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Friday February 26, 2010 - 23:52:57 GMT
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Stock Traders Ignore Weak Housing Data; Focus Shifts toward Weaker U.S. Dollar

Stock traders ignored the weaker existing home sales report and turned its focus on the U.S. Dollar which weakened because of increased demand for higher risk assets. This week’s testimony by Fed Chairman Bernanke may have set the tone for today’s rally. Earlier in the week, Bernanke said that interest rates would remain low for a prolonged period of time which may have triggered demand for higher yielding stocks.


The rally on Friday put the March E-mini S&P 500 in a position to take out the recent main top at 1112.75. This breakout will turn the main trend to up on the daily chart.


Treasury markets traded higher on Friday which was a surprise since the tone of the day seemed to be demand for risky assets. Today’s weaker than expected U.S. existing homes report provided much of the intra-day support. Investors gained more confidence in holding long positions this week after Fed Chairman Bernanke said interest rates would remain low for “an extended period”.


The weaker Dollar helped to support both April Gold and April Crude Oil. Upside momentum is building in gold which could provide this market with enough strength to test the last main top at $1131.50. A trade through this level will turn the main trend up on the daily chart.


The Euro rallied on Friday after Bloomberg reported that Germany may buy Greek bonds.  Shorts read this as a potential vote of confidence for Greece and used the news as an excuse to cover positions. The strong rally put the March Euro in a position to turn the main trend to up on a rally through the last main top at 1.3692.


Despite a rise in Fourth Quarter GDP, the March British Pound finished lower on Friday, but off its low. Friday’s action was an indication of just how weak the U.K. economy is. Traders still feel economic problems, political woes and the possibility of more quantitative easing by the Bank of England may be too much to overcome in the short run. The weak close put this market slightly under a key 50% level at 1.5271.


Greater demand for higher risk assets helped to underpin the March Japanese Yen, but the break stalled after a penetration of a 50% level at 1.1227 and just below the main top at 1.1295. A break through this price will turn the main trend to up.


This week’s action indicates that the stock market rally and demand for commodities is still alive which could rally the March Japanese Yen further. The current administration in Japan is not expected to intervene unless they feel the current strength in the Japanese Yen is being triggered by speculation and volatility. Look for an acceleration to the upside if the main top at 1.1295 and the .618 level at 1.1227 fail to broken on this current rally.


Risk sentiment appears to be shifting once again toward demand for higher yielding assets. This helped to boost gold, crude oil and stock prices, sending the March Canadian Dollar higher. The recent break did not change the trend to down and appears to have been a retracement into a support zone at .9459 to .9415. Look for more upside pressure next week, but for this market to remain inside the main range of .9780 to .9274.


The improving Euro helped to ease the possibility of an intervention by the Swiss National Bank. This triggered the strength in the March Swiss Franc. Friday’s rally through .9334 turned the main trend to up, setting up the possibility of a rally to .9526 to .9608 over the near-term.



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