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  • Ben sets the tone...

    In This Issue.

    * The market isn't a fan of QE.

    * The euro rode the wave.

    * BOE meets today.

    * Double dip in New Zealand?

    ...
  • EU reaches an agreement (again)...

    In This Issue...

    * Jobs data is massaged...
    * EU reaches an agreement (again)...
    * Ben warns Congress we are in a 'dark place'...
    * Report shows strong growth in New Zealand...

    Good day, and happy Friday to everyone. The end of another week minus Chuck who will be back in the saddle in a few more days. Chuck is working down in Florida today, giving a presentation at an investment conference. The dollar went on another amusement ride over the past 24 hours, appreciating during the US trading day and then falling back down overnight. It has settled in right about where it was this time yesterday morning with a few exceptions....
  • Desperately Seeking Yield...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally...
    * More on the BRIC's...
    * New Zealand's GDP contracts..
    * Bernanke gets grilled!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! The end of what seemed to be a very long week... The last weekend in June, can you believe that? Next week, we'll be getting ready for the 4th of July celebrations! WOW!

    Well... What a volatile week it has been in the currencies! Up, down, all around, and settling back to levels that we saw before the Fed's FOMC meeting earlier this week. Suddenly, investors are looking for yield again... Looks like they are "Desperately Seeking (not Susan) Yield! And why not? The Fed, and the Bank of Canada (BOC) have come out and said that there will be no interest rate hikes until we've turned quite a few pages on the 2010 calendar....
  • More Stimulus On The Way?

    In This Issue..

    * Euro leads currencies higher...
    * Commodities rally back on FOMC thoughts...
    * FOMC meeting today...
    * NZ Consumer Confidence on the rise...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... Yesterday, the title of The Pfennig was: So Far... It's A Turn Around Tuesday! And... That theme played well throughout the day, and by day's end, it had been quite the Turn Around Tuesday! Now, we have to see what's in store for us today, as the last couple of weeks have seen the Wednesday trading quite the opposite of Tuesday's trading! Strange trading pattern don't you agree?

    Overnight, the euro climbed as high as 1.4140, only to sit at the cusp of 1.41 as I begin to write this morning. Of course 1.41 certainly looks a lot different from the 1.35-1.40 range we've seen in recent days. But then, we've seen these probes above 1.40 before only end with the euro falling back to the 1.35-1.40 range again......
  • 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....
  • The Junk Yard Dog Bites!

    * The dollar rallies big time! * A dollar conspiracy? * Bailing out the automakers? * Weathering the storm in N.Z.? ** The Junk Yard Dog Bites! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, the Junk Yard Dog got a hold of the euro yesterday, and even though the U.S. Banks, thus the majority of currency desks, were observing Veteran's Day, the move down in currencies VS the dollar, led by the euro, was drastic! The Junk Yard Dog I'm talking about is Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Euro group... I stopped the euro in its tracks from its nascent rise in the past month, by saying the "euro's recent rise was undesirable"... He also deep sixed the euro, and thus all the currencies save yen, by saying he "didn't see any reason there couldn't be more rate cuts by the ECB"... (the ECB is of course the European Central Bank) Well... These two comments tore through any gains the currencies had mounted VS the dollar in recent weeks, like a Junk Yard Dog tears though some raw meat! It was a knife to the euro's heart......
  • Dollar bulls take a breather...

    * Dollar bulls take a breather... * Paulson is out of control... * From the mouth of babes... * Fingers crossed for Chuck... ** Dollar bulls take a breather... Good day...Just as Chuck predicted, we had a Thundering Thursday yesterday, as thunderstorms moved into the St Louis area early yesterday and are expected to stick around throughout the weekend. Yesterday was a pretty slow day in the currency markets, with the dollar trading in a fairly tight range, but overnight the dollar changed direction and we saw it lose ground across the board for the first time in weeks. This turnaround was seen in the European markets as traders finally started to realize the speed of the increase in the US$ was overdone. But before I get going this morning, I need to run a public service announcement for Chuck. Yesterday's Pfennig announced that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut interest rates .25%. This was in error, the bank actually cut .50% to a rate of 7.5%. Chuck realized his error just after hit the send button, and wanted to make sure I let everyone know (He received more than a few emails from readers letting him know his error). The extra quarter point cut was aimed at giving the NZD a good jump start, and Governor Alan Bollard is indicating more rate cuts will be on the way: "We've got room to move,.. We're in a loosening mode." The reaction of the currency markets was the same with a 50 bps cut as it would have been with a 25 bps cut, they sold off the kiwi as the interest rate differentials narrowed....