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Monday March 29, 2010 - 14:33:08 GMT
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Firm Euro Helping to Boost Demand for Higher Risk Assets

The stronger Euro is helping to boost demand for higher risk assets, underpinning global equity markets overnight. U.S. equity indices finished last week higher, but the markets looked tired as the week-ended. The stronger Euro is encouraging investors to ignore last week’s action and instead turn their focus on the better returns being offered by equity markets.


Volume continued to look anemic last week but prices rose anyway, making investors a little suspect as to whether this rally has enough legs to continue at its current pace. Optimism because of the approval of the EU/IMF financial aid package is renewing interest in holding higher yielding assets.


At times last week’s rally looked labored despite a weaker Dollar and signs that tensions regarding the fiscal concerns in the Euro Region may be abating. This attitude appears to be shifting this morning. Last week traders seemed a little hesitant to use the Greek news as a catalyst to drive the markets higher, indicating that most are still reluctant to buy strength while remaining in the “buy the dip” mode. Risk sentiment appears to have shifted, however as more details of the Greek plan emerged.


While the fundamentals may be encouraging a higher market, technically, the March 25th closing price reversal top in the June E-mini S&P 500 was confirmed which indicates further weakness is likely. The only way to negate this developing formation will be with a rally through the recent top at 1176.50. The daily chart indicates that a trade through 1146.75 will turn the main trend lower. If aggressive sellers hit this market, then look for a retracement to 1128.25 over the near-term.


June Treasury Bonds finished the week sharply lower as yields rose substantially. Increased supply of both Treasury and corporate debt was the biggest concern amongst traders. It’s a buyers market with investors given the opportunity to shop around for the highest yield. Although the Fed says interest rates will remain low for an “extended period”.  The Treasury Bond action last week could also be a signal that inflation is coming. Trading could be light and rangebound this week until Friday’s U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls Report. A strong report is likely to increase yields and send Treasury Bonds and Treasury Notes sharply lower.


Technically, this market remains inside the 113’13 to 118’12 range with 115’29 to 115’10 a key retracement zone. The charts clearly indicate that a break under 114’15 should lead to the first acceleration down. The second acceleration point is 113’13. A break through both of these levels will say a lot about where interest rates are headed. It looks as if the bond market may be speaking a lot louder than the Fed when it comes to saying where interest rates are trying to go.


The weaker Dollar is helping to boost demand for June Gold. Based on the short-term range of $1133.90 to $1084.80, traders should look for a minimum move into a retracement zone at $1109.30 to $1115.10. The downside action last week has helped form another lower top on the weekly chart at $1145.80. This longer-term chart shows clearly the developing downtrend. The strength and direction of this market will depend on how much selling pressure the Dollar receives.


The June Crude Oil weekly chart formed a new lower swing top at 83.80. Based on the main range of 70.75 to 83.80, traders should look for the break to continue with 77.28 to 75.74 the next downside targets. Although the daily charts are beginning to turn a little bearish, a lot will be decided by the direction in the Euro. A stronger Euro is likely to turn up the heat on demand for higher yielding assets. This could encourage traders to buy crude oil which would mean another test of the recent tops.


The U.S. Dollar is trading lower against most major currencies as trader demand for risk is helping to pressure the Greenback. The weakness in the Dollar is being attributed to optimism in the Euro Zone over the potential positive impact of the new European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout proposal for Greece. Before the New York session opening, the theme of the day is demand for risk.


The June Euro is up for the second consecutive day as weak shorts continue to cover after late last week’s EU and IMF proposal to help Greece should it be unable to find financing in the capital markets. The proposal amounts to a pledge to help Greece out of the Euro Region’s biggest deficit if it runs out of traditional financing options. Today, Greece is expected to issue bonds priced in Euros. This will be the first test as to how investors perceive the viability of the aforementioned bailout proposal.


The charts indicate the Euro has formed a new main range at 1.3817 to 1.3267. This range creates an upside target at the retracement zone at 1.3542 to 1.3607. According to the CFTC Commitment of Traders Report, as of March 23rd, hedge funds and large speculators account for a record net short 74,917 positions. The large number of shorts, the news regarding Greece and the chart formation all suggest that this market is ripe for a short-covering rally. Fresh buyers are likely to remain scarce until the Greek economy can prove itself.



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