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Dow -15.78 at 12579.86, Nasdaq -33.60 at 2794.87, S&P -3.93 at 1333.84

Sellers have redoubled their efforts in response to the dollar's upturn, which has left the greenback down a relatively tame 0.3% against a collection of competing currencies. Stocks are now back near afternoon lows.

EUR/USD back to $1.4200

EUR/USD tries to set over $1.4200 for trade to $1.4220 in thin market. Euro expected to find supply to $1.4250 and resistance around the 55d ma at $1.4274. Rate currently holds around $1.4196.

Dow -0.53 at 12595.65, Nasdaq -28.45 at 2800.02, S&P -2.10 at 1335.67

Stocks have bounced off of their afternoon lows, but the Nasdaq is still down 1%. Tech stocks, which are collectively down 1%, continue to hamper it.
Consumer discretionary stocks aren't faring much better. The sector is off by 0.8%. Wal-Mart (WMT 55.96, +0.24) has won some support ahead of its latest quarterly report, which will be posted tomorrow morning. The world's largest retailer is expected to announce earnings of $0.95 per share.

JAPAN, JiJi Press: Ahead of BOJ rate decision

JiJi Press previewing this week's BOJ meeting and says that the Bank will keep its overnight rate unchanged at 0.10% and will hold its asset buying program steady at Y10 tn after doubling its size in March.

US focus: Euro gains versus Dollar; Franc rises

The euro rose versus the dollar as stocks and commodities pared losses and inflation in the 17- nation currency bloc gained to the fastest since 2008, boosting pressure on the European Central Bank to raise interest rates.
The Swiss franc rose against most major currencies as finance ministers at a meeting in Brussels struggled to resolve the euro region’s debt crisis.
European finance ministers stepped up the pressure on Greece to sell assets and deepen spending cuts to win an increase of its 110 billion-euro ($156 billion) aid package and more time to repay the loans.
In deliberations clouded by the absence of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Europe’s rich countries tied extra money to pledges by Greece to reap more revenue at home and weighed whether to make bondholders share the pain.
Also on the agenda were aid for Portugal and the nomination of Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank.
Nemat Shafik, an IMF deputy managing director, was tapped to represent the institution at the Brussels meeting after Strauss-Kahn was charged with attempted rape in New York. He denied the charges.

Consumer-price growth in the 17-nation euro region quickened to 2.8%. That was in line with an initial estimate on April 29.
The ECB raised its benchmark rate to 1.25% in April. The Federal Reserve has kept its key rate at zero to 0.25% since December 2008.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index fell to 11.9 from a one-year high of 21.7 in April as the cost of raw materials surged. Economists projected it would slip to 19.6.

OIL: June WTI down $2.25 at $97.38 and near the session lows thus far.
Dow +17.82 at 12613.80, Nasdaq -19.47 at 2809.00, S&P +0.15 at 1337.92

The broad equity market is mixed, but airline stocks are soaring this session. As such, the Dow Jones Airline Index is up 2.4%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Transportation Index is up 0.3%. Lower oil prices have helped; the price of the energy component has been in the red all session and currently trades with a 1.6% loss at $98.10 per barrel.


Silver holds at $34.96/oz, after trading in a $34.08 to $35.34 range. The precious metal posted a new 31-month high of $49.51/oz April 28 and then fell 34.7% to a low of $32.33 May 12. Silver has made a series of lower highs and has closed below its 55-day moving average (currently $38.90) two Friday's in a row, both deemed negative. From the 2011 low of $26.38 (Jan 28) to the May peak, silver rallied 87.6%, only to then fall a bit beyond its 61.8% Fibonacci retracement at $35.22.

June WTI Nymex crude grinding higher after earlier falls to $97.66, with a steady rally to $98.86, where it currently trades. Support is seen at $97.50 and $96.46 with resistance at $100.70 and $102.84.
Nomura sees the Empire data as a slight cooling in mfg.

They say "By constructing the responses of the Empire State survey into an ISM-like index, we get a reading of 58.1 in May, a healthy improvement from 57.1 in April. The new orders and employment indices both registed promising readings in May."

