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Trading spot fx euro using price action

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  #631 (permalink)
London, UK
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, home-grown Java
Broker: IB/IQFeed
Trading: EUR/USD
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Posts: 1,085 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 471 given, 787 received

US still an hour ahead of usual.

News events:
09:00	EUR	Low	Italian Industrial Production m/m
09:30	GBP	High	CPI y/y
	GBP	High	PPI Input m/m
	GBP	Med	RPI y/y
	GBP	Low	Core CPI y/y
	GBP	Low	HPI y/y
	GBP	Low	PPI Output m/m
10:00	EUR	High	German ZEW Economic Sentiment
	EUR	Med	ZEW Economic Sentiment
12:30	USD	High	Building Permits
	USD	Med	Housing Starts
Weekly chart is still looking bearish. Daily and hourly charts are looking like a congested grinding down-trend channel is in action, with yesterday at the bottom of the channel.

20 day volatility 112 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatiliy 28 (10 year max 96)
Low but rising.

Asian session: quite volatile and choppy but without direction. 37 point range. 4 point ATR with some volatility, abrupt reversals, couple of clear runs both up and down.

London AM session: stayed within range of resistance at 1.2950 and support at 1.2920-25. Quite choppy and volatile, some big spikes, some serious chop.

So mental state: good
physical state: good
fatigue levels: drastic (I'm falling asleep here. Need some sugar)

Starting NY session at top of London AM range.

There's a trend-line up from the 9:15 spike down and it offered a setup for a break-out downwards at 12:15 but I wasn't ready. It then got invalidated as the break-out failed and things ground sideways for a while. Initially I thought it was just the break-out retracing to the BO point but it carried on too far.

It doesn't look like the S/R today are offering much interaction.

Waited an hour for it to rise from around 1.2950 to the European High and the hourly 50 bar MA to go short, and then it just started selling off without rising first. That was followed by a series of setups, none of which panned out although some came close.

The last one I looked at was bar 362 at 15:24 where I just needed a little candlestick pattern on the 1-min chart to signal a sell-off after a series of lower 3-min bar highs, but instead it made a higher high. The rallies were getting weaker and the bears were being pretty consistent so I figured I could get a low risk entry on a bear trigger at the high, with a 1st target at the top of the support zone and a 2nd target at the day's low.

My theory was that the traders expecting a rally up to the day's high would realise it was a triangle formation that had just been broken to the downside and they'd all bail out.

The idea was good but the entry trigger never materialised, or at least not on the 1-min chart I was watching.

So at 15:30 I'm done with the session, I'll see what I can get from reviewing it - although not having any trades won't be that interesting.

So I was looking at it on the 1-min chart waiting for an opportunity to go short, which in my trading plan means waiting for a candlestick pattern or some other piece of tell-tale price action.

It had all the other pieces in place - the bearish price action, the idea that there was going to be some substantial order flow as the long trade across the trading range failed, the bearish weekly and daily charts (bear channel).

If I'd been sticking to the 3-min chart, I probably would have taken the entry, as bar 362 made a slightly higher high and it was strongly rejected on the next bar.

I'll have to feed in some input from my journalling last year to see if this occurs regularly in this way. I've got a strong feeling that of missing out, which is natural, but I need some evidence before I change the rules..

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  #632 (permalink)
London, UK
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Trading: EUR/USD
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SuperSaan View Post
Hi Adamus,

I traded the Euro as well yesterday. I saw your trades are (partly) based on Al Brooks strategies. Mine too.

Here is my chart.

At 9.05 there was an inside bar with an almost perfect bull body. There is also an entry on your 3min chart. Its the first pause in a micro channel which makes the probability higher. I did not take it because because I was afraid of the fact that we first made a lower low and the leg up had tails. In hindsight I think I should have taken it because the risk/reward was big enough even when the probability is low.

At 9.35 there was a great wedge bull flag. Pullbacks often end after three pushes against the trend. It does not have to look like wedge. In fact, it often looks nothing like a wedge. The 3 pushes are also visible on your 3 min chart. The ii entry makes it a breakout mode situation, which is great in strong legs. The body's also looked very bullish. The only problem here is that we are right under the 20EMA of the 60m chart, so you have to swing for at least twice the risk. The leg is very steep and has strong bull bodies and you can also argue that it is another first pause, so it obviously is a great trade. Stop is below the first inside bar. At 9.50 there is another bull inside bar. Place stop below after it breaks out. It is the third push and I have made more than twice my risk so my hand is on the flat button to get out as soon as it starts to struggle.

