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  • That pesky interweb thingy(17/1/2014)

    In another chapter from the song book of how to make numbers dance to any tune you play them, the latest print of UK retail sales was out this morning and with it an amazing beat to the upside away from median expectations. Understandably this has cause an almighty spike higher in the Cable and...

  • Flamin’ Mongrels(16/1/2014)

    Once again it seems the weather is to blame, this time it’s in the land down under. Shocking employment data out overnight in Australia has seen the little battler hit downside levels not seen for nearly 4 years and if you believe what the street has to say, there’s more to come yet. I jest...

  • Two way business that amounts to no business at all(15/1/2014)

    The IMF has downgraded its growth forecasts for both 2014 and 2015 for China and with that proclamation has seen the commodity FX block take a downside hit with the AUD and CAD being the most notable victims as a result. Otherwise we’ve seen the Nikkei recover some of its lost ground from Tuesday staging...

  • Market still looking for that elusive consensus trade(14/1/2014)

    Japanese traders returning from a long weekend punished the Nikkei, taking the bourse lower by over 2.3% on the session while the JPY tried to play the correlation but unconvincingly so. Having said that though, the headline USDJPY pair does trade higher this morning running into first purported resistance at 103.80 and stalling there at...

  • The USD still wearing the post NFP hangover pain(13/1/2014)

    A Japanese holiday overnight as well as generally muted data releases in Asia have all combined to make it a quiet start to the trading week. As the market “recovers” from the standout (poor) NFP data released on Friday the theme for now remains one of overall USD bearishness. In truth this isn’t being expressed...

  • The most important random number of the month(10/1/2014)

    The first genuine marquee event of 2014 awaits us this afternoon as everyone sits patiently waiting for the random number generator that is the NFP. Market consensus broadly is in the +197k vicinity while most (via Twitter as well as some of the larger banks) are calling 220k+. We’ll all be a little wiser in...

  • Forward guided beyond all recognition(9/1/2014)

    The December FOMC minutes last night gave the market little, if anything new and equally so anything of any true value. A conversation I had on Twitter (@KenVeksler if you’re interested) late yesterday afternoon highlighted (in my opinion) what this market is all about these days, consensus views and trying to wade through the garbage...

  • Tax free investing, the latest Japanese arrow?(8/1/2014)

    The introduction of the NISA (Nippon Individual Savings Accounts) program in Japan on Monday has been seen by some as the key for the “recovery” in the Nikkei overnight, albeit day 2 of the trading year for our Japanese counterparts… In short the program is a tax free attempt at generating interest in predominantly the...

  • Janet confirmed while we wait for Mark and Mario(7/1/2014)

    Australian trade data was perhaps the only real standout piece of news to hit screens overnight as it came in better than expected with a narrowing trade deficit thanks in large part to fewer imports, all in all shrinking significantly since the July blowout print seen last year. Oh and of course, we now have...

  • Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!(6/1/2014)

    Happy New Year and once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. With it being my first day back in front of screens, this piece is likely to be a brief one as I come to terms with what the new year has to offer. I dare say the story is going to be...

  • Even Frank Sinatra couldn’t have done it better than Ben(19/12/2013)

    So Ben did it. He pulled the pin and cut by 10 yards a month with a vague head nod to the fact that this will happen every month now, i.e. they’ll cut by 10 at every meeting. Ok so that last bit came with more disclaimers than the procedural manual for how to perform...

  • Hawkishly doveish for the FOMC tonight(18/12/2013)

    Well, shock horror, another UK data print and another mischievous round of price action in the Cable (this time about 15 minutes before the release). Needless to say the unemployment print was better than market consensus and those that got the nod, were sitting long and pretty into it. With unemployment now sitting at 7.4%...

  • Australia wins The Ashes but loses out to New Zealand(17/12/2013)

    All eyes were southward bound overnight as Australia defeated the rather unimpressive England 3-0 in the Ashes clash in Perth, cementing the series win and reinstating some national sporting pride. Oh yeah and there were also some economic news of note… The RBA released minutes of its last meeting and while certainly not even remotely...

