Forex Walkthrough


Medium Term - Gold And The Aussie

The relationships between different financial markets are almost as old as the markets themselves. For example, in many cases when benchmark equities rise, bonds fall. Many traders will watch for correlations like this and try to capitalize on the opportunity. The same types of relationships exist in the global foreign exchange market. Take, for instance, the closely related tie between the Australian dollar and gold. Due mostly to the fact that Australia remains a major producer of this precious metal, the correlation is an opportunity that not only exists, but is one that traders on every level can capitalize on. Let's take a look at why this relationship exists, and how you can use it to produce solid-gold returns.

Being Productive Is Key
The U.S. dollar/crude oil relationship exists for one simple reason: the commodity is priced in dollars. However, the same cannot be said about the Aussie correlation. The gold/Australian dollar relationship stems from production. Australia is one of the largest gold producers in the world, along with China, South Africa and the United States. Even though it may not be the largest producer, the "Land Down Under" produces an estimated 225 metric tons of gold per year, according to the consultancy firm GFMS. As a result, it is only natural that the underlying currency of a major commodity producer follows a similar pattern to that commodity. With the ebb and flow of production, the exchange rate will follow supply and demand as money exchanges hands between miner and manufacturer. (For related reading, see Commodity Prices And Currency Movements.)

Capitalizing on the Relationship
Although the macro strategy does work on all levels, it is best suited for portfolios that are set in longer time frames. Traders are not going to see strong correlations on every single day of trading, much like other broader market dynamics. As a result, it's advantageous to cushion the blow of daily volatility and risk through a longer time horizon.

Fundamentally oriented traders will tend to trade one or both instruments, taking trading cues from the other. These cues can be gathered from a list of topics including:

  1. Commodity reserve reports
  2. COT Futures Reports
  3. Australian economic developments
  4. Interest rates
  5. Safe haven investing

As a result, these trades tend to be longer than day-trade considerations as the portfolio is looking to capture the overall market tone rather than just an intraday pop or drop.

Technically, traders tend to find their cues in technical formations with the hope that corresponding correlations will seep into the related market. Whether the formation is in the gold chart or the Aussie chart, it is better to find one solid formation first, rather than looking for both charts to correlate perfectly. An example of this is clearly seen in the chart examples below.

Figure 1
Source: FX Trek Intellicharts

Figure 2
Source: MetaTrader

As shown in Figure 2, with the market in turmoil and the investor deleveraging that was "en vogue" in 2008, traders saw an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon as both the Aussie and gold experienced a temporary uptick in price. Already knowing that this would be a blow-off top in an otherwise bearish market, the savvy technical investor could visibly see both assets moving in sync. As a result, technically speaking, a short opportunity shone through as the commodity approached the $905.50 figure, which corresponded with the pivotal 0.8500 figure in the FX market. The double top in gold all but ensured further depression in the Australian dollar/U.S. dollar currency pair. (For more insight, see The Midas Touch For Gold Investors.)

Trying It Out: A Trade Setup
Now let's take a look at a shorter trade setup involving both the Australian dollar and gold.

First, the broad macro picture. Taking a look at Figure 2, we see that gold has taken a hard dive down as investors and traders have deleveraged and sold off riskier assets. Following this move, subsequent consolidation lends to the belief that a turnaround may be lingering in the market. The idea is supported by the likelihood that equity investors will elect to move some money into the safe haven commodity as global benchmark indexes continue to decline in value. (To read more about gold's reputation as a safe haven, see 8 Reasons To Own Gold.)

Figure 3
Source: MetaTrader

We see a similar position developing in the Australian dollar following a spike down to just below the 0.6045 figure, shown in Figure 4 below. At this time, the currency was under extreme pressure as global speculators deemed the Australian dollar a risky currency. Putting these two factors together, portfolio direction is looking to be upward.

Next, we take a look at our charts and apply basic support and resistance techniques. Following our initial trade idea with gold, we first project a textbook channel to our chart as price action has displayed three defining technical points (labeled A, B and C). The gold channel corresponds with a short-term channel developing in the AUD/USD currency pair in Figure 4.

Figure 4
Source: MetaTrader

The combination culminates on December 10, 2008 (Figure 3 Point C). Not only do both assets test the support or lower channel trendline, but we also have a bullish MACD convergence confirming the move higher in the AUD/USD currency pair.

Finally, we place the corresponding entry at the close of the session, 0.6561. The subsequent stop would be placed at the swing low. In this case, that would be the December 5 low of 0.6290, a roughly 271 pip stop. Taking proper risk/reward management into account, we place our target at 0.7103 to give us a 2:1 risk-to-reward ratio. Luckily, the trade takes no longer than a week as the target is triggered on December 18 for a 542 pip profit.

Intermarket strategies like the Australian dollar and gold present ample opportunities for the savvy investor and trader. Whether it's to produce a higher profit/loss ratio or increase overall portfolio returns, market correlations are sure to add value to a market participant's repertoire.

Turn Trade
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Time to Bring Active Back into a Portfolio?

    While stocks have rallied since the economic recovery in 2009, many active portfolio managers have struggled to deliver investor returns in excess.
  2. Chart Advisor

    ChartAdvisor for November 27 2015

    Weekly technical summary of the major U.S. indexes.
  3. Economics

    Investing Opportunities as Central Banks Diverge

    After the Paris attacks investors are focusing on central bank policy and its potential for divergence: tightened by the Fed while the ECB pursues easing.
  4. Chart Advisor

    Pay Attention To These Stock Patterns Playing Out

    The stocks are all moving different types of patterns. A breakout could signal a major price move in the trending direction, or it could reverse the trend.
  5. Chart Advisor

    Now Could Be The Time To Buy IPOs

    There has been lots of hype around the IPO market lately. We'll take a look at whether now is the time to buy.
  6. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Pfizer Stock

    Learn the biggest potential risks that may affect the price of Pfizer's stock, complete with a fundamental analysis and review of other external factors.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Why did Wal-Mart's Stock Take a Fall in 2015?

    Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world, with a sterling track-record of profits and dividends. So why has its stock fallen sharply in 2015?
  8. Investing News

    Should You Invest in Disney Stock Before Star Wars?

    The force is strong with Disney stock, as it continues to make gains going into the launch of EP7. But is this pricey stock a good buy at these levels?
  9. Investing

    10 Cheap Vacations for the Ultimate Foodie

    If you are a foodie then explore one of these destinations in 2016.
  10. Investing News

    Silicon Valley Startups Fly into Space

    Space enthusiasts are in for an exciting time as Silicon Valley startups take on the lucrative but expensive final frontier.
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, ...
  2. Currency

    Currency is a generally accepted form of money, including coins ...
  3. Hedge

    Making an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements ...
  4. Confirmation

    The use of an additional indicator or indicators to substantiate ...
  5. Qualitative Analysis

    Securities analysis that uses subjective judgment based on nonquantifiable ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based ...
  1. Can hedge funds trade penny stocks?

    Hedge funds can trade penny stocks. In fact, hedge funds can trade in just about any type of security, including medium- ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    The Vanguard mutual fund family is one of the largest and most well-recognized fund family in the financial industry. Its ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do mutual funds work in India?

    Mutual funds in India work in much the same way as mutual funds in the United States. Like their American counterparts, Indian ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts?

    While the specific dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts vary by state, all states provide for the escheatment ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Does mutual fund manager tenure matter?

    Mutual fund investors have numerous items to consider when selecting a fund, including investment style, sector focus, operating ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center