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FX Blog- TTN - U.S. Market UpdateU.S. Market Update
Dow -69 S&P -7.25 NASDAQ -12.3
- Early on the eye seemed to have passed for the equity markets as storm clouds built again on re-energized fears in the financial stocks. Futures tumbled overnight after Carlyle Capital failed to reach an accord with lenders suggesting their remaining debt could soon enter default. Credit Suisse confirmed they have been selling some Carlyle assets adding to worries of a fire sale. BSC remains one of the market whipping boys losing another 15%+. XLF -2.5% Gold stocks are one group that is shinning after spot gold briefly traded above $1000 for the first time ever. NEM +3.7% ABX +4% GG +4% Select managed care names are seeing a bit of a dead cat bounce after being slammed over the last few sessions. UNH +4% WLP +2% HUM +10% Equity markets have recouped more than half their losses from yesterday's close after comments from S&P sent the markets rocketing higher. Traders look to be clinging to the ratings agency's call that an end of writedowns for the major financial institutions may now be in sight. Government officials including Treasury's Paulson and House Financial Services Chairman Frank are also introducing new legislation designed to curtail the housing and subsequent credit woes. Bond yields were under pressure early in the session as the risk aversion theme had returned, but as equities have found some traction Treasury prices have come off. The 10-year yield is holding below 3.45% while the 2-year stands at 1.53%. That April fed fund future contract sees better than 90% odds again of a 75 basis point cut while August sees nearly a 75% chance of a 1.75% fed funds rate. Crude remains extremely volatile after making a new high at $111 it has slipped back into negative territory.
- The USD remains broadly weaker throughout the latter portion of the European session. Financial market turmoil continues to play havoc on central bank credibility and its ability to find a resolution to the growing credit situation. EUR/USD hit fresh all-time highs above 1.5625 after the Carlyle announcement. USD/CHF also hit life-time lows near parity at1.0040 and USD/JPY broke below the 100 level for the first time since November 1995. Record highs in both NYMEX front month crude futures and spot gold are keeping the USD on the defensive. The risk aversion theme is putting a bid in both JPY and CHF currencies, as carry-related pairs are unwound. As noted in Wed session, FX Dealer chatter continues to center on fixed-income hedge funds, which remain under stress despite recent Fed operations to improve liquidity conditions. Verbal intervention is growing among the central bankers as Trichet stated that central bankers are now â€śpreoccupiedâ€ť with excessive Forex moves. US Treasury's Paulson reiterated a strong USD is in the nation's interest. The SNB and Norway's central banks kept their interest rates steady as expected. Dealers now ponder when and if central banks will perform the rare task of coordinated intervention. Whatever the outcome, volatility will continue to be on the upper end of recent ranges for numerous currency pairs. Dealer chatter circulating that China may enact a "one-off" revaluation of its currency. Dealers note rumors circulating that China's PBoC may use the current USD weakness environment to enact a onetime revaluation of CNY by over 8% to a rate of 6.50 level from the USD/CNY rate of 7.10. Friday's tend to be the favorite day of implementing new policies. With Oil at all-time highs, FX dealers ponder if US would even consider opening the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) in an attempt to indirectly strengthen the USD.
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