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Monday, November 30, 2009

Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives

Picturing Technical Objectives

When prices form pictures on charts, you can obtain realistic objectives for later moves. One of the most reliable chart formations is the head-and-shoulders top or bottom. This easily recognizable chart pattern signals a major turn in trend.

The main advantage of the head-and-shoulders pattern is it gives you a clear-cut objective of the price move after breaking out of the formation. Measure the price distance between the head and the neckline and add it to the price where the neckline is broken. This projects the minimum objective. Although the head-and-shoulders gives no time projection, it predicts a very strong trend in the future.

In most cases, a head-and-shoulders formation will be symmetrical, with the left and right shoulders equally developed. Although the neckline doesn't have to be horizontal, the most reliable formations stray only a little.

Flags and pennants are consolidation patterns which give objectives for further moves. As the formation develops, price action in an uptrending market will look like a flag flying from a flagpole as prices tend to form a parallelogram after a quick, steep upmove. Flags "fly at half-staff." The more vertical the flagpole, the better.

A price objective is obtained by measuring the flagpole and adding it to the breakout point of the formation. The flagpole should begin at the point from which it broke away from a previous congestion area, or from important support or resistance lines. Flags in a downtrending market look like they are defying gravity and slant upward.

Continuation patterns

A pennant also starts with a nearly vertical price rise or fall. But, instead of having equal move reactions in the consolidation phase like a flag, pennant reactions gradually decrease to form short uptrend and downtrend lines from the flagpole.

The same measuring tools used in flags are used in pennants. Add the length of the flagpole to the breakout point to get the minimum objective. Remember,flags and pennants are usually continuation patterns in an overall trend which resumes after the breakout of the consolidation area.

Also, the coil formation, or symmetrical triangle, appears while prices trade in continually narrower ranges, forming uptrend and downtrend lines. This pattern doesn't tell you much about the direction of the next move. After breaking one of the trendlines, the objective is found by adding the width of the coil's base to the breakout point.

Cattle Monthly Futures

Springing from coils

The formation gets its name from the way prices contract and suddenly spring out of this pattern like a tight coil spring. One caution about this formation: It's best if prices break out of the formation while halfway to three-quarters of the way to the triangle's apex. If prices reach the apex, a strong move in either direction is less likely.

Ascending and descending triangles are similar to coils but are much better at predicting the direction prices will take. Prices should break to the flat side of the triangle.

Price objectives from ascending and descending triangles can be obtained two ways. The easiest is to add the length of the left side of the triangle to the triangle's flat side.

Another method of projecting price is to draw a line parallel to the sloping line from the beginning of the triangle. Expect prices to rise or fall out of the triangle formation until they reach this parallel line.

Gold Weekly Futures Corn Weekly Futures

More objectives

In the chapter on trends, we mentioned double and triple tops and bottoms. These formations also provide us with objectives. Once a double bottom is completed, prices should rise at least as far as the distance from the bottom of the "W" to the breakout point.

A double bottom is confirmed when prices close above the center of the "W" formation. This is referred to as the breakout. The difference from the bottom of the formation to the top gives a price objective. Targets for price declines from double tops are figured the same way.

Often, prices will retest the breakout point after completing the formation. After a double top is completed, prices may briefly rebound to test the resistance, which is the same point where the original double top was completed.

Source

Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives

Technical Price Objectives

Traders who believe in price charts make them work.

Chartists try to find repetitive price patterns which have a high degree of accuracy and usually are self-fulfilling. Gaps and specific formations frequently meet these criteria.

Gaps are one of the most easily recognizable technical indicators. A gap is simply an empty spot formed on a chart when price lines don't overlap the previous day's price action. Sometimes market psychology changes overnight or over a weekend. That change in psychology forces prices to open and stay above or below the previous day's range.

Time-tested rule

Gaps are filled is another time-tested rule of the market. That is why gaps become future price objectives. Quite often, prices retreat to fill a gap in a bull market before continuing the move. Likewise, prices often rally in a bear market to fill gaps.

