Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

USD/JPY sold off sharply today to close near the 116.90 level. Last night and in early morning trading, the pair touched 118.05 and quickly took a 135 point dive to a low near 116.65. This push was caused by in part by the combined effects of a plummeting Consumer Confidence Level coupled with another weak Manufacturing Activity Report. Also from the charts, the Euro printed its biggest move against the greenback in nearly a month. A 70-point breakout in the hour following the news release pushed the pair all the way to 1.2780 to add two new notches to its belt, breaking through tough resistance at the 1.2750 level and marking a new monthly high in the process.Finally, the British pound, already sitting at levels seen as significant resistance, joined the advance. GBP / USD rose 140 points to stall just shy of 1.9100, while printing its highest mark in almost 3 months.

EUR/USD Back Below 1.2700

Today the EUR/USD dropped back below the 1.2700 level, after retail sales in Germany posted dismally low at -1.7% in the month of September, dragging the annual rate down to -1.2%. Fundamentally, this might be a temporary condition, with mixed messages coming from consumer and business outlooks for October. Read More....

Traders Warming Up To Heating Oil Prices

Traders warming up to lower Heating Oil prices: It looks like the official start of the winter heating season in November will greet traders with sharply lower Heating Oil prices. Spot month November Heating Oil fell over 5% yesterday, as traders eyed weather forecasts calling for above normal temperatures in the northeastern US for the first part of November. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading lower in the overnight session in the wake of the biggest one-day decline in over a year. Warm U.S. weather forecasts are expected to curb demand and raise inventory levels. There continues to be a lack of concern over the promised production cuts by OPEC members scheduled to begin tomorrow. The market has serious doubts that full cuts will be implemented by all of the members, and traders say that much of the cuts has already been priced into the market. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading down 56 cents at $57.80 a barrel.

Soybeans: January Soybeans traded lower in the overnight session, after three days of solid gains. January Soybeans gained another 4 ½ cents yesterday, as speculative buying remained a supporting influence on the grain. Soybean’s price relative to Wheat and Corn is spurring the speculative buying, after the aforementioned contracts have seen massive gains in previous weeks. January Soybeans ended the overnight session down 5 ¾ cents at $647.50 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading higher in early trading. Marathon Oil (MRO) easily beat earnings expectations, and was matched by a number of smaller companies with good earnings reports. Proctor and Gamble (PG) is also due out later today. Traders are still waiting for the Chicago PMI report and Consumer Confidence report due at 9:00 Central Time. December S&P 500 futures are trading up 2.60 at 1385.80 in pre-market trading

No Soft Landing For Cotton

No soft landing for Cotton: The recent 8-day rally in Cotton futures came to a rough end today, as commodity fund selling and a slew of speculative sell-stops forced prices sharply lower. A slightly higher opening drew sellers, keeping prices below recent highs at 5090. Trade sellers then came into the market, which caused local traders to change direction and cover losing long positions. Read More....

Monday, October 30, 2006

Daily FX Update

Not much was going on in the EUR/USD today, as traders took a rest after last week’s bullish trade for the popular currency pair. A bleak outlook for the US economy was highlighted by Friday’s weak 3rd quarter estimated GDP figures. The annualized growth rate of 1.6% was the weakest performance in nearly 3 years. EUR/USD broke through strong resistance at 1.2750 after the report as traders continue to punish the Greenback. Trading volume was light as market participants await this Friday’s release of US Non-farm payrolls for October.

Euro Hanging On To Gains Againist Dollar

This week's start has the Euro holding on to last week's gains against the Dollar, while trading in tight ranges. Last week's markets unabashedly sold the US Dollar against all major currencies. Read More.....

Copper Futures Take A Rest

Copper futures take a rest! After a record-breaking start in the first half of 2006, Copper futures have stagnated, trading in an increasingly narrow 40-cent range since early September. Traders have shifted their focus to other members of the base metals family, such as Zinc, Nickel, Tin, and Lead, whose fundamentals appear more bullish than that of Copper. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading slightly lower in the overnight session. Continuing doubts that OPEC members will fully implement planned production cuts are weighing on the contract. The cuts are scheduled to begin on November 1. There has also been a lack of recent geopolitical concerns to affect prices, and the weather forecast for much of the U.S. continues to be mild. In the meantime, Crude Oil futures continue to trade close to the $60 a barrel mark. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading down 90 cents at $59.85 a barrel.

