Stocks fall as Traders Seek Safe-Haven Investments
stock markets traded hard to downside on Thursday fueled by fears of a
financial crisis in the Euro Zone.Stocks began their sell-off last night following a downgrade of Greeceâ€™s
debt by the S&P credit rating service.The markets accelerated to the downside shortly after the U.S. opening
partly on a higher then expected initial claims figure.
Traders for the most part sought refuge in safe haven
investments such as the U.S. Dollar and Treasury instruments.Although no significant damage was done to
the charts, the tone of the market seems to be shifting to more down beat,
which could be an indication of further weakness to follow.
March Treasury Bonds surged to the upside as they were the
recipient of funds being pulled from the equity markets.Traders fearing an end of the year meltdown
in equities increased demand for a safe haven investment.Yesterday the Fedâ€™s statement signaled an end
to cheap money, causing yields to rise, but investors ignored this news
The overnight downgrade of Greek debt should linger in the
market for a few more days as investors try to figure out which other Euro Zone
nations will suffer the same fate.At
this time the debt crisis is being contained within a few countries but can
easily move to the Euro Zone and in turn jump to the U.S. financial system.Investors have learned from past mistakes and
are reacting to the smell of smoke rather than waiting for the fire.
The stronger Dollar sent February Gold sharply lower.Gold took out a major 50% retracement price
before stopping near uptrending Gann angle support at $1098.00.Downside momentum indicates that the Fib
retracement level at $1079.00 is the next downside target. With inflation
almost non-existent according to the Fed and the Dollar at a 3-month high,
there doesnâ€™t seem to be much in the news that could turn this market around.
March Crude Oil reversed earlier strength and finished lower
for the day.The failure to hold a key
50% level at 75.53 triggered some of the selling today.Most of the break, however, was attributed to
weaker stocks and a stronger Dollar. Crude oil was able to find support near a
.618 retracement level at 73.63.Short-covering triggered a mild rally and the market closed inside of
the retracement zone at 73.63 to 75.53.
The U.S. Dollar reached a three-month high today.The strong surge to the upside was fueled by
the S&Pâ€™s downgrade of Greeceâ€™s
credit rating.This strong rally started
last night but gained strength throughout the day on the possibility of more
downgrades of Euro Zone sovereign debt. Investors treated the Dollar as a
safe-haven investment on the fear that the spread of bad debt throughout the
region could trigger serious banking issues, curtailing the current economic
The March Euro took out a major 9-month uptrending Gann
angle as well as a minor .618 level overnight and accelerated to the
downside.Both fundamental and technical
factors contributed to todayâ€™s weakness. Look for the downside momentum to
continue unless the European Central Bank steps up to defuse the growing debt
crisis by freeing up liquidity.
The March British Pound sold off today because of a
disappointing retail sales report.This
news overwhelmed Wednesdayâ€™s better than expected jobless claims data.Technically, the British Pound failed to hold
retracement zone support and is now trading on the weak side of a 3-month 50%
price at 1.6292.The chart indicates
this market is vulnerable to a further decline to 1.5941.
Falling gold prices and the weakening stock market pressured
the Canadian Dollar throughout the New
York trading session. Technically, the March Canadian
Dollar broke out to the downside on the move through .9363.The next downside target is a swing bottom at
.9094 on the weekly chart.
Demand for higher yields, an improving economy and the
reversal of the carry trade helped trigger a sharp break in the March Japanese
Yen.It is possible that a sharp
sell-off in the equity markets tomorrow could lead traders to the safety of the
lower yielding Yen. This would trigger a rebound in the currency.
Demand for the U.S. Dollar and debt problems in the Euro
Zone helped to pressure the March Swiss Franc.Traders are factoring in the possibility that Swiss banks face exposure
to debt issues in Greece, Portugal and Spain. Unless something is done to
defuse the growing fear that a debt crisis is developing, the Swiss Franc could
deteriorate further. In addition, a collapse in the gold market could put
additional pressure on this market.
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