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  • Ben sets the tone...

    In This Issue.

    * The market isn't a fan of QE.

    * The euro rode the wave.

    * BOE meets today.

    * Double dip in New Zealand?

    ...
  • Euro falls as Greece pushed toward IMF...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro falls as Greece pushed toward IMF...
    * Decision on Norwegian interest rates...
    * Canadian dollar rises...
    * Kiwi to outpace Australian dollar...

    Good day, the dollar gained ground across the board as the news hit that the IMF will be brought in to help rescue Greece. The dollar was also helped by data which showed existing housing sales fell by less than expected in February. We will get additional news on the status of the US economy today, with the release of durable goods and new home sales numbers for February. We will get a rate decision by the Norwegian central bank today, which could stoke calls for higher rates here in the US. But the big news overnight is concerning the euro (again!).

    The euro sold off by a full percentage point vs. the US$ after both Germany and France are reported to have agreed to have the IMF involved in aid to Greece. This is an about face for European leaders who announced last week that they had agreed on a European solution to the Greek crisis. But Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel threw a spanner in the works a week ago when she said Germany would not participate in giving Greece financial aid. This threw the euro into crisis mode again, as the 'agreement' reached early last week never materialized....
  • 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....
  • The dollar drifts lower in thin trading..

    In This Issue..

    * US$ drifts lower in light trading...                    
    * Euro/Yen benefit from reserve diversification...                      
    * Pound sterling continues to drop...                                    
    * New Zealand retail sales pick up.....
                                                                                 
    Good day... and happy Tuesday morning to everyone.  As Chuck told everyone yesterday, he is heading down south to a corporate meeting, so you will be stuck with me for the remainder of the week.  Yesterday was an official 'bank holiday' but apparently most of the WorldMarkets customers were unaware, as our phones were surprisingly busy.  Trading in the currency markets was substantially lighter than usual, and with no data releases in the US, the dollar drifted sideways throughout the day.  The European currencies were slightly higher vs. the US$, the Asian currencies were lower vs. the US$, and the commodity based currencies were mixed.

    ...
  • 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!

    ...
  • Risk aversion disappears again...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk aversion has left the building...
    * CIT survives without Fed help...
    * SNB tries to fight the markets...
    * Light week for US data...

    Good day... We had just an amazing weekend of weather here in St. Louis, and this morning is shaping up to be another beautiful day. Friday turned out to be a beautiful day for those who have taken our advice and diversified their holdings out of the dollar. Risk aversion was placed on the back burner again, and investors moved money back out of the dollar into higher yielding currencies. The dollar and yen got sold but all other currencies rallied, and investors also turned back toward gold pushing the metal above $950 for the first time in over a month.

    So what caused all of this confidence? First, the housing data released Friday morning in the US showed a slight pick up in both building permits and housing starts. While the housing markets have a long way to go, the data have given investors an indication that construction may have found a bottom. Not to throw cold water on investors confidence in the building numbers, but while the residential market may be bottoming out, the commercial market continues to tumble. I spoke to a good friend over the weekend who is a commercial real estate developer down in Memphis. He told me that his development pipeline has completely dried up, and even the brokerage side of his business has slowed. The only part of his business which has picked up is the marketing of foreclosed properties. He has shifted his concentration to helping banks and lenders 'work out' of commercial projects which they have taken back onto their books. The economy has kept most companies from opening new stores, and many continue to shut down under performing ones. My good friend tells me most of the people he talks to don't believe the commercial real estate market will turn around until the end of next year. Not good news for the banks who are still reeling from the residential real estate bust....
  • Currencies Rebound...

    In This Issue..

    * Goldman posts a nice profit...
    * I smell a rat!
    * Euro nears the 1.41 mark... Again!
    * Gold manipulation?

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Another All-Star Game, another win for the American League... I truly believed that with Tim Lincecum going for the National League, that we would win this year... But that didn't work out... I did truly enjoy the game though, and got to experience it with sons, Andrew, and Alex, with Darling Daughter Dawn's husband, Jerry... A truly memorable night...

