December 2009 - Daily Pfennig

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

Daily Pfennig

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  • RBA Hikes Rates Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Global Growth gets supporting data!
    * Non-dollar currencies rally...
    * Gold heads toward $1,200!
    * Canada exits their recession...
    RBA Hikes Rates Again!

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! And... Welcome to December! It's a grand month in my book, even if it does get quite cold! In fact, after reaching 60 degrees today, they say we'll get our first snow tomorrow night! So... Long time readers know all too well, that I'll begin whining about it being cold, and how I've got to go where it's warm... There will be no change from that this year, so be prepared!

    Well... It's a full-on, Risk On day this morning... Front and center, The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) did indeed raise interest rates last night (their Dec. 1st!), India's economy posted a strong 3rd QTR, and China posted a strong manufacturing number... And! The Dubai thing is waning... But, I want to talk to you about something that I wrote in the Pfennig about a week ago... So, we've got a lot on our plates to go through today, so let's get started!...
  • Gold Hits $1,200!

    In This Issue..

    * It's a Risk On Day...
    * Swiss franc hits parity to the dollar!
    * RBA to continue raising rates in 2010...
    * BRIC MarketSafe CD funding closes tomorrow!

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... It's another Risk On Day, at this point after the overnight sessions of Asia and Europe. Although there seemed to be some traders that wanted to exit risk assets... The moves were strange... Ain't if funny how the night moves? When it seems you don't have much to lose? OMG, here I am quoting Bob Seeger at 5 A.M.!

    Traders in the overnight markets allowed the Big Dog euro to remain above 1.51, which it scaled to yesterday afternoon. We saw some data in the U.S. yesterday that flashed a green light at the risk takers, so... As we begin today, the Aussie and kiwi dollars are soaring once again, and the Swiss franc has moved past parity against the dollar...

    ...
  • It’s A Jobs Jamboree Friday for 12/04/2009!

    In This Issue..

    * Commodity Currencies rebound...
    * Gold sees profit taking...
    * Canary in a coal mine...
    * It's Moving Day!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It's Moving Day for us here in the EverBank St. Louis office, as we will pick up our belongings and walk next door, to a larger, space, with some incredible views! We moved into this space 5 years ago, and we've been busting at the seams, with the threads holding on to dear life, for over a year now... So, this move is welcomed. Like I said the other day, in 1999, I sat in an office that we rented from the kind folks at Paylinx, and that was the beginning... From that tiny office to this! WOW!

    ...
  • Jobs Jamboree Is A Huge Surprise!

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar rebounds Big Time!
    * Gold loses $46 in one day!
    * High yielders give back the most...
    * Canada's Jobs rebound!

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well... We're all 'moved in' to our new digs... Kudos to the planning, organizing, tech gurus, and others that were involved with this move... As it certainly looks great, and so far, is running great!

    Today is Pearl Harbor Day, our 'first' day of infamy... That certainly was a sad day in our country's history...

    Well... That long awaited, and often forgot about that it could happen, correction in the currencies and commodities came full force on Friday. The selling of the currencies and commodities and buying of dollars was reminiscent of the days following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008. The dollar index surges 1.7% on Friday... And Gold... The shiny metal suddenly became the 'not so shiny' metal, as it sold off by $46 in one day... And it hasn't stopped there either... Gold has sold off another $16 overnight to $1,143......
  • Bernanke Squashes Rate Hike Hopes...

    In This Issue..

    * Non-dollar currencies see some healing...
    * Gold rebounds during the day...
    * Japan to issue $81 Billion stimulus package...
    * Canadian loonie is best performer on the day...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Day one in the new office, seemed to work out pretty smoothly, with only our fax machine giving us fits... As I said yesterday, kudos to the organizers, planners, doers, tech gurus, and anyone else that had anything to do with this move...

    OK... Well, yesterday, I left you with the dollar on the rampage, and the non-dollar currencies and precious metals in the woodshed, having been beaten so badly, they didn't want to come out!

