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  • Canada boosts rates….

    In This Issue..

    * Canada boosts rates...
    * BOE called out for quantitative easing...
    * Indian Rupee to shine...
    * China loosens grip on Hong Kong deposits...

    Good day. We had some pretty unsettled weather come through the area yesterday and last night, with the lightening and thunder producing quite a show. The currency markets, on the other hand, were quite stable. The biggest gainer was the Yen, and the largest loser the Euro; but neither moved more than .65% vs. the US$. Tight ranges across the board for the currency markets....
  • Aussie Job Creation Soars Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally on Wednesday...
    * And hold on to gains overnight!
    * Loonies outperform on the day...
    * More 'an inconvenient debt'...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It sure has been a Tub Thumpin' Thursday so far, as the Asian and European markets are hopping, and in Australia, the jobs just keep coming! All that and more on this Tub Thumpin' Thursday, that, as our little Christine would tell me is 'my Friday'!

    OK... Front and Center this morning, yesterday I told you, well, let's just go to the archives and see what I told you word for word... Pfennig 7/7/10: 'Today, we'll see the latest labor report from Australia. In recent months, the jobs data has consistently surprised to the upside each month, so it's not like going out on a limb to say that I expect the job creation to be better than the +15,000 that's forecast.'...
  • German ZEW Underpins The Euro...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally on tariff news...
    * Norway's election doesn't move krone...
    * Canada's Gov't problems to hurt loonies?
    * 1-year since Lehman Bros...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, just as I suspected yesterday in the Pfennig, when the U.S. traders came in and got word of the new Chinese tariffs on tires, the dollar got sold like re-mastered box sets of Beatles albums! So, we've got that to talk about, and some other items I'd like to discuss... So, here we come Terrific Tuesday!

    OK... Well, just as I stated above, the U.S. traders didn't care for the new tariff, feeling that it would project a trade war, and therefore sold the dollar. The Big Dog, euro, traded to 1.4635 by mid-day... There was some profit taking late in the day, which brought the euro back to below 1.46, but then this morning, the euro got another boost from a report on German Investor Confidence, to bring it back to 1.46, as I write......
  • Spending More Than We (the U.S.) Make...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies trade in a tight range
    * Pesos, loonies and reals in the spotlight...
    * The Mogambo on a Thursday! YAHOO!
    * Jobs reports dominate today & tomorrow...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Once again yesterday, we traded all day in a very tight range with the currencies. The ADP/Challenger data didn't give anyone a warm and fuzzy about the labor picture, and tax receipts are in the news... So, let's go to the tape!

    OK, front and center this morning, I have to talk about this deal with tax receipts in this country. So, I've chronicled the April and June debacles for tax receipts, but just in case someone is new to class, and missed that, let's review... The U.S. used to count on the months of April and June for HUGE cash receipts from tax returns, but this year, both April and June's tax receipts were so bad, the expenditures were greater than the receipts! I highlight these two months because, they should have been positive months for the budget balance... If we can't post a positive balance in April and June, what's the rest of the year going to look like?

    ...
  • Dollar rally peters out...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar rally peters out...
    * Obama defends his policies...
    * Commodity currencies should outperform...
    * Global Power Shift Index...

    Good day... And happy Thursday to everyone! Hope everyone made it through the 'hump day' with no worries. We started the morning here with rainshowers, but it ended up being a beautiful afternoon and evening. Currency markets were similar to the weather here, as most currencies started Wednesday in the loss column vs. the US$, but rallied as the day progressed. The dollar had strengthened over the past couple of days due to 'safe haven' demand; but a surprisingly strong durable goods number (ex autos) combined with an 'all clear' signal from President Barack Obama had investors moving back into riskier assets. The commodity based currencies also got a boost as China signaled it would maintain an accommodative policy, easing speculation that the Bank of China would try to rein in bank lending. Lots to cover today, so lets get right to it....
  • 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....
  • Frightened investors move back into US treasuries.....

