Tag: 苏州桑拿

first_imgJoin us for live news and analysis Friday at 4:30 p.m. when the Warriors visit Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks in a much-anticipated game.The matchup itself, pitting the 4-1 Warriors against the 1-4 Knicks isn’t much appealing on its surface, especially with Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis still out with a knee injury. And even the allure of the two-time defending champion Warriors themselves isn’t what excites Knicks fans the most.The real allure is free-agent-to-be …last_img

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!OAKLAND – It did not take long for Warriors coach Steve Kerr to analyze the footage. Following the Warriors’ Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in their first-round matchup, Kerr rewatched the moments leading up to Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverley receiving ejections. Kerr then reached this conclusion about official Ed Malloy.“I’m not sure anybody deserved …last_img

first_imgCape Town International Airport is the second busiest in South Africa, and the third busiest in Africa, coming in behind OR Tambo and Cairo.Cape Town International is world-class and was named Africa’s leading airport in the 2012 World Airport Awards. (Image: Cape Town International Airport)Brand South Africa reporterCape Town International is South Africa’s second-largest airport, and a prime tourism gateway serving millions of visitors arriving in the Mother City every year.Traffic through the airport reflects this: in 2005, around 60 000 aircraft ferrying 6.7-million passengers were recorded; by 2015, 14-million passengers are expected to pass through Cape Town International.The airport is the second busiest in South Africa, and the third busiest in Africa, coming in behind OR Tambo and Cairo.Cape Town International is world-class and was named Africa’s leading airport in the 2012 World Airport Awards, with OR Tambo International (Johannesburg) coming in second, and King Shaka International coming in third.OR TamboKing Shaka InternationalThe airport has domestic and international terminals, connected by a central terminal. Several international airlines offer direct flights to Cape Town, including from London, Amsterdam and Windhoek. All of South Africa’s airlines fly to Cape Town, with the route between Cape Town and Johannesburg particularly well served.Getting aroundThe airport is 22 kilometres from the city centre, with a range of transport options to get you where you need to go. Besides car rental services, these include metered taxis and private shuttle services.Travellers are advised to arrive at the airport at least one-and-a-half hours before the departure time of their domestic flight, or three hours before the departure time of an international flight.Acsa flight information: +27 (0)86 727 7888The drop-off zone is on the upper level of the Central Terminal building. There is a pick-up and go zone in the ground floor of Parkade P1 (the first parkade as you enter the airport). There are also long-term parking facilities available.There are more than 5 500 parking bays in the two multistorey parkades, with 1 600 shaded parking bays. Roving shuttle cabs are available to transport passengers directly from their car to the terminals.For a list of South Africa car rental companies, see Driving in South Africa.For information on parking, contact the Landside hotline +27 (0)21 935 3737.Valet parking and lock-up garages at Cape Town International are operated by Katanga Executive Parking, and reservations are essential. Telephone: +27 (0)861 4 82538 or book online at valet.co.za.The MyCiTi bus rapid transit system connects the airport to the city centre, stopping at the Civic Centre IRT bus station in Hertzog Boulevard. Buses depart every 20 minutes from 4.20am to 10pm.You can buy tickets for the MyCiTi service at the airport or at the Civic Centre.For route maps, schedules and fare details, see MyCiti.Transport to and from the airport is also provided by metered taxis and various private shuttle companies. Acsa recommends you use only the authorised service provider, Touch-Down Taxis.UpgradesThe airport was overhauled in time for the 2010 World Cup, with a focus on the R1,6-million Central Terminal.Apart from extensions to the existing terminal buildings, millions of rand was earmarked for the construction of parkades, two new satellite terminals, and an expanded runway system.FacilitiesThe airport offers convenient, international-standard banking, forex and car rental services. Most retail shops, including bookshops, clothing an souvenir shops, are on the lower level (arrivals) of the Central terminal.There is wi-fi available at the airport, with hotspots throughout the terminals. Pay- as-you-go vouchers are available.Special needs passengersPassengers requiring special access can contact the Landside hotline number on +27 (0) 21 935 3737 and use the same hotline to organise a wheelchair to take them from the terminal to their car.If you are a special needs passenger, contact your airline 48 hours in advance to arrange for wheelchair assistance.For more information, including passenger services, flight information, weather, maps and business opportunities, visit Airports Company South Africa.