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Tuesday September 9, 2008 - 16:57:03 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Dow -70 S&P -15.3 NASDAQ -13.4

- Equity markets are losing ground after an early attempt to sustain yesterday's late rally as investors dump Lehman Brothers while commodity related names swoon. Crude traded below the $104 handle as OPEC ministers meet in
Vienna to wrangle over their response to fall of crude in recent months - all indications are that the organization will keep production steady and insist that members stick to their quotas. The OSX has slipped another 3% to levels not seen since the opening months of 2008. Dec gold is off another 1.5% though it has rallied some $10 from lows as the Dollar has lost some traction in late morning trade. The XAU lost more than 6% to make fresh lows of more than 2.5 years. Copper, silver and nickel down, while wheat hit fresh one-year lows. Along with commodities, financial stocks continue to weigh on the markets. LEH has fallen more than 40% after breaking the recent low to trade at levels not seen since Oct of 1998. WM-20%, JPM-6%, GS-3% and the XLF-2%. Oppenheimer's Whitney cut her Q3 and FY08 EPS view for WFC-3% after the firm said it would take a Q3 hit on its investments in the GSEs. Friedman cut MEE-15% to Market Perform from Outperform overnight. PBY-11% is down after reporting falling revenue and negative same-store sales for the quarter. AHII-14% is getting crushed after missing earnings estimates. CRDC+28% after the FDA granted the company clearance to market its PAS-Port cardiac surgery product. In mergers, PHST+33% is being acquired by Tripos for $5.50/shr in cash in a deal valued at $57M. Shares of McDonald's are supporting the Dow after monthly comparable sales figures have pushed the stock up more than 2.5%.

- Treasury prices have rebounded from a lower open as the Lehman price action has reignited what appears to be a safe haven bid. Lehman credit default swaps have been seen as much as 125 basis points wider at 450 basis points. The yield curve had been noticeably flatter into the floor open the benchmark spread is now trading a little wider. The long bond continues to be the beneficiary of some buying though, pushing its yield towards 4.20%. The Jan fed fund future is again all but pricing out any chance of rate hike through the end of the year.

- The greenback continued its firm tone as it exceeded is winning streak to nine sessions aided by a 'liquidating' price action in equities and commodity markets . Concerns that the Global economic slowdown would likely deepen in H2 of this year helped push commodity-related instruments to sessions lows as NYMEX crude probed below the $104 level and precious metals joined in the sell-off. Financial market concerns also contributed to some USD 'safe-haven' buying. Several prominent analysts coupled with concerns of potential Asian capital inflows at LEH helped the JPY and CHF crosses move lower. The EUR/USD re-approched its overnight lows of 1.4050 where some reported Far Eastern central banks have lurked. OPEC members continued to stress that a Sept output cut is unlikely, although the OPEC President notes that no 'official' decision has been made at this time. Khelil stated that it was too early to speculate if OPEC cut production at its planned December meeting.

The better CAD housing data for August was lost in the commodity sell-off as the USD/CAD pair weaken back towards the 1.07 area. AUD/USD within striking distance of an alleged option barrier said to be in play at the 0.80 handle. PM Harper in political speeches ahead of the snap elections was calling for reduction in diesel taxes.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its projections and forecasted a $407B deficit for 2008 and saw the 2009 budget deficit at $438B. The CBO saw Q4 GDP at 0.9% y/y, 2008 GDP at 1.5%; 2009 GDP at 1.8%. The offices added that the increase in the unemployment rate coupled with the economic growth slowdown was in line with the characteristics of 'mild recession'.

- European Fixed-income futures reverse earlier losses as global growth concerns and easing commodity prices helped to change earlier sentiment. Dec Bunds +11 ticks at 114.83 and Dec Gilts +22 ticks at 112.06

- European bourses saw their earlier strength simple erode on the back on lingering concerns over the health of the global financial sector. Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4% at 3,272; FTSE 100 Index -0.4% at 5,424; CAC 40 Index -0.7% at 4,311 and DAX Index -0. 4% at 6,241.


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