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U.S. Dollar Technical Analysis and Forecast

Currencies / US Dollar Nov 21, 2008 - 04:21 PM GMT

By: Joseph_Russo


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleCasting aside fundamental arguments relative to the long-term viability of un-backed fiat currency, we turn our focus to a purely technical assessment of the past 8-years of price data for the US dollar index.

Technical Tools used in our assessment are the following:

Elliott Wave Architecture (Analysis & Summary)

From its seven-year 41% highly inflationary decline through early 2008, the dollar has satisfied all tenets of a complete bear market decline at Primary degree. Upon evaluation of larger data-periods, we label the 121.29 print high in 2001, as terminal to a “B” wave at CYCLE dimension.

The unrelenting three-year decline into late 2004, illustrates the downward sub-dividing force of wave (3) at intermediate degree. Despite its deceptively impulsive appearance, the eleven-month 15.22% rise from 80.39 to 92.63 then marked the end of wave (4)'s counter-trend rally.

From its 2005 crest at (4), the first of five waves down at Minor degree extended through December of 2006. Following a brief and shallow rally into January 2007, the dollar resumed its downward spiral, completing sequence to each of the five-waves at Minor degree before terminating wave (5) of “A” at the 70.70 print low in March of 2008. In total, from its (4) wave peak, the five minor waves comprising the larger Intermediate (5th)-wave down took nearly three-years to complete.

Basis our Elliott Wave perspective from the chart high, and in keeping with the repetitive fractal nature consistent with larger degrees of trend, a 2001 turn-pivot high at CYCLE dimension portends that at least three down-waves at Primary degree will follow.

Elliott Wave Theory suggests that from the base of our Primary ‘A' wave terminal at the 70.70 low in 2008, an intervening “B” wave rally (the Dollar's current deflationary thrust higher) is likely to be followed by a brutal Primary ‘C' wave decline.

Once the Primary advancing “B” wave has crested, fulfillment of such a sequence will soon aid in projecting a price-target window to its corresponding CYCLE-terminal, which in this case is CYCLE wave “C”- down.

Albeit deflationary over the near-term, and despite prospects for an intervening downward correction, note that the preferred Elliott Wave count illustrates a best-case scenario for an intermediate-term “strong dollar deflationary policy” through 2011.

Our ALT: (alternate) wave count reserves plausibility for the Primary deflationary ‘B' wave (tan label) to mark early terminal to its Primary crest once the current 22% (and counting) deflationary spike higher reverses course.

Fibonacci Retracement and Time Sequence (Analysis & Summary)

From our charts peak to trough, three common upward retracement levels (.382, .500, .618) for the deflationary Primary ‘B' wave rally cite 90.02, 95.99, and 101.96 as potential Primary degree terminal zones.

General timing of the charts larger Fibonacci turn-year sequence suggests potential for a pivotal yearly turn taking place sometime into the 2009 period, eight-years from the CYCLE wave high. As an interesting aside, Gold has a known 9-year cyclical predisposition to mark critical bottoms concurrently in this same period.

It would be counter intuitively bullish if the dollar were currently striking new lows into the 2009 period (plausibly marking a turn-year low) , however the dollar is in its eighth month of vertical rally, suggesting that a continuation of dollar strength into 2009 may usher in a key pivotal top at Primary degree.

From the March 2008 Primary “A” wave base, the smaller monthly sequence of potential Fibonacci turn-bars narrows timing projections to the current 8th month of November, and the 13 th month of April 2009 as specific potential turning points. Such guidelines give us fair reason to anticipate key turn-pivots as early as (now) November 2008 and then again as we approach the April 2009 period.

We illustrate another timing sequence of interest reflected in the charts postulated deep corrective (b) wave down through December of 2009. December of 2009 cites a Fibonacci 21-month turn-period extrapolation from the 70.70 low. As an aside, nearby commencement of a plausible yearlong inflationary decline in the dollar may coincide with a reflationary bear market rally in equities and everything else that collectively blew-up in the wake of the dollars deflationary resurgence.

Moving Average Trend Analysis (Analysis & Summary)

We observe three separate moving averages on our long-term dollar chart. In keeping with Fibonacci numbers, we are tracking the dollars longer-term trends by way of monthly trade and closes above or below the 21, 34, and 55-month moving averages (MMA).