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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first_imgAn undocumented dance performanceThe highlight of this evening session was J West and Amanda Evans’ excellent rendition of the New Zealand All Black Rugby Team Haka War Dance. I had hoped to include video of their performance, but unfortunately it wasn’t available. We’ll have to do a better job documenting it next year.As in past years attending ACI, I learned some good things, was frustrated by the number of competing sessions I wanted to attend, and attended some talks that did not meet my expectations. In general it was a worthwhile event that I will attend again. Since I have done this before myself, it was a good refresher course, and much easier to follow than it would have been if I hadn’t already had the experience. Probably the best tip I picked up was the suggestion to use a duct fan instead of a blower-door fan to test individual apartment leakage – it will usually provide enough pressure to get a good airflow reading and it’s much lighter to lug around from door to door. HVAC quality controlAn EPA session on HVAC quality control ended up being a series of complaints about the poor state of the industry.Following an overview of a 5-year old ENERGY STAR HVAC Quality Installation (QI) program, we learned that to date only 2,500 installations have been completed under its auspices. Comparing this to another statistic provided – 11,000 HVAC equipment swap-outs occur every day – it is clear that implementation of the HVAC Quality Installation program has a long way to go. Pecha KuchaFinally, a group called the Trainers Consortium — a collection of almost too many smart building geeks — offered up a group of Pecha Kucha presentations, each consisting of 20 slides with a 20 second timer on each, for a total of six minutes and 40 seconds per presentation.MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) were mentioned by several speakers as the method of choice for distributing training in the weatherization community. I have yet to MOOC myself, but expect that I will do so fairly soon. Using a blower door to test a multifamily buildingThe session on multifamily blower-door testing addressed whole-building testing using multiple fans connected (either by cables or wirelessly) to a computer running software that controls the entire setup and records pressure and flows automatically. RELATED ARTICLES Self-Professed Air Flow Expert Gets HosedA Recap of ACI’s 2012 National ConferenceACI 2011 National Home Performance Conference Wrap-UpAnother Greenprints Conference Wraps Up WellNAHB Annual Conference Wraps Up 2011 Event in OrlandoWater, Water Everywhere at Green Building Conference DehumidificationThe presentation on supplemental dehumidification was of particular interest to me. I am always looking for good ideas for my mixed humid climate, where bridge seasons require little heating or cooling but can create problems with excessive humidity in high performance homes.Armin Rudd of the Building Science Corp. and Srikanth Puttagunta of Steven Winter Associates shared this session that proved to be quite informative as well as densely packed with data from an extensive study of the subject. Armin’s section was based on a study he has been working on for several years, ASHRAE 1449, that analyzed ventilation, heating, cooling, and dehumidification in both homes and models in several climates.I have to admit that I got a little lost in the details, but I did leave with two key points that resonated with me. First was the point that in humid climates, ERVs can actually increase the moisture level in a home when the relative humidity outside is higher than inside. This only reinforces concerns I have expressed previously on the real value of ERVs in moderate climates.The second was that dehumidifiers that also provide outside air can also increase the indoor relative humidity due to the fact that the condenser turns off when the humidity reaches the desired level, but outside air can continue to flow through the unit where water in the coil and pan can recharge it with moisture, rehumidifying the house. Although dehumidifiers are highly recommended in humid climates, the point was made in this session that whole-house ventilation should be provide by a separate system for best performance. The 2013 ACI National Home Performance Conference, called Affordable Comfort until a few years back when the conference was renamed ACI, recently took place in Denver, Colorado. This year, the conference came complete with about six inches of snow in May — quite a shock for a transplanted Southerner.With over 180 individual sessions and workshops to choose from, ACI is a daunting