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  • China Widens Trading Band.

    In This Issue.

    * China's weaker GDP hurts risk assets.

    * A$ to be underpinned.

    * Japan to get serious with deflation?

    * Retail Sales today.

    ...
  • Ben has spoken...

    In This Issue.

    * No curveballs from Ben

    * 1st quarter GDP today

    * S&P cuts Japan's outlook

    * Aussie inflation rises

    ...
  • Moodys Again...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies are mixed VS dollar...
    * Canadian credit & economy on the mend!
    * China to print a very strong GDP number?
    * Gold is back above $1,200....

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I'm writing from home this morning, because I go back to the Ocularist this morning to have more work done on my new 'eye'... I didn't sleep worth a darn last night, and I think I just had this visit on my mind.

    Well.. Speaking of something on one's mind.. Or, more like a case of too much too little too late, Moodys announced overnight that they were downgrading Portugal's debt rating, 2 levels to A1... I don't want to get started on these ratings agencies again, they have become as useless as a pay toilet in a diarrhea ward! Ok... That probably wasn't too good to start off today's letter with a saying like that, but... It's what my fat fingers typed, so it stays!...
  • Let's Talk Deficits...

    In This Issue..

    * A$, kiwi, and C$'s outperform...
    * Yen gets what is deserved!
    * Deficit to reach 100% of GDP?
    * Don't they work for us?

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It has been Thunderin' here most of the night, so it was quite fitting to call our Thursday, Thunderin'! It's been a week of pop-up Thunder Showers for us here in the Midwest... If summer plays out the way most summers play out, we'll be pining for rain come August!

    The Japanese have a new Prime Minister (Kan), and the currency markets don't like it! The once so-called 'safe haven' of yen, is getting sand kicked in its face, and rightly so, as the new PM has previously stated his goal of a weaker yen...

    ...
  • Japan Posts a 4.8% GDP!

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion goes away mad...
    * China just says 'no' to currency flexibility...
    * Maybe a return to fundamentals?
    * Gold continues to soar!

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It's raining here, so it's one of those Rainy Days and Mondays... But I won't let it get me down, as opposed to the song! I got a chance to check out our new digs in the building next door to us here... Very nice! And... A long way from that small office I sat in on Olive St. a decade ago, when we started EverBank... To think back 10 years ago, and where we are today... Simply amazing!

    OK... As I told you Friday, the President was in China this past weekend, trying his best to get the Chinese to agree to a greater flexibility for the renminbi... Well... There were a few stories this past weekend that hinted about the Chinese agreeing to do such... But I prefer to go with this story that appeared on Reuters last night... 'The Chinese government has sought to distance itself from speculation surrounding a central bank statement earlier this week that was interpreted as a shift in currency policy towards a stronger yuan. However, a report on Saturday by Xinhua, the state-controlled Chinese news agency said that the government would not allow the currency to gain against the dollar in the short term.'

    ...
  • Renminbi To Become An International Currency?

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies give back ground overnight...
    * Don't look too closely at U.S. data...
    * India posts strong GDP...
    * Lots O'-data this week!

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A Wonderful Weekend was enjoyed by your Pfennig writer, with good friends, and Chamber of Commerce weather, on a beautiful lake! It's back to work today though. I don't understand why I didn't plan on taking today and staying an additional day at that beautiful lake! Oh well... Time to go to work!

    When I signed off on Friday morning, the currencies were enjoying a very nice rally, which remained in place the rest of the day. The Consumer Income and Spending data was very much as I describe it would be, and so there was no surprise for the markets to deal with. You may recall, that I told you that Spending would be greater than Income, as the 'Cars for Clunkers' probably had something to do with the Spending be so much stronger than the Income piece......
  • Dollar continues it’s slide...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar continues to slide...
    * US GDP contracts but not as fast...
    * Nordic currencies outperform...
    * Japanese yen continues to fall...

    Good day... The last day of July is upon us. Time just seems to keep moving faster as it seems summer just got started. The fall of the dollar also accelerated yesterday as investors moved back out of the 'safe haven' of US$ and continued to shop for more yield. The greenback tried to stage a bit of a rally in early European trading, but has fallen back off again as I sit down to write the Pfennig.

    I got a call from a Reuters reporter yesterday mid morning to ask why the dollar was rallying at the same time stocks were moving higher. I quickly paged through my Bloomberg looking for some sign why both were heading higher. The trading pattern which has been established over the last few months has these two asset classes moving in opposite directions; good news for the US economy sends stocks higher and the dollar lower as investors retreat from defensive 'safe haven' positions in the US$. The opposite occurs whenever there is data which shows the global economic recovery is faltering, stocks move lower and the dollar rallies with safe haven buying....
  • A shrinking US economy puts pressure on the US$...

    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....
  • Riksbank Holds Off On QE...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies trade in a tight range...
    * German Investor Confidence rises!
    * Thoughts from Jim Rogers...
    * Kohn on the economy...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I'm staring at all this white space on the Pfennig template, and I absolutely drew a blank... I couldn't think of, or can't think of a thing to say! Whoa there partner! That can't happen! There's got to be something, anything, to talk about... OK! I'm back now, I really have no idea where that was going, it was an out of body experience! HAHAHAHA!

