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  • Risk Off as US data disappoints…

    In This Issue..

    * Risk is back off on poor US data...
    * Euro pauses at $1.32...
    * China moves by Japan to become #2...
    * Gold moves close to $1,200...

    Good day...and welcome to Wednesday, or as we call it on the desk 'hump day'. Yesterday was another busy day on the desk, it seems like investors are finally figuring out that in spite of the uncertainty in the markets, there are still some good opportunities. But while the flow of trades increased yesterday, the currency markets took a breather from their torrid pace on Monday.

    What movement did occur yesterday was mainly due to a plethora of data releases in the US which mostly disappointed. Personal income and spending in the US were both reported unchanged for the month of June, and May's numbers were revised slightly lower. And while US consumers were feeling the pinch, prices rose a bit more than expected with the PCE Deflator moving 1.4% higher vs. an expected 1.3% increase. So it was no surprise when the ABC Consumer Confidence number came in at -50, again worse than what was expected....
  • The Dollar Rebounds Again...

    In This Issue..

    * Economic data deep sixes currency rally...
    * U.S. Treasury back at the auction window!
    * Yen's rose has faded...
    * Chinese renminbi spikes higher!

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Not trying to sound like a broken record here, but today is the last Wednesday of 2009... The last 'hump day' and so on... The non-dollar currencies got bushwhacked yesterday by the dollar bulls around mid-day, and there's been no recovery since. The Treasury is back at the auction table, with $32 Billion in 7-year Treasuries for you to buy at the fantabulous yield of.... Drum roll please.... 2.60%! All that and more, so buckle yourself in, and make certain to keep your arms and legs inside the Pfennig at all times during the ride!

    ...
  • Consumer Spending Drives GDP?

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar rebounds after spending fades...
    * Chinese Manufacturing rises...
    * Eurozone Manufacturing rises...
    * Australia as the proxy for global growth...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! And Welcome to November! My least liked month! But that's a story for another time! I hope your Halloween was fun! The rain stopped here, there was a near full moon shining in the sky, and the little kids had a blast! And Hey! The Rams won a football game! WOW!

    OK... Well... Friday was a blur to me, as I went to the doctor's office for a test, and then on my way to work, they called my cell and asked me to turn around and go to a lab for more tests... UGH! So, by the time I got to work, Jennifer had set everything up and begun trading for me... Then it was time to go home! So, I'm sitting here this morning, scratching my bald head trying to recall the currency prices on Friday... And Oh yeah! Now I remember! Do you recall the Thursday action after the GDP report showed such strength (whether you believe it or not) and the dollar got sold like pet rocks?...
  • 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...

    ...
  • Risk aversion returns…

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion returns...
    * Money Multiplier dampens stimulus effects...
    * TIC flows show concern of foreign investors...
    * China back on growth track...

    Good day... Chuck got an early start on a two week hiatus from the desk, so you will be stuck with me writing the Pfennig for the next two weeks. But don't worry, you will still get a small dose of Chuck over the next week as he typically emails me his thoughts while on the road (I call it Pfennig Pfodder). Risk aversion dominated the currency markets overnight, as terrorists set off two separate explosions in Jakarta and investors moved money back into the 'safe havens' of the US$ and Japanese yen.

    Chuck wrote about this move yesterday, believing the bad news regarding CIT would probably cause a risk reversal. But the US stock market shook off the CIT news and rallied higher after a big earnings report by JP Morgan and a somewhat positive statement by Nouriel Roubini. Roubini, the New York University economist who is credited with predicting the financial crisis, said in a speech yesterday that the US economy might be close to the bottom. The stock jockeys took this statement along with the positive earnings reports and ran stocks up. But Roubini later tried to caution these bulls against reading too much into his statement, and reminded everyone that he has not changed his thoughts on a US recovery: 'I continue to see a shallow, below par and below trend recovery.'...
  • 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....
  • A Dollar Roadblock!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro goes back and forth over 1.42...
    * Geithner make another promise to China...
    * RBA leaves rates unchanged...
    * The Mogambo on a Tuesday!

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... The currencies, led by the euro, ran into a dollar road block yesterday, not once, not twice, but three times... The first two times the euro traded over the 1.42 figure, it fell back, but recovered to again try to remain over 1.42... It was a classic case of profit taking at a line of resistance... But the third time, was no charm for the euro, and thus it ended the day and night sessions below 1.42... But hey! Has this run from 1.2578 on March 1st, been something or what?

    I see where UBS believes this is it for the euro... Sort of like the thought that a star burns the brightest right before it burns out... Hmmm... I guess they believe that the U.S. deficit problems are going to go away... Apparently, they drank the kool-aid from U.S. Treasury Sec. Geithner, who told the Chinese that the U.S. was going to shrink the deficit... He also told them that their assets were 'safe'... Ty sent me something on this that he found yesterday......
  • A shrinking US economy puts pressure on the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * US GDP falls more than expected...
    * FOMC holds course...
    * Canadian dollar has a great week...
    * Oil helps commodity currencies...