event, taxing the capacity of the geekiest energy nerds to maintain focus throughout the four long days of the conference. As with most events, the quality of presenters and presentations vary greatly, with some of the best sessions being poorly attended, and other, lesser quality talks resembling a game of sardines.Of arguably equal or greater value than the educational sessions is the networking with like-minded energy professionals, ranging from dinner and drinks to late-night carousing at various events (if you were lucky enough to find them).A few sessions that I found particularly interesting, in addition to the one on air flow testing I discussed in my last post, covered blower-door testing of multifamily buildings, HVAC quality control programs in development by the EPA, supplemental dehumidification systems, and an evening of Pecha Kucha talks.last_img read more

first_imgThe Australian youth teams held-off a brave and talented New Zealand to seal all six matches on the final day including the deciding matches in the Boy’s 20’s and Girl’s 18’s. And with that, a clean sweep of all six of the series’ contested and a new level of admiration for team green and gold. Players Player – Jack Wright Mountfort Park, Manurewa, New Zealand The love we speak of is about the young Aussies’ other loves. The love of the contest. The love of the fight and the pursuit of excellence in this great sport that drives these athletes to sweep through a series unblemished and overcome all obstacles and odds to claim their prize. The love and affection for victory in the face of fire. The love of the big stage. The big moment. The love of the team. 20’s Mixed: While they may have had some trepidation taking the cue from their senior compatriots in winning all nine matches at the 2016 Opens Trans-Tasman, all players, coaches and mentors in location sure had to dig deep and deliver something very special of their own to overcome an amazingly talented and competitive New Zealand squad across all divisions. Players Player – Tamika Upton At the heart of all this was a crazy little thing called ‘love’. And we’re not merely referring here to the mutual admiration style love you might expect across a young touring sporting contingent with kindred spirits in a different country. Nor is it necessarily referring literally to that freak of a talent from the west by the name of Love, the Tyla variety. The same young man that destroyed the Kiwis in the final match, delivering a master class with his teammates in that amazing grandstand finish in the Boy’s 20’s decider early Sunday afternoon. Players Player – Jackson Mills Coaches Player – Brittney Clifford It was etched in their eyes and seeping out of the pores of the Aussies who so desperately wanted their teammates in other teams to reign supreme and break-through for their respective wins; for their country, their families, loved ones, their school, work and team mates. Themselves. Well done again Team Australia, to all involved. Love your work. It is hard to define but it is purely as it is surely in the DNA of every card carrying, vegemite-loving dinky-di Aussie who so cherish our national victories over the best, in the ultimate sporting theatre: a Trans-Tasman sporting test. While we know it works in mysterious ways, who best to turn to explain, than the man they call Love. Tyla Love. Clearly in the moment, that man Love again jinked yet again to his favoured right to hit Osborne for his triple, leaving the defenders flat footed and proving ultimately the difference in this crucial final match. Then, you guessed it, Love then sealed it 9-7 with his double and with that and the final siren blaring, the green and gold Tsunami had certainly hit shore. A flood of players from all teams swung onto the field to celebrate the boys’ resounding win and the overall six series to nil margin. When asked by the television commentators what was the secret of the success: “I had an Up and Go (milk drink) and got down here with the team focused and ready to play and rode off the back of the great work of the guys,” he said. “Touch is good over there in WA where I’m from, but it’s a big milestone and goal of mine to play in the green and gold and win and cherish this win with the boys,” he said. 20’s Boys: The love of the team. The moment. Taylor Haugh and Sargent for New Zealand were immense and when Fiveash crossed and then Australia’s Kenny dropped a certain chance in reply, it was 7-6 to the green and gold with six to go and the game and series on the line. No surprises here. The love of the fight won the day. The flight stuff could wait till the next day’s departures out of Auckland. Coaches Player – Liam Grant When Marrinan went close on the left flank it appeared academic with only a couple left on the clock. The love of the contest. Mills, Egan, Simbolon, Cridland and Moore all upped the ante and amped the energy of the team finding supports left and right to test the Kiwi’s edges and resolve and continually surged upfield with everyone in on the act. “I was also so impressed by the composure shown by the players; particularly in the midst of the weather, the tension, the environment away from home. The Australian contingent’s performances over the past three days to secure the 2017 Youth Trans- Tasman series and sweep in New Zealand was something to behold and demands to be told. Each and every division delivered and then finally it came down to one super finale to this event. 