    But that was before Fed Chairman Big Ben Bernanke spoke... So, let me set this up for you... The dollar went on a rampage Friday after the BLS aided Jobs Jamboree surprised the markets with how strong it was, thus giving the market players the idea that the Fed would probably move up their date to get off the schnide and raise rates again... But then along came Ben, slow talking, slow walking Ben... And he set the record straight!...
  • Aussie Jobs Surge!

    In This Issue..

    * High yielders rebound...
    * Kiwi surges 2-full cents!
    * SNB softens tone on franc strength
    * The U.S. Debt Clock...

    Good day... And a very cold Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! I remember back to this summer, when in August, we were camping, and it was only 75 degrees, and old man at the country store said to me... 'We're going to pay for this come winter'... I have a bad feeling right now that the old man will be bang on! UGH!

    OK... A chill crept over the dollar bulls overnight, when Australia announced their latest jobs data. Since that time, the dollar has been sold, albeit not frantically, but sold nonetheless, and the high yielders, like Aussie dollars have been the main destination of those funds created from the dollar sales.

    ...
  • A Mixed Bad of Data...

    In This Issue..

    * A Bias to take on risk...
    * China's Factory Output soars!
    * Brazil exports "stuff"!
    * Calling a bottom in Gold...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! The 40 mph winds have stopped, which makes the cold a little more bearable... So... With the sun out yesterday, I would have to say that today will be a Fantastico Friday... Our office get together is tonight, should be a good time...

    Well... Yesterday, the non-dollar currencies looked like they were ready to break out of their funk against the dollar, led by the high yielders of Australia, and especially New Zealand... But, that flamed out as the day went on as the data for the U.S. was mixed, and did not give anyone a warm and fuzzy about the general direction of the economy....
  • Abu Dhabi Provides $10 Billion Bailout...

    In This Issue..

    * A Huge Friday Sell off!
    * U.S. Retail Sales are strong...
    * Testing the risk waters again...
    * Norges Bank & Riksbank meet this week...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Friday turned out to be Fantastico, as I had hope for, and the weekend was for resting, as I was on my feed too much Friday night. It was NOT a Fantastico Friday for the non-dollar currencies, though... I'll get to that in a minute... First though, I want to crow a bit on the Dubai debt problems...

    It was announced this morning that Dubai's government received $10 Billion in financing from Abu Dhabi... Hmmm... You know, I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago, when this debt /loan repayment problem was announced, that in the end, the Abu Dhabi government would step in to bail out Dubai, for the people running the two governments are blood related, and even though there had been shots fired between the two, blood would run thick here... And voila that's exactly what happened!...
  • The Markets Ignore Bernanke...

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar continues to get bought...
    * German Investor Confidence weakens...
    * The Carry Trade shifts to Japan again...
    * More deficit spending...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Not a Terrific Tuesday for the non-dollar currencies though, as the overnight markets have marked them down once again, and favored the dollar... More on that in a minute... I got a chance to meet up with some old friends and co-workers last night, at a holiday party... I had to leave early though, my leg couldn't stand that long... UGH!

    OK... The daily noise, has the bias to buy going toward the dollar this morning... For some unknown reason, and I emphasize this here... The markets are not listening to Big Ben Bernanke, when he says that current near zero interest rates will remain for 'some time to come'... You see, the markets are under the impression that he's giving us a head fake, and will raise rates aggressively very soon, for the data that has printed recently is of the "need to raise interest rates before inflation takes the economy hostage" kind of stuff......
  • The Bias To Buy Dollars Remains In Place...

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar continues to get bought...
    * The A$ gets rocked!
    * Riksbank keeps rates unchanged...
    * 10-year yields inch higher once again...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The end of the line, so-to-speak for me until after Christmas, as I begin my winter vacation tomorrow. Yesterday, I told you about having a conversation with one of my fave economists on Monday night. Well, she told me that she was worried about me. That when she reads the Pfennig, I sound like I'm too stressed out, and taking this stuff to personally. She said she was afraid I was going to have a heart attack writing the Pfennig one day!

    WOW! OK... So here's the deal today, my last Pfennig before Christmas... I'm not going to talk about the deficit spending fools in Washington D.C., I'm not going to talk about the national debt, I'm not going to talk about anything that gets my feathers ruffled... It's all seashells and balloons for yours truly today!...
  • Game off for risk trades...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar hits 3 month high...
    * Norges bank raises .25%...
    * Fed repeats call to keep rates low...
    * Inflation in India rises...

