Connect with us


Fade the Dollar Gains

Fade the Dollar Gains



Overview: The S&P 500 rallied 1.6% yesterday to extend the streak to a fifth consecutive session, and the longest of the year and completed the negation of a bearish technical pattern.  However, the main feature today is a wave of profit-taking on risk assets.  Most equity markets moved lower in the Asia Pacific region. Chinese markets were a notable exception. The Shanghai edged about 0.35% higher, while the Shenzhen tacked on 1.7%.  European shares are struggling, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is giving back a bit more than half of yesterday's 1.6% gain. US shares are trading heavily, setting up for around a 1.0% early loss in the S&P 500.  While Asia Pacific yields mostly eased, European 10-year benchmark yields are a little firmer.  The US 10-year yield is practically flat at 67 bp.   The dollar itself is firmer against all the major currencies, led by the Antipodeans and Norwegian krone. Emerging market currencies are also mostly weaker, with the JP Morgan Emerging Market Currency Index off around 0.4% late in the European morning.  Gold is consolidating at lower levels.  Initial support is seen ahead of $1770.  Similarly, oil has slipped lower and WTI for August delivery is testing support near $40 a barrel level after briefly poking above $41 yesterday.  

Asia Pacific

The dollar fell sharply (~0.70-0.75%) against onshore and offshore yuan yesterday but stabilized today but only after dipping below CNH7.0.  It remained below the 200-day moving average of both for the first time in three months. The inclusion of Chinese financial assets into global benchmarks has drawn almost $600 bln as of the end of Q1 20. These are still modest sums given the size of Chinese assets.  Nevertheless, many fund managers appeared underweight China, and the recent surge has caught many wrongfooted.  At the same time, investors, Chinese bonds have underperformed, as there seems to be a portfolio shift among domestic investors from bonds to stocks.    Separately, China reported that the value of its reserve holding rose by about $10.6 bln to $3.112 trillion in June.  It was the third consecutive monthly increase that puts the reserve holdings about $4.5 bln above the December 2019 levels.  

China's 10-year bond yield surged 12 bp yesterday to pop above the 3.0% level for the first time since January and edged a little higher today. The lack of new liquidity measures over the weekend and a deluge of anticipated supply offered fresh fodder for a move underway since the end of April.  Since then, the yield has risen by a little more than 50 bp.  For comparison, the US 10-year yield has edged up by about 5 bp.  The rising yield is not desirable, and a policy response may be likely if elevated yields persist, such a cut in required reserves. 

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate target unchanged at 0.25%.  That also remains its target for three-year money.  Even as Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city re-entered lockdown mode (six weeks), the RBA sees a less severe hit to the economy that it feared earlier.  It continued to emphasize the uncertain economic outlook.  If more support is needed, it will extend its bond-buying efforts. 

In Japan, labor cash earnings were weaker than expected, falling 2.1% year-over-year in May, and it is the same decline when adjusted for inflation.  Economists had been looking for a decline half as large.  It is not surprising then that household spending was also weaker in May, falling a sharp 16.2% after an 11.1% decline in April.  Economists had forecast a little less than a 12% drop.  While there can be no doubt that the pandemic played a role, household spending in Japan has not risen since the sales tax hike was introduced at the beginning of Q3 19.  

The dollar found support near JPY107.25 and returned to yesterday's highs near JPY107.75 in Europe.  The intraday technicals readings are getting stretched. Last week's peak was near JPY108.15, but this looks a bit too far today.  We suspect early North American operators will be inclined to sell into these upticks.  The Australian dollar has traded on both sides of yesterday's range.  The close will be important from a technical perspective. A close below $0.6925 could signal near-term losses toward $0.6850.  


Germany followed its smaller than expected recovery in factory orders reported yesterday with a disappointing industrial output report.  Industrial production rose by 7.8% in May.  Economists had projected an 11.1% gain after a revised 17.5% decline in April, according to the median forecast in the Bloomberg survey.  The takeaway is that the largest economy in Europe is recovering, though a little slower than the survey day would suggest.  

France's May trade deficit yawned wider to 7.05 bln euros from 5.07 bln euros in April (initially 5.02 bln).  It is the second-largest shortfall since 2012.  However, the silver lining is that both exports and imports rose (16.8% and 20.7%, respectively) in the month.  This lends credence to the French recovery story, which appears to be running ahead of many of its trading partners.  Separately, note that in the cabinet reshuffle, Finance Minister Le Maire and Foreign Minister Le Drian retained their posts.  

