With financial markets in turmoil, press is full of speculation regarding US dollar and Euro. A lot of coverage is given to unprecedented commodities boom, especially record prices for oil and grains. Precious and industrial metals also draw a lot of attention. Credit and debt markets have been on front pages for a couple of years now. Let’s not forget about stock markets, which, both in US and globally, are experiencing wild swings with seemingly no end in sight.
With so much going on, it’s no wonder that some very large moves in currencies have escaped attention, or at least wide coverage. British Pound, for one, has not been mentioned as often as it deserves. Same goes to Swiss Franc, and by extension, the cross of these two currencies, GBP-CHF.
Despite being one of speculator’s favorite financial vehicle, this pair seems to be living in a shadow of it’s cousin, GBP-JPY, which gets far more coverage from Forex analysts. This fact is likely due to much more vaunted stature of Japanese Yen, while Swiss Franc is so much correlated to Euro, that has been losing trading volume to other currencies, most notably both Australian and Canadian Dollars. By some accounts, even Swedish Krone has reached comparable trading volume about a year ago.
That is when Franc started to regain some of its past luster as a safe heaven during times of uncertainty and financial turmoil. Swiss central bank started to bust interest rates and CHF staged a very impressive rally, lasting better part of a year. Combined with bearish news coming from Great Brittan, GBP-CHF has seen the most severe sell off amongst CHF crosses.
Between July 2013 and March 2014 this pair fell from 2.5000 to 1.9375. That is a staggering 5600+ pips, a huge move by any standard. In fact, it has been first time in over 10 years, and only the second time ever, that this cross fell under 2.0000, a very important psychological level. As it is often the case in such furious moves, the price rebounded sharply from the March low to about 2.0960 and has since settled into a sideways movement.
This “settled price action” is a relative term and true only in light of past few month. Comparing to other currency pairs, daily moves are still large. Average True Range still shows a reading well over 200, and 300+ pips days are the norm. Just last Thursday daily range was over 420 pips. Certainly this kind of volatility demands respect and creates trading opportunities.
Extreme price fluctuations might make it unsuitable for some traders. Also, trading GBP-CHF on short time frames, might be an expensive proposition. The spread, cost of trading, is still relatively wide. Even though over last few years spreads narrowed down, they are still minimum of 6 pips, with 8-10 pips being the norm. In frequent trading, even the larger profit potential might not offset these costs.
Trading longer time frames might be a better proposition for most traders. The recent low of 1.9375 seems to be a major low, which is likely hold for the the rest of this year. As a matter of fact, patterns on long term charts, weekly and monthly, indicate this to be a multi year low. Long term up trend is expected for the rest of the year with a target of 2.1600-2.1800 over next few months. After that next target would be 2.3000 or perhaps even 2.3500, maybe a year later.
This kind of long term expectations should be reviewed and adjusted every few months. As of this writing, the price is around 2.0470, providing us with a substantial long term trading opportunity. Due to large volatility of this pair, one shouldn’t use high leverage as there are almost sure to be severe pullbacks over time. While not suitable for everybody, GBP-CHF is certainly an exciting cross, worth of a closer look.