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Thursday June 9, 2005 - 11:12:13 GMT
Black Swan Capital -

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A $ hit and run accident


“There are all kinds of sources of our knowledge; but none has authority.”

Karl Popper, Knowledge Without Authority

FX Trading

Some people don’t like them. They are uncomfortable and too restricting, they say. But, if you want protection, you should use them—stop-loss orders, that is. Yesterday was a great example of why.

Coasting along and enjoying a cozy little run-of-the-mill correction in the dollar—thinking about what delectable delicacy to prepare (tuna or peanut butter and jelly) for the typical Black Swan lunch in front of the screen, then wham! A hit and run accident right before our eyes, as a cool 120+ pip nosedive in the euro ensued.

Chart: 30-min eurusd

There wasn’t much in the papers about this little incident. Some said European Central Bank member Axel Weber was to blame. He told reporters in Frankfurt that the euro's decline offered “a certain relief” for the economy, according to Bloomberg. And that’s it? As if that view is anything that should be a surprise!

I guess is goes to show just how skeptical the market is on the euro. Not to long ago, the maddening crowd believed the euro was preordained to take is rightful place atop the world currency reserve heap. But how quickly views do change in this market—sentiment is and always will be king.

One of the reasons we were anticipating a dollar correction with some legs was precisely because almost every bank analyst type worth his PIPs seems in the midst of a blossoming love affair with the dollar. Yes, that’s right! Not too long ago they treated the lowly buck like a red-headed stepchild, locking it away in the basement. Now it emerges as the apple of their eye.

Here is an example of five different bank analysts quoted from just one story today—I have removed the analysts’ names and places of toil in to protect the guilty:

• ``Economic data from Europe has been really bad and we're not seeing any improvement,'' said xxx, a currency strategist at xxxl in London. ``The euro has been hammered recently and there could be more downside to come.''

• ``Those looking for an indication from Greenspan that the economy is slowing and that the Fed's going to end its tightening cycle will probably be disappointed,'' said xxxl, chief currency strategist at xxx. in London. ``The trend is very clearly for more dollar strength in the short term.''

• ``A weaker euro is favorable for the ECB,'' said xxx, a currency strategist in Tokyo at xxx. ``While the U.S. keeps raising rates, the weak data from Europe suggests the ECB will either hold or cut. The euro looks to be the weakest major currency.''

• ``The focus on the EU constitutional issue has bought the poor economic performance of the euro onto the agenda,'' said xxx, global head of currency research at xxx in London. ``That swing in sentiment has undermined the euro and made people think that the ECB may think about cutting rates.''

• ``It's mildly positive for the yen, especially against the euro,'' said xxx, a currency strategist in Sydney at xxx.

It’s not that anyone one of these very capable, good looking, and intelligent analysts (the only type hired by these institutions; the kind that is acceptable in front of the many investment policy committees in these places, who by the way rarely dine on peanut butter and jelly in the board room while examining the weighty issue of the day), it’s that we already know what they are telling us.

So back to the original question: Why the plunge in the euro yesterday during the lunch hour here in Palm City, a town just east of Conundrum Land? The supply of EURUSD offered overwhelmed the demand, so dealers moved prices lower in order to find more demand to absorb supply. Maybe that’s all we can say for now. Well, at least until 10:00 a.m. EST. That’s when Mr. G takes to the podium. And once he’s done doing whatever it is he is going to do, we will all be enlightened. For as Benoit Mandelbrot said, “After the fact, it seems obvious; in hindsight, fundamental analysis can be reconstituted and is always brilliant.” Ah, the gift of hindsight!

So what can we expect the dollar to do today? We’ll tell you tomorrow.

Jack Crooks
Black Swan Capital


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