December 2008 - Daily Pfennig

A free, quick-reading daily e-letter on world currencies, economic trends, and the occasional baseball score.

Daily Pfennig

Blog Subscription Form

  • Email Notifications
    Go

Archives

  • Back to Risk Aversion...

    * Japanese yen rallies... * Renminbi stumbles... * A very tough data week in store... * Rate cuts all around the world... ** Back to Risk Aversion... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! In addition, Welcome to December! We had our first "dusting" of snow over the weekend, after experiencing wonderful weather Thursday and Friday. As much as they tried, even my beloved Missouri Tigers losing to ultra-rival, Kansas on Saturday, couldn't ruin what was a very fun and relaxing weekend for yours truly! Well... When I left you last Wednesday, I had thought that we could be on the cusp of a "change" in the currencies, as the Trading Theme that had held a tight grip on the currencies since July, was thrown to the side for a couple of days... But, I doubt "that" has happened, as a return to risk aversion is back on the table, which means the currencies and precious metals get sold, while Japanese yen, and U.S. Treasuries (read dollars) get bought....
  • The NBER Finally Says So!

    * RBA cuts 100 BPS... * It IS a recession! * Paulson to ruffle feathers? * Yen to rally hard? ** The NBER Finally Says So! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Quoting one of my all time fave Christmas songs, Baby, it's Cold Out There! Winter has arrived, and I had to drag out the big heavy winter coat this morning. So... The seasons pass us, which is a good thing, because without winter, we couldn't have spring, and spring training! OK... Right out of the starters blocks this morning, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) pulled the rug right out from under the "high yield status" of their economy, with another HUGE rate cut overnight... This time, the RBA cut 100 BPS, to an internal cash rate of 4.25%. This brings the total since September to 300 BPS! WOW! Talk about effectively unwinding seven years of tightening! The statement following the rate announcement leads me to believe that the RBA is probably finished cutting rates for now... It will be a wait-n-see what happens globally, before the RBA entertains any talk of further rate cuts... At least that's my opinion!...
  • Automakers Say They Need Funding Now...

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... * China... * Commodity prices to blame... * "Safe" Treasuries? ** Automakers Say They Need Funding Now... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... I went "shopping" yesterday evening... At least I can say I did my bit to keep the economy afloat! HA! Thanks to all who sent along notes to me yesterday with kind words. I truly appreciate the kind words, you are all too kind! The automakers made their pleas to Congress yesterday, and they claim they are in deep dookie! GM says they need $4 Billion right now! And... The original $25 Billion figure has grown to $35 to $40 Billion... The currencies were lifeless yesterday, with only a blip up in euros to 1.2740, only to give it back overnight. Aussie dollars (A$) rallied on the Huge 100 BPS rate cut news from the previous night, but at the end of the day, that was all but forgotten... It was as if the currencies did a Hans and Franz... Got all pumped up... But then turned into 100 lb weaklings again as the day turned to night....
  • Buying Buicks Instead Of Bonds...

    * Currencies trade in a tight range... * Another new plan to help homeowners... * RBNZ and Riksbank slash interest rates! * The Governorator speaks! ** Buying Buicks Instead Of Bonds... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's going to be a Tub Thumpin' Thursday in Europe for sure, given the Central Banks of England and the Eurozone are meeting and will probably cut interest rates to levels that haven't been seen in a while! The automakers are in deep dookie folks, according to them, and are in need of funds / bailout money right now! The head of Ford believes his company can withstand the recession, but fears for GM and Chrysler... The UAW has made some concessions to help the automakers, but it could be a case of too little, too late... Well... Another day of doldrums in the currencies, with the bias, what little there is, to buy dollars. The stock jockeys received some manna from heaven yesterday when it was announced that the U.S. Treasury Department is considering a plan to halt the slide in home prices that would lower mortgage rates using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The plan could reduce rates for newly issued loans to as low as 4.5%....
  • It's All About The Jobs Jamboree...

    * Currencies rally then fall back... * Rate slashers! * Following Japan? Let's hope not! * Canada's woes mount... ** It's All About The Jobs Jamboree... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday! A Jobs Jamboree Friday! Anything else, Chuck? No, I don't think so, I'll stop there... It's all about the Jobs Jamboree today. It's all about finding out just how badly the rot on the labor vine has gotten... The Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, yesterday, remained above 500K per week, which doesn't bode well for next month's data... But first... November's Jobs Jamboree on the docket! The "experts" have forecast a -335K drop in jobs for November... But, your old Pfennig writer believes that this forecast is low. I think it will be closer to -375K... The reason I say that is the employment piece of the ISM report that printed the other day... The employment index of that report showed some real serious rot on the labor vine... I read a report last night, where an economist was attempting to show how the report should read -750K... As bad as -375K is, I don't think the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) would have anything to do with printing a -750K report!...
  • The Worst Jobs Report Since 1974!

