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Friday April 25, 2008 - 16:23:44 GMT
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Midday Market Update: Weakening Consumer Sentiment Halts USD Rally

11:34 04/25 (CEP News) - The U.S. dollar has retraced sharply on Friday morning after a downward revision to consumer sentiment and sharp reversals in oil and gold prices. Fixed income markets remained lower due to selling in the overnight while stocks turned negative on the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report.

European and Canadian stock markets resisted the downbeat news in the United States and are higher across the board with Toronto's S&P TSX composite index up 72.86 points to 14039.19, the Eurostoxx up 36.89 points to 3203.18, the UK FTSE 100 up 35.00 points to 6085.70 and the German DAX up 62.60 points to 6883.92.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 99.33 points to 12749.62, the S&P 500 is down 7.90 points to 1380.92 and the NASDAQ is down 35.00 points to 2393.92.

The greenback had received a boost in the overnight as traders began aligning themselves for an expected 25bp rate cut from the Fed on Wednesday, which market participants now expect to be followed by a pause.

"The dollar rebound becomes a more established theme as markets gear up for an anticipated change in the Fed’s monetary policy stance," said Ashraf Laidi, chief FX strategist at CMC Markets. "Such a change may take the form of a return to 'data watch' stance by the Fed before judging the need for further rate cuts, or temper the extent of the rate cuts from 50 bps to 25 bps increments."

However, the U.S. dollar's strength was short-lived as an unexpected downward revision to the Michigan consumer sentiment index to 62.6 from 63.2 sparked a sell-off in the greenback and pushed stocks into negative territory.

The Canadian dollar was unchanged at 0.9862 against the USD (1.01454 USD/CAD) and up 0.10 cents to 1.5891 (0.6293 CAD/EUR) against the euro.

The U.S. dollar was down 0.25 to 104.00 against the yen and the euro was down 0.20 cents to 1.56623 against the U.S. dollar.

In the UK, the pound sterling received a boost from inline GDP figures from the UK, being one of the few currencies which stood up to the greenback in the overnight. Currently, it is up 1.20 cents to 1.9858 USD.

The Australian dollar was lower by 0.50 cents to 0.9346 USD.

The U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.008 points to 72.543.

In addition, global supply concerns from further violence in Nigeria reversed recent selling in oil, bringing prices above the $119 a barrel mark.

Futures on WTI crude oil are up $3.11 to $119.17 while gold futures at the Chicago Board of Trade are up $4.60 to $894.10.

Global fixed income markets had been under pressure on Thursday evening after a stronger-than-expected CPI report in Japan sparked a sharp sell-off in bonds. However, North American fixed income began turning around as traders hit their desks at 8 a.m.

Yields on two-year Canadian government bonds were up 4.2 bps to 2.92%, five-year yields up 4.1 bps to 3.24%, 10-year yields up 2.7 bps to 3.75% and 30-year yields up 1.9 bps to 4.21%.

U.S. two-year yields were down 0.8 bps to 2.37%, five-year yields were up 5.1 bps to 3.14%, 10-year yields were up 1.2 bps to 3.84% and 30-year yields were up 1.2 bps to 4.56%.

The Eurodollar June 08 contract was down 1.5 ticks to 97.13. The 10/2 year spread widened 1.62 bps to 148.02.

The spread between the U.S. 10-year note and the Canadian 10-year CGB widened 9.03 bps to 9.09 bps.

In Germany, returns on two-year German Bunds were down 2.4 bps to 3.85%, five-year yields were down 1.8 bps to 3.92%, 10-year yields were down 0.9 bps to 4.17% and 30-year yields were down 1.1 bps to 4.70%.

Yields on UK two-year bonds were up 2.7 bps to 4.56%, five-year yields were up 1.5 bps to 4.53%, 10-year yields were up 0.7 bps to 4.78% and 30-year yields were down 2.4 bps to 4.57%.

All data taken at 11:28 a.m. EDT

By Erik Kevin Franco,, edited by Nancy Girgis,

(END) ©CEP Newswires - ©CEP News Ltd. 2008. All Rights Reserved.


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