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  • FOMC keeps rates low...

    In This Issue..

    * FOMC keeps rates low...
    * Carry trade is back on...
    * Senators try to legislate a higher renminbi...
    * An Irish toast...

    Top of the mornin to ye... Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of the Irish readers, and all of those who are Irish for the day! Both Chuck and I have pretty deep Irish roots, and St. Patrick's Day is always one of our favorites. Chuck will be spending the day enjoying baseball in the sunshine of Florida; and I will be heading to Florida myself later today. Speaking of which, I have to catch a plane in a couple of hours, so I better get going on today's Pfennig.

    ...
  • Loose Lips, Sink Ships...

    In This Issue..

    * Greek PM stops currency rally...
    * Will Fed stop mortgage buying program?
    * Aussie jobs report is strong!
    * The history of a Pfennig For Your Thoughts...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! The monsoons are coming to the Midwest... I believe I saw the weather report for this area showing rain today and the rest of the week... I should leave my car outside, to get a 'wash'! HA!

    Well... During World War II, there was a saying, that, 'loose lips, sink ships'... I think Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, should have taken those words to heart yesterday... You see, the currencies, led by the beleaguered euro, were rallying, and the single unit was nearing 1.37, when Papandreou made a statement that sunk the rally's ship... He said that 'Greece's debt problems could soon spread to the rest of Europe and mean a weaker euro'...
  • Exceptionally Low For An Extended Period...

    In This Issue..

    * Old Trading Theme rises up again...
    * Currencies sell off then rebound overnight...
    * U.S. New Homes Sales Decline...
    * It's somebody's birthday today!

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Yes, it's me... I thought it best to cancel my San Antonio trip, so Jen can get to Florida to be with her family. This is the second time that I've backed out of speaking engagement with this private group, I sure hope they don't think I'm avoiding them!

    Front and Center this morning... It's Chris Gaffney's Birthday! So... This will be the 'Chris Gaffney Birthday Edition of the Pfennig'! Chris is 10 years younger than me, so yesterday when he said 'I'm an old man now' I about fell out of my chair! He's not even 50! Oh well...

    For Chris' Birthday, I'm going to buy him lunch, and... Talk briefly about the State of the Union Address, only to the extent of how it affected the currencies, and the FOMC statement yesterday, and other things... Just for Chris' Birthday! HA!...
  • 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....
  • Thin trading brings tight ranges...

    In This Issue..

    * Thin trading brings tight ranges...
    * Searching for the exits...
    * Mixed data in Europe...
    * Yen and Real make strange bedfellows...

    Good day...We had a pretty quiet 24 hours in the currency markets, with the majors all trading in a very narrow band vs. the US$. We will probably have a few more of these days during the next two weeks, as currency desks are manned by the backups and trading thins out. Many of the institutional investors will be moving to cash in order to preserve gains for their year end statements, and individual investors will have the holidays to take them away from the markets. Occasionally we will get a rogue piece of economic data which shoves the market one way or the other, but we typically won't see any long term positions being put on during the last two weeks of the year....
  • Game off for risk trades...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar hits 3 month high...
    * Norges bank raises .25%...
    * Fed repeats call to keep rates low...
    * Inflation in India rises...

    Good day...And welcome to Thursday. Chuck started his Christmas vacation, so I have the honor of bringing you the daily missive for the next week or so. The dollar continued to gain strength throughout the day as investors waited on news from the FOMC. Overnight, Greece sustained another rate cut, this time by S&P, which caused investors to move back toward the 'safety' of the US$. The news caused the dollar to rally to a 3 month high vs. the Euro and post gains across the board. The currency markets are becoming a bit volatile again, and much of this volatility can be linked back to the return of a transaction which dominated currency markets over the past decade....
  • Abu Dhabi Provides $10 Billion Bailout...

    In This Issue..

    * A Huge Friday Sell off!
    * U.S. Retail Sales are strong...
    * Testing the risk waters again...
    * Norges Bank & Riksbank meet this week...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Friday turned out to be Fantastico, as I had hope for, and the weekend was for resting, as I was on my feed too much Friday night. It was NOT a Fantastico Friday for the non-dollar currencies, though... I'll get to that in a minute... First though, I want to crow a bit on the Dubai debt problems...

    It was announced this morning that Dubai's government received $10 Billion in financing from Abu Dhabi... Hmmm... You know, I read somewhere a couple of weeks ago, when this debt /loan repayment problem was announced, that in the end, the Abu Dhabi government would step in to bail out Dubai, for the people running the two governments are blood related, and even though there had been shots fired between the two, blood would run thick here... And voila that's exactly what happened!...
  • Green Light, Green Light!

    In This Issue..

    * FOMC minutes make it a Risk On Day!
    * Gold hits $1,180!
    * Germany's ZEW is bang on with their forecast!
    * Russia to buy loonies?

    It's a Risk On Day, full on, no 'kind of' today! Or at least that's how it looks as I begin to write this morning... The Big Dog, euro, is back over 1.50 this morning, and Gold is trading at $1,177! What brought about this full on Risk On day?

    Well... It was the Fed's FOMC meeting minutes... And, when I read what the Fed Heads had to say, I had one song in my mind... Hey! You! Get off of my cloud! Because that's where their collective heads are with these minutes, folks... The Fed Heads viewed the U.S. economy on firmer footing and expects the growth to continue in the 4th QTR... Yeah, right, and I've got some swamp land I'd like to sell you! Snake Oil salesmen these guys!

