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  • Euro falls as Greece pushed toward IMF...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro falls as Greece pushed toward IMF...
    * Decision on Norwegian interest rates...
    * Canadian dollar rises...
    * Kiwi to outpace Australian dollar...

    Good day, the dollar gained ground across the board as the news hit that the IMF will be brought in to help rescue Greece. The dollar was also helped by data which showed existing housing sales fell by less than expected in February. We will get additional news on the status of the US economy today, with the release of durable goods and new home sales numbers for February. We will get a rate decision by the Norwegian central bank today, which could stoke calls for higher rates here in the US. But the big news overnight is concerning the euro (again!).

    The euro sold off by a full percentage point vs. the US$ after both Germany and France are reported to have agreed to have the IMF involved in aid to Greece. This is an about face for European leaders who announced last week that they had agreed on a European solution to the Greek crisis. But Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel threw a spanner in the works a week ago when she said Germany would not participate in giving Greece financial aid. This threw the euro into crisis mode again, as the 'agreement' reached early last week never materialized....
  • Traders fear Chinese 'bubbles'....

    In This Issue..

    * Traders fear Chinese 'bubbles'...
    * Bollard leaves rates unchanged... ...
    * Aussie dollar rallies...
    * Pound sterling rallies, but it can't last...

    Good morning, Chuck headed out the door with a huge smile on his face yesterday as he heads down to spring training. With Chuck down in Florida, he handed the keyboard over to me for the rest of March. I am excited to be able to bring you the Pfennig over the next few weeks, and appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on the currency markets with all the loyal readers. For those of you who are new to the Pfennig, I have been told my style is a bit more 'dry' than Chuck's (I can't even come close to his encyclopedic knowledge of lyrics); and I typically get the Pfennig sent out a bit later than Chuck. But I will try my best to keep everyone informed and get this out in a timely manner. Lets get started....
  • 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!

    ...
  • 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....
  • Risk Aversion Creeps Back Into The Currencies...

    In This Issue..

    * Comments spook currency traders...
    * A$ hits 15-month high, this time going up!
    * Geithner as the "joker"?
    * China changes statement about the renminbi...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's a Thursday, and it's not raining here! YAHOO! After a week of Indian Summer weather, we're slowly creeping back to the colder weather, but still, better than most Novembers of the past, so far!

    That was a strange feeling yesterday, having a holiday in the middle of the week, but the day was nice, and I got to spend the day with my granddaughter, Delaney Grace, who sang me songs all day long!

    So... Last night, I'm doing some writing, and before I put the laptop to bed for the night, I checked the currencies, and while they had drifted in the early Asian session, the Big Dog, euro was still trading above 1.50, and the Aussie dollar (A$) had set a 15 month high of .9368... But when I turned the currency screens on this morning after arriving to a pitch black office, which is the way I like it this early in the morning, the euro had given back about 1/2 cent, and so had the A$... So, it was my mission to find out what caused this slippage......
  • 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'...

    ...
  • Jobless recovery?? Not going to happen....

    In This Issue..

    * Leading indicators up, but employment down...
    * 11 million new jobs in China...
    * Pound sterling gets pounded...
    * A Great Day for EverBank...

    Good day...and happy Friday! It has been a fairly busy week here at EverBank, with the issuance of another big BRIC MarketSafe CD, the maturity of another MarketSafe, and a big acquisition (more on that later). While things were a bit crazy at EverBank, the currency markets were fairly uneventful. The dollar started the day off with a move up after a positive report on US leading indicators, but it gave back most of the gains as the trading day wore on. At the end of the day, only one currency moved more than 1% vs. the greenback, with the pound sterling dropping almost 1.5%.

    ...
  • Whiplash Wednesday!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rebound VS the dollar...
    * Aussie and kiwi lead the currencies higher...
    * Data and Central Bank speeches today...
    * Gold rebounds back to $1,000!

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you... Instead of a 'turn around Tuesday', we're seeing a whiplash Wednesday! And for once in a month of Sundays, the Big Dog, euro didn't lead the other little dogs (currencies) off the porch to chase the dollar down the street!

    No... This time it was the currencies of Australia and New Zealand that led the charge VS the dollar... The euro has taken up the charge since opening the doors to a new day of trading in Europe, so... It looks like it's a 'take the dollar to the woodshed day'......
  • Risk aversion disappears again...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk aversion has left the building...
    * CIT survives without Fed help...
    * SNB tries to fight the markets...
    * Light week for US data...

    Good day... We had just an amazing weekend of weather here in St. Louis, and this morning is shaping up to be another beautiful day. Friday turned out to be a beautiful day for those who have taken our advice and diversified their holdings out of the dollar. Risk aversion was placed on the back burner again, and investors moved money back out of the dollar into higher yielding currencies. The dollar and yen got sold but all other currencies rallied, and investors also turned back toward gold pushing the metal above $950 for the first time in over a month.

    So what caused all of this confidence? First, the housing data released Friday morning in the US showed a slight pick up in both building permits and housing starts. While the housing markets have a long way to go, the data have given investors an indication that construction may have found a bottom. Not to throw cold water on investors confidence in the building numbers, but while the residential market may be bottoming out, the commercial market continues to tumble. I spoke to a good friend over the weekend who is a commercial real estate developer down in Memphis. He told me that his development pipeline has completely dried up, and even the brokerage side of his business has slowed. The only part of his business which has picked up is the marketing of foreclosed properties. He has shifted his concentration to helping banks and lenders 'work out' of commercial projects which they have taken back onto their books. The economy has kept most companies from opening new stores, and many continue to shut down under performing ones. My good friend tells me most of the people he talks to don't believe the commercial real estate market will turn around until the end of next year. Not good news for the banks who are still reeling from the residential real estate bust....
  • Carry trades unwind...

