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RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND: Leaves the OCR unchanged at 3.0%, as expected.
Ahead of Tankan

JiJi Press reminding that the December Tankan report is due for release on the 15th of the month and says its survey of private forecasters shows that expectations are that the DI for large manufacturers will fall to +3 from the +9 reading of the September Tankan, the first fall in the index in seven quarters, if realized.

Dow +6.70 at 11365.86, Nasdaq +8.69 at 2607.18, S&P +2.77 at 1226.52

Treasury yields have eased from their highest levels of the session following the $21 billion 10-yr reopening. The 10-yr yield saw a session high of 3.326%, its highest since early June, before post-auction buying dropped it to 3.263%. Since the Fed announced its second round of quantitative easing the 10-yr yield has risen more than 70 basis points.

US focus: Dollar rises for a third day on prospects U.S. tax cuts will spur growth

The dollar rose to near a 10-week high versus the yen as speculation that extended U.S. tax cuts will bolster the economy drove Treasury yields higher and boosted demand for assets denominated in the greenback.

The U.S. currency gained against most of its other major counterparts as 10-year Treasury yields surged to a six-month high after President Barack Obama late Dec. 6 agreed to extend tax reductions for two years.

The dollar has gained 3.4% during the past month in a measure of the currencies of 10 developed nations. The euro has dropped 2.3%, while the yen is down 0.7%.

Obama said he would accept lower tax rates on high earners’ income, dividends, capital gains and multimillion dollar estates for the next two years in exchange for extending federal unemployment insurance. The tax rates, enacted in 2001 and 2003, were set to increase on Dec. 31.

Losses in the euro were limited after Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan yesterday won the backing of lawmakers in the first votes on his 6 billion-euro (7.9 billion) budget.

The government is under pressure to pass the legislation to secure an 85 billion-euro bailout as the fiscal squeeze threatens to prolong a slump that has seen the economy shrink 11% over the past three years.

“The Ireland story for now may be in the rear-view mirror, but going forward the situation looks pretty uncertain with regard to Portugal and Spain and that’s keeping the euro very vulnerable,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange Inc..

Canada’s dollar advanced versus the euro, yen and Australian and New Zealand dollars. The Bank of Canada yesterday left interest rates unchanged at 1% amid falling exports and Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.

Dow -1.36 at 11357.72, Nasdaq +7.11 at 2605.59, S&P +1.82 at 1225.60

Financials have sprinted ahead to a 1.3% gain, which puts the sector at a session high while the broader market has mustered only a modest gain. Insurers Lincoln National (LNC 27.24, +1.90) and MetLife (MET 42.90, +1.73) are primary leaders among financial plays. Not to be outdone, regional banks are broadly positive, such that the SPDR regional bank ETF (KRE 24.68, +0.51) is up more than 2% to test its one-month high. As an aside, banking issue U.S. Bancorp (USB 24.85, +0.48) stated this morning at the Goldman Sachs Financial Service Conference that it will continue to be an acquirer and that dividends and share buybacks will start again very shortly.


The RBNZ will announce its monetary policy decision (21:00 GMT), with the OCR expected to remain unchanged at 3.0%. Westpac strategists look for the RBNZ to signal that the tightening cycle will resume during the first half of 2011.

ECB's Wellink said crisis has had a deep impact, this will continue, unemployment to remain high for years in a row.
ECB WEBER: See risk of spillover within EMU of debt crisis

Necessary bailout actions have strained basis of EMU;
Optimistic crisis will ultimately lead to stronger EMU;
Confident Ireland bailout to help stabilize Irish banks;
Need real strengthening of stability and growth pact;
Need more intensive macroeconomic surveillance;
Calls for more automaticity in eu fiscal sanctions;
See Germany deficit at 2.5%/GDP in 2011;
Germany must keep consolidation course due to high debt;
Germany should be aware it is a role model in Eurozone.

