Saturday, April 27, 2013

Three different timeframes on gold

There are many trends in action at any one time. For example, a particular stock or instrument may be in an uptrend on a weekly or monthly chart, but it may be in a downtrend on a daily or hourly timeframe. When you choose to follow trends, you need to determine your chosen timeframe in which to trade.

Gold's price action is a classic example. I've shown below three charts - a simple monthly chart, a daily chart (which is the chart set up I use for my trades), and a simple hourly chart.

As you clearly see, the price action on the monthly chart is now showing a downwards movement. Depending on how you determine the existence of a trend (be it simple trendlines, moving averages or price channels), this may or may not have signalled that the uptrend is over. The downtrend on the daily timeframe has been in place for a while (and which sharply accelerated a couple of weeks ago), yet the hourly chart shows the uptrend movement of over $140 since the low on 16 April.

Now, I know there have been several large funds that have been gold for a very long time. For example, David Harding and Winton Capital had been holding a long position for more than ten years. I have no knowledge of whether funds such as these have recently been liquidating their holdings, and whether this contributed to the sharp fall in the yellow metal a couple of weeks ago.

Other trend followers have been short gold (and silver) for a while now as a downtrend takes shape, and have had to ride out the recent retracement. By the same token, there's no doubt there have been plenty of shorter term traders who have taken the other side of that trade, and have profited from being long gold over the last few sessions.

Some traders I know run more than one system, using differing timeframes, look back periods, longer moving averages or whatever, and could be getting conflicting signals from one system to another. The trick is to determine what timeframe you are looking at, and trade based on what that timeframe is showing you.

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