Uneasiness about Europe Returns

October 11, 2011

The dollar is stronger, and stocks are lower in European trading.  All eyes are on the Slovakian parliament where a vote to ratify the agreement to enlarge the EFSF could be rejected.  ECB President Trichet meanwhile warned of mounting systemic risk related to the unresolved European sovereign debt crisis. The dollar has strengthened 0.8% against […] More

Only a Brief Respite after G20 Communique

September 23, 2011

Today is the first day of the semi-annual IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington.  G20 finance ministers and central bankers released a statement overnight that promised a coordinated response to five identified downside risks: Contagion from sovereign debt stresses. Financial systems fragility. Market turbulence. Weak economic growth. Unacceptably high unemployment. European share prices initially rose after […] More

Spotlight on Central Banks and Obama

September 8, 2011

The dollar is 0.6% higher against the Swiss franc, which is trading at 1.2141 per euro.  Swiss National Bank officials intend to unilaterally prevent the franc from strengthening past 1.2000/EUR.  The dollar has risen 0.3% against the euro and 0.1% versus the Australian dollar but is 0.6% weaker against the kiwi and down 0.2% relative […] More

Panic-Stricken Markets Greet Labor Day 2011

September 5, 2011

U.S. markets are closed for Labor Day, but elsewhere the mood is grim. Ten-year sovereign debt yields tumbled 15 basis points in Britain, 14 bps in Germany and five bps in Japan. Gold catapulted above $1900, gaining 1.3% to $1902.10 per ounce.  Oil slumped 2.7% to $84.08 per ounce. Share prices have plunged 5.6% in […] More

Fresh Blast of Risk Aversion

September 2, 2011

At 13:50 GMT, U.S. share prices were down 1.6-1.7%.  Earlier trading overnight saw equities fall by 1.2% in Japan, 1.8% in Hong Kong, 1.5% in Australia, 1.1% in China and 0.9% in New Zealand.  Europe has seen the most damage, with the German Dax and Paris Cac suffering losses so far of 3.5% and the […] More

Swissie Weakens, Commodity Currencies Strengthen, and Irene Not as Bad as Feared

August 29, 2011

The U.S. dollar rose 1.1% against the Swiss franc but lost 0.6% against the Canadian dollar, 0.7% relative to the kiwi and 0.4% against the Aussie dollar.  Other dollar relationships are pretty steady, with dips of 0.1% against the euro, yuan and sterling and no change in the yen. Britain is closed for a late […] More

Japan Intervenes Heavily and Increases Quantitative Easing

August 4, 2011

There has been massive intervention by Japan’s Ministry of Finance applied constantly.  The dollar leaped 3.8% against the yen, getting as high as 80.25 versus a low of 76.76 yesterday.  A 2-day scheduled Bank of Japan Policy Board meeting was compressed to a single day, so that the announcement of extra quantitative easing could be […] More

ECB: A Straight-Forward Written Statement but a Contentious and Confusing Press Conference

July 7, 2011

The ECB raise all three of its key interest rates by 25 basis points today.  This was its second tightening following up by three months on an initial move.  The rate corridor surrounding the new 1.5% refinancing rate remains 150 basis points in width with a 0.75% deposit rate and a 2.25% marginal lending rate.  […] More

Mid-2011 Sees Euro Touch $1.4523

June 30, 2011

Today ends the month of June and second quarter.  QE2 expires in the United States.  The euro has firmed 0.3% on balance to $1.4475 but broke above $1.4500 in earlier overnight trading.  Today is an active day from a data release stand-point.  A second critical Greek vote of approval is need today, this time to […] More

Bad News on Many Fronts

June 23, 2011

The Fed’s message — a dovish view on the economy, resignation that there’s not much else that policymakers can offer, uncertainty about how much time it will take for long-term balance sheet adjustments to be worked out, and considerable concern about long-term fiscal prospects —  was not received well. Eurozone flash purchasing manager readings signal […] More