Soybeans

Gaps may serve one of three purposes. They are used to spot the beginning of a move, to measure a move and to signal the end. There are four different kinds of gaps: common or temporary, breakaway, measuring or runaway, and exhaustion.

The most frequently occurring gap is the common gap. When this gap occurs because of a slight change in psychology, traders expect it to be filled soon. Once a gap is filled, it no longer has significance.

The early portion of the soybean chart on this page shows common gaps during the December and January period which were later filled.

The breakaway gap on this chart occurred on May 7 and begins a major bull move. Breakaway gaps often occur after a stretch of sideways trading and in the leading days of an uptrend or downtrend. This type of gap remains unfilled for a long time.

It sometimes is difficult to tell right away that it's a breakaway gap and not a common gap. When the market fails to fill this gap after a couple of weeks, this confirms the breakaway gap.

Additional gaps

A measuring gap typically occurs in the middle of a price move and predicts how much farther the move will go. It is also called a midpoint gap and a runaway gap.

On this soybean chart, the measuring gap, which occurred on June 8, left an empty spot from $6.16 to $6.26. The April 5 low at $4.90 marked the beginning of this move. The distance from the low at $4.90 to the measuring gap is $1.26 to $1.36. Adding this distance to the measuring gap projects a move to at least $7.50. Whether you add the distance to the top, bottom or middle of the measuring gap depends on your preference.

Cocoa Monthly Futures

An exhaustion gap shows frustrated bears giving up and aggressive bulls trying to make the market go their way. It is the first sign of sputtering before the end.

Though prices may go higher after an exhaustion gap at the top, the rally will not last long before the market dies. An extreme exhaustion gap may form an island reversal.

What about gaps that remain unfilled? They become future chart objectives.If gaps are unfilled when a futures contract expires, there are usually corresponding gaps on the charts of subsequent contract months.

Gaps also appear on longer-term charts such as weekly commodity charts, but gaps on monthly charts are rare because they generally are constructed to avoid gaps caused by contract changeover. Like those on the daily charts, gaps on weekly charts are also "made to be filled".

A downtrend may slide to a slow, gradual halt in the saucer bottom formation. Open interest and volume follow the same pattern as prices in this formation, reflecting speculator disinterest in a market with little action and little profit potential. Our example on the monthly cocoa chart took three years to form. Saucer bottoms on daily charts may take at least four weeks to become visible.

Although this bottom formation doesn't meet the requirements of other bottom formations, it's just as significant in signaling a trend change. Usually, the longer it takes to form a saucer bottom, the more violently prices will rise out of their lows.

Key reversals

One of the most easily recognizable technical signals in trend change is the key reversal. A key reversal often has an unusually wide trading range. Its requirements are a day's range outside the previous day's range with a close higher than the previous close for an upward turnaround and a lower close for a downward turn.

Here again, this chart formation reflects market psychology. A key reversal is the climax of a period of buying or selling fever. In extremely volatile markets, two or more key reversals may occur. The key reversal on the silver chart defined the top of its rally and signaled a fall in prices.

Silver Japanese Yen

To be a valid key reversal top, trading volume must be heavy and the daily trading range should be wide. Prices first surge to new highs, but fall back and close lower for the day.

For a key reversal bottom, the characteristics are the same. The selling climax has to have heavy volume with a wide trading range which first breaks to new lows, rebounds above the previous day's high and closes higher. Frequently, the highest trading volume and the highest or lowest price of the year will be set on a key reversal day.

An island reversal takes gaps to the extreme. It receives its name for obvious reasons. An island reversal can be only one day or a few days of trading above (or below) the previous and following day's trading activity The action is isolated by gaps on both sides. Thus, it leaves a day or a few days of price action surrounded by empty space.

The Japanese yen chart shows two island reversals. The 1-day island top of marked the climax of a bull move and the beginning of falling prices. The 3-day island reversal bottom in mid-May signaled a halt to the decline and the Island reversal beginning of a bear market rally.

