Stocks could feel Pressure if Investors Look for Safety
equity markets are trading flat this morning but could see downside pressure if
investors decide to seek protection against a decline by demanding safety from
higher yielding assets. Yesterday the markets showed how resilient they were
when they rebounded from early pressure. Risk of a flare-up of financial
problems in Greece
could encourage investors to move money out of higher yielding stocks and
June Treasury Bonds are expected to open flat to slightly
better in light trading. Investors seem unwilling to take a position until they
see this weekâ€™s auction results. Investors fear that the higher return in the
equity markets will encourage traders to seek higher yields in T-Bonds, thereby
driving down prices. Furthermore, some traders feel that the war of words
between the U.S. Treasury and China
over currency valuation will lead to less demand from the Chinese.
The stronger Dollar is putting pressure on April Gold.
Yesterday the main trend turned to down on the daily chart, signaling weaker
markets to follow. Watch for choppy, two-sided trading while the Dollar tries
to establish a trend. A break through $1088.50 could trigger an acceleration to
Pressure on equities and commodities could lead to weakness
in June Crude Oil. Yesterdayâ€™s sharp rise in equities triggered a
short-covering rally in crude oil after this market changed the trend to down
after a break through 79.77.
The U.S. Dollar is trading better against the major
currencies this morning. The Euro and the British Pound are the two weakest
currencies. The early assessment is traders will be looking to protect
themselves against risk which should benefit the lower yielding Dollar.
The March Euro is under pressure as speculation continues to
grow that Greece Prime Minister Papadreou is likely to leave this weekâ€™s
European Union summit on March 25th and 26th without a financial aid deal. This
means heâ€™ll have to turn to the International Monetary Fund for aid if needed.
This is negative to the Euro because it makes Europe
appear as weak for allowing one of its members to go out of the EU to seek
European Central Bank President Trichet didnâ€™t help matters
much when he offered comments citing his belief that Greece should not be offered
low-interest financing. There is no question that Trichet wants stronger terms.
He backed his stance by saying, â€śThere shouldnâ€™t be any subsidy element, no
concessionary element.â€ťHis thoughts
were in line with German Chancellor Merkel who is pushing for similar austere
measures and sanctions against nations that threaten agreed upon deficit
What is becoming clear is that battle lines are being drawn
between Greece and the
European Union and its beginning to look like Greece will have to turn to the IMF
for financial aid.
The March British Pound is the biggest loser overnight.
Sellers are pressuring the British Pound after a report showed that the U.K.
inflation rate dropped to 3.0% in February. Coupled with political uncertainty
and the threat of a credit rating cut, this weaker inflation report confirms a
report released on Monday which calls for a â€śbumpyâ€ť recovery.
The lower Euro is helping to weaken the March Swiss Franc.
Overnight, Swiss National Bank President Phillip Hildebrand said the SNB is
poised to act â€śdecisivelyâ€ť to counter any â€śexcessiveâ€ť gains by the currency. He
further added â€śFor Switzerland, we canâ€™t fully rule out deflation threats in
the case of renewed external shocksâ€ť. â€śAn excessive appreciation for the Franc
against the Euro would for example be such a shock.â€ť This comment suggests that
the SNB stands ready to continue to intervene on behalf of the Swiss Franc to
protect its currency and economy.
Demand for lower risk assets is also helping to pressure
commodity-linked currencies. This is weakening the March Australian, New Zealand and
The primary driver in the Forex markets today will be risk
aversion. This could mean lower stocks and commodities. The only major U.S.
economic report is the 9:00am CT Existing Home Sales Report. Home sales have
plunged since tax relief ended. A surprise in this report could move the U.S.
equity markets which will influence the direction of the Dollar.
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