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak will present to Parliament tomorrow an economic update and new measures to support the economy and jobs.   The government's furlough program, under which it pays 80% of the wages, is now supporting 12.1 mln jobs (cost ~GBP35 bln).  It is to begin winding down next month.  Separately, the government's three lending programs have lent about GBP45 bln to more than one million companies.  Among his new proposals, Sunak will reportedly launch a GBP3 bln initiative to fund a conversion to more energy-efficient public buildings.  

The euro peaked near $1.1345 yesterday and has been sold to about $1.1260 in the European morning.  It is stretched, and a bounce is likely in the North American morning.  There are 1.5 bln euros in options ($1.1265-$1.1275) that expire today.  On the upside, another 1.7 bn euros in expiring options ($1.1335-$1.1345).  Over the last couple of weeks, sterling has been capped in the $1.2530-$1.2550 area. Yesterday it peaked near $1.2520 and today has retreated to about $1.2465.  Here too, we suspect support has been found in the European morning, and some recovery is likely in North America.  


Another fairly subdued economic calendar is on tap for the Americas today.   The US reports the JOLTS jobs-opening survey, and four Fed officials, including the Vice-Chair Quarles, speak today.  Canada reports the IVEY survey, and a rise from May's 39.1 reading is anticipated.  Ottawa is expected to provide a budget update tomorrow.  Note that the US Supreme Court allowed a lower court ruling that is blocking the Keystone XL pipeline to remain in place over the Trump Administration's objections.  Mexico reports vehicle production and exports.  In Brazil, the results from President Bolsonaro's Covid-19 tests are awaited await after apparently showing some symptoms. 

With the foreclosure and eviction moratorium and the $600 a week extra unemployment insurance programs set to end later this month, pressure is building on Congress to take more action.  The 7.5 mln employees returning to their jobs in May and June seemed to sap some enthusiasm for another large stimulus package. Still, new closures and the slowing of re-opening efforts in the face of the increase in the number of cases, with hospitalizations, also beginning to rise,  Senate leader McConnell acknowledged that one more stimulus package will be put together in the coming weeks.  

The US dollar found support near CAD1.3520 and has recovered to about CAD1.3590 today, which nearly fulfills a (38.2%) retracement objective of the recent losses from the push above CAD1.3700 on June 26.  The next retracement is near CAD1.3620.  However, we suspect the greenback's bounce will run out of steam before getting there, and it could pullback toward the middle of the range.  With a few exceptions, the US dollar has been confined to an MXN22.00-MXN23.00 range of over the last three weeks.  We look for this range to be maintained near-term, and that suggests new peso buying will likely emerge shortly as the upper third of the range is entered.  


Read More

Continue Reading


Buried Project Veritas Recording Shows Top Pfizer Scientists Suppressed Concerns Over COVID-19 Boosters, MRNA Tech

Buried Project Veritas Recording Shows Top Pfizer Scientists Suppressed Concerns Over COVID-19 Boosters, MRNA Tech

Submitted by Liam Cosgrove




Buried Project Veritas Recording Shows Top Pfizer Scientists Suppressed Concerns Over COVID-19 Boosters, MRNA Tech

Submitted by Liam Cosgrove

Former Project Veritas & O’Keefe Media Group operative and Pfizer formulation analyst scientist Justin Leslie revealed previously unpublished recordings showing Pfizer’s top vaccine researchers discussing major concerns surrounding COVID-19 vaccines. Leslie delivered these recordings to Veritas in late 2021, but they were never published:

Featured in Leslie’s footage is Kanwal Gill, a principal scientist at Pfizer. Gill was weary of MRNA technology given its long research history yet lack of approved commercial products. She called the vaccines “sneaky,” suggesting latent side effects could emerge in time.

Gill goes on to illustrate how the vaccine formulation process was dramatically rushed under the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization and adds that profit incentives likely played a role:

"It’s going to affect my heart, and I’m going to die. And nobody’s talking about that."

