Market Anthropology: Spain – Careful What You Wish For

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spain – Careful What You Wish For

Spaniards voted on Sunday in an election expected to return the country’s centre-right Popular party (PP) convincingly to power after seven years of rule by the Socialists, who have been mired since 2008 in a deepening financial and economic crisis partly of their own making.
We need something fresh,” said José Luis Varela, an architect, shortly before casting his vote for the PP in a wealthy suburb north of the capital Madrid on a rainy autumn day. A changeover is necessary. FT – Spaniards vote for change as crisis deepens

At the beginning of July I sent out a cautionary note that implied that Spain was on the cusp of violating it’s long term technical structure, that if confirmed – would mark a significant trend reversal.
“The long term chart below is of Spain’s equity market ETF – EWP. I tend to use line charts for conveying strategy points and candles for tactics. There’s still quite a ways to go in July, but as of this morning it has broken back through the symmetrical triangle it has traded in for the last four years – indicating a very preliminary false breakout. 

Symmetrical triangles are a very common formation utilized by forex and equity traders in intraday and daily time frames. They are typically a continuation pattern. However, the longer the scale – the more likely it will mark a trend reversal.” “Running” of the Bulls
Now that the reversal has reaffirmed itself this month after bouncing off of the lower support trendline in October, Spain appears to be the first of the major European economies poised to break through the back of the triangle/wedge formation – confirming the trend change. 
It should be noted, that although Spain may present yet another confirmation of Europe’s long term fiscal and growth concerns, over the past 10 years it has continued to outperform its closest European counterparts by a significant margin. 
In light of the new mandate for change in Spanish politics, and considering it is widely understood that Spain has for the most part papered over its vast debt and structural concerns – a new centre-right governing party will likely take the opportunity to expose the considerable damages inflected by the Socialists party. 

It is more or less just another microcosm within the European crisis, but the performance differential is noteworthy and likely exploitable through either a pair-trade or an outright short position.

More to come in this line of thinking, and what this small technical breakdown could imply for currencies, commodities and the equity markets. 

Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing. — Oscar Wilde