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Trade the News - U.S. UpdateDow +163 S&P +14.30 NASDAQ +34.75
Equities indices were broadly higher in a session complemented by triple witching option expiration. Share of MER +1.00 as investors speculated the brokerage could receive a $5B cash infusion from Singapore's Temasek. RIMM aided the technology sector following its strong Q3 earnings release after the bell on Thursday. FMD surged over 40% after it announced a strategic investment by Goldman Sachs. Shares of CC were off 1.64 at 5.04 after reporting Q3 loss above expectations.
In currencies, the price action was mixed for the USD as cross-related flows dominated the trading theme. The GBP remains soft as growing expectation that the BOE can cut their interest rate further following the data over the last few weeks. EUR/GBP hit 10 year highs above the 0.7250 level.
JPY and CHF were firmer across the board as global equity markets ended the week on a firm note. JPY approached the 114 handle, EUR/JPY was up 160+ pips towards 164. EUR/CHF regained a foothold above the 1.66 handle.
The EUR/USD hovered around the 1.44 handle after several ECB speakers noted that a strong euro helps keep energy prices down. The ECB's Trichet elevated his hawkish tone as he stressed that the ECB mandate remains price stability and noted that major uncertainties are emerging in the Eurozone economy that could result in sub 2% growth during 2008. The Italian PM stated that a strong Euro is damaging the European economy and asserted that the ECB must take the strong Euro into account when setting monetary policy.
The hawkish ECB talk on inflation weighed down upon the March Bunds as the contract was off 47 ticks at 113. 03 late in the European session. March Gilts were lower by 42 ticks to 109. 24.
Commodities were broadly higher in the session. Metal was especially firm as chatter circulated that some producers could eliminate their hedge book during 2008. Gold rose over $14 in the cash market to $810 per oz, silver was higher by 18 cents to $14.40 per oz and copper surged 10 cents to 307.00 in the Mar futures contract. Commodity related currencies were firmer as a result. AUD/USD up 100 pips at 0.8690, USD/CAD back below parity at 0.9940.
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