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Thursday February 22, 2007 - 04:36:05 GMT
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The Currency Currents’ Most Important Thing

Key News
• Japan Posts Unexpected Trade Surplus as Exports Grow – Bloomberg

Key Reports Due (WSJ):
8:30a.m. Initial Jobless Claims. Previous: +44K.
10:00a.m. DJ-BTMU Business Barometer. Previous: Unch.
10:00a.m Jan Help-Wanted Index. Previous: 33.
10:00a.m. Jan Conference Board Help-Wanted Index. Previous: 33.
11:00a.m. Feb Kansas City Fed Mfg Index. Previous: 5.


“All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.”


FX Trading – The Currency Currents’ Most Important Thing

There’s so much flying around these markets that we don’t know where to begin. So let’s go ahead and play a little game to help us (and you) sort it all out ...

Below is a list of some of this week’s news. Those we selected are related to the forex markets and could potentially become significant drivers. You pick which you think will end up as the Most Important Thing. Afterwards we’ll give you our Most Important Thing and you’ll find out if your answer jives with the pros – or at least the passable minds at Black Swan Capital. Good luck!

Here are you options:

1.) U.S. consumer prices increase faster than expected.
2.) FOMC minutes were released and are consistent with Ben Bernanke’s testimony to congress last week.
3.) Reports showed retail sales in Canada jumped 2.3% in December.
4.) Euro zone current account surprises – shows an increase rather than an expected decrease.
5.) Dovish concerns expressed in the minutes from the Bank of England’s most recent monetary policy.
6.) The Bank of Japan walks the walk and raises interest rates.
7.) The Bank of Japan talks the talk and gets dovish on monetary policy.
8.) Gold surges $23 an ounce in one day.

Ok. There you have it. We hope you chose wisely. Now for the our thoughts ...

If you picked 2, you’re way off. As we see it, the Fed has no direction right now and is practically a non-factor. If you decided on 1, you’re not going to be winning any prizes. Those who concluded that 5 was the best choice, well, don’t take your money to Vegas. The BOE finds itself in the same boat with the Fed. As for all who settled on 6, you’re close but not quite there yet. The BOJ’s actions won’t be the difference maker.

But if you went with option number 7, then congratulations – you officially think like us.

The fact that the BOJ stood up to political pressure to act “appropriately” and tightened their monetary policy was one thing. But the fact that they followed it with such a dovish, impotent outlook was the most important thing. The central bank’s rhetoric crushed the yen yesterday and may have exaggerated a problem that many hoped it would fix – the yen carry trade. Investors who’ve been taking advantage of Japan’s low borrowing costs can now rest assured that any significant policy tightening just isn’t in the cards.

If this is what you were thinking then hopefully you’ve won the satisfaction of knowing our Currency Currents’ Most Important Thing. That’ll get you somewhere in life, for sure.

For the rest of you who may have chosen number 4 or number 8, we may be able to draw a connection to the most important thing.

The euro seems to have become the largest beneficiary of the yen carry trade. It seems as though the ECB is actually fairly determined with their monetary tightening campaign. So a growing current account surplus and every other new sign of economic strength out of the Euro zone is likely to attract new money in search of higher returns. That should bolster the euro.

As for gold, Japanese interest rates as they relate to the yellow metal may be going unnoticed. After all, the level of interest rates in Japan has created a massive source of liquidity. Let’s not forget the importance of liquidity in investments like gold. Perhaps when you’re trying to get to the bottom of yesterday monster rally in the price of the shiny yellow metal one needs look no further than the yen.

John Ross Crooks III


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Mon 10 Sep 2018
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