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  • Bernanke sticks to his script...

    In This Issue..

    * Bernanke sticks to the script...
    * Pound sterling comes under pressure...
    * China starts shopping for assets...
    * BRIC MarketSafe lights up the phones...

    Good day... We had a very busy day on the desk yesterday, as our newest MarketSafe offering, based on the BRIC currencies, is making the phones ring off the hook. But while we were busy, the currency traders had another slow day as the dollar just drifted throughout the day. The return chart for the last 24 hours shows only one currency made more than a .5% move vs. the US$; and that was the South African Rand which increased .75%.

    The markets were watching Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony through most of the day, but those waiting for a surprise were disappointed. Bernanke stuck to the script which he had laid out the day before in the Wall Street Journal, and the members of the House Financial Services Committee couldn't get him to commit to any 'new' stimulus programs. Bernanke said the economy is showing 'tentative signs of stabilization' but the central bank intends to continue to maintain its 'highly accommodative' monetary policy for 'an extended period'. He indicated that the Fed stands ready to tighten policy, but only after the economic recovery takes hold and pressures holding down inflation diminish....
  • Rescue plan not an instant fix...

    * Rescue plan to take time... * Pound sterling rallies (for now)... * Brazil supports the real... * Iceland cuts rates... ** Rescue plan not an instant fix... Good day...Another roller coaster of a day, as the dollar continued to slide through lunch but then rallied back up in the afternoon. As I walked out the door last night, most of the major currencies were trading right about where they were when I turned the screens on. The dollar has started to fall again in overnight trading, so the up and down of the past few weeks looks to continue. The news stories coming across the wires this morning seem to be as volatile as the currencies. I have now counted three different stories which state the markets are moving back into higher yielding currencies and riskier investments after the coordinated bank bailout plan which was announced yesterday. But several other stories are talking about how investors are moving out of the higher yielding assets because of concern that the bank rescue will take too much time to unfreeze global credit markets. I tend to agree with the latter of these....
  • 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....