another month of slowing inflation, bolstering stock market optimism and reducing US Dollar bullishness. However, whether evidence for this narrative continues to build has yet to be seen: there is still the chance that the FOMC could further upwardly revise interest rate forecasts while slowing the pace, which would not be quite as bullish for stocks and bearish for USD as it may seem.

Three Indices to Watch

In yesterday’s article we discussed three pairs to monitor for those who are bullish on USD; they remain worth checking on for potential trade setups this week. Today, however, let’s examine three stock market indices worth watching for those who may be anticipating a fundamental catalyst related to potential Fed dovishness tomorrow. Though two receive neutral signals, the EdgeFinder currently offers positive ratings for all three listed below, as can be seen among their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) US30 (Dow Jones) - Earns a ‘3’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead

2) SPX500 (S&P 500) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead

3) NAS100 (Nasdaq-100) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Big Fed Decision Ahead
Big Fed Decision Ahead
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 am ET, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for the month of November. Widely considered a proxy for inflation, the rate at which CPI increases will help the American public and the Federal Reserve discern how much of a threat high inflation continues to pose. Month-over-month CPI is forecast to slow to a 0.3% increase, while month-over-month Core CPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices) is anticipated to clock in at 0.3% as well. If the real numbers exceed these expectations, this would be bullish news for USD and bearish news for stock market indices, whereas the inverse would be true if the numbers come in smaller. This is because hotter inflation data gives the Fed further incentive to raise interest rates to cool the economy, which strengthens the Greenback while diminishing demand for stocks. With the Fed’s next rate hike and press conference coming just two days from now, we must issue a warning: US CPI tomorrow is just the beginning for major pairs and equities.

Three Pairs to Watch

Considering that the latest Producer Price Index data released last week was quite bullish for USD, it seems plausible that tomorrow's CPI updates could yield similar results. With this in mind, for those interested in going long on USD, here are three potential pairs to watch for trade setups. While the EdgeFinder, A1 Trading’s handy market scanner, is reasonably cautious about some of them, new momentum from a fundamental catalyst could correlate with new biases being generated which are more optimistic for US Dollar bulls. They are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD - Earns a ‘6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Buy’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

2) USD/JPY - Earns a ‘1’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow

3) AUD/USD - Earns a ‘-1’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Warning: US CPI Tomorrow
Time to Buy CHF

As the Swiss National Bank (SNB) gears up for a likely new interest rate hike on Thursday, December 15th, financial markets will be watching. Chairman Thomas Jordan of the SNB has made these hawkish intentions clear repeatedly; this contractionary agenda would be the continuation of Switzerland’s recent departure from ultraloose monetary policy. Negative interest rates had been a years-long precedent for the central bank prior to the SNB’s shocking pivot towards tightening over the course of 2022, as high inflation grips the global economy. These rate hikes contribute to a greater valuation for the Swiss Franc, which already displays impressive fundamentals thanks to the stability of Switzerland’s economy. This reflects in the EdgeFinder’s positive analysis of the currency, which has aided in generating several new signals for CHF pairs; they are listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts. As potential trade setups emerge over the coming week, it is worth asking: is it time to buy CHF?

1) CHF/JPY - Earns a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

Time to Buy CHF
Time to Buy CHF

2) AUD/CHF - Earns a ‘-4’ Rating, or a ‘Sell’ Signal

Time to Buy CHF
Time to Buy CHF

3) CAD/CHF - Earns a ‘-4’ Rating, or a ‘Sell’ Signal

Time to Buy CHF
Time to Buy CHF
PPI and More Tomorrow

Between fresh numbers for US PPI and more tomorrow, there is a good chance that forex and equities traders could encounter increased volatility across financial markets. First, at 8:30 am ET on Friday, tomorrow morning, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release the latest increases for the Producer Price Index (PPI; measures changes in the prices of goods and services sold by producers) and Core PPI (which excludes volatile food and energy prices), both month-over-month. These measurements of inflation are both currently forecast to have risen by 0.2% in the month of November; if the real figures fall short of these expectations, this would be bearish news for USD and bullish news for the US stock market, whereas the inverse would be true if the real PPI numbers exceed these expectations.

Second, at 10 am ET tomorrow, the University of Michigan in the US is going to publish the Preliminary release of their Index of Consumer Sentiment report. Released monthly, the index is based on data regarding the economic confidence of consumers gathered via survey; it acts as an indicator for economic optimism or pessimism, which can have big implications for financial markets. With the index anticipated to hit 56.9 this month, a larger number would signal more consumer optimism, which would be bullish news for USD and bearish for stocks. However, if the report fails to hit these forecasts, this could likely be bearish news for USD and bullish for the stock market. This is because, as with the PPI reports, hotter-than-expected growth and demand could cause the Federal Reserve to lean further into monetary tightening and hawkishness, which would fly in the face of investor hopes as reflected in the recent months’ stock market rally. Regardless of bullish or bearish biases, traders would be wise to keep an eye on these releases, as they may have a significant impact on price action tomorrow.

What Assets to Watch

While the EdgeFinder does not currently view the US Dollar in a particularly favorable light, it has generated one such bullish signal for a major pair. That pair is listed below, along with two assets worth watching for potential trade setups if tomorrow’s news is bearish for USD. They are all listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts.

1) USD/CAD - Earns a ‘5’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

2) US30 (Dow Jones) - Earns a ‘4’ Rating, or a ‘Buy’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow

3) XAU/USD (Gold) - Earns a ‘2’ Rating, or a ‘Neutral’ Signal

PPI and More Tomorrow
PPI and More Tomorrow
Best Pairs to Sell This Week

As we await significant economic news releases over the coming days (such as Australia’s quarter-over-quarter GDP growth tonight at 7:30 pm ET, an interest rate hike and corresponding statement from the Bank of Canada on Wednesday at 10 am ET, and the latest Producer Price Index numbers for the US on Friday at 8:30 am ET), it is worthwhile to consider which pairs the A1 Edgefinder already suggests monitoring. With this in mind, here are the EdgeFinder’s three potential best pairs to sell this week, listed below with their respective ratings, signals/biases, and corresponding charts. Due to the New Zealand Dollar’s holistic strength as of late, they are currently all NZD pairs. Additional comments on fundamentals and technical analysis will also be provided.

1) GBP/NZD - Earns a ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Pairs to Sell This Week
NZD beats the Pound in every listed category, perhaps most notably in interest rate divergence, COT data, and GDP growth.
Best Pairs to Sell This Week
Trendline resistance is remarkable, spanning nearly two decades. Key support has been tested repeatedly since 2018, thus far to no avail.

2) AUD/NZD - Earns a ‘-9’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Pairs to Sell This Week
NZD likewise beats the Aussie Dollar in every listed category, with the same strong points mentioned with GBP/NZD.
Best Pairs to Sell This Week
This past year's impressive uptrend has been disrupted by an aggressive breakout to the downside, aided by EMA resistance.

3) EUR/NZD - Earns a ‘-6’ Rating, or a ‘Strong Sell’ Signal

Best Pairs to Sell This Week
NZD beats the Euro in every listed category, except for both COT data and retail sentiment.
Best Pairs to Sell This Week
Trendline resistance appears compelling, though higher lows are also evident since April of this year.
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