January 2010 - 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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  • It's Not My Fault!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies mount a mini-rally...
    * Let's blame someone else...
    * Eurozone manufacturing rises...
    * Brazil tries something new...

    Good day... And a Marvelous first Monday of 2010 to you! It's very cold here, much like most of the country, and there's no forecast that has our temperature even reaching the freezing mark this week... So... It's hunker down, stoke up the fire, and find a good book to read weather!

    The Chill that has settled down on us here in the Midwest, has tried to settle in on the currencies going into the end of the year... But... Here we are, it's 2010, a new year, and new ideas for the currencies... We'll have to wait-n-see what comes out this week and next, for there will be plenty of pundits, analysts, writers, and so on, that come out with their forecasts for 2010... Me? The song remains the same folks... Fundamentally speaking, there's only one direction the dollar should go... But, then, we need to get to fundamentals again, eh?...
  • Risk Returns...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies maintain their gains...
    * Aussie and real jump higher!
    * U.S. manufacturing is stronger...
    * Following Japan...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Wow, it's cold here! I had to stop for gas this morning, and had some very bad thoughts about Al Gore, while standing there! That's funny! And, as one of my fave comedians says... 'that's funny, I don't care who you are!' HA

    Hey! I exchanged emails with the Mogambo Guru yesterday... He's such an interesting person! He's enjoying his time away from writing, playing golf, and spending his profits from Gold! If you need a Mogambo fix, you should check out this web site: www.bringbackmogambo.com

    OK... The first trading day of 2010, was interesting, as it certainly looked like risk was back on the table, and the Emerging Markets, and any currency that has some yield, were the beneficiaries of this return to risk taking. It certainly didn't take traders long to get back to dissin' the dollar in favor of these risk assets...I will warn you about this first day of the year move... Let's see if it carries through the rest of the week... If so, then the risk taking bus is about to leave the station, you might just want to be on that bus!

    ...
  • Are Fundamentals Creeping Back To The Currencies?

    In This Issue..

    * A$, C$ and Gold maintain gains...
    * euros and reals get sold...
    * What will China do?
    * The slowest buffalo theory...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! January 6th... It's the Epiphany, or... The 12th day of Christmas! With it being the Epiphany, I wonder what will be revealed to us today regarding new deficit spending, or more corrupt government data...

    OK, that was a cheap shot, but, hey! Don't they deserve it? Always doing a hedonic adjustment here, there, and everywhere to make us 'feel good'... Oh well, I'll leave that there and go on to other things...

    This should be short-n-sweet this morning, as I overslept, something that I rarely do... Of course, I'm still here a good hour plus before anyone else, so I've got that going for me today!...
  • Brazil To Benefit From New Carry Trade?

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar fights back...
    * Government deficit spending deep sixes us...
    * Brazilian rate hikes on the table...
    * Round Two of the PPT thoughts...

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Well... It's not really Thunderin' outside, but it is snowing, with about 3-4 inches on the ground already, and the snow coming down so thick that seeing is difficult. I made it here, but then I drive a car that was made to go in stuff like this! Pretty soon, my phone will begin to ring, with colleagues calling to ask me how the roads were...

    Well... We had more probing higher in the non-dollar currencies only to see the gains wipe away at the end of the day yesterday. Still, as I told a radio audience in Oregon yesterday, traders, investors, etc. still believe the euro is worth more than the dollar by quite a bit... Gold also gave back some gains overnight......
  • A Jobs Jamboree for Friday 01/08/2010...

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar holds gains...
    * Japanese saber rattling...
    * Geithner in trouble?
    * Commercial Real Estate in trouble...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! The first Friday of 2010! So, let's call it a Fabulous Friday, and save the Fantastico for a day when we'll see the temperature at least reach the freezing mark! Our 'snow day' is over, everyone was safe...

    You see, and I hope you don't mind me taking this trip in the past, many years ago, I spend a winter of discontent, I might add, in Des Moines, Iowa... Where it began snowing in November and didn't stop until the first week of May... When I first moved there, I noticed that their street crews didn't plow the roads, and salt them like they did in St. Louis, they just threw cinders on the snow and people drove on it. That's where I really learned to drive on snow... As the years went by, back in St. Louis, dealing with snow, I realized that the way they did it in Des Moines was better!...
  • Jobs Losses Continue...

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar gets sold...
    * China posts strong data...
    * Commodity Currencies & Commodities soar!
    * Dealing with reality...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Are you staying warm? I know it's difficult to do, given the fact that most of the country is in a deep freeze! I checked the weather at my 'fave' spring location, Jupiter Florida, and it was even 'cold' (FOR THEM) there! We're supposed to see some thawing this week, so let's hope that holds true...

