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  • Germany's Merkel gets her way...

    In This Issue..

    * Germany's Merkel gets her way...
    * Confidence in the US ebbs lower...
    * China to stick to renminbi policy...
    * Gold stops sliding...

    Good day, we had another strong day for the dollar yesterday, with the greenback gaining against all of the majors. But overnight, the Asians and then the Europeans sold the dollar and moved money back into the currencies. So after another rollercoaster ride, we are basically right back where we were at this time yesterday morning. These volatile markets are likely to continue, as investors try to figure out if the global economy will recover or if we will slide back into recession. With all of this uncertainty, you would think investors would be moving into 'hard assets': Gold and Silver. But the markets for these two precious metals have been surprisingly quiet this year. More on the metals a bit later, first I will try to figure out these currency markets....
  • Traders fear Chinese 'bubbles'....

    In This Issue..

    * Traders fear Chinese 'bubbles'...
    * Bollard leaves rates unchanged... ...
    * Aussie dollar rallies...
    * Pound sterling rallies, but it can't last...

    Good morning, Chuck headed out the door with a huge smile on his face yesterday as he heads down to spring training. With Chuck down in Florida, he handed the keyboard over to me for the rest of March. I am excited to be able to bring you the Pfennig over the next few weeks, and appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts on the currency markets with all the loyal readers. For those of you who are new to the Pfennig, I have been told my style is a bit more 'dry' than Chuck's (I can't even come close to his encyclopedic knowledge of lyrics); and I typically get the Pfennig sent out a bit later than Chuck. But I will try my best to keep everyone informed and get this out in a timely manner. Lets get started....
  • Risk Aversion Creeps Back Into The Currencies...

    In This Issue..

    * Comments spook currency traders...
    * A$ hits 15-month high, this time going up!
    * Geithner as the "joker"?
    * China changes statement about the renminbi...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It's a Thursday, and it's not raining here! YAHOO! After a week of Indian Summer weather, we're slowly creeping back to the colder weather, but still, better than most Novembers of the past, so far!

    That was a strange feeling yesterday, having a holiday in the middle of the week, but the day was nice, and I got to spend the day with my granddaughter, Delaney Grace, who sang me songs all day long!

    So... Last night, I'm doing some writing, and before I put the laptop to bed for the night, I checked the currencies, and while they had drifted in the early Asian session, the Big Dog, euro was still trading above 1.50, and the Aussie dollar (A$) had set a 15 month high of .9368... But when I turned the currency screens on this morning after arriving to a pitch black office, which is the way I like it this early in the morning, the euro had given back about 1/2 cent, and so had the A$... So, it was my mission to find out what caused this slippage......
  • Jobless recovery?? Not going to happen....

    In This Issue..

    * Leading indicators up, but employment down...
    * 11 million new jobs in China...
    * Pound sterling gets pounded...
    * A Great Day for EverBank...

    Good day...and happy Friday! It has been a fairly busy week here at EverBank, with the issuance of another big BRIC MarketSafe CD, the maturity of another MarketSafe, and a big acquisition (more on that later). While things were a bit crazy at EverBank, the currency markets were fairly uneventful. The dollar started the day off with a move up after a positive report on US leading indicators, but it gave back most of the gains as the trading day wore on. At the end of the day, only one currency moved more than 1% vs. the greenback, with the pound sterling dropping almost 1.5%.

    ...
  • Catching Up With Richard Duncan...

    In This Issue..

    * Non-dollar currencies give back very little...
    * The Unemployed are remaining unemployed...
    * FOMC puts away the board games today...
    * China invokes a 'Public Morals' defense...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, the Fed Head put away the board games today, and make an announcement this afternoon... Yawn... Norway's Norges Bank will also make an announcement with theirs coming this morning. I still contend that the Norges Bank will keep rates unchanged and give a hint as to when their rate hike cycle will begin. If that were to happen as I think, then it would be very bullish for the krone......
  • The Euro Bounces...

    In This Issue..

    * Profit taking brings currencies back..
    * A Love/ Hate relationship with kiwi...
    * Stimulus isn't the same everywhere!
    * AA drops a bomb on us in St. Louis!

    Good day... Ahoy Mates! And a Happy Friday to one and all! Tomorrow is 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' officially... But, since we all like Pirates (not today's so-called Pirates), we decided that we would celebrate it today! Get your eye patches out! We're that kind of fun group, eh? So... If you want to play along, you can go to this website and get your Pirate name! http://www.piratename.net/

    OK... Well, it is Friday, and with that comes the end of a very long week for yours truly, and one that I hope ends early today, so I can go home and get my feet up! Until then though, you have me here to swab the decks, and hoist the sails!

    ...
  • The U.S. Treasury Moves The Goal Posts...

    In This Issue..

    * A 4-day rally gets stopped at the border...
    * Home Prices fall at a -18.12% pace...
    * Alice Rivlin gives her 2-cents...
    * Kiwi bond maturities galore next month...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! As tradition with the Pfennig would have it, here's my introduction to July... There I was... On a July morning... Looking for love... With the strength of a new day dawning, and... The beautiful sun...

    Yes, for those 'old rockers' from the 70's like me... That's Uriah Heep, at their best!

