Stocks Finish Higher as Traders Anticipate Bullish Employment Numbers
Equity markets erased earlier losses after the release of
the U.S. Weekly Initial Claims Report to finish higher for the day. Trading was
light, but nonetheless, todayâ€™s strength is probably a good indication that
investors feel that Fridayâ€™s report will be better than preliminary estimates.
Treasury futures traded mixed but inside of their recent
ranges as investors were reluctant to position themselves in front of Fridayâ€™s
U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report.Trading was
been light and directionless most of the day. The current range for March
Treasury Bonds is 114â€™16 to 116â€™05.March Treasury Notes have fallen into a range between 114â€™28 to 116â€™08.
February Gold was under pressure throughout the trading
session because of the stronger Dollar. The current chart formation suggests a
possible pull-back to $1108.10 - $1100.34.Downside momentum will depend on how strong the Dollar gets.The main trend is still up, however, with
$1151.30 a key objective on the upside.Thursdayâ€™s weakness was most likely profit-taking ahead of Fridayâ€™s
March Crude Oil closed lower as traders dumped commodity
related contracts because of the rate hike in China and greater demand for safe-haven
assets.By raising interest rates, China hopes to
curtail excessive lending practices and cool off the economy.Traders trimmed their recent long positions
on expectations of a drop in demand for crude oil. Technically, this market is
vulnerable to the downside with potential targets at 78.80 and 77.56.
The U.S. Dollar held on to most of its gains as traders
await Fridayâ€™s U.S.
employment report. On Thursday, the Weekly U.S. Initial Claims report showed
that fewer workers filed for unemployment benefits last week.This news helped boost an already strong
Dollar. The ability to hold on to its gains into the close may be an indication
that investors are anticipating a friendly U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report tomorrow.
Volume has dropped off noticeably which is a strong indication that the ranges
for the day have been made.
The U.S. Dollar erased early overnight losses to move higher
shocked the Forex markets with a surprise hike in interest rates. Chinaâ€™s
move to curb excessive lending and curtail price increases drove traders into
lower yielding, safe haven currencies.Chinaâ€™s
central bank sold 3-month bills at a higher interest rate for the first time in
The March Euro traded lower throughout todayâ€™s session as
demand for higher risk assets dropped following the rate hike in China.At the close, the Euro was hovering near a
retracement zone at 1.4350 to 1.4319.
The top-heavy March British Pound continued to erode support
overnight. Further downside pressure was triggered after the Bank of England
announced that interest rates would remain at 0.50% while leaving its asset
purchase program in check.Overnight
selling pressure took out weak longs who were trying to establish support at a
retracement zone at 1.6036 to 1.5988. If selling pressure continues tomorrow,
the most obvious downside objective is the recent bottom at 1.5825.
Trumping the BoE meeting was the on-going heated debate over
the budget deficit.Prime Minister
Gordon Brown and Conservative opposition leader David Cameron are currently
engaged in a heated discussion on how to handle the growing budget
Bearish comments from the new Japanese Finance Minister
helped trigger a sharp break to the downside in the March Japanese Yen
overnight.In addition, the friendly
Weekly U.S. Initial Claims number drove this contract to a four-month low.Overnight NaotoKan
said he wanted to see a weaker Yen.This
announcement is leading traders to believe Japan may be more inclined to stem
any sharp rise in its currency.Kan feels that his job
will be to keep the Yen at an â€śappropriate levelâ€ť.This is necessary to sustain demand for
Technically, the March Japanese Yen should remain weak as
long as this market can remain under the downtrending Gann angle at 1.0693
tomorrow.Based on the main range of
.9876 to .1.1774, traders should look for a retracement to 1.0825 to .1.0601
over the near term.
The stronger Dollar is helped pressure the Swiss Franc.
Todayâ€™s closing price reversal suggests that a new lower top has been formed at
.9766Based on the short-term range of
.9522 to .9766, traders should look for a minimum retracement to .9640 -
.9612.Taking out this zone should
trigger an acceleration to the downside.
The March Canadian Dollar continued to weaken after a
slightly lower opening.Todayâ€™s closing
price reversal indicates that a short-term top has been reached which could
trigger a minimum 2 to 3 day break. The current chart formation indicates a possible
break to .9510 - .9461 over the near-term. Weaker gold and crude oil prices
will continue to pressure this market.
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