    Good day...And welcome to Thursday. Chuck started his Christmas vacation, so I have the honor of bringing you the daily missive for the next week or so. The dollar continued to gain strength throughout the day as investors waited on news from the FOMC. Overnight, Greece sustained another rate cut, this time by S&P, which caused investors to move back toward the 'safety' of the US$. The news caused the dollar to rally to a 3 month high vs. the Euro and post gains across the board. The currency markets are becoming a bit volatile again, and much of this volatility can be linked back to the return of a transaction which dominated currency markets over the past decade....
  • Thin trading brings tight ranges...

    In This Issue..

    * Thin trading brings tight ranges...
    * Searching for the exits...
    * Mixed data in Europe...
    * Yen and Real make strange bedfellows...

    Good day...We had a pretty quiet 24 hours in the currency markets, with the majors all trading in a very narrow band vs. the US$. We will probably have a few more of these days during the next two weeks, as currency desks are manned by the backups and trading thins out. Many of the institutional investors will be moving to cash in order to preserve gains for their year end statements, and individual investors will have the holidays to take them away from the markets. Occasionally we will get a rogue piece of economic data which shoves the market one way or the other, but we typically won't see any long term positions being put on during the last two weeks of the year....
  • Dollar holds onto recent gains...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar holds onto recent gains...
    * Norwegian krone to move higher in 2010...
    * SNB gives up intervention...
    * India to raise rates...

    Good day...We got the promised 'sprinkling' of snow over the weekend, it was kind of nice and got everyone in the holiday mood. Nothing like the blizzard which hammered the east coast with up to 2 feet of snow! The bad weather in NY will likely make what was already going to be thing currency markets even lighter. The dollar stayed in a fairly tight range on Friday, with the South African rand being the only currency moving more than 1% (it was down 1.1% vs. the US$)....
  • Roll call on the desk...

    In This Issue..

    * Roll call on the desk...
    * Markets believe US rates will move higher...
    * Loonie books a gain...
    * AUD$ backs off...

    Good day... The Pfennig inbox was filled with nice notes regarding the Christmas card we sent out yesterday. I want to thank Nicki Storm for taking the picture and creating the card and TJ Wolf for helping to get it sent out. Several of you asked for names to go with the faces, so I will list the names as we appear on the card. The great looking ladies from left to right are Jennifer McLean, Christine Peplow, and Kristin Kuchem. The men from left to right are as follows: Mike Meyer, Ty Keough, Aaron Stevenson, Tim Smith, Chuck Butler, Chris Gaffney, Don Ries, & John Kretchmar. Now you will be able to have a face to put with the voice on the other end of the line when calling the trading desk....
  • Bad GDP numbers are overshadowed by a jump in housing...

    In This Issue..

    * GDP comes in lower, but is overshadowed by housing numbers...
    * IMF predicts debt problems for advanced economies...
    * French consumer spending falls...
    * Gold is cheap below $1,100...

    Good day...The currency markets were a bit more volatile yesterday, as we got some surprising data releases here in the US. But after the dust settled, the dollar closed out the day pretty much right where it had started vs. most of the major currencies. Gold and silver continued to slide, but the price of oil moved up a bit. Today we will get another big round of economic data, which could cause some more volatility in the markets.

    The driver of the currency markets yesterday was the economic releases here in the US. The morning started off with the Commerce Department's final reading of GDP for the 3rd quarter of 2009. The final figure showed an increase of just 2.2% for the third quarter, well below the consensus estimate of 2.8%. The report illustrates just how optimistic (and some feel unreasonably so) the folks at the Commerce department are. Their first estimate of 3rd quarter GDP was 3.5%, but after further evaluation they lowered that figure to 2.8% for their second estimate. And after a further review of the data, they settled on the 2.2% figure, a full 1.3% lower than their original estimate. This is a downward adjustment of close to 40%! I'm sure there wasn't any pressure on the Commerce dept to inflate the first couple of estimates....

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