Soybeans: November Soybeans continued Friday’s strength in the overnight session. Friday saw Soybeans close at their highest level since January 5th, supported by both speculative and fund buying. November Soybeans ended Friday up 7 3/4 cents, to settle at $635.50 a bushel. Rain over the weekend continued to slow harvest progress in Indiana and Ohio. However, the rest of the Midwest remained dry, and forecasts are good for the upcoming week. November Soybeans ended the overnight session up 5 cents at $640.50 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower in early trading. Traders are showing concern over the health of the economy. These concerns were amplified after Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s biggest retailer, reported their smallest monthly sales gain in two years. These numbers missed expectations, and have given traders a reason to continue Friday’s weakness after disappointing GDP data. Friday saw December S&P futures fall 8.10 points, to settle at 1384.80. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 3.50 at 1381.30 in pre-market trading.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Freshly Squeezed!

Freshly squeezed: Once again a new contract high was made in O.J. futures today, with speculative and trade buying keeping the market well supported. Fundamentals continue to support the bull camp as Florida citrus growers are looking at another poor Orange crop, with current USDA estimates looking for a production total of 135 million 90-pound boxes. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

Buying the US Dollar today might not have been a smart move. The USD slid in a drastic move to a low of 117.11 against the Japanese yen, which is the lowest it has been since the second of October. Housing in almost all geographic regions of US is in the midst of a major contraction. Latest Existing Home Sales figures once again missed analyst's estimates and registered their lowest reading in well over 3 years. While New Home Sales increased mildly from September as present day buyers clearly prefer the deep discounts that a housing slump offers and that "new house smell". Adding to the possibility of a long term decline is the most recent economic news from the MOFC's report and the Richmond Federal Reserve Report numbers. September Durables Goods rose only 0.1% to the 16 month low set by ISM manufacturing report. In the last few months the US Dollar has enjoyed a period of gains but recent events might have raised enough of an alarm for a change in direction.

Falling Dollar Againist the Euro

The Dollar declines against the Euro on the report of a very weak third quarter U.S. GDP news release. The Gross domestic product grew at only a 1.6% rate during the third quarter, which is down from 2.6% in the second quarter. It's the slowest rate of economic growth in 3 years, helping the slide continue for the greenback. Read More....

Soft Landing

Soft landing? The US economy continued to show signs of slowing, with today's Commerce Department's release of its estimate for 3rd Quarter GDP coming in at a weak increase of a seasonally adjusted 1.6% annual rate. This was a sharp drop from last quarter's 2.6% rate, and below the average economists' forecast of a 2.2% rise. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading slightly higher in the overnight session. With the weekly inventory supply data out of the way, traders are turning their focus towards November 1st. This is when OPEC has promised production cuts to go into effect. There is much skepticism in the market that all of the OPEC members will fully go through with the cuts. The contract continues to trade around the $60 a barrel mark in the meantime. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 44 cents at $60.80 a barrel.

Lean Hogs: December Lean Hog futures rallied to their three-cent daily limit on Thursday. Strong demand amid relatively limited supply is attributed to the rise. The Agricultural Department’s Pork cut-out report on Wednesday jumped $2.20 to $67.24 per hundredweight. This report is a measurement of buying interest for pork on the wholesale level. A surprising rise in seasonal demand for pork loin was a major factor in the surge of wholesale prices. December Lean Hog futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ended the day up 3 cents, to settle at $64.47 cents a pound.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower after a disappointing GDP report. Economic growth slowed to a 1.6% pace in the third quarter, its worst level in over three years. The economic report released by the Commerce Department this morning showed that the slumping housing market was a major factor in the economy’s third quarter slowdown. GDP was much weaker than the expected 2.1% pace. The closely watched chain deflator also came in lower than expected at 1.8% (consensus 2.8%). December S&P 500 futures are trading down 2.90 at 1390.00 in pre-market trading.

Cattle Prices Keep Moovin' On Up!

Cattle prices keep moovin' on up! Live Cattle futures surged to near 4-week highs today, as commodity fund buying, short-covering, and weather concerns have traders in a "bullish" mode. Floor sources report a large amount of buy-stops were triggered, once the December contract closed the chart gap from October 6th at 89.30. Read More.....

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

After a relatively dovish FOMC report, both the Euro and the Yen traded higher against the US Dollar. The current opinion in the FX market is focused around the idea that the Federal Reserve has actually stopped rather than merely paused in their tightening cycle. In the US, trader's focus turned to the Durable Goods report, which might be the most important release of the week. According to the report, the US economy is indeed on the verge of an up-turn after soft third quarter performance. As many analysts have recently noted, retailers have weathered the slowdown reasonably well, but the true impact of the contraction in housing will be a bit severe. Consumers have less money to purchase, TVs, cars and major appliances. This report just may be the last positive ray of hope before a slowdown in US economy. Today the EUR / USD broke the 1.2640 resistance level and closed out the day at 1.2690.