Leslie recorded another colleague, Pfizer’s pharmaceutical formulation scientist Ramin Darvari, who raised the since-validated concern that repeat booster intake could damage the cardiovascular system:

None of these claims will be shocking to hear in 2024, but it is telling that high-level Pfizer researchers were discussing these topics in private while the company assured the public of “no serious safety concerns” upon the jab’s release:

Vaccine for Children is a Different Formulation

Leslie sent me a little-known FDA-Pfizer conference — a 7-hour Zoom meeting published in tandem with the approval of the vaccine for 5 – 11 year-olds — during which Pfizer’s vice presidents of vaccine research and development, Nicholas Warne and William Gruber, discussed a last-minute change to the vaccine’s “buffer” — from “PBS” to “Tris” — to improve its shelf life. For about 30 seconds of these 7 hours, Gruber acknowledged that the new formula was NOT the one used in clinical trials (emphasis mine):

“The studies were done using the same volume… but contained the PBS buffer. We obviously had extensive consultations with the FDA and it was determined that the clinical studies were not required because, again, the LNP and the MRNA are the same and the behavior — in terms of reactogenicity and efficacy — are expected to be the same.

According to Leslie, the tweaked “buffer” dramatically changed the temperature needed for storage: “Before they changed this last step of the formulation, the formula was to be kept at -80 degrees Celsius. After they changed the last step, we kept them at 2 to 8 degrees celsius,” Leslie told me.

The claims are backed up in the referenced video presentation:

I’m no vaccinologist but an 80-degree temperature delta — and a 5x shelf-life in a warmer climate — seems like a significant change that might warrant clinical trials before commercial release.

Despite this information technically being public, there has been virtually no media scrutiny or even coverage — and in fact, most were told the vaccine for children was the same formula but just a smaller dose — which is perhaps due to a combination of the information being buried within a 7-hour jargon-filled presentation and our media being totally dysfunctional.

Bohemian Grove?

Leslie’s 2-hour long documentary on his experience at both Pfizer and O’Keefe’s companies concludes on an interesting note: James O’Keefe attended an outing at the Bohemian Grove.

Leslie offers this photo of James’ Bohemian Grove “GATE” slip as evidence, left on his work desk atop a copy of his book, “American Muckraker”:

My thoughts on the Bohemian Grove: my good friend’s dad was its general manager for several decades. From what I have gathered through that connection, the Bohemian Grove is not some version of the Illuminati, at least not in the institutional sense.

Do powerful elites hangout there? Absolutely. Do they discuss their plans for the world while hanging out there? I’m sure it has happened. Do they have a weird ritual with a giant owl? Yep, Alex Jones showed that to the world.

My perspective is based on conversations with my friend and my belief that his father is not lying to him. I could be wrong and am open to evidence — like if boxer Ryan Garcia decides to produce evidence regarding his rape claims — and I do find it a bit strange the club would invite O’Keefe who is notorious for covertly filming, but Occam’s razor would lead me to believe the club is — as it was under my friend’s dad — run by boomer conservatives the extent of whose politics include disliking wokeness, immigration, and Biden (common subjects of O’Keefe’s work).

Therefore, I don’t find O’Keefe’s visit to the club indicative that he is some sort of Operation Mockingbird asset as Leslie tries to depict (however Mockingbird is a 100% legitimate conspiracy). I have also met James several times and even came close to joining OMG. While I disagreed with James on the significance of many of his stories — finding some to be overhyped and showy — I never doubted his conviction in them.

As for why Leslie’s story was squashed… all my sources told me it was to avoid jail time for Veritas executives.

Feel free to watch Leslie’s full documentary here and decide for yourself.

Fun fact — Justin Leslie was also the operative behind this mega-viral Project Veritas story where Pfizer’s director of R&D claimed the company was privately mutating COVID-19 behind closed doors:

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/12/2024 - 13:40

Read More

Continue Reading


Association of prenatal vitamins and metals with epigenetic aging at birth and in childhood

“[…] our findings support the hypothesis that the intrauterine environment, particularly essential and non-essential metals, affect epigenetic aging…



“[…] our findings support the hypothesis that the intrauterine environment, particularly essential and non-essential metals, affect epigenetic aging biomarkers across the life course.”

Credit: 2024 Bozack et al.

“[…] our findings support the hypothesis that the intrauterine environment, particularly essential and non-essential metals, affect epigenetic aging biomarkers across the life course.”

BUFFALO, NY- March 12, 2024 – A new research paper was published in Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as “Aging (Albany NY)” and “Aging-US” by Web of Science) Volume 16, Issue 4, entitled, “Associations of prenatal one-carbon metabolism nutrients and metals with epigenetic aging biomarkers at birth and in childhood in a US cohort.”