    There's some thawing already going on in the currencies and commodities, thanks to a report from China yesterday... So, let's go to the tape and see what's happening this morning!

    The non-dollar currencies and commodities are flying high this morning, hammering the dollar... The Aussie & Canadian dollars are heading to parity once again, the euro is back over the 1.45 handle, and Gold is up $20! It's all good, for non-dollar investors this morning... I don't want to sound like a cheerleader, like I've been accused of being in the past, but, this is a currency / economy letter, and it's geared to non-dollar currency investors... So, take that as it may come......
  • Stocks Still Retain Some Pull...

    In This Issue..

    * Profit taking supports the dollar...
    * India posts strong data...
    * Sweden's inflation is above target...
    * Bill Gross, and Puru Saxena on a Tuesday!

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! We reached the freezing mark yesterday, YAHOO! The first time this year! OK... So, we've got that going for us, here in St. Louis! A HUGE story going around St. Louis, and the country for that matter, yesterday, regarding the admission by Mark McGwire of taking steroids... Has the town buzzing... What? They didn't already have that Idea before? Hmmm...

    Well, the euphoria around the risk assets of currencies and commodities got watered down as the day went on yesterday, and that continued throughout the overnight and morning sessions in Asia and Europe. The currencies and commodities haven't turned on a dime, they just stopped moving higher VS the dollar... Although, now that I've said that, the euro has dipped below 1.45......
  • U.S. Trade Deficit Widens...

    In This Issue..

    * A back-n-forth day in currencies...
    * Canada slips into deficit in trade...
    * Waiting on Aussie jobs data...
    * A story in Business Week, you'll want to read...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The 'January Thaw' continues... Hopefully, in time to save the orange trees in Florida! That's all we need right now is to see food prices ratcheting even higher than they already have gone... NOT!

    HEY! Good morning to you! I've had a very typical morning, with no surprises, no scavenger hunts for anything, didn't have to stop on my way in for anything, so, I was feeling pretty good, until I got here, and saw the price of Oil...

    The price of Oil has dropped from $83.18 a week ago, to $79.80 this morning... Why did this spoil my day? Well, like Lloyd Bridges in the Airplane movie, I must have picked a bad day to fill my gas tank, the other day, when Oil was so high!

    ...
  • Aussie Jobs Soar!

    In This Issue..

    * A back-n-forth day in currencies...
    * Aussies create 3X more jobs than forecast!
    * Euro to remain alternative reserve currency...
    * Brazilian Sov. Wealth Fund achieves weaker real...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! The daytime temperature reached 49 yesterday... As our little Christine would say... 'get the sharts out!' HAHAHA!

    Today, we're chock-full-o-stuff to look for, starting with a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting, and going through the morning here in the U.S. there'll be more 'stuff' for us to look for, like Retail Sales, and since it's a Thursday, the Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will also print. The Fed's Beige Book printed yesterday afternoon, and we've got that to discuss this morning too... So, let's get this Tub Thumpin' Thursday going, eh?

    Front and Center this morning... The Australian Jobs report printed yesterday afternoon, and it looks like we'll be able to put another mark in the "pro" column for an Aussie rate hike in Feb... Here's the skinny... Australian employment soared for a 4th straight month, as jobs created were 3 times more than economists estimated! The total jobs created was 35,200, and the jobless rate fell to 5.5% (from 5.6%)...

    ...
  • Back To the Greece Debacle...

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar rallies overnight...
    * Gold loses $10...
    * Retail Sales for December are negative!
    * Chinese games with the renminbi continue...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! I said on the way to work, as I hit each stop light on green, that it was going to be a Fantastico Friday! I mean, why not? 1. it's a Friday, 2. it's a payday Friday, 3. it's the start of a 3-day Holiday weekend! Shoot Rudy, I thought to myself, as I drove to work, 'nothing can spoil this day'...

    But... Then I got to work, turned on the currency screens, and it hit me like a slap in the face! The euro has led the non-dollar currencies down VS the dollar overnight... After spending 3 days this week, hovering back and forth over and under the 1.45 handle, the euro finally succumbed to some selling......
  • German Investor Confidence Fades...

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar rallies on weak German data...
    * Stronger overall data for the U.S. last week...
    * JAL files bankruptcy and yen rallies...
    * Bank of Canada meets today...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I hope you all had the opportunity to enjoy a 3-day weekend... I realize that not everyone has the opportunity, so I don't want to sound like I'm rubbing it in... It's really foggy outside this morning. I live in a little river town outside of St. Louis, and we get fog there all the time, but once I cross the river, it dissipates quickly... But not this morning, the fog was with me all the way to work! Something right out of an old-time horror movie with Lon Chaney...

    Well... Yesterday, I was doing quite a bit of reading, after suffering 'football overload', which by the way, were not very good games... Sure, good for the winning teams' fans, but I didn't have a dog in any of those fights, so I just wanted to see a good game, only to be disappointed... OK, now back to my reading...

