Monday, July 2, 2018

Alphaville's Dan McCrumb Called It (CHF)

A couple weeks ago he published "Crowded trade watch: no-one likes the Swiss franc".

The article was forcibly brought to my attention by someone who knows currencies better than I and who said: "He's right, I think we should do something"

I answered "Sure, fine, I'm in the middle of some stuff."

And I put the finishing touches on "CryptoKitty Trading Volume Collapses: Andreessen, Union Square and Climateer Hurt Worst

I so wish I were kidding.

Here's a fortnight of franc. Versus the dollar it's been one of the stronger of the major currencies:

And one of the more interesting bets.
Because Switzerland runs a trade surplus of around 2 1/2 billion CHF/month 
TradingEconomics (on blogroll at right)

The central bank listens to the big exporters and attempts to discourage strength in the currency.

So here's what Mr. McCrum noted at the time, the tip is in the headline:

Crowded trade watch: no-one likes the Swiss franc
A quick update on what currency trading hedge funds are doing, courtesy of BMO Capital Markets.
Based on the June 12 Commitment of Traders survey published by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, shorting the Swiss franc is the most lopsided trade:
In absolute terms, of course, shorting the euro is the biggest position, at a notional $13.6bn equivalent, but the mix of long and short positions is less uneven, and smaller than has been typical in recent years. As BMO write:
However, that [short euro] position was only 49 per cent of its 3Y maximum, so it was only a moderate position from that perspective. Short-CHF, worth a USD equivalent of 5.0bn, was smaller in notional terms, but was at 78 per cent of its 3Y max. That was the largest position by that gauge....