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Key News

  • Jean-Claude Trichet is facing the biggest split on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council in his six years as president. (Bloomberg)
  • The Swiss central bank will intervene vigorously in foreign exchange markets if need be, Swiss National Bank President Jean-Pierre Roth said Friday.    "I can’t comment [on] how much money we have spent on foreign exchange market interventions so far, but what I can say is that each time we announce something of this scale, we take vigorous action.   "We have intervened decisively and we will intervene decisively," Roth told a general meeting of SNB shareholders in Berne. (DJ Newswire)
  • New Zealand’s inflation rate continued to ease in the first quarter, official figures showed Friday, setting the scene for the central bank to cut interest rates again to help an economy mired in recession. (AP)
  • Japan’s economy will continue to worsen as consumption weakens and companies slash capital spending, the governor of the Bank of Japan said. (Reuters)

Key Reports (WSJ):
10:00 a.m. Mid-Apr Reuters/U Mich Sentiment Index: Expected: 57.5. Previous: 56.6.


"Your highness, when I said that you are like a stream of bat’s piss, I only mean that you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around it is dark."

                              Monty Python

FX Trading – Hodgepodge
CB’s whacking Their Currencies Today

The two key central banks in Europe decided to knock their currencies down a few pegs this morning…

Swiss did it explicitly with comments from Swiss central bank Chief Jean-Pierre Roth saying the bank is all in selling Swissie:

The European Central Bank did the deed implicitly through internal squabbling over whether or not to follow in the footsteps of their pen pal across the pond–the Fed–and get involved in quantitative easing in a big way (what quantity to buy and who best deserves the easing is still not clear and likely the root of the bickering).  The Germans don’t like the idea much, as they know their taxpayers will be paying for most of it, but other Eurozone members lusting for liquidity love the idea.  

Copper, Precious Copper

A reader (think you G.P.) sent us this extremely interesting story from the UK Telegraph, “A ‘Copper Standard’ for the world’s currency system?,” by Mr. Evans-Pritchard, a man who has never been shy with his headlines.  In his piece, Mr. Evans-Pritchard quotes Nobu Su, head of Taiwan’s TMT group:

“‘China has woken up. The West is a black hole with all this money being printed. The Chinese are buying raw materials because it is a much better way to use their $1.9 trillion of reserves. They get ten times the impact, and can cover their infrastructure for 50 years.’

“‘The next industrial revolution is going to be led by hybrid cars, and that needs copper. You can see the subtle way that China is moving into 30 or 40 countries with resources,’ he said.”

“John Reade, metals chief at UBS, said Beijing may have a made strategic decision to stockpile metal as an alternative to foreign bonds. ‘We’re very surprised by Chinese demand. They are buying much more copper than they will need this year. If this is strategic, there may be no effective limit on the purchases as China’s pockets are deep.'”

Hmmm…..commodities bulls rejoice!  This story makes a lot of sense…but, over the near-term buying copper isn’t likely to spur consumer demand, which is what China needs if Mr. US Consumer continues to hide in his cocoon. 

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What the heck has happened to Newsletter Writers Favorite Asset Class (NLWFAC)?  John Ross and I coined that acronym for gold while toiling at the charts yesterday afternoon.  We thought it so apropos. 

All those guys (except NLWFAC agnostics like us of course) seem perpetually in love with gold.  Same reasons–dollar is dirt, US will explode, world monetary system to collapse, new global currency standard with gold backing on the way, central bank manipulation (when gold is going down, but no manipulation talk when gold is going up), major short positions, huge bullion demand, Indians heading to jewelry stores once monsoon is over, China will start buying, runaway inflation, Russia to start a futures market, it’s an aphrodisiac, my father-in law hides it in his walls, and JR tells me it goes well on corn flakes…

Now, remember all you NLWFAC lovers, don’t hate!