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Monday November 6, 2006 - 13:18:19 GMT
Black Swan Capital - www.blackswantrading.com

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A real head shaker

Key News
• Key Reports (WSJ):
There are no economic indicators scheduled today.

Quotable

“What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.”
Woody Allen

FX Trading

“Growth in European service industries from banking to telecommunications, the biggest part of the economy, unexpectedly slowed in October, a sign the region's expansion has peaked.”

“Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said today its services index fell to 56.5 in October, the fourth straight decline, from 56.7 in September. Economists expected an increase to 57, the median of 33 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. A level above 50 indicates growth,” Bloomberg News reported this morning.

Yikes! A sign the region’s expansion has peaked? Hmmm… Isn’t it a bit early to make that call? Europe’s bond market isn’t reacting much to that news…

euro bund chart

…nor are the currency traders, as the euro is off just slightly against the dollar this morning. If this does mark the end of the expansion in the Euro-zone, as Bloomberg suggests, why so muted the reaction?

a) It’s just another report that doesn’t square with reality on the ground
b) Instead of trading, bond and currency traders are too busy getting chiropractic neck and back adjustments caused by shaking their heads violently in disbelief of Friday’s non-farm payroll revisions
c) All of the above
d) None of the above

We’re going with b) chiropractic neck and back adjustments

We were watching CNBC for the release of non-farm payroll Friday morning. We don’t usually watch TV, but we do during the reporting of the major economic releases. We thought the hosts on CNBC made a lot of sense, and we agree, with their reaction to Friday’s weirdly revised payroll data: “Is this anyway to run the world’s most efficient capital markets?” CNBC commentators pondered out loud.

One of the commentators said that if private companies were so careless with their data, the CEO would probably be in jail by now—Bingo!

So, last week, until Friday, it looked like the scales were falling from our eyes—the US economy was slowing rapidly and it was time to buy bonds and sell the buck. Friday changed the game; or did it?

This is from the Lex columnist for the Financial Times, penned in the weekend edition:

“According to Friday’s jobs data, September saw gains of almost three times the rate originally reported. Together with further upward revisions for August, that more than made up for October’s sluggish increases – bound to be revised before too long. Tempting as it is to dismiss such volatile estimates, this time round the payroll figures paint a picture broadly consistent with other trends – and a gloomy one at that.

“For one thing, the fall in the unemployment rate to just 4.4 per cent is a lot less impressive than it seems, given that a so much smaller proportion of Americans is actually participating in the labour force than during the late 1990s. But the payroll figures also suggest that it took a lot more workers to produce disappointingly small output increases. As a result, the slowdown in US productivity growth may be even worse than thought after Thursday’s release.”

Well, maybe! But that doesn’t seem the reaction so far this morning. Maybe the idea of “productivity” is a bit esoteric or nebulous for most of us non-economist types to trade on.

We’re not quite sure where we are. Every time we start to get comfortable, we read conflicting economic analysis that makes sense. We surmise we are in the midst of a US mid-cycle slowdown, at best, or on the way to a major deceleration or recession at worst.

There is one thing we do know for sure, the idea of linking the words “economics” and “science” together in any sentence is a real head shaker.

 

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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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