Good luck today!

Nice. I need to brush up on my Al Brooks, but there's so much other brushing up I have to do first, just going over my own journal.

How long do you make your trading session? I try to trade 3 hours at this point, I think that's enough on the 3-min chart.

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  #633 (permalink)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: IB
Trading: EUR/USD
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I trade 10 hours a day and spend like 30min day to my journal and making notes. I evaluate them in the weekend.

Al Brooks writes in his books that the 3min is only tradable for very experienced traders. And even then the setups are less reliable than on the 5min. Also I have read somewhere on this forum that Big Mike said that the big money is made at the 5min or higher. Based on my experience I think they are right. I am not saying its impossible but you may want to reconsider your timeframe.

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  #634 (permalink)
London, UK
Experience: Beginner
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I think I might have read that in Al Brooks somewhere but I don't remember him saying anything particularly useful, I got the impression it was something he just mentioned in passing.

If I was going to change my time-frame, I think I'd prefer to move up to 60mins and trade several markets.

The 3-min time-frame doesn't seem to present any particular problems. I guess it could be dependent on the way you trade.

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  #635 (permalink)
London, UK
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US still 4 hours behind on summer time.

07:00	EUR	Med	German PPI m/m
09:00	EUR	Med	Current Account
09:30	GBP	High	Claimant Count Change
	GBP	High	MPC Meeting Minutes
	GBP	Med	Unemployment Rate
	GBP	Low	Average Earnings Index 3m/y
10:34	EUR	Med	German 10-y Bond Auction
12:30	GBP	High	Annual Budget Release
14:30	USD	Med	Crude Oil Inventories
15:00	EUR	Low	Consumer Confidence
18:00	USD	High	FOMC Economic Projections
	USD	High	FOMC Statement
	USD	Med	Federal Funds Rate
18:30	USD	High	FOMC Press Conference
Higher Time-frame

Still showing a congested grinding down-trend channel in action on the daily / hourly charts, with yesterday at the bottom of the channel again.


20 day volatility 115 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatiliy 28 (10 year max 96)
Low but rising.

Asian Session today

Quiet with 17 point range, flat. Nothing to say except my sessions indicator seems to be bust, what it is now I have no idea.

London AM Session

Bullish from start, no attempt to retrace down to Asian Low, range so far 60 points with ATR 7.5 points, almost same as yesterday. It accelerted up out of the blocks. Nice swinging action although the swing count is far from regular, but the reversals are all abrupt. Not so many tails or chop. Looks good.

It was held for a while at Monday's low, and then bounced around 1.2900 and Thursday's low at 1.2911'5. Looks like there's also interaction with the hourly 50-bar MA. So there's a lot of TA going on out there.

Shame it's not a bearish trend in sync with the higher time-frame. Must keep that doubt in mind.


Physical condition: good
Mental status: good
Emotions: good - feels like progress but detecting fear of placing trades
Fatigue levels: bad (lifestyle choice!?!?)

Trading Notes

First setup at bar 262 13:06 - looks like a triangle which it wants to break out of. Not an official YTC PAT setup but I incorporate it because it provides pretty much the same behaviour as normal S/R. Just right now I can't figure out where to put the stop.

Setup 2 at 1.2950 resistance - it couldn't hold this level before and retraced, but 2nd time lucky, all the signs are there. Better bull swings.
Stop would be 1.2943 and hopefully I can get an entry low down near there. It's a good enough sign today that the pull-back is over at bar 266 13:18. Got in at close of that bar with those tails below me, but suddenly it drops back and I entered at the high of the bar so far, that's not nice. Will bail out if the bar closes like this.

But it doesn't. It goes on a rally up to yesterday's close, doesn't quite make it to my limit order first time 2 points below at 1.2967'5 and retraces making some un-bullish bull candles, hmmm. Then it hits. Nice 18.5 point re-start for my sim trading account.

