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Friday March 20, 2015 - 15:13:27 GMT
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| | Email US Mid-Session Update: Euro Rebounds on Positive Tone from Greece Talks

Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:45 AM EST

***Economic Data***
- (IT) Italy Jan Current Account Balance: 0.0B v 5.2B prior
- (IE) Ireland Feb PPI M/M: 0.9% v 2.2% prior; Y/Y: 5.2% v 4.1% prior
- (IN) India Weekly Forex Reserves w/e Mar 13th: $335.7B v $337.8B prior
- (BR) Brazil Mar IBGE Inflation IPCA-15 M/M: 1.2% v 1.2%e; Y/Y: 7.9% v 7.9%e
- (CA) Canada Feb CPI M/M: 0.9% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 1.0% v 1.0%e; Consumer Price Index: 125.4 v 124.3 prior
- (CA) Canada Feb CPI Core M/M: 0.6% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 2.1% v 2.1%e
- (CA) Canada CPI (Seasonally Adj) M/M: +0.2 v -0.2% prior; CPI Core (Seasonally Adj) M/M: 0.1 v 0.2% prior
- (CA) Canada Jan Retail Sales M/M: % v -0.8%e; Retail Sales Ex Auto M/M: % v -0.4%e
- (BE) Belgium Mar Consumer Confidence Index: -6 v -5 prior
- (MX) Mexico Jan Retail Sales M/M: 2.1% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 4.7% v 3.0%e

Equity markets are on a tear higher this morning, with European indices points off their highs and US indices seeing good gains in heavy volume (today is quad witching). The Nasdaq opened above 5000 and looks primed to take out the March, 2000 closing high of 5048. As of writing, the DJIA is up 0.92%, the S&P500 is up 0.66% and the Nasdaq is up 0.76%.

The euro has gained more than a big figure this morning, in a move up from 1.0685 aroud 07:00ET to 1.0820 after the open of US cash equity trading. The Greece meeting has ended without any further resolutions, although there were mildly positive comments out of Chancellor Merkel, who seemed optimistic that Greece's new proposals would arrive next week and said she would have nothing to do with talk about a Greek EMU exit. Crude prices have moved higher hand-in-hand with the dollar weakness, with WTI nearly hitting $46 from $43.50 earlier and Brent testing briefly above $55, up from $53.80 earlier

In earnings, Darden is up 3% or so but off its best pre-market levels after beating EPS expectations in its third quarter report and raising FY guidance. Tiffany is down 3.3% after offering plenty of cautious guidance regarding its projected FY performance. More specifically, Tiffany warned USD strength would be a big problem for the firm in 2015.

Mall operator Simon Property raised its offer for Macerich to $95.50 from $91 just three days after it rejected Simon's earlier offer and adopted measures to prevent a hostile takeover. Analysts had suggested Macerich would not be satisfied with much less than $100/shr, and shares of MAC fell to $84 from $93 before the new offer as investors doubted the board would spring for Simon's "best and final" offer.

There were press reports out last night that Halliburton and Baker Hughes were planning to sell at least four businesses in April for a total of $10B in an effort to convince regulators to approve their merger agreement. Last fall, Halliburton said it was planning to divest units that generate up to $7.5B in revenues, if required by regulators, although it believed that the divestitures needed would be significantly less. Halliburton has agreed to pay Baker Hughes a $3.5B breakup fee if the deal falls apart. The total merger is valued at about $34.6B in cash and stock.

***Looking Ahead***
- Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Hungary, Nigeria, Portugal and Turkey ratings to be published by agencies
- 13:00 (US) Weekly Baker Hughes Rig Count w/e Mar 20th
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Q4 Current Account Balance: -$1.0Be v -$0.7B prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Q4 GDP Y/Y: +0.3%e v -0.8% prior; Full Year 2014 GDP: No est v 3.0% prior
- (CO) Colombia Central bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Overnight Lending Rate unchanged at 4.50%
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Jan Trade Balance: -$2.0Be v -$1.5B prior; Total Imports: $5.3Be v $5.5B prior
- (CO) Colombia Feb Retail Confidence: No est v 22.7 prior; Industrial Confidence: No est v 0.8 prior


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