Dow -37.09 at 12558.66, Nasdaq -9.39 at 2819.08, S&P -2.87 at 1334.90

The major equity averages have pulled up from their opening levels, but they are still in the red with modest losses this morning. Their initial upturn comes as the dollar declines to fresh morning lows -- it is now down 0.3% against a basket of major foreign currencies.
Materials stocks have benefited the most from the greenback's downturn. The sector is up 0.6%, which makes it this morning's top performing sector and puts it comfortably out in front of the overall market.

SMRA on the Empire index

"despite the unexpected drop in the headline index, the rest of the report was strong." They point out futures indexes posted gains, "which suggests solid activity ahead."

Option expiries for today's 1400GMT cut:

EUR/USD  $1.3900, $1.3930, $1.4080, $1.4100, $1.4150, $1.4200
USD/JPY Y80.00, Y80.40, Y80.70, Y80.80, Y81.00, Y81.50, Y81.70, Y81.75, Y81.80
EUR/JPY Y114.05, Y116.20
AUD/USD $1.0505, $1.0650
NZD/USD $0.8000

Before the bell: Stocks set to pull back

U.S. stocks were poised to open lower Monday, following a report on manufacturing. Investors were also keeping an eye on easing oil prices and the next steps for the nation's debt, as it reached its legal limit.

Just two weeks ago, stocks were sitting at the highest levels in nearly 3 years. But investors are bracing for the conclusion of the Fed's bond buying program at the end of June. All three major indexes are down almost 2% in May.
Economy: The Empire Manufacturing survey came out before the start of trading. The regional reading for general business conditions for manufacturing slipped to 11.9. The index was 21.7 in April.
After the opening bell, the National Association of Homebuilders is scheduled to release its housing market index for May. The index is forecast to remain unchanged at 16.
Companies: A number of major retailers report earnings results this week.
Shares of home improvement chain Lowe's (LOW, Fortune 500) fell 5% in premarket trade, after the company reported earnings that fell short of forecasts and it reigned in its forecast.
Department store J.C. Penney (JCP, Fortune 500) reported a profit of 28 cents per share, topping expectations by 4 cents. Shares rose 5% in premarket trade.

US: March TICS net foreign purchases of US long-term securities at a modest $24.0b
US: Monthly net TIC flows were $116.0b
US: May NY Empire index +11.88 vs +21.70 in April
European session:

The Swiss franc appreciated against all 16 of its most-traded peers as investors sought the safest assets amid speculation a meeting of finance ministers will struggle to resolve the euro area’s debt crisis.
The franc rose from its weakest level against the dollar since April 20. The euro has dropped 0.9 percent over the past month in a measure of the currencies of 10 developed nations. It’s slipped 2.1 percent against the dollar as yields for the region’s most- indebted nations jumped amid heightened concern the countries may struggle to repay their debt. The yen has gained 4.8 percent in the period, while the dollar is up 1.5 percent.
Ministers will discuss Greece’s predicament at meetings starting at 3 p.m. in Brussels today. Also on the agenda are approval of 78 billion euros ($110 billion) in aid for Portugal, and the nomination of Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank.
Any extension of the maturities of Greek bonds would have to involve private investors, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in an interview with ARD television yesterday. “Debt restructuring is not in the cards,” European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told reporters in Brussels today.
The yen strengthened as equities and crude oil declined, while U.S. Treasuries advanced. New Zealand’s dollar fell for a second day as investors sold higher-yielding assets.

EUR/USD: based around $1.4050 before gained back to $1.4150

GBP/USD: traded within $1.6165-$1.6225 range.
USD/JPY: traded within Y80.70/81.05.
Orders desk:

Offers: $1.4150/60, $1.4180, $1.4200
Bids: $1.4090/60, $1.4050/40, $1.4000, $1.3980,

Offers: Y81.00/05, Y81.75/80, Y82.00/05
Bids: Y80.60/50, Y80.25/15, Y80.00/Y79.80

Option expiries for today's 1400GMT cut:

EUR/USD  $1.3900, $1.3930, $1.4080, $1.4100, $1.4150, $1.4200
USD/JPY Y80.00, Y80.40, Y80.70, Y80.80, Y81.00, Y81.50, Y81.70, Y81.75, Y81.80
EUR/JPY Y114.05, Y116.20
AUD/USD $1.0505, $1.0650
NZD/USD $0.8000

EUR/USD tests $1.4100

Eases to $1.4100, as rate extends its corrective pullback off European morning highs of $1.4148. Bids have been reported from $1.4095, with interest extending down to $1.4055, stronger into $1.4050/40 with stops placed through $1.4030/20. Resistance remains at $1.4150/60.

