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Monday July 19, 2004 - 11:30:17 GMT
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Fixed Income Trading Strategies - July 19th 2004

Sept Bund extends the rally to 114.50 - 114.60; Sept Bobl reaches for 111.50 - 111.60 -- bullmarket close to a swing point

Fed fund futures prices advanced sharply Friday, as inflationary fears wane. Current price continue to anticipate that the Fed will raise its target rate by 25 bp following the August 10 FOMC meeting.


- Crude oil futures in New York fell from a six-week high as a hiatus in attacks on oil export facilities in Iraq and rising OPEC output raised expectations supplies in the U.S. will be enough to meet demand. Iraq's southern oil pipelines and terminals, which supplied about 1.8 percent of the world's oil last year, have been producing without disruption for 12 days. That may help maintain U.S. crude oil inventories that are almost 9 percent higher than a year ago. Imports into the U.S., the world's biggest oil user, have been about 5 percent higher in the past two months, Energy Department reports show. Crude oil for August delivery was 0.8 percent, or 32 cents, lower at $40.93 at 11:54 a.m. Singapore time. On Friday, the contract gained 1.2 percent to $41.25 a barrel. Friday's close was the highest since prices soared $2.45, or 6.1 percent, to a record $42.33 on June 1, the first day of trading after a weekend attack against oil workers in Saudi Arabia that killed 22 people.

- Fewer U.S. companies raised their earnings forecasts for the second quarter than for the first three months of the year. The decrease is a signal that stocks may extend losses in coming weeks as Wall Street realizes the peak of profit growth is past. More than a third of U.S. companies that forecast first- quarter earnings, such as General Electric Co. and PepsiCo Inc., said analysts' estimates were too low. Corporate optimism ebbed for the second-quarter earnings now being released, as just 26 percent of companies raised predictions. Investors may have a better idea of whether analysts' earnings estimates are too optimistic after this week, the busiest five days for second-quarter earnings reports. About 180 S&P 500 companies -- more than a third of the index's members -- are scheduled to release their results.

Bond Market Summary

Japan's 10-year bonds rose for a third week in four as U.S. government reports signaled growth in the world's largest economy may slow, crimping exports. Five-year notes climbed after the Bank of Japan said consumer prices may "continue a slight decline'' in the year starting April 1 and affirmed the 0.2 percent drop it forecast three months ago. The announcement added to expectations the bank will keep interest rates near zero percent. The benchmark 1.8 percent bond due June 2014 rose 0.294 on the week to 100.252. Its yield fell 3.5 basis points, or 0.035 percentage point, to 1.77 percent. Ten-year bond futures for September delivery rose 0.52 on the week to 135.49.

Australian two-year government bonds yield 2.72 percentage points more than similar maturity U.S. Treasuries. The gap has widened 30 basis points, or 0.3 percentage point, in the last month. The yield differential has averaged 1.88 percentage points in the past 15 years.

U.S. bond prices finished sharply higher on Friday’s tame CPI report. Overall consumer prices rose 0.3% in June on higher energy prices while core consumer prices edged up a less than anticipated 0.1%. The report represented further confirmation that the Federal Reserve is well warranted to raise interest rates at merely a ‘measured’ pace in the coming months. With some bond traders caught off guard by the slow growth in prices last month, bond yields fell sharply. The yield on the 2-year Treasury bond slid 11 basis points to 2.50%, while the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note plunged 12 basis points to 4.36%.

Fed fund futures contract prices advanced across the board on Friday, as inflationary fears wane. While the topline gain surpassed consensus expectations, the core CPI advanced by a tame 0.1% in June. Coupled with the benign PPI report, traders anticipate that pricing pressures have relaxed a bit, leading the Fed to maintain its “measured” approach to target rate tightening. Current prices continue to indicate that traders anticipate the Fed will raise its target rate by 25 basis points following the August 10 FOMC meeting. Following this morning’s activity, a larger, 50 basis point move is unlikely. 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, November and December as the likely months for movement, bringing the target rate to 2.00% by the end of 2004. Further down the road, contract prices indicate another tightening March 2005, shifting the Fed target rate to 2.25%.

Bond Technicals:

Sept 04 T-Bond - the contract did resume the uptrend with a vengeance, courtesy of benign CPI. We have seen a break above 108-12 , which suggests that the uptrend can be sustained. The positive scenario stays -- the contract should accelerate further 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 should keep the uptrend mode, courtesy of the friendly CPI data on Friday. The rally should accelerate further on stronger note. It should push further to 112-06 from here.

Dec 04 3-mo. Eurodollar -- the contract found support at 97.61, and should then push higher towards 97.85 further out, thanks to lowering of expectations regarding an outsized rate hike on August.

Sept 04 German Bund - the contract's did build on momentum provided by the benign CPI data, and has been to as high as 114.38. The contract should advance to 114.50, but 115.00 the destination further out.

Sept 04 German Bobl - the contract did pile on gains, post a friendly CPI data and may reach 114.40 later in the week. The contract should rally further towards 111.50 - 11.60 thereafter.


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