05 January 2023

The Forex Trend Within the Market Turn

A feature of a market turn is that it may not look like a market turn. One does not need to wait a long time to see market turns, they exist on the small scale in Forex on a daily basis. At this level they can be described as trend beginnings. A definition of a market turn is that it is a new trend, but counter to what was the prevailing trend.

On the chart it can seem like there is an asymmetry between rising and falling trends. In Forex this may be a product of the relative strength of one of the Forex pairs (or just the appearance of down versus up), but may also be that falling trends provoke a kind of urgency. Even in a Forex pair, as a market collapses, then it provokes a sense of exiting. In some sense there is a tighter consensus in falling markets which may not otherwise exist, at least at the end. But the end is where the market turn will emerge from, at some point.

So what might a trend beginning look like ? It can emerge from low volatility, in effect the exhaustion of the former trend, perhaps following ranging. There is little enthusiasm for making a deeper trade into that trend but even less enthusiasm for believing that it can reverse. However when it becomes clearer than this is a region of low volatility, traders may start trendsetting as it were by taking positions in the belief that it can change.

Thus at the very beginning of a trend, volatility can be seen, as money flows lift the market, but there is not much to sustain this direction. Volatility begets enthusiasm, it is the first hint of spring, perhaps. One of the more important features of such a move is that it establishes a low, which emerged from the downward move, that is it creates a past. For the new trend is literally remaking the market, ploughing back through former depths, but this time as a new direction. The idea is that this low is not exceeded, so it establishes a confidence about the move. With volatility, burgoning confidence and money flow, the trend can begin.

This same kind of structure can be seen on longer time frames, where trends can be more influenced by interest rates decisions and data pointing to the health of the economy. So there are factors beyond the market which can weigh down or encourage a trend beginning, reversing a prior trend. There are other reasons more to do with the market why trends begin or end, and on smaller time sales, these can be more evident, helping to create trends within trends.

For example, there may be complex structure contributing to a market turn on the macro scale, especially if macro forces are establishing support or resistance. Underneath, the market may be tracing out patterns within resistance and support, ready to break though when the opportunity present itself (and also respecting their own logic of value levels). Thus a market turn may come from the market itself, that is patterns may allow for a breakthtough, rewriting the macro sense of where the market should be.

The market works to some extent on future valuations, thus any sense that this can happen, can help rewrite the now. However the logic of the market can work with this, that is it will try until it cannot or can. And even if it cannot, maybe it can after a deeper retracement. So turns ultimately happen by surprise, when not expected, except the expectation was in market logic, allowed to try another route. The converse is that hunting for a turn can end up just going deeper the other way.

Once the market has turned there can be a different landscape. In Forex, this is seen as structure, as the market pushes valuations in a given direction within the constraints of changing valuation, and susceptability to the sense of going backward, perhaps from news still embedded in the prior landscape (but the economic present or very recent past). As the trend continues, then there are still a wide range of reasons for reverses, indluding that the trend may have gone on far enough for some, for whatever reason.

So retracements (moves against the current direction) are part of the move. This is what helps adds structure: the move, then the retracement but within an overall direction, counter to the prevous move.

At a certain point the trend end will start to form. The trend end is the high (or low) point of the trend. What follows is perhaps a collapse and reverse, or a move into ranging and lower volatility. A trend may collapse if it was driven by market logic, against the overall macro sense of direction. These are the unlikely moves, which remain unlikely in their outcome. In a convegence of factors the move may in fact be a continuation for another trend in the same direction, perhaps requiring a retracement or period of low volatility.

At a certain point the news may converge with the move or the attempted moves, thus setting the time frame within the context of a longer term. This can provide a directionality to structure at a lower time frame, creating patterns to trade on. So to some extent, stability of moves can reflect higher time frames. This can be seen in markets where smaller units can behave in a certain way within the greater whole, depending on the state of the whole. Forex time frames allow perhaps a greater sense of pattern formation, as there is generally not as clear a sense of direction embedded into the whole, so this market may roam free when others do not.

In some sense the use of Forex as a day trading market means that shorter term time frames are more important and provide a basis for longer terms moves, even if they are driven by such factors as interest rate differentials (and their sustainability), between Forex pairs. Forex is a complex market, with factors playing against each other, thus there is an ongoing capacity for retracements and structure as well as intense volatility, which of course can be the ingredients of trends.