I'd not configured the NT7 automated order management to give me 2 targets, so I'm all out.

Took a break now and come back to see that the market backed off after breaking yesterday's high. The rally did feel slightly shakey. So we either come back up again to 1.2970 or we sink down to 1.2950. I prefer 1.2950 - and the 20 bar EMA. Feeling bullish, although the PA says beware. The last rally was not as nice as the one before.

Back at 1.2950 just before 14:00 it sets up a simple pull-back entry to get into a bear trend down, but I didn't see it like that as it happened. It's a long way to the next support level and I don't think it's going to reverse that much now.

So the bear move out of 1.2950 petered out and it turned into another bull swing - I missed the entry, way too much hesitation in my head. It's charged up to push the high for the day up a couple of points but there's still resistance from 1.2970 to 1.2976

Now we've got a small sell-off to 15 points below the high. Could be a pull-back for the bulls, could be a double top for the bears. Considering the bulls hardly made any territory at the top, we could get another sell-off down to 1.2950 at least, but my brain is getting foggy as I digest the food I just ate.

The consolidation from 14:35 on around 1.2950 is a bit too choppy, but it could be a wedge in the making if it goes on making lower highs and higher lows around this stall zone, or it might be a bull congestion channel, which gives a chance to enter short when the floor rises up to meet the S/R level and it breaks. But that will take another 30 mins. Guess I can just call it a day now rather than take a dodgy setup like this.

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  #636 (permalink)
London, UK
Experience: Beginner
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US still just 4 hours behind on summer time.

Lesson learnt yesterday: the feeling to go with the setup yesterday at 14:10 wasn't strong enough. Too much FUD in the way - why? Just inexperience or something else?

Goal for today: get a handle on what those feelings are that are getting in the way, if it happens again.

08:00	EUR	High	French Flash Manufacturing PMI
	EUR	Med	French Flash Services PMI
08:30	EUR	High	German Flash Manufacturing PMI
	EUR	Med	German Flash Services PMI
09:00	EUR	Med	Flash Manufacturing PMI
	EUR	Med	Flash Services PMI
09:30	GBP	High	Retail Sales m/m
	GBP	Med	Public Sector Net Borrowing
09:45	EUR	High	Spanish 10-y Bond Auction
11:00	GBP	Med	CBI Industrial Order Expectations
*12:30	USD	High	Unemployment Claims
13:00	USD	Med	Flash Manufacturing PMI
	USD	Low	HPI m/m
14:00	USD	High	Existing Home Sales
	USD	High	Philly Fed Manufacturing Index
	USD	Low	CB Leading Index m/m
14:30	USD	Low	Natural Gas Storage
Higher Time-frame

Still showing a congested grinding down-trend channel in action on the daily / hourly charts, although it's come off the bottom of the channel and one possibility is a move to the top of the channel, i.e. the down-trend influence is probably not as strong.


20 day volatility 114 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatiliy 26 (10 year max 96)
Yesterday's volatility was down on yesterday.

Asian Session

Quiet and flat again, 28 point range, ATR 3.5. Nothing noteworthy.

London AM Session

Volatile, up to ATR 8.0, 70 point range so far, a BAB on the 8:30 PMI data. Swing count is up the creek. Put in a massive morning reversal at 08:00

Playing around 1.2950 again, and the Monday low at 1.2882. Reversals not all abrupt. Not trending nicely enough.

Still respecting some S/R, but now there's so much on the screen from the current congestion range. Difficult. Makes a lot of the setups low probability. High probability setups at the HOD and BOD.

Considering I said earlier it seemed likely there would be a rally to the top of the bear trend channel, the likelihood on the intraday chart is for something bearish. I guess that adds up to a range day in the making.


Physical state: good
Mental state: not so good, loads of stress around the edges.
Fatigue levels: poor but not as bad as yesterday
Motivation: can't do better than Gladiator at the moment - "... and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next!"

Trading Notes

Starting trading at 13:30 just after the market had come back down to 1.2900, putting in a tentative touch and then a break-out which was pushed back. The lower high then the higher low formed a triangle and it felt like there was going to be a sell-off from here, at least to the LOD. I could get in at low risk if I moved a sell stop up following the market on a swing up, but I didn't like the look of it. The 15 point BO bar was my bitter reward for not entering, but I hadn't seen any particular reason why there would be such strong order flow. Mid-range, if it's a range day which I decided it has to be unless we break below 1.2880.

