Potentially Momentous Week Starts Quietly

November 13, 2023

The dollar edged 0.2% higher overnight against the Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, and both the Aussie and New Zealand currencies. The dollar firmed 0.1% against the euro but slid 0.1% relative to sterling. Share prices in the Pacific Rim closed mixed, with gains of 1.3% in Hong Kong and 0.9% in Taiwan but […] More

More Angst about Europe as G8 Leaders Gather at Camp David for Annual Summit

May 18, 2012

Pacific Basin equities took another deep dive, falling 3.0% in Japan, 2.7% in The Philippines and Australia, 3.4% in South Korea, 2.8% in Taiwan, 1.6% in Thailand and Indonesia, 1.5% in China and Singapore, and 1.3% in Hong Kong.  In the epicenter of worry, stock prices are down 2.1% in Stockholm, 1.0% in London, but […] More

Bank of Japan Easing Catches Some Analysts By Surprise

February 14, 2012

The yen weakened 0.6% against the dollar, and the Nikkei index of Japanese share prices went up 0.6% in response to BOJ actions. Japan’s central bank designated 1.0% as a medium-term operational core CPI target and vowed not to end its virtual zero interest rate policy until that goal is in sight and significant deflationary […] More

First Market Reaction to S&P Downgrades of Europe

January 16, 2012

Trading has been calmer than feared.  For one thing, U.S. markets will be closed today for the Martin Luther King holiday, and for another, S&P did not downgrade European country risk ratings as much as some feared.  The hope is that European leaders will place even greater urgency now on nailing down the details of […] More

Remaining Focus on European Debt

September 14, 2011

Share prices recovered 1.5% in Germany, 1.4% in France, and 1.1% in Britain, aided by a smaller-than-expected one-notch downgrading of French banks by Moody’s.  But regional news was not entirely good — Chinese Premier Wen scolded Europe for its fiscal difficulties and said the region shouldn’t count on a Chinese bail-out as the solution to […] More

German IFO and Moody’s Generate Troubling News

August 24, 2011

Moody’s downgraded Japan’s credit rating to Aa3 from Aa2, citing a big government deficit and rising debt/GDP ratio.  The news hurt Asian stocks. The IFO Institute reported a sharp drop and weaker-than-anticipated German business climate in August.  The overall index tumbled 4.2 points to 108.7, lowest since mid-2010.  The index had been at 114.4 just […] More

Stocks Down, Swiss National Bank Attacks Franc Strength

August 3, 2011

Calling the franc “massively overvalued at present,” Swiss monetary officials implemented a zero interest rate policy and announced other steps to flood domestic money liquidity.  Further measures were promised “if needed” in this effort.  The Swissy is 1.1% weaker against the dollar. Share prices in the Pacific Basin fell by 2.6% in Australia and South Korea, […] More

Fire and Rain: Data Deluge and Debt Frustration

July 29, 2011

Still lacking enough votes to pass, the U.S. House of Representatives postponed Thursday’s debt ceiling vote. Moody’s placed Spain’s Aa2 sovereign debt rating on review for a possible downgrade. The dollar is higher, not lower, on generalized risk aversion.  It has advanced 0.7% against the euro, 0.6% versus the Aussie dollar, and 0.5% against the […] More

Moody’s Places U.S. Sovereign Debt on Review

July 14, 2011

Wednesday’s market respite was short-lived as the Moody’s rating agency announced that America’s AAA sovereign debt designation would be reviewed for a possible downgrade.  The dollar continues to trade below JPY 80.0, prompting Japanese verbal intervention.  There was even some market speculation that officials might have done some real intervention overnight to soften the yen. […] More

Intensified Worries about Portugal, Ireland and Spain

July 6, 2011

Just when the peripheral debt crisis in Europe appeared to be ebbing, a downgrade by Moody’s of Portuguese sovereign debt to junk status (Ba2) has stirred that pot of fear anew.  Peripheral bond spreads versus Germany have widened, and the euro is lower.  Another usual victim of risk aversion, commodity-sensitive currencies, have been surprisingly resilient. […] More