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Why to consider buying the Japanese Yen

First, let's start with a reason not to buy Japanese Yen futures (6J): the currency is in a long term downtrend...or at least was.

The Yen hasn't made any aggressive moves higher this year that would indicate a bull trend is starting, yet it hasn't been making progress lower either.  The Yen trade idea posted in late January took a couple weeks to eventually break out. This downtrend has lost steam, and for a swing trader, this is a sideways market getting compressed for a big move.

With the short-term outlook neutral, if a high reward to risk long trade can be found (near the bottom of this range), it's worth taking.

Since March 9 the price stabilized and barely budged, consolidating right in a support area going back to late 2014. With the more lateral movement entrenched, and an inability progress past prior major lows, the next logical thing to do is look for longs as close to that support level as possible.

Buy between 0.008270 and 0.008260 (requires a small pullback). Place a stop loss below the March low of 0.008205. A conservative target is at 0.008360, or close to a 2:1 reward to risk ratio (depending on entry). That's not the allure here though.

The idea is to buy near support in case the price breaks above 0.008360, and above this descending channel the Yen has been trading in most of the year. If that occurs the target moves up to near 0.008530--a nearly 5:1 reward to risk ratio. This target is still within the sideways movement seen throughout the year. 0.0086 also isn't an unreasonable target, as it is still within this overall range.

Figure 1. June Japanese Yen Futures (6J) - 4 Hour Chart

yen-1.jpg (3)

If the price falters near 0.008360, there is the option to get out and go short (in line with the descending channel). By buying very close to potential turning points (only once the price has slowed, like it has here) it gives a lot of options because the trader can often make a small profit even if the original trade idea doesn't work out.

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