Bitter reward - nice emotions. That would missed potential reward that the subconscious latches on to and uses as a stick to beat your rational analysis with. Greed and envy are let off their leashes.

So then comes the interplay at the LOD 1.2880 - but it doesn't get there before pulling back to 1.2900 again. My bias is flip-flopping as this PA develops. Not good. So what I thought was pretty good strength coming down to the LOD got turned around.

Back up to 1.2900 - a spike up close to the line, then a touch, then a big tail downwards but the strong rejection of the lower prices isn't followed through, just a 1 point blip above 1.29, especially disappointing when it looks like it's going to break the down-trend from 2 hours. No diagnosis, sorry.

Then 3 mins stall and an almost 10 point rally. Late, and it's rejected too.

I've got an S/R line from Thursday last week, originally support, and it looks like the resistance though is a few ticks below it. I might have to remove the line. The previous swing highs at 14:00 is more relevant. And above that is the hourly 50 bar SMA. Doesn't look like there's any obvious targets worth aiming for from here. Plus it doesn't feel like anything in particular now.

So half an hour and still at 1.29. I can't hear anything telling me to go long or short. It muddles around and I wonder whether anything on the 1-min chart makes sense. It doesn't. I look at the hourly chart and that looks seriously bullish, and back on the 3-min chart, it dips to 1.2900 quickly and then rallies 20 points while sit and watch.

All I can hope is that this will feed into my subconscious and turn out to be useful experience in the future.

Having had a look at it all again, I think it's pretty clear that the direction was a 50:50 bet every time. There's interaction with the S/R levels, there are setups, there were some signals, and some fake signals. Part of the trading plan I used last year but haven't formally written up yet and included in this year's plan is the possibility to scratch a trade when it's looking wrong at the setup zone and reverse.

This though led me off the straight and narrow and I abused it as a license to go diving in.

So like that point I made to myself yesterday, I'll have to scrutinise the charts last year and see whether it would have really been worthwhile to re-enter a scratched trade, or whether it's best never to try more than one entry at any setup.

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  #637 (permalink)
London, UK
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US still just 4 hours behind on summer time.

Lessons learnt from previous session? Well I haven't done what I intended to do, that was to go over old charts from previous trading sessions to check out the price action on range days. I got too busy last night tweaking an indicator and coding stuff in ninjatrader.

What I want to avoid is getting caught by chop in a sequence of attempted entries at a setup. Still on the to-do list.

09:00 EUR High German Ifo Business Climate
14:00 EUR Low Belgium NBB Business Climate

Higher Time-frame

Still showing a congested grinding down-trend channel in action on the daily / hourly charts, although it's come off the bottom of the channel but the top of the channel is ill defined. The down-trend influence is middling as opposed to strong.


20 day volatility 112 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatiliy 24 (10 year max 96)
2nd day down.

Asian Session

Quiet, not volatile and gently bullish until 30mins before end when the market dropped from the high right across the session. Looks like whatever causes morning reversals got out of bed early today. So before the end reversal, volatility was 2.5 points and the range was 35. If this predicts anything, it is unpredictability.

London AM Session

Bullish, medium volatility at 7 points, range 79. Whatever started out bearish so early kept the market in check only for so long and it rose in a slow acceleration up to yesterday's high and a bit beyond, dropping back in front of the bunch of resistance levels from the earlier daily highs of this congestion zone.

Respect for my S/R so far today: 1.2900 and the Asian session high & low are obvious. The rest of the S/R looks good but not so good - there's even more than yesterday although I took a couple off.


Physical state: good
Mental state: annoyed by my own continual failure to start as early as I want to
Fatigue levels: poor

Trading Notes

Started watching at 13:00. No great setups on the horizon. The London rally is on the slab in the mortuary, we have what looks like a complex pull-back that didn't succeed, but still the bears don't look very strong. Indecisive.

13:45 failure to confirm sell-off trend - spike down, break down rejected and old price level confirmed by a few orderly bull bars, stalling out at the last swing high. I'm thinking bullish but still feel hesitant because i think the bears might win out and take us back down for a range day again. Can't put my finger on why - guess that was just a bad call.