20’s Girls: Players Player – Daejarn Asicenter_img With all but two of the series decided on Saturday, some might think that getting the required four divisions out of six might suffice with the overall series and trophy in the bag and reflect on an awesome New Zealand performance who arguably deserved a title or two. Roxanne Winder Award: Maddison CroweClick here for full results and try scorers for each day’s play. “It is just an amazing experience coming back and winning here against the Kiwis (New Zealand his place of birth),” the sole Western Australian representative and one of the tournament stars, Tyla Love said post-match. And as the song goes (New Zealand) did what they did but then Love came to town. Jinking left then right Love fired a great long ball to a juggling, rangy Osborne in the extreme right corner to stretch the lead and seemingly close the Kiwis out of the contest and tellingly, yet another series. Marrinan thought he had another but when Tjaydn Ashby then cleaned up from another bat back out wide, this time from yet another great performer through the series, Osborne. Players Player – Adam Russell Troy Malcom Award: James Price TEAM AUSTRALIA COACHES AWARDS AND PLAYERS PLAYER: “At one-all in the deciding match today, it was awesome to play and win with our guys; particularly as the Touch Blacks were great, tough and fought really hard, as they always do.” 18’s Mixed: Coaches Player – Blake Moore “It is always such a privilege and pleasure to be here and competing against the best with their tremendous hospitality. Among them, Jake Grech eight seconds prior to the break and then Justin Cridland to Jacob Marrinan eight seconds after the break, broke the game open and the momentum of the Touch Blacks; taking the wind momentarily out of the Kiwis and into the sails of his teammates drawing ahead by two straight after the break. It’s fair to say he sure shared the, ahem, love with his stellar support crew with a bunch of strong performances from his Australian 20’s brethren. Coaches Player – Marley Simbolon 18’s Girls: Players Player – Aalyah Paki “The depth we now have across all divisions and the class and capability will no doubt hold us in good stead in the next 20 years. And no doubt this is what we will be exposed to for a while ahead, as always – very tight and gripping contests the order of the day as you would expect!” “And to our team it is so good to see our ‘One Team’ in action and so invested and committed to achieving this success together; notwithstanding our referees’ contingent who were again first class,” he said. 18’s Boys: But then Jayden Sargent’s double kept New Zealand in the hunt. And when Whakatane’s Muir-Tuuta crossed sending a shiver down the spines of the young Aussies, it was a real case of fight or flight with the game and series on the line. “I am just so incredibly proud of the entire team; from all players who were outstanding throughout, right through to all coaches, mentors, support crew and families who travelled abroad to witness our stars of the future. Coaches Player – Maddison Crowe Think again. The ruthless and mature, determined approach by the young Aussies to storm through this series victorious was compelling to watch and left the crowd across the ditch, at home and around the world, in awe. Coaches Player – Justin Cridland “Firstly to our great friends at Touch New Zealand they should be so incredibly proud of the event they delivered and the great performances of all their players and teams, along with the awesome coverage of the event by Maori Television which we’re sure received huge traffic through the week. For Touch Football Australia CEO, Colm Maguire among the big ex-pat crowd, he felt enormously pleased and privileged taking a front row seat and something of a preview to future internationals and stars of tomorrow, “all accomplished and mature beyond their years”. Game. Matches. Series. By @JulianTFAlast_img read more

