- US and European equity markets began the week under some pressure in the wake of fresh declines in Asia. The Shanghai Composite hit a new 3-month low while Nikkei whipsawed to a lower close after their election results. After the NY open the August Chicago PMI index reached 50 for the first time since September while the new orders and production indices signaled growth. The data did little in the way of providing upside momentum for stocks. The head of the NY Fed garnered some attention in a TV interview when he assured that he remained confident in the ongoing turnaround and the Fed's ability to keep future inflation in check, but that the banking sector still faces large credit losses. He also raised some eyebrows when expressing his view that new regulation of bank stocks in particular is critical to avoid a similar financial crisis in the future. Overall trading volumes remain light with UK markets closed for a holiday, but the tone is decidedly negative with decliners leading advancers by a wide margin on the NYSE.
- October crude is dipped back below $70, down 3.8% on the session amidst general commodity weakness. Natural Gas is back below $3 while gold is off nearly 8% hovering right at $950. Treasury prices are holding fairly steady with the 10-year note up fractionally yielding 3.44%. The long end is a little lower with T-bond futures down a quarter of a point in thin trade.
- There was some interesting M&A announced before the open with Disney making a play for Marvel in a $4B cash and stock deal. MVL has surged more than 25% to $49 while Disney stock has declined modestly. Over in the oil patch Baker Hughes offered $5.5B in cash and stock for BJ Services. BJS has rallied a fairly modest 7.5% to $16.60 while BHI is lower by nearly 7%. Though the deal has touched off the predicable chatter about "who is next" the OIH is lower by 3%.
- The NY currency action continued to consolidate from Asian market price action with the election of a new Japanese government and another strong sell-off in the Chinese equity markets. The USD initially held onto a portion of its gains against the European components. EUR/USD hovered just above the 1.43 level after the Chicago PMI data but has since popped towards 1.4350.
- The CAD was broadly weaker ahead of its GDP data for the month of June and its Q2. The MoM reading was positive for the first time since July 2008 but the number failed to beat consensus expectations. The USD/CAD pair approached the 1.11 handle and dealers were aware of the pairs downtrend line in effect since Mar with pivotal resistance currently seen at 1.1140 level.
- Some dealer chatter is focusing on the central bank front and noting that the CHF/JPY cross might best suit recent policy views by the respective central bankers. Touched off by the speculation surrounding the new Japanese government's possible stance on reserves, as well as the SNB desire to curb CHF appreciation. The 84 level is in sight as a potential momentum point for an additional move lower in this cross.
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