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  • US housing starts suffer…

    In This Issue..

    * Housing starts suffer...
    * Stressful times in Europe...
    * Aussie dollar moves higher...
    * Canada to raise rates...

    The news which drove the markets yesterday was no big surprise for the desk. Homebuilder confidence here in the US dropped to the lowest level since April 2009 as the homebuyer credits expired. Today we will get additional data on the housing market which is expected to show US housing starts continue to fall while foreclosures climb. While prices steadied over the past couple of months there is still a backlog of homes facing foreclosure which will equate to a very slow recovery for the housing markets. And in the US, as the housing goes so does the economy; so the data is not a good sign for our nascent recovery....
  • Aussie Job Creation Soars Again!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally on Wednesday...
    * And hold on to gains overnight!
    * Loonies outperform on the day...
    * More 'an inconvenient debt'...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It sure has been a Tub Thumpin' Thursday so far, as the Asian and European markets are hopping, and in Australia, the jobs just keep coming! All that and more on this Tub Thumpin' Thursday, that, as our little Christine would tell me is 'my Friday'!

    OK... Front and Center this morning, yesterday I told you, well, let's just go to the archives and see what I told you word for word... Pfennig 7/7/10: 'Today, we'll see the latest labor report from Australia. In recent months, the jobs data has consistently surprised to the upside each month, so it's not like going out on a limb to say that I expect the job creation to be better than the +15,000 that's forecast.'...
  • Gold Falls Below $1,200...

    In This Issue..

    * A Risk Off day...
    * Currencies rally on Tuesday...
    * Chinese bank has strong IPO...
    * Kicking the can down the street...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! It was a Terrific Tuesday for the currencies VS the dollar, it was not a Terrific Tuesday for Gold, and the Cardinals!

    Front and Center this morning, Gold is retreating again today and has fallen well below $1,200... Here's the skinny... Yesterday, it was announced that China's Agricultural Bank of China reported a very successful public offering, raising more than $22 Billion. Now, what does this have to do with a Gold sell off I hear you saying? Ahhh grasshopper... Come, sit, let's discuss...

    Basically, it's like this... If a Chinese Bank can pull off a very successful IPO without breaking a sweat, then the daggers can be put away on a global risks, and that could be seen in the performance of equities all across the board yesterday....
  • A Return To Debit Crisis Trading...

    In This Issue..

    * Strong euro rally fizzles out overnight...
    * Russia to add C$ and A$'s?
    * IMF sides with U.S. on Chinese currency policy...
    * Aussie housing starts are strong...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday... Man! Did we have some torrential downpours yesterday! The creek that my yard backs to was 'a risen'! I can't imagine all the rainouts of ballgames this spring... It's one of the things that drove me crazy, when I was a baseball manager...

    OK... The rain was coming down hard on the dollar yesterday too... But, this morning, when I turn on the screens, it looks like that dollar selling that went on all day yesterday, has had the brakes applied. I would say slammed on, but it all happened while I was sleeping, so I don't really know for sure!...
  • 110 Billion euros For Greece...

    In This Issue..

    * Aid Package for Greece is approved...
    * Aussie Gov't proposes a 40% mining profit tax!
    * ANZ Commodity Price Index rises 14th consecutive month!
    * Jobs reports this week...

    Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well... I'm back in the saddle today... It's been a long time, now, I'm coming back home. I've been away now, oh how, I'm coming home! Yes... I'm actually here, at my desk, and I'm not squinting, I'm not closing my eyes, and I'm not in pain! YAHOO! I've decided to go 'patchless' for now at least... More later on what's going on with the removed eye...

    Front and center this morning... Greece accepted the bail out terms from the Eurozone yesterday, and Germany says that Greece should have their funds by Friday... After months of hemming and hawing about whether Greece should receive funds, or whether or not Germany would actually release funds to Greece, it looks as though it's all coming to an end.... For now!...
  • Euro falls as Greece pushed toward IMF...

    In This Issue..