14:00 and that setup just gone is looking good for a rally because it put in a point above the last swing high, and we're above the MA again. But I figure I'll sit it out and just watch - I know what this bearish feeling is - it's called cowardice

11 point bull bar - so the setup came off
7.5 point shaved bear bar - or maybe it didn't

now that chop took the wind out of my pirate sails and I completely miss that it's a retrace and bounce of the MA so the 42 point bull bar goes begging. Sailed straight through the old HOD without a flicker.

14:18 up at 1.3000 - first thought says this is a break-out above 1.3000 but second thoughts say normally there's a lot of to and fro before getting past 00 levels so I'm not leaping in at the slightest hint of a pull-back setup, in fact this could be a break-out failure setup to go short here, but there's too much excitement and not enough gut feel so forgeddaboutit

Big pull-back setup at 14:30, it really does look like a nice pull-back setup to get long. Just a slight problem with R at 1.3000 - phasers on stun: target 1.3000. I haven't got my analysis procedures worked out here. I completely fudge another setup. I was searching for a stop position to go under the pull-back - why was I searching, damn that should be obvious. Too much frustration now, don't have any feel for this right now.

The facts at 14:40 - this is a big stall. It's all bullish, but that move up to 1.3000 was too quick.

So 14:48 and it looks like the pull-back setup I was looking at has turned to a shambles. It touched Monday's high - I thought I should delete that R line - and then dropped back down. No surprise, this is all surprising to me. 25 points on that bear bar takes us into & almost clear of the S/R from the highs of the last few days. Those 3 lines make a support zone that isn't going to be gone through in one move.

This all looks nothing like the usual way to make the high for the day, i.e. I'm picking up signals that we should revisit 1.3000 even if we don't actually make it all the way.

15:12 looks like the day's trend should put in a swing low here and carry on up. However I'd bet on a triangle formation rather than just a normal pull-back setup.

OK so nothing doing. No give-aways here. A normal pull-back setup would have worked.

Post-session analysis

Setups as numbered on screenshot:

1. the market was looking like breaking lower below S/R at 1.2942, but it was pretty unconvincing, the down-trend was weaker than the up-trend had been, and the latest bear swing kind of decelerated. I didn't go for it obviously. Didn't go for anything today.

2. the push down failed and comes back the other way - AKA a break-out failure. The first entry point would be at the close of the first bar above the MA. Then came the rapid up-down move to really make you think about bailing, then comes the pay-off.

3. at 1.3000 is a break-out pull-back, in fact it pulled back 3 times and got me thinking about all those fast markets where it goes on to move another 100 points after the briefest of pull-backs. However there seemed to be reasons to think this was over-cooked with a BAB like that.

4. So to think like that about (3) suggests there might be a pull-back all the way down to the previous S/R and this did in fact happen, a lot slower than the market got up there. It pulled back and then put in a spike which usually makes a great signal. Obviously I wasn't able to act on that at the time.

5. Same as 2 really. The first move up from the S/R level was a touch too quick so the pull-back was to be expected. I was frozen into inaction on the side-lines, but could appreciate it was nicely tradeable.

Lessons learnt: none yet - got to work out how to combat the brain-freeze. Probably just review of my journal needed and a bit of practice required.

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  #639 (permalink)
London, UK
Experience: Beginner
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US still an hour closer - last week of daylight saving here in EU.
9:30 GBP BBA Mortgage Approvals
16:15 USD FOMC Member Dudley Speaks
17:15 USD Fed Chairman Bernanke Speaks

Higher Time-frame

What was deceleration out of the starting leg of the sell-off from beginning of Feb, and more of a grinding choppy trend channel is now beginning to look like it might be making a swing low to rally up over the next few days or weeks. The hourly chart still looks an ugly mess though. So while we've still got a down-trend on the daily and weekly technically, I'll say there's lots of scope for a rally.


20 day volatility 117 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatiliy 28 (10 year max 96)
Rising again but still down on last week

Asian Session

Massive bar on open - 82 points - and then another one an hour later while the European leader argued over Cyprus. Not much of a gap though because the meeting was still in progress. That gives the Asia session a range of 160 points and the volatility hit 9. It made the high early on, and then closed on the high. Volatility sank down to usual levels at the end there, but a lot of abrupt reversals, no chop to see.

