Archive for March 2015

Deeper Analysis

March and the First Quarter in Figures

March 31, 2015

Sovereign debt yields fell significantly during the first quarter of 2015.  In Switzerland’s case, so did short-term interest rates.  The dollar extended its rise against the euro, sterling, and commodity-sensitive monies, was steady against the yen and yuan, and fell against the Swiss franc despite a 1.9% rise in March against that currency.  Dollar strength […] More

Foreign Exchange Insights and Next Week

Comments on the Dollar’s Performance in the First Quarter

March 31, 2015

The dollar’s rise this quarter against the euro was historic.  Appreciation at this writing stands at 12.6%, which is a larger move, up or down, than in any other first quarter since the euro was created at the start of 1999.  The past quarter’s gain represents four-fifths of the $1.3993 to $1.2097 high-low spread in […] More

Central Bank Watch

National Bank of Romania

March 31, 2015

Romania’s central bank Board today cut its policy interest rate to 2.0% from 2.25%.  This was the third straight monthly reduction and the sixth such cut in the last eight months.  The rate at end-2008 was 10.25% but cut by 400 basis points in 2009-10, 100 bps in 2011-12, 125 bps in 2013, 125 bps […] More

New Overnight Developments Abroad - Daily Update

Dollar Up, Oil and European Equities Down on Final Day of the Quarter

March 31, 2015

The dollar rose overnight by 0.8% against the euro, 0.7% versus the Australian dollar, 0.6% relative to the loonie and Swiss franc, 0.3% vis-a-vis the kiwi and 0.1% against the yuan and sterling.  But the U.S. currency edged 0.1% lower versus the yen. Oil sank 2.2% to $47.62 per barrel.  Comex gold is steady at […] More

New Overnight Developments Abroad - Daily Update

A Drop in Commodity Prices

March 30, 2015

There’s been a decline in oil and metal prices to start the bridging week between the first and second quarters of 2015.  WTI oil lost 1.9% to $47.96, and Comex gold is 1.1% lower at $1,187.20 per ounce. Stocks and the dollar, on the other hand, have strengthened. The bid tone in share prices was […] More

Foreign Exchange Insights and Next Week

Next Week

March 27, 2015

Central Bank Scene:  National Bank of Romania interest rate policy meeting.  Fisher, Kocherlakota, Lockhart, Lacker and Williams of the Fed speak publicly. Holiday:  Good Friday on April 3rd affects most of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of the United States.  Japan’s fiscal year ends on Wednesday. Clocks Changed:  European countries moving clocks forward […] More

Larry's Blog

U.S. Economic Growth Over the Past Ten Years

March 27, 2015

While faster than growth in Japan and the eurozone, U.S. growth during the past decade was considerably slower than in the prior ten-year intervals.  Nine consecutive calendar years have now passed without any showing average real GDP growth of as much as 3.0%.  The averages in the most recent three years — 2.3% in 2012, […] More

New Overnight Developments Abroad - Daily Update

Less Volatility Than Earlier in the Week

March 27, 2015

The dollar rose overnight by 0.5% versus the euro, 0.4% against the Australian and New Zealand dollars, 0.3% relative to the Swiss franc, 0.2% vis-a-vis the loonie and 0.1% against the yuan and yen but slipped 0.2 against sterling. Concern has subsided about the impact on oil prices from the air strike on Yemen.  West […] More

Central Bank Watch

Bank of Mexico

March 26, 2015

Monetary easing in Mexico since 2009 has happened in two waves.  In each of the first seven months of that year, there was a rate cut, the total of which added up to 375 basis points, cutting the main interest rate to 4.5% from 8.25%.  The second wave of easing began with a 50-basis point […] More

Central Bank Watch

South African Reserve Bank Keeps Policy Stance Paused

March 26, 2015

It doesn’t happen often that a central bank raises projected and above-target inflation for the coming two years yet leaves its policy interest rate unchanged.  Yet that is what the South African Reserve Bank just did.  Inflation is forecast at 4.8% in 2015 (a whole percentage point higher than the previous estimate) and an average […] More

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