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Wednesday September 5, 2007 - 10:19:45 GMT
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Yesterday risk appetite and today risk aversion—choose your wedge!

Key News

• Japan's Ministry of Finance will set up a new office within its foreign exchange market division to focus on managing the nation's huge store of foreign exchange reserves [$900 billion], a ministry official said on Wednesday.  (Reuters)
• China will hold off from allowing local investors to buy Hong Kong shares directly until rules have been introduced to limit capital outflows, according to three officials at the country's banking regulator. (Bloomberg)
• “Credit-market turmoil has pushed the Libor higher, even as other short-term interest rates, such as the interest rate on Treasury bills, are falling.
"’Higher Libor rates affect the whole economy by tightening the budgets of borrowers large and small," says Lou Crandall, chief economist with Wrightson ICAP in New York. ‘It hurts corporate profits and tightens household budgets, too.’”(WSJ) 
• Australia kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 6.5%. (Bloomberg)

Key Reports Due (WSJ):
7:00a.m. MBA Mortgage Application Survey. Previous: -4.
7:30a.m. August Challenger Layoffs. Previous: -23.0%.
7:45a.m. ICSC Chain Store Sales Index For Sep 1. Previous: +0.3%.
8:15a.m. ADP/Macroeconomic Advisors Employment Estimate Non-Farm Payrolls Forecast. Expected: +80K. Previous: +92K.
8:55a.m. Redbook Retail Sales Index For Sep 1. Previous: -0.7%.
10:00a.m. July Pending Home Sales. Previous: +5.0%.
2:00p.m. Fed Beige Book.


“You may think that since it was all a delusion on the profit side, the loss also must have been imaginary; that if nothing was added to the wealth of the country, neither was anything taken away.  But that is not the way of it.  First there was the direct loss of diverting that credit from all the possible uses of production to the unproductive use of speculation.  Secondly, a great deal of it was consumed by two to three million speculators, large and small, who, with that rich feeling upon them, borrowed money on their paper profits and spent it.  In this refinement of procedure what happens is that imaginary wealth is exchanged for real wealth; and real wealth is consumed by those who have produced nothing in place of it.  Thirdly—and this was the terrific loss—the shock from the headlong fall of this pyramid caused all the sensitive sources and streams and waters of credit to contract in fear.  The more they contracted the more fear there was, the more fear the more contraction, effect acting upon cause.  The sequel was abominable pain.”

     Garet Garret, The Bubble That Broke The World, 1932
FX Trading – Yesterday risk appetite and today risk aversion—choose your wedge!

Are the gold guys right?  We saw a very nice move in gold prices yesterday.  And of course the chorus of “I told you so” was sung loudly as the session ended.  The gold guys love the web.  Instead of ham radios from the bunkers, we get blogs and dedicated websites—sweet! 

But, will the rising wedge be the undoing of the “barbarous relic”?

“The rising wedge is a bearish pattern that begins wide at the bottom and contracts as prices move higher and the trading range narrows. In contrast to symmetrical triangles, which have no definitive slope and no bullish or bearish bias, rising wedges definitely slope up and have a bearish bias,” says

 Gold Futures Daily:


And of course in the falling wedge camp we have everyone’s favorite whipping boy—the greenback.

“The falling wedge is a bullish pattern that begins wide at the top and contracts as prices move lower. This price action forms a cone that slopes down as the reaction highs and reaction lows converge. In contrast to symmetrical triangles, which have no definitive slope and no bias, falling wedges definitely slope down and have a bullish bias. However, this bullish bias cannot be realized until a resistance breakout,” says

  USD$ Index Daily:


Now we are no experts on the wedge pattern, actually we aren’t experts on anything, but we do think these wedges will stop being wedges at around the same time.

If the risk appetite crowd wins, gold likely breaks above resistance to blow off and test new highs, and the dollar breaks below support down to new lows, and if the risk aversion crowd wins, vice versa. 

We may soon find the answer. 

Jack Crooks


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