Euro Rally Fizzles Out...
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In This Issue..

* Yen continues to kick!                   
* Jim Rogers disses sterling...                  
* China's 4th QTR GDP...                         
* Singapore announces stimulus...                                      

And Now... Today's Pfennig!

Euro Rally Fizzles Out...

Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! A nasty day in the currencies yesterday, except Japan of course. The Dow jumped 290 points yesterday, maybe an Obama bounce? You all know that I subscribe to an Obama bounce for stocks and the dollar in the first part of this year... But given what I know about, and what you now know about, after I drew it all out yesterday, the additions to the deficit that Obama will make, the focus on the fundamentals should return by late spring, early summer... That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Well... As I said in the opening, the currencies led by the Big Dog, euro, suffered through a nasty trading day, with the euro touching below 1.29 for a good part of the day. The risk takers are nowhere to be found. Where have all the risk takers gone... Long time passing... A Reuters reporter asked me yesterday if I was still of the opinion that the yen had more to rally or was it overbought? I said, that as long as the risk takers are nowhere to be found, yen should continue on its path higher VS the dollar, euro and sterling. The RSI (Relative Strength Index) for yen, shows that it is a tad overbought, but that's not enough to change my mind. Nor is it enough to change the mind of a currency trader at the Bank of New York (BONY), who believes yen may rise to 85 VS the dollar by midyear... Another currency trader at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) believes the Bank of Japan will step in and intervene to stem the yen's rise....

That may be, but there's been no sign of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to date... Of course that could be the kiss of death that I just bestowed on yen... But I somehow doubt it... Yen hasn't been a moon shot since reaching 88... In fact it has bounced between 88 and 91...

In the overnight markets, the euro rallied all the way up to 1.3080, but since I've come in it has been falling and now is barely hanging on to 1.30... The rally just doesn't seem to have legs and is fizzling out...

OK... Our long time friend, Jim Rogers, was talking again about the currencies... Let's listen in to see what this very well respected analyst / investor was talking about...

"In a Bloomberg video interview, Jim Rogers said the U.K. is "finished." According to Rogers, oil sales from the North Sea were the only thing supporting its economy, and the oil is running out. London, a global financial capital, is also a "disaster" because many of the current economic problems originated there. Bankers and money managers left the U.S. to operate with less regulation in London. Rogers has sold all of his pounds sterling.

  And with the pound and U.S. dollar under scrutiny, where are currency traders putting their money? In the countries with the largest trade surpluses - Japan, Norway, and Switzerland. European banking giant BNP Paribas forecasts the yen will appreciate about 14% against the dollar by June. Norway's krone is one of Goldman Sachs' top picks for 2009 (it's one of Jim Rogers' top picks, too). And Bank of America says the Swiss franc will gain against every major currency.

Maybe as speculations, these are good ideas. Me? I prefer gold to any paper currency."

Yes... Gold... The shiny metal broke its recent trend of rallying along side the dollar yesterday, but the sell off was small... Negligible at best... But a breaking of the trend nevertheless. I believe that Gold will get caught up with the currencies in the Obama bounce, but that will be a temporary thing...

OK... I've beaten the pound sterling sufficiently for some time now... But a U.K. reader sent me a note that he saw regarding Barclays Bank... He saw this on CNBC... "The Daily Telegraph and Times newspapers reported on Thursday that any attempt by Barclays to raise extra capital could trigger a clause that would deliver control of the bank to Middle Eastern investors. Barclays opted to raise funds privately last year rather than take part in the British government bailout. Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a brother of Abu Dhabi's ruler, invested up to 5.3 billion pounds in the bank.

According to The Daily Telegraph, a clause in the agreement states that if at any time before the end of June Barclays raised more capital at a price lower than 153.276 pence per share, the Middle Eastern investors could take their stake at that lower level."

Now that would throw a real spanner in the works for the U.K. if they truly want to go down the nationalization path for their banks... They already own majority stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland, and Lloyds... And they had to take over Northern Rock last year...