  • Everyone sat waiting for the inevitable, Bearded Ben.(16/12/2013)

    The market is sat on tenterhooks waiting to see whether the English can salvage victory from the jaws of defeat and live to fight another day in the Ashes series currently underway in Australia. Seriously, everyone is waiting with baited breath! Alright well maybe not entirely but in the absence of anything truly market moving...

  • Mind the liquidity gap and jawboning central bankers(13/12/2013)

    If the market won’t do it, then we will! Or something like that. I think that’s the mantra taken on board by the RBA and its chief, Glen Stevens. Admittedly while the context of the quote was perhaps smalls unrelated, the sentiment certainly wasn’t misguided and the message loud and clear. The RBA wants the...

  • Optionality the key to FX as we await the FED(12/12/2013)

    Australian unemployment data overnight was better than median expectation, however it still saw the overall rate crawl ever so slightly up, edging into the 5.8% mark. While the Little Battler took a spike on the print, it was met by strong sellers fading the growth. The RBNZ remained on hold and while being displeased with...

  • Seeing the FX forest for the haze of festive season trees(11/12/2013)

    The main piece of news overnight was all out of the US and related to a deal supposedly being struck so as to avoid another debt ceiling debacle. The deadline looms large at January 15th presently and for now there seems to be an accord or at the very least a framework on which voting...

  • USD sales continue but lack the conviction to make it matter(10/12/2013)

    Volumes and price action are decreasing dramatically and evidence of the fact is easily spotted on your screens. News overnight came in the form of a mixed bag of economic prints from China, however the market chose to take little if any real notice and the impact was muted, at best. Walking in this morning...

  • The FX market seems to have a festive season – inspired hangover(9/12/2013)

    Another quiet weekend as the markets got into the swing of the festive cheer and deciphered and somewhat recovered from the Friday NFP moves. In truth however the moves seen on Friday afternoon after the print were incredibly subdued certainly for an NFP number and perhaps the best indicator yet of the time of year...

  • The final NFP lottery print of the year awaits(6/12/2013)

    Asian ranges and flows remained quiet overnight in light of the marquee event due later this afternoon. After Mario failed to announce any new acronyms and put pay to talk of negative rates and further easy money, the EURUSD had nothing left to do but run higher. Bears and Euro sceptics are left struggling to...

  • A day for tie colour guessing rather than bazooka buckshots(5/12/2013)

    Another quiet night in Asia as the Japanese this morning have approved another (insert huge number here) economic expansion package this morning. Australian data was smalls softer and the street’s dislike for the Little Battler seems to run deep, even still. The EURAUD having taken out the 1.5000 level looks set for further lift off...

  • The thunder rolls down under, while the UK continues to boom(3/12/2013)

    Overnight data out of China was mildly softer, while the RBA left rates unchanged as it did the overall rhetoric in its accompanying statement. They remain uncomfortable with the currency’s strength but failed to jawbone it significantly lower on the night. Retail sales in the land of Oz were better, while the balance of payments...

  • Get it done while you still can – the FX year is ending(2/12/2013)

    It’s Monday again and the start of the effectively the second last week of trading for this year. And what a week we have in store for us! More on that momentarily. In terms of weekend events/news, well Chinese data came in somewhat stronger than anticipated, as did the Australian numbers, both acting in tandem...

  • Month end muddied waters to drive FX today(29/11/2013)

    With the Americans out, stuffing their faces full of Turkey and all the trimmings, the Asian session proved to be yet another quiet one. Data out of Japan and Australia was mixed but interestingly pointed to signs of inflation in the former, however movement in the respective currencies was muted as was general flow across...

  • Bear traps in Betty gives catch and release a whole new meaning(28/11/2013)

    A hectic morning has meant that this piece is quite obviously delayed, however as you’ve all no doubt seen the happenings in Cable thus far today, there has been enough to be kept busy with. While we’re on the topic of Betty, the data itself was actually in line with expectations and no real revisions...

