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USD/CAD holds C$0.9719 after stalling and reversing from C$0.9771, the 100d ma level for the pair. Support eyed at C$0.9680 area.
CIBC World Markets on Canadian data

Krishen Rangasamy of CIBC World Markets says Canadian retail sales, released earlier showing flat sales in March, was well below consensus looking for +0.9%. Ex-auto sales were down 0.1%, also weaker than expected. But February sales were revised higher (both headline and ex-autos).

Dow -24.52 at 12580.80, Nasdaq -4.55 at 2818.76, S&P -3.30 at 1340.33

Stocks recently stretched to fresh afternoon highs, but they have started to pull back a bit. Although the major equity averages remain in the red, the mood among market participants has improved markedly during the course of the past few hours. The improved tone of trade has helped bring stocks back in line with where they had started the week.

EUR/USD holds higher

EUR/USD printed hourly high above $1.4220 area as Dow trims losses and oil rebounds further with gains (+$1.16 to $99.60). Stops above $1.4220. Further resistance at the morning high of $1.4260.

Dow -23.27 at 12582.05, Nasdaq -5.35 at 2817.96, S&P -3.27 at 1340.33

Stocks continue to rally. The effort comes as the dollar surrenders some more of its gain, which now stands at a modest 0.3%.
Retailers continue to have a rough session, however. Disappointing guidance from Gap (GPS 19.40, -3.89) and Aeropostale (ARO 18.01, -3.33) has weighed heavily on the two stocks, but Barnes & Noble (BKS 18.32, +4.21) has surged 30% in response to a takeout offer of $17 per share from Liberty Media.

US focus: Euro tumbles as ECB may not be able to accept Greek debt

The euro fell versus the dollar for the first time in five days as a policy maker for the European Central Bank said it may not be able to accept Greek sovereign debt as collateral if the bond maturities are extended.

The shared currency dropped as the remarks by Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, a member of the ECB Governing Council, added to signs of a division between monetary officials and politicians on Greek debt.
Fitch Ratings lowered Greece’s debt rating. The Bundesbank said separately Germany’s economy is losing momentum, damping speculation the central bank will raise interest rates.
“It’s negative for the euro, fundamentally negative for Greece and more broadly negative for European sentiment,” said Nick Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo & Co..
The euro also fell after Investor’s Business Daily reported Norway froze a 235 million kroner ($42 million) grant to Greece.

Gold above $1500

After several sessions of challending the $1500, gold has finally broken higher Friday. Gold holds at $1512.94/oz currently, at the day's high and up from an overnight low of $1487.91. Initial resistance is seen at $1516.40, the May 13 peak.

EUR/USD recovers

EUR/USD recovers off lows around $1.4140 to $1.4193 amid shorts pare back positions ahead of weekends.  Euro to find resistance now at $1.4220 area of broken support though, in thin Friday conditions, anything can happen.

USD/JPY within the range

Despite the high volatility in the market USD/JPY has managed to hold close to its midpoint of the session range, trades currently around Y81.64. Dollar bids still expected down to Y81.40 with stops below, Offers in place atop Y82.00.

Oil retreats

June light sweet crude (WTI) trades down $1.88 at $96.56/bl after holding in a $95.99 to $99.60 range. The front contract (which shifts to July starting Monday) peaked at a 31-month $114.83 May 2 and troughed at $94.63 May 6. WTI rallied to $104.60 May 11, but since then has held a tight $95.02 to $100.99 range. Stops are expected on a clear cut break of the May lows.

EUR/GBP corrects

EUR/GBP extends corrective pullback to stg0.8739 as cable extends its recovery off lows at $1.6167 toward $1.6200. Next cross support seen at stg0.8720/15 ahead of stg0.8700 and stg0.8675/70.

EUR/USD under increased pressure

Rebound stalled at $1.4175 area and pair slipping again. Downside order books thin but contain some bids at $1.4155/50 and again at $1.4120 area. Below there, stops suggested sub $1.4100.

GREECE/FITCH: Fitch downgrades Greece to B+ from BB+; rating watch negative
Greek spreads are widening


Greek spreads are widening on local press story that visiting IMF officials, who have been in Athens for the past two weeks, have suspended checks and will return when Greece adopts more measures.

Dow -29.66 at 12575.66, Nasdaq -4.65 at 2818.66, S&P -4.12 at 1339.48


The major market averages have slipped in the opening minutes of trade. The downturn has been broad based; in fact, there isn't a single sector sporting a meaningful gain.

Energy stocks have been hit especially hard. The sector is already down 0.8%. Part of that is attributable to a sharp reversal in crude oil prices, which have dropped to $97.31 per barrel for a 1.6% loss, amid the dollar's climb to a 0.5% gain.


Before the bell:


U.S. stocks were poised to open lower Friday, possibly tilting the direction for the full week as well.

Investors have endured a slew of disappointing economic reports in recent days, but have found solace in the Federal Reserve's likely continued support of the market -- even after its $600 billion bond-buying program expires at the end of June.