    In This Issue..

    * Carry trades unwind...
    * Euro zone GDP falls...
    * Will TIC flows be enough??
    * Aussie dollar predicted to outperform...

    Good day...Chuck handed me the Pfennig this morning, as I took an early flight home yesterday and he got back to St. Louis much later than I did. The Las Vegas Money Show went well, as Chuck packed the presentation rooms with investors looking to learn more about investing in Gold and currencies. Attendance seemed like it was down a bit, but we stayed busy at the booth with investors looking for diversification. We also got to see a number of 'old friends' who stopped by the booth to say hi. All in all it was a good three days, but as always, it is good to get home and back into the routine.

    The currency markets fell back into their established routine also, as fear drove investors out of riskier assets and back into the US$. We saw a general reversal of the carry trade, with the Japanese yen the only major currency which appreciated vs. the US$. As Chuck pointed out last week, investors feeling more confident about the global economy, dusted off their carry trades which had made them good money over the past few years. But traders are still a bit skittish, and move back out of these leveraged trades at the first sign of trouble in the global economy....
  • ECB rate decision looms...

    In This Issue..

    * ECB rate decision looms...
    * China pushes for a bigger seat at G20...
    * Declining global reserves hurt US Treasuries...
    * Commodity currencies come back...

    Good day... The dollar held on to its gains through out most of the day yesterday, as investors continued to look for a parking place in the volatile markets. But late in the day, the sentiment changed and the dollar started getting sold vs. most of the currencies. This dollar weakness continued overnight with the Euro gaining back 1 cent to trade back above 1.33 and the commodity based currencies of Norway, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa all gaining over 1 percent vs. the greenback.

    What caused this sharp turn around? I had to look hard to find anything which set this reversal in motion, and could only find references to the upcoming ECB rate decision due on Thursday. The euro had come under selling pressure the past few days as currency traders bet the ECB would be cutting rates by 50 basis points on Thursday. This cut would, of course, narrow the yield advantage the Euro holds over the US$ and therefore make it less attractive to investors. There were also many who believed the ECB should follow the path of the US, UK, and Japan and begin using quantitative easing to further force down rates....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * Bad news for car makers rallies the US$...
    * Yen comes back strong...
    * Singapore to devalue?...
    * German Chancellor Merkel gives warning...

    Good day... And good Monday morning to all of you. I can't believe March is nearly over, it seems as though it just started. March will end up being a pretty good month for the currency markets, as investors exited the safety of US treasuries and started moving funds back into higher yielding assets. But the markets continue to be volatile, and news released on Friday and over the weekend has sent these investors rushing back to the safe haven of the US dollar.

    The Japanese Yen and US dollar benefited after a US Government official said Friday that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. The dollar continued to gain strength this morning after US Treasury Secretary Geithner warned yesterday that some financial institutions will need 'large amounts' of aid. When the Treasury Secretary says large amounts, you know it is going to be billions or trillions! Geithner was making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows to try and justify the money already spent and prepare the taxpayers for another request of funds....
  • Geithner tanks the dollar, but then pushes it back up...

    In This Issue..

    * Geithner sends the dollar on a thrill ride...
    * A failed UK gilt auction...
    * China set to recover first...
    * AUD and NZD rally again...

    Good day... The currency markets took back what little strength the dollar mustered over the past two days with the Euro moving back above popping back above 1.36 and the Australian dollar moving back up over .70. The cause for this dollar weakness? Data released in the US yesterday was surprisingly strong again, so investors dumped the 'safe haven' holdings of Treasuries and moved money back into higher yielding investments.

    At one point yesterday the dollar index dropped precipitously (more than 1.5% in less than 10 minutes), and then bounced back up within a half hour. Jennifer McLean, who takes care of our currency trading while Chuck is away from the desk, said the sudden moves were due to Treasury Secretary Geithner's comments. Apparently Geithner was asked about China's call for a new international reserve currency yesterday at a NY event. He said that while he hadn't read the proposal, he understood it as a plan 'designed to increase the use of the IMF's special drawing rights. And we're actually quite open to that.' After hearing those words, currency traders immediately starting selling off the dollar. After all, if the Treasury Secretary of the US says the administration is open to a new international reserve currency, why do you want to hold dollars? I guess Geithner got wind of what he had done to the currency markets pretty quickly (the power of Blackberries!) and 15 minutes later he clarified his comments to say the US dollar should remain as the world's reserve currency....
  • Another day for the currencies...

    * Disappointing data...
    * Euro held ground...
    * Down under...

    Another day for the currencies...

    Good day...And a Terrific Tuesday to you. Another Monday morning has come and gone but not before confirming the US economy is still heading down the wrong side of the slippery slope. The uneventful trading day from Friday certainly didn't carry over as we saw a sizeable run up in currencies along with equities during the morning session. As the day progressed, the equity markets shed their gains but most of the currencies remained resilient and held on. I guess I'll stop beating around the bush and get right to it...

    It seems that Bernanke's calming approach during his interview with 60 Minutes gave investors the feeling that we are not as bad off saying the risk of a depression has been averted. He went on to say if the government succeeds in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010....
  • 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....