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  • 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 Horrific Jobs Report!

    * 651K jobs lost in Feb... * Dec. and Jan Job losses revised up... * Talking Norway, Canada, Australia... * Brazil stealthlike for 3 months... ** A Horrific Jobs Report! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A wonderful weekend here in St. Louis, a taste of spring was in the air. I got to spend some time with some of my closest friends on Friday night, a good time was had by all! Well... Our Fantastico Friday was interrupted by that horrific Jobs Jamboree number that printed Friday morning... 651K jobs were lost in February, which let me remind you is a couple of days shorter than other months. So, it could have been worse! Hard to believe that could be the case, but it's true. The unemployment rate rose to 8.1%, from 7.6% in January. The jobless rate is the highest since 1983. The economy has now shed 4.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with almost half of those losses occurring in the last three months alone....