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  • 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!...
  • G-7 To Discuss Currencies?

    In This Issue..

    * The ball is in the dollar's court today...
    * Aussie is unable to hold 14-month high...
    * China and Eurozone print stronger PMI's
    * Chock-full-o-data today...

    Good day... Welcome to October! And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! No real reason to get Tub Thumpin', but I thought why not? The non-dollar currencies have given back their gains made yesterday to the dollar, in a game of what seems to be, give and take... A tennis match with the dollar, one day the ball is in the dollar's court, and the next day it's not! Really, kind of giving me a rash, watching this... I want some direction here!

    So... When I turned on all my screens this morning, and then waited about 20 minutes for the new programs to be installed on them that the IT people left for the next time the computer started up... Hmmm, where was I? Oh! I was talking about when I first saw the currencies this morning... I saw that the euro had fallen back to 1.4560... And of course wanted to find out why...

    ...
  • Retail Sales Soar!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally on Retail Sales!
    * China likes investments in Canada...
    * Big Ben the 'inflation fighter'...
    * Gold climbs to $1,018!

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Good news for me this morning, the pain in my left knee has subsided... Now, If I could just get that swelling to go down, I'd be in tall cotton! This has been quite the ordeal on the old Pfennig writer, and one that I will be glad to put in the rear view mirror!

    Well... When I turned on the currency screens this morning, the euro was trading with a 1.47 handle! WOW! It just skipped to my Lou right through the 1.46 handle, eh? It began yesterday afternoon, the dollar was getting sold on the news of a strong Retail Sales figure, more on that in a minute, and the euro was edging up the 1.46 ladder... The move to get it past 1.47 came in the overnight markets... Now, having gotten you all lathered up about 1.47, I have to say that since I turned on the currency screens, the euro has lost ground back to 1.4688, but still... That's quite an impressive move from yesterday morning, eh?

    ...
  • May Day empties the trade desks...

    In This Issue..

    * May Day empties trade desks...
    * Chrysler declares bankruptcy...
    * SEC to investigate Paulson and Bernanke??
    * China continues to grow...

    Good day...and Happy May Day to everyone. Most associate May Day with the Soviet Union, where the communists turned it into a 'celebration of the worker'. But its origins are actually in central Europe where it developed from a combination of several pagan holidays celebrating the end of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It never really took flight in the US, but is still a popular holiday in most other parts of the globe. With the way our government has been using tax payer funds to take over struggling companies, May Day could become a larger holiday here in the US also! Most of the trade desks throughout Europe are closed today, and many of the traders left early yesterday, so the currency and metals markets were pretty quiet....
  • 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....
  • Fed brings rates down to near zero...

    * The Fed fires its last bullet... * Euro breaks back above $1.40... * AUD and NZD rally... * Happy Birthday Jen... ** Fed brings rates down to near zero... Good day... The 'noise' from the street which I wrote about yesterday turned out to be correct, as the FOMC cut 75 basis points to put the Fed Funds target at .25%. The US now has the lowest interest rates in the industrialized world, even below those in Japan. The dollar lost ground quickly after the announcement and continued to fall overnight to a 13 year low vs the yen and the weakest vs. the Euro in 4 months. With both Chuck and Frank out of the office, I fielded the calls from reporters after the FOMC cut, and the most popular question asked was what the near zero interest rates would mean for the man on the street. Well it was great news for those on Wall Street, but I told the reporters that the rate cut really wouldn't have much of an impact on US consumers. After all, interest rates at 1% weren't stimulating the banks to start lending so why would .25% rates cause any change?...
  • Waiting on the FOMC meeting...

    * FOMC to cut further... * Bernanke turns his back on inflation... * Kiwi and Australia rally... * Gold continues to shine... ** Waiting on the FOMC meeting... Good day...and welcome to another week, hopefully the currency markets can continue their assault on the dollar which began a few weeks ago. The dollar index peaked back on November 21, and with the exception of a few days around the beginning of December, the greenback has consistently fallen vs. most of the major currencies. Friday was no exception, and the dollar continued to give back gains over the weekend with the Euro climbing back over $1.35 for the first time in two months....
  • Fed floods the markets with US$...