Epigenetic gestational age acceleration (EGAA) at birth and epigenetic age acceleration (EAA) in childhood may be biomarkers of the intrauterine environment. In this new study, researchers Anne K. Bozack, Sheryl L. Rifas-Shiman, Andrea A. Baccarelli, Robert O. Wright, Diane R. Gold, Emily Oken, Marie-France Hivert, and Andres Cardenas from Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Columbia University, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai investigated the extent to which first-trimester folate, B12, 5 essential and 7 non-essential metals in maternal circulation are associated with EGAA and EAA in early life. 

“[…] we hypothesized that OCM [one-carbon metabolism] nutrients and essential metals would be positively associated with EGAA and non-essential metals would be negatively associated with EGAA. We also investigated nonlinear associations and associations with mixtures of micronutrients and metals.”

Bohlin EGAA and Horvath pan-tissue and skin and blood EAA were calculated using DNA methylation measured in cord blood (N=351) and mid-childhood blood (N=326; median age = 7.7 years) in the Project Viva pre-birth cohort. A one standard deviation increase in individual essential metals (copper, manganese, and zinc) was associated with 0.94-1.2 weeks lower Horvath EAA at birth, and patterns of exposures identified by exploratory factor analysis suggested that a common source of essential metals was associated with Horvath EAA. The researchers also observed evidence of nonlinear associations of zinc with Bohlin EGAA, magnesium and lead with Horvath EAA, and cesium with skin and blood EAA at birth. Overall, associations at birth did not persist in mid-childhood; however, arsenic was associated with greater EAA at birth and in childhood. 

“Prenatal metals, including essential metals and arsenic, are associated with epigenetic aging in early life, which might be associated with future health.”


Read the full paper: DOI: 

Corresponding Author: Andres Cardenas

Corresponding Email: 

Keywords: epigenetic age acceleration, metals, folate, B12, prenatal exposures

Click here to sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article.


About Aging:

Launched in 2009, Aging publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us:

  • Facebook
  • X, formerly Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Spotify, and available wherever you listen to podcasts


Click here to subscribe to Aging publication updates.

For media inquiries, please contact


Aging (Aging-US) Journal Office

6666 E. Quaker Str., Suite 1B

Orchard Park, NY 14127

Phone: 1-800-922-0957, option 1


Read More

Continue Reading


A beginner’s guide to the taxes you’ll hear about this election season

Everything you need to know about income tax, national insurance and more.

Cast Of Thousands/Shutterstock

National insurance, income tax, VAT, capital gains tax, inheritance tax… it’s easy to get confused about the many different ways we contribute to the cost of running the country. The budget announcement is the key time each year when the government shares its financial plans with us all, and announces changes that may make a tangible difference to what you pay.

But you’ll likely be hearing a lot more about taxes in the coming months – promises to cut or raise them are an easy win (or lose) for politicians in an election year. We may even get at least one “mini-budget”.

If you’ve recently entered the workforce or the housing market, you may still be wrapping your mind around all of these terms. Here is what you need to know about the different types of taxes and how they affect you.

The UK broadly uses three ways to collect tax:

1. When you earn money

If you are an employee or own a business, taxes are deducted from your salary or profits you make. For most people, this happens in two ways: income tax, and national insurance contributions (or NICs).

If you are self-employed, you will have to pay your taxes via an annual tax return assessment. You might also have to pay taxes this way for interest you earn on savings, dividends (distribution of profits from a company or shares you own) received and most other forms of income not taxed before you get it.

Around two-thirds of taxes collected come from people’s or business’ incomes in the UK.

2. When you spend money

VAT and excise duties are taxes on most goods and services you buy, with some exceptions like books and children’s clothing. About 20% of the total tax collected is VAT.

3. Taxes on wealth and assets

These are mainly taxes on the money you earn if you sell assets (like property or stocks) for more than you bought them for, or when you pass on assets in an inheritance. In the latter case in the UK, the recipient doesn’t pay this, it is the estate paying it out that must cover this if due. These taxes contribute only about 3% to the total tax collected.

You also likely have to pay council tax, which is set by the council you live in based on the value of your house or flat. It is paid by the user of the property, no matter if you own or rent. If you are a full-time student or on some apprenticeship schemes, you may get a deduction or not have to pay council tax at all.

