***Economic Data*** - (RU) Russia May Reserve Fund: $39.3 v $40.6B prior; Wellbeing Fund: $85.8 v $88.8B prior - (IR) Ireland May Consumer Confidence: 65.3 v 65.6 prior - (CZ) Czech May Budget Balance (CZK):-95.4B v -78.2B prior - (BR) Brazil Apr Industrial Production M/M: -0.7% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: 17.4% v 16.1%e - (BE) Belgium Apr Unemployment Rate: 8.2% v 8.1% prior - (BR) Brazil May PMI Manufacturing: 52.4 v 53.8 prior - (CA) Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 25bps 0.50% (In line with Expectations) - (MX) Mexico Central Bank Survey: Forecast year-end inflation at 4.9% - (MX) Mexico Apr Remittances: $1.8B v $1.7Be - (BR) Brazil May Trade Balance: $3.4B v $2.7Be; Exports: $17.7B v $17.2Be; Imports: $14.3B v $14.4Be - (US) May ISM Manufacturing: 59.7 v 59.0e; Prices Paid: 77.5 v 72.0e - (US) Apr Construction Spending M/M: 2.7% v 0.1%e - (US) May Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity: 2.9% v 18.6%e
- US traders returned to their desks from the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend with equity futures pointing to a sharply lower open. Asian and European markets were in the red across the board in the wake of weak Chinese May PMI data (which hit three month lows) and press commentary about big European bank write downs to come. The EUR/USD pushed to fresh four-year low testing the 1.2100 level ahead of stock trading in New York, before posting a strong reversal back above 1.23. Equity futures improved after the slightly better than expected May ISM Manufacturing and May Construction Spending data came out, and all three indices were back in positive territory and heading higher in the first hour of trading. Note that the big miss in the Dallas Fed's May regional manufacturing survey has apparently capped further upside for the moment. Front-month crude has traded in a wide range, testing as low as $71.50 before the open and up to nearly $75.50 around 10:30ET. Spot gold has gained steadily, to trade around $1,225 mid morning. US Treasury yields were a little lower on the open but prices are now off their best levels. The US 10-year offers 3.27% while the long bond offers a 4.19% yield.
- European listed shares of BP fell sharply in trading both yesterday and today after the failure of the firm's "top kill" effort to shut down the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's US-listed ADRs are down 12% in early trading. Anadarko, one of the partners in the well, is off even more, down 14%. With fears deepening about the viability of the offshore drilling industry traders are dumping oil services names as well; the Oil Services HOLDRs ETF is down 4%. Offshore development firm ATP Oil & Gas is down 8%. Prudential PLC's offer to buy AIG's AIA unit is looking all but dead this morning after negotiations over pricing of the unit fell apart over the weekend. Prudential had been looking to cut the original price tag of $35.5B due to the growing possibility that it could not win shareholder backing for the deal. Prudential had lowered the offer to a bit more than $30B, which AIG rejected. Investors seem relieved, and Prudential's US-listed ADRs are up more than 8%. AIG is around even. In other news, Radio Shack is up 5% on a positive profile of bidding for the retailer in the New York Post, which said the firm is worth over $3B.
- The USD and JPY gave back all of their respective gains from early part of the day against the European and commodity related pairs. The BoC raised interest rates by 25bps (as expected) but the market seemed to focusing on the central banks statement in which it played down expectations for further rate hikes due to the global fragility of the economic conditions. Sterling was broadly firmer during the NY morning with dealers attributing strength to rumors that the $35B AIG/Prudential deal for AIA would not go through. Dealers noted that Pru sold GBP to pay for the potential acquisition and thus would unwind the move. GBP/USD approaching 1.4650.
***Looking Ahead*** - 12:00 (IT) Italy May New Car Registrations Y/Y: No est v -15.7% prior - 12:15 (US) President Obama to make statement on BP oil spill - 14:00 (IT) Italy May Budget Balance: No est v -â‚¬14.8B prior; Budget Balance YTD: No est v -â‚¬41.9B prior
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