Island reversals occur less frequently than key reversals. The exhaustion gap which marks the beginning of the island reversal will remain unfilled for a lengthy period because the island reversal is usually the climax to an existing trend.

Technical analysis is not an absolute tool. Because it is more an art than a science, individuals will interpret formations and trends differently.

"Thin markets" — those with very low open interest and trading volume — will create false technical signals. These markets, as well as deferred contracts which also have low open interest, should be avoided by inexperienced traders.

Despite these cautions, technical analysis is a powerful tool and if used with common sense, can enhance a trader's perspective and profits.

Source
Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend

"The trend is your friend" is an important trading guideline.

Because trends persist for long periods, a position taken with the trend will more likely be successful than one taken randomly or against the trend. Trading with the trend in a bull market means buying on dips; in a bear market, selling on rallies.

On a bar chart, each vertical line connects the day's, week's, or month's high and low. The horizontal tick to the right of the line indicates that time period's closing price.

A trend is easily spotted on a bar chart. An uptrend is a series of higher lows and higher highs. Uptrend lines are drawn under the lows of the market and give support. A downtrend is a series of lower lows and lower highs. Downtrend lines are drawn across the highs and give resistance to the market. The soybean chart shown below has both uptrend lines and a downtrend line.

Trends

Lows and highs vs. closes

A trendline can be drawn when two points are available. The more times a trendline is touched, the more technically significant this support or resistance line becomes.

While some chartists draw trendlines through lows and highs, others may prefer drawing lines through closes in hopes of detecting a change in trend more quickly.

Trendlines may change angles, requiring another line drawn through new high or low points. For example, the sideways trading action in March and April broke the steeper uptrend line connecting the Feb. 13 and March 20 lows. But when the uptrend resumed in early May, a more shallow uptrend line can be drawn connecting the February and late-April lows.

The most reliable trendlines are those near a 45° angle. If about four weeks have elapsed between the two connecting points, this increases the trendline's validity. However, steep trendlines that don't fit these guidelines, like the uptrend line in the early portion of the soybean chart, may be just as useful.

Often, minor uptrends or downtrends will confuse the beginner. It may seem the market has turned around. However, sharp chartists will see these minor trends as small ripples within a major wave. Remember, if the trendline isn't broken, that trend remains intact. Two closes outside the trendline are the criteria for detecting a change in trend. However, very seldom do markets go directly from uptrend to downtrend. At the end of a move, traders become less aggressive and prices may swing in a sideways pattern or consolidation period.

Many times, markets break into an uptrend or downtrend out of a sideways trading pattern or consolidation period. In the soybean chart, prices traded in a 50

Because traders need time to be convinced that they should put their money into the market, sideways patterns are more likely to occur near the bottom of a move. The beginning of a downtrend often will be sharp and sudden as investors pull money out of the market.

False breakouts

Another way beginners might be fooled is seeing false breakouts of tops and bottoms. As prices begin to make their move in switching from a downtrend to an uptrend, traders with short positions will "cover." This buying many times will cause the market to rally above the downtrend line. This short covering rally seldom holds, and prices may drop back to the breakout point. The uptrend is confirmed when prices close above the high of the short rally.

On a topping formation, long liquidation takes prices through the uptrend line on a short break. Before the downtrend begins, the market sometimes rallies back to "test" the uptrend line as shown on the soybean chart in September. As the downtrend unfolds, the second reaction rally could not top the highs of the first rally.

Channel lines are an extension of the trendline theory. The October through January downtrend on the soybean chart shows prices staying in a "channel" between the downtrend line and a line drawn parallel to it, connecting the lows. A channel line in a downtrending market helps identify where support may be found.

Speedlines are another line which show where prices may find support or resistance. Frequently, speedlines and trendlines will overlap, emphasizing that line's importance to the market.

The speedline on the soybean chart starts from the June 29 low. To find the points to connect with the low, divide the range between the low ($6.40) and the high($9.94) into thirds and subtract from the high.

