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  • US consumer confidence on the rise...

    In This Issue..

    * US consumer confidence on the rise...
    * Improved labor markets could bring higher US rates...
    * Norway has a good day...
    * Frank heads to Vancouver and begins his blog...

    Good day, the last day of March is finally here. March was a good month, but I like the sound of April as it brings us warmer weather and the opening day of the baseball season. While there was a lot of talk about the fall of the Euro during the past month, March actually turned out to be a good month for currency investors. The Euro was down slightly (.58% v.s the US$) but it was only one of 4 currencies which dropped vs. the dollar. The biggest loser in March was the Japanese yen, which was down 4.52%; but none of the other 4 currencies were down more than .6%. The top performers were the high yielders of the South African rand and Mexican Peso, both of which were over 3% higher vs. the US$ during past month. March was also a good month for the commodity based currencies of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

    ...
  • Germany & France Post 3rd QTR Growth...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion fuels dollar rally yesterday...
    * Eurozone growth may stop the Risk Aversion...
    * Budget Deficit is a record $176.4 Billion!
    * Euro, Swiss, Aussie, Norway, all cheaper today!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! Let's try to make this a Fantastico Friday as well! The Risk Aversion that was creeping into the currency markets yesterday really took hold in the U.S. trading session, which meant the dollar was being bought once more, along with Japanese yen...

    It just makes me laugh out loud, when I write that the 'safe haven currencies' during Risk Aversion trading are the dollar and yen... These two countries have debt up to their eyeballs, pay no interest on their deposits, and have a leadership deficiency... (ok, before every begins to think that I'm ripping the president again, I'm not... I'm talking about the Central Bank, and lawmakers of each country)...
  • House prices move up, but consumers still aren't confident...

    In This Issue..

    * House prices move up...
    * US consumers are worried...
    * Japanese retail sales drag...
    * Australian rates to rise...

    Good day... We finally had a bit of volatility in the currency markets yesterday, as conflicting data released in two separate reports moved the markets in opposite directions. The dollar started off the day drifting lower, as has been the pattern over the past 2 weeks. But during the late morning the dollar started gaining strength, and has barely paused its ascent overnight.

    Many of you probably heard the news reports that home prices finally rose during the month of May, and this is what had the dollar on the ropes yesterday morning. The S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index reported that home prices in the US rose ever so slightly in May compared to April. But if we look at the annual figures, home prices are still down just over 17% across the country. Media outlets trumpeted this 'feel good' story with many economists declaring that housing has now turned a corner. This is a good sign, as prices have to stabilize before the housing sector can recover, but it is hard to get overly excited about a 17% drop YOY. The monthly figure rose just .5%, reflecting the first monthly gain since July 2006. Another report showed the share of homes sold as foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties fell to about 31% in June, down from a high of 50% seen earlier this year. With unemployment still creeping up, and the US consumer continuing to save instead of spend, I am going to need to see a couple of months of stabilized prices before I am convinced housing is turning the corner here in the US....
  • Home sales improve...

    In This Issue..

    * Home sales improve...
    * Are we there yet...
    * Intervention talks...
    * Buying on dips...

    Good day...and a Fabulous Friday to you. As I was sitting here this morning collecting my thoughts, it just hit me like a ton of bricks that we're already towards the end of July and next weekend brings us into August...where's the pause button when you need it. Anyway, yesterday started out like any other quiet morning so far this week but we did see a nice little run in the currencies only to see profit taking as we moved into the late afternoon. As I turned the computer screens on this morning, I see where the overnight markets brought us right back up to the levels we began with this time yesterday. The big story that moved the markets was the better than expected housing numbers that, again, gave investors that warm and fuzzy feeling that I touched on yesterday. Since I already let the cat out of the bag, I'll jump right in...

    ...
  • 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 Week Dominated By Data...

    In This Issue..

    * Both sides of the ship...
    * Currencies remain well bid...
    * ECB and Riksbank meet this week...
    * Baiting the hook for more stimulus?

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! The Heat Wave finally broke Saturday night, and we had just one of the most beautiful days yesterday that I have ever seen! Which was good, because we had a backyard full of first kids, and then family to celebrate Alex's 14th birthday!

