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Thursday April 29, 2010 - 20:47:12 GMT
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Stocks Driven Higher by Optimism and Low Rates

Stocks are rallying sharply higher on optimism that a Greek bailout package will be worked out soon. In addition, yesterday’s Fed policy statement said that interest rates would remain low for “an extended period”. Both of these factors are helping to erase losses from earlier in the week while driving up demand for higher risk assets.

June Treasury Bonds are trading steady. The prospect of low interest rates is helping to reduce yields. Trading has been light, highlighted by low volume and a tight range. The high earlier in the week was triggered by a flight to quality rally. Until conditions worsen in Greece, it is unlikely that 118’24 will be tested again. This makes the market vulnerable to the downside with 116’16 a key objective.

June Gold is struggling despite the weaker Dollar. Traders are adjusting their long positions now that it appears the demise of the Euro has been overstated. Earlier in the week, speculators drove up gold as they hedged against the possibility of a collapse in gold.

The weaker Dollar and stronger Euro is helping to drive June Crude Oil sharply higher. The strong rally has this market in a position to change the main trend to up on a move through 85.63. Speculators are looking for the stabilization of Europe to drive up demand for crude oil.

The June Euro is trading higher at the mid-session but traders remain cautious about the long side. Although the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are working out a loan bailout agreement, traders are likely to remain skeptical about the Euro until the details of the plan are revealed.

Technically, the Euro made a closing price reversal bottom on Wednesday. Last night’s trading action confirmed the bottom. The charts indicate that a 2 to 3 day rally is likely with 1.3402 to 1.3471 the next likely upside target.

An easing of tensions regarding Greece and a different attitude toward the possibility of a hung parliament is helping to drive the June British Pound higher. Although election pools are indicating no clear winner emerging, investors are speculating that the U.K. may still be able to tackle its deficit problem. Speculators are supporting the market after building a case that the Liberal Democrats may be able to shift the power in case of a hung parliament. Many traders believe this party will take an aggressive approach toward balancing the budget.

Technically, the British Pound turned the main trend down on the daily chart on Wednesday. Today’s action looks more like a retracement of the recent break rather than a change in trend. At the mid-session, the Sterling is trading inside of a retracement zone at 1.5310 to 1.5354.

Despite the strong U.S. equity markets, the June Japanese Yen is trading flat to lower. Expectation is for the Yen to weaken over the near-term due to greater demand for higher risk assets and its huge budget deficit. Traders may be pricing in the possibility that Japanese debt may downgraded.

The June Canadian Dollar strengthened from the onset on Thursday, driven by greater demand for higher risk assets. Yesterday’s Fed commentary also helped to boost the Canadian Dollar. The Fed said it would keep interest rates low for “an extended period” while the Bank of Canada is leaning toward hiking interest rates sooner than expected. The widening interest rate differential is making the Canadian Dollar a more attractive investment.

Near the mid-session, the Canadian Dollar is paring some of its earlier gains after BoC Governor Mark Carney said a strong Canadian Dollar may have impact on inflation or monetary policy. A strong currency tends to flatten inflation while reducing foreign demand for Canadian exports.


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