The major indices continue to trade at their best levels of the session with the Nasdaq holding onto gains of 0.5%.
Shares of AT&T (T 29.16, -0.07) are searching for direction after the company announced a 2.4% dividend increase, and a 300 million share repurchase authorization. The stock is moving higher on the news, but still trades in negative territory for the session.
The dollar reached the strongest against the euro in two weeks as Treasury yields were near seven-month highs, boosting demand for U.S. assets, and on concern the European Union summit didn’t do enough to keep sovereign-debt problems from spreading across the region.
The euro earlier rose after EU leaders agreed to create a mechanism to contain future debt shocks and German business confidence unexpectedly climbed. Beyond the permanent debt- crisis mechanism in 2013, the leaders struggled to bridge divisions about immediate steps to stabilize bond markets. The index of U.S. leading economic indicators increased in November by the most in eight months.
Germany, the biggest contributor to Europe’s bailouts of Greece and Ireland, pushed through a proposal that would allow financial aid “if indispensable” to underpin the euro and may force bondholders to bear some costs of future rescues.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out putting more money on the table, retooling the post-Greek rescue European Financial Stability Facility to enable it to buy troubled government bonds, or further entwining Europe’s economies through joint bond sales.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said his country won’t pay into the euro-region bailout mechanism and said he wanted the European Union’s budget frozen as he sought to distance Britain from the region’s policies.
“We’re looking at a situation where the U.S. dollar should do a little bit better,” said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Toronto-Dominion Bank’s TD Securities unit in Toronto. “The euro probably still has further to fall considering the still quite significant sovereign fiscal challenges that we have in the euro zone.”
“We’re a little bit disappointed at their inability to approach the broad solution to the sovereign debt crisis that’s clearly needed,” Steven Englander, head of Group of 10 currency strategy at Citigroup Inc. in New York, said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene. “ The market is afraid of a financial rupture in the euro zone.”
The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 109.9 from 109.3 in November. That’s the highest since records for reunified Germany began in 1991. Economists predicted a drop to 109.
Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s credit rating by five levels to Baa1 after the government was forced to ask for external aid last month, staggered by losses in the banking system.
“The Irish government’s financial strength could decline further if economic growth were to be weaker than currently projected or the cost of stabilizing the banking system turn out to be higher than currently forecast,” Moody’s said.
The yen headed for a weekly decline against a basket of 10 currencies as the MSCI Asia Pacific Index of regional shares rose. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said his nation won’t increase reserve ratios and interest rates at the same time, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a speech at Peking University.
Zhou said yesterday that increases in banks’ mandatory reserves don’t rule out interest rate increases, the Hong Kong- based English-language newspaper reported today.
“Risk sentiment remains firm, supporting higher-yielding currencies against developed nations’ currencies,” said Koji Fukaya, chief currency strategist in Tokyo at Credit Suisse Group AG. “Currencies should strengthen against the yen.”
The Nasdaq (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (unch) trade just off their best levels of the session while the Dow (-0.2%) lags.
Research in Motion (RIMM 60.94, +1.70) shares are trading off their best levels of the session, but are still up approximately 3% after the company released better-than-expected earnings following yesterday's closing bell. The company announced earnings per share of $1.74 per share versus the Thomson Reuters consensus of $1.65 per share. Revenues beat slightly, coming in at $5.5 billion while analysts were expecting $5.4 billion. The company also issued upside guidance for its fourth quarter. Handset maker Nokia (NOK 9.84, -0.07) has seen little response to the earnings.
Current price: Y84.15
Comments: Dollar tries to hold above Y84.00 again. In general, tech hasn't changed much. Resistance comes at Dec 15 high on Y84.50. Above there is a room for a rise up to Y85.90 (Sep high), then - to Y86.40 (Aug 13 high). Support is near Y83.50 (Dec 15 lows). Below losses may widen to Y82.80 (Dec 14 lows).
Resistance 3: Chf0.9920
Resistance 2: Chf0.9870
Resistance 1: Chf0.9720
Current price: Chf0.9687
Support 1: Chf0.9620
Support 2: Chf0.9560
Support 3: Chf0.9460
Comments: Dollar rises with double-bottom formation on hourly charts point for a rise up to Chf1.9870 (also 61.8% Fibo of Chf1.0070 - Chf0.9560 decline). Further resistance is at Chf0.9920 (Dec 08 high). Support is around hourly lows on Chf0.9620. Stronger level - on Chf0.9560 (Asian lows). Then support comes at Oct lows on Chf0.9460.
Current price: $1.5475
Support 1: $1.5450
Support 2: $1.5430
Support 3: $1.5200
Comments: Pound fell through the support at $1.5485 (Nov 30 lows) and printed session lows on $1.5450 (minor support). In general, rate remains under pressure. Further support comes at $1.5340 (Sep 14 lows) and stronger - at $1.5200 (Sep 07 lows). If consolidation occures the upside target is on $1.5550 (50% of today's fall). Above there is a room for a rise up to $1.5650/60 (Asian highs), then - to $1.5760.
Current price: $1.3140
Support 2: $1.2970
Support 3: $1.2910
Comments: Euro continues to decline after it broke support at $1.3180 (recistance now). There is a room for decline tp Dec 02 on $1.3060. Stronger support is near Nov 30- Dec 01 lows on $1.2970. Ubder these levels losses may widen to Sep 06 highs on $1.2710. Back above $1.3180 may extend the recover up to hourly highs on $1.3280 and then - to stronger resistance at $1.3360 (Asian highs).
EUR/JPY fell to Y110.45 amid euro weakness. rate earlier triggered stops sub Y110.95/75 zone. Pasir topped out at Y112.00 area overnight as offers capped.