GBP/USD under pressure

Corrective pullback off earlier highs at $1.6222 seen meeting decent support at the reported demand interest level at $1.6180. Level corresponds to the 76.4% retrace of the move up from overnight lows of $1.6165 to $1.6222. A break here to expose that overnight low, with bids seen here, more toward $1.6150. Resistance now seen at $1.6220/25 ahead of $1.6235.

AUD/USD falls sharply

Falls sharply with the euro-dollar from earlier highs of $1.0594, and closing in on bids seen around $1.0525. Talk of some magnetic stops through $1.0518 ahead of further bids $1.0485. Large stops below at $1.0475 ahead of bids $1.0460/50.

FTSE -0.28% 5,909, CAC -0.96% 3,980, DAX -0.70% 7,352
Option expiries for today's 1400GMT cut:


EUR/USD $1.3900, $1.3930, $1.4080, $1.4100, $1.4150, $1.4200
USD/JPY Y80.00, Y80.40, Y80.70, Y80.80, Y81.00, Y81.50, Y81.70, Y81.75, Y81.80
EUR/USD Y114.05, Y116.20
AUD/USD $1.0505, $1.0650
USD/NZD $0.8000


EMU DATA: Consumer prices in the Eurozone rose by a stronger than expected 0.6% on the month in April, confirming the annual inflation figure of +2.8%
Asian session:

05:00 Japan Consumer Confidence Index (Apr) 33.1 

The euro fell to a seven-week low against the dollar on concern European finance ministers meeting today and tomorrow will fail to quell speculation Greece will have to restructure its debt.
The 17-nation currency dropped against 10 of its 16 major counterparts as Greece today pleads for a boost to its 110 billion-euro ($155 billion) financial lifeline from European governments and the International Monetary Fund. The Dollar Index rose to a six-week high. The Australian dollar fell for a fourth day as commodity prices fell and a report showed home- loan approvals declined.
Ministers will tackle Greece’s financing needs at meetings starting at 3 p.m. in Brussels today. Also on the agenda are approval of 78 billion euros in aid for Portugal and the nomination of Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank.
The dollar rose versus all of its 16 major counterparts as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index was 19.7 in May after posting 21.7 in April, according to the median estimate of economists before the bank releases the data today. That’s the first decline in six months.

EUR/USD: the pair shown low in the field of $1,4050 then restored. 
GBP/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1,6160-$ 1,6200.
USD/JPY: the pair grown in around Y81,00.

Final HICP data for April is also due, including the EMU release at 0900GMT. Further EMU data also includes the 0900GMT release of March trade data.

Asian stocks close:

