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  • 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!...
  • Central Banks Diversify...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies soften VS the dollar...
    * Another look at Canadian job data...
    * China has Super month of exports!
    * Yen gets rocked by Upper House election...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Congratulations to Spain... The fiesta is on in Spain, as their football (soccer to us) team won the World Cup yesterday. Personally, I think Holland, got the bad end of the stick on two calls that would have turned that game their way. But, it was not to be, and Spain hoisted the cup!

    OK... Well, thanks to Chris for taking over the Pfennig on Friday. I was busy with other things for the day. I sent a note to Chris Friday morning about the Canadian Job report, and he replied that he had already written about it! WOW! Quick on the draw! He beat me to the punch... But, the report was so good it's worth talking about some more! Canadian employment skyrocketed again in June rising by 93,200, almost four times the amount expected by forecasters (+20,000). Add this to the 133,000 jobs created in April/May And you've got the ingredients for a strong quarter of job creation! The unemployment rate fell back to 7.9%, lower than forecasts for an 8.1% print.

    ...
  • Jobs Disappoint Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Euro falls below 1.20...
    * Did we have negative "real" job creation?
    * Canada's labor market is strong...
    * G-20 yields nothing...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It was a wonderful jam-packed weekend for yours truly, and when the alarm went off this morning, I had a greater appreciation for 3-day weekends!

    Well... Friday, when I was signing off, I said that suddenly the currencies were getting sold... At that time, it looked as if it might be short-lived... But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! This was an all-out assault on risk, folks... At when the dust settled in the early afternoon, the euro had fallen below 1.20, for the first time since 2005, and everything other currency was getting whacked too... For the first time all week though, Gold rallied......
  • 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...

    ...
  • Now It's Spain...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro drops 2-cents overnight...
    * All Risk is taken off the table today...
    * Geopolitical problems steady Gold...
    * The Budget Cuts just keep coming!

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Well, it was almost a "perfect ride" to work this morning, as I hit all the green lights until the very end! UGH! See, it doesn't take much to make me happy!

    The euro's green light ended last night too, as 'Now It's Spain' (NIS)... As I was packing up to go home yesterday afternoon, the euro had moved beyond 1.24, and I said, 'I wonder what's got the euro so perky this afternoon'... Well, that 'perky' feeling the euro had at that time was wiped out and more by fears that Spain's problems are now going to take center stage... Greece is an afterthought at this point, now it's Spain......
  • Brazil To Benefit From New Carry Trade?

    In This Issue..

    * The dollar fights back...
    * Government deficit spending deep sixes us...
    * Brazilian rate hikes on the table...
    * Round Two of the PPT thoughts...

    Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! Well... It's not really Thunderin' outside, but it is snowing, with about 3-4 inches on the ground already, and the snow coming down so thick that seeing is difficult. I made it here, but then I drive a car that was made to go in stuff like this! Pretty soon, my phone will begin to ring, with colleagues calling to ask me how the roads were...

    Well... We had more probing higher in the non-dollar currencies only to see the gains wipe away at the end of the day yesterday. Still, as I told a radio audience in Oregon yesterday, traders, investors, etc. still believe the euro is worth more than the dollar by quite a bit... Gold also gave back some gains overnight......
  • G-20 Heats Up...

    In This Issue..

    * Dollar's rally is cut short...
    * Major problems for loans still exist...
    * Yen rallies on exporter repatriation...
    * Kiwi gets whacked!

    Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It's still raining here in St. Louis this morning, but I won't that get me down, as it is a Friday! G-20 has gotten a bit ugly, folks... Seems everyone just can't seem to get along! Imagine that! 20 different countries, and now they want to be able to watch another country's finances and comment on them! Oh, I can see that working out real well! NOT!

    So... Yesterday, we had the dollar gaining back the ground that it had lost the previous day, but at the end of the day, we're looking very much like the currencies hadn't moved from morning to morning... And overnight, didn't bring about much movement... So... When you get to the currency round-up below, you'll see the dollar's gains were small, and short-lived....
  • 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....
  • German Investor Confidence Is On The Rise...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies stop the dollar's run...
    * BRIC meeting could get ugly for the dollar...
    * RBA meeting notes good for Aussie dollars...
    * Depressing data / forecasts for housing...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Thundering storms moved through here this morning, as I was preparing to leave home and drive to the office. As slow as I am with getting around these days, I got pretty wet from my car to the office building. But, I didn't melt, as most would have thought! HA! And, I'll dry out soon enough... Well before anyone else comes in!

    OK... Well... When I left you yesterday, the dollar was on a rampage, from the comments by the Russian Finance Minister, Kudrin... Was it an overreaction, I asked? A resounding YES was my answer... I think the proof is in the pudding on that this morning, as the dollar buying has hit a roadblock, and reversed overnight, with the euro gaining back about 1%......
  • 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....
  • A Day Of Healing...

    * Currencies have a mini-rally... * Only to see profit taking overnight... * Gold rebounds too! * Retail Sales on board today... ** A Day Of Healing... Good day... And a Thunderin' Thursday to you! It was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday yesterday for the currencies and Gold, after seeing them back off earlier this week! I'm in Jacksonville for a company event, and then on Friday morning, I head south to start my spring vacation! But first, some work to do here, and then on to the south! It was 29 degrees when I got in the car to leave for the airport yesterday morning... And it was 77 degrees when I finally arrived in Jacksonville! YAHOO! But even as loud as I can say YAHOO for the warm weather, which I've said over and over again, I've got to go where it's warm, it wasn't as loud as a the YAHOO yelped by currency owners as the euro led the currencies higher and higher all day long!...
  • 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....
  • Shrove Tuesday!

    * No follow through on the Eurozone bond idea... * Mirror, mirror on the wall... * AIG to set record for losses... * Finding another Pfennig Reader! ** Shrove Tuesday! Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! A Shrove Tuesday to boot! Shrove Tuesday you say with a tone of thinking that I have made up another word for a day? Yes... Shrove Tuesday! For Catholics in some regions of the world (Ireland originally), the day before Ash Wednesday is Shrove Tuesday... Or here in the U.S. it's Pancake Day! You see, long ago, pancakes would be served up on this day as a popular way to use up fat, butter and eggs before Lent got underway. So... Happy Shrove Tuesday!...
  • 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.......
  • A Jobs Disaster!

    * Retail Jobs are cut in December! * Dollar rallies on renewed Trading Theme... * Looking for the Obama bounce... * High yielders get sold... ** A Jobs Disaster! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A grand weekend for yours truly with time spent resting, watching football, Alex play basketball, dinner with friends, and finally a wonderful dinner with my kids as we celebrated my oldest son, Andrew's, birthday. Whew! I'm at work about an hour earlier than usual this morning, as I couldn't sleep, and just decided to get up and come in... UGH! OK... Well, the big news this morning, is that the Jobs Jamboree was just awful, but "not as bad as some forecast" and therefore the dollar rallied. OK, I'm shaking my head in disgust too, but that's what the headlines reported later in the day on Friday, as the reason for the dollar rally. But let's get to the meat of the Jobs report... First of all, jobs lost in December were -525K, which was bang on the forecasts. But here's the two things I found to be very scary in the report... First of all, November's awful print of -533K was revised downward to -584K (recall, I questioned a month ago if it would reach -600K on the revision)... And here's the really scary number... -67K Retail jobs were cut in December... That's right, December! The month when retailers are supposed to be on fire!...