  • A turkey of an FX market just in time for Thanksgiving(27/11/2013)

    Another quiet Asian session ahead of today’s US Thanksgiving holiday has meant that volumes and general business flow have been significantly diminished, which in turn has meant that whatever moves we’ve seen so far have been further exaggerated. To give you an understanding of how thin it is, an order/deal in the size of around...

  • FX just keeps rolling with the punches, and headlines…(26/11/2013)

    Another quiet overnight session is Asia as the market looks to start winding up the year. Equity indices continue to bubble along doing their own thing while currencies seem sidelined for the time being looking for that next magic oracle to announce and/or renounce negative rates, more easy money etc etc. Whatever moves we saw...

  • Currencies tumble set against the backdrop of the Iran deal(25/11/2013)

    For the most part a quiet weekend devoid of any real market moving headlines saw Asia open last night at levels roughly in line with Friday’s close. On the geopolitical side of things however there was of course the Iran nuclear agreement signed in Geneva over the weekend and while many are quoting this as...

  • Talk me a river, cry me a dollar(22/11/2013)

    Antipodeans jawboning is all the rage these days and everyone is getting involved. The irony of having one of the highest overnight cash rates of the developed world and asking for their respective currencies to be trading lower seems lost on the likes of the RBA and RBNZ governors. At least in the case of...

  • Easy money is like a piece of string, you can pull it, but never push it(21/11/2013)

    The FOMC minutes last night left even the best paid of pundits (referring to the roughly $5mio CNBC anchors get paid) completely and utterly confused. Can’t really fault them, because how do you get Pandora back in the box once it’s been opened. Screaming at the top of their lungs and trying to get across...

  • Bearded Ben’s Swan Song: Take a bow fella, you’ve done it your way.(20/11/2013)

    He just couldn’t resist could he, the last fling before the love affair falls away like so many shattered dreams before it. I speak, of course, of Bearded Ben. Giving a speech last night, our man Ben told it like it was and took no prisoners. In what must surely be his swan song, he...

  • China makes waves in an otherwise quiet FX ocean(19/11/2013)

    While the overnight session was once again quiet save for the release of the RBA minutes which did little to really sway the market, it has been this morning that’s proven to be a little more exciting as headlines from China have hit the major news wires. In short, the Chinese have pledged to cease...

  • Lethargy and lament, FX on a Monday morning(18/11/2013)

    With little by way of news to drive markets it was left to the data prints to spark some life into the open last night. With Chinese data looking healthier once more, local bourses and the AUDUSD took a leg higher as a result. However walking in this morning it’s proving to be another one...

  • Woody Yellen tells it like its: QE Forever(15/11/2013)

    We finally heard from Yellen yesterday and let’s be honest folks, it was less than impressive or vastly different from what you’d expect any dove to really say. Let alone a dove that hasn’t been formally confirmed in the role yet. Of interest though, was at least her honest appraisal of where she thinks real...

  • Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Janet Yellen(14/11/2013)

    I present you, Janet Yellen! The crowd goes nuts and the USD goes boom. That, was the net result last night at the New York close and Asian transitional open. An early release of prepared remarks due at her testimonial later this afternoon was enough to send the market into wild throws of excitement as...

  • A tired FX market searches for direction(13/11/2013)

    Australian consumer sentiment data was stronger than expected last night, while the New Zealanders were out again attempting (and succeeding) to talk down their currency. Elsewhere ranges and price action in the major pairs were subdued in the Asian session with only equities drifting a little lower on local bourses. Walking in this morning it’s...

  • Deflationary scares in the UK while the EURUSD struggles to move lower(12/11/2013)

    Another UK number, another leak ahead of the release. The consistency with which this happens simply beggars belief. And yet everyone and everything other than the ONS is getting probed. Explain that to me. The overnight session was a quiet one for the most part with only AUD data coming in on the softer side...

