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Thursday May 8, 2008 - 17:11:14 GMT
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FX Blog - U.S. Market Update

Dow +61 S&P +5.5 NASDAQ +15

- The majority of retail names opened higher following generally better than expected April SSS figures, but quickly sellers entered into the market after the NY open. The RTH -0. 5% has spent the majority of the morning in the red but Wal-Mart remains higher by more than 1%. DRS Technologies has surged more than 13% after a WSJ report suggested the
Co. has received a bid from an Italian company. The NASDAQ has exhibited some relative strength throughout the session led by broad strength in technology and biotech names. BBH +1% QQQQ +1% Indices have made a run into solid positive territory in late morning trade as crude futures broke to new lows. Though June crude is down more than $1.50 it still trades near $122. Financials remain a laggard. XLF -0.8% Treasury markets were the beneficiary of early equity softness, but futures prices have come off their best levels as stocks have moved higher. The benchmark curve has seen some steepening with the 2-year yield falling back below 2.25%. The 10-year note future remains higher by more than half a point, and its yield has retreated back towards 3.80%. June gold has shown some relative strength throughout the early NY session adding 1.5% to trade at $884.

- The European central banks did little to surprise the markets in terms of expected interest rate decisions. Both the BOE and ECB maintained a steady policy as they weighed the cross currents of slower growth and higher inflation. The BOE left its key rate at 5.00% while the ECB maintained its 4.0% target. During the ECB press conference, Trichet did little to change his prior hawkish views on inflationary expectations. Trichet noted that inflation will remain ``high'' for some time, signaling that the ECB is in no rush to lower interest rates. The EUR/USD was unable to break above the 1.5370 pivot point for the most part of the ECB press conference, but surged to session highs of 1.5430 after Trichet reiterated the view that the G7 statement on currencies speaks for itself and noted that US authorities stated that they a support strong dollar. This was in contrast to overnight press reports that
Europe and the US officials have a united desire to see the USD strengthen against the Euro. Dealers had some hope that the ECB might 'amend or drop' key words and or phrases. However, currencies dealers concluded that perhaps Trichet does not read the FT. The Portugal Fin Min noted that it is getting close to the point that the strong Euro is being a problem for Europe. He added that it was not difficult for Portuguese companies to date. But the US attitude toward a weak dollar seems to have changed. Overall, despite the softer tone today, the USD continues to experience a 'decoupling' effect from the trend of higher oil prices in recent sessions. Risk aversion remains a possibility, as equity markets were softer throughout the session. Strong demand for European fixed income instruments were prominent despite the hawkish ECB tone. US commercial paper outstanding fell by $9.7B w/w to $1.754. Various carry-related pairs remain soft, but off their pre-European session lows. EUR/JPY is back near 160 after testing tested 159.

Canadian Housing starts were below consensus for Apr as USD/CAD continues to hold above the parity level. Fin Min Flaherty stated that the USD's fall has been borne disproportionately by
Canada.

 

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