Shanghai Composite -0.77% 2,849.07
Nikkei -0.94% 9558.30

Hang Seng -1.34% 22,965

Stocks: Weekly review

Worries about the potential wider financial impact of the problems faced by Tokyo Electric Power emerged as the key theme on the Japanese equities markets this week.
The Nikkei 225 fell to a two-week low in heavy volume on Friday – down 0.7 per cent on the session to 9,648.77 and extending its losses over the week to 2.3 per cent – on fears Japan’s banks looked likely to be asked by the government to ease the crisis- stricken generator’s debt burden
Tepco’s main creditor Sumitomo Mitsubishi fell 3.8 per cent on Friday to Y2,452. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial was 2.8 per cent weaker at Y383. Over the week they lost 3.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.
Resource stocks across the region were buffeted by the week’s volatility on commodities markets, although bargain hunting on Friday took some shares in the sector higher on the week.
Australia’s S&P ASX 200 came off a closing low of 4,696.10 on Thursday to end Friday’s session at 4,711.36, a loss for the week of 0.8 per cent.
Rio Tinto bounced 0.5 per cent on Friday to A$80.2, enough to take it 0.2 per cent higher on the week.
Newcrest Mining rose 0.3 per cent on Friday to A$38.3, limiting its weekly loss to 2.4 per cent.
European stocks slipped back over the week as nervousness over a worsening in Greece’s debt crisis combined with lacklustre earnings reports to keep equity bulls on the defensive.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 index lost 0.4 per cent to 1,140.53 on Friday, pushing the continent’s benchmark into negative territory by the same percentage over the five trading days.
Shares of National Bank of Greece highlighted the volatility towards eurozone peripheral assets after the downgrade of the nation’s sovereign debt by Standard & Poor’s. The bank had losses in excess of 4% on both Monday and Thursday but ended the week just 2.2% lower after a successful midweek auction of Treasury bills.
Fears over Greek debt also weighed on the wider banking sector, particularly on those with the biggest holdings of Greek bonds.
In Paris, BNP Paribas lost 1.5 per cent and Société Générale gave up 2.6 per cent over the week, while Commerzbank sank 6.2 per cent in Frankfurt.
Underwhelming earnings reports weighed on Europe’s insurance sector at the end of the week.
Aegon, the Dutch owner of US insurer Transamerica Corp, was hit by a 12 per cent drop in first-quarter profit as it posted lower investment gains, causing the stock to retreat 6.8 per cent over the week to €4.97.
But there was better earnings news for French steel pipe producer Vallourec, which topped Friday’s Eurofirst leaderboard after surging 6.1 per cent to €89.18.
The blue chips closed mix this week with the S&P 500 was flat over the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.2 per cent over the five days, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index was still up 0.4 per cent over the week.
The week on Wall Street began with strong gains as the markets recovered from 1.7 per cent losses in the previous week and sentiment continued to ride high following bumper official employment numbers on Friday.
But on Wednesday the rebound was derailed by a sharp drop in commodity prices, which dragged down the energy and material sectors. Energy and material stocks fell 3 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively over the day, leading the benchmark S&P 500 index down 1.1 per cent to its worst one day drop in nearly two months.
This left the S&P energy index down 1.6 over the week and the materials index 1.4 per cent lower.
Both indices are down 5.1 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively so far in May.
Financial stocks also helped to drive the market lower on Friday, as the sector suffered from renewed unease over the mounting debt crisis in Greece.
JPMorgan Chase was down 2.1 per cent to $43.18 while Suntrust Banks fell 1.4 per cent to $27.72. The S&P financial index lost 1.3 per cent, the worst performing sector on Wall Street.
Losses on Friday were limited by some upbeat data showing a rise in consumer confidence this month. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index came in at 72.4 for May, a three-month high, as Americans turned more optimistic about the economy.
Separately, the Consumer Price Index of inflation showed that prices had not risen dramatically in May, with the price of goods excluding food and energy gaining a modest 0.2 per cent.
Microsoft’s $8.5bn acquisition of Skype was the big deal news of the week, and left shares in the technology group down 3.2 per cent to $25.04 over the five days.
Goldman Sachs shares fell 6.6 per cent over the week to $140.34 after Wall Street analysts said the bank could still face charges from the US Department of Justice for its conduct during the financial crisis.
Dick Bove of Rochdale Securities on Thursday dropped Goldman to “sell”, while Chris Maimone of Standard & Poor’s lowered his rating to “hold”.
Elsewhere in the sector, Citigroup lost 7.6 per cent to $41.78 after putting into effect a one-for-10 reverse stock split on Monday.
These losses helped the S&P financial index drop 2.1 per cent over the week.

