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  • Debt auctions in Spain and Italy to test the waters...

    * Spain and Italy to sell debt...

    * G20 finance leaders question QE efforts...

    * Signs in China turn positive...

    * Metals remain in a tight trading range...

    ...
  • The waiting game...

    In This Issue..

    * Waiting on G20 and the ECB...
    * US home prices plunge...
    * What will come from G20...
    * ECB to cut rates, but no quantitative easing...

    Good day... The markets will play a waiting game today, and I expect the currencies to trade in a pretty flat range. The focus will be on the G20 which starts tomorrow, and the ECB announcement which will also be released tomorrow. So today I will share my views on both of these topics, but first I will report on what occurred yesterday and overnight in the currency markets.

    The dollar climbed yesterday morning as data released showed US home prices plunged at a record pace and consumer confidence continues to bottom. US home prices fell nearly 19% in January according to the S&P Case Shiller index. This was even worse than economists had predicted, and December's numbers were revised down....
  • ECB rate decision looms...

    In This Issue..

    * ECB rate decision looms...
    * China pushes for a bigger seat at G20...
    * Declining global reserves hurt US Treasuries...
    * Commodity currencies come back...

    Good day... The dollar held on to its gains through out most of the day yesterday, as investors continued to look for a parking place in the volatile markets. But late in the day, the sentiment changed and the dollar started getting sold vs. most of the currencies. This dollar weakness continued overnight with the Euro gaining back 1 cent to trade back above 1.33 and the commodity based currencies of Norway, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa all gaining over 1 percent vs. the greenback.

    What caused this sharp turn around? I had to look hard to find anything which set this reversal in motion, and could only find references to the upcoming ECB rate decision due on Thursday. The euro had come under selling pressure the past few days as currency traders bet the ECB would be cutting rates by 50 basis points on Thursday. This cut would, of course, narrow the yield advantage the Euro holds over the US$ and therefore make it less attractive to investors. There were also many who believed the ECB should follow the path of the US, UK, and Japan and begin using quantitative easing to further force down rates....
  • 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 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....