EUR/USD eases under $1.3200 area now, a far cry from the $1.3360 highs seen overnight and the euro on the defensive again in its own right. Thursday low near $1.3180 were passed and rate currently holds at $1.3161.
EUR/USD $1.3050, $1.3200, $1.3500
USD/JPY Y83.00, Y83.75, Y84.00, Y84.35, Y84.75, Y85.00, Y85.65, Y86.00
EUR/JPY Y111.55, Y111.70, Y112.00, Y112.75
AUDF/USD $0.9700, $0.9780, $0.9795, $0.9800, $0.9900, $0.9950, $1.0000
U.S. stocks were poised to start little changed Friday, as investors mull over the tax-cut deal that was passed by the House late Thursday.
Late Thursday, the House of Representatives gave final approval to the $858-billion tax deal hammered out between President Obama and Republicans. The bill passed the compromise by 277-148, and is now awaiting the President's signature. The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday.
"Up until close of business yesterday, there were Democrats in the House saying 'over my dead body,' so the fact that it went through before midnight will be positive for investors," said Peter Bible at EisnerAmper LLP.
On Thursday, stocks closed at two-year highs, with two of the three major indexes hitting their highest levels since September 2008. Stocks ticked higher, as investors digested mixed reports on housing and jobs data that came out before the opening bell Thursday.
Economy: After the opening bell, an index on leading economic indicators for November is expected to increase 1.2%, after a 0.5% rise the month before.
Companies: After the bell on Thursday, Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) and Research in Motion (RIMM) announced their past-quarter financial results - both beat Wall Street analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue.
Marshall & Ilsley (MI) will be acquired by Canada's BMO Financial in a stock-swap deal valued at $4.1 billion. The transaction is based on a share price of $7.75 - nearly 34% premium over Marshall & Ilsley's closing price on Thursday. In premarket trading, shares of Marshall & Ilsley jumped 27%.
Other regional banks - which have been especially hard hit during the recession - were poised to rally at the open. Regions Financial (RF, Fortune 500), Zions Bancorp (ZION), and KeyCorp (KEY, Fortune 500) were all up in premarket trade.
Eurozone jitters persisted Friday. Ratings agency Moody's downgraded Ireland's debt citing "increased uncertainty regarding the country's economic outlook," "decline in the Irish government's financial strength" and bank related concerns. Earlier in the week, Irish officials accepted IMF funds connected to its €85 billion bailout.
GBP/USD has just fallen through $1.5550 tripping stops to a low of $1.5514, with next levels of support seen at the Dec 2 low of $1.5512 and the Nov 30 low of $1,5485. Failure at these levels open the door to $1.5340/50. Cable trades $1.5515.
EUR/USD eases slightly around the ECB fixing, trades to $1.3253 area now. German name has been a notable seller on the day but not necessarily in huge size but liquidity more of a concern today than on previous days this week. Bids still expected at $1.3200/20 area.
EUR/JPY collapses as dollar yen fails to make any impression of offers above Y84.00. The cross has fallen back through the 100 dma at Y111.54 and breaks earlier support Y111.45/50 to a low of Y111.23. Support is seen towards Y111.10/20 and then Y110.75/85 with break-out stops below. Euro-yen trades Y111.24.
EUR/USD trading around $1.3265 area as rebound from morning lows at $1.3235 extends, lift coming despite recent sales by a German bank. Demand remains at $1.3200/20 area but markets notably thin and price swings getting wider as the day moves along.
09:00 Germany IFO business climate index (December) 109.9
10:00 EU(16) Trade balance (October) adjusted, bln 3.6
10:00 EU(16) Trade balance (October) unadjusted, bln 5.2
The euro rose against the dollar for a second day after European Union leaders agreed to create a mechanism to contain future debt shocks and German business confidence unexpectedly climbed.
The euro gained even as Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s credit rating.
The EU summit result “sets the stage for further consolidation, such as cross-border guarantees” between member states’ debt, said Geoffrey Yu, a foreign-exchange strategist at UBS AG in London. The agreement “is not negative for the euro. If they had downgraded Ireland to junk right now I don’t think it would make too much of a difference, because the country is already shut out of markets anyway.”
German business confidence unexpectedly rose to a record in December as stronger domestic demand helped bolster the recovery in Europe’s largest economy, according to data published today.
The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 109.9 from 109.3 in November. That’s the highest since records for reunified Germany began in 1991. Economists predicted a drop to 109, the median of 36 forecasts in a survey shows.
Moody’s cut Ireland’s credit rating by five levels to Baa1 after the government was forced to ask for external aid last month, staggered by losses in the banking system.
EUR/USD: the pair shown high in the field of $1,3360. Later the rate decreased below a mark $1,3300.
GBP/USD: the pair decreased in around $1,5580.
USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y83,70-Y84,10.
US data at 1500GMT includes BLS State Unemployment as well as the index of leading indicators, which is forecast to jump 1.2% in November, with positive contributions from every component except for possibly weaker building permits.
-Current rescue measures more apt to fight crisis
-Risk of marked interest rate rise if no deficit reduction
-Market interest rate to rise markedly above pre-crisis level
The euro rose against the dollar for a second day after European Union leaders agreed to create a mechanism to contain future debt shocks and the European Central Bank armed itself with more capital.
The euro gained versus 13 of its 16 most-traded counterparts even as Moody’s Investors Service cut Ireland’s credit rating. The yen headed for a weekly loss against most of its major peers as Asian stocks advanced. The Swiss franc traded at a record versus the common currency.
Moody’s today cut Ireland’s credit rating by five levels to Baa1 after the government was forced to ask for external aid last month, staggered by losses in the banking system.
“The Irish government’s financial strength could decline further if economic growth were to be weaker than currently projected or the cost of stabilizing the banking system turn out to be higher than currently forecast,” Moody’s said in an e- mailed statement.
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