Friday, January 19, 2007
Trade: Long 10 lots of EUR/JPY @ 157.11. Long another 10 lots of EUR/JPY @ 157.05.
Target: 158.00 (2:1 profit ratio).
Result: 158.00 (+88 pips)
Comments: The 1st 10 lots of EUR/JPY hit a high of 157.71 netting me a profit of almost $6k. However, I resisted the temptation to close out my position as I believe that EUR/JPY still has alot more upside to go over the next 1-week. Prices retreated to 157.05 a few hours later and I doubled up on my position, purchasing another 10 lots @ 157.05.
Trade: Short 5 lots of USD/JPY @ 120.78.
Result: Trade stopped-out on Jan. 18 @ 121.05 (-27 pips).
Comments: OUCH. BoJ Governor Fukui's press statements indicating reluctance of BoJ to raise i/r in its Feb meeting hurt me so bad. Lucky for my relatively tight stop at 121.05. Prices shot all the way up to 121.58 during mid-day trading.
The reason why I shorted those 5 lots was because after the news release at 9am Tokyo time, prices increased moderately by around +20pips, leading me to believe that the market has already fully absorbed the news. I next set my eyes on the BoJ meeting in Feb and believed that the BoJ would increase i/r by then, leading to an appreciation of the Yen. HOWEVER, at 3pm Tokyo time, BoJ Governor Fukui released the details of the meeting which had a bearish sentiment to it and indicated the reluctance of the BoJ to even raise i/r in Feb. Before I knew it, USD/JPY blew through my stop to reach a high of 121.58.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Japan held its benchmark interest rate at 0.25 percent, averting a clash with government officials who say consumer spending and inflation are too weak to withstand higher borrowing costs.
Policy makers kept the overnight lending rate unchanged for a sixth month in a six-to-three decision, the bank said in a statement today in Tokyo. The split vote prompted traders to increase bets the bank may raise rates in February.
The decision may cool government opposition to higher rates before the release of fourth-quarter data next month, which the bank predicts will show a rebound in household spending. Governor Toshihiko Fukui plans to gradually raise rates to prevent a repeat of a stock and property bubble in the 1980s that foreshadowed a decade of stagnation.
``The impression that they caved to political pressure is unavoidable,'' said Noriko Hama, professor of economics at Doshisha Business School in Kyoto. ``It's not a bad decision, given the statistics, but it certainly does not look good for the BOJ.''
Investors increased bets that the bank will raise rates in February to a 67 percent chance, up from 42 percent before the decision, according to Credit Suisse Group. Credit Suisse calculates the chances of a quarter-point rate increase based on trading in contracts for the exchange of interest payments.
The previous six decisions to keep rates on hold were unanimous.
``The split vote means the BOJ will probably raise rates next month,'' said Tetsuhisa Hayashi, chief currency trader in Tokyo at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.
The yield on five-year notes climbed 3 basis points 1.24 percent at 2:11 p.m. in Tokyo.
Yesterday bonds rose the most in almost four months after Kyodo News, the Nikkei newspaper and NHK Television said the central bank was likely to keep the rate at 0.25 percent.
That caused bets for a rate increase today to drop to a 22 percent chance from 80 percent at the start of the week, when media reports said policy makers were leaning toward an increase.
``It turned into a bit of a fiasco, and puts the Bank of Japan in a very bad light,'' said Hama. ``It's very unfortunate.''
Japan's economy expanded at the slowest pace in almost two years in the third quarter of 2006 as consumer spending dropped 0.9 percent, the biggest decline in almost a decade, masking growth in corporate investment and exports.
Consumer spending, which accounts more than half of the economy, probably ``had a big jump in the fourth quarter,'' Hideo Hayakawa, the central bank's chief economist, said at an economic forum on Jan. 10.
The government will publish fourth-quarter GDP numbers in the middle of next month, a week before the central bank's next board meeting on Feb. 20-21.
``Consumer spending seems to have recovered considerably in the fourth quarter,'' said Teizo Taya, a former Bank of Japan policy board member who's now an adviser to Daiwa Research Institute. ``The Bank of Japan may want to hold off a rate increase until seeing the GDP numbers, which will probably be convincing.''
Gross domestic product will probably expand an annual 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists, up from 0.8 percent in the third.
The central bank may also want to examine more inflation data before a rate increase. Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food, rose 0.2 percent from a year before in November, up from a 0.1 percent gain in October.
The 33 percent drop in crude oil prices may drag the inflation measure lower.
