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Saturday March 6, 2010 - 00:02:11 GMT
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Demand for Risk, Greek Resolution Fuel Stock Market Rally

U.S. stock indices rallied sharply higher following the release of better than expected U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report. Investors drove up stock prices on the belief that the jobs data indicates an improving economy. News that the Greek parliament approved its current budget cuts and tax increases helped drive up demand for higher risk assets as it indicated that a financial crisis in the Euro Zone may have been averted. Technically, the daily swing chart indicates a possible move in the March E-mini S&P 500 to 1156.00 by March 12th.


June Treasury Bonds finished sharply lower after the better than expected jobs report signaled that the economy was improving, bringing the Fed closer to hiking interest rates. Additional pressure came as traders pared positions because of increased demand for higher yielding assets. Based on the short-term range of 114’15 to 118’02, traders should look for weakness to drive this market down to the next major retracement level at 116’04 to 115’24.


April Gold had a modest increase despite the weaker Dollar. The muted reaction to the weaker Dollar indicates that it may have already been priced into the market. This market is struggling with a major 50% retracement level at $1136.75. A failure to regain this price could help trigger a retracement to $1117.20. Holding above it should be enough to fuel a rally to $1158.10. Traders who bought gold as a hedge against the demise in the Euro may be liquidating their positions. This could be another reason why gains were limited.


June Crude Oil finished higher for the week. Friday’s jobs data indicates that the economy is improving. This could mean greater demand for higher yielding assets. The primary reason for this week’s rally however was most likely greater demand for more risky assets.


The U.S. Dollar finished lower against most major currencies after better-than-expected jobs data drove investors into higher yielding assets. The initial move in the Dollar was up after the U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report showed fewer jobs were lost than estimated. Traders bought the Dollar on the belief that the better jobs number would move the Fed closer to hiking interest rates. Higher interest rates would make U.S. investments relatively more attractive. This move was short-lived however as investor demand for higher yielding assets overcame the desire to hold Dollars.


The March Euro finished the day higher after the Greek parliament approve a package of budget cuts and tax increases. These financial reforms prompted Greece’s prime minister to state that it wouldn’t need aid from other European Union members. This was probably a response to reports from earlier in the week suggesting that Germany and France stood ready to provide aid to the struggling nation.  At one point this week, Greece was even willing to seek aid from the International Monetary Fund.


The apparent resolution of the Greece budget crisis came on the heels of a successful 10-year bond issuance. Demand for the Greek debt was robust although it had to pay a hefting price to encourage interest.


The action by the Greek government to approve fiscal measures designed to shore up the economy is favorable news to the Euro. The move means that Greece is ready to accept fiscal responsibility and begin to move forward. Although the Euro is expected to respond favorably over the short-run, other Euro Region sovereign nations face similar problems if they are unwilling to make the budget cuts necessary to get control of their finances. This is why any rally in the Euro will be short-lived.


Traders should watch the CFTC’s Commitment of Traders Report to see if the record amount of short positions against the Euro has dropped. This will be the best indication of an impending short term rally because it will show that shorts traders are exiting their positions.


The March British Pound finished on its high. Upside momentum seems to be building which could take this market to a 50% level at 1.5297 over the near-term. The current rally appears to be driven by short-covering and bottom-picking following a sharp sell-off earlier in the week. The driving forces behind the recent sell-off have been the weak economy, soft monetary policy and political uncertainty. The current rally appears to be relief-driven, now that the Greece budget crisis has apparently ended.


The March Japanese Yen closed sharply lower. The improving U.S. economy and demand for higher risk assets put pressure on the Japanese Yen as it resumed its role as a funding currency. Traders also reacted to the possibility that the Bank of Japan will announce more stimuli at its upcoming policy meeting. Friday’s rally completed the first objective of Thursday’s closing price reversal bottom when it reached a .618 price level at 1.1041.


The strengthening Euro also helped to underpin the March Swiss Franc. Traders expressed relief that a higher Euro will encourage the Swiss National Bank from any further interventions. The main upside objective remains a major 50% level at .9526.


The March Canadian Dollar finished sharply higher for the week, but upside momentum appears to be slowing as this market approaches the January high at .9780. The fundamentals support a higher Canadian Dollar because of the robust growth of the economy, but the Bank of Canada may attempt to stop its rise because it may damage the export market.




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