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  • EU reaches an agreement (again)...

    In This Issue...

    * Jobs data is massaged...
    * EU reaches an agreement (again)...
    * Ben warns Congress we are in a 'dark place'...
    * Report shows strong growth in New Zealand...

    Good day, and happy Friday to everyone. The end of another week minus Chuck who will be back in the saddle in a few more days. Chuck is working down in Florida today, giving a presentation at an investment conference. The dollar went on another amusement ride over the past 24 hours, appreciating during the US trading day and then falling back down overnight. It has settled in right about where it was this time yesterday morning with a few exceptions....
  • 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....
  • Misguided risk aversion...

    * Bad data pushes investors into US treasuries... * Barclay's says the euro will rally... * SNB surprises with a rate cut... * Iceland gets their bailout... ** Misguided risk aversion... Good day...The dollar rallied a bit yesterday on some very poor economic data which illustrated just how bad things are getting here in the US. As Chuck has repeatedly told everyone, in the current trade pattern the dollar rallies whenever we get negative data for the US economy. Investors get spooked by this negative data, and run scared into the 'safety' of US treasuries. Ty sent me a quote from respected newsletter owner/author Bill Bonner yesterday: "Misguided risk aversion, anyone? A few months ago, investors stretched for yields. Now, it's safety they reach for...and grab U.S. Treasury debt with both hands. Investors now seem to have an unqualified trust in the full faith and credit of the world's largest debtor. Yields on 91-day T-bills have fallen to 0.11% - scarcely a tenth of one percent!"...
  • U.S. Payrolls Plunge!

    * Job losses begin to accelerate... * Currencies inch higher... * News of the weird... * China announces a stimulus plan! ** U.S. Payrolls Plunge! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! The weekend was great, as I got to spend it with my kids at the Missouri Tigers football game on Saturday. It was a cold one, but a great game, and fun time all day and night. Well... We might as well get right into this... I'm sure you heard that the Jobs Jamboree was awful on Friday. UGH! Jobs are dropping like the temperatures outside, and there doesn't seem to be anything to stop them from dropping either! For the record... October's jobs losses were worse than expected (-200K) and came in at -240K... OUCH! But the real kicker, something the mass media might not have covered, was found in the September revision... Recall that September's Jobs data showed a negative -159K... Well, that number was revised to -284K! Double OUCH!...
  • RBNZ Cuts Rates...

    * The dollar swings it mighty hammer! * Weekly Jobless Claims spike! * Exposing the debt in N.Z.... * The Fed's Beige Book is grim... ** RBNZ Cuts Rates... Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It's not so Thunderin' for me this morning, as I must have eaten something that didn't agree with me last night... Therefore I was up most the night sick... This will be ever so short-n-sweet, and then I'm going back to bed, I've got a presentation this afternoon with Addison Wiggin, I've got to be in tip-top shape for that! The dollar swung its mighty hammer again yesterday, bringing the euro to the 1.56 handle, with all the other usual suspects falling in line behind the euro. The markets are ga-ga with news that leads them to believe the "worst is over" in the credit crunch... I beg to differ on that, but then, I'm just one guy, one voice, one letter......