London Session

Bearish, came straight down from the Asian High. Bounced around the 1.3000 and 1.3010 S/R and broke downwards just before 12:00 and is bouncing off 1.2950 where the 60 min 50 bar MA is right now.

I have 5 S/R lines between 1.2970 and 1.2980 that aren't having any effect here.
I'm going to put my money on a down-trend day, that's certainly what the London session was.


Physical state: good
Mental state: good
Fatigue levels: terrible. Falling asleep trying to write this stuff.
Motivation: loads, currently inspired by optimism about my ability here because I'm finally getting plans implemented.

Live Notes

Setup 1 - just hit 1.2950 S/R in the region of the 60 min 50 bar MA. The sell-off down to this level was quite strong but the S/R is also quite strong so I think there'll be some to & fro before it breaks downwards again.

It's broken thro but it's not going anywhere yet on this 2nd bar. Ideally the bulls will show a little strength to attract the counter-trend traders, and then a reversal of the pull-back will trigger an entry and a move down and some order flow from the counter-trend traders' stops.

A good starting signal would be a touch of the 20 bar EMA. But it doesn't look like the bulls will oblige. I might have to settle for an entry as high as I dare without a trigger, as long as it all looks bearish still. Bit of an oxy-moron there but that's the nature of the risk.

I'm making my old mistake of comparing now to the last swing low at 08:00 where the bulls pushed back, but this is all different with the US in the game too. It's maintaining the down-trend channel gradient and it's pretty much killed this setup.

Setup 2 Just realised I had the scale on the price axis set to auto-scale, making the trend look less impressive than it really is. I'd really like to see a pull-back to the 60 min SMA(50) but it's probably too strong. I detect some deceleration over the last 5 bars though which might help, along with a nice spikey tail stabbing downwards right now (bar 316). So far today I'm seeing pull-backs between 8 and 18 points, so an 18 pointer would bring it back to where I want it at 1.2950 again. Then it'll be ready to drop again - either to a double bottom or better, targetting 1.2900.

13:18 and we're definitely on for the PB.

13:27 this is the classic PB but they are never classic.... let it show some more PA - a stab up leaving a tail or some other signal - switched to the 1-min chart.

Big bear bar. Gone without me. Now I can feel the peer group pressure - why couldn't I be in there with a trade, asks the emotion. Yeah, I'll second that emotion. Another setup bites the dust.

Setup 3 So the last pull-back on the trend was 20 points, it looks like we'll exceed that this time around - so I'm planning on a setup zone around 1.2935 or failing that, an attack on 1.2900.

13:51 and the MA is there for some interaction. From here, I don't think we'll make it to 1.2900. The last extension lower was only 13 points and the swing low here is 15'5 points. That makes it no place for a target. If I get an entry around '35, then I'll target 1.2910. But getting an entry is the bigger problem. At the last setup I said the Euro doesn't do classic pull-back patterns, and needs to do something tricky, but then it went ahead with a classic pull-back and restart. This time I'm going to say it again, the Euro doesn't do classic pull-backs, at least not this time straight after doing a classic one last time.

I'm in. Put my entry stop below the candle that broke above the MA. It came right back down, paused for a while just on the stop, then fell right through.

One target at 1.2920, the 2nd at 1.2912, just above the support levels.

Selling off a lot slower now. There seems to be a lot of buying just where my target is at 1.2920, because it's held there like a concrete foundation.

10 mins later and it tried to break below 1.2920 and failed again, so I've pulled in my first stop tight and moved the 2nd to break-even. I'm moving my 2nd target out to 1.2901'5 with the prediction of 1.2900 getting hit. Theoretically I could take off the target and trail the stop, but I don't want to get cluttered with stuff for the next setup at 1.2900.

Reached 1.2903 - I pulled my stop down on the price action. An inside bar after the tail down, and then another tail down and the candle closed into my stop and that was it. Half at 5.5 points, 2nd half at 19.5 points, so average 12.5 points on that one.

Setup 4 It's getting a bit choppy around my S/R level at 1.2910'5. Data problems with NT7 - I'm not seeing all the hourly bars I should so I can't see where this line at 10'5 came from.

