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US Market Update Dow +25 S&P +4.25 Nasdaq +10
- US equities reversed earlier gains following the soft New Home Sales data for the month of Nov. The headline reading of 647K units was the lowest since April 1995.
- Initial strength was seen in US and European banks after the WSJ reported overnight that entities were considering asset sales, naming Citigroup and HSBC as likely possibilities. The Mortgage/Guarantee sector saw weakness after Berkshire Hathaway announced it would launch a bond insurer for local and state governments. Strength was seen in the drybulk shipping sector for the 2nd morning in a row with DRYS, DSX and EXM moving sharply higher mid- morning.
In currencies, The USD remained soft against the European currencies this session throughout today's session. Broadly Higher commodity prices and geopolitical factors were again cited as the main factors behind the USD weakness. EUR/USD back above the 1.47 handle USD/CHF probing the 1.13 area. Further unrest was seen in Pakistan today following the assassination of former PM Bhutto yesterday. Numerous reports of violence were cited throughout Pakistan. Spot Gold up $10 to $835 per oz, Front month Crude futures higher by $1.00 at $97.55. Commodity related currencies firmer as well with USD/CAD at 0.9765 and AUD/USD at 0.8775.
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