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Obama’s St Paddy’s Day wishes 18/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Northern Ireland, Politics.
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Full of the craic.

A Continent Adrift 17/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Politics.
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Paul Krugman is concerned about Europe- the weakest link in the war against world-wide depression.

Morning FX Report 10/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, FX, Politics.
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GBPUSD- Weaker below 1.3900. Targeting 1.3750, then 1.3500

EURUSD- Higher above 1.2700. Targeting 1.2760. Reversal on poor fundamental news, poor equity markets

UK– Economic data from the UK released today reported- you guessed it- a further deterioration in the economic climate. Housing data from the UK continues to break new records. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) released this morning showed that monthly price balance had fallen to -78.3  from -76.6. Average sales completed per surveyor sank to 9.5 for the three months to February from 9.8 in the previous survey, the lowest since the RICS started the series in 1978. Retail sales, according to the BRC monitor in February fell 1.8% y/y (compared to a 1.1% rise in January). The Office for National Statistics says that  industrial  production in January fell  2.6% m/m and 11.4% y/y. Industrial output in the three months to January fell by 7.1% when compared with the previous three months, the biggest  fall since March 1974. Commentary- given this latest reminder to the market about the seriousness of the downturn in the UK economy it is perhaps surprising that there was not a consequent sell-off in Sterling. Having seen a 400 pip sell-off yesterday against the USD, Cable found support around the 1.3750 level, rising to a high earlier today of 1.3886. Technically, a rebound was expected at some point. GBPUSD should resume its trend downwards, testing the new support before targeting the 1.3500 level. Interestingly though, some respected FX strategist are predicting that GBP could rise as a result of any positive results of quantitative easing- given that the BOE is ahead of other banks in implementing this measure.

EUR– European economic data showed the worsening business climate in the region. Highlights from the Eurozone include the German trade balance – which rose a weaker than expected 8.5B from 7.3B – and French industrial production – which collapsed -3.1% in Jan to a new record low -13.8% annual rate and considerably weaker than the market expectationm of -1.0% m/m. EURUSD shed about -25 pips in the session thus far and was sitting near 1.2680/90 ahead of the NY open. The relative lack of movement of the Euro from the movement markets, particularly given that is was much worse than expected perhaps says much about market cynicism towards European leaders, who are being wrecklessly overcautious. Chairman of the Eurozone Finance Ministers Junker has demonstrated how behind the curve some policy makers are in the region. Responding to calls from the US- as well as leading economists and a strongly worded piece in yesterday’s FT, courtesy of Martin Wolf, he said, “the 16 finance ministers agreed that recent American appeals insisting Europeans make an added budgetary effort were not to our liking.” In separate comments German Finance Minister Steinbruek said, “We are not debating any additional measures.” However, other policy makers have commented on the need for preemptive and decisive action. ECB Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi is quoted as saying in Boersen-Zeitung: “If the (economic) situation worsens, the ECB is ready to reduce rates further, even to zero. That is above all the case if the economy was really threatened by sustained deflation. And in such a situation, the best approach would be to act sooner rather than later.” Like yesterday, EURUSD should follow world equity markets closely. Follow the Dow..

Gordon Brown is innocent 05/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Politics.
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A pretty good defence of our beleagured Prime Minister I would say. Although it still doesn’t excuse his notorious claim to end “Tory boom and bust.”

Stewart rips into Santelli et al 05/03/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Funny, Politics, Society.
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CNBC is the latest victim of Stewart’s ire.

Chicago- the last bastion of capitalism 19/02/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Politics, Society.
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We are all Keynesians now. We all agree that, left to its own devices, unregulated capitalism will eat itself alive and government must act now to prevent economic collapse. Right? Not quite. One city in America remains defiant. Observe the last remaining ideologues in the western world.

Never cross The Black Prince 18/02/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, Politics.
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The CEO of Starbucks has been chastened by UK Business Secretary Peter Mandelson AKA “The One”. In an interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, Mandelson refuted comments made earlier by the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to the TV presenter that the UK was spiralling downwards. Never, ever cross Mandy. As an off the cuff rebuttal it was pretty impressive, and characteristically  caustic.

Edge of the cliff time 17/02/2009

Posted by chrisdshaw in Economics, FX, Politics, Uncategorized.
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A very scary day today. In most of my posts so far I have been monitoring developments in the FX market, and with it the level of risk appetite. Today we have witnessed a total collapse in risk appetite, as the news of the last few days- a lacklustre G7 meeting and a terrifying level of debt exposure of Western European banks- has weighed heavily on the markets. US equity markets are testing their post Lehman lows- the Novemebr 20 low in the Dow to look out for being 7552, and the price of US government debt has soared. US 10 year bills have dropped 20bps- a huge number. Gold has risen another 3.4% to $973 per ounce, a seven month high.

Later today, President Obama will sign in the new fiscal stimulus package; widely viewed as weak and hijacked by Congressional Democrats and Republicans. The markets obviously don’t like it. 

And if that isn’t depressing enough reports are coming through that R. Alan Stanford of Stanford Financial Group in Texas has been charged by the SEC of a “massive ongoing fraud”.