Companies: After debuting Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of LinkedIn (LNKD) more than doubled from their IPO price -- making it one of the biggest tech IPOs since Google (GOOG, Fortune 500).

Shares of Barnes & Noble (BKS, Fortune 500) jumped 26% in premarket trading after the bookseller announced a proposal to be bought by Liberty Media for $17 per share in cash, a nearly $1 billion buyout offer.


World markets:

Oil for June delivery gained 36 cents, or 0.2%, to $98.80 a barrel. The contract for June oil settles Friday. The July contract, which is more active, rose 36 cents to $99.29.

Gold futures for June delivery rose $2.50, or 0.2%, to $1,494.90 an ounce.

Silver futures for July delivery shaved 10 cents, or 0.3%, to $34.83 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury edged slightly higher, pushing the yield down to 3.15%.

Orders desk:



Offers: $1.4280, $1.4305, $1.4320/25, $1.4350/60, $1.4370/80

Bids: $1.4210/00, $1.4195/90, $1.4155/50

CANADA: Mar retail sales 0.0% m/m vs Feb +0.5% (rev +0.4%)
  • Mar retail sales ex-autos -0.1% m/m
European session:

The euro weakened versus the dollar for the first time in five days as the German Bundesbank said growth in Europe’s largest economy will probably slow, prompting traders to reduce bets the European Central Bank will increase interest rates.

Europe’s common currency snapped four days of gains against the yen. German growth is “likely to ease somewhat in the foreseeable future,” the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in its monthly bulletin published today. The krone climbed against the euro as Norges Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen said Norway’s currency may appreciate further as growth accelerates.

“Any kind of sign that growth is slowing in the euro zone, people are overreacting and that’s why we’ve seen this sell- off,” said London-based Kathleen Brooks, research director at Forex.com, a unit of online currency trading company Gain Capital Holdings Inc. “People were looking for any excuse to sell the euro and book a bit of profit.”

ECB NOYER: Assuring price stability should be main central bank goal


  • Keeping inflation expectations anchored of upmost importance.
USD/JPY got support at Y81.50

Market talk of a North Asian sovereign name on the bid in the dollar around the Y81.50 level. The pair recently posted a day's low of Y81.48 and currently trades Y81.54/56. Stops await below at Y81.40 and Y81.30.

EUR/USD under pressure

Eases back under $1.4300, as euro-sterling sales and cable meeting resistance, weighs back on euro-dollar. Demand seen into $1.4295/90, with stops said to have built between $1.4285/80. Break under will target $1.4250.

FTSE +0.91% 6,010, CAC +0.45% 4,046, DAX +0.58% 7,401
Option expiries for today's 1400GMT cut:

EUR/USD $1.4400, $1.4225, $1.4200, $1.4460 
USD/JPY Y82.00, Y81.75, Y81.65, Y81.00, Y80.90, Y80.80, Y80.00
EUR/GBP stg0.8930
AUD/USD $1.0650, $1.0665, $1.0725

Asian stock close:

Shanghai Composite -0.04% 2,858.46

Nikkei -0.14% 9,607.08
Hang Seng + 0.16% 23,199.39

Asian session:



03:30 Japan BoJ Interest Rate Decision (May 20) 0.1%

The yen headed for the first five-day drop in three weeks against the euro on prospects the Bank of Japan will maintain monetary stimulus to support an economy in recession after a record earthquake.
Japan’s currency was set for a weekly loss against all of its major counterparts as the central bank kept its key rate at a range of zero to 0.1 percent. 
The dollar is poised for a five- day decline against the euro before data forecast to show U.S. new home sales grew at a slower pace.
The Bank of Japan kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged and refrained from increasing its credit programs at the end of a two-day meeting today, as predicted by all economists.

EUR/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1.4290-$ 1.4340. 

GBP/USD: the pair bargained within the limits of $1.6210-$ 1.6240. 

USD/JPY: the pair bargained within the limits of Y81.60-Y8180. 

European data rounds off at 1000GMT with 
France industrial orders, which are released at the same time as the Bundesbank publishes the Monthly Bulletin for May. 


Eurozone current account deficit came to E4.7 billion in March
Forex: Thursday's review

The yen dropped against most of its major counterparts as Japan slid into its third recession in a decade and Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he expects the central bank to maintain a flexible monetary policy.
Gross domestic product in Japan contracted an annualized 3.7 percent in the three months through March, following a revised 3 percent drop in the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. 
The dollar pared losses against currencies of commodity exporters as data showed Philadelphia-area manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in seven months. 
The dollar reversed a loss against New Zealand’s currency after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s general economic index unexpectedly fell to 3.9, the weakest reading since October, from 18.5 a month earlier. Readings greater than zero signal expansion. In another report, the National Associated of Realtors said sales of existing U.S. homes slid 0.8 percent in April to a 5.05 million annual pace. 
The franc fell against the euro as Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said authorities will consider “appropriate” measures if the currency continues to strengthen.

