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  • Volatility continues to dominate the markets...

    In This Issue.

    * Volatility continues...

    * FOMC leaves everything 'as is'...

    * European inflation heats up...

    * Norway and Swiss seen as safe havens...

    * ZAR, AUD, & BRL get sold ...

    ...
  • Downgrading Japan.

    In This Issue.

    * Is a downgrade coming our way?

    * CBO revises forecast upward.

    * FOMC leaves rates & QE2 in place.

    * Richard Russell on the dollar.

    ...
  • Another roller coaster day in the US...

    In This Issue..

    * Another roller coaster day in the US...
    * TIC data shows China and Japan losing their appetite...
    * Eurozone members support Greece...
    * Precious metals rise...

    Good day... We had a pretty busy day in the currency markets yesterday, with the dollar rising sharply in the morning only to sell off again after lunch. The selling continued in Asian trading, and the dollar index is back down to levels it was at this time yesterday morning. These roller coaster rides will probably continue as the markets just don't seem to know where to take the currencies. Short term moves will continue to be exaggerated, but the long term dollar continues to be in place.

    As I pointed out yesterday, this is a very busy week for data here in the US, and yesterday started us off with a bang. The volatile Empire manufacturing number showed a slight tick up but pretty much came in where it was expected. The more important Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization numbers followed, and both confirmed the US economy is continuing to recover; albeit at a slow pace. Industrial production increased .1% in February, and Capacity Utilization also increased to 72.7%. This data got the day started off right for dollar bulls, and the greenback shot up.

    ...
  • Brazil To Benefit From New Carry Trade?

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar fights back...
    * Government deficit spending deep sixes us...
    * Brazilian rate hikes on the table...
    * Round Two of the PPT thoughts...

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Well... It's not really Thunderin' outside, but it is snowing, with about 3-4 inches on the ground already, and the snow coming down so thick that seeing is difficult. I made it here, but then I drive a car that was made to go in stuff like this! Pretty soon, my phone will begin to ring, with colleagues calling to ask me how the roads were...

    Well... We had more probing higher in the non-dollar currencies only to see the gains wipe away at the end of the day yesterday. Still, as I told a radio audience in Oregon yesterday, traders, investors, etc. still believe the euro is worth more than the dollar by quite a bit... Gold also gave back some gains overnight......
  • A shrinking US economy puts pressure on the US$...

    In This Issue..

    * US GDP falls more than expected...
    * FOMC holds course...
    * Canadian dollar has a great week...
    * Oil helps commodity currencies...

    Good day... Yesterday was a big day in St. Louis as President Obama came to visit on his 100th day in office. I can't believe it has been 100 days since the inauguration. Time sure does fly! I'm sure Obama and the rest of his administration would like the calendar to move even faster as this recession will likely last through the end of 2009. While the government has thrown trillions of dollars at the markets in an attempt to turn them around, the key ingredient for recessionary cycles to reverse is time. There is now 'quick fix' for the problems we are in, and the policies the administration has begun will take time to have an impact on our shrinking economy. Obama said as much in his nationally televised press conference last night....
  • Nothing comes out of the G20 meeting...

    * G20 largely a non-event... * Pound moves up... * Brazil falls on sell off of emerging markets... * Japan enters recession... ** Nothing comes out of the G20 meeting... Good day...and welcome back to another work week. I driving into work this morning and started thinking about the growing number of people who no longer have jobs to report to. And the problems are no longer just concentrated on the manufacturing sector. I was shocked at the long list of retail stores which are planning to shut down after the holiday season. The situation in the US economy continues to deteriorate, and unfortunately things are going to get much worse here in the US before they turn around. On that cheery note, I'll get started....
  • FOMC Meeting Begins Today...

    * Mini-currency rally is cut short * Is it Japan or U.S.? * Gold stages a rally... * Swiss francs remain well bid... ** FOMC Meeting Begins Today... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... We saw some profit taking in the currencies yesterday, which meant a mini-rally in non-dollar currencies for the first time in what seems to be a month of Sundays! At one point in the day, the euro had added more than 1-cent to its figure dragging sterling, Swiss, Canada and a host of others along. But, that didn't last in the overnight markets, and we're right smack dab back on square one where we left off yesterday. This morning we'll listen in on former Fed Chairman Volcker's speech, which ought to be a good one, don't you think? I mean, this is the guy that said a couple of years ago that the U.S. could see a currency crisis... And didn't it? OK, it's not now, but turn your clocks back to June, and you'll see what I'm talking about here. Volcker is a "hero" of mine in how he took on the inflation of the late 70's early 80's and didn't dance around the dance floor with it... He whipped it into shape, and then left it all in good shape for Big Al Greenspan... We all know what happened after that!...
  • Iceland Melts Down...

    * RBA cuts rates 100 BPS! * Iceland to peg the krona... * High Yielders get whacked! * Gold rallies in the face of a strong dollar! ** Iceland Melts Down... Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well... Folks... The wheels, what was left of them, are really coming off this economy. It's a sad sight to see, but it's happening nonetheless, and there's no bailout, stimulus check, mortgage bill, truck loads of money supply, or whatever, that's going to stop this recession bus.. Memo to Paulson and Bernanke... Don't throw yourself under this recession bus... Well... The dollar continued to push the envelope against a handful of currencies yesterday. Up front and center, the high yielders got beaten about the head and shoulders by the dollar. Aussie, kiwi, real, rand, all took major hits from the dollar. It was one of the worst days I can remember seeing for these currencies. This huge sell off showed two things going against the high yielders... 1. Commodities (other than Gold) are getting whacked, and 2. The Carry Trade is Dead......
  • ECB to change dollar's direction?...

    * ECB to change dollar's direction?... * BOE leaves rates unchanged... * The worst is not over in US housing... * Japan's government signals expansion is over.. ** ECB to change dollar's direction?... Good day...The dollar continued its assault on the world's currencies yesterday as the dollar index moved above the 74 handle. I pulled a chart off the Bloomberg on my way out the door last night, and it showed the only major currency which was up vs. the US$ yesterday was the Swedish krona, which managed a .07% increase. This dollar rally has legs, but I still question the fundamentals behind the dollars surge. Today may be the day we see the dollar finally make a turn, as the ECB will be announcing their rate decision. It is not that I expect Trichet to raise rates, but I do expect him to sound hawkish and refocus the markets attention on Eurozone inflation and away from worries about growth. Two reports out of Germany this morning will bolster Trichet's hawkish stance. German exports rose more than economists expected in June, defying a stronger euro and pushing the trade surplus to a record. Exports increased 4.2% from may, the most since September 2006. German industrial production also increased for the first time in four months with output rising 1.7% from a year earlier. The IMF last month rose its forecast for German economic growth this year and said the global slowdown linked to the US financial crisis was less severe than it expected....
  • FOMC Finally Comes Clean (sort of)

    * FOMC finally comes clean... * Pound Sterling to drop with falling consumer confidence... * Bank of Japan holds rates... * AUD$ and NZD$ economies prove resilient......