    The currencies slowly moved a bit higher yesterday, and the euro is back to 1.40 this morning... The move came as stocks rebounded some, after reports of a better than expected earnings report for Goldman Sachs. Hmmm... Now, doesn't that just tick you off a little? Here's Goldman Sachs who just months ago, changed to a Bank Holding Co, so it could take TARP money, then paid it back a month ago, and now, prints a Moon Shot profitable earnings report... I guess I should be happy for them... Unfortunately, I smell a rat......
  • 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....
  • More Stimulus On The Way?

    In This Issue..

    * Euro leads currencies higher...
    * Commodities rally back on FOMC thoughts...
    * FOMC meeting today...
    * NZ Consumer Confidence on the rise...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... Yesterday, the title of The Pfennig was: So Far... It's A Turn Around Tuesday! And... That theme played well throughout the day, and by day's end, it had been quite the Turn Around Tuesday! Now, we have to see what's in store for us today, as the last couple of weeks have seen the Wednesday trading quite the opposite of Tuesday's trading! Strange trading pattern don't you agree?

    Overnight, the euro climbed as high as 1.4140, only to sit at the cusp of 1.41 as I begin to write this morning. Of course 1.41 certainly looks a lot different from the 1.35-1.40 range we've seen in recent days. But then, we've seen these probes above 1.40 before only end with the euro falling back to the 1.35-1.40 range again......
  • A Sustainable Economic Recovery?

    In This Issue..

    * More range trading...
    * Eurozone doesn't need more stimulus...
    * A$'s outperform on rate outlook...
    * A double whammy for the dollar...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! The end of another week... I was out on Monday, and it still seems to have been another long week! UGH! Oh well... It's Friday, and this weekend is Father's Day... So, we've got that going for us, eh?

    More range trading in the currencies yesterday, with the euro leading the currencies higher for most of the day, only to see their gains slip, sliding away by the late afternoon. In the overnight markets, the currencies, once again, have moved higher, but nothing to get all lathered up about......
  • Russian Rumors...

    In This Issue..

    * dollar rallies on N. Korea warning...
    * Emerging Markets decouple...
    * A debt upgrade for New Zealand...
    * Swiss francs rise despite SNB warnings...

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Yes, the rain continues here in St. Louis, but that's normal for this time of year. But the rain brings the thunder... And so it is a Thunderin' Thursday!

    Well... The dollar came back with some vengeance yesterday pushing the Big Dog, euro, back well within the 1.38 handle, and all the other little dogs, other currencies, followed. There wasn't data to speak of yesterday to push the dollar higher, it was simply a case of fright, as safe haven flows went the dollar's way after the news of a N. Korea attack warning spread throughout the markets....
  • Throwing A Cat Among The Pigeons...

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion returns...
    * RBA cuts 25 BPS...
    * Eurozone recession deepens...
    * Oil backs off...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! OK... I'll get to Opening Day in the Big Finish today, first, and foremost, I need to tell you about a guy that really threw a cat among the pigeons yesterday, causing a BIG scare and sell off of risk assets... Currencies that is...

    His name is Mike Mayo, and he used to work at Deutsche Bank, and now is a banking analyst at Caylon Securities... And brother can he ever move a market! To make a long story short... Mr. Mayo basically said yesterday in a report that 'Bank Loan Losses Will Exceed Depression Levels'... So, all that James Brown, feeling good, that went on last week with the G-20 singing everything is beautiful, all went down the drain after Mr. Mayo spoke......
  • 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....
  • Another day for the currencies...

    * Disappointing data...
    * Euro held ground...
    * Down under...

    Another day for the currencies...

    Good day...And a Terrific Tuesday to you. Another Monday morning has come and gone but not before confirming the US economy is still heading down the wrong side of the slippery slope. The uneventful trading day from Friday certainly didn't carry over as we saw a sizeable run up in currencies along with equities during the morning session. As the day progressed, the equity markets shed their gains but most of the currencies remained resilient and held on. I guess I'll stop beating around the bush and get right to it...

    It seems that Bernanke's calming approach during his interview with 60 Minutes gave investors the feeling that we are not as bad off saying the risk of a depression has been averted. He went on to say if the government succeeds in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010....