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Tuesday September 1, 2009 - 15:55:18 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 11:27:31 AM

 US Market Update

Dow -103 S&P -10.5 NASDAQ -15

- US indices opened to the downside on the heels of some selling in Europe. Overnight European bourses gave back gains and moved lower following news that the Swedish government was likely to revise 2009 budget deficit expectations higher, and cautious commentary out of Germany regarding the 2010 unemployment outlook. US equity markets quickly rallied from a lower open lead by technology shares and news that Ebay had reached a deal to sell its Skype unit for $2.75B besting recent media expectations. Stocks remained bid into August ISM data as rumors gained traction that manufacturing data would handily beat expectations. The data did beat consensus, moving above 50 and into "growth" territory, but failed to match the whisper rumors. Though the accompanying commentary was constructive with the ISM's Ore suggesting that recovery could be sustainable, stock prices quickly moved back into negative territory forcing equity futures to new lows below the worst levels of the overnight session.

- Treasury yields moved higher and prices sold off initially following the data. The curve saw some steepening with the long bond yield moving back above 4.25%. Fed fund futures expectations have barely budged though pricing on little if any chance of a rate hike early next year both pre and post the data. Commodity prices are attempting to rebound from yesterday's weakness led by gasoline's rise of better than 2%. Crude traded back above $70 to trade up 1.5%. Gold prices still appear to be having some trouble moving away from $950 level. Bond prices have rallied and commodities have given back gains as stocks have slid.

- In terms of individual stocks there continues to be lots of volatility surrounding unconfirmed rumors. Various names continue to surge on speculation of upcoming catalysts that include M&A, new data releases, FDA approvals and contract awards. Swine flu names are strong for the second straight session after NVAX released positive Phase II data. NVAX +17% SVA +18% AVII +11%. Icagen popped better than 40% upon a release of positive top line results for their Senicapoc and the treatment of Allergic Asthma. ACAD has plunged 70% after partner Biovail announced Phase III results for Pimavanserin did not meet primary endpoints.

- The NY morning initially saw a constant rotation of the usual risk aversion and risk appetite as the market digested a plethora of economic data from
Europe, US and emerging markets complemented by various rumors swirling around. German Finance Minister Steinbrueck painted a cautious picture on the German economic front as credit access could worsen even when economic recovery resumed and result in a higher level of insolvencies during the Q4 and Q1 of 2010. Thus Germany acknowledged that labor markets were viewed as lagging while the real economy improves. Also G20 Finance ministers' message is likely to leave timing and scale of exit strategies up to individual countries when the summit wraps up on Sept 25th in Pittsburgh. The French Fin Min noted that its Q3 GDP would not be bad and was maintaining its 2010 growth forecasts. France noted that its 2009 GDP contraction of 3.0% could be revised higher and deficit levels likely to come in ahead of current expectations for that year.

- The USD saw some strength on vague rumors that a fund could default on a FX related payments. However, rumors of a 'better' US ISM number helped the equity markets propel into positive territory, aiding the commodity-related instruments, translating into a weaker USD and softer JPY. The EUR/USD continued to consolidate within its two-week trading range of 1.42 to 1.44 area despite the extreme amount of news flow as September trading commenced. Chatter continues to circulate regarding a 1.4450 DNT (Do-Not-Touch) option being defended. The option reportedly has a Friday expiration (which corresponds with the
US payroll data release). Key levels for currency price momentum are also seen in the 92.50 level for USD/JPY and the 1.5130 level in EUR/CHF cross. There is critical concern over the potential USD direction that is indirectly implied with the increased chatter of the chart pattern that the gold market is developing; there is extreme upside potential if the metal moves above the $1,000/oz level. The current one-way leaning of sentiment could provide a mass run for position exits should highly hyped potential moves fail to materialize.


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