first_imgWhen Kerry Lutz turned off the recorder after interviewing me for the Financial Survival Network, we started talking about a common challenge we both face: getting an entire generation to wake up and see that we have a real problem. Most seniors and savers readily admit that interest rates are terrible and don’t keep up with inflation, yet – even with the terrible squeeze this puts on their pocketbooks – Kerry and I know of too many people who think their nest egg will manage itself. After working a lifetime to build up their portfolios, many retirees are looking for a “set it and forget it” type of investment that no longer exists. What would happen if I shared this attitude? On a recent morning walk I found myself imagining what it would really mean if high inflation or sloppy investing were to wipe out our life savings. Personally, worrying about having to live off the government or looking to our children for help would not be the worst of it. There’s a bigger issue at stake, one most folks of my generation would likely agree with me on. Colette Dowling wrote a book in the 1980s called The Cinderella Complex, and in the early chapters she addresses how my generation was raised. She contends that boys, from the moment of birth, were raised to be independent, citing that boy babies were frequently left to cry much longer than their girl counterparts in newborn nurseries. For most of us, family roles reinforced the message that men were in charge. Dad drove the family car, Dad sat at the head of the table, Dad was the primary breadwinner, and on most things Dad had the final word. Gender politics aside, I still remember how good it felt to grow into being an independent young man. I recall the excitement of getting my driver’s license (something no retiree wants to lose), my first car, and all the other symbols of my increasing independence. As I got on the train to leave for boot camp at age 18, my dad remarked that I would be a man the next time he saw me. Step by step, I became an independent adult. It wasn’t until my 30s that someone finally addressed me as “Mr. Miller,” and it shocked me even then. It’s funny how friends my age call me “Denny,” but with each passing year more folks call me “Mr. Miller.” That’s just the way life is. Somewhere in the mid-1960s, the woman’s movement really picked up. I always thought bra burning and protests obscured the real message: women also have a right to independence and the same financial opportunities as men. That’s certainly a position I agree with. When I was contemplating marrying for the second time, my future wife Jo and I decided to visit a marriage counselor. Our counselor emphasized to both of us that the best marriages consist of two adults who can thrive – both emotionally and financially – on their own. That way, both partners know they are together because they choose to be, not because one is totally dependent on the other. Twenty-five years later, Jo and I wholeheartedly agree with that idea. As I continued to daydream on my morning walk, I realized that being a ward of the state or having to ask my children for help is not what motivates me to do everything I possibly can to protect my portfolio. I spent the better part of 73 years working hard, building a nest egg, and enjoying life. I’ve been the captain of my own ship, with a first mate who is not shy about speaking her mind, and I want to keep it that way. That is what pushes me to protect what Jo and I worked so hard to build. Shortly after my interview with Kerry, I received an email from one of my ROMEO (“Retired Old Men Eating Out”) buddies, Carmen. It was a link to a beautiful rendition of Frank Sinatra’s My Way by André Rieu. I encourage everyone to click on the link, enjoy the song, and take note of the man shown at the 1:48 and 2:29 marks. He reacted to the song just as my ROMEO brothers and I did. As I watched that video, I realized just what outliving my money would mean to me. It would strip me of my self-image, rob me of my dignity, and I would feel shame beyond anything I can imagine. It reminded me of how fitting Kerry’s name for his site is: “Financial Survival Network.” Seniors are not only fighting for financial survival, we are also fighting for emotional survival. Jo and I have discussed what living off the government – our worst-case scenario – would actually look like. Our life would be limited to Social Security checks and food stamps – not what I would call enjoying our golden years. But then Jo reminded me that it could get even worse than that. Twenty-five years ago, her father had Parkinson’s disease and was in a nursing home. We were paying full price for his care, and as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Jo’s father usually had his own room, but occasionally he had a temporary roommate. There was always a whisper that the person in the bed next to him was penniless, and the government had required the nursing home to accept him because it had an opening. Now I’m sure the staff would deny this, but there were obviously two levels of care: the kind you pay for and the kind healthcare workers are forced to give. I will never forget one sad event where his roommate messed his diaper; it smelled so bad we had to track down a nurse to help change it. It doesn’t get much more degrading than that. Eventually, these down-on-their-luck roommates would be rolled into another room with a similarly situated patient, and Grandpa would have his private room back, along with full control of the television clicker. In almost all of these cases, the patient did have family somewhere in the