Archive for June, 2012

Buying coins in Hong Kong doesn’t have to be daunting. Apart from obviously staying away from the modern counterfeits, the free port actually offers a very good selection at quite good bargains – for American coins. The geographic mispricing that basically drives the theory of buying Asian numismatics in the states also works the other way around.

I just picked up this 1876 S trade dollar, improperly cleaned and slightly damaged (VF35 details?) for HKD500 the other day. Haven’t done too bad (hopefully) for my first purchase, since I haven’t really seen trades at this condition for under $100 for a few years.

So a few notes on noodling the HK market for American coins: (ALWAYS WATCH FOR FAKES)

1. Be prepared. That means Red Book, loupe, scale, and a couple of genuine coins to compare with. I can’t stress how important the scale is, as the prevalence of counterfeits is quite high here. If you need to buy a scale, go to one of the kitchen supply shops on Shanghai Street in Yau Ma Tei (near the intersection with Wing Sing Lane) and get one for HKD50. It’s a trouble to lug, but well worth it considering the downside risks.

2. Go to smaller private shops. They need to move coins, and given the dead volume for American coins in HK, you can talk down the price quite a lot. Best thing to do as an American is point at it, ask for the price, and then give your own price (on a calculator). But don’t go to street stalls. That’s just a bad move.

Where to buy coins in HK? A good place is the Mong Kok market on Soy Street (4 levels of numismatics!) They mostly deal with Asian numismatics, but there are a few stalls with American coins. I’ll add the exact address later with a picture, but if I don’t get around, feel free to leave a comment.

3. Look for the uncommon coins. It’s really not worth buying common Morgans or Peace dollars (I even saw a blue Ike in the mix) for more than spot (ie, what you can do in the states). We’re looking for high economic/collection efficiency here!

4. Never be afraid to walk away. I mean never. If you can’t get a very good deal, just leave. Unless you know, they happen to have a genuine stella or some other R3, 4 coin. Then remember to bargain hard (30-40% off US wholesale seems reasonable).

5. Always, always, always be vigilant and look for counterfeits. Same concept as in the states, but just two gears higher.


I’ll add more as summer progresses. Though the HK market of US coins are mostly silvers, I would really want to find a misidentified colonial copper or historically significant coin that the dealer doesn’t realize.

To the best of good collecting, and remember to stay away from fakes!

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gemuchlichkeit soft focus

either there’s a flaw with my fd 50mm f1.8 lens, or a wonderful side effect to what’s supposed to be a portrait lens anyways. need to borrow someone’s ef 50mm to be sure…

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This will be my last trading post until the end of summer as I will start employment with a bank’s fixed income desk very soon. I really don’t want to get tied up in conflicts of interest, dissemination of company property and then angry letters from HR. Slowly winding this account with around 26% profit since January and keeping it as a JPY play only.

Sooo a few notes, I use soft stops, ie when there’s a daily close that invalidates channels, targets or lines I’ve previously drawn.

Timing should be that the AUDNZD trade closes first tomorrow evening, then AUDUSD should be stopped out (though this trade is a hedge against both a dovish RBNZ and fall in risk sentiment because nothing in Spain has been solved yet… and they’ve woken the Italians). CADJPY I can hold (after everything has been closed) for a couple of years.

Going to open an Hong Kong account in the next few days so I can trade NDFs and CFDs. GOLD AND SILVERRRRRRR!

USDSEK has reached its first target after a week. Good trade, eh? I wouldn’t look to buy again until it reaches 6.9000. But, volatility is high so a bad position won’t hurt that bad.

To the best of good buys.

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No new stimulus?

Well, Uncle Ben didn’t seem to mention any in his testimony to congress. The entire market has been waiting for something like this for the past ~3 days.  I think quite a few will be unhappy that the only new money is coming from China, rather than another blowout deal from the US. Seems like fedspeak does build up – other members preview what the Ben says.

The USDSEK positioning remains valid, though I now seem to doubt a daily close below the channel at around 7.1100/7.0900, which was the confirmation for a short entry. However, a commendable effort to those who captured the leg down.

Currently watching EURJPY again. As of right now (1.5hrs in) risk appears to be peeling off. If this candle closes red hammer down, I will be adding more to the position. EURUSD has failed to pass the former low of 1.26000 (also a fib from 1.18754 to 1.49485 – retest of 91.0% at 1.21520?…)

But nothing wrong with selling Euros – though selling it against USD, CAD or NZD seems to make more sense… will see how EURJPY does… Will probably throw it away if it’s not positive by today’s US close.

To the best of good buys.

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USDJPY and USDSEK, both looking for a potential short on stimulus bets/US dollar correction. However, I’d only pick one of these and given the overall broad sentiment looking at S&P500 futures, either or.

That sentence did not make sense, but it’s better to be right and lose a few pips.

USDJPY – Need tomorrow’s candle downwards and crossing the channel for further downward pressures. Otherwise target remains at the 79.800/80.000 former light congestion.

USDSEK – same story, looking that break although this pair seems more likely. My dear, Draghi didn’t offer us anything important except that these temporary loans/refinancing/recapitalization are still on the table.

Want to sell something? Why not USDCAD or AUDNZD?

To the best of good buys.

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Yen Channel Top

Wow in 3 days… let’s see if there’s going to be spike before the Bernanke opens his mouth. I have closed out my ZARJPY from Friday and switched over for USDCAD at 1.0340 for the traditional Bernanke play.

Recent Fedspeak in the past 2 days have once left markets in confusion. Dallas Fed President Bullard, who is one of the more bullish presidents, call the recent softness in the labor market as transitory, and does not distract from the current fed policy of slowly unwinding. Taking at the status quo, this means no more new stimulus. Yet, words from the Ben himself remain ambivalent, refusing to signal any steps unless there’s some crisis of some kind.

But here is the channel in focus.

Other yen crosses show a hit of a very steep channel, like CADJPY here. EURJPY has broken out, and I wouldn’t have a problem buying it until 103.000, but USDCAD (crude tracking ~82% correlation 20D) and NZDUSD, AUDUSD, USDSEK give better choices for a bullish reversal.

And of course, if we do get more stimulus as a kind of brain surgery to fix a scratched elbow, that USDJPY channel will still have plenty of room downwards.

tsk re-evaluating AUDNZD… there’s still Aussie labor data tomorrow. However, we are at the longer term .500 fib of 1.29320. The congestion between 1.27880 and that fib has been noted…

But, looking forward to what Draghi has to say tomorrow. Wonder if there’s going to be any mention of fiscal easing to help with the sovereign/commercial bank/debt/credit crisis.

To the best of good buys.

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Of course, assuming that the ECB is dovish. A marathon is still made of small steps.

But in light of that, and contrary to the post a few hours ago, EURSEK may not be optimal considering that it has stopped at the resistance and the top of a former channel. Indicating a bullish ECB? Possibly, but at least there are 2 positions to see out what the ECB does.

Here seems to be a better one: EURNZD, though only for a short term hold such as this one. (This is also considering where EURCAD is at the end of the day – anywhere in the 1.2970+ zone and that’ll be a better position). Entry at 1.6500-1.6550 seems safe, with the next resistance on this rising channel at 1.6610 and change. Placing an order at 2 days’ high of 1.6530 and watching.

Mind you that the RBNZ rate decision is out June 14, so depending on how bearish, there could be a test of mid-channel.

Of course, considering that it is a dovish ECB. Wonder what Draghi’s thinking right now…

To the best of good buys.

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