Wednesday, June 04, 2008

FXE - a Forex Alternative ?

I frequently get inquiries about trading Forex. I traded FX for a bit, found the pip spread to be unattractive and the industry rife with manipulation, scams, broker dealing desks that trade against the clients, etc. etc. I understand that some folks make money in FX and that's great because they've found a way to game the gamers using a specific kind of edge that works. My hat's off to you. I like to find the path of least resistance, least gaming, least spreads and highest probability of success. So one area of opportunity for traders who want to play the currencies is FXE (euro). Others are the FXF (Swiss franc - mentioned in the Power Ratings chart the other day) and the FXC (Canadian dollar). These are pure plays, not pairs. Another viable approach to the currencies for ease of execution, cheap commissions and reliable technical alignment is the futures market, but I'm not going to explore that arena right now.
What's really interesting about the FXE is the incredible growth in daily volume which began in March and has been very evident lately. A few months ago, when FXE had a daily volume of 250K, spreads were .06-.08, option open interest was very low and spreads were huge. So a few things have changed. Typically bid/ask spreads on the FXE are currently running .02-.03, and while daily volume is not consistent, there are frequent days over 1.5M.
Below is the current open interest breakdown, clearly skewed to the put side. Exchange participation on the options is limited, so the spreads there are still pretty wide - .30 ATM, .10 to .20 on the ITMs. Few daytrading possibilities with these options.
For daytrading the FXE is a bit sloppy on the pivots, but responds well to the parabolics and stochastics. Also, some nice gap open trading opportunities if you're looking to diversify your trading portfolio.
Finally, more bad news on the financials from Seeking Alpha

1 comment:

Industrie said...

FXE dont look too competitive compared to some of the spreads you get on good fx brokers. I bet they've come down because someone's arbing them hard..