Browse by Tags

Daily Pfennig

Blog Subscription Form

  • Email Notifications
    Go

Archives

  • Roller coaster ride for the dollar...

    In This Issue..
    * Bernanke sees rates remaining low...
    * Greece continues to weigh on the euro...
    * Yen climbs vs euro...
    * India's economy expands...

    Good day... We finally got a bit of the volatility we've been looking for yesterday, as the markets moved dramatically as the Fed Chief testified before congress. But overnight the Asians had a different opinion and moved the dollar back up. So the currency markets were pretty much like a roller coaster ride, moving dramatically up and down but ending up pretty much right back where we started. I'll begin where we left off yesterday, the Fed Chairman's testimony to the House Financial Services committee.

    As we expected, the Fed Chairman told the committee members that Fed will keep interest rates near record low levels for several more months as the 'nascent' recovery remains fragile. The dollar immediately sold off as currency traders who had bet on an early jump in US interest rates reversed their dollar long positions. But in taking a page right out of Greenspan's book, Bernanke tried his best to play to both sides of the House, saying that 'Private final demand does seem to be growing at a moderate pace....' and telling the congressmen that the Fed will need to start tightening policy 'at some point'....
  • May Day empties the trade desks...

    In This Issue..

    * May Day empties trade desks...
    * Chrysler declares bankruptcy...
    * SEC to investigate Paulson and Bernanke??
    * China continues to grow...

    Good day...and Happy May Day to everyone. Most associate May Day with the Soviet Union, where the communists turned it into a 'celebration of the worker'. But its origins are actually in central Europe where it developed from a combination of several pagan holidays celebrating the end of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It never really took flight in the US, but is still a popular holiday in most other parts of the globe. With the way our government has been using tax payer funds to take over struggling companies, May Day could become a larger holiday here in the US also! Most of the trade desks throughout Europe are closed today, and many of the traders left early yesterday, so the currency and metals markets were pretty quiet....
  • Another day for the currencies...

    * Disappointing data...
    * Euro held ground...
    * Down under...

    Another day for the currencies...

    Good day...And a Terrific Tuesday to you. Another Monday morning has come and gone but not before confirming the US economy is still heading down the wrong side of the slippery slope. The uneventful trading day from Friday certainly didn't carry over as we saw a sizeable run up in currencies along with equities during the morning session. As the day progressed, the equity markets shed their gains but most of the currencies remained resilient and held on. I guess I'll stop beating around the bush and get right to it...

    It seems that Bernanke's calming approach during his interview with 60 Minutes gave investors the feeling that we are not as bad off saying the risk of a depression has been averted. He went on to say if the government succeeds in calming financial markets, the recession will probably end this year and the economy will expand in 2010....
  • 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?...
  • The Junk Yard Dog Bites!

    * The dollar rallies big time! * A dollar conspiracy? * Bailing out the automakers? * Weathering the storm in N.Z.? ** The Junk Yard Dog Bites! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well, the Junk Yard Dog got a hold of the euro yesterday, and even though the U.S. Banks, thus the majority of currency desks, were observing Veteran's Day, the move down in currencies VS the dollar, led by the euro, was drastic! The Junk Yard Dog I'm talking about is Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Euro group... I stopped the euro in its tracks from its nascent rise in the past month, by saying the "euro's recent rise was undesirable"... He also deep sixed the euro, and thus all the currencies save yen, by saying he "didn't see any reason there couldn't be more rate cuts by the ECB"... (the ECB is of course the European Central Bank) Well... These two comments tore through any gains the currencies had mounted VS the dollar in recent weeks, like a Junk Yard Dog tears though some raw meat! It was a knife to the euro's heart......
  • Rescue plan not an instant fix...