Dow -17.60 at 11341.56, Nasdaq +0.39 at 2598.88, S&P -1.54 at 1222.21

Stocks extended their morning retreat into the red, but support has helped them start to rebound. The major equity averages are still mixed, however.
Financials continue to outperform. The sector is up 0.6% while the overall S&P 500 trades with a fractional loss. Banks continue to underpin the sector's strength. Bank of America (BAC 11.76, +0.19) has been a primary leader in its space. In contrast, materials stocks are under the most pressure. The sector has fallen to a 1.2% loss as steel stocks like U.S. Steel (X 52.05, -0.91) retreat.

IMF: Strauss-Kahn says effects from finl crisis are not over, Europe situation remains troubling.
Dow +7.45 at 11366.61, Nasdaq +5.94 at 2604.43, S&P +2.04 at 1225.79

The stock market's opening advance lost momentum as the S&P 500 failed to push past the 1229 line and the dollar secured support at the flat line after it had pared its morning gain. Though that fed a flurry of selling, the stock market remains in positive territory with a slight gain.
Treasuries received some relief shortly before the open, but pressure has since picked back up. The selling effort has sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Note back up to 3.23%, which is just a couple of basis points shy of its morning high.
Advancing Sectors: Financials (+0.4%), Telecom (+0.4%), Tech (+0.3%), Energy (+0.1%)
Declining Sectors: Materials (-0.4%), Consumer Discretionary (-0.3%), Utilities (-0.2%), Industrials (-0.1%)
Unchanged: Health Care, Consumer Staples

Option expiries for today's 1500GMT cut:

EUR/USD $1.3250, $1.3270
USD/JPY Y83.00, Y83.25
GBP/USD $1.5650
AUD/USD $0.9635, $0.9900, $0.9950

Before the bell:

U.S. stocks were poised to open little changed Wednesday as investors took a step back and awaited updates on the tax cut extension deal.
Stocks ended mixed Tuesday as investor optimism over the extension of Bush-era tax cuts faded.

Stocks had been higher through most of the session but lost momentum late in the day after President Obama's comments about tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year. At a news conference, he said he would push to have them eliminated after the two-year extension is over.
With little economic news due, investors are still watching the developments of the tax cuts deal.
Companies: Costco (COST) reported an increase in both sales and profit for its fiscal first quarter that beat estimates. Net income rose 17% to $312 million compared to $266 million in the year prior. And earnings per share increased 18% to 71 cents per share. Shares of Costco were slightly lower in premarket trade.
Fortune Brands (FO), maker of Jim Beam whiskey, Titleist golf clubs and home security systems, said it will split into three separate businesses -- retaining its liquor operations, spinning off its home products and security unit and selling its golf properties. Shares rose nearly 4% in premarket trading.
World markets:

Oil for January delivery slipped 63 cents to $88.06 a barrel.
Gold futures for February delivery fell $16.1 to $1392.90 an ounce.
The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 3.24% from 3.13% late Tuesday. The yield was the highest since late June.

EUR/JPY tech comments

 Talk now of large stops in place on a break of Y111.25 as the level is noted as a "quadruple top" and potential to open up to Y112.00 and Y113.65/70.

European session review: the dollar is stengthening.

A report tomorrow is forecast to show U.S. initial jobless claims declined. They fell to 425,000 last week from 436,000 the previous week, according to the median estimate of economists in a s survey before tomorrow’s data.

South Korea’s won extended earlier losses after reports of artillery fire from the North spurred demand for the refuge of the dollar. An official at President Lee Myung Bak’s office said none of the shells crossed the border into South Korean waters, and the government is examining the incident.

The won dropped 1.3 percent to 1,146.10 per dollar. The currency also weakened after the Bank of Korea said the nation’s current-account surplus was less than previously reported.

South Korea’s central bank estimated the surplus in the broad measure of trade during the first 10 months of the year was $23.17 billion from $29 billion earlier.

The dollar has gained 3.4 percent over the past month in a measure of the currencies of 10 developed nations. The euro has dropped 2.4 percent, while the yen is down 0.3 percent.

Losses in the euro were limited as Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan won the backing of lawmakers in the first votes on his 6 billion-euro ($8 billion) budget.

