- US equity indices opened to the downside this morning thanks to lingering caution from Thursday's worse-than-expected non-farm payroll data. Traders bid up equities ahead of the 10amEST June ISM non-manufacturing data, but indices have dropped to session lows despite the ISM beating expectations. Note that the ISM prices paid sub index popped above 50 for the first time since last fall. The front-month NYMEX crude contract continues to make one-month lows, now down $2.50 to trade above $64. There has been little significant equity news to speak of, although it's worth noting that the FTC cleared Net App to acquire Data Domain (for $30/shr in cash and stock), while EMC upped its offer for the firm to $33.50 in cash from its prior offer of $30.
- Treasury prices have seen some selling at the long end of the curve pushing those yields higher. The long bond is back above 4.35% while the benchmark is holding 3.5%. The curve has steepened with the benchmark spread gaining traction above 255 basis points. The Fed is undertaking another coupon purchase while the Treasury is auctioning off $8B in TIPS later this afternoon.
- In currencies, the risk aversion stemming from the payroll data continued to roil FX trading, to the benefit of overall USD and JPY sentiment. During the New York session the EU's Barroso said he was unsure when the recovery might begin and warned Europe's growth potential would not be the same post crisis. Rising doubt on the global growth front has brought the fiscal health of countries and whole regions back into question. The Indian finance minister noted that its goal sustainable 9% GDP growth over the medium term would require continuing efforts to provide fiscal stimulus.
- EUR/USD is hovering around the 1.39 handle during the NY while the USD/JPY tested below the 95 handle for one-month lows. EUR/JPY cross was off 200 pips below the 132 level. Energy and metal commodities remained heavy with the strong dollar against the European pairs. GBP/USD tested below the 1.62 level ahead of the NY morning before retracing back towards 1.62. Sterling's soft tone also buckled as the growing potential for more quantitative easing (QE) from the BoE continues to unsettle traders. The "shadow MPC" called on the BoE to maintain the base rate at 0.5% and called for an extension of its quantitative easing (QE) beyond the Â£150B it currently has permission to undertake. CAD and AUD were off their worst levels from the European morning. USD/CAD is around 1.1630 while AUD/USD is straddling the 0.79 level.
- With the G8 summit in Italy set to begin later this week, the USD remains vulnerable to comments from various G20 members on its reserve currency status. The Indian Foreign Secretary commented that he was open to idea of replacing USD as global reserve currency. This comment echoed India Gov't Advisor Tendulkar stated last Friday that he would not be surprised if Rupee basket was revised to reduce role of USD. For the moment the risk aversion theme is outweighing the bulk of the reserve currency rhetoric. French President Sarkozy stated that a joint position on oil prices from the UK & France would be published within the next few days and commented that oil prices must target a reasonable price range.
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