    OK... The currencies traded in a very tight range yesterday, after the dollar had ambushed them on Friday and in the Sunday night trading sessions. It's been a week since we saw currency strength, other than Japanese yen. So, we should be due for a bounce. There continues to be more whispering about the eventual dollar weakness, but for now, it's not enough to get us back to where the dollar should be trading on a fundamentals basis....
  • Awful Data!

    In This Issue..

    * Weber opens Pandora's Box...
    * A record low for Capacity Utilization!
    * Do I hear a Chicken?
    * China's economy grows 6.1%

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! The 'Day After' Tax Day... It still hurts! And to think, one of these days, I'll be paying even more, thanks to the direction of our country... And you will be too! There's no two ways about it, the Deficit in funding in Washington D.C. which will be a result of all the spending, is going to require greater revenue... Where does the Gov't get the revenue? From taxes... Of course if it wasn't a debtor nation, it would not have to pay out the large sums of interest on the Treasuries it issues... But, that... Is a discussion for another day.

    The currencies saw more dollar strength yesterday, but it wasn't a result of anything the dollar had going for it... In fact, the results of the data yesterday was all dollar negative... No, this time it came from the Eurozone. Right about the time I was hitting the send button yesterday, European Central Bank (ECB) minister, Axel Weber Opened Pandora's Box of questions regarding future direction of the ECB... Let's go to the tape!...
  • 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....
  • Housing stats show more rot on the housing vine....

    * US$ continues to be propped up... * SEK moves up vs. the US$... * Japanese yen falls.... * Gold prices come down ... ** Housing stats show more rot on the housing vine.... It has been a while since Chuck turned over the reigns of the Pfennig to me, so I'm a bit out of practice. But there was a lot of movement in the currency markets over the last 24 hours, giving me plenty of Pfennig fodder. I'll get right to it. The 'Safe Haven' status of the US$ continued to prop it up yesterday as bad housing data in the US scared investors. Sales of previously owned homes fell 5.3% in January, after rising slightly last month. And even worse for US homeowners, the median price of a home fell to $170,300, down nearly 26% from its peak in July 2006. These numbers reflect a worsening housing market which will weigh on the US economy through most of 2009. The inventory of unsold homes did fall, but still stands at 3.6 million. At the current rate of sales, it would take 9.6 months to exhaust the excess supply of homes. And this is assuming no more homes come into the market. The housing downturn will continue well into 2010, and will likely keep the US economy in the doldrums....
  • Euro Rally Fizzles Out...

    * Yen continues to kick! * Jim Rogers disses sterling... * China's 4th QTR GDP... * Singapore announces stimulus... ** Euro Rally Fizzles Out... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! A nasty day in the currencies yesterday, except Japan of course. The Dow jumped 290 points yesterday, maybe an Obama bounce? You all know that I subscribe to an Obama bounce for stocks and the dollar in the first part of this year... But given what I know about, and what you now know about, after I drew it all out yesterday, the additions to the deficit that Obama will make, the focus on the fundamentals should return by late spring, early summer... That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! Well... As I said in the opening, the currencies led by the Big Dog, euro, suffered through a nasty trading day, with the euro touching below 1.29 for a good part of the day. The risk takers are nowhere to be found. Where have all the risk takers gone... Long time passing... A Reuters reporter asked me yesterday if I was still of the opinion that the yen had more to rally or was it overbought? I said, that as long as the risk takers are nowhere to be found, yen should continue on its path higher VS the dollar, euro and sterling. The RSI (Relative Strength Index) for yen, shows that it is a tad overbought, but that's not enough to change my mind. Nor is it enough to change the mind of a currency trader at the Bank of New York (BONY), who believes yen may rise to 85 VS the dollar by midyear... Another currency trader at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) believes the Bank of Japan will step in and intervene to stem the yen's rise.......
  • Don't be fooled by the US GDP...

    * Don't be fooled by the US GDP... * Canada, Mexico, and Brazil rally... * Aussie dollar falls... * Japanese to keep rates unchanged... ** Don't be fooled by the US GDP... Good day...And welcome to the last day of July. The dollar held its ground through most of the trading day but started to sell off as the day wound down. The currency markets seem to be stuck in a summer doldrums, with few dramatic moves. With many of the head traders enjoying a summer break (ours included), currency desks are reluctant to take on large positions. And who can blame them as the recent global economic data has left investors wondering where to turn. As I have explained to several recent callers, the global economy is experiencing a slowdown as the high commodity prices and a slumping US economy has hurt growth. The economic releases have shown an overall slowdown in growth, and rising global inflation. But the overall slowdown will have differing effects on the currencies. Asia is slowing, but a slowdown from double digit growth in China and India is much different than a slowdown in the US where growth is around 2%. Also, the Asian countries have kept interest rates low to try and keep their currencies from appreciating too quickly. These countries are therefore in a much better position to combat inflation, and can allow currency appreciation to help combat rising prices....
  • Markets May be Saving it up for Today...

    * Consumption rose...* Inflation fell... * Swedish surplus... * Euro setting the tone......