country, but they never visited. We would often bring them a snack, a piece of birthday cake or something, and they would thank us with tears in their eyes. The old proverb, “There but by the grace of God, go I” sums up how this all made me feel. I hoped that I wouldn’t end up in the same situation at the end of the line. Even though Social Security doesn’t come close to keeping up with inflation and our cost of living is rising, I’ll be damned if I am going to give up. If you’re reading this, you probably have the same attitude. I’m lucky to have the backing of a great research team; together, we do whatever it takes to find the right investment opportunities for our Money Forever subscribers. If you haven’t taken advantage of our no-risk, 90-day trial subscription already, I invite you to take it for a spin. Look over the recommendations in the Money Forever portfolio; if you decide it’s not for you, just call or email within 90 days to receive a full refund. We all need to make sure our nest eggs outlive us. Learning and sharing with my peers is the fun part of my job, and I’m confident our team can help you make your money last. The alternative certainly stinks! As long as I am using music to make a point, I will share one more with you. When my day finally comes, I don’t want to die humiliated as they play Boulevard of Broken Dreams. I’d much prefer to have a smile on my face as they all sing the lyrics to Dad’s favorite song: “I did it my way.”On the Lighter Side I don’t remember the last time we watched a NASCAR race, but we sure tuned in last Sunday. What a finish it turned out to be! Danica Patrick slid from third to eighth place at the end, finishing less than a full second behind the winner. Our generation has witnessed many women be the first to accomplish a lot of things: first female astronaut, first woman to fly in an air combat mission, first female racecar driver, and first female sideline reporter at football game, to name of few. Personally, I think this is wonderful as long as they are like Danica and earn it. Good for them! And speaking of driving, I was quite pleased to renew my driver’s license this week. I passed all the necessary tests, and I’m good to go for the next eight years. And finally… I mentioned my friend Carmen earlier in this article. He sent along his travel plans for the year, and I thought our readers might enjoy them. I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my children, friends, family, and work. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore. I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often. I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older. One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get! And finally, one place I don’t want to be is in Continent. I hear it is no fun. Until next week…last_img read more

first_imgIn This Issue. * Dollar continues to fall * German and French leaders join to push for Greek solution * Australia and Japan to join the new Asian bank backed by China * Gold stays on track for weekly gain And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Dollar continues to move lower… I’ll let Frank start us off as he has throughout this week, so here’s Frank:  San Carlos de Bariloche – I have always been a sucker for the mountains.  No real idea why.  Is it a genetic trait or family meme?  Is it the beauty somehow connecting with another part of the brain.  Don’t know but I do like them.  Up here in Argentina’s “Little Switzerland” it’s pretty remarkable.  Vistas of epic proportion.  Glacier fed lakes show mystical blue.  Odd trees to my eyes and the howling wind off the Andes in the afternoon.  I had time for a pretty decent hike with excellent views and now the evening is setting in. Friday morning I’ll meet with a group traveling through directed by Barb Perriello of Opportunity Travel.  I wrote about this trip in a January Pfennig and now here they are arriving tonight.  I suspect we’ll chat about the wild swings in the markets . . . if only the markets had patience . . . still. It seems to me that a one word change in a Fed statement creating all that trouble this week is an indicator of it’s own.  Are we all so outlandishly ill informed about the status of the economy that 10,000 economists worldwide need a periodic statement from a government official to generate a thought?  We do note that the character of the Tech Bubble, the Real Estate Bubble, and the Credit Disaster were never included in any forward looking statement by the then currently sitting predecessors of Ms. Yellen.  In fact in all three cases her colleagues forecast clear sailing ahead.  When the current language borders on hesitant from an institution with a track record of calling crashes wrong how does that make you feel? Thanks Frank.  He is really great at weaving a story which ends up depositing us back to the day’s markets, don’t you think?   As Frank suggests, investors across the globe continue to focus on this week’s FOMC statement and in spite of the drop of the word patience most of the markets are interpreting Yellen’s statement as being dovish.  