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Wednesday July 14, 2004 - 08:09:15 GMT
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Fixed Income Trading Strategies - July 14th 2004

Sept Bund eyes support above 113.60; Sept Bobl may get a lift from above 110.60

U.S. Treasury notes fell on speculation yields are too low given the prospects for faster inflation and rising interest rates. 10-yr note has its biggest decline since June 28, pushing its yield up.


- Intel Corp., the world's biggest semiconductor maker, said second-quarter earnings almost doubled to the highest in four years. Profit margins may be narrower than forecast this year as Intel boosts sales of low-priced components and discounts other products to shift inventory. Net income rose to $1.76 billion, or 27 cents a share, from $896 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier, Santa Clara, California-based Intel said in a statement. Sales increased 18 percent to $8.05 billion. Intel Chief Executive Craig Barrett said revenue this quarter will rise to $8.6 billion to $9.2 billion, higher than some analysts expected.

- Australian consumer confidence surged to a 10-year high in July, spurred by income tax cuts, government cash handouts to families, lower gasoline prices and the central bank keeping interest rates unchanged. The consumer confidence index rose 4.5 percent from June to 119.5, the highest since July 1994, according to a Westpac Banking Corp. and Melbourne Institute survey released in Sydney. A reading above 100 shows optimists outnumber pessimists. From a year earlier, sentiment gained 2.9 percent. Stronger confidence will underpin consumer spending and help the economy rebound from its slowest growth in a year.

- Gold and silver futures in New York had their biggest declines in two weeks as the narrowing U.S. trade deficit boosted the dollar and made precious metals priced in the currency more costly for buyers using the euro. Gold's decline ends a rally in which prices reached a three- month closing high yesterday as the dollar slid against the euro. Gold for August delivery fell $6.10, or 1.5 percent, to $402.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the biggest one-day decline since June 29 and the lowest closing price since July 6. Silver for September delivery on the Comex fell 15 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $6.392 an ounce, the largest decline for a most- active contract since June 28. Prices are up 33 percent from a year ago.

Bond Market Summary

Japanese bonds declined today after UFJ Holdings Inc., the country's fourth-largest lender, said it may seek a merger with Mitsubishi Tokyo Financial Group Inc., increasing demand for stocks including banks. Five-year notes may also drop for the first day in three on speculation traders will try to push up yields to get the Ministry of Finance to boost the coupon rate at an auction tomorrow. The ministry plans to sell 2 trillion yen ($18.4 billion) of notes. The 1.8 percent bond maturing in 2014 fell 0.0464 to 99.957 as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo, pushing its yield up 5.5 basis points to 1.805 percent. Ten-year bond futures for September delivery fell 0.37 to 135.13.

U.S. Treasury notes fell for the first day in five on speculation yields are too low given the prospects for faster inflation and rising interest rates. The benchmark 10-year note had its biggest decline since June 28, pushing its yield up from the lowest in two months, before reports this week on consumer, producer and import prices. Government debt prices also dropped as the U.S. said its trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in May. At 5:05 p.m. in New York, the 4 3/4 percent Treasury note maturing in May 2014 declined more than 1/16, or 63 cents per $1,000 face amount, to 102 3/16. Its yield rose 2 basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 4.47 percent. The yield, which closed yesterday at its lowest since April 27, is down from last month's high of 4.87 percent.

Fed contract prices gave up Monday's gains. Tuesday's unexpectedly upbeat May trade data was the likely impetus for some very modest price declines across several short term Fed fund futures contracts. Traders viewed stronger exports, as well as record high nominal imports, as further confirmation of a strengthening domestic economy. However, the data is not very timely, limiting the overall impact on market activity. Current Fed prices continue to indicate that traders anticipate the Fed will raise its target rate by 25 basis points following the August 10 FOMC meeting. A larger, 50 basis point move remains unlikely given current prices. The December Fed fund contract fully prices in 75 additional basis points of tightening by the end of the year. Current prices show that the market consensus is for August, September and December as the likely months for movement, bringing the target rate to 2.00% by the end of 2004.

Bond Technicals:

Sept 04 T-Bond - the contract pulled back further to 107-14 but may have seen bottom. Nonetheless, we need to see a break above 108-12 to reinstate the uptrend. However, we keep the positive scenario -- the contract should accelerate higher and have a shot at 110-00. Further break of 110-00 suggests further moves to 115-00.

Sept 04 10-yr Note - the contract found support near 110-07 -- the rally should resume on even stronger note thereafter. It should push further to 112-16 from here.

Dec 04 3-mo. Eurodollars -- the contract may find support near 97.615, then push higher towards 97.85 further out.

Sept 04 German Bunds - the contract's support may be located at 113.62 and should take off from here. The contract should advance to at least 114.25 and may even focus at 114.50.

Sept 04 German Bobl - the contract 's support may be at 110.64, then it should continue to pile on gains. But the contract should rally further towards 111.25 at least, possibly even 114.40.


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