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading relatively flat, after rising more than $2 a barrel yesterday. Yesterday’s gains were a result of falling U.S. inventories data. Attacks on oil facilities by Nigerian villagers and the upcoming OPEC production cuts contributed to the gains. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 4 cents at $61.44 a barrel.

Wheat: December Wheat futures traded lower in the overnight session, continuing an end-of-day slide that fully erased yesterday’s early gains. Yesterday saw December Wheat futures close down 5 ¾ cents at $516.75 a bushel. Analysts attributed yesterday’s volatility to a thin, unpredictable market. Weekly export sales are expected out before the open today. Expectations are for Wheat sales to be in the range of 300,00 500,000 tonnes. December Wheat futures on the eCBOT fell 7 ¼ cents, to end the overnight session at $509.50 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading higher, after third quarter earning from Exxon Mobil Corp. beat expectations. The overnight gains are a continuation of a late-day surge yesterday, after the Fed interest rate decision and accompanying statement. While the interest rate remained at 5.25% as expected, the Fed’s view on monetary policy wasn’t seen as hawkish, as some feared. Tonight’s overnight gains also bring the December S&P 500 future closer to the significant 1400.00 mark. December S&P 500 futures are trading up 3.00 at 1392.20 in pre-market trading.

Dollar Longs Quick To Dump After FOMC Announcment

Dollar longs were quick to dump positions after the FOMC released a neutral statement, keeping interest rates unchanged at 5.25%. Although it was widely anticipated that the rate would stay the same, concrete statements of what to expect for rates in the future simply didn't happen. Read More.....

Time To Go Hog Wild

Time to go Hog Wild! Lean hog futures surged yesterday, as strong pork cutout values and improving short-term demand for cash hogs, encouraged speculative buying. The lead month December contract has been trading at a steep discount to the CME 2-day Lean Hog index, and traders used strong cash Hog prices as an excuse to buy futures. Read More.....

Crude Rallies as Stockpiles Fall

Crude Rallies as stockpiles fall: Analysts are still struggling to get a read on the weekly EIA energy stock report, as once again the consensus was incorrect. The Department of Energy announced this morning that Crude Oil inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels last week, to stand at 332.3 millions barrels as of October 20th. Read More.....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Flat 40 Pip Range For The Euro

A flat 40-pip high/low range is all the Euro could muster against the Dollar since yesterday's New York close. Volatility will take hold of the Dollar as soon as the much-anticipated direction of FOMC rate policy is divulged for traders to digest. Read More.....

Calm Before the FOMC Storm

Calm before the FOMC storm: The financial markets took a breather the last couple of days, as traders await the interest rate announcement after the 2-day FOMC meeting ends this afternoon. Almost all economists and traders expect the Fed to hold rates steady at 5.25%. Read More.....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading slightly higher, as traders await U.S. inventory data. Traders are also reacting to news of a fire at India’s largest oil refinery, which may affect fuel supplies in Asia. The U.S. Energy Department report, due at 9:30 central time, is expected to show crude supplies gained 3 million barrels last week. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 20 cents at $59.55 a barrel.

Wheat: December Wheat futures traded sharply higher in the overnight session. Overnight, the Australia Wheat Board announced a downward revision of their wheat production forecast to 9-11 million tonnes. This is a 40% decline from their previous estimates, which were already considered low. Some rain is in the forecast for the West Australia wheat belt, but the crop is deteriorating quickly. Australia is a major wheat provider to India and Japan. As their crop is reduced, the demand for U.S. exports is expected to grow. December Wheat futures on the eCBOT rose 9 1/4 cents, to end the overnight session at $531.75 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading relatively flat, ahead of the FOMC interest-rate decision. The Federal Reserve ends its two-day meeting today, with expectations that they will hold the key interest rate at 5.25%. The accompanying statement to their decision will decide market direction for the rest of the day, with traders looking for signs on whether policymakers have grown more hawkish. On the earnings front, several big names such as: General Motors (GM), Boeing (BA), and Amazon (AMZN) have all topped expectations. December S&P 500 futures are trading down .50 at 1384.30 in pre-market trading.

Cold Weather Keeps Natural Gas Prices Hot

Cold weather keeps Natural Gas prices hot! Weather forecasts calling for below normal temperatures for the Midwest and Northeast this week have kept Natural Gas futures well supported. The large number of speculative short positions, coupled with the discount of futures prices to the cash market, were key elements to today's short-covering rally. Read More....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading lower in pre-market trading. There is speculation in the market that supplies will increase in the U.S., as weather forecasts are calling for warmer-than-usual temperatures next month. Traders also remain pessimistic that OPEC members will fully implement the planned production cuts. Experts think countries such as Venezuela and Iran will be hard-pressed to actually make any cuts among robust demand and prices above $50 a barrel. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading down 20 cents at $58.61 a barrel.