    In This Issue..

    * Jobs data skewed by 'seasonal adjustments'...
    * BOE surprises the market...
    * Oil falls below $60...
    * China's reserves continue to grow...

    Good day...Chuck has a bevy of doctor's appointments today, so he decided to let me take over the Pfennig. Unfortunately it will go out a little later than usual, as I always struggle to get all of my thoughts together so early in the morning. Its not that I come in late (I was here two hours before everyone else) but it just takes me much longer than Chuck to get it all on paper. But enough of the excuses, I've got to get writing.

    Weekly jobless claims released in the US yesterday morning fell below 600k for the first time since January but the continuing claims continue to rise, hitting another record. The slight improvement in the weekly numbers was distorted by the automotive sector. Car companies typically shut down plants in early July in order to change over to the new model year. Bankruptcy forced many of these plants to shut down much earlier than normal, and some temporarily started up production again during the past few weeks....
  • Risk Returns... Slowly...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rebound...
    * G-8 has no fireworks...
    * Aussie / China and coal...
    * Entitlements...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! I'm late, I'm late! I don't believe I ever heard the alarm go off this morning! I overslept by more than an hour, and will still be here more than an hour before any sign of someone else! But! That puts me behind by more than an hour today... I've got to play catch-up! So, let's get this Tub Thumpin' Thursday going!

    Well... Let's see... G-8 never had the opportunity to shoot fireworks because China's leader had to return home to deal with the street riots going on in his country. So... The call for a replacement for the dollar as the reserve currency will have to wait for another day! And, with that news, the dollar got to remain in the sunlight, and bask in the glory of being the reserve currency and so-called 'safe haven' another day......
  • It's All About The Stress Tests...

    In This Issue..

    * Tired of reacting to rumors!
    * Aussie dollar continues to rally...
    * More on China...
    * Bank of England keeps rates unchanged...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! We're stuck in a rainy pattern here in St. Louis, I just have to hope the rain stops long enough to get the day game at Busch in today!

    Well... The Stress Tests get their public showing today... The rumors continue to be something strange... Strange in that, one it's Bank of America (BOA) needing to raise $10 Billion, the next day it's $35 Billion, and then later in the same day, BOA doesn't need to raise any capital! Talk about wild swings of emotion! WOW!...
  • Currencies Rally Yesterday...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro climbs back to 1.30...
    * High Yielders bounce back...
    * Gold to hit $1,500?
    * Kurt Richebacher...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Yes, it's a Tub Thumpin' Thursday because it's finally supposed to be warm here today, and... The Card and Mets in a day game at Busch today... Wink, wink... It's also a Tub Thumpin' Thursday because... I said so! HA-HA!

    Well... We had a rally in the currencies yesterday and this time the rally wasn't reversed overnight by profit taking! WOW! It's been some time since we could say that! Maybe it was the good karma the overnight markets received by my little buddy Alex's base hit last night to drive in 2 runs! Or, the good karma from a Cardinals pitcher going into the 9th inning of a game! WOW! Or... Maybe, just maybe, cause you never know, fundamentals are creeping back into the currency markets?...
  • UK data boosts the dollar...

    In This Issue..

    * UK data boosts the dollar...
    * US GDP falls further...
    * Norway cuts rates...
    * Big wins by MIZZOU and BLUES...

    Good day... I want to start this mornings Pfennig with a big congratulations to the MIZZOU Tigers who pulled off what most believed was an unlikely win over Memphis last night. What a game! They move on to the Elite Eight to play powerhouse UCONN on Saturday.

    The currency markets weren't as exciting as the basketball games yesterday, as the dollar held in a fairly tight range. The big move came in early morning trading as a report was released in the UK showing their economy's contraction was worse than previously thought. This news was GDP in the UK fell 1.6% in the 4th quarter of 2008 vs. the previous quarter. And the outlook presented by the Bank of England is not rosy. BOE Chief Economist Spencer Dale said this morning that the British economy's short term prospects are 'bleak'. Chuck has brought up the comparison between the UK and US economies several times, as the UK economy looks like mirror image (albeit smaller) of the US. The UK economy has been slightly ahead of the US in the race toward economic meltdown. Unfortunately the US Fed seems to be shadowing every move by the UK, cutting rates to near zero and then using 'quantitative easing' to force them down even further....
  • A change in the Trading Theme?