    Good day... Yesterday was a big day in St. Louis as President Obama came to visit on his 100th day in office. I can't believe it has been 100 days since the inauguration. Time sure does fly! I'm sure Obama and the rest of his administration would like the calendar to move even faster as this recession will likely last through the end of 2009. While the government has thrown trillions of dollars at the markets in an attempt to turn them around, the key ingredient for recessionary cycles to reverse is time. There is now 'quick fix' for the problems we are in, and the policies the administration has begun will take time to have an impact on our shrinking economy. Obama said as much in his nationally televised press conference last night....
  • Awful Data!

    In This Issue..

    * Weber opens Pandora's Box...
    * A record low for Capacity Utilization!
    * Do I hear a Chicken?
    * China's economy grows 6.1%

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! The 'Day After' Tax Day... It still hurts! And to think, one of these days, I'll be paying even more, thanks to the direction of our country... And you will be too! There's no two ways about it, the Deficit in funding in Washington D.C. which will be a result of all the spending, is going to require greater revenue... Where does the Gov't get the revenue? From taxes... Of course if it wasn't a debtor nation, it would not have to pay out the large sums of interest on the Treasuries it issues... But, that... Is a discussion for another day.

    The currencies saw more dollar strength yesterday, but it wasn't a result of anything the dollar had going for it... In fact, the results of the data yesterday was all dollar negative... No, this time it came from the Eurozone. Right about the time I was hitting the send button yesterday, European Central Bank (ECB) minister, Axel Weber Opened Pandora's Box of questions regarding future direction of the ECB... Let's go to the tape!...
  • A building block...

    * A quiet Friday... * Euro hits 1.30... * Chinese concern... * This week in data... ** A building block... Good day...And a Marvelous Monday to you. Its hard to believe that Monday morning is already upon us, where does the time go? Just as the currency market took a breather, our cold weather from last week decided to follow suit as it turned out to be a nice late winter weekend. Friday was fairly uneventful as the currencies traded in a tight range throughout the course of the day so it will be interesting to see how this week shapes up. Let's see if the currencies can build from last week...

    Volatility was basically non-existent during Friday trading with less than a .50% difference between the high and the low of the dollar index. The overall bias, however, was a weaker dollar and the euro held onto 1.29 for a majority of the day and was near 1.2920 as I left the desk. The pound and Swiss franc were the only two currencies left on the bench last week with losses of about 1% and 2.5% against the dollar respectively. The rest were able to turn in a decent week with the Swedish krona on top of the pile posting a 6.5% gain....
  • Wild Swings!

    * Euro gains, then loses, then gains... * Inflation and Commodities... * The euro turns 10! * Risk Aversion remains but is waning... ** Wild Swings! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, it happened way too late for yours truly to witness it, but my beloved Missouri Tigers rallied and won the Alamo Bowl in overtime. Go Tigers! Hopefully they can fix the defense before next fall! OK... Remember those Wild Swings I talked about yesterday? The Wild Swings that could be a result of thin volumes in this the second week of Christmas. Well... We witnessed them in earnest yesterday! As I signed off yesterday, I told you that the euro had rallied 2 whole figures to 1.43 and change. Well, that rally dissipated throughout the morning, and by late in the day the single unit was 1.39 and change... WOW! Now that's a Wild Swing! You can point to profit taking as the reason for the move, and with the volumes thinned out by Holiday trading, one profit taking sell begot another, and before you knew it, the euro was looking at a loss on the day....
  • Back to Risk Aversion...

    * Japanese yen rallies... * Renminbi stumbles... * A very tough data week in store... * Rate cuts all around the world... ** Back to Risk Aversion... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! In addition, Welcome to December! We had our first "dusting" of snow over the weekend, after experiencing wonderful weather Thursday and Friday. As much as they tried, even my beloved Missouri Tigers losing to ultra-rival, Kansas on Saturday, couldn't ruin what was a very fun and relaxing weekend for yours truly! Well... When I left you last Wednesday, I had thought that we could be on the cusp of a "change" in the currencies, as the Trading Theme that had held a tight grip on the currencies since July, was thrown to the side for a couple of days... But, I doubt "that" has happened, as a return to risk aversion is back on the table, which means the currencies and precious metals get sold, while Japanese yen, and U.S. Treasuries (read dollars) get bought....
  • Heading Towards Zero...

    * Fed cuts rates 50 BPS! * Currencies rally Big! * 3rd QTR GDP to go negative? * I.O.U.S.A. ** Heading Towards Zero... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It certainly was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday for the currencies, foreign stocks, commodities, and the Philadelphia Phillies! This by no means that the deep dense fog that has hung over the markets for 3 months has lifted for good... It did, however, lift for one day, and what a day it was! Oh, and the Fed did indeedly do cut their Fed Funds rate to 1%, which works out great since Fed Funds had been trading at 1% anyway! I had a reported from Dow Jones call me a few minutes after the rate cut and ask me my opinion on what the dollar was doing, which at the time was rallying back a bit... I said it looked like a classic case of buy the rumor sell the fact, that enough speculators were pushing the dollar lower ahead of the rate cut in hopes that a larger cut would be made. That, however, was not the case, and the dollar rallied... But only for about 20 minutes, and then it took a rid on the slippery slope, with the euro pushing to the 1.29 handle as I left for the day....