  • Which way will the blow in FX this week(11/11/2013)

    Another lacklustre start to the trading week as the US is effectively on holiday today and the Asian open was anything but interesting. Chinese data released on Saturday was on the stronger side as was the Australian print. However, either did little to get the market reinvigorated. It seems for now the market is still...

  • An ECB rate cut won’t mend the mechanism – Mario where’s my LTRO?(8/11/2013)

    A surprise cut by the ECB yesterday. Well a surprise for the 99% in the market, not of course the plethora of Harry Hindsight monkeys that have reared their heads this morning yelling a massive “told ya so”. Yeah? Well about your p/l, Harry, how’s that looking? Anyway, perhaps of more concern for me and...

  • Walk tall, speak softly and carry a big stick, Mario(7/11/2013)

    Today is the day Super Mario walks tall and speaks softly, carrying what he thinks is a big stick, but what the rest of us know is nothing more than a toothpick. The entire market (although I think in recent days this may have eased off a bit) now expects Mario to, if not cut...

  • The FX world awaits with a twitch rather than a glimmer(6/11/2013)

    A quiet session overnight once again in Asia, where perhaps the biggest news was in the form of much better terms of trade out of Australia, where the deficit came in significantly smaller than market consensus had it pegged as going into the print. Otherwise the Nikkei ticked up again, albeit modestly and in a...

  • Beware a leaky boat in Cable on a sea of whispers(5/11/2013)

    The RBA overnight failed to move on rates as widely expected to be the case, however less expected was the dovish tone employed which drew specifically on the currency’s strength as a reason for potentially retarded growth etc in the land down under. Interesting how when the AUD was trading above 0.9700 odd at the...

  • Book squaring and position lightening ahead of the weeks risk events(4/11/2013)

    A quiet weekend on the news front save for better Chinese PMI print and stronger AUD data also. Charles Fisher, non-voting (will be a voter in 2014) FED hawk spoke in Sydney just in time for the Asian open and sent some shivers through USD bears as he talked up his usual hawkish stance. The...

  • The perfect storm in FX(1/11/2013)

    The perfect storm for the FX market. A movie for George Clooney to play George Soros in perhaps? No, but certainly what we saw yesterday, a perfect storm. Coming off what the market regarded as a hawkish FOMC (read my piece yesterday), we then saw month end flows that quite clearly favoured USD buying overall...

  • Slightly less dovish is clearly the new hawkish(31/10/2013)

    As a few commentators correctly noted in the wake of the FOMC last night, slightly less dovish (if at all) is now the new hawkish. In the wash out, that’s essentially what the reaction last night to the latest FED decision came down to. Having picked the bones out of the statement, the wording as...

  • All apples(26/9/2013)

    You know the drill folks, at least if you’ve been reading this piece the last few days, there simply isn’t much happening. Overnight saw the biggest moves in USDJPY, which interestingly have all but been given back again this morning. Mainly fuelled by chatter of sales tax hikes, and corporate tax reductions, the Nikkei was...

  • Je voudrais a higher credit rating, s’il vous plait…(18/2/2013)

    So the French have been downgraded and the front cover of the Economist wasn’t that far wrong after all… was it now… Market reaction was for the most part muted, despite the obvious knee jerk reaction to sell EURUSD on the announcement. In that thin rarefied air between the US close and Asia open, the...

  • Greece remains the dish d’jour in FX. France can breathe easy…(18/2/2013)

    So, as mentioned yesterday, another meeting in Brussels about Greece, another chance for Belgian caterers to rack up some overtime… Waiting up for the decision into the wee hours of yet another morning, yielded what was almost the expected result anyway. Technical difficulties in reaching a firm decision has meant that nothing formal was declared...

  • FX markets fail to react to yet another failed summit…(18/2/2013)

    With turkey-stuffed bellies and another disappointing round of negotiations from Brussels, the market has been left rather listless and wanting of directionality. A thin week has become even thinner and aside from various sound bites from both Japan and Europe, little has gone on in recent days and certainly overnight. The initial shock (well… not...