This was a classic case of ‘buy the rumor and sell the fact’ when it comes to the currency markets as most currency traders had piled on US$ longs in anticipation of the dropping of ‘patience’ from the statement but then Yellen threw them all a curve ball with her dovish words and these investors immediately reversed these long dollar positions.  While the moves weren’t quite as dramatic as the previous day, Thursday continued to see the dollar move lower across most of the currency markets.  Mike sent me a note this morning summarizing some of the data we got yesterday morning, so I’ll share his thoughts with you now:  The action in the currency market was hot yesterday, but it wasn’t because of the economic reports. As I mentioned yesterday, it was going to be fairly uneventful in the data world once we saw the conclusion of the Fed meeting on Wednesday. With that said, Thursday brought us the usual weekly jobs numbers, which showed little change by rising a bit to 291k from the previous reading of 290k. We also saw continuing claims edge slightly lower and, in the end, the labor market continues to show resolve. The Philly Fed index came in lower than expected and fell in line with the lower New York area manufacturing gauge, both of which suggest the stronger dollar environment is impacting this sector. Leading indicators increased for a second month but weakness in the industrial sector and lower business investment are areas of concern. We have nothing out today so commentary from Fed members will look to guide the market as we head into the weekend. Looking ahead to next week, its shaping up to be a tame data week as February CPI, housing, and durable goods pretty much takes care of it. Today we really don’t have any US data to drive the markets so it looks like the dollar bears will continue to wake up from their winter nap.  The dollar index is down .88% this morning with the best performing currencies being the unusual combination of the South African rand and Polish Zloty, both of which are up over 1% vs. the US$.  The Euro, Swiss Franc and Mexican Peso round out the top 5 currencies this morning with increases of .8% vs. the dollar overnight.  But as I mentioned earlier, just about all of the currencies we follow are up vs. the dollar with the only two exceptions being the Russian ruble and Japanese yen.   Even though the dollar is continuing to pull back overall, it has actually steadied a bit vs. the Euro which spiked up to a high of 1.1062 yesterday.  In news coming out of Europe last night Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was told by EU leaders that he needs to come up with a more  concrete plan for reform before further talks about Greek debt relief will be held.  Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande suggested that time is running out for Greece.  The leaders of Europe’s two largest economies seem to be joining together to try and force a restart for the Greek bailout negotiations.   The new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – a multinational development bank backed by China received the good news yesterday that both Australia and Japan  are willing to join up.  The Australian National Security Committee approved a proposal for Australia to join the AIIB overnight, which clears the way for Australia’s Cabinet to formally approve the participation early next week.  Japan has already indicated a willingness to join the bank which will be another alternative to the World Bank in lending to Asian countries looking to borrow for infrastructure projects.  Just another indication of China flexing their financial muscles which they have been building over the past several years. The precious metals held on to their gains and look on track to book their biggest weekly jump since January.  Gold prices hit a four month low earlier this week but had a strong rally following the FOMC announcement and is holding near two week highs.  The Chinese buying in the physical markets is one of the items supporting prices at these levels according to a news report I read on Reuters this morning.  The FOMC meeting also got the ‘paper traders’ back into the markets as the largest gold ETF SPDR Gold Shares saw its first inflows since the end of February on the heels of the Fed meeting.  Currencies today 3/20/15. American Style: A$ .7681, kiwi .7454, C$ .7862, euro 1.0723, sterling 1.48, Swiss $ 1.0166.  European Style: rand 12.212, krone 8.1079, SEK 8.6701, forint 283.32, zloty 3.8520, koruna 25.608, RUB 60.545, yen 120.94, sing 1.3874, HKD 7.7594, INR 62.395, China 6.1496, pesos 15.202, BRL 3.3038, Dollar Index 98.659, Oil $43.89, 10-year 1.95%, Silver $16.14, Platinum $1,123.95, Palladium $768.50, and Gold. $1,171.46 That does it for the week, hope everyone has a great day and a wonderful weekend!  I know I will. Chris Gaffney, CFA President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more