5 mins poking around with NT7 doesn't help, but it's irrelevant now since the market is thro 1.2900 and might be making a setup here. Still bearish as before except for the appearance of some chop here. Surely we can pass 1.2900 without a retrace back there?

Started making some kind of triangle but I can't make much out of it. Lots of tails below is bullish but it's seriously choppy for my abilities. I could switch up to the 5 min time-frame, but that's not something I have in my plan. If it carries on like this I might have to call the low of the day. Wanted a bigger pull-back and didn't get it and now I'm saying it's the low of the day - that's not logical Captain. What I mean is the extended chop down here makes me think so.

I'm calling that setup dead. It didn't get up to 1.2900 again for a pull-back entry into the trend. Now it's heading down to the low of the day again. 20 mins left to trade and I'm getting distractions all round here at home so I'll call it a day.

After I was about 1/2 way through reviewing the session, my laptop powered itself down after giving me about 1 min warning. I'm not going to rewrite it now, but that's the screenshot.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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Starting late, always trying to rush the pre-session prep to catch up, which is bad.

US & Asia still an hour forward compared to usual, DST kicks in on Easter Sunday, this w/e coming. Shame because I like it like this, it means the lull before the US opening is shorter, after things go dead at 11:00 here (I assume it goes quiet because the Germans go to lunch and the coffee is wearing off in London)

Must find a better way of making sure my computer is sync'd to atomic time correcty. I currently check it against which is always ahead until I refresh it multiple time and then it sync's properly. I can't see why it has to be out all the time. Time to change.

Goals today - well I lost my session review and all I remember thinking is how difficult it was to capture what looked so easy. I don't think I set a goal apart from vaguely complaining that I'm not using my procedures manual beyond the first 3 cards (I have 13 cards - guess that's too much, but still only using 3 of them is poor technique)


Physical state: good
Mental state: good
Fatigue levels: not as bad as yesterday, got 30 mins more sleep
Motivation: ‘If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.’ ~Lao Tzu

The Tao of Al

From Reading Price Charts BBB (trading guidelines, at the back):

1 . Everything that you see is in a gray fog. Nothing is perfectly clear. Close
is close enough. If something looks like a reliable pattern, it will likely
trade like a reliable pattern.
10:00 GBP Low Chancellor Osborne Speaks
11:00 GBP Med CBI Realized Sales
12:30 USD High Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
USD Med Durable Goods Orders m/m
13:00 USD Med S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI y/y
14:00 USD High CB Consumer Confidence
USD High New Home Sales
USD Med Richmond Manufacturing Index

Higher Time-frame

Noticeable of ability to go much lower on the daily chart and it all looks like a swing low is imminent. Alternative interpretation is that this is all untradeable chop. My 20EMA makes a great upper trend channel boundary on the daily. On the lower side, it doesn't look so easy. On the hourly chart, that grinding bear channel I've been on about recently has its floor about 1.2780 at the moment. So the higher time-frame is no help - could be bearish, but nothing significant jumps out at me.


20 day volatility 119 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatiliy 31 (10 year max 96)
Rising more but still below late Feb

Asian Session

Definitely bullish but a bit choppy in there, finishing on its high. 34 point range, 3 points volatility, some abrupt reversals. a number of sharp jumps to new levels without pulling back. Choppy (for an Asian session)

London session

A reversal of the Asian session straight away, then a return to the high again, although it wobbled a bit on the way there. Haven't extended the days range yet. The only two nice swings were bearish, although it's likely to be a range day after yesterday's sell-off. Good collection of rounded reversals too, plus a fair bit of chop, and some candlestick patterns that have no impact.

So the verdict: probably a range day in the making.

Real-time Notes

Missed the mini-rally at 12:15.

Would have thought it would reach the LOD on the brief sell-off at 13:15.

Looking for setup 1 at the HOD around 1.2885

I have too many S/R levels on this chart. Just went over them and managed to get rid of one. The Asian High and the London High are in there too of course.

Currently making lower highs and higher lows. No good for anything except a triangle formation but even for that it's very stretched. Just placed the 2 sides of the triangle on the chart and it doesn't look very good. The upper side was best until 30 mins ago when the market put a hole straight through it. The push up getting rejected adds to my bearishness.