    * Euro falls as Greece pushed toward IMF...
    * Decision on Norwegian interest rates...
    * Canadian dollar rises...
    * Kiwi to outpace Australian dollar...

    Good day, the dollar gained ground across the board as the news hit that the IMF will be brought in to help rescue Greece. The dollar was also helped by data which showed existing housing sales fell by less than expected in February. We will get additional news on the status of the US economy today, with the release of durable goods and new home sales numbers for February. We will get a rate decision by the Norwegian central bank today, which could stoke calls for higher rates here in the US. But the big news overnight is concerning the euro (again!).

    The euro sold off by a full percentage point vs. the US$ after both Germany and France are reported to have agreed to have the IMF involved in aid to Greece. This is an about face for European leaders who announced last week that they had agreed on a European solution to the Greek crisis. But Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel threw a spanner in the works a week ago when she said Germany would not participate in giving Greece financial aid. This threw the euro into crisis mode again, as the 'agreement' reached early last week never materialized....
  • Merkel throws Greece under the bus...

    In This Issue..

    * Merkel throws Greece under the bus...
    * Canadian dollar moves higher...
    * China policy causes carry reversal...
    * Jobs data to move the markets...

    Good day... And good morning to all of you. I arrived in the 'sunshine' state only to find rain and cold. It is actually a bit colder here than back home in St. Louis, but the trip down went well, I got to do my run on the beach, and I had a great dinner with a large group of EverBankers last night; so I'm not going to let the weather get me down.

    The German's broke rank with the rest of the EU and suggested Greece should turn to the IMF for support. The euro had rallied over the past couple of days after it seemed the EU finance ministers had agreed on a loan facility to back the Greek government. But Germany's Angela Merkel threw a cat among the pigeons today when she said Greece should not look to the EU but should turn to the IMF if it needs aid. So traders immediately started selling the euro again as the black cloud of a possible Greek default fell hung back over the market....
  • Greek debt is the euro's Sword of Damocles....

    In This Issue..

    * Greek debt crisis continues to hang over the euro...
    * Moody's says the UK and US debt ratings are secure, for now...
    * Swiss National Bank lets the franc appreciate...
    * Lots of data on tap in the US this week...

    Good day, and welcome to another week. The alarm clock seemed to go off an hour early this morning, as my body hasn't yet adjusted to daylight savings. I have heard several reasons for the semi annual adjustment of our clocks, but still don't buy into it. I think everyone should just agree to leave the clocks alone and I for one vote to leave them where they are right now, giving us an extra bit of sunlight in the evenings. We didn't see much sun here in St. Louis this weekend, as a soft spring rain has been coming down for the past 3 days....
  • Are Fundamentals Creeping Back To The Currencies?

    In This Issue..

    * A$, C$ and Gold maintain gains...
    * euros and reals get sold...
    * What will China do?
    * The slowest buffalo theory...

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! January 6th... It's the Epiphany, or... The 12th day of Christmas! With it being the Epiphany, I wonder what will be revealed to us today regarding new deficit spending, or more corrupt government data...

    OK, that was a cheap shot, but, hey! Don't they deserve it? Always doing a hedonic adjustment here, there, and everywhere to make us 'feel good'... Oh well, I'll leave that there and go on to other things...

    This should be short-n-sweet this morning, as I overslept, something that I rarely do... Of course, I'm still here a good hour plus before anyone else, so I've got that going for me today!...
  • German Business Confidence Slides...

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies trade in a tight range...
    * $81 Billion in Treasury auctions this week!
    * Fitch fans the flames of a fire in the U.K....
    * Aussie Business Confidence rises...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! I didn't start out this Tuesday on the right foot, and now I'm really running late! Oh well...

    The non-dollar currencies didn't move much yesterday, the euro bumped up and down against the 1.50 figure, while the A$ did the same against 93-cents, and Swiss against parity... So the currencies are trading in the same clothes they went to bed in last night!

