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Thursday March 4, 2010 - 18:29:38 GMT
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Stocks Trading Mixed Ahead of Weekly Jobless Claims

U.S. equity markets are trading flat to lower ahead of this morning’s weekly jobless claims report. In addition, investors seem to be taking a non-committal approach in front of tomorrow’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report. The Forex markets indicate that investor sentiment is shifting back toward risk aversion which could pressure equity markets today. A downside break could be led by the Dow and NASDAQ which posted closing price reversal tops yesterday.

Demand for lower yielding assets is helping to give June Treasury Bonds and June Treasury Notes a slight lift this morning. A rapid acceleration to the downside in the equity market could lead to more upside pressure in the Treasuries. The key area to watch in the T-Bonds is 117’23. Regaining this area will be a sign of strength.

The stronger Dollar is helping to keep April Gold on the defensive. Currently this market is trading lower while sitting on a major 50% level at $1136.75. Bullish traders will try to create support at this price in order to set up another rally to perhaps $1158.52. Falling below $1135.75 could lead to a short-term profit-taking break. With conditions in Greece easing, look for the Dollar to have the biggest influence on Gold.

The bullish move in June Crude Oil is showing signs of easing this morning. The stronger Dollar and weaker Euro is leading to greater demand for lower risk assets which is pressuring commodities. Yesterday’s inventory report was bearish because of the increase in supply. This means that a rally in the Dollar will likely lead to a sell-off in crude oil.

This morning the European Central Bank is expected to announce that interest rates will remain at 1.0%. Concerns over sovereign debt issues in the Euro Zone mean that fiscal austerity will be the new buzz phrase as almost every member of the European Union will be asked to slash their budgets especially the so-called PIIGS - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. This is likely to keep the pressure on the Euro in the long-run as it indicates a deflationary scenario driven by lower interest rates.

Investors are also monitoring today’s Greek bond issuance. Traders are most interested in how well this 10 year bond auction is being received. Early indications are showing that this auction may be oversubscribed. This is potentially bullish for the Euro in the short-run.

Short-term, the March Euro has upside potential because of the massive amount of shorts in the market still betting on its demise. If the majority of the over 50,000 short positions are covered, then expect a strong short-covering rally to drive this market to a key 50% price level at 1.4009 over the near-term.

The March British Pound is trading a little better this morning. Bearish conditions have eased since the sharp break earlier in the week. Look for the Bank of England to leave interest rates unchanged at today’s meeting. Investors will be looking for language outlining a possible extension or expansion of its current quantitative easing program. If the BoE hints at flooding the market with more cash, then look for fresh downside pressure to develop.

The return of risk aversion is helping to underpin the March Japanese Yen. Additional support is expected to come from Japanese investor repatriation ahead of the close of the fiscal year. Currently the Japanese Yen is testing a .618 retracement level at 1.1356. Bullish traders seem reluctant to press the market at this area which could mean a possible intra-day break may take place before the buying is resumed. A weak stock market could lead to an acceleration to the upside however.

The mixed to lower Euro is helping to pressure the March Swiss Franc this morning. Currently this contract is trading inside of yesterday’s range. A rally in the Euro will send this contract higher and set it on course for a test of a major 50% upside target at .9526. Fresh Euro selling activity will increase the chances of a Swiss National Bank intervention which will help pressure the Swiss Franc.

The March Canadian Dollar is trading better this morning once again. Expectations of a hike in interest rates by the Bank of Canada before the Fed, has been the catalyst driving this market lower this week. Watch for a possible “verbal intervention” by the Bank of Canada as this pair approaches the January top at .9780. The BoC is concerned that a rapid rise in its currency will hurt Canadian exports.

 

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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