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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two Things That Went Largely Unnoticed Today

*Mr. Market is fast asleep after all the date rape drugs someone's been slipping in his martini

via betweenthe hedges
Home price declines in the U.S. accelerated in the second quarter, dropping by a record 15.6 percent from a year earlier, as foreclosures weighed on values. The median price of an existing single-family home dropped to $174,100, the most in records dating to 1979, the National Association of Realtors said today. Total sales rose 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million from the first quarter and fell 2.9 percent from 2008’s second quarter.

- A 37% drop in the Baltic Dry Index, a barometer of commodity prices, from this year’s high may foreshadow losses in the dollars of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, countries that rely on raw-material exports. “Commodity currencies and the Baltic Dry Index tend to move somewhat in synch,” said Camilla Sutton, director of currency at Scotia Capital Inc. in Toronto. “We’ve seen the index drop dramatically. It’s a cautionary sign.” The fall in the Baltic Dry Index may reflect a deceleration in the stockpiling of commodities in China, Sutton said. If that’s the case, “commodity currencies including the Canadian dollar could move dramatically lower,” she said.

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