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  • Germany's Merkel gets her way...

    In This Issue..

    * Germany's Merkel gets her way...
    * Confidence in the US ebbs lower...
    * China to stick to renminbi policy...
    * Gold stops sliding...

    Good day, we had another strong day for the dollar yesterday, with the greenback gaining against all of the majors. But overnight, the Asians and then the Europeans sold the dollar and moved money back into the currencies. So after another rollercoaster ride, we are basically right back where we were at this time yesterday morning. These volatile markets are likely to continue, as investors try to figure out if the global economy will recover or if we will slide back into recession. With all of this uncertainty, you would think investors would be moving into 'hard assets': Gold and Silver. But the markets for these two precious metals have been surprisingly quiet this year. More on the metals a bit later, first I will try to figure out these currency markets....
  • 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....