The larger 55-month average (dark blue dots) has kept good pace with the dollars Primary degree trend. Following the 121.29 print high in 2001, the dollar printed its first (sell-signal) close beneath the 55-MMA at 106.11 in June of 2002.

In the three months following, the dollar held, trading mostly higher as monthly closes meandered within tight range north and south of the 55-MMA's trend measure. As illustrated, this upward price movement marked three months of modest rally in terminating the Minor wave-2 subdivision amid the more forceful Intermediate (3) wave down.

By December of 2003, the dollar broke down decisively beneath our largest moving average, succumbing to the undeniable forces of wave (3). Persistently trading well beneath its governing 55-MMA for more than four-years following the breaching sell-trigger, the dollar index remained enslaved amid a Primary bear market.

Upon satisfactorily completing its -5th- of (5) of “A” waves down in March of 2008, and following a 5-month basing process through July of 2008 thereafter, the dollar sparked ignition to a rather impressive vertical lift-off. It is not until forging through its seventh month of parabolic rise that the dollar index returned to re-encounter its 55MMA in spectacularly rapid fashion.

Upon the public's widespread recognition of global economic crises in September 2008, the dollar index lunged continually higher, effortlessly closing above its 55MMA in October 2008 for the first time in five years.

Albeit amid a larger secular bear-market environment, so long as the dollar maintains trade and closes above this monthly moving average, the primary trend-change from down to up shall remain intact.

Still young in its new direction, it is critical to keep an eye on dollar index levels relative to its 55MMA trend gauge. Trade and closes back beneath this gauge may quickly resume the dollar's secular bear market decline.

Chart Patterns (Analysis & Summary)

Notwithstanding a debilitating deflation, which would manifest with persistent acceleration of the rise in the dollar, it is then quite reasonable for us to anticipate that the massive reflationary measures currently seeded via bailout efforts, would inevitably reverse the deflationary dollar rise.

Translating the assumption that the dollar is at or near a level at which it will soon begin to moderate or reverse; we can see evidence of early development to a significant chart pattern that extends toward 2013.

From the crest at (4) to the current November high, we have drawn a tentative, downward sloping trendline marked by our (R-1 resistance) annotation. To anticipate the lower boundary of this potential chart pattern, we extrapolate and extend trendline trajectory from the March and July lows, and have marked its boundary with the (S-1 support) annotation.

The two lines converge, forming an apex into the 2013, 2014 period. The upper and lower boundaries at R-1 and S-1, create a rather large, and near perfect symmetrical triangle, or pennant pattern.

Relative to the governing trend at larger degree, technicians classify this type of chart pattern as a “continuation pattern”. This suggests that probability lies in favor of an ultimate follow-through resolution to the downside.

Whether a bearish or bullish resolution ultimately occurs, the prospective pennant pattern provides us with both upside and downside point-value targets relative to the size of its construction. We discuss these projections under the “price-targets” heading below.

Another chart pattern of particular import, is born by the horizontal line drawn just above the 80-level. This horizontal boundary marker is neckline to a massive Head and Shoulder pattern connecting the lows of 1995 with those printed in 2004. This mega-bearish neckline boundary-marker runs directly through the center of our symmetrical triangle, slicing its 2013 apex in half.

We have provided a small, longer duration chart, which illustrates the enormity associated with this particular Head and Shoulder pattern.

The mega sell-signal that triggered upon breach below this key horizontal marker, has since suspended.

Until its recent vertical rise back above neckline in October 2008, the dollar had spent more than a year in a downward inflationary death spiral beneath it.

So long as the dollar index is able to maintain trade and closes back above this enormous (80.39) sell-trigger boundary, the hyper-inflationary downside associated with it shall remain suspended in lieu of the current deflationary threat taking its place.

Price Targets (Analysis & Summary)

Upside Targets:

•  Basis the upside Fibonacci retracement levels, 90.02, 95.99, and 101.96 are prime candidates.

•  Basis potential upside breakout to the prospective pennant pattern discussed, we calibrate 18.00-pts of upside risk from the point at which the index breaks above the patterns falling upper boundary noted at R-1.

