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  • 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......
  • Bernanke Squashes Rate Hike Hopes...

    In This Issue..

    * Non-dollar currencies see some healing...
    * Gold rebounds during the day...
    * Japan to issue $81 Billion stimulus package...
    * Canadian loonie is best performer on the day...

    Good day... And a Terrific Tuesday to you! Day one in the new office, seemed to work out pretty smoothly, with only our fax machine giving us fits... As I said yesterday, kudos to the organizers, planners, doers, tech gurus, and anyone else that had anything to do with this move...

    OK... Well, yesterday, I left you with the dollar on the rampage, and the non-dollar currencies and precious metals in the woodshed, having been beaten so badly, they didn't want to come out!

    But that was before Fed Chairman Big Ben Bernanke spoke... So, let me set this up for you... The dollar went on a rampage Friday after the BLS aided Jobs Jamboree surprised the markets with how strong it was, thus giving the market players the idea that the Fed would probably move up their date to get off the schnide and raise rates again... But then along came Ben, slow talking, slow walking Ben... And he set the record straight!...
  • Blood in the streets.....

    In This Issue..

    * Red ink flows...
    * Japan suggests diversification for their reserves...
    * Commodity currencies rebound...
    * Data galore for the rest of the week...

    Good day... Chuck had a late night down at the ballpark watching the home run derby, so he asked me to take the helm of the Pfennig this morning. I'm going to try to get this one out a bit earlier than I did last Friday, so I'll get right to it.

    The biggest news to hit the markets yesterday was the Treasury Department's report that the deficit in June totaled $94.3 billion. This monthly deficit pushed the deficit for the fiscal year to over $1 trillion dollars for the first time, and we still have another quarter to go until the fiscal year ends in September. It comes as no surprise to readers that the deficit is above $1 trillion, but what is a bit unnerving is the speed at which the red ink is flowing....
  • Bad news for GM and Chrysler rallies the US$...

    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....
  • 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....
  • Santa rally continues...

    * Santa rally continues... * Norway cuts 175 basis points... * Japanese intervention possible... * Indian rupee moves up... ** Santa rally continues... Good day... The dollar is falling much faster than it rose, the euro surged over 6 cents vs. US$ since yesterday at this time. The 5 day return chart for the major currencies vs. the US$ is pretty impressive: Swiss Franc +12.55%, Euro +9.5%, Danish Krone +9.44%, New Zealand $ +8.41%, Australian $ +5.08%, Swedish Krona +4.85%. And it continues. The past two weeks have been the most dramatic move by the dollar that I can remember. The dollar index, which tracks the US$ vs a group of major currencies is back trading right where it was at this time last year. I pulled a chart of year to date currency returns vs. the US$, and there are now 5 major currencies which have appreciated vs. the greenback: Yen +26.44%, Swiss + 8.07%, and Singapore, Danish Krone, & Euro + 1%. And with the recent big moves, our phones have been lighting up with investors moving back into currencies. I love the fact that all of these investors are diversifying, but the speed of this recent move demonstrates why we suggest keeping your investments spread across all asset classes. Trying to time into or out of a market can be frustrating, while keeping consistent asset allocations is the key....
  • 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?...
  • 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....