Category Archive: 4.) Marc to Market

Forex Forensics: The Case of the Yen

Over the past five sessions, the yen is the strongest of the major currencies, appreciating about 1.7% against the US dollar, eclipsing the Swedish krona, which rallied strongly today after the Riksbank's surprise rate hike.  Given the sell-off in equities and the decline in markets, the yen's strength is not surprising. 

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FX Daily, December 21: Markets Stumble into the Weekend

Overview: There is little reprieve from the equity meltdown ahead of the weekend. Major markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, China, India, and Australia pushed lower. The MSCI index of the region is near 15-month lows. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 0.6% near midday in London to make new two-year lows. US shares are also trading lower in Europe.

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FX Daily, December 20: Stocks Slump and the Dollar Slides as Market Concludes Fed is Mistaken

Overview:  Once again the US equity market failed to hold on to even minimal upticks.  The sharply lower close spurred follow-through selling in global equities.  Few have been spared the wrath of investors who apparently were disappointed with the Fed and its reluctance to consider stopping the balance sheet unwind. 

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FX Daily, December 19: The Fed’s Paws may Still Unsettle Investors

Overview:  The failure of the S&P 500 to sustain even modest upside momentum yesterday is keeping traders on edge today, though another attempt on the upside is likely.  Asian equities were mixed, with Chinese and Japanese shares lower.  The Nikkei closed below the 21000 support level. 

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FX Daily, December 18: Stock Rout Deepens, Casts Shadow over Holiday Spirit

Overview: The 2% slide in the S&P 500 to new lows for the year yesterday hit Asian and European equities today. Bond yields are lower, and the dollar is softer against most major currencies. The dramatic equity losses and some disappointing data sparked doubts about the ability of the Fed to raise rates tomorrow at the conclusion of its last meeting of the year.

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FX Daily, December 17: Markets Quiet to Start Fed Week

Activity in the global capital markets is subdued as investors move to the sidelines as the year-end approaches. The Federal Reserve headlines the holiday week that also features a Bank of England a Bank of Japan meeting. Only the Fed is expected to change rates.

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FX Weekly Preview: FOMC Dominates Week Ahead Calendar

The last FOMC meeting of 2018 is at hand. After hiking rates three times in 2017, the Fed signaled that four hikes were likely this year and with a widely expected move on December 20, it would have fully delivered, though many steps along the way, skeptical investors had to be led by the nose, as it were, to minimize the element of surprise.

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FX Daily, December 14: Week Closing on a Disappointing Note

Overview:  A string of disappointing economic is spurring risk-off sentiment today.  Global shares prices are being punished and core bonds are being snapped up.  The US dollar is trading higher against most major and emerging market currencies.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was flat on the week coming into today's session.

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FX Daily, December 13: May Survives but its Draghi’s Day

Overview: There is a sense of optimism among investors today that may be tested as the session progresses. News that China may reconsider its "Made in China 2025" initiative as an apparent concession to the US while reports suggest it has bought 1.5-2.0 mln tons of soy is easing trade tension fears. 

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FX Daily, December 12: Markets Calm on May Day

The US S&P 500 failed to sustain the early upside momentum, but global equities are moving higher today, and there is some optimism on the trade front. Emerging market equities and currencies are also doing well today.

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FX Daily, December 11: Fragile Calm Threatens to Break Out

Indications that US and Chinese trade talks are proceeding, coupled with a dramatic reversal in the S&P 500 yesterday is helping stabilize the capital markets today. Asian equities were mixed, but the Greater China (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan markets) alongside India and Australia posted modest gains.

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Cool Video: Bloomberg Economic Discussion

I joined Chris Wolfe from First Republic Wealth Management on the set of Bloomberg's Daybreak to discuss market developments and the outlook for the US economy. We generally agreed that while the economy is slowing it is doing so from unsustainably strong levels.

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FX Daily, December 10: Lack of Closure Weighs on Sentiment

Investors angst over trade tensions and Brexit continue remains elevated, and poor Chinese and Japanese economic news played on global growth fears. Equities continue to slog lower. Bond yields are little changed, and the dollar is lower against most of the major currencies.

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FX Weekly Preview: The Week Ahead: Don’t Skip Steps on Escalation Ladders

The drop in US yields and disappointing economic data weighed on sentiment and the dollar last week. Even weakness in equities, which had seemed to lend the greenback support, failed to do so at the end of last week. With the real Fed funds rate (adjusted for inflation) below zero, employment at 50-year lows, and some fiscal stimulus still in the pipeline, the doom and gloom cant of a recession next year seems misplaced.

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FX Daily, December 07: A Couple More Events before Seeing the End of Difficult Week for Investors

Overview: Global equities have stabilized after US equities recovered yesterday, with the NASDAQ 100 staging its biggest reversal in eight months and the S&P500 recouped almost three percent to close 0.15% lower. Asia Pacific equities were mostly higher. Hong Kong shares, including the mainland shares that trade there, were the notable exception.

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FX Daily, December 06: New Spanner in US-China Relations Weighs on Risk Appetites

Overview: The global capital markets were fragile amid trade uncertainty and economic slowdown fears. News that Canada arrested the CFO of Huawei on behalf of the US, ostensibly for violating the embargo against Iran triggered an almost immediate risk-off wave that has extended the equity markets losses, sending core bond yields lower, with the US 10-year slipping below 2.9%, and underpinning the dollar against most currencies, with the notable...

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FX Daily, December 05: US Market Closure may be a Firebreak

The 3%+ drop in the S&P 500 yesterday kept global equities under pressure today, though losses in Asia and Europe were milder. In Asia, only Hong Kong and Taiwan benchmarks lost more than 1%. In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is off about 0.8% in late morning turnover.

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The Dollar and Its Rivals

I was in graduate school, studying American foreign policy when I stumbled on Riccardo Parboni's "The Dollar and Its Rivals." This thin volume showed how the foreign exchange market was the arena in which capitalist rivalries were expressed. More than any single book, it set me on a more than 30-year path.

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FX Daily, December 04: Stock Rally Arrested, but Bond and Oil Advance Continues, leaving Dollar in a Lurch

Overview: Equity markets are unable to build on yesterday's advance, but bonds and oil are extending gains. The dollar remains on the defensive and is off again all the major currencies. The lack of a joint statement over the weekend by the US and China and seemingly different interpretations of what was agreed leaves investors in a lurch.

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Great Graphic: The Dollar Index Climbs a Wall of Worry

To be sure, the Dollar Index is not the dollar. It is not even a trade-weighted measure of the dollar. Two of America's largest trading partners, China and Mexico, are not represented. It is heavily weighted to the euro and currencies that move in its orbit, like the Swiss franc Swedish krona, and arguably the British pound.

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