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What To Look For Ahead Of The London Open

Written by A Forex View From Afar on Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In the forex market, the London open is often cited as one of the most important moments of the day, since the market liquidity is very high and most trends are built around this time of the day. The reason is to do with the fact that European markets are open through part of Asian trade, and also part of U.S. trade, and therefore pick up a large slice of global trade momentum.

As such, gauging the market’s direction at this time of the day is very important since a trader can position themselves on the right side of the trade, or an institutional trade desk can profit from the increased market volume to more easily achieve their goals unhindered. The following items are some of the things TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team follows around the London open:

1. The direction of the S&P futures. This is probably the best indicator of market’s state towards risk: aversion or tolerance. S&P futures posting significant gains or declines overnight will certainly be reflected in the FX market.

2. The direction of the Asian markets. Together with point 1 in our list, spot equity markets can be used to determine the trading direction of the greenback. If, for example the Nikkei opens in the green, but throughout the trading session posts significant declines, it shows that the market may want to get away from risky assets, and buy instead the safety of the bonds, via the dollar.

3. European equity open. More often than not, the open of the European cash markets (mainly the German Dax and the U.K. FTSE) follows the direction of the overnight Asian markets. However, sometimes it happens that the European cash markets break free from the pattern of futures market trade, which is quickly reflected in the FX market.

4. The direction of the commodity market. The dollar is seen as the “counterparty” of the commodity market, since all raw materials are priced in Usd. As such, higher oil and gold will automatically open short dollar positions, while lower commodities are usually translated into a higher value of the dollar index.

5. Keep a close eye on the news calendar. Usually, in days when the market awaits an important news calendar, the major pairs fail to break any important price points and waste most of the time moving side-ways. However, on other days the market moves in a very volatile fashion, sometimes without a clear direction around the news release, especially around important reports like interest rates decisions. The best would be to adjust your trading style and risk to ant red flag calendar release days.

6. Technical analysis/pattern recognition – Most trades in the FX market are based around technical or automated analysis; things like support and resistance are not anything new. However, a number of traders (especially the ones with a lot of screen time) are able to recognize patterns that are repeated around the London open.

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Fundies and Trading
There is a constant question from some traders as to why anybody would ever need to consider the ‘F’ word when trading. Fundamentals: what is so damaging at looking at both Technical charts and having a Fundamental filter to gauge how many Lots to put on? Why is it that accepting that Technicals give us price points to trade, but Fundamentals determine the direction that we travel is so difficult for some traders to accept? Without a Fundamental Filter very few pure Technical traders would have seen this Dollar move coming today.

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