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Wednesday May 12, 2010 - 13:24:40 GMT
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Stocks Firm after Spain Announces New Austerity Measures

U.S. Equity markets turned positive overnight after Spain announced new austerity measures. This action helped to ease worries over Euro Zone sovereign debt problems. One of the biggest fears affecting Wall Street has been the fear of contagion in Europe. This aggressive move by Spain sent a signal to investors that it was going to be more aggressive than Greece while making attempts to contain its budget deficit and debt expansion.


On Tuesday, stocks markets failed to hold onto earlier gains and finished lower for the session. Speculation that a new U.K. government had been formed helped draw buyers into the market while triggering liquidation by weaker shorts. The news out of the U.K. was positive because it indicated that the parliament would have the power to shore up the country’s budget woes while helping it improve its credit rating. This story may influence trading at times today.


Upside momentum is building in the June E-mini S&P 500 with a key retracement area at 1155.25 a major obstacle. Traders need to build support at this price in order to keep the rally moving forward. On the downside, a trade through 1136.25 could trigger further weakness.


June Treasury Bonds are under pressure due to the early strength in the equity markets. Traders are selling T-Bonds as they trim safe investments following the overnight recovery in the stock market. Tuesday’s late session sell-off in the equity markets brought the T-Bond buyers back, which indicates this market still remains sensitive to stock market volatility. Besides the movement in the equity markets, today’s Treasury auction is likely to remain a major influence T-Bond prices later in the day.


June Gold soared to another all-time high overnight. Investors continue to treat gold as a safe-haven investment out of fear that renewed problems in the Euro Zone will lead to a collapse in the Euro. Traders are using gold as a hedge against the risk of holding paper currencies during this period of economic uncertainty in the EZ. Some traders also feel that inflation will increase now that EU is flooding the economic system with excess liquidity. 


The overnight recovery in the equity markets is helping to boost the June Crude Oil contract. Technically, a support base seems to be building which could drive this contract back to 80.83 over the near-term. Fundamentally, OPEC’s announcement that demand from China will pick up the slack caused by lower demand out of the Euro Zone is helping to underpin the markets. 


The U.S. Dollar Index is trying to hold on to gains but demand for higher risk assets due to the announcement of new austerity measures in Spain is making it difficult. Technically, the charts are indicating the possible development of a distributive top.


The June Euro is trading slightly better but the good news for the bulls is that downside momentum is slowing down. It seems traders are starting to accept the fact that new money is coming into Greece, Portugal and Spain which is helping to shore up short-term liquidity problems. Furthermore, the news that Spain is taking a proactive approach to contain its budge is being seen as a positive.


The June British Pound is expected to advance after it was reported that an agreement to create a new government had been reached. Traders are celebrating the news that the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition to create a majority in the Parliament. The move by both parties helped to put an end to the long-standing rule of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Labour Party.


The formation of a new government is seen as a positive for the British Pound at this time because it provides clarity to an almost dire situation. For weeks the Sterling has succumbed to selling pressure due to the possibility of a hung parliament. This situation would have created a problem because it would have made it virtually impossible for the new government to enact the austere fiscal measures needed to balance the budget and reduce the country’s debt.


The clarity provided by the “new coalition” between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats comes at an important time because of the events taking place in the Euro Zone. The formation of a new government will help to provide the psychological boost the British Pound needs to reverse the current down trend.


Stronger demand for commodities and stocks this morning are helping to encourage buying in the commodity linked-currencies. Higher crude oil, gold and stocks are underpinning the June Australian Dollar, June New Zealand Dollar and June Canadian Dollar.  The early strength in the U.S. equity markets is pressuring the June Japanese Yen.



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