What I'll also go with is a stall at either of the two sides of the triangle. The setup would be to leap in at the end of the stall but I haven't nailed this setup down yet, it's not a YTC PAT setup. My bias would be short so I could put on a short while in the stall, using a limit to get a good price.

There's a news event at 14:00 so maybe a setup will occur going into that, or directly after.

No luck. The triangle theory is shot. The spike up on the news will have dragged in a few bulls and a fair few if not bailing out already will wait for a break of the floor around 1.2850.

On the other hand, it could go on like this for the whole day....

14:30 finally a bit of movement. Heading up to 1.2885 now. Oh no, it's halted at the Asian High. Stopping at the least resistance feeds my bearish bias. Not much use having a bias if nothing is happening though....

14:45 33.5 point BAB. Where did that come from? Someone must have been giving an interview on Cyprus. Can't trade that.

Can't trade the rebound either.

Setup 1 is at 15:03 as the market breaches the day's high.

Wow, rejected quite forcefully. But it's risen again, and made a further high, by a point or two.

Now it's 5 bars old and I've missed any decent entry. No signals mean no entry until I can get beyond pure signals. I would have gone short, but where? And for how long? I'm sure the market will answer the latter question.

End of setup. The setup has left the building. We're on a minor pull-back at the EMA now. I'm getting distracted again - let's just say it's quite a long way from a professional office environment here. I feel I missed out on a trade here at the high, but that should come out in the session review. I'm pretty sore about that but I only have myself to blame.

Session Review

I still feel my trading plan isn't where it should be. The problem is that I see or read at least half a dozen things every day where I think, oh I wish that was in my trading plan. So what I'm going to do now is have my trading plan open in the background and when I find something I have to have in it, I'm going to put it in straight away rather than "keep it for later" and then never get around to doing it because there is a whole ream of sections absent from my plan that I need to work out and insert somewhere.

Then again not really session review, but I think my trading notes are better done like this with text in the forum post - the big advantage is that I can search them and edit them afterwards, which I can't do if I paste it into a chart in NT7 and save it as an image. The only slight issue I have is with posting the Forex Factory events list, which has to be edited if the formatting wants to look good. Raised a question on that over in the Feedback section here so hopefully there's an quick'n'easy way to do that.

On the psych front I got really annoyed today at the amount of distractions going on around me. I thought I should have had at least one trade today and I've got a feeling building that for reasons unknown I'm not making enough trades. I figured today I got held back by distractions, so it got to me and I missed trades.

I'm working from home and I have my office connecting on to the living room and I should obviously keep the door closed the whole time but today for whatever reason I couldn't keep it shut. Cleaners, children, partner ... whatever. Anyway, I can concentrate OK with a limited amount of distraction but it never stays limited once it gets going. It trends straight towards that area of resistance. Must be some natural law. I have to find a new way to knock it back to keep it from growing. Don't know how but that is my new task. I can't do the absolutely-no-interruptions way, but hopefully I can find another way to keep it in check, otherwise I'll have to rent an office, which I really don't want to incur the costs for.

So I've got 2 setups from today. The first one on checking is scarcely a setup - the market rallied, I wanted 1.2985 but it turned at 1.2975. The only reason I'm looking at it again is because of the nice 33 point bar, to be honest. There was a kind of trendline which it broke coming up on the lows of the previous hour of chop, and it certainly wasn't making new highs after the first. OK, can't see it being a valid situation.

The real one-that-got-away was after the sharp fall bounced right back and hit my desired 1.2985.

There was a massive immediate pull-back, it was a big rejection of a break-out to the upside, but it didn't hang around after making such a big upside tail, it started back up again. The volatility was too much, that's what kept me on the sidelines (although I was getting heavily distracted). It put in another tail up above '85, this time a bit higher, 2 points. I think I was convinced about the coming break-out failure but hesitated for one more bar and the setup was gone.

I need to be a bit quicker and readier to take the risk here. I noticed a growing feeling of not trading enough and it's just become obvious it's because I don't want to take the risk unless I was convinced of my bias. I was pretty convinced today but hesitated and missed out.

Lesson learnt? No, lesson just beginning

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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