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Tuesday May 27, 2008 - 16:33:55 GMT
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Forex Blog - U.S. Market Update

Dow -14 S&P +9 NASDAQ -0.30

- Markets opened slightly higher and gained ground in early trading, but were falling back towards unchanged as we head towards the second half of the session. Some of the dark clouds over the U.S economy remain in focus after the S&P/Case-Shiller home price report showed the largest decline in the history of the index, and the May consumer confidence reading sunk to a 16-year low while seeing inflation expectations rise markedly. April new homes sales did slightly beat estimates while inventories contracted and prices rose providing a little hope for the fledgling housing sector. Front-month oil fell below last week's record highs, providing some stimulus for the market. Airline stocks were up AMR+10% UAUA+6% CAL+3.7% JBLU+3.5% DAL+3.4% on this glimmer of good news. In other energy news, LEI+21% after an independent study boosted estimates of the company's PV-10 estimates by 150%. Lehman, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were holding steady after having their Q2 profit estimates cut at Banc of America and Sanford Bernstein overnight on the risk of further asset writedowns. Shares of JMBA+20% after the beverage retailer unveiled a new line of bottled juices in partnership with Nestle. Homebuilder SPF+42% after receiving a $530M equity commitment from a private equity group. PDX-11.5% after revising guidance lower on declining patient volumes, while FTK-15.3% after lowing outlook on poor Q1 performance. Bond markets have been lower throughout the session pushing yields back towards the upper end of their 2008 ranges. The 2-year breached 2.50% again before backing off to 2.45%.

- Lower commodity prices helped the USD rebound from one-month lows against the euro as the 1. 58 level was tested just prior to the European open. The dollar initially firmed following some renewed European banking concerns after the ECB disclosed €538M in marginal lending was used on Monday. German June Consumer Sentiment was also weighing on euro sentiment after a 4.9 figure reported for June versus a 5.6 prior reading in May. Moreover, the Russian Central Bank stated that it would not rule out a ruble revaluation in 2008 to combat inflation. Overall the EUR/USD remains within the 1.5700 to 1. 5800 range that has been largely intact since May 21. The 1.5630 point has been the post G7 pivot level in this pair for momentum. Dealer chatter is focusing on crude ultrashort ETF in which the average daily volume has dramatically increased the past few sessions. NYMEX front-month crude probed the 129 level after testing 133.65 during the European morning. June Gold has spent the majority of the session down roughly 2% as well. Verbal intervention remains near the front burner as the deputy German economy minister noted that the dollar could rise again in the foreseeable future. USD/JPY is trading at 104.15. Dealer chatter continues to focus on the option barriers in play. Market talk centers on the alleged 102.50-105.50 Do Not Touch (DNT) option that expires on Wednesday. EUR/JPY cross-chart formation continues to receive attention as the 164.70 remains the key resistance and momentum point. Overnight the BoJ noted that they were focused on downside risks to economy. Commodity-related currency pairs were weaker as crude and gold consolidated near session lows.

- European fixed-income endured a choppy session as central bank speak and economic data clashed with sentiment. ECB's Weber reiterated that he sees no room to cut rates in 2008 and added that one has to keep the option of raising rates open. However, the session ended on a soft note with June Bunds -15 ticks at 112.68 and June Gilts -1 tick at 106.45 Euro Stoxx 50 unch at 3, 725; FTSE +0.1% at 6,092; CAC 40 Index -0.35 at 4,922 and DAX +0.5% at 6, 988


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