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Friday March 5, 2010 - 15:29:04 GMT
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Stocks Trading Mixed Ahead of Weekly Jobless Claims

U.S. equity markets are trading higher ahead of this morning’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report. Appetite for risk is up overnight which could spillover to the U.S. markets if the jobs number shows that the economy is improving.


June Treasury Bonds are trading slightly lower. Holding 117’23 is the key to sustaining the rally in this market. The next upside target is 118’17.  A break back under 117’23 could trigger a sharp break to 116’04. Today’s jobs report will move this market. If fewer than 50,000 jobs are lost then look for T-Bonds to break. A greater than expected loss will be bullish for T-Bonds.


The direction of April Gold and June Crude Oil will be dictated by the movement of the Dollar. A weaker Dollar should increase demand for riskier assets which will drive up gold and crude oil.


The U.S. Dollar is trading mixed overnight ahead of this morning’s Non-Farm Payrolls Report. Demand for risky assets is up overnight putting pressure on lower yielding currencies. Traders are looking for a loss of about 50,000 jobs. This guess is higher than last month’s actual loss of 20,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is expected to rise from 9.7% to 9.8%. A greater than expected jobs loss is likely to drive traders into the Dollar as this would indicate that the economy is weakening. Traders would most likely react by dumping higher risk assets in favor of lower yielding currencies.


The March Euro is trading flat after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday. There are still some concerns about Greece’s ability to shore up its budget deficit, but recently announced budget cuts and tax hikes have helped to increase the chance that aid will be coming soon from Germany and France. In addition, if a resolution can’t be reached then look for Greece to turn toward the International Monetary Fund for help. 


In addition to keeping interest rates low, the ECB will continue to reduce stimulus measures. ECB President Trichet downplayed the move by saying that it “shouldn’t be interpreted as a change in our monetary policy”.  The central bank also lowered its inflation forecast prompting Trichet to say that he sees an “uneven” recovery.


Bearish Euro traders expect the sovereign debt situation in the Euro Region to continue to pressure the currency. With many Euro nations likely to make budget cuts, government spending is expected to be reduced while interest rates remain low. This should keep the pressure on the Euro because other major players such as Canada and the U.S. are likely to begin raising rates.


The March British Pound is trading slightly better. This market has stabilized after a sharp break earlier in the week. Oversold conditions have been the driving force behind the recent strength. The fundamentals remain bearish with the U.K. facing a huge budget deficit, a weak economy and political uncertainty. A British Pound rally will likely stall near 1.5297 over the near-term.


The March Japanese Yen is trading lower after yesterday’s closing price reversal top was confirmed by weaker overnight action. Falling below a key 50% level at 1.1227 will be the key to sustaining the developing break. Downside momentum could take this market to 1.1099 over the near-term.


Traders are selling the Japanese Yen on speculation that the Bank of Japan will increase credit easing measures. The government wants to see more credit pumped into the economy to ease the threat of deflation. The weaker Yen is should make it more attractive as a funding currency. 


The March Canadian Dollar is trading slightly lower after almost reversing to the downside on Thursday. Overbought conditions and the possibility of a verbal intervention by the Bank of Canada are helping to pressure the Canadian Dollar. The charts indicate there is room to the downside with .9550 the next likely target.


The March Swiss Franc could rally today if the Euro strengthens. Strength developed earlier this week after a rally in the Euro diminished the chances of another intervention by the Swiss National Bank. The charts indicate the trend has turned higher, setting up a possible 50% correction to .9526 over the near-term. If today’s U.S. employment reports is worse than expected, then look for pressure on the Euro to spillover to the Swiss Franc.



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