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Febrile times in the market

Just as I thought the market was winding down for the year and gearing up for all those Christmas parties – yes, some banks are still splashing the cash – it all kicks off in FX. According to one quality newspaper: “A febrile and disorderly foreign exchange market spooked investors on Thursday, after the yen surged to a 14-year high against the greenback and gold drove towards the $1,200 level... Gold took advantage of the frantic forex action to hit another high of $1,194.90 an ounce.”

“Gosh,” I thought, not really understanding what the journalist at the Financial Times was saying. So I thought I’d better check with some contacts if the market really was as scary as reported. “Febrile – doesn’t he play for Villareal?” came one response.

One buy sider had a more cynical view on what was going on. “It’s just an end-of-year excuse to take off risk and go for a Thanksgiving lunch,” he said.

Another sell-side trader thought he understood what the newspaper was saying: it was a somewhat pompous observation that the market was thin and order-driven.

‘Simple words in simple places’ has long been my mantra, mainly because I didn’t have a dictionary as a boy.

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