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  • Roll call on the desk...

    In This Issue..

    * Roll call on the desk...
    * Markets believe US rates will move higher...
    * Loonie books a gain...
    * AUD$ backs off...

    Good day... The Pfennig inbox was filled with nice notes regarding the Christmas card we sent out yesterday. I want to thank Nicki Storm for taking the picture and creating the card and TJ Wolf for helping to get it sent out. Several of you asked for names to go with the faces, so I will list the names as we appear on the card. The great looking ladies from left to right are Jennifer McLean, Christine Peplow, and Kristin Kuchem. The men from left to right are as follows: Mike Meyer, Ty Keough, Aaron Stevenson, Tim Smith, Chuck Butler, Chris Gaffney, Don Ries, & John Kretchmar. Now you will be able to have a face to put with the voice on the other end of the line when calling the trading desk....
  • Carry Trade reversals rally dollar / yen

    In This Issue..

    * Carry trade reversal boosts the dollar/yen...
    * STL Fed Head Bullard sends mixed signals...
    * Audit of Fed in jeopardy...
    * Kiwi and AUD fall...

    Good day... And a Thunderin Thursday to you! Yes, the rain continues today, but I hear it is supposed to stop this afternoon. Fear of risk rained on the currency investors' parade as an equity market sell-off fueled a US dollar and Japanese yen rally. At times it looks as if we will break this pattern of markets up dollar down/ markets down dollar up, but it seems investors continue to return to the US$ and Japanese yen as soon as they become worried about equity market returns....
  • 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....
  • 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....
  • Fed brings rates down to near zero...

    * The Fed fires its last bullet... * Euro breaks back above $1.40... * AUD and NZD rally... * Happy Birthday Jen... ** Fed brings rates down to near zero... Good day... The 'noise' from the street which I wrote about yesterday turned out to be correct, as the FOMC cut 75 basis points to put the Fed Funds target at .25%. The US now has the lowest interest rates in the industrialized world, even below those in Japan. The dollar lost ground quickly after the announcement and continued to fall overnight to a 13 year low vs the yen and the weakest vs. the Euro in 4 months. With both Chuck and Frank out of the office, I fielded the calls from reporters after the FOMC cut, and the most popular question asked was what the near zero interest rates would mean for the man on the street. Well it was great news for those on Wall Street, but I told the reporters that the rate cut really wouldn't have much of an impact on US consumers. After all, interest rates at 1% weren't stimulating the banks to start lending so why would .25% rates cause any change?...
  • Santa rally for the currencies...

    * A Santa Rally for the currencies?... * Waiting for the FOMC... * AUD and NZD rally... * China to try and keep growth above 8%... ** Santa rally for the currencies... Good day...It was actually a Great day for the currencies yesterday as the dollar index dropped another full point. The Euro moved past $1.35 and then blew through $1.36 to end the day over $1.37. And the Euro wasn't even the best performer, as the New Zealand dollar rallied over 2.1% vs. the US$ to take the title of best performing currency against the greenback. The South African rand was the only currency turning in a negative performance yesterday with the other commodity driven currencies of Norway and Brazil just barely holding their ground vs. the US$....
  • Waiting on the FOMC meeting...

    * FOMC to cut further... * Bernanke turns his back on inflation... * Kiwi and Australia rally... * Gold continues to shine... ** Waiting on the FOMC meeting... Good day...and welcome to another week, hopefully the currency markets can continue their assault on the dollar which began a few weeks ago. The dollar index peaked back on November 21, and with the exception of a few days around the beginning of December, the greenback has consistently fallen vs. most of the major currencies. Friday was no exception, and the dollar continued to give back gains over the weekend with the Euro climbing back over $1.35 for the first time in two months....
  • A New Trading Theme...

    * Coordinated rate cuts...* Did the Fed reignite soaring inflation?* More pain in Iceland...* Revisiting the 90's in Japan... ** A New Trading Theme... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... How about those wily veteran Central Bankers? They all got together and decided to cut rates... The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) went first with their 100 BPS cut, and opened the rate cut sea for the rest of the Central Banks around the world. The European Central Bank, The Riksbank (Sweden), Swiss National Bank, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, and the Bank of China all lined up at the rate cut table... The Bank of Japan, The Norges Bank (Norway), and Reserve Bank of New Zealand did not participate. The Bank of Japan doesn't have any rate to cut, The Norges Bank will wait until their regularly scheduled meeting on 10/15, and the RBNZ believes that they have taken their toxic waste bond flu shot......
  • "Somewhat Receded"?

    * Fed leaves rates unchanged... * A dovish tone to the Fed... * Dollar Bulls run for the hills! * Norway raises rates... ** "Somewhat Receded"? Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Well... If you are a non-dollar owner, you might want to quickly go to the currency round-up to check on your currency / currencies... The Fed left rates unchanged and were quite dovish in their statement, and the dollar has been sent to the woodshed... Welcome back! Front and Center this morning, we have a currency rally going on, with the euro leading the dogs off the porch to chase the dollar down the street. The single unit has pushed past the 1.57 handle this morning, and the high yielders of Aussie, kiwi, and Brazil are all dancing in the streets because their positive rate differentials are even more in the face of traders now....