Most traders thrive on volatility. Big moves in the market only spell one thing for them: BIG MONEY! With a handful of potential market-moving events on tap for May 22 (that’s tomorrow, Wednesday!) it could turn out to be one of those big days!
If you plan on trading, here are 4 questions that you need to ask yourself before setting orders or pulling the trigger.
Will the BOJ sound less dovish?
We kick things off early with the BOJ rate statement to be announced at 12:00 am GMT. The central bank is expected to keep rates steady at 0.00%-0.10% and make no changes to its asset purchase program.
However, it will be pretty interesting to hear what BOJ Governor Kuroda will have to say in light of the most recent happenings from Japan.
Last week, Japan’s Q1 2013 GDP report printed an annualized uptick of 3.5%, reflecting the benefits of a weak yen and the pick-up in consumer spending. Meanwhile, just yesterday, a key Japanese policymaker expressed his concerns about the yen’s weakness. Japanese Economy Minister Amari thinks that most of the yen’s surge from last year has already been corrected and any further weakness in the currency could pose a threat to the economy.
Market participants will be keeping close tabs on the statement to see if the rebound in the economy or concern about the yen’s weakness is enough for the BOJ to tone down its dovishness. If this turns out to be the case, USD/JPY could retreat even further from its four-and-a-half-year highs.
Will GBP/USD bounce off 1.5200?
The answer to that question may just lie in the April U.K. retail sales report and the BOE meeting minutes which are both due at 9:30 am GMT.
According to estimates, the retail sales report will probably show that consumer spending was flat last month, which isn’t exactly comforting considering that the previous month posted a 0.7% decline. Usually, the markets go nuts for this report, but it might not get as much attention this time around because it could be overshadowed by the MPC meeting minutes.
Once again, the minutes are expected to show a 6-3 split decision on whether the bank should increase its asset purchases or not.
One thing y’all should keep an eye out for are signs of optimism from policymakers. Remember, the BOE upgraded its growth forecasts and revised its inflation estimates downwards just last week, so there’s a chance the minutes could show hints of hawkishness and reveal why U.K. policymakers decided to revise their estimates for the better.
To top it all off, MPC member Martin Weale recently donned his hawkish feathers, saying that an expansion of the stimulus program could rekindle inflationary pressures. If the minutes show any signs that the BOE is considering an exit strategy later in the year, it could very well serve as a catalyst for a major rally on GBP/USD!
What’s next for the Fed?
Since the Wall Street Journal started rumors about how the Fed is drawing up plans to cut back on QE, the markets have been abuzz with what the central bank might do next. Fed head Ben Bernanke could let the cat out of the bag if he drops hints on their next move in his speech scheduled for 2:00 pm GMT. And we might get more valuable insights from the FOMC meeting minutes, which are set to come out at 6:00 pm GMT.
Some say the fate of the dollar could very well depend on Bernanke’s speech. Other Fed officials have given mixed feedback on monetary policy, so Bernanke’s words might determine whether the dollar index will make a run towards 85.00 or retrace its footsteps.
But let’s face it. At this point in time, everyone and his mother expects the Fed to withdraw stimulus. What the markets seem to be unsure about is the timing of its exit strategy.
If the central bank signals that it’s ready to taper off its asset purchases later in the year, it could lead to an extended dollar rally. On the other hand, if they show that they’re not quite ready to pull the plug on QE, they could end up crippling the dollar and sending it back down the charts.
Can you really handle all the volatility?
Being able to catch the big moves in the market is awesome. However, you have to remember that it’s more important for you to protect your account and live to trade another day, rather than betting the farm on a market that you are not comfortable trading.
As I always say, trading the news is not for everyone. If you’re not sure that you can handle the pick-up in volatility, you might be better off sitting on the sidelines.