Plot the point obtained by subtracting one-third of the range from the high on the day the high was made. A line drawn between this point ($8.76) and thelow established the 1/3 speedline. The 2/3 speedline is drawn through the point that is two-thirds of the range subtracted from the high ($7.58) plotted on the day the high was made.

Another way to detect a change in trend is by looking for a price from which the market reacts two or three times.

13-Week T-Bills

A double bottom, such as the one on the T-Bill chart, indicated the 87.10 to 87.20 area gave support to the market. Although a recovery had begun from the late-May low, prices broke the short-term uptrend in mid-June. The question then became: Will aggressive short-selling and long liquidation overwhelm the short-covering and new buying that come from support at the May low?

The soybean chart displays a triple top, where prices met resistance in approximately the same area three times before falling. Just the inverse of making the double bottom goes through traders' minds as the market makes a top: Will new buying and short-covering be able to overwhelm the new selling and long liquidation coming from the triple-top resistance area?

As with trendlines, the more time that elapses between the tests of support and resistance in double or triple tops or bottoms, the more valid the formation becomes. Also, the greater the reaction between tests of the support or resistance, the more likely the point will hold.

Though these examples are from daily bar charts, technical analysis works just as well on weekly and monthly charts. Because the longer-term charts cover more time, their trendlines are more important in identifying areas of support and resistance to the market.

How do I know?

In identifying the trend in a market, it is wise to start with the longer term charts to identify the long-term trend. The daily charts offer trends for the shorter-run.

Technical analysis is more an art than a science. The answer to your question, "How do I know where to draw the trendlines?" is, "They're your charts, draw them wherever they seem to work best for you."

Source

Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movement

The price of a futures contract is the result of a decision on the part of both a buyer and a seller. The buyer believes prices will go higher; the seller feels prices will decline. These decisions are represented by a trade at an exact price.

Once the buyer and seller make their trade, their influence in the market is spent — except for the opposite reaction they will ultimately have when they close the trade. Thus, there are two aspects to every trade: 1) each trade must ultimately have an opposite reaction on the market, and 2) the trade will influence other traders.

Each trader's reaction to price movements can be generalized into the reactions of three basic groups of traders who are always present in the market: 1) traders who have long positions; 2) those who hold short positions; and 3) those who have not taken a position but soon will. Traders in the third group have mixed views on the market's probable direction. Some are bullish while others are bearish, but a lack of positive conviction has kept them out of the market. Therefore, they also have no vested interest in the market's direction.

The impact of human nature on futures prices can perhaps best be seen by examining changing market psychology as a typical market moves through a complete cycle from price low to price low.

Classic price pattern

Assume prices trade within a relatively narrow trading range (between points A and B on the chart). Recognizing the sideways price movement, the "longs" might buy additional contracts if the price advances above the recent trading range. They may even enter stop orders to buy at B, to add to their position if they should get some confirmation the trend is higher. But by the same token, recognizing prices might decline below the recent trading range and move lower, they might also enter stop loss orders below the market at A to limit their loss.

The "shorts" have exactly the opposite reaction to the market. If the price advances above the recent trading range, many of them might enter stop loss orders to buy above point B to limit losses. But they, too, may add to their position if the price should decline below point A with orders to sell additional contracts on a stop below point A.

Typical price movement pattern

The third group is not in the market, but they are watching it for a signal either to go long or short. This group may have stop orders to buy above point B, because presumably the price trend would begin to indicate an upward bias if point B were penetrated. They may also have standing orders to sell below point A for converse reasons.

Assume the market advances to point C. If the trading range between points A and B has been relatively narrow and the time period of the lateral movement relatively long, the accumulated buy stops above the market could be quite numerous. Also, as the market breaks above point B, brokers contact their clients with the news, and this results in a stream of market orders. As this flurry of buyers becomes satisfied and profit-taking from previous long positions causes the market to dip from the high point of C to point D, another distinct attitude begins working in the market.

