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  • Greek debt is the euro's Sword of Damocles....

    In This Issue..

    * Greek debt crisis continues to hang over the euro...
    * Moody's says the UK and US debt ratings are secure, for now...
    * Swiss National Bank lets the franc appreciate...
    * Lots of data on tap in the US this week...

    Good day, and welcome to another week. The alarm clock seemed to go off an hour early this morning, as my body hasn't yet adjusted to daylight savings. I have heard several reasons for the semi annual adjustment of our clocks, but still don't buy into it. I think everyone should just agree to leave the clocks alone and I for one vote to leave them where they are right now, giving us an extra bit of sunlight in the evenings. We didn't see much sun here in St. Louis this weekend, as a soft spring rain has been coming down for the past 3 days....
  • Eurozone Economy Stumbles, Fumbles...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro gets sold on weak data...
    * China tries to slowdown again...
    * A$'s get slapped on the China slowdown attempt...
    * Retail sales & confidence print today...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fabulous Friday, in hopes of becoming a Fantastico Friday! It is a 3-day weekend, and we get paid today, so there are some good steps toward Fantastico... Alex's Fox "gig" went great, he stood up, strong and tall, and ripped off a smokin' guitar solo that lasted about 1-2 minutes... But, it was a very late night for yours truly, and so I'm draggin' the line this morning...

    Front and Center this morning, the non-dollar currencies led by the euro, are sliding against the dollar... Yesterday, the currencies range traded all day, and in the overnight Asian session that pattern remained tight... But in the European session this morning, as Economic growth in the euro zone slowed in the fourth quarter of 2009, as only one of the currency area's four largest economies expanded....
  • 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$)....
  • 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.

    ...
  • 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....