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  • 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$)....
  • Rates To Remain Near Zero...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar reverses sell-off...
    * BOE & ECB meet today...
    * New Zealand is not Australia...
    * Funny accounting...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's Tub Thumpin' because it's a Thursday and it's not raining! Yay for us! Well... Not only was I wrong, but the Bloomberg Economic Calendar was wrong too... The FOMC was not a 2-day meeting after all! Just one day, so no time to pull out the board games and cards...

    I nailed that FOMC statement yesterday... WOW! You might begin to think that I have some inside info on the Fed Heads, the way I've been able to basically call every move they've made since the beginning of this whole meltdown in August of 2007! But that's not important here... The important thing is that the Fed said that economic growth is not enough to hike rates, and therefore they will keep interest rates at near zero for an 'extended period'...

    ...
  • House prices move up, but consumers still aren't confident...

    In This Issue..

    * House prices move up...
    * US consumers are worried...
    * Japanese retail sales drag...
    * Australian rates to rise...

    Good day... We finally had a bit of volatility in the currency markets yesterday, as conflicting data released in two separate reports moved the markets in opposite directions. The dollar started off the day drifting lower, as has been the pattern over the past 2 weeks. But during the late morning the dollar started gaining strength, and has barely paused its ascent overnight.

    Many of you probably heard the news reports that home prices finally rose during the month of May, and this is what had the dollar on the ropes yesterday morning. The S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index reported that home prices in the US rose ever so slightly in May compared to April. But if we look at the annual figures, home prices are still down just over 17% across the country. Media outlets trumpeted this 'feel good' story with many economists declaring that housing has now turned a corner. This is a good sign, as prices have to stabilize before the housing sector can recover, but it is hard to get overly excited about a 17% drop YOY. The monthly figure rose just .5%, reflecting the first monthly gain since July 2006. Another report showed the share of homes sold as foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties fell to about 31% in June, down from a high of 50% seen earlier this year. With unemployment still creeping up, and the US consumer continuing to save instead of spend, I am going to need to see a couple of months of stabilized prices before I am convinced housing is turning the corner here in the US....
  • Holiday pause...

    * US data may wake up the markets... * Toyota reports a loss... * NZD falls, AUD gains... * Will the Rupee shine in 2009?... ** Holiday pause... Good day... The currency markets remained in a tight range through the day yesterday with no movement from the majors currencies vs. the US$. Japan has a public holiday today, so trading this afternoon will be very quiet. Jennifer, who is doing all of our currency trading while Chuck is out, let me know that the trading desks were extremely quiet yesterday afternoon. But the markets may wake up a bit this morning, as we wait for data on 3rd quarter growth in the US. GDP is expected to have fallen .5% in the 3rd quarter, and Personal Consumption is also predicted to have dropped last quarter. Later in the morning we will get reports on the sagging housing market. New home sales and existing home sales are both expected to have dropped slightly during the month of November. And with sales dropping, prices of both existing homes and new homes are also expected to have dropped. Finally, this afternoon we will get the ABC Consumer Confidence number which will likely show another drop in consumer sentiment....
  • Credit Fears Ease...

    * Credit fears ease... * Chuck's thoughts from the road... * India cuts rates... * China growth slows, but is still 9%... ** Credit fears ease... Good day...And welcome to what should be another volatile week in the markets. Credit worries eased somewhat over the weekend, which helped push money back into the higher yielding currencies. Today Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will head to Congress to share his view on the economy. Should make for a pretty interesting day of trading. Hope you are sitting down and holding on, it looks like we are going to take another lap on the currency roller coaster! The yen fell over the weekend as investors began moving funds back into the higher yielding currencies of Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. I won't go into the whole explanation of the carry trade again, but suffice it to say that these moves haven't proven to have much staying power. But I do like the news that the credit markets may be calming down a bit after the government moves to shore up the big international banks....