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Wednesday July 30, 2008 - 16:39:31 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Dow +107 S&P +10 NASDAQ +11

- Equity markets began the session on a positive note, and early follow through strength in the financials as well as continued declines in oil, was seen benefiting stocks. The DoE's weekly stockpile figures reading jolted markets though, as focus on large draw downs in gasoline inventories forced energy prices off session lows. Sep crude did briefly trade below $121 before bouncing back towards $123, meanwhile, gold traded to fresh multi-month lows with the spot market moving below $895 at one point, brining the 200-day moving average at $888 into focus. Indices also found some support from the July ADP employment reading which came in above estimates, much stronger than June's record loss. The positive number sets the stage for the government's July non-farm jobs data, due on Friday. The ADP reading also sent Treasury yields to their highest levels of the session but they have since backed off with some softening in the equity markets. Also the Fed has extended and expanded the TAF lending facility, citing the “fragile” state of capital markets; the Fed has added a new 84-day auction to the existing 28-day auction, and the program will expire on January 30, rather than in mid- September. The SEC's decision last night to extend its temporary rules restricting short-selling of 19 financial stocks to August 12 seemed to help the stocks early, but they have come well off of early highs across the board with many now in the red. Merrill traded as high as $28 early in the session but has since slipped back into negative territory closer to $26. Oil's mid-morning rebound did help the energy complex bounce sending the OIH up more than 4% at one point. XOM +1.4% and CVX +3.2% are fueling the gains in the Dow. Two drug names WYE -11% and ELN -36% are getting pummeled after phase II data on their co-developed Alzheimer product disappointed.

- Tech names are hurting after multiple negative earnings reports. ELON-16% beat revenue estimates and lost less in the quarter than expected, but nevertheless slashed its guidance for the coming quarter and year. GRMN-14% missed on earnings and revenue, guiding lower for the year and delaying the launch of its much-anticipated smartphone. ERTS-9% is falling on lower revenue and a bigger-than-expected loss for the quarter. French steel company Arcelor is up nearly 8% on very strong earnings, following US Steel's impressive performance yesterday. MET-4% after missing on EPS and revenue estimates and guiding lower.

- The USD resumed its recent rally after consolidating earlier gains throughout the European morning. Lower metal prices and the positive ADP reading are aiding the initial dollar firmness. Dealer chatter has focused on differences between ADP employment report and the looming non-farm payroll report on Friday, noting that the ADP is broken into large, medium and small business segments, and cautioning that it was small businesses that added 50k to that headline number, a component that the NFP report does not calculate. Nonetheless, the EUR/USD dipped to 1.5525, while the USD/JPY hits its best level in a month with a 108.34 high. The Federal Reserve TAF auction announcement didn't hurt, either.

- In
Europe, FX macro- political philosophy was discussed as attention focused on recent press reports that suggest that the recent growth slump may force Italy out of the Euro Zone in due course, highlighted by the weak Euro Zone business climate indicator. In addition, dealers are watching European emerging market currencies as the Turkish Court is expected to rule on AKP party later today. The GBP finally breached its former June pivot point of 1.9770 after numerous tests over the past 24-hours. MPC dove Blanchflower noted in a radio interview today that recent UK data has been “bad.” Commodity- related currency pairs are softer on the back of the commodities sell-off. The AUD/USD is off 100 pips at 0.9420, while the USD/CAD at 1.0250 (with USD buy stops building above the 1.0330 area).

- Spot gold approached its post sub-prime uptrend line that began last August. The support is currently seen at the $888/oz level, which corresponds to the current 200-day simple moving average. Traders noted that Gold has been under pressure with passive fund managers' types liquidating prior longs. However, Oil rebounded from session lows of 121.00 to probe the 122 level following the DOE inventory report, which showed a decline of 100K in crude inventories.


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