    I was reading a good, thoughtful story about how currency swings could be dying down, as we return to fundamentals... You know, me... I jumped from my chair, and click my heels together in joy! OK, no, I'm not physically able to do that any longer, so I did it in my mind! But a return to fundamentals? I'm all over that like a cheap suit! One of the fundamentals that the story highlighted that would be taken into consideration by traders, would be interest rate differentials... Which, I've always considered to be a strong reason to own a currency, but not the 'end-all'......
  • China Puts The Brakes On!

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion sets in, on China's moves...
    * Now, we know what's going on with the TIC's!
    * Germany to step in to save Greece?
    * Honkers losing value VS the dollar...


    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! As I understand it, we are in for some Monsoon like rain today and the next couple of days... Living in a little river town, and having a creek at the back of my property, lends itself to cause me to worry when I hear things like Monsoon like rains expected... But... It's mother nature, I can't do a thing to stop it, so, I carry on... But worrying while I carry on!

    The rain is falling on the currencies too... The dollar has rebounded very quickly the past few days, and there are no roadblocks right now. The risk takers in the markets are running for safety again, sent running by China's decision to curb lending and attempt to slow growth before their economy overheats......
  • China's GDP Soars 10.7%!

    In This Issue..

    * China has strong 4th QTR growth...
    * Time to let the renminbi gain VS the dollar...
    * Debt Ceiling is getting raised $1.9 Trillion...
    * Russian Central Bank is buying loonies...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Another day of dollar strength, in this switch from risk assets to dollar denominated assets... Again, I question the mental giants behind all this, for the U.S. is what caused this problem... And now traders turn to the U.S.???? Oh well, sure seems like it would be different if I were in charge! Of course, a LOT of things would be different if I were in charge! But that's a discussion for another day!

    Yesterday's Pfennig could set a record for the length, I think! So, I promise I won't go that long today!

    Front and Center this morning, we have the news overnight from China that their 4th QTR GDP accelerated to the fastest level since 2007... Chinese GDP for the 4th QTR was +10.7%!!!!! Talk about 'nailing' that call! The annual figure for China comes in at +8.7%, but in reality, who cares about the 1st QTR, when in the 4th and most recent quarter, growth was kicking tail and taking names later! In addition, China posted a higher consumer inflation figure than expected at +2%... And Retail Sales in China soared 16.9%! WOW!...
  • Beating Up The Banks...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk is back on!
    * Another plan by the President to punish banks...
    * Foreigners to back away from U.S. assets/ dollars...
    * Eurozone Industrial orders rise 1.6%!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! Let's see if we can make it a Fantastico Friday! Of course last Friday will be a tough one to top for a long time, given it was pay-day, a Friday, the start of a 3-day weekend, and the temperature went above freezing! But, today is a Friday, so I'll do my best to make it a Fantastico Friday! It will be difficult while I'm writing today though, because, our Gov't just keeps shooting themselves in the foot, and it just ticks me off that they don't say, 'hey, I/we caused this, and we'll fix it', instead opting to find someone to blame, or 'deflect' the problem... I'll explain as we go along today...

    Well... Front and Center this morning, we saw the Risk Aversion that had held a tight grip on the currencies and commodities for about a week, fade a bit as the day went on yesterday, and the dollar selling has carried through the overnight and morning sessions overseas... What caused this 'turn-around?' I hear you asking... Ahhh grasshopper, come sit, and put away the sharp objects!

    ...
  • The Mini-Rally For Currencies Continues...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro takes baby steps higher...
    * Canadian Retail Sales disappoint...
    * Oil price plunge hurts petrol currencies...
    * Brazilian real drop on Wealth Fund selling...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well... We made it through the weekend, here at the Butler house, just Alex and me. Had some visitors (friends) stop by Friday night, but after that, it was just us two. Good games yesterday, eh? I had all the snacks out on the table, and thought the older kids would stop by to watch games with us, but, that was a wasted effort on my part, as they did not, and then I had to clean all that up!

    Well... On Friday, the currencies kept with their mini-rebound VS the dollar, for the most part, as the Big Dog, euro crept higher and higher, but in tiny, baby steps for sure! It's as if traders are wanting to take the euro higher, and sell the dollar, but they just aren't sure, right now...

    Stocks got hammered on Friday in reaction to the President's proposed ban on proprietary trading in Banks... You know, it occurred to me that the Gov't does this, the media does this, and now I've gotten too lazy and do it... And that's to say 'Banks'... What they mean here are the investment Banks, like the Goldmans and the Morgan Stanleys... And yes it does include 'real' banks, but for the most part they are the ones that do more on the investment side than they do on the deposit side......

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