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  • A Jobs Jamboree for Friday!

    In This Issue..

    * G-20 Gives the green light to risk takers....
    * Currencies rally on the day...
    * A discussion on capitalism...
    * Yen continues to weaken...

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as I head to my fave city in the country, San Diego. I'll be heading to the airport shortly after sending this out. The currencies rallied nicely yesterday, and I'll tell you why... So, let's go to the tape!

    Well... Remember all the talk about relaxing the FASB mark-to-market rules in the past couple of months? The announcement was made in the communique of the G-20 meeting. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) revised the rules to allow companies to use their 'judgment' to a greater extent in determining the 'fair value' of their assets. The board also made it easier for companies to avoid having to take impairment charges against earnings when they suffer losses on their investments....
  • 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....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * Bad news for car makers rallies the US$...
    * Yen comes back strong...
    * Singapore to devalue?...
    * German Chancellor Merkel gives warning...

    Good day... And good Monday morning to all of you. I can't believe March is nearly over, it seems as though it just started. March will end up being a pretty good month for the currency markets, as investors exited the safety of US treasuries and started moving funds back into higher yielding assets. But the markets continue to be volatile, and news released on Friday and over the weekend has sent these investors rushing back to the safe haven of the US dollar.

    The Japanese Yen and US dollar benefited after a US Government official said Friday that bankruptcy may be the best option for GM and Chrysler. The dollar continued to gain strength this morning after US Treasury Secretary Geithner warned yesterday that some financial institutions will need 'large amounts' of aid. When the Treasury Secretary says large amounts, you know it is going to be billions or trillions! Geithner was making the rounds of Sunday morning talk shows to try and justify the money already spent and prepare the taxpayers for another request of funds....
  • 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....