    The Big Dog, euro, did attempt to move stronger into the 1.50 level, but that move was thwarted by a poor reading of German Investor Confidence this morning. German Investor Confidence as measured by the think tank ZEW, reported that their index had fallen to 51.1 this month VS the 56 in October. Most of those Germans surveyed said that they expect the economic recovery to be slow once the Gov't removes the stimulus in the economy. So... Previous euphoria is being replaced by realism... But that's OK... Better to have a reality grip on things than to go around thinking that everything is seashells and balloons......
  • Retail Sales Soar!

    In This Issue..

    * Currencies rally on Retail Sales!
    * China likes investments in Canada...
    * Big Ben the 'inflation fighter'...
    * Gold climbs to $1,018!

    Good day... And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Good news for me this morning, the pain in my left knee has subsided... Now, If I could just get that swelling to go down, I'd be in tall cotton! This has been quite the ordeal on the old Pfennig writer, and one that I will be glad to put in the rear view mirror!

    Well... When I turned on the currency screens this morning, the euro was trading with a 1.47 handle! WOW! It just skipped to my Lou right through the 1.46 handle, eh? It began yesterday afternoon, the dollar was getting sold on the news of a strong Retail Sales figure, more on that in a minute, and the euro was edging up the 1.46 ladder... The move to get it past 1.47 came in the overnight markets... Now, having gotten you all lathered up about 1.47, I have to say that since I turned on the currency screens, the euro has lost ground back to 1.4688, but still... That's quite an impressive move from yesterday morning, eh?

    ...
  • A Horrific Jobs Report!

    * 651K jobs lost in Feb... * Dec. and Jan Job losses revised up... * Talking Norway, Canada, Australia... * Brazil stealthlike for 3 months... ** A Horrific Jobs Report! Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! A wonderful weekend here in St. Louis, a taste of spring was in the air. I got to spend some time with some of my closest friends on Friday night, a good time was had by all! Well... Our Fantastico Friday was interrupted by that horrific Jobs Jamboree number that printed Friday morning... 651K jobs were lost in February, which let me remind you is a couple of days shorter than other months. So, it could have been worse! Hard to believe that could be the case, but it's true. The unemployment rate rose to 8.1%, from 7.6% in January. The jobless rate is the highest since 1983. The economy has now shed 4.4 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, with almost half of those losses occurring in the last three months alone....
  • The Trading Theme Remains In Place...

    * Heeee's Baaaaaacccckkkkk... * Carry Trade Depth... * RBA intervenes... * Oil weighs on the loonie... ** The Trading Theme Remains In Place... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! It's been a long time, now I'm coming back home, I've been away now, oh how, I've been alone... Two weeks gone by the wayside! This Friday is Halloween! WOW! Where did the month go? Airports, hotels, and taxi cabs, that's where! But, I did it... The Currency Tour is finished... Time well spent I might add, but very taxing on me... Of course, my beautiful bride tells me if I were in better shape, it wouldn't be so taxing! Well... As I look at the currency screens this morning, I see that nothing has changed... The Trading theme I left you with is still in place, as the more deeper, darker, dangerous outlook for the U.S. becomes, the more the dollar gets bought... Things look better, and the dollar will get sold... The dollar has become the new Japanese yen!...
  • Who Owes Who?

    * Trading theme pushes yen higher... * Settlement day for Lehman CDO's... * Oil price fall hurts loonies... * Gold climbs back above $900... ** Who Owes Who? Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! It certainly doesn't look as though it will be a Fantastico Friday in stocks, as yesterday was a bloodletting, and overnight the Japanese stock market sold off 11%, and Europe is down about 9% at this point. UGH! This is getting quite ugly... But remember what I've been saying this week about the currency trading theme... When things look bleak, the dollar goes up... And when it looks as though all the stimulus might work, the dollar sells off... This has been quite evident in Japanese yen overnight, as stocks sold off 11%, the currency rallied to a 98 handle from 101 yesterday... And... Then in dollar trading, other than yen, the dollar is stronger this morning, pushing the euro back to the 1.35 handle. The high yielders, which enjoyed a day in the sun yesterday before U.S. stocks took a turn on the slippery slope, got whacked hard overnight! UGH!...
  • 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....