Part of the first group that went long between points A and B did not buy additional contracts as the market rallied to point C. Now they may be willing to add to their position "on a dip." Consequently, buy orders trickle in from these traders as the market drifts down.

The second group of traders with short positions established in the original trading range have now seen prices advance to point C, then decline to move back closer to the price at which they originally sold. If they did not cover their short positions on a buy stop above point B, they may be more than willing to "cover on any further dip" to minimize the loss.

Those not yet in the market will place price orders just below the market with the idea of "getting in on a dip."

The net effect of the rally from A to C is a psychological change in all three groups. The result is a different tone to the market, where some support could be expected from all three groups on dips. (Support on a chart is denned as the place where the buying of a futures contract is sufficient demand to halt a decline in prices.) As this support is strengthened by an increase in market orders and a raising of buy orders, the market once again advances toward point C. Then, as the market gathers momentum and rallies above point C toward point E, the psychology again changes subtly.

The first group of long traders may now have enough profit to pyramid additional contracts with their profits. In any case, as the market advances, their enthusiasm grows and they set their sights on higher price objectives. Psychologically, they have the market advantage.

The original group who sold short between A and B and who have not yet covered are all carrying increasing losses. Their general attitude is negative because they are losing money and confidence. Their hopes fade as their losses mount. Some of this group begin liquidating their short positions either with stops or market orders. Some reverse their position and go long.

The group which has still not entered the market — either because their orders to buy the market were never reached or because they had hesitated to see whether the market was actually moving higher — begins to "buy at the market."

Remember that even if a number of traders have not entered the market because of hesitation, their attitude is still bullish. And perhaps they are even kicking themselves for not getting in earlier. As for those who sold out previously-established long positions at a profit only to see the market move still higher, their attitude still favors the long side. They may also be among those who are looking to buy on any further dip.

So, with each dip the market should find the support of 1) traders with long positions who are adding to their positions; 2) traders who are short the market and want to buy back their shorts "if the market will only back down some"; and 3) new traders without a position in the market who want to get aboard what they consider a full-fledged bull market.

This rationale results in price action that features one prominent high after another and each prominent reactionary low is higher than the previous low. In a broad sense, it should appear as an upward series of waves of successively higher highs and higher lows.

But at some point the psychology again subtly shifts. The first group with long positions and fat profits is no longer willing to add to its positions. In fact they are looking for a place to "take profits." The second group of battered traders with short positions has finally been worn down to a nub of die-hard shorts who absolutely refuse to cover their short positions. They are no longer a supporting element, eagerly waiting to buy the market on dips.

The third group of those who never quite got aboard the up-move become unwilling to buy because they feel the greatest part of the upside move has been missed. They consider the risk on the downside too great when compared to the now-limited upside potential. In fact, they may be looking for a place to "short the market and ride it back down."

When the market demonstrates a noticeable lack of support on a dip that "carries too far to be bullish," this is the first signal of a reversal in psychology. The decline from point I to point J is the classic example of such a dip. This decline signals a new tone to the market. The support on dips becomes resistance on rallies, and a more two-sided market action develops. (Resistance is the opposite of support. Resistance on a chart is the price level where selling pressure is expected to stop advances and possibly turn prices lower.)

The downturn

Now the picture has changed. As the market begins to advance from point J to point K, traders with previously-established long positions take profits by selling out. Most of the hard-nosed traders with short positions have covered their shorts, so they add no significant new buying impetus to the market. In fact, having witnessed the recent long decline, they may be adding to their short positions.

If the rally back toward the contract highs fails to establish new highs, this failure is quickly noticed by professional traders as a signal the bull market has run its course. This is even more true if the rally carries only up to the approximate level of the rally top at point G.

If the open interest also declines during the rally from J to K, it is another sign it was not new buying that caused the rally but short covering.

As profit-taking and new short-selling forces the market to decline from point K, the next critical point is the reactionary low point at J. A major bear signal is flashed if the market penetrates this prominent low (support) following an abortive attempt to establish new contract highs.