Editorials

  • A market long in the tooth and a trader who’s seen brighter days(24/12/2013)

    Having warmed my frozen feet by the fire and tempered my soul with countless “festive” vodkas (remember I don’t do eggnog) I have had ample opportunity to reflect on not only what this year has meant to me, but equally so what the last 20 have been about too. It’s that time of year really...

  • Time for some conspiratorial reflections(18/12/2013)

    As the year draws to a close its of course a natural time to reflect on what’s passed and to conspire about what is to come. In keeping with this theme and adorning my smoking jacket, slippers, sat by a log fire and with dog at my feet I shall share with you some of...

  • Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble(2/12/2013)

    First a lesson in popular mythology, the phrase is actually “Double, double toil and trouble” rather than the popularly accepted version of bubble, bubble… And, in the scheme of where I’m taking this mini rant, this actually makes a whole lot more sense. Of late, there has been a nuanced and growing voice for what...

  • The duality of data dependence(6/11/2013)

    Remember the good old days, when Chinese GDP at 8% YOY was considered good news? Despite the fact that the unspoken and commonly held belief in market circles was that at that rate, growth was actually flat or, 0%. But it was ok, because the data was coming out of a centrally planned, command economy...

  • Meet Johnny Law, the new Sheriff in town(16/10/2013)

    Roll up, roll up folks, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name’s Johnny Law. He doesn’t come alone though, No. With him, he drags a mob of angry town folk, carrying pitchforks and loaded shotguns, ready to gouge and blast their way to justice. The target of their collective thirst for vindication? The...

  • A simple case of reflexology(15/9/2013)

    I sit here tapping away at the keyboard on the day/weekend that marks the 5 year anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers. Most attribute this solitary event as the pinnacle of the mountain from which the world came sliding down ass first at break neck speeds to finally end up at the depths of...

  • Politically Correct(13/9/2013)

    With the conclusion of the most recent Australian Federal election, a German equivalent on our doorstep in a matter of weeks not to mention continuing general political rumbling going on globally it’s given me a cause to pause and take a moment, just to ponder. Democracy, as defined by the Oxford English dictionary as; a...

  • I am Spartacus(6/8/2013)

    I am Spartacus! I am Spartacus! No, I am Spartacus! Well you can’t all bloody well be Spartacus can you? Alright then, I’m the Messiah! No you’re not, you’re just a naughty little boy! Interesting isn’t it? How all of a sudden now, every man and his dog considers himself to be a trader. Are...

  • Heavy hands to do the hardwork(22/7/2013)

    Those that read my daily pieces would have heard me mention the concept of “heavy hands” previously. I’ve used this term generically to ascribe market behaviour to a group of participants with very, very deep pockets and enough size to influence sustained periods of control over market behaviour and price action. Akin in sorts to...

  • Je voudrais a higher credit rating, s’il vous plait…(18/2/2013)

    So the French have been downgraded and the front cover of the Economist wasn’t that far wrong after all… was it now… Market reaction was for the most part muted, despite the obvious knee jerk reaction to sell EURUSD on the announcement. In that thin rarefied air between the US close and Asia open, the...

  • Greece remains the dish d’jour in FX. France can breathe easy…(18/2/2013)

    So, as mentioned yesterday, another meeting in Brussels about Greece, another chance for Belgian caterers to rack up some overtime… Waiting up for the decision into the wee hours of yet another morning, yielded what was almost the expected result anyway. Technical difficulties in reaching a firm decision has meant that nothing formal was declared...

  • FX markets fail to react to yet another failed summit…(18/2/2013)

    With turkey-stuffed bellies and another disappointing round of negotiations from Brussels, the market has been left rather listless and wanting of directionality. A thin week has become even thinner and aside from various sound bites from both Japan and Europe, little has gone on in recent days and certainly overnight. The initial shock (well… not...