    * Will -533K turn to -600K? * A glimmer of light brings back risk takers... * Another week of data... * Fedspeak today... ** The Worst Jobs Report Since 1974! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! What a Whirlwind Weekend for your truly, as it came and went, I did a ton of stuff, but no rest, and this morning, I was reminded that I had not gotten any rest! UGH! But! It was all fun! A great time in Jacksonville at the Headquarters' version of a Holiday Party... It was great to see the folks there that I know. OK... Did you see the rot on labor's vine Friday? The Jobs Jamboree was very unkind to many, with a 533K jobs lost in November. That number was the worst figure since 1974! The tally of 1.9 million jobs lost this year surpasses the losses of the past two recessions, and according to the Wall Street Journal, signals that the current downturn could be the worst since the years immediately following World War II....
  • Spending More Money...

    * Turn back the clocks to 1950... * Currencies rally on the day... * Bank of Canada to cut rates today... * Fed Funds to zero? ** Spending More Money... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! It's raining like cats and dogs outside, and that rain is supposed to turn to snow tonight, so we've got that going for us! Always love that rain to snow bit, as it puts a nice layer of ice under the snow! Well... It looks like the new president wants to spend more money... Yes, President-elect Obama, presented his economic plan yesterday, and before doing so, issued a warning that the economy is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. His plan calls for a pledge to spend the most on infrastructure since the 1950's... Now, let me say this... The Big Boss, Frank Trotter, and I talk about this all the time... To spend money on Financial Institutions and things that don't get used more than once like bullets and bombs, isn't our "fave" way to spend money... But building something that could be used over and over again, well, that makes sense... However, this spending could be coming at the absolute most awful timing, as the Deficits are exploding in front of our eyes, and it certainly isn't as appealing as watching the fireworks display in Vancouver!...
  • A Bailout For The Big 3...

    * Another currency rally.... * Bank of Canada cuts 75 BPS! * A Santa rally? * What Asia thinks... ** A Bailout For The Big 3... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! We didn't get that snow I talked about yesterday, I guess the milk and bread on the grocery store shelves are safe today! Had to get "all dressed up" last night for a function that brought together a ton of old Mark Twain Bank people, among others. It was great, but I stood for two hours and I'm paying for it this morning... UGH! OK... Another day of "healing" for the currencies, as the 1.29 handle was achieved and held on to in the overnight markets. Slowly... Like sand through the hourglass, these are the days of currency healing! HA! That show, Days of our Lives, was burned into my brain as a kid, as it was my mother's fave soap....
  • A HUGE Currency Rally!

    * Another currency rally.... * SNB cuts another 50 BPS! * Budget Deficit continues to widen! * Treasury yields go south for the winter! ** A HUGE Currency Rally! Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's been quite the rally this week in the currencies led by the euro, which is like old times, eh? The Big Dog on the porch finally gets to stretch its legs and chase the dollar down the street! It's been a long time since we've seen this go on for more than a day. Yes, we've seen one day spikes, and even two day rallies turn into false dawns, but this one has lasted about a week now. Ever since last Friday's awful Jobs Jamboree, the tide has turned, and the Trading Theme that has held the currencies in a full nelson since the end of July, could very well be on the way out the door. I said that about the Trading Theme earlier this week, so I just wanted to repeat that to emphasize the point!...
  • Bailout failure accelerates dollars decline...

    * Senate rejects auto bailout... * ECB pushes back from the rate cut table... * Goldman and Citigroup predict a dollar fall... * China to continue to appreciate... ** Bailout failure accelerates dollars decline... Good day... Not sure when all of you will be receiving this today, as it took nearly over a half hour for my computer to boot up this morning. But its all good news for currency investors, so I'll get it written and out to you as quickly as I can. The dollar slowed its decent overnight, but continued to fall vs. most of the major currencies as the US Senate rejected the $14 billion bailout for the auto industry. The big winner in the Senate rejection of the bailout plan was the Japanese yen, as Japanese car makers are predicted to grab an even bigger piece of the US auto market. The yen, which has been rallying due to global deleveraging and carry trade reversals, suddenly had another reason to rally. The yen rose to a 13 year high, trading below 90 yen per dollar, and some are now predicting a rise to 80. Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa boosted the yen further after telling reporters in Tokyo that Japan isn't considering intervening in the currency markets....
  • Waiting on the FOMC meeting...