In the vernacular of chartists, a head-and-shoulders reversal pattern has been completed. But rather than simply explaining away price patterns with names, it is important to understand how the psychology of the market action at different points causes the market to respond as it does. It also explains why certain points are quite significant.

In a bear market, the attitudes of the traders would be reversed. Each decline would find the bears more confident and prosperous and the bulls more depressed and threadbare. With the psychology diametrically opposite, the pattern completely reverses itself to form a series of lower highs and lower lows.

But at some point, the bears become unwilling to add to their previously-established short positions. Those who were already long the market and had refused to sell higher would eventually be reduced to a hard core of traders who had their jaws set and refused to sell out. Traders not in the market who were perhaps unsuccessfully attempting to short the market at higher levels will begin to find the long side of the market more attractive. The first rally that "carries too high to be bearish" signals another possible trend reversal.

With this basic understanding of market psychology through three phases of a market, a trader is better equipped to appreciate the significance of all technical price patterns. No one expects to establish short positions at the high or long positions at the low, but development of a feel for market psychology is the beginning of the quest for trades that even hindsight could not improve upon.

When you analyze charts, approach them with the idea that they reflect human ideas about prices that are the result and the struggle between supply and demand forces. Your attitude and ability to judge market psychology will determine your success at chart analysis. Unexpected occurrences can change price trends abruptly, and without warning. Also, some of the chart formations may be hard to visualize. You'll sometimes need a good imagination as well.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has asked us to also advise you that trading futures and options is not without risk. While there is opportunity for incredible wealth building, there is also the risk of losing even more than you invested. Of course, that's not unlike most other businesses. But informed traders are the best traders! Opinions expressed by Market Spotlight authors are not those of INO.com.

Source :

Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Further upside for FBM KLCI

Steel- and construction-related stocks like Sino Hua-An, Kinsteel and MRCB may outperform blue chips in the medium term, says a research head

Last week, shares on Bursa Malaysia recouped most of the previous week's fall with financial stocks leading gains for the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) after some banks increased mortgage rates to improve profitability.

As a result, the FBM KLCI rose 17.53 points, or 1.4 per cent, for the week to close at 1,260.76, with CIMB (+30 sen), Maybank (+17 sen), Public Bank (+18 sen) and Hong Leong Bank (+61 sen) contributing more than half of the index's gain. Average daily traded volume and value improved to 1.31 billion shares worth RM1.34 billion from 917 million shares worth RM1.2 billion in the previous week. Daily average volume surged to the highest since the last week of June.

Market movement this week will continue to be news driven. On the economic data front, industrial production and manufacturing sales figures are due tomorrow. They are expected to mirror September trade numbers, which fell 0.9 per cent month-on-month and 22.4 per cent year-on-year.

China now ranks second in the list of our top 10 export destinations and is the largest source of imports. The fact that China has overtaken the US as the second most important market for our exports underscores its importance to trade-oriented nations like Malaysia. Thus, the Chinese president's visit to Malaysia this week is an important milestone. This could lead to vital bilateral trade and investment agreements. This in turn could trigger market speculation on companies that can benefit from agreements at government-to-government level.
There are many Malaysian players that have exposure there through their own manufacturing facilities or joint-venture agreements with local Chinese companies. Some of the listed players are MPI, Unisem, UMW, Sino Hua-An, Top Glove, Proton and Goldis.

Stocks like Sime Darby may also come to investors' minds due to talk that a Chinese state-owned company would be taking a 10 per cent stake in the plantations giant that could open up huge growth opportunities in the downstream palm oil industries in China. Little-followed Lityan Holdings, which became an instant hit on speculative interest at its relisting after freeing itself from PN17 status, may draw some interest again due to its tie-up with China's leading telco Huawei Technologies to bid for contracts under Telekom's high-speed broadband project.

