Tag Archives: overbought

The folks at Business Insider recently posted the following chart showing the position of the futures market in terms of the US Dollar. It comes from the weekly Commitment of Traders report and shows that the net long USD position of the market has gotten near the highest levels from 2012.

The suggestion of that article is this kind of extreme reading is likely a signal the market is due for a reversal. Certainly it has been the case that extreme net long or short positions have seen the greenback turn in the opposite direction, though it is worth noting that the case of both the 2011 low and the 2012 high, there was a bit of a lag before the market began trending the other way.

With that in mind, it is worth taking a look at the current chart of the USD Index to see what it might tell us about the technical condition of the market. Specifically, do we have an overbought market right now?

The weekly chart below does definitely have some interesting features. The one which stands out most clearly in support of the case for an overbought market is the RSI reading, which is depicted in the lower plot. Notice how it has reached very near to recent prior peaks.

That said, we don’t have a lot of other indications of a market which has gotten overextended to the upside. The chart pattern itself has been classically stair-step in nature, which is not the type of action which tends to create strongly overbought conditions. The Bollinger Bands have been widening, but at this stage are not exactly wide, as shown by the middle plot.

I think at this stage the odds favor a bit more upside for the USD. You will notice that these bias extremes do not come as singular spikes in most cases. That means there’s room for further appreciation, even if the market turns down as soon as the bullish imbalance starts to come back down. Should there be a lag between imbalance shift and price reversal, though, it could be a couple months before the greenback finally tops out.

In any case, the break of the 2012 highs does support at least a little bit more upside action. I don’t know that a test of the 2010 highs is in the cards for this particular uptrend leg, though.

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Welcome back to our Ask the Expert series with Oanda’s Scott Boyd and Dean Popplewell. This week’s question comes from our Facebook page:

Okogba Papa Woyin-Emi asked “What are the best ways to spot trend reversal?”

Great question, and not one that can be answered fully in a single post. So we’re going to tackle this important topic in multiple phases, starting with… spotting trend reversal using Relative Strength Index:

Regardless of individual trading strategies, all traders share a common goal – identifying as early as possible, potential trend reversal points. The earlier you can get in on a reversal, the greater the potential for profit. Unfortunately, it is also true that the earlier you act, the greater the chance that what you thought was a trend reversal is really just a fluctuation and once the tend resumes, you may suddenly find yourself on the wrong side of the trend!

To help avoid this scenario, there are several approaches you can take to improve your analysis of the current market trend. Generally speaking, analysis falls into one of two types – fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis consists of news events such as central bank actions or the latest unemployment figures. The rule of thumb is that when news is seen as a positive sign for a country’s economy, the currency tends to perform better. While the correlation between economic performance and exchange rates is helpful when defining an overall trading strategy, this approach offers little insight into potential reversal points.

This is where technical analysis comes in. Technical analysis involves the use of charts and historical prices in an attempt to determine future prices and over the years, a whole host of technical indicators have been developed. We don’t have room to discuss them all here, but we’ll cover a few our favorite indicators and show you how they can be incorporated into your own studies.

Relative Strength Index

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) calculates the total average losses and gains for a currency pair and uses this information to determine the strength of the latest price in relation to the previous price. A numerical value is determined as part of the RSI calculation and this number is plotted on a chart segmented from 0 to 100 and placed at the bottom of a price chart as illustrated below:

If the RSI value falls in the 30 or under range in the chart, it is considered undersold suggesting that the market could soon start buying the currency pair thereby pushing the rate higher. A reading of 70 or higher on the RSI scale is considered overbought and identifies a potential opportunity to short the currency pair ahead of a falling exchange rate.

In addition to the undersold and overbought designations, traders also look for what are known as centerline cross-overs. When the RSI crosses over and above the center line (50 on the scale), the buyers are winning and upwards momentum is gaining. When the RSI crosses under and below the centerline, the sellers are gaining and the downwards trend is gaining momentum.

For more detailed information on these and other technical indicators, we invite you to check out OANDA’s fxTrade technical analysis tutorial.

We'll have more on this topic soon, including how to spot trend reversal using Bollinger Bands and different price chart patterns. Have questions for Scott and Dean? Send them to us via Facebook and Twitter. We are excited to see what you come up with.

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results.

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Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results. Investor returns may vary from Trade Leader returns based on slippage, fees, broker spreads, volatility or other market conditions.