    OK... So, welcome to July! The last day of June was quite the volatile one to say the least! There we were waiting for the S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index to print, and show that home prices were still down by quite a bit, when it did, it did, it printed at -18.12%... But! The media was all over that like a cheap suit, clamoring that the spiral down in Home Prices had come to and end! Which, may be true... But wouldn't you want to wait to see if next month's report confirms it? And... By the way... Since when does -18.12% fall in home prices beckon a rally? Yesterday, would be that answer!...
  • 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....
  • Carry trades unwind...

    In This Issue..

    * Carry trades unwind...
    * Euro zone GDP falls...
    * Will TIC flows be enough??
    * Aussie dollar predicted to outperform...

    Good day...Chuck handed me the Pfennig this morning, as I took an early flight home yesterday and he got back to St. Louis much later than I did. The Las Vegas Money Show went well, as Chuck packed the presentation rooms with investors looking to learn more about investing in Gold and currencies. Attendance seemed like it was down a bit, but we stayed busy at the booth with investors looking for diversification. We also got to see a number of 'old friends' who stopped by the booth to say hi. All in all it was a good three days, but as always, it is good to get home and back into the routine.

    The currency markets fell back into their established routine also, as fear drove investors out of riskier assets and back into the US$. We saw a general reversal of the carry trade, with the Japanese yen the only major currency which appreciated vs. the US$. As Chuck pointed out last week, investors feeling more confident about the global economy, dusted off their carry trades which had made them good money over the past few years. But traders are still a bit skittish, and move back out of these leveraged trades at the first sign of trouble in the global economy....
  • 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....
  • Geithner tanks the dollar, but then pushes it back up...

    In This Issue..

    * Geithner sends the dollar on a thrill ride...
    * A failed UK gilt auction...
    * China set to recover first...
    * AUD and NZD rally again...

    Good day... The currency markets took back what little strength the dollar mustered over the past two days with the Euro moving back above popping back above 1.36 and the Australian dollar moving back up over .70. The cause for this dollar weakness? Data released in the US yesterday was surprisingly strong again, so investors dumped the 'safe haven' holdings of Treasuries and moved money back into higher yielding investments.

    At one point yesterday the dollar index dropped precipitously (more than 1.5% in less than 10 minutes), and then bounced back up within a half hour. Jennifer McLean, who takes care of our currency trading while Chuck is away from the desk, said the sudden moves were due to Treasury Secretary Geithner's comments. Apparently Geithner was asked about China's call for a new international reserve currency yesterday at a NY event. He said that while he hadn't read the proposal, he understood it as a plan 'designed to increase the use of the IMF's special drawing rights. And we're actually quite open to that.' After hearing those words, currency traders immediately starting selling off the dollar. After all, if the Treasury Secretary of the US says the administration is open to a new international reserve currency, why do you want to hold dollars? I guess Geithner got wind of what he had done to the currency markets pretty quickly (the power of Blackberries!) and 15 minutes later he clarified his comments to say the US dollar should remain as the world's reserve currency....
  • Currency markets stabilize...

    * Currency markets stabilize (for now)... * Data packed holiday shortened week... * China cuts rates... * Indian rupee falls... ** Currency markets stabilize... Good day...The dollar settled in at the slightly higher levels it reached Friday morning and is trading in a narrow range heading into a holiday shortened week. Trade desks across the globe will be mostly staffed by the backups as the big bosses take Christmas week off. Volume will likely be lighter, which can sometimes lead to an increase in volatility. The data calendar is empty today, but chock full tomorrow and Christmas eve. Markets will be closed on Christmas day, and most will be closed again on the day following Christmas (known as boxing day). GDP, Personal Consumption, U of Michigan consume confidence, New Home Sales, Existing Home sales, House price index, Richmond Fed Man. Index, and ABC Consumer confidence numbers will all be released tomorrow. On Christmas eve the US will release MBA Mortgage applications, Personal Income, Personal Spending, PCE deflator, Durable Goods orders, and the weekly jobs numbers will all be released. I told you we will be packing in a weeks worth of data in the next two days!!...
  • Santa rally for the currencies...

    * A Santa Rally for the currencies?... * Waiting for the FOMC... * AUD and NZD rally... * China to try and keep growth above 8%... ** Santa rally for the currencies... Good day...It was actually a Great day for the currencies yesterday as the dollar index dropped another full point. The Euro moved past $1.35 and then blew through $1.36 to end the day over $1.37. And the Euro wasn't even the best performer, as the New Zealand dollar rallied over 2.1% vs. the US$ to take the title of best performing currency against the greenback. The South African rand was the only currency turning in a negative performance yesterday with the other commodity driven currencies of Norway and Brazil just barely holding their ground vs. the US$....
  • Misguided risk aversion...

    * Bad data pushes investors into US treasuries... * Barclay's says the euro will rally... * SNB surprises with a rate cut... * Iceland gets their bailout... ** Misguided risk aversion... Good day...The dollar rallied a bit yesterday on some very poor economic data which illustrated just how bad things are getting here in the US. As Chuck has repeatedly told everyone, in the current trade pattern the dollar rallies whenever we get negative data for the US economy. Investors get spooked by this negative data, and run scared into the 'safety' of US treasuries. Ty sent me a quote from respected newsletter owner/author Bill Bonner yesterday: "Misguided risk aversion, anyone? A few months ago, investors stretched for yields. Now, it's safety they reach for...and grab U.S. Treasury debt with both hands. Investors now seem to have an unqualified trust in the full faith and credit of the world's largest debtor. Yields on 91-day T-bills have fallen to 0.11% - scarcely a tenth of one percent!"...
  • 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......