    * FOMC to cut further... * Bernanke turns his back on inflation... * Kiwi and Australia rally... * Gold continues to shine... ** Waiting on the FOMC meeting... Good day...and welcome to another week, hopefully the currency markets can continue their assault on the dollar which began a few weeks ago. The dollar index peaked back on November 21, and with the exception of a few days around the beginning of December, the greenback has consistently fallen vs. most of the major currencies. Friday was no exception, and the dollar continued to give back gains over the weekend with the Euro climbing back over $1.35 for the first time in two months....
  • Santa rally for the currencies...

    * A Santa Rally for the currencies?... * Waiting for the FOMC... * AUD and NZD rally... * China to try and keep growth above 8%... ** Santa rally for the currencies... Good day...It was actually a Great day for the currencies yesterday as the dollar index dropped another full point. The Euro moved past $1.35 and then blew through $1.36 to end the day over $1.37. And the Euro wasn't even the best performer, as the New Zealand dollar rallied over 2.1% vs. the US$ to take the title of best performing currency against the greenback. The South African rand was the only currency turning in a negative performance yesterday with the other commodity driven currencies of Norway and Brazil just barely holding their ground vs. the US$....
  • Fed brings rates down to near zero...

    * The Fed fires its last bullet... * Euro breaks back above $1.40... * AUD and NZD rally... * Happy Birthday Jen... ** Fed brings rates down to near zero... Good day... The 'noise' from the street which I wrote about yesterday turned out to be correct, as the FOMC cut 75 basis points to put the Fed Funds target at .25%. The US now has the lowest interest rates in the industrialized world, even below those in Japan. The dollar lost ground quickly after the announcement and continued to fall overnight to a 13 year low vs the yen and the weakest vs. the Euro in 4 months. With both Chuck and Frank out of the office, I fielded the calls from reporters after the FOMC cut, and the most popular question asked was what the near zero interest rates would mean for the man on the street. Well it was great news for those on Wall Street, but I told the reporters that the rate cut really wouldn't have much of an impact on US consumers. After all, interest rates at 1% weren't stimulating the banks to start lending so why would .25% rates cause any change?...
  • Santa rally continues...

    * Santa rally continues... * Norway cuts 175 basis points... * Japanese intervention possible... * Indian rupee moves up... ** Santa rally continues... Good day... The dollar is falling much faster than it rose, the euro surged over 6 cents vs. US$ since yesterday at this time. The 5 day return chart for the major currencies vs. the US$ is pretty impressive: Swiss Franc +12.55%, Euro +9.5%, Danish Krone +9.44%, New Zealand $ +8.41%, Australian $ +5.08%, Swedish Krona +4.85%. And it continues. The past two weeks have been the most dramatic move by the dollar that I can remember. The dollar index, which tracks the US$ vs a group of major currencies is back trading right where it was at this time last year. I pulled a chart of year to date currency returns vs. the US$, and there are now 5 major currencies which have appreciated vs. the greenback: Yen +26.44%, Swiss + 8.07%, and Singapore, Danish Krone, & Euro + 1%. And with the recent big moves, our phones have been lighting up with investors moving back into currencies. I love the fact that all of these investors are diversifying, but the speed of this recent move demonstrates why we suggest keeping your investments spread across all asset classes. Trying to time into or out of a market can be frustrating, while keeping consistent asset allocations is the key....
  • Dollar bounces back up...

    * Dollar bounces back up... * Paulson heads back to congress... * BOJ cuts rates to below the US... * China to continue increasing the value of the Renminbi... ** Dollar bounces back up... Good day... The currencies took a breather overnight as the dollar bounced back up. When we left last night, the Euro was still holding above $1.42, but the single unit dropped 3 cents overnight and is now hovering around the $1.39 level. This move back down was to be expected, and serves as an excellent opportunity for investors who were afraid they had missed out on getting back into the currency market. I have searched the news wires this morning and can't find any good reasons for the dollar's turn around other than it had simply gone too far too fast. Mike Meyer and I were talking about this yesterday morning, as we were looking at the trading screens in amazement. The dollar's move down over the past two weeks was even faster than the move up earlier this year. Chuck had warned readers all during the dollar rally that the strength was only temporary, but the reversal was just too quick. This move back up is healthy for the markets, and will allow investors another opportunity to move back in....

1 2 Next >