I don't know what nationalizing the banks does to the pound sterling, but the image of this happening can't be a good thing... Not in my opinion anyway...

So, did you see that China's 4th QTR GDP grew at a 6.8% clip? Now, compared to the plus 10% growth rates China was posting for the past few years, 6.8% looks pretty measly... But! Let's look around the world right now and see who has a GDP that even compares? Well, that roster would be pretty small... In fact, I can't think of anyone other than China that has GDP of 6.8%! This 4th QTR drop puts the annual growth rate in China for 2008 at 9%... Again... I'm from Missouri, you'll have to show me a country, other than China that posts a figure that strong!

In the whole scheme of things, this is pretty significant for China though. And all the reason I believe the Chinese officials will continue the slow appreciation of the renminbi... This is going to put a lot of people, investors, traders, into a lull regarding renminbi, as everything around the world slows down... But in China, inflation is still a problem, and that can be dealt with by allowing the renminbi to continue its slow appreciation...

Well, I came across something yesterday, I saw it, Kristin sent it to me, and then Chris sent it to me, so it hit a nerve with all three of us... Our friends over at Casey Research, did a chart, that I can't put in the Pfennig, but I can tell you what is showed us...

Since August, banks have built their cash position in the form of Treasuries, agencies and deposits at the Fed by $865 Billion, while their loans and leases have increased by only $325 Billion. So you can imagine the chart with one line for cash position rising, and the other line for loans falling... Here are the people at Casey Research's thoughts...

"In other words, rather than lending the billions of dollars received from the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as was originally intended, the recipient banks have squirreled away the bailout funds in order to shore up their balance sheets.

Concurrently, the Federal Reserve is exchanging its excess reserves for toxic waste from the financial institutions. 

The combined affect is a "circular bailout" with the Treasury borrowing. in order to lend money to banks. that then lend it back by purchasing more Treasuries. Of course, the expense of this entire bailout scheme ultimately falls onto the back of the tax-paying public."

>>>> back to me... We finally get a couple of data bones thrown to us today, as the data cupboard gets restocked with Housing Starts, and Building Permits for December, the House Price Index for Nov. and the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims... None of this will be good, bright, or even a warm and fuzzy, so prepare for more rot on the economy's vine...

And don't look now, but the price of Oil has pushed higher this week... Now trading at $44.50

Oh, and one more thing... Singapore officials have announced an economic stimulus package, which has been well received by the markets, and has allowed the sing dollar to bounce off the lows we've seen this week... Ok! Off to the Big Finish...

Currencies today: A$ .6565, kiwi .5275, C$ .7940, euro 1.30, sterling 1.3785, Swiss .8650, rand 10.0750, krone 6.9625, SEK 8.22, forint 217.85, zloty 3.3390, koruna 21.30, yen 88.80, sing 1.4950, HKD 7.7590, INR 49.16, China 6.8370, pesos 13.79, BRL 2.3190, dollar index 85.77, Oil $44.50, Silver $11.30, and Gold... $850.88

That's it for today... It's a good thing they told me about the fatigue I would feel from the radiation treatments, otherwise I would think that I was losing it! Just 7 more to go though. The doctor said that I had to be patient, as this procedure might take some time to clear up the eye... He also told me it would most likely cause me to have a cataract, that would have to be surgically removed... But, hey! If I get my vision back there, no worries! Well... I go today to see what my latest scans showed... I've got my fingers crossed. I find that going through this every 3 months is a real drain on me, and my beautiful bride... Maybe one day, we won't have to deal with these at all! OK, enough on my trials and tribulations! We're getting a new phone system in the office this weekend... Monday should be interesting! Well.. I had better get this all tied up and sent out, as it's time... I hope your Thursday is Tub Thumpin'!

Chuck Butler
President
EverBank World Markets
1-800-926-4922
1-314-647-3837





Posted 01-22-2009 9:19 AM by Chuck Butler