Quarter life, a series by The Conversation

This article is part of Quarter Life, a series about issues affecting those of us in our 20s and 30s. From the challenges of beginning a career and taking care of our mental health, to the excitement of starting a family, adopting a pet or just making friends as an adult. The articles in this series explore the questions and bring answers as we navigate this turbulent period of life.

You may be interested in:

If you get your financial advice on social media, watch out for misinformation

Future graduates will pay more in student loan repayments – and the poorest will be worst affected

Selling on Vinted, Etsy or eBay? Here’s what you need to know about paying tax

Put together, these totalled almost £790 billion in 2022-23, which the government spends on public services such as the NHS, schools and social care. The government collects taxes from all sources and sets its spending plans accordingly, borrowing to make up any difference between the two.

Income tax

The amount of income tax you pay is determined by where your income sits in a series of “bands” set by the government. Almost everyone is entitled to a “personal allowance”, currently £12,570, which you can earn without needing to pay any income tax.

You then pay 20% in tax on each pound of income you earn (across all sources) from £12,570-£50,270. You pay 40% on each extra pound up to £125,140 and 45% over this. If you earn more than £100,000, the personal allowance (amount of untaxed income) starts to decrease.

If you are self-employed, the same rates apply to you. You just don’t have an employer to take this off your salary each month. Instead, you have to make sure you have enough money at the end of the year to pay this directly to the government.

Read more: Taxes aren't just about money – they shape how we think about each other

The government can increase the threshold limits to adjust for inflation. This tries to ensure any wage rise you get in response to higher prices doesn’t lead to you having to pay a higher tax rate. However, the government announced in 2021 that they would freeze these thresholds until 2026 (extended now to 2028), arguing that it would help repay the costs of the pandemic.

Given wages are now rising for many to help with the cost of living crisis, this means many people will pay more income tax this coming year than they did before. This is sometimes referred to as “fiscal drag” – where lower earners are “dragged” into paying higher tax rates, or being taxed on more of their income.

National insurance

National insurance contributions (NICs) are a second “tax” you pay on your income – or to be precise, on your earned income (your salary). You don’t pay this on some forms of income, including savings or dividends, and you also don’t pay it once you reach state retirement age (currently 66).

While Jeremy Hunt, the current chancellor of the exchequer, didn’t adjust income tax meaningfully in this year’s budget, he did announce a cut to NICs. This was a surprise to many, as we had already seen rates fall from 12% to 10% on incomes higher than £242/week in January. It will now fall again to 8% from April.

Read more: Budget 2024: experts explain what it means for taxpayers, businesses, borrowers and the NHS

While this is charged separately to income tax, in reality it all just goes into one pot with other taxes. Some, including the chancellor, say it is time to merge these two deductions and make this simpler for everyone. In his budget speech this year, Hunt said he’d like to see this tax go entirely. He thinks this isn’t fair on those who have to pay it, as it is only charged on some forms of income and on some workers.

I wouldn’t hold my breath for this to happen however, and even if it did, there are huge sums linked to NICs (nearly £180bn last year) so it would almost certainly have to be collected from elsewhere (such as via an increase in income taxes, or a lot more borrowing) to make sure the government could still balance its books.

A young black man sits at a home office desk with his feet up, looking at a mobile phone
Do you know how much tax you pay? Alex from the Rock/Shutterstock

Other taxes

There are likely to be further tweaks to the UK’s tax system soon, perhaps by the current government before the election – and almost certainly if there is a change of government.

Wealth taxes may be in line for a change. In the budget, the chancellor reduced capital gains taxes on sales of assets such as second properties (from 28% to 24%). These types of taxes provide only a limited amount of money to the government, as quite high thresholds apply for inheritance tax (up to £1 million if you are passing on a family home).

There are calls from many quarters though to look again at these types of taxes. Wealth inequality (the differences between total wealth held by the richest compared to the poorest) in the UK is very high (much higher than income inequality) and rising.

But how to do this effectively is a matter of much debate. A recent study suggested a one-off tax on total wealth held over a certain threshold might work. But wealth taxes are challenging to make work in practice, and both main political parties have already said this isn’t an option they are considering currently.

Andy Lymer and his colleagues at the Centre for Personal Financial Wellbeing at Aston University currently or have recently received funding for their research work from a variety of funding bodies including the UK's Money and Pension Service, the Aviva Foundation, Fair4All Finance, NEST Insight, the Gambling Commission, Vivid Housing and the ESRC, amongst others.

Read More

Continue Reading