    Any way... The Fed Heads also said that the dollar's depreciation had been 'orderly'... With no mention of doing anything to stop the depreciation! Green light, Green light, Green light... How many of these Green lights do traders and you need to realize that the Fed isn't going to stop the dollar's decline? And How about the Treasury? Oh! That's right, they're too busy shoving negative yields down people's throats! OK, I'm getting all ticked off, and I really don't feel like doing that today, so I'm going to talk about something else, fast!...
  • 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....
  • 3rd QTR GDP To Lift Our Spirits?

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rebound a bit VS the dollar..
    * Bill Gross on the dollar...
    * Norway raises rates!
    * RBNZ lifts easing bias!

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you once again! It's not raining at the moment, but rain is forecast for today, thus the Thunderin' Thursday name! Rain today, tomorrow and who knows when it will stop... I'm thinking of buying the blueprints to build an Ark!

    Front and Center this morning, we have the non-dollar currencies showing some healing as stock futures are positive. What's driving this new found positive feeling in the risk assets? Well, it's all about the first reading of 3rd QTR GDP today, which... Is expected to show that the U.S. economy came out of the recession in the quarter. Of course, I'll be looking for the Gov't spending portion of the GDP, but other media outlets won't, and the markets will get back to looking for higher yields, which you can not get in the U.S.!

    ...
  • Central Banks Diversify Out Of The Dollar!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally VS the dollar...
    * Reasons why the U.S. wants a cheaper dollar...
    * Interest rate differentials...
    * Trade Deficit narrows...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! An absolutely awful weekend for our professional sports teams, as the Cardinals, Blues, and Rams all lost! The Cardinals were swept out of the playoffs! UGH! Talk about a downer for yours truly... I sat there, at the game, with my little buddy, and beautiful bride, and saw the writing on the wall early in the game... No life from those redbirds... And so, another baseball season comes to an end here in St. Louis...

    Friday morning, after drying out from Thursday nights drenching, no wait, super soaking at Faurot Field in Columbia, I sat down to breakfast, and read the Pfennig... I noticed that Chris was on a roll about Geithner... I thought that it was a good finish to the things I said about him the previous day! Chris will have the conn on the Pfennig Tuesday through Friday this week......
  • ECB & BOE leave rates unchanged...

    In This Issue..

    * ECB & BOE leave rates unchanged...
    * Trichet makes a mistake in judgment...
    * Asian central banks defend the $..
    * Gold pauses...

    Good day...Had a horrible night here in St. Louis, as every one of our teams let victory slip away. As you all know, Chuck drove to Columbia to watch his MIZZOU Tigers take on one of their arch rivals in a rare Thursday night matchup. The game went well into the night, as it was delayed due to problems with the lights at the stadium, so Chuck probably didn't get home until early this morning. I'll have the con on the Pfennig today, but Chuck will be back in the saddle again on Monday.

    As predicted, both European central banks kept interest rates unchanged. The European Central Bank and the Bank of England kept their benchmark interest rates at record lows in an effort to keep stimulating their economies. Trichet signaled that the ECB has no plans to raise rates in the near future, stating that the current level is 'appropriate' for the current economic environment. 'The recovery is expected to be rather uneven,' Trichet said. 'It will be supported in the short term by temporary factors but will be hampered in the medium term by balance sheet issues at financial and non-financial institutions.'...
  • Gold Soars To An All-Time High!

    In This Issue..

    * It was all about Gold yesterday!
    * Commodity Currencies take the lead today...
    * The story behind the euro's non-move...
    * Budget data prints today...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! What a day for Gold yesterday! WOW! In case you were trapped in a cave and didn't hear the news... Gold, which I said yesterday morning looked like it was going to take out its all-time high, did take out its all-time high, and not just take it out! Gold pushed past the all-time high of $1,033.90, and didn't stop until it was trading $1,047 and change! WOW! No check that... Double WOW!

    The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) rate hike the previous night, opened the door to this run by Gold, as the Gold Bugs all came out and bought the preferred investment to counter soaring inflation... You see, if the RBA is raising rates, when most every other Central Bank is stuck in the mud with near zero rates, the RBA must see something, eh?...
  • RBA Raises Rates!

    In This Issue..

    * Pandora's Box of rate hikes is opened!
    * Is the dollar being removed from oil trades?
    * Deficits do matter, eh?
    * Gold heads toward its all-time high...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A Tuesday morning that is seeing a HUGE currency rally VS the dollar on the news that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) opted to go ahead and hike rates now, and not wait for November's meeting, as I had thought they would do! WOW!

    The first hike... It has opened Pandora's Box of interest rate hikes around the world... For, if the RBA went this soon, then we can expect Norway's Norges Bank to push their rate hike earlier on the calendar, maybe even later this month! And they won't be the only ones! Look for New Zealand to hike rates this year, and who knows what other country (Brazil?) will follow after that... But I see them coming, and they're marching the death march of the dollar!...
  • A Currency Rally Takes Shape...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally overnight...
    * A$'s rally for 7th consecutive month!
    * Will the ECB be vindicated?
    * Sweden tries negative deposit rates...

    Good day... And a happy Friday to one and all! So, yesterday didn't turn out the way I thought it would go, but that's OK... I think my body is trying to tell me something, as I overslept again this morning! I'm heading out the door this morning to go 'fishing'... Should be a ton of fun, with neighbor friends this weekend...

    Well, front and center this morning, we are smack dab in the middle of a currency rally VS the dollar. It has all the makings of such, as the Japanese yen is getting sold, along with the green/peachback. The improved economic data this week, finally caught up with the dollar, as risk assets are back on the table....