- March crude has popped as much as 6% to trade back towards $36 after OPEC
said in their monthly report the saw oil demand falling by 580K bpd v the 180K
bpd forecast prior, making for their the sixth straight revision lower. Traders
are focusing on the March contract taking back some dramatic increases in
spreads recently seen across the curve. Front-month gasolline is lower by more
than 2% paring some of the substantial widening that has been seen in crack
- Leading US financial stocks are struggling to participate in upside, with
Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo all down 2-4% in
early action. Goldman and Citi are exceptions, with shares of both banks in the
black mid morning. Investors should note that across the pond UK
banking giant Lloyds warned that its HBOS unit would reports a substantial loss
of ¬£10B for 2008 and that its impairments for HBOS would be larger than
initially estimated. Lloyds still expects to be profitable in 2008, however.
Overnight the Wall Street Journal commented on the Treasury's plan to conduct
stress tests of banks, noting that the new effort could force banks recognize
credit losses faster, which would lead to dillutive capital raises and the need
for further increases in reserves.
- In other equity news, Pepsico reported in line with analyst estimates and
offered a positive forecast for 2009, although big y/y declines were reported
in its US and European units. The CEO warned that the first half of 2009 would
be a big challenge. Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch are up 10% after the
apparel retailer managed to beat the Street, although it refrained from
offering any guidance for 2009 due to the crisis. China Security is off 9%
after filing a big mixed securities shelf, while YRCW+10% after working out a
financing deal with lenders.
- In currencies the Lloyds trading update pulled the upside momentum out from
under European equity markets and Sterling
saw earlier gains erode against major pairs. GBP/USD was over 200+ pips off its
session highs of 1.4605 before the New York
open, moving below 1.44 as US equities commenced trading. JPY was broadly
weaker as dealers noted some evidence of position squaring ahead of the G7
summit. USD/JPY is probing the 92 handle, while the EUR/JPY tested the mid-118
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