Soybeans: November Soybean futures traded relatively flat in the overnight session. Yesterday saw Soybeans shake-off early weakness to reach three-month highs by the end of the session. The surge was attributed to technical buying and a general lack of selling interest in the bullish market. Strength found in Wheat and Corn also provided support. This week’s weather outlook has more rain in the forecast for Indiana and Ohio, which should keep harvest progress at a slow pace. November Soybean futures on the eCBOT rose 1/2 cent, to end the overnight session at $618.00 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower ahead of the FOMC interest-rate decision. The Federal Reserve begins its two-day meeting today. The market is also digesting a bevy of earnings reports, as roughly one-third of companies listed in the S&P 500 have reported results. Of those companies, 73% have topped estimates. Texas Instruments (TXN) provided fourth quarter sales warnings, and Kraft (KFT) decreased its full-year profit estimate. Other companies such as: Dupont(DD), Amgen(AMGN), BellSouth(BLS), and Lockheed Martin(LMT) beat forecasts today. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 1.20 at 1379.50 in pre-market trading.

Daily FX Wrap Up

The dollar took a small dive against the Yen today in an otherwise boring market. Japan's top financial diplomat, Hiroshi Watanabe, indicated on Monday that he was not too concerned with the currency's recent declines stating that the Japanese economy is strong and has little fear of further decline. Many experts believe the North Korean nuclear testing causing a temporary slow down in spending has spooked the Japanese consumer. China may help ease the tension, with the troublesome nation, by acting as mediator between the UN and North Korea. If tensions are reduced, Japan’s recovery should proceed uninterrupted. The Dollar/Yen started off the day slowly climbing to its daily high at 119.65 before slumping to a low of 119.05 and finishing out the day in the 119.30 area. This decline came amid market anticipation the Fed would re-emphasize its concern about inflationary pressures in its statement accompanying its rate decision on Wednesday. Look for slow market trading tomorrow before the FOMC announcement at 1:15 pm Chicago time.

Trading Ground To A Halt For the Dollar

Trading has ground to a halt for the Dollar against all the majors, as everyone waits for a turn of events from the U.S. Fed. Right now, short and long-term sentiment favors the Dollar, especially if there are hawkish comments from policymakers during the next two days. Read More...

Are Sugar Futures Building A Base?

Are Sugar futures building a base? After several months of long liquidation, the Sugar futures market might be ready to stabilize, with trade buying starting to come into the market. This has limited further declines from producer and speculative selling. The 2006-07 marketing year should produce a world surplus of Sugar of between 2 and 4 million metric tons, due to bumper crops in India and Thailand. Read More....

Cattle Futures Stampede Higher.

Cattle futures stampede higher. Lows in place? December Live Cattle futures posted sharp gains, as strong cash market sales, higher boxed beef prices, and short-covering by small speculators all contributed to today's rally. For the past two weeks, December Cattle prices have been mired in a nearly 200-point trading range, with solid buying found near 86.75 and producer selling at 88.50. Read More....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Daily FX Wrap

The US Dollar posted early morning gains today, as traders took long positions before Wednesday’s FOMC interest rate announcement. Many experts expect the Fed to reiterate its concern about rising U.S. inflationary pressures. The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady at 5.25 percent for the third consecutive meeting, so the Fed's accompanying statement will remain the focus of the market's attention. Turing to the Japanese Yen, Japan's vice-minister for international affairs Hiroshi Watanabe stated "I see no reason for a further deterioration in the yen given the strength in the Japanese economy," Watanabe continued to say that he had little fear of the economy "tipping" any time in the next two years. Japan's current economic expansion is on-track to become the longest in the postwar era. Look for position squaring to be the feature of Tuesday’s trade, as traders await the Fed’s announcement.

Euro Falls Againist the Dollar

The Euro fell against the Dollar to open this week's trading. Speculation of an interest rate hike and FOMC comments due this week are fueling Dollar longs to build positions now. Traders are expecting hawkish Fed comments, highlighting inflation and easing the need for any rate cuts. Read More....

Zinc On The Rise

Zinc on the rise: Base metals remain among the best performing commodities of 2006 with all-time highs being made in several members of the group. Zinc futures have been one of the leaders, with continually falling inventories and solid demand keeping prices well supported. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: December Crude Oil contracts are trading lower in pre-market trading. Traders are showing doubt that the OPEC production cuts are going to be fully carried out. Many believe the oil cartel will have difficulty enforcing such cuts from its members, and have proven in the past they can have difficulties sticking to their quotas. The production cuts are meant to provide some support to a contract that has seen a $20 sell-off since its peak in late July. However, it does not seem like the cuts are going to be enough to raise Crude Oil to previous levels. December Crude Oil futures are currently trading down 94 cents at $58.39 a barrel.

