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Tuesday February 17, 2009 - 14:48:13 GMT
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Here’s to Hoping on China ...

Key News
• East European Banks Decline to Six-Year Lows as Economic Distress Deepens (Bloomberg)
• Zero-Rate World Puts Trichet Behind Bund Curve as Europe Recession Worsens (Bloomberg)
• Japan's Economy Goes From Best to Worst on Global Spending Drop, Yen Gain (Bloomberg)

“Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water.”


FX Trading – Here’s to Hoping on China ...

There was a story in Bloomberg last week regarding the potential for China’s economic recovery to have already begun. I believe the evidence rested simply on the effects of the Chinese’s stimulus plan.

The thing is, even though the US is floundering over its stimulus package, possessing the ammunition and holding the economic vantage point apparently allows China’s government stimulus to rescue their economy within a few short months of its introduction.

hrhrhhgghghghrrrbullcrapghghhrrrhhhgghrhhr ...

(Sorry, that was a cough – I’m been feeling kind of under-the-weather the last two days.)

China would be very happy to know that their spending efforts on railways and residential homes since November have sparked recovery. But I have a feeling they’re not banking on such sage advice.

China’s economy is set to grow 6.6% in the second quarter of this year. Flip that number upside down and you have China’s recent pace of growth not long ago (9.9%). While 6.6% is better than the 6.3% that China is expect to do in the first quarter, we have to wonder if 6.6% can sustain social and economic stability in China.

I would say it’s going to be a very tough task. Was it not just the middle of last year that analysts expected China’s growth rate could drop to as far as 8% without shaking up the economy? Now that we’ve broken down through that threshold, where are all the China bears?

Well, right here in Currency Currents is where major China bears reside!

Below is a chart that Jack first presented in the World Outlook Conference in Vancouver two weeks ago—he expects to see major unrest in China, continued soaring unemployment, and plunging growth numbers.

(Chart unavailable in text format.) 

 The red X you see on the chart is our guess that Chinese GDP growth has now crossed down below urban unemployment rate—and that gap is widening fast!  It’s bad news for guys that like stability. The “China way” is about to get slammed we think.  And on that score—emerging markets get slammed and money runs more quickly into the good old reserve currency—the lowly dollar.

No matter your story it seems Bloomberg’s going to have some place for you to hang your hat; ours is on the bear post.  Today a story popped up regarding the surging cost of shipping. The conclusion drawn from the 147% jump in shipping prices (Baltic Dry index) is supportive of China’s export economy and those economies exporting to China. More evidence pointing toward China’s recovery, right?

The other conclusion drawn from the Baltic Dry Index’s recent climb is that currencies of commodity-exporting countries will be supported as well. The correlation between shipping costs and ComDols -- specifically the Australian dollar, Norwegian krone and Canadian dollar, as it was noted in the article -- has grown tight over the last year.

It was also said that the Baltic Dry Index was a good leading indicator for commodity prices; and that currency traders were increasingly using it as an indicator for ComDols. Seems they may have abandoned it ...

The Baltic Dry Index has “surged” since the turn of the year ...

 (Chart unavailable in text format.)



But the ComDols mentioned in the article have each “tanked” since the turn of the year ...
 (Chart unavailable in text format.)

I guess the question is: who’s leading and who’s following now? Key lows are waiting in the wings. Can commodity prices rebound in time to stop the currency bleeding? China better get on the stick if they’re going to save Norway, Canada and Australia.


John Ross Crooks, III
Black Swan Capital LLC


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