    * Rescue plan to take time... * Pound sterling rallies (for now)... * Brazil supports the real... * Iceland cuts rates... ** Rescue plan not an instant fix... Good day...Another roller coaster of a day, as the dollar continued to slide through lunch but then rallied back up in the afternoon. As I walked out the door last night, most of the major currencies were trading right about where they were when I turned the screens on. The dollar has started to fall again in overnight trading, so the up and down of the past few weeks looks to continue. The news stories coming across the wires this morning seem to be as volatile as the currencies. I have now counted three different stories which state the markets are moving back into higher yielding currencies and riskier investments after the coordinated bank bailout plan which was announced yesterday. But several other stories are talking about how investors are moving out of the higher yielding assets because of concern that the bank rescue will take too much time to unfreeze global credit markets. I tend to agree with the latter of these....
  • Coordinated Rate Cuts!

    * Yen trades to 98! * Carry Trades unwinding hurt high yielders... * Gold rallies back to $900! * Central Bank rate cuts.... ** Coordinated Rate Cuts! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Well... There's a ton of stuff to talk about today, one of which is the amazing run that Japanese yen has had in the past month, but particularly the last week! No need to sneak a peak at the currency round-up, Japanese yen is trading 98.80! WOW! I could be acting like a contortionist and trying to slap myself on the back, but that would unprofessional... And besides, the rest of the currencies are taking shots to the mid-section. Anyway... Blow the horn, the Carry Trade (for yen) is dead, may it rest in peace! OK... The currencies tried like all get out yesterday to rally VS the dollar, the euro did end the day 1% higher on the day, which after the bloodshed of the past month, I'll take that any old time! I would love to go back to 2005 (not really, but for this conversation's sake I will) and pull out some old Pfennigs where I talked about all the naysayers talking about a break up of the euro... We had the NO votes from France and Denmark on accepting the European Union's (EU) Constitution, we had riots in the streets of France, we had rising interest rates in the U.S. and dozens and dozens of naysayers called out the euro and said it would collapse under the weight. I said then, and I'll say now... HOGWASH!...
  • 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......
  • Financial storms claim two more...

    * Financial storms claim two more victims... * Yen and Swiss Francs move back up... * Euro approaches 1.45 before reversing course... * Oil below $100... ** Financial storms claim two more... Good day... The financial storm claimed another victim this weekend as Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy after being unable to find a buyer. Bank of America, who was rumored to be bidding on Lehman ended up buying Merrill Lynch & Co and AIG Inc. is asking the fed for an emergency loan. All of this financial turmoil has sent the dollar lower vs. most of the major currencies as investors are beginning to realize the situation in the US markets is worse than the rest of the world. Over the past three months, currency traders have rallied the dollar on the basis that the US was in better shape than Europe. They will now need to rethink their strategies, as the past few weekends show just how bad the US financial sector is ailing. And unfortunately, their will likely be more to come. Risk aversion is a popular theme in the markets again, and the purchase of US treasuries actually helped to keep the US$ from falling further....
  • Oil Price Slides!

    * Big Ben in a predicament! * The euro retreats after new high... * Retail Sales disappoint! * Yen and francs on the menus again! ** Oil Price Slides! Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! 3 straight days without rain here in St. Louis! WOW! It did however, rain on the currencies' parade yesterday. About mid-morning, the brakes were applied to the run on the dollar, and the car was put into reverse. Retail Sales disappointed, and PPI is not anything to laugh about... All that and more, as we head into the day after a 15-inning All-Star Game! Front and Center though is the good cop, bad cop thing that played out with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (bad cop) and SEC Chairman Cox (good cop)... Big Ben sent the dollar packing in the morning with his statement that highlighted the Fed's predicament... Big Ben noted the parts of financial markets remained seriously disrupted (which screams, no rate hike), but that dollar weakness had helped cause inflation to rise (Here he goes again trying to blame everyone else for the Fed's creation and feeding of inflation... Oh well, this statement screams, no rate cut!). The currencies all took turns taking a swing at the piñata (dollar)... And... It looked like the volcano was about to blow... Oh, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know where I'm a going to go when the volcano blows! (Ahhh, a little Jimmy Buffett on a Wonderful Wednesday!)...