Equity Markets Flatten Out Ahead of U.S. Retail Sales Report
Equity markets are flat as traders await this morningâ€™s U.S.
Retail Sales Report.Based on previously
released new motor vehicles sales and December Chain-Store Sales, traders
should expect a healthy report.Look for
retail sales to grow by 0.4% and retail sales less autos to increase by 0.2%.
Todayâ€™s jobless claims report should show an increase of 3K with a range of
400K to 450K.
A bullish report is likely to trigger an upside breakout over
this weekâ€™s highs.The March E-mini
S&P 500 is currently in a position to take out its recent minor top at
1148.00.A weaker report may trigger a
set-back to 1129.00, but investors are likely to step in to buy this break.
March Treasury Bonds sold off sharply yesterday as traders
dumped safe assets in favor of higher risk assets.A bullish Retail Sales Report is likely to
pressure T-Bonds today as traders will once again begin to factor in the
possibility of a Fed rate hike.A weak
report should be supportive if investors sell off higher risk assets.116â€™05 should act as a pivot price today.
The weaker Dollar is helping to support February Gold.Traders also appear to have shaken off the
negative news from China
from earlier in the week.On Tuesday, China made a
decision to raise reserve requirements. Traders believe this will lead to a
drop in demand for commodities, causing gold to lose its appeal as a hedge
against inflation.Technically, a new
short-term range has been created at $1163.00 to $1118.50. This range creates a
retracement zone at $1140.70 to $1146.00 which is the next upside target.
March Crude Oil is trading a little better overnight
following a late session short-covering rally on Wednesday.Yesterday, the market found support at a
major 50% price at 78.99.Breaking this
level will trigger a further decline to 77.70.Oversold conditions could trigger a retracement rally to 81.63. A
surprise gain in U.S.
distillates and crude stocks were the catalysts behind yesterdayâ€™s weakness.
The March Euro is trading flat as Forex traders await this
monthâ€™s European Central Bank policy decision. Investors are looking for the
ECB to leave interest rates at the historically low 1% level.At the same time, the market will be looking
for comments on the debt problems in Greece,
Portugal and Spain.Expect the language of the report to be
dovish in tone.
After the release of the ECB policy statement, central bank
President Trichet is expected to comment on the European Union debt issues, the
European banking system and the sluggishness of credit in the Euro Zone
region.Trichetâ€™s comments are likely to
be market moving especially if he comes down hard on the countries experiencing
Technically, the Euro is trading in a range. The main trend
is down, but this market still has the potential to rally to 1.4680, to
complete a major 50% retracement.On the
downside, 1.4386 remains a short-term target.
Demand for riskier assets is helping to give the pressure
the March Japanese Yen.With risk
sentiment back on, the Yen has room to fall. Traders are shifting once again to
a risk demand environment because the stock market continues to remain strong
and the prospects for a rate hike by the Fed diminished.
Overnight reports, which led to the drop in the Japanese
Yen, highlight the countryâ€™s reliance on exports. Last nightâ€™s reports showed
that producer prices fell for the 12th straight month and machine orders
unexpectedly dropped. These reports indicate that the government is likely to
take more action to combat deflation in an attempt to revive economic
growth.Look for the Japanese government
to implement more monetary easing and fiscal policies to fight deflation.This means that it would be in the countryâ€™s
best interest to promote a softer Yen at this time.
The fear of an intervention by the Swiss National Bank and
less demand for lower risk assets are the conflicting stories keeping the March
Swiss Franc inside of a tight trading range. For the third straight day, the
currency is ping-ponging inside a 50% price at .9806 and a .618 price at .9873.
Technical factors are building which suggest that traders are likely to â€śgo the
way of the moveâ€ť.This means a break-out
to the upside is likely to trigger a rally to .9910 and an acceleration to the
downside could drive this market to .9645.
The March Canadian Dollar is trading flat overnight.Greater demand for gold, copper and natural
gas, three commodities which provide almost half of Canadaâ€™s export revenue are helping
to support the Canadian Dollar. Look for this currency to remain strong as long
as there is demand for raw materials.
The inability of the Canadian Dollar to rally further is a
direct result of the comments from Canadian Prime Minister Harper who earlier
in the week said he was concerned about the rise in the Canadian Dollar and its
negative effects on the economy.Traders
seem reluctant to challenge the PM at this time out of fear of possible
intervention by the Bank of Canada.
The March British Pound is trading flat to lower ahead of
the New York
opening.The British Pound turned the
main trend to up on the daily chart earlier in the week when it crossed a main
top at 1.6240.This move was primarily
driven by a Bank of England memberâ€™s call for higher interest rates later in
the year.Furthermore, traders are
beginning to believe that the need for further stimulus has dissipated.The first upside objective is a 50% level at
1.6355, followed by 1.6478.A weaker
market today could trigger a short-term retracement to 1.6104.
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Mon 18 Dec
10:00 EZ- final HICP Tue 19 Dec
09:00 DE- IFO Survey
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
13:30 US- Current Account Wed 20 Dec
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude Thu 21 Dec
03:00 JP- BOJ Decision
13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
13:30 US- GDP Fri 22 Dec
09:30 US- GB- GDP
13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final University of Michigan
17:00 US- early Closes Mon 25 Dec
00:00 Christmas Holidays
Potential Trading Opportunities
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Mon--10:00 GMT-- EZ- final November HICP. flash data are rarely changed.
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium Tue --09:00 GMT-- DE- IFO Survey. Key report but usually not a market-mover
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium- Tue --13:30 GMT-- US- Housing Starts and Permits. Leading indicators of activity
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH-Medium- Wed --15:00-- US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing statistic
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