FOREX: weekly review

The euro remained under pressure this week, touching a six-week low against the dollar as worries over Greek government debt continued.
Speculation at the start of the week that Greece was considering leaving the eurozone, which was vigorously denied, and concerns that Athens might restructure its debt drove the single currency lower. This heightened concerns about the finances of other countries on the periphery of the eurozone.
The euro also suffered, along with commodity-linked currencies, from heightened investor risk aversion, which fed haven demand for the dollar and the yen.
However, the single currency regained some poise on Friday as figures revealed French and German growth exceeded expectations in the first quarter. This helped stabilise the euro and heighten expectations that the European Central Bank would deliver a further rise in interest rates at its policy meeting in July.
German gross domestic product jumped 1.5% in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, and French GDP rose 1%, exceeding economists’ median estimates of 0.9% and 0.6% respectively.
Over the week, the euro eased 0.8% against the dollar and declined 0.8% against the yen.
The single currency rose against the pound, however, gaining 0.1% over the week.
Sterling suffered as poor trade data, a growth downgrade from the Bank of England and weaker than expected manufacturing and industrial production figures combined to raise worries about the health of the UK’s economic recovery.
The Bank of England left its main interest rate at a record low of 0.5% on May 5.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled on the same day that policy makers may raise borrowing costs after June, following a decision to keep their main rate at 1.25%.
The Confederation of British Industry lowered its economic growth estimates for the U.K. on May 9, saying gross domestic product would expand 1.7% this year compared with a February estimate of 1.8%.
The U.K. economic outlook may worsen further as Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government battles a fiscal deficit running at almost 10% of gross domestic product by raising taxes and implementing public spending cuts.
The central bank said this week that inflation may reach 5% later this year, more than double its 2% target, even while risks to economic growth remain “skewed to the downside.” Inflation expectedly slowed to 4% in March from a year earlier, up from 4.4% the previous month, the U.K. office for National Statistics said April 12.

Tech on USD/JPY

Resistance 3: Y81.70 (May 2 high) 
Resistance 2: Y81.30 (May 11-12 high) 
Resistance 1:Y81.10 (session high, May 13 high) 
Current price: Y80.96
Support 1:Y80.30 (May 13 low)  
Support 2:Y80.15 (May 10 low)  
Support 3:Y79.55 (May 5 low)  
Comments: the pair grown. The nearest support - Y80.30. Below losses up to Y80.15 are possible. The nearest resistance - Y81.10. Growth up to Y81.30 is Above possible.

Tech on USD/CHF

Resistance 3: Chf0.9160 (50,0% FIBO Chf0,9780-Chf8550)
Resistance 2: Chf0.9000 (Apr 19 high, 38,2 % FIBO Chf0,9780-Chf8550)
Resistance 1: Chf0.8950 (resistance line from Feb 11)
Current price: Chf0.8916
Support 1: Chf0.8910 (session low)
Support 2: Chf0.8820 (support line from May 6)
Support 3: Chf0.8780/90 (May 11 and 13 low)
Comments: the pair bargains in the field of the maxima reached on Friday. The nearest resistance - Chf0.8950. Level Chf0.9000 is Above located. The nearest support - Chf0,8910. Below loss can will increase up to Chf0.8820. 

Tech on GBP/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.6380 (May 12 high)
Resistance 2: $ 1.6310 (May 13 high)
Resistance 1: $ 1.6195 (session high)
Current price: $1.6174
Support 1 : $1.6150 (May 13 low)
Support 2 : $1.6090 (Apr 5 low)
Support 3 : $1.5930 (low of March)
Comments: the pair bargains in the field of the reached low. The nearest support $1.6150. Below is possible testings of around $1.6090. The nearest resistance - around $1.6195. Above growth is possible to $1.6310. 

Tech on EUR/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.4340 (May 13 high)
Resistance 2: $ 1.4300 (resistance line from May 11)
Resistance 1: $ 1.4110 (session high)
Current price: $1.4090
Support 1 : $1.4050 (session low)
Support 2 : $1.4020 (Mar 28 low)
Support 3 : $1.3860 (minima area on Mar 15-16)
Comments: the pair bargains in the field of the reach low. The nearest support $1,4050. Below losses are possible to $1.4020. The nearest resistance - $1.4110. Above growth is possible to $1,4300.

Schedule for today, Monday, May 16 2011:

09:00 EU(17) Harmonized CPI (April) final 0.6% 1.4%
09:00 EU(17) Harmonized CPI (April) final Y/Y 2.8% 2.7%
09:00 EU(17) Harmonized CPI ex EFAT (April) Y/Y 1.5% 1.3%
09:00 EU(17) Trade balance (March) unadjusted, bln 2.0 -1.5
09:00 EU(17) Trade balance (March) adjusted, bln - -2.4
12:30 USA NY Fed Empire State manufacturing index (May) 20.0 21.7
13:00 USA TICS net flows (March), bln - 97.7
13:00 USA TICS net long-term flows (March), bln - 26.9

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