``With crude oil prices dropping at a faster than expected pace, core prices turning negative is not just a risk, but a real possibility,'' said Takehiro Sato, chief economist at Morgan Stanley Japan Securities Co. in Tokyo. Some investors ``are dumbfounded as to how a rate hike can be justified when prices may slip into a negative territory.''
In the lead up to today's decision government officials have been voicing concern that an increase this month may be too early.
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Hiroko Ota said on Jan. 16 that Japan's consumption remains weak and that there is no guarantee the economy wouldn't slip back into deflation following a rate increase.
Hidenao Nakagawa, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said on the same day a rate increase can't be justified given the current state of the economy and consumption.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, focusing on policies to spur growth and stop the expansion of the world's largest public debt, wants to avoid an economic slowdown ahead of elections in April and July.
Abe yesterday said that the government and the central bank shared the goal of beating deflation and achieving strong economic growth and that he believed the central bank would ``make an appropriate judgment.''
The government estimated last week a 1 percentage point increase in short-term interest rates would shave Japan's GDP by 0.4 percentage point. A similar increase in the yield on Japan's benchmark 10-year bond would increase the country's annual debt- servicing costs, which already eat up a quarter of total spending, by about 1.6 trillion yen, the finance ministry estimated in December.
The central bank will publish its monthly economic report at 3 p.m. Fukui will speak at a press conference at 3:30 p.m.
To contact the reporter on this story: Mayumi Otsuma in Tokyo firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: January 18, 2007 00:11 EST
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Jan. 17 2007 (EUR/USD trade)
Trade: Long 3 lots of EUR/USD @ 1.2919.
Stop: 1.2885 (Support level is found at 1.2900 but decided to cut some slack below support).
Target: 1.3010 (Key resistance level is found at 1.3000. Will review target once 1.3000 has been breached).
Result: Trade closed on Jan. 17 @ 1.2916 (-3 pips).
Comments: Finally EUR/USD has retreated to a level where I am comfortable in going long. Prices has been hovering around 1.2950-80 for the past few days thus making it too expensive for me to go long. Woke up this morning to find EUR/USD in the 1.2910 range and thus decided to jump at the opportunity. Within the past 6 hrs, managed to capture +16 pips so far.
However, I panicked when prices crashed in a matter of 5 mins to 1.2910-20 and decided to close out my position at 1.2916, losing -9 pips in the process. However, I am pretty comfortable with my move as I didn't like the fact that I was having a long USD/JPY and EUR/USD position ahead of a major US event (Producer Price Index was released on Jan. 17). Both trades are contradictory to each other in light of the PPI data, hence I closed out my EUR/USD to focus on my USD/JPY trade.
As a post-note, the PPI data beat most expectations and showed that US inflation is still a key risk to the economy. However, to my dismay, USD/JPY remained little changed. Must find out the reason to it.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Trade: Long 5 lots of USD/JPY @ 120.55.
Stop: 120.08 (based on the 120.08 low created on Jan. 11 ).
Target: 121.49 (2:1 profit-loss ratio).
Result: 2 lots closed on Jan. 15 @ 120.47 (-8 pips). Remaining 3 lots closed on Jan. 18 @ 120.80 (+25 pips)
Comments: Unclear signals shown on the hourlies. Will be scaling out my positions gradually. Due to indecisiveness shown ahead of the BoJ meeting on Jan. 18, prices traded narrowly for 2 days without any clear direction. Scaled out 2 lots on Jan. 15 as I wasn't comfortable with my position.
Remaining 3 lots were sold on Jan. 18 after the BoJ decided to keep i/r at 0.25%. However, prices rallied only a few pips to 120.80 which is quite baffling as markets were split over whether BoJ would raise i/r anot. I expected prices to break the 121.00 resistance barrier. Might be going short USD/JPY now. Market speculates that BoJ have a 68% chance of raising i/r in the Feb. 20 meeting.
Trade: Long 1 lot of USD/JPY @ 120.12.
Stop: 119.72 (Key resistance level - High on Jan. 09).
Target: 121.00 (Adhering to risk-reward ratio of 2:1)
Result: Trade closed on Jan. 15 @ 120.49 (+37 pips).
Comments: Hourlies on late Friday points to oversold conditions although dailies shows slightly overbought signs. Planning to hold the position not more than 1-day and will close out position once target has been hit. However, will review daily charts for potential further up-trend which started on Dec. 05. Position closed on the same day itself, netting +37 pips in the bag. Decided to go long with another 5 lots @ 120.55 upon locking in my profits from the previous 1 lot sold. Rationale shall be posted later.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Trade: Short 1 lot of USD/JPY @ 120.52.