Corn: December Corn futures traded lower in the overnight session. Overbought conditions along with declines in Gold and Crude Oil are lending strength to the weakness. Friday saw Corn end a choppy day of trading with a 3 ¼ cent decline. The eastern Corn Belt saw moderate rain over the weekend, and there is more rain in the forecast for the next few days. This should slow harvest in the east, but the western part of the Corn Belt should remain dry and actively harvested. December Corn futures on the eCBOT fell 5 cents, to end the overnight session at $307.75 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower ahead of earnings. Traders are waiting for the release of quarterly earnings from the likes of Texas Instruments and AT&T. Ford Motor Company has already listed third quarter earnings this morning. The second-largest U.S. automaker posted a preliminary third-quarter loss of $5.8 billion. About one-third of companies listed in the S&P 500 are scheduled to release earnings this week. Traders are also cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve interest rate decision due out Wednesday. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 3.40 at 1371.50 in pre-market trading.

Friday, October 20, 2006

OPEC Production Cut Fails To Stop Oil's Slide

OPEC production cuts fails to stop Oil's slide: Ample US Crude supplies overshadowed expected OPEC production cuts in traders' minds, as Oil prices continue to fall. Traders remain skeptical the Oil cartel will be able to reign in production by the 1.2 million barrels announced in yesterday's emergency meeting in Qatar. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

The US Dollar was shackled to tight ranges this week while major players were benched from a series of economic reports and next Tuesday’s US interest rate decision. Wednesday’s Philadelphia Federal Reserve report came in a disappointing -.07% which was drastically below analyst’s’ expectations of a gain at +7.8. In addition to the FOMC meetings, next week's US data include new and existing home sales, durable goods and third quarter GDP numbers. Euro / Dollar started out the week at 1.2490 and rose to close out the week near 1.2620. Across the pond, the Pound came off earlier highs against the Euro but remained at two-week highs against the Greenback. Supporting the Pound was strong third quarter UK GDP figures which all but assured a Bank of England interest rate hike at the next Monetary Policy Committee on Nov 9. XPRESSTRADE Analyst David Hilgeman

Dollar Heads Into the Weekend In a Tight Range

The Dollar heads into the weekend within a very tight 40-pip range, topping out at 1.2642 after slipping against the Euro overnight. The short-lived bull Dollar rally ended yesterday with a failure to break through resistance. Disappointing data from the Philly Fed and OPEC's decision to cut Crude Oil production by over 1M barrels, with more production cuts expected, stymied the greenback from gaining any further ground. Read More....

Coffee Futures at a Crossroads

Coffee futures at a crossroads: Coffee prices have languished near $1 per pound for the past several sessions, as traders weigh current ample supplies vs. a cyclical low point for the Brazilian 2007-08 crop. Current estimates for next year's Coffee crop are for a harvest around 36.5 million bags compared to this seasons 41.6 million bags. Read More.....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading higher in pre-market trading, in the wake of the long-awaited OPEC meeting. OPEC announced that it would cut output by a greater-than-expected 1.2 million barrels per day. The cuts are scheduled to go into effect on November 1. Some members of the cartel have even suggested that they are willing to cut more to help support prices. There is some doubt, however, that some of the members will actually go through with the cuts. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 30 cents at $58.80 a barrel.

Wheat: December Wheat futures traded higher in the overnight session. The overnight gains took back some of yesterday’s late-day sell-off. December Wheat futures still managed to end the day in positive territory with a 4 cent gain, but came 16 cents off the highs before the closing bell. The overnight strength came after Egypt announced it would tender for 55,000 60,000 tonnes of U.S., Canadian, Australian, and/or German Wheat. December Wheat futures on the eCBOT gained 7 cents, to end the overnight session at $520.00 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower after disappointing earnings from Caterpillar (CAT). The Dow Jones component not only missed their 3rd quarter earnings, they also gave a disappointing future outlook by noting a slowing U.S. economy. Also contributing to this morning’s weakness is OPEC’s decision to cut production by more than the 1.2 million barrels a day that was expected. This morning’s declines have reversed overnight gains that saw the S&P trade as high as 1376.80 behind strength in the European markets. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 1.30 at 1373.00 in pre-market trading.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Speculative Buying Lifts Cocoa Prices!