•  We have noted two additional upside price objectives on our monthly chart. The first of which is 98.50. We have illustrated the general origin of this target with an upward green arrow placed near the 70.70 print low. We derive this target from a buy-side trade-trigger, which elected in August from the 76.24 level.

•  The second upside target of 91.29, has been derived from an additional trade-trigger electing at Octobers resurgence above the 80.39 level. Illustrated in bright green, the falling portion of S-1's trendline trajectory stands in defense of this particular target.

Downside Targets:

•  Basis an eventual downside breach to the prospective pennant pattern discussed, we calibrate 18.00-pts of downside risk from the point at which the index breaches beneath the rising lower boundary noted at S-1.

•  Though currently suspended, the dollar-crushing 41.00 Head & Shoulder price objective can only reclaim working status upon a return to trade and closes back beneath its presently compromised defense boundary beneath 80.39.


Currencies are central to long-term economic stability. They are critical drivers to all of the financial spheres ancillary measures of productivity and advancement.

In its present role as the world's reserve currency, the un-backed US Fiat-Dollar has benefit of senior status. Such distinction provides a unique competitive advantage relative to global trade agreements.

For generations, and most notably since removing itself from the gold standard entirely, the US dollar has enjoyed what is in effect a worldwide monopoly in “fiat-money”.

Exemplified in part by its recent strength vs. other currencies amid threats of systemic financial collapse, the US dollar continues to benefit from its world reserve status. How much longer a US centric advantage prevails is likely to be contingent upon how resolution of the current crisis unfolds.

The die is now cast, and the likelihood of a major paradigm shifts taking root has never been greater.

Rebounding after breaching a precipice from which it may not have returned, the US dollar finds itself in a quandary whereby there is little room for establishing any safety, or comfort zone of meaningful or lasting stability.

Whether a great deflation, hyperinflation, or combination thereof will usher in such shifts in paradigm, respecting trends in currencies, particularly the world's reserve currency, will be of tremendous anticipatory value in preparing for tectonic shifts that may surface in the decades ahead.

In the simplest of terms, based on the approximate level of 80.39, one may associate trade excessively above this level as dangerously deflationary, and trade markedly below it, as an equally dangerous hyper-inflationary gauge.

The root question remains unanswered as to why financial markets spike and plunge to dangerous extremes when the dollar trades just 15% above or below the 80 level.

Could there possibly be a viable way to “fix” a floating fiat currency at just the right price to please the markets and maintain a stable economy. With all of the unprecedented rule changes taking place on a near daily basis, we suspect that nothing is off the table when a monopoly of such import is at risk of systemic failure.

In Sum:

When it comes to strategically trading broad market indices, there is simply no match for Elliott Wave Technology's Near Term Outlook .

Over the past four years, we have perfected the art of dispatching tactical trade set-ups and market forecasting into a consistent, impartial, and immensely profitable endeavor for those who take the time to embrace it.

The express focus of Elliott Wave Technology's charting and forecasting service is to help traders anticipate price direction and amplitude of broad market indices over the short, intermediate, and long-term.

We deliver this unique blend of proprietary charting protocol daily, with the express intent to convey timely and profitable information. Our daily reports impart strategy-specific guidance , which strives to forecast, monitor, and calibrate market impact relative to a multitude of signals that are in direct alignment with eight distinct trading strategies set forth in the members NTO essentials file.

Regardless of one's level of experience, users must allow sufficient time to become acquainted with the authors charting protocol, strategies, and tactical narratives prior to entering positions or developing trading strategies.

If you trade in today's increasingly uncertain and volatile markets, you need a reliable and consistent edge you can count on. If you want the very best, there is no better short-term advisory than the Near Term Outlook.

Trade Better / Invest Smarter...

By Joseph Russo
Chief Editor and Technical Analyst
Elliott Wave Technology
Email Author

Copyright © 2008 Elliott Wave Technology. All Rights Reserved.
Joseph Russo, presently the Publisher and Chief Market analyst for Elliott Wave Technology, has been studying Elliott Wave Theory, and the Technical Analysis of Financial Markets since 1991 and currently maintains active member status in the "Market Technicians Association." Joe continues to expand his body of knowledge through the MTA's accredited CMT program.

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