Stop: 121.00 (Psychological barrier).
Target: No target. Let it run as long as I can stay awake.
Result: Trade closed on Jan. 15 @ 120.14 (+38 pips).
Comments: This was one of my "so-called" impulse trade as I had the gut feel that USD/JPY was trading at too high a level and thus not likely sustainable. In all honesty, I did not even studied the charts carefully and just committed myself to the trade without placing stops (*reminder: do not be a fool next time). Was really lucky to get away with a 38 pips profit on Monday morning as prices trading flat at 120.5+ for the rest of Friday.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The hotel which I am staying is called Bishop Lei and its located in the Mid-Levels of Hong Kong island, kinda like an expat upper-class residential area. Its set amidst the lush green hills of Hong Kong island and I can see the fog covered top of Victoria Peak from my room. Which is kinda refreshing and relaxing. I heard that if I got assigned the other side of the hotel, I would have a sweeping view of Victoria Harbour, but alas. All interns are usually assigned the hilly view. =p
Did some grocery shopping and bought a ton of junk food. Potato chips and cup noodles mainly. Hey, a man gotta sustain himself through the World Cup fever right? Also bought loads of cereal and milk. Can't let my tummy go hungry when I go to work in the mornings. Short post today. Feeling abit lethargic.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
So much has transpired over the past 3 months that I don't even know where to begin with. Hmmm...For starters, here I am, all alone in Hong Kong serving my internship. LOL. Feeling a myriad of emotions all at once. Excitement over my 1st day of work on Monday, trepidation of failing to leave up to the expectations of my firm, loneliness of living so far away from my loved ones, not to mention injustice, fear, anxiousness, and you've got a pretty messed up being.
I gotta pull myself together. I need to. I have to. Work's starting on Monday and I must perform at my zenith.
Was speaking to a friend from NYU (Stern Business School) who is also in Hong Kong for her internship and realised that all her Singaporean friends in NYU are also in Hong Kong for their internships. Lemme count...2 in Lehman, 1 in Morgan Stanley, 1 in Deutsche, 1 in JPMorgan and herself in UBS. And guess what? All in i-banking. Earning twice my pay for doing more or less the same job. grrrrrr. Life's a bitch and I've gotta live with it. WTF.
Was telling Brat last night about the injustice and we agreed that we've gotta work doubly hard from now on, and ensure that our kids will enjoy the chance to attend one of the Ivy Leagues in the States. I wouldn't want to deny my kids the opportunity that their father never got. My friend was telling me that all-in-all, it cost about SGD 80,000 per year for her NYU experience.
Hahahaha...I was thinking aloud to myself, "at 80,000 per year, even if my parents sold away our HDB flat to support my 4 year of education in New York, we would still be 100,000 short." Damn it. I love my university. I truly do. SMU has given me opportunities than I could ever dream possible. Coming to Hong Kong on an internship, working in a bulge-bracket investment bank. Not many of my peers from Singapore universities get to have the opportunity.
BUT, this is my whole exact fucking point. So what if you have a 3.9 GPA in SMU, been the founder/president/captain of clubs in SMU, the darling of all the deans. Attend an interview attended by Singaporean candidates from Wharton, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Stern, Sloan...blah blah...and you will get my point. All the top jobs would invariably drift towards them. Leaving zilch for local undergrads.
I'm just eating sour grapes. For the obscene amount of money that those Singaporean students pay to attend all these Ivy League universities, I guess its a form of return on their investment. However, I would like to stress that in no way, am I less capable than them. Not in a million years. Throw me an Ivy League undergrad anyday and I'll tear them apart. ROARRRRRRRR!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Today's mood is quite a stark contrast from yesterday's...yesterday, I got rejected by a bank that I really wanted to do internship for =( Was really hoping to fulfill my internship over there in either its Corporate Finance division, or its Sales & Trading division, but alas...they don't want me. Since I'm graduating in December this year, I was planning to give it my all in this internship, and hopefully they would offer me a permanent job after my internship...SIGHZ...but all is not lost...I will continue to hunt for other banks...its their loss for not wanting me =p but really, I learnt the importance of picking oneself up after experiencing a setback. One can either wallow in self-pity or take positive actions to rectify the problem and find solutions. As for me, I chose the latter =) Right after I got rejected, I printed out my resume and sent it out to a career counsellor (one of my lecturers in SMU actually) and asked for comments on my resume and ways I could further boost it and gain the invaluable edge. He hasn't replied though, but I'm sure he will.