Speculative buying lifts Cocoa prices: A commodity based rally, weaker US Dollar and slow movement of Cocoa in the Ivory Coast, gave speculators plenty of reasons to buy Cocoa futures this morning. Prices started the day higher following a stronger market in London, with local short-covering and some speculative buying setting the early tone. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

The US Dollar softens against the majors today, ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia index. Business conditions fell to -0.7 according to the report, which shocked analysts who had been expecting a rise to 7.0. This current news has led many experts to believe interest rates will not be lowered for the rest of the year. The economic data from the US continues to be mixed, with the unexpected bump in housing starts tempering fears of a hard landing for the economy. The September CPI data was consistent with the PPI report, which reflected sharp declines in energy costs. Markets are expecting the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) to continue to leave rates unchanged when it deliberates next week, but will pay particular attention to the statements from Fed officials after the announcement. The Euro climbed as high as 1.2642 before slipping back to close at 1.2625, up almost 0.8 percent from late Wednesday's close. XPRESSTRADE Analyst David Hilgeman

It Just Keeps Getting Better

It just keeps getting better for the U.S. economy, however, that doesn't always translate to Dollar strength in the currency market! Jobless claims took and unexpected dip this morning, down by 10,000 compared to last week. The Labor Department said a seasonally adjusted 299,000 workers filed new claims for state unemployment insurance benefits in the week ended Oct. 14, down from 309,000. Read More....

Oil Remains Range-Bound Ahead of OPEC Meeting

Oil remains range-bound ahead of OPEC meeting: An expected one million barrel production cut by OPEC members apparently will not be enough to stop the slide in Oil prices, as traders instead focused on yesterday's weekly EIA energy stocks report, which showed US Oil inventories rising by a much larger than expected 5.1 million barrels last week. Read More.....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are little changed in pre-market trading. Traders continue to hold their collective breaths for today’s OPEC meeting over production cuts. Trading has been muted most of the week, with today’s meeting holding traders in a neutral stance. Expect volatility to increase sharply once OPEC divulges the results of their meeting. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 20 cents at $57.85 a barrel.

Soybeans: November Soybean futures rose in the overnight session, adding to yesterday’s gains. Yesterday marked the second consecutive day the contract settled above 6.00. November Soybean futures ended the day up 4 cents at $604.50 a bushel. The overnight session saw a continuation of the previous two-day gains, extending itself further above the 6.00 mark. November Soybeans ended the overnight session up 8 ¼ cents at 612.75 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are little changed after mixed earnings results. Phizer (PFE), Apple (AAPL) and Coca-Cola (KO) all beat forecasts. Citigroup (C) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) beat estimates, but posted a 23% profit decline on flat revenue. Also playing on the index markets today will be the Dow Jones activity near the 12,000 mark. After trading to new all-time highs yesterday, the index pared early gains to settle just under 12,000 at 11,992.68. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 1.30 at 1371.20 in pre-market trading.

Cattle Mooovin on Up!!

Cattle moovin' on up! After hitting 3-month lows last week, December Live Cattle has started to move higher, as signs of a near-term low are starting to emerge. Wholesale beef prices have started to increase with the USDA reporting choice beef cutout values up 81cents this morning. Read More....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

After climbing to a top of 1.2558 on hawkish comments from the European Central Bank’s Klaus Liebscher, EUR/USD quickly fell to a low of 1.2500 in the wake of a worse-than-expected trade report. ECB’s Liebscher said the central bank would act to preempt second round effects, but also said he sees inflation risks from taxes, administrative prices and wages. Liebscher continued by saying that there is no reason to change market expectations, which implies that an expected rate hike could be made before the end of the year. Although the news was taken more harshly than expected the over all resolve of the Euro kept its loss to only 50 pips and showed a strong surge near the end of the trading day closing out at 1.2530.

Turning to the US dollar the final inflation report for September was issued by the labor Department this morning. Many traders were looking the dollar to loose ground and start a momentum trend but the dollar held fairly firm against the majors. Europe had its own negative news which counteracted a possible US Dollar fall-out. The Japanese Yen did not have a positive day by loosing ground against the Dollar. This may be a temporary retraction because the Yen is on a roll with positive inflation and economic growth reports from early in the week. XPRESSTRADE Analyst David Hilgeman

Dollar Gaining Againist the Euro

This morning the Labor Department reported the Consumer Price Index declined by 0.5% for September, which was better than the 0.3 % decrease traders were expecting. It was the biggest decline since a 0.7 % dip in November of 2005, and reflected a substantial 7.2% decrease in energy prices and services. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading slightly lower in pre-market activity, as traders speculate that U.S. inventories are growing. The weekly release of U.S. petroleum supply data is due out later this morning. However, traders are still remaining cautious ahead of tomorrow’s OPEC meeting to discuss production cuts. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading down 30 cents at $58.63 a barrel.