Externally, the 0.5 per cent fall in US consumer spending for September, the first fall in five months, has rekindled worries about a double-dip in the economy. A 3.1-point fall in the Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment to 70.6 reflected the current mood of US consumers, who are becoming increasingly thrifty on the back of a poor job market, no pay increase and potential pullback in government emergency relief measures.

While this is a temporary setback, manufacturing numbers are still pointing towards a healthy recovery and the expected continued weakening in the US dollar could lead to sustained expansion in the sector that would be vital for job creation and a recovery in consumption.

Maintain a bullish view on the local market and expect the FBM KLCI to hold up well ahead of the Maxis listing next week. A healthy consolidation around current levels can prepare the index to test new highs real soon as local institutions seize the opportunity to dress up their books. More positive news flows from the private financial initiative front, infrastructure contracts, and oil and gas projects are expected to sustain the positive momentum for the next six months that will give the FBM KLCI more clout to test 2010 index target of 1,370.

Technical outlook

Shares on Bursa Malaysia recovered from early losses on Monday triggered by the 250-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average the previous Friday, encouraged by regional rebounds due to keen buying interest from retailers. The domestic stock market ended mixed the next day, tracking the showing on the external front.

The market ended significantly higher last Wednesday, shored up by strong gains in banks on reports of better margins after they raised mortgage rates, causing the FBM KLCI to gain 11.5 points or 0.9 per cent for the day. The market again ended mixed the next day as blue chips consolidated gains while rotational plays switched to spark strong gains in the ACE market. Stocks gained further last Friday, lifted by the overnight 200-point rally in the Dow average to close above 10,000 due to improving economic data from lower jobless claims and higher productivity numbers.

The FBM KLCI rose from an intra-week low of 1,233.45 Monday morning to peak at a high of 1,263.03 by mid-morning trade last Friday, contracting mildly to a 29.6-point trading range last week, against the 31.2-point trading range the previous week.

A buy signal was triggered on the daily slow stochastics indicator for the FBM KLCI late last week, paving the way for further short-term upside bias. However, the weekly indicator stayed flat at the highly overbought region. The 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) indicator has rehooked upwards for an improved reading of 65.03, but the 14-week RSI rehooked up for an overbought reading of 72.45.

On trend indicators, the daily Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) has levelled off to indicate lessening downward momentum after the previous week's sell signal, but the weekly MACD signal line is still declining to suggest further consolidation ahead. Meantime, the ADX line on the 14-day Directional Movement Index trend indicator has levelled for a reading of 33.95 as of last Friday, but the +DI and -DI lines have expanded outwards, signalling an uptrend resumption.

Conclusion

The marked improvement in momentum and trend indicators for the FBM KLCI suggests further upside room for the local stock market this week. Nevertheless, investors should look for profit-taking and selling opportunities as market conditions could quickly turn overbought if sharp rallies sustain.

For this week, the October 21 pivot high of 1,270.44, which matches the significant pivot low on May 5 2008, will be the critical level to break to improve upside chances towards the next significant resistance coming in at 1,305, the April 29 2008 pivot high. The next higher hurdle will be at 1,340. On the downside, immediate support is upgraded to 1,243, the 38.2 per cent Fibonacci Retracement of the breakout rally from 1,200.65 low of September 30 to the recent pivot high of 1,270.44.

Stronger retracement supports are available at 1,235, 1,227, and 1,217, the respective 50 per cent, 61.8 per cent, and 76.4 per cent retracement levels, which provide stronger support platforms.

As for stock picks, chart wise, continue to favour blue chips such as AMMB, Axiata, CIMB, Gamuda, Public Bank, Sime Darby and Tenaga as the recent market correction has fully neutralised overbought technical conditions. Meantime, steel and construction related stocks like Sino Hua-An, Kinsteel and MRCB may outperform blue chips in the medium term. As for the ACE market, IRCB, Vastalux, Malaysia Steel, Notion VTEC and Carotech are expected to attract buyers looking for medium-term gains.

The subject expressed above is based purely on technical analysis and opinions of the writer. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell.
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