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April 27, 2019 | Trading Desk Notes – April 27th

Victor Adair, author of The Trading Desk Notes, began trading penny mining shares while attending the University of Victoria in 1970. He worked in the mining business in Canada and the Western United States for the next several years and also founded a precious metals trading company in 1974. He became a commodity broker in 1977 and a stock broker in 1978. Between 1977 and his retirement from the brokerage business in 2020 Victor held a number of trading, analytical and senior management roles in Canada and the USA. Victor started writing market analysis in the late 1970’s and became a widely followed currency analyst in 1983. He started doing frequent media interviews in the early 1980’s and started speaking at financial conferences in the 1990’s. He actively trades his own accounts from The Trading Desk on Vancouver Island. His personal website is

The US Dollar surged higher against virtually all other currencies this week with the US Dollar Index (USDX) hitting its best level since May 2017. Last week I wrote that the USDX was setting up to surge through the upper boundary (around 98) of a bullish rising wedge pattern and could make a run at the 14 year highs around 103 made at the end of 2016. I noted that volatility in the FX markets was around 5 year lows and that over the past couple of decades ultra-low volatility was often followed by explosive moves.

Last week I also noted that US Dollar bears could argue that being long the USD was a very crowded trade…and indeed bullish USD Sentiment hit extreme highs this week…and I think part of the USD surge higher on Wednesday and Thursday came from bears “throwing in the towel” and covering their short positions.

I started this week short CAD and gold against the USD and took profits on both positions Thursday. This doesn’t mean I think the USD rally is over…I just think it “burst the dam” and there will be some “chop” while it adjusts to its new status. So I’ll watch from the sidelines…looking for an opportunity to buy the USD.


The Canadian Dollar has been trending lower the past 3 months as the USD was trending higher…despite the strong gains in the oil market and the stock market (the TSE index made new All Time Highs again this week.) CAD broke down sharply Wednesday following a dovish BoC, but had no follow through on Thursday so I took profits on my short. I’ll be looking for an opportunity to get short CAD again (as well as other currencies.)


Gold has been trending lower the past 3 months (down ~$80 from its February highs) as the USD was trending higher…despite the big drop in real interest rates…which is often bullish for gold. A bearish Head and Shoulders pattern has developed on the gold chart since January with a downside target of ~$1225 once the $1290 (basis Comex June) neckline was broken (see my recent blogs for more on the gold H+S pattern.) I was short gold as a play on USD strength but I also saw gold being “ignored” as the stock market made new highs day after day. Gold may also have also been flashing an “early warning” of coming USD strength. Gold made its low for the week on Tuesday and was actually steady to better Wednesday/Thursday as the USD surged higher…reason enough for me to cover my short position and stand aside.

If the gold H+S pattern continues to play out I’ll be watching for the gold rally off this week’s lows to test the neckline. If it then reverses lower I’ll look to get short again…especially if the USD is rallying at the same time.

The crude oil market surged to new multi-month highs Monday morning on press reports that Trump would not extend the existing waivers to 8 countries to continue importing Iranian crude oil as the White House  attempts to drive Iranian exports to zero. (These waivers have been in place for a few months and have effectively allowed Iran to export ~1 MBD.)  WTI traded above $66 mid-week but fell like a stone Friday on press reports that Trump had been “on the phone” with OPEC and “gasoline prices are coming down.”

WTI prices closed higher in 9 of the last 10 weeks (rising from ~$51 to ~$65) but this week’s price action looks like a dramatic Weekly Key Reversal Down…trading above last week’s highs and closing below the lows of the last 2 weeks. With all due respect to Trump’s power to move the market WTI and gasoline had already started to fall back from their over-stretched highs before the news “leaked” out. My long-time friends Ross Clark (technical view) and Joseph Schachter (fundamental view) both see much lower prices over the next couple of months…followed by new highs later this year.


The US Treasury market…from T-Bills to long bonds…has rallied the past 2 weeks…perhaps in anticipation of slowing global economic growth as one central bank after another announces that they are scaling back their growth projections and will more likely be cutting interest rates rather than raising them. I bought T-Notes 2 weeks ago thinking that their setback from late March highs was a buying opportunity. I still hold that position and I think owning Treasuries also gives me an “easier” way to position for a possible shift away from the aggressive “risk on” mood that currently drives the stock market.

PI Financial Corp. is a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. The risk of loss in trading commodity interests can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. In considering whether to trade or the authorize someone else to trade for you, you should be aware of the following. If you purchase a commodity option you may sustain a total loss of the premium and of all transaction costs. If you purchase or sell a commodity futures contract or sell a commodity option or engage in off-exchange foreign currency trading you may sustain a total loss of the initial margin funds or security deposit and any additional fund that you deposit with your broker to establish or maintain your position. You may be called upon by your broker to deposit a substantial amount of additional margin funds, on short notice, in order to maintain your position. If you do not provide the requested funds within the prescribe time, your position may be liquidated at a loss, and you will be liable for any resulting deficit in your account. Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult to impossible to liquidate a position. This is intended for distribution in those jurisdictions where PI Financial Corp. is registered as an advisor or a dealer in securities and/or futures and options. Any distribution or dissemination of this in any other jurisdiction is strictly prohibited. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results

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April 27th, 2019

Posted In: Victor Adair Blog

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