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Tuesday February 15, 2005 - 11:37:06 GMT
Black Swan Capital - www.blackswantrading.com

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Dollar rally predicated on Mr. G?

Quotable

“You know you are right when the other side starts to shout.”

I.A. O’Shaughnessy


FX Trading
Tic-tock! Much ado about TIC data (Treasury data tracking flows of financial instruments into and out of the US) due out at 9:00 a.m. EST today! It could be a volatile affair, as the economist pour through the numbers and tell us what to think.

Another bullish take on the dollar from Mr. Stephen Jen of Morgan Stanley, issued yesterday—he our favorite dollar bull:

“Our fundamental view on the USD remains relatively constructive. First, our valuation calculations suggest that the USD became under-priced last summer, and became even cheaper by year-end. Second, I argue that the ‘de facto dollar zone’ will be difficult to break up, and that Asia will remain committed to this arrangement, not because of their ‘good will’ toward the US consumer, but because this arrangement is beneficial to themselves. Third, I argue that the USD remains the dominant world currency, and that EUR (having rallied by default) needs outstanding merits of its own to have a chance of supplanting the USD as the new hegemonic currency.”

That being said, the dollar clearly has entered correction mode. Let’s play the Fibonacci retracement game…

chart of dollar index

Oh, by the way, I noticed that many were hailing the release of the Japanese Current Account Surplus as a reason for the decline in the dollar yesterday. (How come so few point out that Australia has a larger current account deficit as a % of GDP than does the US?).

I share these thoughts with Greg Weldon, he of Weldon’s Money Monitor fame:

“Indeed, within the latest Japanese Current Account data, released this morning, we note LITTLE difference in the trade surplus relative to a year ago, ala the 1.34 billion yen surplus this December, compared to 1.30 billionlast year …

“… but, we notice a BIG difference in the ‘Portfolio Investment’ category, via the 2.01 billion yen surplus posted in December of 2004, as compares to the Dec-03 DEFICIT of 300 million yen. Thus, the widening of the Japanese Current Account surplus, trumpeted in the pop-media as a signal of a robust eco-reflation, is NOT linked to trade, but rather, was SOLEY a function of flow derived from EXCESS global LIQUIDITY flow, and, investment repatriation.”

“Pop-media,” indeed! The broader point that Mr. Weldon was making is that Asian growth is much predicated on continued loose monetary conditions in the US. And the rally in the metals of late is another sign that investors globally are ‘down-grading the Fed monetary hawkishness” (Rationale #2 from yesterday’s Currency Currents), according to Weldon.

Our comdol vs. metals chart—moving higher in unison again…

chart of metals vs comdols

Although we have plenty of data to wade through today, Greenspan’s testimony before congress Wednesday and Thursday could be the most interesting bit this week. If he fails to down-grade his “hawkishness,” maybe that dollar correction ends faster than we expected. But if he does deliver the reflation goods…we could see a euro blast off—and comdols too.

Jack Crooks

 

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