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Friday June 27, 2008 - 17:02:31 GMT
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Forex Blog - U.S. Market Update

Dow -50 S&P -1 NASDAQ -10.3

- Markets are slipping lower again as oil makes new highs and investors digest yesterday's declines and this morning's economic data. Crude spiked above the $142 handle earlier this morning before retrenching slightly while the USD strengthened against the EUR slightly overnight. Data showed personal income and spending increased in May, with income marking the largest m/m gain since 2005. The PCE data came in largely in-line with expectations, leading some commentators to suggest that companies are continuing to absorb rising prices without passing them along to consumers. Investors are responding calmly to the latest financial write down commentary: this time a Lehman analyst noted that Merrill would increase its Q2 writedown by $1B and revised the firms FY EPS outlook sharply downward. Homebuilder KBH-7% is falling after reporting a big miss on earnings and large y/y declines in backlog, new orders and gross margins. Housing names LEN-9%, CTX-4% and PHM-4% were falling on the news. SNE-3% and ERIC-6% are falling after their jv Sony Ericsson issued a profit warning and noted moderating demand for its handsets. Fellow cellular firms RIMM-5% and PALM-6% are continuing their losses. CBK-10% slashed guidance after the close yesterday (despite beating earnings & rev estimates for the quarter) and was cut at various brokerages overnight. In more positive news, BDAY+63% after Liberty Media announced it would acquire the firm for $3.90/shr. ANDE+24% after guiding higher. ACN+5% is rising on positive earnings and higher quarterly and FY guidance, as well as price target hikes at several brokerages. BUD is gaining after formally rejecting the $65/share Inbev offer and providing FY guidance for 2008 and 2009.

- Treasury yields continue to head south as the continued risk aversion theme keeps a bid in bond prices. Unlike the past two session better buying is being seen at the long end of the curve. The 30-year cash yields is heading back towards the 4.50% level while the 10- year is now below 4% for the first time in nearly a month. Fed fund futures are pricing in roughly a 25% chance for rate hike at the next meeting while the Nov contract now sees less than 30% odds of additional 25 basis points worth of tightening on top of any hike this summer.

- In currencies, USD sentiment continues to be weighed upon by higher commodity prices as WTI crude made fresh all-time highs above $141.70 per barrel during the European morning, seemingly fulfilling analyst predictions of $150/bbl by the July 4th. August gold is bringing the May highs back into view trading up 1.3% today to $927. The EUR/USD is trading at 1.5740 after unsuccessfully piercing the alleged option barrier at 1. 5800. Recent hawkish EBC commentary seems justified as German June preliminary y/y CPI data hit its highest level since January 1994. Meanwhile, the S&P noted it does not anticipate the Fed raising rates until recession fears have past. USD/CAD is testing its 100-day moving average at 1.0062 as oil and gold maintain a form tone into the weekend.

- Some risk aversion is creeping back into currencies: Carry-related pairs are moving lower as European equities experience a second day of losses. The EUR/JPY retraced from fresh all-time highs on Thursday around 169.44, moving back below the 168 handle. EUR/CHF was softer by 65 pips at 1.6060; the CHF was also aided by comments from the Russian Central Bank noting the possibility it would increase its holdings of CHF in currency reserves.

- European bonds opened higher on safe-have and sector rotation plays, but climbing crude and increasing inflationary sentiment ate away at early gains. Sept Bunds +5 ticks at 111.28 and Sept Gilt -25 ticks at 104. 95.

- Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4% at 3,350 and dealers noting that it is below a weekly H&S formation with the neckline at 4,400. FTSE 100 Index +0. 4% at 5,543; CAC 40 Index -0.2% at 4,414 and Dax Index -0.25 at 6,445.


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