Next, I really love my Brat. She's been giving me so much encouragement since yesterday that its tough for me to wallow in self-pity any longer than it is neccessary. She kept egging me not to give up and that she would try and obtain important HR contacts inside her bank so that I can send my resumes to them. More importantly, her words of reassurances and comfort really uplifted me (she even said I can be a "Xiao Bai Lian"...wahahaha)
Alright...gotta get back to my Investment Banking notes...Wish me best of luck tomorrow!
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
TT-gang Fishing Trip in December 2005
TT-gang Fishing Trip on National Day 2005
KNNBCCB...my car just got knocked into by a freaking lady driver. Was driving along AYE on the way back from Brat's house when this red Mitsubishi Lancer started cutting into my lane without even signalling. Worse still, my head was swirling with all the sub-sections of the Companies Act (think: fiduciary duties of directors/veil of incorporation/alteration of memorandum) that I didn't even notice that her car was drifting into my lane...and the next thing I know...her side mirror banged into my side mirror...AAAARRRGGGHHH...almost wanted to stop the car and seek justice from the lady driver but she happily zipped away on the expressway after knocking into my car. Was contemplating chasing after her, but decided against it because 1.) I am only concerned about my Company Law test tomorrow 2.) the side-mirror suffered only minor scratches 3.) petrol is expensive...wahaha...anyways, thank goodness the damage was very minimal or I would have kicked myself in the butt for not chasing after that red Mitsubishi.
Besides that, I slept in all the way until 1pm today and started to panick for my test. That's when I decided to go to school and do some studying. Hmmm...studied with Eugene and Brat (she came after work to study for her CFA) and its kinda a nice feeling. Its totally unlike the tense/nervous feeling I get when I study with my "acquaintances" (lets call them "Jarheads" from now on) =p heh...maybe its because I think they epitomize the meaning of Jarheads (big empty vases, full of shit) Think I shall study with Eugene more often from now on. Really thankful for his company throughout our 6-month exchange in Denmark. If it wasn't for him, Denmark wouldn't be half as fun. Oh oh...and I was reading this blog belonging to my friend - Manchi, and she made a post dedicated to her secondary school friends. MANNNN...I so totally agree with her that "old friends" are the best. If it wasn't for my secondary school friends such as Eddie, Linghao, Mingcong, Jiehua, Li-En, Shanhow and Weibing, my life wouldn't be what it is today. Honestly. Through my darkest hours, each and everyone of them at different points in time have given me the neccessary encouragements, precious advice and undying friendship that helped me surmounted those challenges (think: army and girls) Here's a BIG THANK YOU to all you guys! I can't emphasize again how much you guys mean to me...TT-GANG FOREVER! (heh...TT-GANG is sort of like this secret brotherhood that we've maintained since secondary 3) =p
OKAY...gotta get back to Company Law. Wish me best of luck guys (whoever is reading this blog...I doubt anyone...haha...no one knows about my blog anyways). I'm going to need lots of it tomorrow. Oh, you can also leave a short prayer for me. Nothing works like a good prayer. =)
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Went to Shawn/Darrell's birthday party and I must say the food is really top-notch. Power man. And Darrell's house is really very nicely decorated, kinda the dream house that I would want when I marry Brat...k...can really feel my eyelids closing...I'll end off here...hopefully I'll have more energy to blog a longer post tomorrow. There's so many things that I wanna blog, but just can't summon the energy to think and to type.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Hmmm...don't really have an idea why I'm jumping onto the band wagon. Was just watching American Idol on tv and felt really bored all of a sudden and I just thought to myself..."HEY, WHY NOT JUST START BLOGGING?" It feels really weird to write my thoughts out but then again, it's going to be a personal random musing of mine. No one's gonna know about my musings so what the heck, my blogging journey starts here =) Lets see, what shall I blog about on my virgin post? =p Well, I went to SMU library and made a feeble attempt to study for my investment banking and company law mid-term tests. I am sooooo panicking man...hahaha...since week 1 till week 7, its been DOTA DOTA DOTA (curse you DOTA!) I'm like waaaaaayyyyyyy behind my school work...jialat...
I was walking towards the library today when I saw some "acquaintances" (not exactly friends) of mine. Its just weird bumping into them. Perhaps I'm being overly sensitive, but I just feel like I'm constantly being judged around them. Well, more of that in a later posting another day. SHIT...friends just jio-ed me to DOTA...AARRGGHHH...I must RESIST...*grits teeth*
I give up. Resistance is futile. DOTA wins. CIAOZ!