Strong trending markets work best for carry trades as the strategy involves a lengthier time horizon. Confirmation of the trend should be the first step prior to placing the trade (higher highs and higher lows and vice versa) – refer to Example 1 above. There are two aspects to a carry trade namely, exchange rate risk and interest rate risk. Accordingly, the best time to open the positions is at the start of a trend to capitalise fully on the exchange rate fluctuation. Regarding the interest rate component, this will remain the same regardless of the trend as the trader will still receive the interest rate differential if the first named currency has a higher interest rate against the second named currency e.g. AUD/JPY.
What happens when the market approaches recent lows? Put simply, buyers will be attracted to what they regard as cheap. What happens when the market approaches recent highs? Sellers will be attracted to what they view as either expensive, or a good place to lock in a profit. Therefore, recent highs and lows are the yardstick by which current prices are evaluated.
If traders are positive on the prospects for the Yen, they would expect the number on the right to go down – i.e. the Yen would be getting stronger against the Dollar. Traders would be buying less Yen with a Dollar as the Yen got stronger. Similarly, if the Yen was expected to weaken, forex traders would expect the Yen number to go up, reflecting the fact that the dollar could buy more yen.