Wheat: December Wheat futures fell in the overnight session, adding to yesterday’s losses. Yesterday, December Wheat futures at the CBOT closed down 11 ½ cents at 531.00 a bushel. Some long over-due rain in Australia, coupled with good weather forecasts in the U.S., have helped ease recent buying pressure. December Wheat futures on the eCBOT ended the overnight session down 9 cents at $522.00 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading higher after reports from Intel and IBM beat earnings estimates. Yahoo’s earnings matched expectations, and Motorola missed by a penny. Giving the futures an additional boost this morning was tame inflation data from the CPI report. Total CPI fell 0.5% in September, more than the estimated 0.3%. The closely watched Core CPI rose 0.2%, coming in-line with estimates. December S&P 500 futures are trading up 5.60 at 1377.30 in early trading.

Canadian Currency Slump

Canadian currency slump: Canadian Dollar futures fell to 3-month lows yesterday, as lower energy and commodity prices, a dovish interest rate outlook by the Bank of Canada, and momentum selling have all weighed on the Loonie. The Canadian Dollar peaked back in May, when energy prices were near their peak and it looked like $80 a barrel oil was near. Read More....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

Over the past few months all the majors have been trading in some of the smallest ranges in history. Hope for a major move may be close at hand. Currently, the Japanese Yen looks poised to make a move against the US Dollar. Strong Yen fundamental came in a series of news reports. Yesterday The Bank of Russia announced it will be adding the Yen to the countries foreign exchange reserve. This news coupled with a strong Japanese Stock Market could give the Yen the reason to move sharply higher. Japan itself has been moving its own currency holdings away from the Dollar by adding the Euro and swapping their US Bond holdings for their own Government Bonds. As the dollar weakens due to negative US economic reports, many analyst are wondering how many more countries are going to be following suite to diversity away from US currency. Tomorrow a report on the US housing Statistics is expected to show a decline in the over all value of existing house prices and another decline on new building permits. On a positive note, bearish news for the Dollar has, so far, only had a slight effect verse the Euro. A slight rise of only 15 pips indicates there may still be strong support for the Dollar. Starting the day at a 1.2530 level the EUR / USD shot to a high of 1.2565 before finishing out the day at 1.2545.

Sugar Soars!

Sugar soars! March Sugar surged to 4-week highs this morning, as shorts ran for cover once solid overhead resistance gave way. Following a higher opening in London, New York Sugar futures opened above key resistance at 11.90 in the March contract. This caused a flurry of buy stops to be triggered, along with momentum buying by speculative accounts. Read More....

Boosted Dollar This Morning!

The Dollar got a boost this morning from an unexpected 0.6% increase in U.S. September core producer price data. The median estimate by economists predicted a 0.7% decline overall for the index, compared to an August gain of 0.1%. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading slightly higher in pre-market activity, as the contract holds above the $60 a barrel mark. Traders continue to anxiously await an OPEC meeting later in the week. The meeting will center on production cuts in an effort to support recently falling Crude Oil prices. The first cold weather forecast of the season in the United States is also lending early support. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 20 cents at $60.14 a barrel.

Corn: December Corn futures rose in the overnight session. The market continued the late-day rally it saw on Monday, as Corn found support from a continually surging Wheat market. Helping support the bulls is weather reports of cold and rain for much of the Midwest United States. Today might see a battle of bulls and bears, as technical traders are begging to talk of overbought conditions. December Corn futures on the eCBOT ended the overnight session up 6 ¼ cents at $323.00 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower in the wake of PPI data that missed expectations. September PPI fell 1.3%, versus expectations of 0.7%. The decline was overshadowed by the closely watched core PPI, which rose 0.6%. The rise is well above the consensus core rise of 0.2%. Traders are also wary ahead of earnings from Intel (INTC) and Yahoo (YHOO) after the close tonight. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 4.10 at 1372.00 in early trading.

Ten-Year Notes Near Turning Point?

Ten-year notes near turning point? The Treasury complex rally stopped dead in its tracks earlier this month, as a surprise upward revision in September payrolls took the notion of a possible rate cut by the Federal Reserve this year out of traders' minds. December Ten-year note futures plunged nearly 2-full points since the report, as speculators moved out of fixed income and into a booming US stock market. Read More....

Monday, October 16, 2006

Copper Futures Climbing

Copper futures climbed to its highest levels since early September, as spillover buying from other base metals hit the Copper ring. Much of today's rally was based on an improving technical picture, with December Copper running buy stops above previous resistance levels of $3.4500 and $3.5210. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

The Dollar held steady against major currencies as the Greenback continues to look for direction. Many traders are expecting a large move after this period of consolidation has ended. Moving to the land of the rising sun, the Japanese Yen is looking quite bullish from a number of different angles. First, the Russian Central Bank announced that it was adding the Yen and possibly other currencies to its foreign exchange reserves. Next, the Tokyo Stock Exchange closed up 156.22 points, or 0.94%, at 16,692.76- the best finish since May 11th. This surge in Japanese stocks could see an increase in investment from overseas investors, further supporting the Yen. Tomorrow morning will see the release of the PPI figures for September, with traders looking for an decline of 0.7% on the headline number and an increase of 0.2% for the “core” figure. XPRESSTRADE Analyst David Hilgeman

JPY Moves!