    * A change in the Trading Theme? * Gold rebounds Big time! * ECB cuts 50 BPS, as expected... * Lots of lessons today... ** Jobs Jamboree Friday! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It supposed to be 70 degrees here today, so in my book that makes it a Fantastico Friday! It's also a Jobs Jamboree Friday, and while this report is probably not going to be anything good, it will be Fantastico BAD! The experts have forecast a job loss in February to be 650K!!!!!! Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand did I say? Yes, sir, may I have another, sir? Well, shiver me timbers, this is just downright awful! And if it prints this bad, it will be the most jobs lost in a month since 1949! This is horrific, just plain horrific folks... And in my opinion, will NOT signal the bottom of the barrel for labor just yet... This thing has momentum and I don't think you'd want to step in front of this run-away bus!...
  • China Announces A Stimulus Plan...

    * China to grow 8%? * An end for Mark-to-markets? * What will the ECB do today? * Gold at a discount.... ** China Announces A Stimulus Plan... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's a Tub Thumpin' Thursday, because I woke up to see that my beloved Missouri Tigers had beaten #3 ranked Oklahoma last night! YAHOO! I had to hit the sack at half-time, so the outcome was in question when I went to bed. Great stuff! This was HUGE after being not ready for prime-time last Sunday against Kansas... Be gone you demons! You monkeys on our backs too! We just beat OU! Whew! A poet and I didn't know it! Well... We have the Bank of England (BOE) and the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting today. Look for rate cuts from both of them, as recessions are deepening in both camps. The BOE doesn't have many arrows in their quiver, while the ECB has held some in reserve. I doubt the ECB would go for a "huge honkin'" rate cut today, as they are normally more stick in the mud thinking... The BOE will probably move rates nearer to zero......
  • Geithner's Plan Disappoints...

    * Trade Deficit to narrow further... * Currencies rally, then sell off... * Obama's stimulus loses backers... * Riksbank cuts 100 BPS unexpectedly... ** Geithner's Plan Disappoints... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... Tim Geithner didn't experience a Terrific Tuesday, as I had wished for him... And now, it looks as though the shine is coming off the new President as more and more individuals are "not buying" his appeal to the nation to get a stimulus package passed... The currencies rallied and then sold off after Geithner gave the details of his "new and improved" plan... We've got some potential market moving data printing today and more! So... Let's go to the tape!...
  • A New Year’s Jobs Jamboree Friday...

    * Will the ADP report be a good indicator? * China to slow treasury purchases? * Gold as a store of wealth... * Dealing with the devil... ** A Jobs Jamboree Friday... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as it is forecast to get to 50 degrees today here in St. Louis. Never mind that tomorrow's high will be 29! It doesn't take away from today! What a trading day in the currencies yesterday... Whew! It's a Jobs Jamboree Friday, so let's not beat around the bush... It's time to Jamboree! Today is the day the Gov't prints the December Jobs Jamboree, and if Wednesday's ADP report did what they said it was going to, and that is change their methodology to mirror the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) then this morning's Jobs Jamboree will be a nightmare. Of course not the kind of nightmare that the over 2.5 million people that lost jobs in 2008 had! I was once in those numbers, as our old Bank, Mark Twain Bank, was bought by a bigger bank, Mercantile Bank, and Mercantile decided after a few months to perform ethnic cleansing of Mark Twain employees... I called it "my retirement" but with a 3 year old at home and on my lap most of the day, "retirement" couldn't last too long! My point is that you don't know the emptiness and failure you feel when they show you the door... So my thoughts are always with those that lose their jobs......