    Well... We have a week ahead of us that will be dominated by the U.S. data cupboard. And this week, we'll get the June Jobs Jamboree (JJJ) on Thursday instead of Friday. Saturday is the 4th of July, and I guess the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) isn't working on Friday! HA! No, they do this every now and then when the markets will be quite thin on a Friday before a Holiday weekend. And this week qualifies BIG TIME! It will be the 4th of July! And maybe, just maybe because you never know, someone in Washington D.C. will realize that the it's supposed to be about WE THE PEOPLE, not we the politicians......
  • A Turn Around Tuesday!

    In This Issue..

    * Another Treasury auction today...
    * Goldman says to buy euros!
    * Oil fuels Commodity Currencies!
    * RBNZ to meet tonight...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... Yesterday was 'Turn Around Tuesday'! Add to that, the fact that there were a number of reasons for the euro to lead the charge for currencies VS the dollar yesterday. And... A word from one of the economists that I keep on my list of 'to read'... So, let's get to the tape from Turn Around Tuesday!

    I heard yesterday someone say 'well, we sure turned around today in the currencies'... And I thought, Shoot Rudy, why not name it Turn Around Tuesday? Then I went back to the history page on my trusty Bloomberg, and saw that on 4 of the last 5 Tuesdays, the currencies did in fact 'turn around' their performances from the day before! Not that this is something we can hand our hats on, and make trades accordingly on Monday nights / Tuesday mornings... But, it's an interesting fact nonetheless!...
  • Dollar falls as US consumer confidence increases...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar falls as US consumers become more positive...
    * GDP to be reported this morning...
    * European confidence increases...
    * Mexican peso recovers...

    Good day... Hopefully this will reach everyone today. We have been having some computer problems causing some major delays in the delivery of your Pfennig. As Chuck always says, if you need your Pfennig, just go to www.dailypfennig.com where it is posted each morning as soon as I hit the send button. For those of you who feel the need, the website also has an archive, so you can all read what I had to say yesterday. But enough about our email problems, you all want to know what is happening in the markets.

    The dollar began the day trading in a fairly tight range, but a fairly large jump in US consumer confidence sent the US$ tumbling. Yes, the old 'opposite' trading pattern has begun again. When we have good news regarding the US and global economies, the US$ gets sold. But when the data is bad, the dollar is purchased as a safe haven. Yesterday both pieces of data released in the US were more positive than most economists expected, so the dollar gave back some of its recent 'safe haven' gains....
  • 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....
  • A Retail Sales Surprise!

    * 623K new unemployment claims filed.. * G-7 begins today.. * Dealing from a position of strength.. * Valentine's Day tomorrow! ** A Retail Sales Surprise! Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! Front and center this morning, a Continental regional plane crashed near the Buffalo airport overnight, and all 48 on the plane were killed, along with 1 person in a home. Not Happy news for a Friday morning, for sure... Our thoughts should be with the familes of these people today... I want to say thank you to all who responded yesterday to me regarding my hissy fit I had yesterday morning regarding the minority objections to my opinions... The vote is in... It was a landslide in favor of me being me, and not what the few objectors want me to be. So, I will continue writing the Pfennig in the manner the majority expect... I don't want this to sound cold, but those that feel the need to send me nasty emails, could you please just unsubscribe instead?...
  • Talking Stimulus Deux

    * Pending Home Sales surprise! * Eurozone Retail Sales slump! * Tax cuts don't create jobs... * Failure to follow through for the A$ ** Talking Stimulus Deux... Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... I'm here! The Orlando Money Show... And guess what? Looks like I brought that artic cold front that had hit St. Louis, all the way down to Orlando! It's cold here! UGH! Well, not "cold" like at home, but "cold" for here! OK... Front and center this morning, we had a stock rally yesterday after the Pending Home Sales data printed a surprise number. And since stocks and currencies have been trading together the past few days, (we talked at length about this yesterday) that meant a currency rally as well! But! Neither stocks or currencies could break on through to the other side, break on through, yeah! So... That left them vulnerable to profit taking, and that's exactly what we've seen with the currencies overnight. We'll have to wait a couple of hours to see how stocks open up......