Currency Manipulation

Writing in Asia Times, David P. Goldman warns:

“US financial markets breather a big sigh of relief (yesterday) when the government reported a 9.8% jump in March US retail sales, showing recovery from February’s unexpected decline. And yet there is inflation in vehicle prices, inflation in gas price, inflation in home prices, and pandemic spending on healthcare reflected in the biggest gainers in retail sales. Dare investors hope that the Jerome Powell Fed will find a Goldilocks path of buoyant growth with less-than-horrific inflation? That depends on whether you believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics or your own eyes. The biggest increase in retail sales (comparing the January-March 2021 quarter toQ4 2020) came from motor vehicles and parts. According to the well-respected Mannheim Index, which uses sophisticated adjustments to estimate used car prices, the cost of used cars has risen by about 30% since the Covid crisis began. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the used car and truck component of its Consumer Price Index rose only 8%. I think Mannheim is closer to the truth. Four groups of retailers accounted for almost three-fourths of the quarter-on-quarter increase in retail sales. Motor vehicles headed the list, followed by pharmacies (not surprising during a pandemic), building materials, and gasoline stations.”

*Washington's currency manipulation and charges over tax avoidance against Taiwan and Switzerland have been removed for political reasons. The Swiss will cooperate on a minimum tax on foreign companies. The real issue, alas, is what Ireland will do. I think it will be hard for the Biden Administration to spank Dublin.

*London's FTSE 100 index today rose over 7000 for the first time in 14 months. It hit 7019.53.


*Oxford University, which developed the covid-19 vaccine being sold by Astra-Zeneca—not disinterested—today issued a study that showed that blood clots in people getting any of the current vaccines from AZNPfizerModerna, or Johnson & Johnson are about the same. The rate for cerebral venous thrombosis rate is one in 4 mn for the AZN jab and one in 5 mn with the rivals. The risk for people who get Covid-19 is ten times higher, at 39 per mn.

Today was a big news day for my US shares but not as much for the global-investing side.

*Insiders at Novocure sold vast numbers of ADR shares during the Israeli stock holidays this week: Chairman William F. Doyle $19.95 mn; CEO Asaf Danziger $19.21 mn; insider Ely Benaim $1.2 mn; and director Gabriel Leung $.12 mn. It is likely that they are better informed than we are about NVCR which gained hugely on a call for a shorter time frame and fewer trial participants.

*Moderna (the vaccine I got) is halving shipments to Canada to meet European demand based on bans against AZN and PFE jabs. Toronto will have problems coping.

*Bausch Health says its Vyzulta (latanoprosten bunod opththalmic solution) has been approved in Brazil to reduce intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. It is now approved in 10 markets: Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, the US, and by the Agencia Nacional de Vigiliancia Sanitaria in Brazil.

*Biogen Idec won Chinese approval for its Techfidera multiple sclerosis drug which trats relapsing and primary progressive variants. This took down TEVA of Israel, which has key MS drugs, by 0.5% at the opening. Tel Aviv is closed since Tuesday but reopens Sunday. However, it did not help Beigene, BGNE (sold).

*Other Israeli drug firms also fell: BLRX (off 2.38%), CGEN (-5.73%) ENLV ( -3.74%);

*Swiss stocks Novartis and Roche rose because of the removal of the ban on Swiss tax evasion by the Administration. NVS; RHHBYSwiss Helvetia Fund, SWZ, and the banksters are also up.

*Zymeworks lost another 2.02% today, hitting $29.57. It is Canadian. ZYME.

Energy and Mining

*ABB rose another 1.3% today to $127.5 on news that its JV partner AFC Energy is expanding their partnership in hydrogen power charging technology for a new user, data centers, after it raised £36 mn, including £3.2 mn from Swiss ABB. This boosted Investor, IVSBF by 3.82% to $86.77. IVSBF.

*Recycling leader Tomra Systems of Norway is up 5.17% to over $50/sh—but only the TMRAY ADR traded here.

*Pembina Pipeline of Canada, PBA, yields 6.9% from pipelines shipping oil and gas from its west Canada drilling sites to US users. It bought Kinder Morgan asssets (a US share I used to own) and will gain from US demand for fuels rising this year as well as allowing it to resume projects deferred in the last 12 months because of covid-19. PBA.

*Kirkland Lake, the gold miner, was up another 1.97% today to $38. An analyst may have upgraded it based on its yield and higher production levels but I cannot find one. It fell later and is now only ahead 1.5%. KL.

*Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plcAY, rose another 0.4%.

*Mauritian Azure Power Global recouped 1.8% today. AZRE.

*Chinese electric car-maker NIO finally got some respect today, up 1.82% to over $36.3.

*Cement-makers Cemex (CX) of Mexico gained 1.5% today in UK trading. Irish CRH gained 1%. Both are cutting their carbon footprint.

*Royal Dutch Shell B shares fell 0.8% which may be a perverse reaction to its announcement that it will run out of dirty oil and gas reserves by 2050, and its invitation to shareholders to vote on its green energy plans. RDS-B.

*Energy Fuels, UUUU, dropped another 4.83%. For whatever it is worth, it is a buy for HC Wainwright and has a TP of $6.5 from Roth Capital. Its Q4 earnings come out April 29 and the consensus is a loss of 4.5 loony cents/sh. I am tempted to buy more but am resisting it. UUUU beat for 2020 to date on which it reported Mar. 23.

*Canadian Solar, CSIQ, gained 2% to $43.56 after it announced it will mass product 210-millimeter large cell modules. It landed a 143 megaWatt solar project in Japan which failed to boost the share but tech stuff worked. It was upgraded by CFRA.

*Cameco target price was chopped to $18 by Argus. CCJ.

*Vermilion Energy was called undervalued by Sjibham Garg writing in Seeking Alpha. VET.


*Coupang did not suffer after 4 employees' families threatened to sue CPNG for their deaths allegedly from overwork. CPNG gives mourners funds, not hush money but a traditional solace.

*Dutch Prosus (PROSY) is up .22% while Naspers (NPSNY) is 0.45% lower. It did gain 3.66% in London trading. Both hold the same positions but the former trades in Europe and the latter in South Africa.

*Cosan gained another 0.75% today after opening down by 1.3%. CSAN.

*Ericsson is up 1.52%. ERIC. Nokia gained 0.85%. ERIC; NOK.

*Multichoice, the Africa media stock, is up 1%. MCHOY.

* rose 1.2% today on the Chinese further crackdown on tech because it is not a tech stock.

*Veolia of France rose 2.15% today to $29.88, je ne sais pas pourquoi. It may just be the deal with archrival Suez before le ouiqende. VEOEY.

*Algonquin AQN, another ute, is down 0.12%. EON SE (EONGY) of Germany is up 0.6% heute. 

*Blackrock again holds over 5% of Sampo Oyj of Finland, a conglomerate, SAXPY.

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William K. 2 years ago Member's comment

The federal reserve people have been manipulating the USA currency for many years, making errors all along the way, and much of the timer pushing in the wrong direction. That is what clowns do as part of the clown business. In spite of that fumbling manipulation the country has done fairly well, but not quite excellently for all. Perhaps if the goal had not been constant inflation the bottom 30% of the economic level folks would be better off. There will always be a bottom 30%, but if they were closer to the middle 30% it would be better.

And the detailed report on the rise and fall of many reminds us that weare still in a dynamic situation.