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Friday April 23, 2010 - 19:33:29 GMT
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U.S. Equity Markets Remain Firm

U.S. equity markets remain firm at the mid-session while managing to hold on to its overnight gains. Traders have put risk back on the table because of the strength in the Euro following the announcement that Greece would ask for financial aid.

Investors are treating the move by Greece as a step in the right direction although the situation is far from being resolved. Better than expected U.S. housing data for the second day in a row is also helping to contribute to today’s strength.

Technically, stocks look like they are stuck in a range. There has been very little buying interest with most traders still resigned to buy on the dips. With the equity markets churning and traders taking a cautious approach, current trading conditions make it hard to believe there will be a strong surge into the close ahead of the week-end.

Yesterday’s closing price reversal top in the June Treasury Bonds is helping to put pressure on this market into the mid-session. The easing of tensions in Greece is helping traders take risk off the table. Downside pressure could take this market to 116’15 over the near-term. It’s all about risk the rest of the afternoon. If trader sense risk developing then look for T-Bonds to rally.

June Gold traders took a “wait and see” approach early this morning before this market took off to the upside. Traders were trying to digest exactly what was going on between the EU and Greece. Today’s rally may have been triggered by the rise in the Euro or as traders took on new hedge positions against a collapse in the Euro. Traders are likely to buy hard assets for protection against a currency debacle.

June Crude Oil is posting a strong gain at the mid-session. The strengthening Euro is bringing traders back to the long side in the energy complex. Technically this market took out a swing top at 84.64 but is having trouble with a retracement zone at 84.69 to 85.40.

The June Euro continued its short covering rally at the mid-session following the surprise announcement overnight that Greece was going to ask the EU and IMF to release the funds they pledged two weeks ago to help the Greek government shore up its budget deficit.

Although the financial problems in the Euro Zone are expected to persist for quite some time and may even spread to other member countries while the EU and IMF decide how they are going to help provide the needed aid, shorts have decided to cover with a vengeance today. No serious damage has been done to the Euro’s downtrend and any rally is likely to be sold again because no base has been built to support a rally at this time.

Most long-term investors feel that the rescue process is going to take a long time; meanwhile financial problems are expected to spread to Spain, Portugal and Ireland. This would mean that not only will the new rescue plan cover Greece, but it will have to include the aforementioned nations. At this time the credibility of the Euro and the European Union are at stake.

The June British Pound is under pressure at the mid-session. The unwinding of short Euro/Long British Pound spreads is helping to pressure the Sterling. In addition, investors are still nervous that the U.K. economy faces the same fate as the Greek economy if it doesn’t shore up its budget deficit. Traders are also nervous that the upcoming election may result in a hung parliament which could thwart the efforts of the government to establish a plan to fix the U.K.’s fiscal problems.

After breaking hard to the downside, the June Swiss Franc has turned positive. The rising Euro is helping to underpin the Swiss as this move lessens the chances of an intervention by the Swiss National Bank. The SNB may act, however, if volatility gets to high.

The strong surge in U.S. equity markets is helping to drive the June Japanese Yen sharply lower. Because of the Euro move and the possibility that Greece may get the much needed financial aid it needs, traders have taken risk concerns off the table and are putting funds in higher yielding assets. Traders are borrowing the Yen to invest in the higher yielding U.S. Dollar.

Overbought conditions are helping to contribute to the weakness in the June Canadian Dollar. Traders for the most part are ignoring the rise in equities, gold and crude oil. Wednesday’s closing price reversal top has been confirmed. The chart pattern suggests the next downside objective is .9929 to .9896. This is most likely a profit-taking break and not a change in trend. Earlier this week, the Bank of Canada said it would begin raising rates sooner than previously expected.


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