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Monday August 2, 2010 - 14:11:29 GMT
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Dow Set to Open 100 Points Higher on Strong Global Risk Demand

Global equity markets surged overnight leading to the call for a sharply higher U.S. stock market opening. The markets received a boost from a strong rally in the Asian stock markets following good manufacturing news from Australia and China. Although the news from China showed a decline in a private purchasing managers’ index, the number remained above 50 indicating the sector was still strong. China’s Purchasing Mangers’ Index fell to 51.2 from 52.1 in June. Australia’s manufacturing index rose 1.5 points to 54.4.


The inability to break the equity markets on Friday following a lower than expected GDP report is also a driving force this morning. Second quarter GDP was reported at 2.4% following guesses of 2.5% to 2.7%, however first quarter GDO was revised higher.


Some analysts are a bit surprised by the overnight strength. Many had expected a cool-down in the markets following the strong rally in July and this Friday’s employment report.


This morning Fed Chairman Bernanke is going to speak at the 64th Annual Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. Traders will be listening to hear if Bernanke reiterates some of the comments he made before a Senate committee two weeks ago when he called for a slow down in the economy and the employment situation.


This morning, traders will get the chance to react to fresh construction spending news and the July ISM Index.  Construction spending is expected to show a decline. The ISM Index is expected to remain above 50, but down from 56.2 in June. This report will indicate a drop in the pace of the expansion.


The main driving force behind the equity market rally overnight is demand for risk. Recent reports have been showing that the global economy is growing while the U.S. economy is struggling. Because of this situation interest rate yields have been falling, driving investors into higher yielding currencies, commodities and stocks.


Traders will soon have to decide whether the weak U.S. economy will trigger a drive into the Dollar again because of risk aversion. This move will once again pressure equity markets. In addition to worries about risk, investors have to deal with this Friday’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report. Early calls are for a lower number.


Treasury markets are trading lower this morning after a strong surge last week. Traders are shedding less risky assets in favor of higher-yielding equities. Gold is trading mixed to lower because of greater demand for currencies.


The U.S. Dollar is under pressure against most majors as investor concern that the U.S. economy’s recovery is losing steam drove traders into higher yielding assets. The overnight weakness in the Dollar was triggered by a better than expected economic report in Australia and a strong surge in Asian equities.


The Dollar has been under pressure lately because of a string of weak economic data while the Euro Zone economy has been showing signs of strength, driving investors into riskier assets. Another concern at this time is how long the weaker U.S. economy will continue to drive investors into the higher yielding currencies. At some point, global investors will turn their focus once again to the Dollar because of risk aversion worries.


The Australian Dollar rose to its strongest level in three months on signs that Asian economic growth continues to remain strong despite predictions of a slow down in China. Australian traders turned bullish after the manufacturing index in Australia rose 1.5 points to 54.4. Speculative traders are also looking for tomorrow’s Australian retail sales and building approvals to show advances for June.


On August 3, the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to leave interest rates unchanged for the third straight month.  Traders will be watching the policy statement for any signs that the RBA will resume its tightening campaign later in the year. The central bank may have to take action against a possible spike in inflation due to projected strength in the economy for late 2010 and early 2011.


Technically the Aussie continues in an uptrend. The drive through the last swing top at .9068 was reaffirmed overnight. A new higher swing bottom was formed at .8904. Continue to look for the trend to continue as long as there are higher-tops and higher-bottoms.


Although China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was down in July versus June, the reading remained above 50 showing expansion. New Zealand Dollar traders read this a sign that demand for goods and services will remain strong. The Kiwi followed through to the upside after Friday’s minor reversal bottom. Strong upside momentum indicates the market may have enough juice to challenge the last main top at .7395. The main trend remains up with a strong chance a new higher swing bottom will form at .7190.


The British Pound is the strongest gainer overnight. Traders are buying the Sterling ahead of this week’s Bank of England interest rate decision. Most investors expect the central bank to leave interest rates unchanged but the key focus will be on the BoE’s outlook for inflation. The new inflation outlook will be the central banks first since the government implemented financial austerity measures. The BoE is expected to give its assessment on the effects of the financial austerity measures on monetary policy and economic growth going forward.


Technically, now that the British Pound has cleared a key 50% retracement level, upside momentum is expected to drive the market to the .618 retracement level at 1.5967 before encountering new resistance. Continue to look for higher markets as long as 1.5635 holds as support. The strong rise in the Sterling has this market in a position to post a daily closing price reversal top. Bearish traders should watch for this formation to form on either an intra-day or daily basis.


Demand for higher risk assets is driving the September Japanese Yen lower after this currency reached a new high for the year on Friday. The strong rise in the equities has reignited interest in the carry-trade, fueling a sell-off in the Japanese Yen.


This week the Australian Central Bank meets on August 3, followed by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England on August 5. All three central banks are expected to leave interest rates unchanged. Following the release of their respective policy statements, traders will turn their focus toward the release of the July U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report.


This report will be important because Dollar sellers will have to decide whether to keep the pressure on the Greenback because of a weak economy or begin to cover their shorts because of risk aversion.


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