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Thursday May 20, 2010 - 15:19:14 GMT
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Forex Blog - US Market Update (Trade the News)

Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:09:19 AM

 US Market Update

Dow -220 S&P -26 NASDAQ -64

***Economic Data***
- (BR) Brazil May IBGE CPI IPCA-15 M/M: 0.6% v 0.6%e
- (PD) Poland April Producer Prices M/M: 1.2% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: -0.5% v -1.2%
- (PD) Poland April Sold Industrial Output M/M: -9.1% v -8.0%e; Y/Y: 9.9% v 10.8%e
- (CA) Canada April Leading Indicators M/M: 0.9% v 0.7%e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 471K v 440Ke; Continuing Claims: 4.625M v 4.605Me
- (BE) Belgium May Consumer Confidence Index: -13.0 v -8.0 prior
- (US) May Philadelphia Fed Index: 21.4 v 21.3e
- (MX) Mexico March Global Economic Indicator: 6.9% v 5.4%e
- (MX) Mexico March Q1 GDP-Constant Y/Y: 4.3% v 4.0%e
- (EU) Euro zone May Consumer Confidence: -18 v -16e
- (US) April Leading Indicators: -0.1% v 0.2%e; First negative reading since Mar 2009
-(US) Treasury to sell $42B in 2-year, $40B in 5-year and $31B in 7-year notes next week

- Markets are shaping up for a rather dramatic session today, two weeks after the so-called flash crash of May 6th. Earlier in the European session, conditions were looking more favorable, after indices opened higher and spreads on peripheral European debt tightened up somewhat. But the yen began trading off as
US traders arrived at their desks, while S&P500 futures were heading south hard after breaking 1200. The US initial weekly jobless claims came in higher than expected, well above the weekly reports seen over the last month, while the April leading indicators printed its first negative reading since March 2009. US equities opened down sharply, and all three leading US indices traded below their 200-day moving averages. EUR/JPY is below the lows that proceeded the flash crash (some suspect the move in EUR/JPY had a hand in the flash crash) while USD/JPY has not yet tested flash-crash lows. With risk aversion and volatility front and center, the VIX is testing 45, its highest reading since April 2009 ahead of tomorrow's options expiration. Commenting this morning on the worsening situation across the pond, the Fed's Tarullo said that Europe's financial turmoil could impact US economic growth; worst case scenario could lead to replay of 2008. July crude is suffering, down nearly $2.50 to trade below $70 for the first time, while gold traded at a fresh one week low around $1,175. Depressed commodity and stock prices, weak US inflation readings and plunging government bond yields have the ugly word deflation being tossed around. The 10-year TIPS breakeven rate fell below 2% for first time since October while the US benchmark 10-year yield has moved below 3.25% for the first time this year.

- Wall Street and the financial industry as a whole are in the spotlight this morning. The FDIC released its quarterly troubled bank list, showing a 10% gain in the number of institutions on the list now up by 10% q/q, although FDIC Chairwoman Bair took pains to accentuate the positive. "Industry earnings are up. More banks reported higher earnings, and fewer lost money," she said, noting that the improvement in earnings was largely due to a reduction in the amount banks set aside for loan losses. Executives from the leading exchange companies, as well as CFTC and SEC officials are testifying on the Hill today. The basic message emanating out of prepared statements and initial testimony is that nobody knows what caused the crash as of yet. Yesterday the financial reform package failed to pass muster in the Senate, as the Democrats were unable to scare up the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. Expect more amendments to the bill in the Senate, with another vote soon on the overall reform bill to come soon.

New York session FX trading benefited the yen in a big way. Dealers noted that JPY buying stemmed from early redemption clauses on some uridashi issues and warned that the redemption trend could last a couple of days as the flows work their way through the system. EUR/JPY tested below the 110 handle for the first time since Nov 2001 while USD/JPY remained within earshot of the pivotal 88 level. EUR/USD remained unable to sustain momentum above the 1.24 handle and retested 1.2300 as the NY morning progressed. Dealers are eyeing the European repo market with vague chatter that Spanish banks being turned away with "sorry line full" excuse being heard more frequently.

***Looking Ahead***
14:00 (US) Fed's Tarullo
16:00 (US) March RPX Composite 28-day Y/Y: % v -0.18% prior



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