Irish lawmakers yesterday passed an initial series of votes on the budget in parliament. The government is under pressure to pass the legislation to secure an 85 billion-euro bailout as the fiscal squeeze threatens to prolong a slump that has seen the economy shrink 11 percent over the past three years.

German exports unexpectedly dropped in October as austerity measures across the euro region eroded demand for German goods in the country’s biggest export market, according to data from the Federal Statistics Office today.

EUR/USD the pair has tested support at $1.3200.

GBP/USD the pound is strengthening after reaching day low.
USD/JPY the yen is trading rangebound.

Today at  15-30 GMT EIA Crude Oil Stocks change will be released.

UK DATA: CBI monthly trends: Dec total orders -3 vs -15 in Nov
GERMANY DATA: Industrial production in Germany rebounded by a stronger-than-expected 2.9% on the month in October, boosting output 2.7% over the previous quarter and resulting in the annual change widening to +11.7%, the Economics Ministry reported on W
Asian session: The dollar rose


05:00 Japan Eco Watchers Survey: Current 43,6

05:00 Japan Eco Watchers Survey: Outlook 41,4

The dollar rose for a third day against the euro on prospects an extension of tax cuts will bolster an economic recovery in the U.S.

The greenback gained as Treasury yields surged after President Barack Obama agreed to extend Bush-era tax cuts for two years. A report tomorrow is forecast to show U.S. initial jobless claims declined.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six major U.S. trading partners including the euro, yen and pound, rose 0.3 percent to 80.196, after gaining 0.5 percent yesterday.

Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said yesterday that Obama’s agreement to extend the tax cuts won’t lead to a downgrade of the nation’s Aaa credit rating. Ten-year Treasury yields surged the most since June 2009.

Losses in the euro were limited as Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan won the backing of lawmakers in the first votes on his 6 billion-euro ($8 billion) budget.

EUR/USD: the pair shown low in the field of $1,3190.

GBP/USD: the pair shown low in the field of $1,5670.

USD/JPY: the pair shown high in the field of Y84,00.

UK data includes the 1100GMT release of the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey. 01:35 12/08 US: US data is limited for Wednesday but starts at 1200GMT with the weekly MBA Mortgage Applications Index and is followed at 1500GMT by Quarterly Services Revenue data and at 1530GMT by the weekly EIA crude oil stocks data.

Tech on USD/CHF

Resistance 3: Chf1.0180 (Sep 17 high)

Resistance 2: Chf1.0070 (Dec 1 high)

Resistance 1: Chf0.9950 (Dec 3 high)

Current price: Chf0.9900

Support 1: Chf0.9860 (session low)

Support 2: Chf0.9760 (Dec 7 low)

Support 3: Chf0.9720 (Dec 6 low)

Comments: the pair become stronger. The nearest resistance Chf0,9950. Above is located Chf1.0070. The nearest support Chf0,9860. Below loss may extend to Chf0.9760.

Tech on GBP/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.5890 (50,0% FIBO $1,6300-$ 1,5490)

Resistance 2: $ 1.5820 (Dec 7 high)

Resistance 1: $ 1.5770 (session high)

Current price: $1.5701 Support 1 : $1.5655 (Dec 6 low)

Support 2 : $1.5580 (Dec 3 low)

Support 3 : $1.5480 (Nov 30 low)

Comments: the pair sustains losses. The nearest support - $1,5655. Below decrease is possible to $1.5580. The nearest resistance - $1,5770. Above growth is possible to $1,5820.

Tech on EUR/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.3475 (50.0 % FIBO $1,3790-$ 1,2970, 38.2 % FIBO $1.4280-$ 1.2970)

Resistance 2: $ 1.3430 (Dec 6 high)

Resistance 1: $ 1.3280 (session high)

Current price: $1.3216

Support 1 : $1.3190 (Dec 3 low)

Support 2 : $1.3360 (Dec 2 low)

Support 3 : $1.2970 (Nov 30 and Dec 1 low)

Comments: the pair decreases. The nearest support - $1,3190. Below decrease is possible to $1.3060. The nearest resistance - $1,3280. Above growth is possible up to $1,3430.

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