Word’s best inside FX traders
The Australian financial regulator ASIC launched an investigation into the 'suspicious trading' responsible for the jump in the AUDUSD just prior to the release of the Reserve bank of Australia surprise decision to hold interest rates in March 3. On April 7 the Reserve Bank of Australia again surprised the market by holding rates. In the minute prior to the report release the market also reacted strongly. The financial regulator ASIC suggested this was evidence of inside trading. But is it really?
Closer examination of the charts casts a better light on this so-called inside trading activity.
The pair in focus is the AUDUSD. Here's the chart for March 3. Quite clearly there is a sharp move before the release of the report. The release time is shown as 13.00 on the 2 minute chart because we use local time on our computer system.
Ok, the major pairs often move together but note the move is not exactly the same as the AUDUSD pair. What happens with the smaller crosses? These CAD and HKD pairs show similar reactions, although the correction following the release is much greater than in the previous charts. Also there is more volume increase in the AUDCAD pair than the AUDHKD pair in the lead-up to the report release.
By now it's going to come as no surprise when the minor currencies like the AUDSGD cross behave in much the same way. However the doji candle pattern with AUDNZD is quite different from the AUDUSD pair and this shows the charts are created in response to completed trades.
Compare the March 3 charts to the release of Australian Reserve bank reports on April 7. The one minute charts from Oanda use our local time, so the official release of the Reserve bank decision is at 14:00. On every one minute chart the market moves dramatically at 13.59 in the minute before the official release of the decision.
The Oanda 5 second chart for AUDUSD shows the move started at 13:59:50. The move is duplicated on all AUD pairs. By 14:00 all that was left was for the market to digest what had already happened and price activity moved sideways.
The same pattern is repeated on the 5 second chart for the AUDJPY, AUDCAD and AUDSGD pairs.
The EURAUD 5 second chart shows exactly the same pattern. The pattern is repeated on the GBPAUD chart
For inside trading to be present we would have to see a significant move in one or two crosses prior to 14:00 AND prior to the broad market move at 13:59. This does not happen.
Australia must have the world's best FX inside traders to be able to take such large positions in every AUD pair at exactly the same time! We take our hats are off to these traders because they have achieved the impossible.
Of course that explanation is plain garbage. A single inside trader might trade one pair, but it is highly unlikely they would have the inclination or the resources to trade EVERY AUD pair.
The exact replication of the fast up move in all AUD pairs in the 2 minutes or 10 seconds prior to the official release of the information is not best explained by inside trading. It is more reasonably explained by the early loading of Reserve Bank information to servers prior to the official release of the data. This is a global market reacting instantly to information as it becomes available to ALL PARTICIPANTS.
The charts clearly show that the Reserve bank information became available to many participants in the minute prior to the official release time. These moves are captured across all pairs by High Frequency Quantitative Trading Algorithms. They have algorithms running in the Dark Pools. These are on the institutional side, not the mums and dads.
The charts clearly suggest that the problem is in the way the Reserve bank loads this data to the web in preparation for its official release. The duplication of behaviour across all AUD pairs shows this information is available to many, if not all, participants at the same time. It's time to call of the FX witch hunt.
The FX market is the deepest and most liquid market in the world. It is arguably the most closely watched and monitored. This intense scrutiny makes it difficult to conduct inside trading. The real concern in the markets associated with the FX market is the manipulation of benchmark interest rates. That task is best left to the banks and other institutions who manipulated LIBOR interest rates and other benchmarks in 2008 and onwards.
Founder and Director
Founder and Director