EUR/USD: on results of yesterday's session the pair become stronger in around $1.4310.
GBP/USD: on results of yesterday's session the pair  become stronger in around $1.6230.
USD/JPY: positions of pair on results of yesterday's session practically haven't changed.

European data starts at 0700GMT, when German PPI. This is later followed at 0800GMT by March current account data. European data rounds off at 1000GMT with 
France industrial orders, which are released at the same time as the Bundesbank publishes the Monthly Bulletin for May. 

Stocks: Thursday's review

Japanese stocks fell after a report showed the nation’s economy shrank more than estimated in the first quarter and utilities dropped after the Prime Minister said Japan will debate overhauling the energy industry.
 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306), Japan’s largest bank by market value, declined 2.1 percent. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant damaged in the record earthquake in March, tumbled 8 percent. Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Co., a chip equipment maker, plunged 5.3 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its rating on chipmaker Intel Corp. (INTC)

European stocks rose for a second day as industrial stocks led gains on the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index after the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled that interest rates will remain low.
Glencore International Plc was unchanged on its first day of trading in London after it sold $10 billion of stock in its initial public offering. BP Plc (BP/) climbed 1.6 percent as BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research advised buying the shares. Pandora A/S, the Danish maker of jewelry, slumped 22 percent after saying it has lifted prices globally for the first time in its history because of the rising cost of silver and gold.

U.S. stocks traded little changed as reports on home sales, leading indicators and manufacturing trailed estimates, tempering optimism in the economy triggered by a bigger-than-forecast drop in jobless claims.
Intel Corp. (INTC), KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) slumped at least 1.7 percent as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut their ratings, citing increased competition from tablet computers and excess supply. Big Lots Inc. (BIG) tumbled 9.9 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that the discount retailer won’t sell itself. LinkedIn Corp., the largest professional-networking website, more than doubled in the first day of trading after its initial public offering.

Tech on USD/JPY

Resistance 3: Y82.80 (Apr 27 high) 
Resistance 2: Y82.20 (May 19 high) 
Resistance 1: Y81.80 (session high) 
Current price: Y81.64
Support 1:Y81.50 (May 19 low)  
Support 2:Y80.90 (May 18 low)  
Support 3:Y80.15 (May 10 low)  
Comments: the pair bargains in a narrow range. The nearest support - Y81.50. Below losses are possible  to Y80.90. The nearest resistance - Y81.80. Above growth is possible to Y82.20. 

Tech on USD/CHF

Resistance 3: Chf0.8880 (May 17 and 19 high)
Resistance 2: Chf0.8860 (resistance line from May 13)
Resistance 1: Chf0.8830 (session high)
Current price: Chf0.8824
Support 1: Chf0.8800 (session low)
Support 2: Chf0.8760 (May 19 low)
Support 3: Chf0.8700 (May 10 low)
Comments: the pair slightly become stronger. The nearest resistance - Chf0.8830. Above is located Chf0.8860. The nearest support - Chf0,8800. Below loss may extend to Chf0.8760. 

GERMANY DATA: Apr PPI +1.0% M/M, +6.4% Y/Y
Tech on GBP/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.6290/10 (May 13, 17 and 18 high)
Resistance 2: $ 1.6260 (МА (200) for Н1)
Resistance 1: $ 1.6240 (session high, May 19 high)
Current price: $1.6211
Support 1 : $1.6210 (session low)
Support 2 : $1.6170 (support line from May 18)
Support 3 : $1.6100/90 (Apr 5 and  May 18 low, support line from Jan 25)
Comments: the pair bargains above a mark $1.6200. The nearest support $1.6210. Below is possible testings of around $1.6170. The nearest resistance - around $1.6240. Above growth is possible to $1.6260. 

Tech on EUR/USD

Resistance 3: $ 1.4420 (May 11 high)
Resistance 2: $ 1.4390 (38,2 % FIBO $1.4940-$ 1.4090)
Resistance 1: $ 1.4340 (session high, May 13 high)
Current price: $1.4313
Support 1 : $1.4290 (session low)
Support 2 : $1.4260 (support line from May 16)
Support 3 : $1.4200 (May 19 low)
Comments: the pair bargains above a mark $1.4300. The nearest resistance - $1.4340. Above growth is possible to $1,4390. The nearest support $1,4290. Below losses are posiible to $1.4260. 

Schedule for today, Friday, May 20 2011:

3:30 Japan BoJ meeting announcement 0.00-0.10% 0.00-0.10%
06:00 Germany PPI (April) - 0.4%
06:00 Germany PPI (April) Y/Y - 6.2%
08:00 EU(17) Current account (March) unadjusted, bln - -9.5
08:00 EU(17) Current account (March) adjusted, bln - -7.2
11:00 Canada CPI (April) - 1.1%
11:00 Canada CPI (April) Y/Y - 3.3%
11:00 Canada CPI core (April) 0.2% 0.7%
11:00 Canada CPI core (April) Y/Y 1.6% 1.7%
12:30 Canada Retail sales (March) 0.6% 0.4%
12:30 Canada Retail sales excluding auto (March) - 0.7%

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