***Economic data*** - (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w.e Sept 10th: -8.9% v -1.5% prior - (CA) Canada July Manufacturing Sales M/M: -0.9% v 0.2%e - (US) Aug Import Price Index M/M: 0.6% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 4.1% v 3.7%e - (US) Sept Empire Manufacturing: 4.1 v 8.0e - (BE) Belgium Jun Trade Balance: +â‚¬317M v -â‚¬3.4B prior - (PD) Poland Aug Budget Level (PLN): -2.0B v 1.6B prior; Budget Level YTD: -36.9B v -34.9B prior - (US) Aug Industrial Production: 0.2 v 0.2%e; Capacity Utilization: 74.7% v 75.0%e - (US) DOE weekly Energy Inventories: Crude -2.5M v -2.5Me; Gasoline -690K v -1Me; Distillate -340K v +250Ke; Utilization 87.6% v 86.7%e
- Equity weakness in Shanghai and European trading carried through to the US premarket this morning, with the major indices heading lower early on. The September Empire Manufacturing report contributed to the downbeat tone after the data came in well below expectations, although the new order sub index did show a return to growth after August's decline and the employment sub index sustained the strength seen in August. Buyers stepped in after the open, driving US equity indices back into positive territory. Analysis of Japan's first currency intervention in six years is hot and heavy this morning, with commentators around the world weighing in on the effort. PIMCO's El-Erian stated that he believes intervention will likely be ineffective, noting that the effort was initially successful due only to the element of surprise. Meanwhile, EU Commissioner Juncker said unilateral action is not an appropriate way of dealing with FX imbalances. Gold is only slightly off yesterday's all-time highs. Crude oil is down 2% well off the $78 mark touched yesterday. US Treasury markets opened under some pressure but reversed course after the weaker data and US equity open. The benchmark 10-year yield now down on the day after trading up 6 basis points before the open. The 10-year note future is more than half a point from its lows.
- Following Nucor's Q3 guidance yesterday morning, Steel Dynamics and AK Steel both updated their outlooks for the third quarter of 2010. Steel Dynamics offered an earnings outlook that was more than 50% lower than the consensus view, warning that margins were being hit by lower prices and sales volume. AK Steel said it is seeing higher raw material and operating costs in Q3, plus some costs from an environmental remediation project.
- In other equity news, Beazer Homes warned that new home orders could fall in its Q4 due to the expiration of the government's new homebuyer tax credit. BZH is -4% in early trading. China appeared to back off of an approach for Potash Corp. The Chinese Commerce Minister said the ministry was not talking to Chinese companies about bidding for the Canadian firm and warned that overseas resource acquisitions are "complicated." Meanwhile, China's prime bidding candidate Sinochem called Potash a bad deal, given what BHP is bidding. Pall Corp is up nearly 9% on better than expected earnings. Genpact is up 12% on press reports that Cognizant Solutions is conducting due diligence on the company.
- Japan's intervention is preoccupying FX markets this morning. USD/JPY remains above the BoJ's key 85 level in US session trading, up from 82.90 seen just before intervention began. Currency analysts believe that the BoJ's next goal should be to break the key daily trend line at 85.99. Word is that the Japanese will undertake subsequent rounds of yen selling to knock out stops over 86 during the US session and continue selling yen later this week. According to the FT, the BoJ is said to have sold a total of $11-12B worth of JPY in the market, citing traders and brokers in Tokyo. The FT also notes that there are strong rumors that the BoJ has another $117B to back up its efforts. The euro weakened a bit as intervention went on; EUR/USD trading has been choppy, with the cross continuing to test above the 1.30 level. Sterling has been very strong, with GBP/USD heading out to three-week highs after some moderately hawkish comments from the BofE's Miles.
***Looking Ahead*** - 11:30 (IS) Israel Aug Consumer Prices M/M: 0.3%e v 0.5% prior; Y/Y: 1.6%e v 1.8% prior - 15:00 (AR) Argentina Aug Consumer Price Index M/M: No est v 0.8% prior; Y/Y: No est v 11.2% prior - 15:00 (AR) Argentina Aug Wholesale Price Index M/M: No est v 0.8% prior; Y/Y: No est v 15.1% prior
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