    * Bernanke gets help opening the spigot... * Euro and Pound rally... * Yen to continue to benefit from carry reversals...* Aussie $ rallies... ** Fed floods the markets with US$... Good day...and happy Columbus day! This is an official bank holiday here in the states, so all of the banks are closed, but the stock markets are open. We will have a half day here on the desk to try and catch up with all of the work which has been piling up the past few weeks. The phones are turned off, since it is an official bank holiday, but we will be checking messages and try to get back to everyone as quickly as possible. It is a very unusual holiday, as the banks are all closed with no funds transfers possible, but the stock markets are open. Currency desks are lightly staffed, so we will have to really work to get the trades done this morning. These strange holidays usually can lead to some real market volatility, and with today will probably be another rollercoaster. In an all out effort to ease the credit freeze, the Federal Reserve recruited help from the ECB, Bank of England, and the Swiss central bank to flood the market with US$. These central banks will auction unlimited dollar funds with maturities of seven days, 28 days, and 84 days at a fixed interest rate. This move is unprecedented, as all previous dollar swaps were capped at a maximum amount while these auctions will be for unlimited funds....
  • Iceland Melts Down...

    * RBA cuts rates 100 BPS! * Iceland to peg the krona... * High Yielders get whacked! * Gold rallies in the face of a strong dollar! ** Iceland Melts Down... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... Folks... The wheels, what was left of them, are really coming off this economy. It's a sad sight to see, but it's happening nonetheless, and there's no bailout, stimulus check, mortgage bill, truck loads of money supply, or whatever, that's going to stop this recession bus.. Memo to Paulson and Bernanke... Don't throw yourself under this recession bus... Well... The dollar continued to push the envelope against a handful of currencies yesterday. Up front and center, the high yielders got beaten about the head and shoulders by the dollar. Aussie, kiwi, real, rand, all took major hits from the dollar. It was one of the worst days I can remember seeing for these currencies. This huge sell off showed two things going against the high yielders... 1. Commodities (other than Gold) are getting whacked, and 2. The Carry Trade is Dead......
  • Turning Japanese?

    * Profit taking in the currencies... * German Business Confidence falls... * More talk of the bailout package... * A strong statement on Aussie dollars... ** Turning Japanese? Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Another crazy day not only in the markets but on our trading desk, where the phones continue to light up. There's a ton of volatility in the markets these days, as witnessed by the roller coaster ride stock jockeys take every day, the no direction is a good direction course of currencies, and the ups and downs of bailout plans. It's all a little too much for yours truly some days, but I carry on... Take this morning... Please somebody take this morning! The euro was showing signs of wiping out yesterday's profit taking session early on, only to see its gains wiped out by a weaker than expected German Business Confidence report. Yes, German Business Confidence, as measured by the think tank, IFO, declined more than expected this month, to the lowest level in almost 3 years. I would say that with lower Oil prices, and weaker inflation, these German Business people's attitudes will be changing soon... The German economy, other than this report, is showing signs of strength, which is bang on what I've been trying to tell everyone that was throwing darts at the Eurozone economy... Remember 80% of trade in the Eurozone is among the Eurozone members......
  • Credit Woes Sink The Dollar!

    * No Bailout for Freddie and Fannie... * The euro reaches a new record high! * More risk today... * Aussie hits 25-year high! ** Credit Woes Sink The Dollar! Good day... And a Tip Top Tuesday to you! I thought I would change it up there today... Well... Overnight, we've seen the euro reach a new record high VS the dollar, only to give some of that ground gained back on some weak German data. There was more news yesterday regarding the Freddie and Fannie saga, but I've grown tired of that talk, we dance now! Seriously, though, I have grown tired of all that Freddie and Fannie talk, that I'm going to go through an exercise explaining what GSE's are and then go on with life... So... The euro reached a new record high overnight of 1.6038! WOW! This was reached based on the fears that credit problems in the U.S. are going to put the kyboshes on what little economic growth we now have. But the shine on the euro was rubbed out by a very weak ZEW... German Investor Confidence as measured by the think tank, ZEW, fell to a record low this month on the surging inflation problems, and rising interest rates. So for now, the euro is back below 1.60, but hear me now and listen to me later... This ZEW will soon be in the rear view mirror, and the euro won't have that albatross around its neck as it revisits its overnight high....