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Wednesday May 28, 2008 - 16:35:31 GMT
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Forex Blog - U.S. Market Update

Dow -7 S&P -2.7 NASDAQ -7

- Markets were in a volatile mood this morning, opening well above yesterday's close on an upbeat durable goods report and declining oil prices, but erased much of the day's gains by mid- morning. The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods (ex transport) rose 2.5% in April, surprising analysts who had forecasted a 0. 5% decline, providing ammunition for a less pessimistic outlook on the
US economy. With cars and aircraft in the mix, durable order fell by 0.5%, an entire percentage point less than expected. Meanwhile, oil briefly ticked below $126 this morning, before rising back towards $130 in late morning trade. Airline stocks tracked the fall and rise of crude prices, with AMR+7. 4% UAUA+5.7% and CAL+6% at one point in early trading, but these names were well off their best levels by mid morning. Retailers AEO+8%, RL+12%, CHS+5% and DLTR+3% were prospering after earnings reports this morning; each managed to beat EPS estimates. KEY-11% after raising its 2008 outlook for loan charge-offs has led to lingering weakness in many of the financials. Citigroup also noted AIG is likely to have to raise more capital. AIG -4. 4% XLF -1% CSCO was under pressure despite the CEO stating that he was “extremely comfortable” with the company's long-term growth target, while CCE -4% is also giving back ground after reaffirming guidance. AKNS was gaining after Kaufman initiated the name with a buy rating. In other news, Dow Chemical announced it would hike prices by 20% on all products in June, while UPS said it was negotiating with DHL Express to provide air transport for the shipper. The better Durable goods data has pushed Treasury yields back towards some key levels. The 10-year yield is testing the 200 day EMA after pushing back above the Feb intra-day high. The yield is re- approaching 4%, levels not seen since the first few sessions of 2008.

- The EUR/USD remains locked in its recent consolidation range of 1. 5630-1.5830 but continues to probe both sides of the range in a session marked by a dearth of headlines on which to pin the dollar's price movements. Some dealers attributed the USD strength to M&A flows (citing a potential InBev-Bud merger). Others attributed strength to lower commodity prices, rather than the usual interest rate US-German two-year differentials. The Durable Goods data did finally provide an impetus for USD strength as the April reading beat expectations. However the better
US data helped to push NYMEX crude off session lows of 125.96 to move back towards 129.50 level as the European close approached. For the most part, the euro was unable to capitalize from continued hawkish comments out of European officials regarding action to avoid secondary effects of inflation. An ECB source reiterated that the central bank remains poised to tighten interest rates if inflation remains at elevated levels. German May preliminary CPI m/m came in at 0.6% v 0.4%e and 3.0% v 2.08% y/y.

- Yen related pairs experienced encounters with some critical chart points and option barriers. EUR/JPY tested its one-year resistance line pegged at the 164.50/70 level, while USD/JPY failed to knock out an option barrier at the 105.50. Overall, the dollar followed commodity price swings in the session. Both crude and gold exhibited a wild session in terms of price action as early European weakness commodities evaporated in early
US trading.

- June Bunds -30 ticks at 112.40 after testing its lowest level since Oct 2007; June Gilts -18 ticks at 106.25. Euro Stroxx 50 +1.1% at 3,753; FTSE 100 Index +0.3% at 6,076; CAC 40 Index +1.7% at 4,987 and DAX +1.3% at 7,045


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AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
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