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Friday June 13, 2008 - 16:45:12 GMT
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Forex Blog - U.S. Market Update

Dow +125 S&P 15.35 NASDAQ +41

- Stocks are rallying in early trading, spurred on by a stronger USD and falling crude prices. Indices seemed to be ignoring the gloomy CPI data out this morning that showed inflation responding to the rising price of oil and other commodities. After five trading days of declines, LCC+16% was soaring after reporting yesterday that it would cut capacity by up to 8%, let 1,700 employees go and charge $15 for the first check bag; falling crude and an upgrade at Merrill Lynch also helped. Oil is also brightening the skies of other airline names, led by UAUA+10% (which announced a $15 charge for checked bags of its own after the bell yesterday), CAL+8%, NWA+6% and DAL+5%. PNCL- 6% is an exception in the space, still reeling from Delta's plan to sever its contract with the airline. Financials were headed higher led by LEH+10%, which was recovering from the sell-off of the last several days and also benefiting from incessant speculation the Co. will be acquired. Other movers this morning include SEED+9.9%, which was granted new product approvals in China, and CATS+13% and SWHC+8% after the two companies beat earnings estimates after the close yesterday. BNHN-11% after guiding under estimates for FY09. In other news, XOM was up slightly after announcing that it was getting out of the retail gasoline business and sell its 820 company-owned stations over the next several years.

- Treasury markets rallied this morning after inflation data failed to scare people out of the water indicating an oversold condition. Headline CPI inflation was elevated and continues to trend above the Fed's comfort zone, but the core reading was again inline with expectations while the U. Michigan inflation expectations were unchanged from a month ago. Yields have retreated from this morning's pre-data breakout which say the 10-year breach 4.25% and the 2-year approach 3.10%. Better buying in the 2-year is helping the benchmark curve steepen. Yields are still up dramatically on the week with the 10-year well within range of the Dec high and the 2-year consolidating some 60 basis points of gains. Expectations for a much more aggressive Fed have been reeled in bit as well. Before the data the Nov contract was pricing in more than an 80% of a 2.75% fed funds rate, but that has since fallen back below 30%. It Is worth noting the Sept contact is fully pricing in a 25 bp hike at the August meeting. August gold has spent the entire session in the red but has rallied back towards $870 as the Greenback has lost some footing late in the NY morning. Technicians are watching closely to see if it can close below its 200 day simple and exponential moving averages that lie between $865 and $870.

- The USD maintained its firm tone during the
New York morning as early indications showed that the “No” camp was ahead in the Irish referendum on the EU's Lisbon Treaty. An Irish cabinet minister said the unofficial tallies showed that the treaty has been rejected, confirming earlier speculation. EUR/USD tested 1.5300, down 140 pips from its opening level in Asia. The dollar was also helped along by comments from Saudi Oil Advisor Ibrahim al-Muhanna, who noted that Saudi Arabia was considering a “sizeable” output increase, possibly boosting the country's output to 10M bpd from its current level of around 9.2M bpd. However, an OPEC source stated that an output hike could "psychologically" calm markets, adding that any hike would not be very large due to lack of spare capacity. The USD did retrace following the “inline” CPI reading and Michigan one-year inflationary expectations. Dealers were also noting a Chinese option barrier potentially providing support at 1.5250 that remains in effect until the end of June. Overall, the USD's strength was broad based on Friday. USD/CFH held above the 1.05 level as it garners some technical momentum. USD/JPY was 40 pips higher but unable to sustain gains above its 200-day moving average pegged at 108.27.

- Various ECB members were vocal in regards to broadcasting a potential interest rate hike in July. Gonzales-Poramo stated that the ECB must apply monetary policy in "real time," while Bonello stated that the ECB is ready to hike in the short-term, if the need arises.

- The G7 draft statement is reportedly to focus on the commodity price rise, particularly oil.
Germany's Mirrow said the EU should not bear the entire burden of FX adjustments, noting that the rise in oil was mainly due to demand and supply factors and that FX plays a role in oil pricing.

- Chatter is circulating on some FX desks that the combination of higher
US yields, potential Saudi oil output increases and the Lisbon Treaty's rejection by the Irish could set up an ideal central bank intervention scenario next week. Usually central bankers note that intervention is not an effective tool unless conditions are ripe: dealers noting that the stars may be aligning of late.

- European bonds were volatile as the yield curve narrowed. Sept Bund futures were -21 at 110.21; Sept Gilts -52 ticks at 103.72. Yields hit their highest levels since last summer prior to the subprime crisis.

- European bourses are move off early losses to power into positive territory aided by the
US inflation data. Euro Stoxx 50 +0.6% to 3,563; FTSE 100 Index +0.35 at 5,812; CAC 40 Index +0.3% to 4,685 and DAX Index +0.7% at 6,765.


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