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  • China's GDP Soars 10.7%!

    In This Issue..

    * China has strong 4th QTR growth...
    * Time to let the renminbi gain VS the dollar...
    * Debt Ceiling is getting raised $1.9 Trillion...
    * Russian Central Bank is buying loonies...

    Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! Another day of dollar strength, in this switch from risk assets to dollar denominated assets... Again, I question the mental giants behind all this, for the U.S. is what caused this problem... And now traders turn to the U.S.???? Oh well, sure seems like it would be different if I were in charge! Of course, a LOT of things would be different if I were in charge! But that's a discussion for another day!

    Yesterday's Pfennig could set a record for the length, I think! So, I promise I won't go that long today!

    Front and Center this morning, we have the news overnight from China that their 4th QTR GDP accelerated to the fastest level since 2007... Chinese GDP for the 4th QTR was +10.7%!!!!! Talk about 'nailing' that call! The annual figure for China comes in at +8.7%, but in reality, who cares about the 1st QTR, when in the 4th and most recent quarter, growth was kicking tail and taking names later! In addition, China posted a higher consumer inflation figure than expected at +2%... And Retail Sales in China soared 16.9%! WOW!...
  • Risk aversion returns…

    In This Issue..

    * Risk Aversion returns...
    * Money Multiplier dampens stimulus effects...
    * TIC flows show concern of foreign investors...
    * China back on growth track...

    Good day... Chuck got an early start on a two week hiatus from the desk, so you will be stuck with me writing the Pfennig for the next two weeks. But don't worry, you will still get a small dose of Chuck over the next week as he typically emails me his thoughts while on the road (I call it Pfennig Pfodder). Risk aversion dominated the currency markets overnight, as terrorists set off two separate explosions in Jakarta and investors moved money back into the 'safe havens' of the US$ and Japanese yen.

    Chuck wrote about this move yesterday, believing the bad news regarding CIT would probably cause a risk reversal. But the US stock market shook off the CIT news and rallied higher after a big earnings report by JP Morgan and a somewhat positive statement by Nouriel Roubini. Roubini, the New York University economist who is credited with predicting the financial crisis, said in a speech yesterday that the US economy might be close to the bottom. The stock jockeys took this statement along with the positive earnings reports and ran stocks up. But Roubini later tried to caution these bulls against reading too much into his statement, and reminded everyone that he has not changed his thoughts on a US recovery: 'I continue to see a shallow, below par and below trend recovery.'...
  • 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....
  • A New Year’s Jobs Jamboree Friday...

    * Will the ADP report be a good indicator? * China to slow treasury purchases? * Gold as a store of wealth... * Dealing with the devil... ** A Jobs Jamboree Friday... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Fantastico Friday, as it is forecast to get to 50 degrees today here in St. Louis. Never mind that tomorrow's high will be 29! It doesn't take away from today! What a trading day in the currencies yesterday... Whew! It's a Jobs Jamboree Friday, so let's not beat around the bush... It's time to Jamboree! Today is the day the Gov't prints the December Jobs Jamboree, and if Wednesday's ADP report did what they said it was going to, and that is change their methodology to mirror the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) then this morning's Jobs Jamboree will be a nightmare. Of course not the kind of nightmare that the over 2.5 million people that lost jobs in 2008 had! I was once in those numbers, as our old Bank, Mark Twain Bank, was bought by a bigger bank, Mercantile Bank, and Mercantile decided after a few months to perform ethnic cleansing of Mark Twain employees... I called it "my retirement" but with a 3 year old at home and on my lap most of the day, "retirement" couldn't last too long! My point is that you don't know the emptiness and failure you feel when they show you the door... So my thoughts are always with those that lose their jobs......