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The Daily Fix: The ultimate week ahead playbook

Chris Weston
Chris Weston
Head of Research
Jan 17, 2020
We finish the week on a strong footing for risk, with equities continuing the march higher.

The USD is flat on the day, although, we’re focused on moves in USDJPY today, with the pair testing the 5-year downtrend and looking quite tasty from the long side, with price reflecting that of the S&P500.

USDJPY weekly chart

Modest moves can be seen in US fixed income, and again I can’t state enough how bullish it is for equities (and sentiment more broadly), that we are seeing no signs of worry and selling in US ‘real’ (or inflation-adjusted) yields despite the improving economics and commodity moves. China data continues to light up risk, and after yesterday's solid credit data, we’ve seen industrial production a punchy 100bp better than the street was looking for.

China data chart
(Source: Bloomberg)

The dynamics are compelling. Low vol, better liquidity driven by central bank action, improving data, yet no sell-off in real rates and as we can see in below chart the CRB raw industrial commodity index is having a solid move higher, indicating the better economics. It is doing wonders for carry, and traders buying into the higher yielding currencies.

Commodity index chart

Weekly volatility report

I touched on low volatility (vol), where we can visualise implied vol through various indices, such as the VIX index or JP Morgan global FX volatility index, which incidentally hit a record low today - or we can look at the options market and implied volatility for any currency pair and over a specified time to expiry. By using ‘straddle’ or ‘strange’ pricing we can understand the extent of expected movement in price.

In the video I look at a number of well traded currency pairs, as well as gold and US equities and assess, not just key measures of realised volatility, such as ATR or Bollinger Bands, but also implied volatility. This is key for me, as it is a visual of what the market thinks will be the degree by which price will move, up or down, and the content of this in relation to its 12-month range. I find this incredibly useful for understanding how the market interprets known event risk and can help us with our risk assessment and achieve correct position sizing.

Vol chart

I also look at rates pricing, risk reversals and futures positioning. Take a look, as I hope it can help you understand the backdrop by which you operate in, what’s working and what isn’t and can help you get perspective for the week ahead.

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