The gains in the JYP came rushing in after the Russian Central Bank announced that it was adding JYP and possibly other currencies to its reserve. The USD / JYP have yet to break any key technical levels, and many experts think that this is a situation that will not last long. Read More....

Bottom Forming in Sugar?

Bottom forming in Sugar? After dropping over 7 cents a pound since July, Sugar futures are starting to find some support around the 11-cent level. Improved production estimates from Brazil, Thailand, and India have analysts looking for a Sugar surplus in the 2006-07 marketing year. Speculators have been holding a net-long position in Sugar futures since the middle of 2005, and the recent sell-off has seen this position cut by over 80%! Read More....

Markets To Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading mixed in early trading. Prices were slightly higher in the early morning hours, as OPEC announced it will meet later this week to discuss production quotas. Futures have since pared the early gains, and are trading relatively flat leading up to the opening bell. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading down 15 cents at $58.42 a barrel.

Wheat: December Wheat futures ended a week of heavy gains on Friday, closing up 61 ½ cents on the week. Export worries from Australia and the Ukraine, along with a bullish USDA report led to the massive rally. December futures continued the bull market in overnight trading. A dry forecast for Australia continues to raise concerns that their outlook will continue to deteriorate. December Wheat futures on the eCBOT ended the overnight session up 5 ¾ cents at $531.25 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading relatively flat in pre-market trading. The market has been unable to establish a direction, with no major earnings announcements until tomorrow, and no major economic news releases today. Traders are also awaiting Fed Chairman Bernanke’s speech today at 1:30 ET. The December S&P 500 futures contract is trading down 0.70 at 1372.90 in pre-market trading.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crude Prices Climb

Crude prices Climb: Oil futures ended the week on a high note, as speculative short-covering tied to cold weather in the eastern half of the US and a production stoppage at two Oil platforms in Norway gave the Crude market a boost. Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority halted production at Statoil's Snorre A platform and Vigdis oil-field, along with Royal Dutch Shell's Draugen platform due to safety reasons. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

The Dollar rallied against it counterparts today, closing out the week on a strong note. The Canadian Dollar was one of the major victims of the "Greenbacks "surge, as Statistics Canada reported that New Motor sales grew 2.8% last month vs. a 3.0% rise that most analysts' expected. It will be interesting to see if the Dollar's ends of the week momentum can carryover to next week. XPRESSTRADE Analyst David Hilgeman

Another Interest Hike Possible for Japan?

Fundamental news out of Japan this morning includes Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui stating another interest rate hike is possible in 2006. His comments spurred a rally in Yen against major currencies overnight, and pushed government bonds to one-month lows. Read More....

Markets To Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading higher in early trading, after Norway shut down production at two offshore platforms. The platform shutdowns will sharply reduce output from the world’s third-largest oil exporter; estimates are by about 280,000 barrels a day. Also lending to the early support was yesterday’s news that U.S. Heating Oil inventories fell last week to 1.5 million barrels. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 81 cents at $58.67 a barrel.

Corn: December Corn futures reacted sharply yesterday, after the release of the USDA report. The report showed Corn production at 10.905 billion bushels, missing estimates of 11.137 billion bushels. This news saw the front-month contract open the session limit-up, before falling off to settle up 14 ¼ cents at $298.25 a bushel. Overnight action saw additional gains. The eCBOT December Corn contract finished the overnight session up 2 ½ cents at $300.75 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower in pre-market trading, as traders react to news that GE has narrowed its earnings forecast for 2006. Retail Sales also missed estimates to add to the negative pre-market sentiment. September Retail Sales fell 0.4%, missing estimates of 0.2% increases. Sales excluding autos, which were expected to be flat, fell 0.5%. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 1.70 at 1369.00.

Traders Are Getting All Juiced Up

Traders getting all juiced-up! Orange Juice futures soared to 16-year highs yesterday, as the USDA expects another poor Florida Orange crop. The USDA estimated that the 2006-07 Florida Orange crop will total 135 million 90-pound boxes, well below this year's 147.9 million boxes, and at the low end of analysts' estimates. Read More...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Corn Squeeze!

Corn squeeze! December Corn shot-up the 20-cent limit today, as the USDA reported a surprising cut in 2006-07 US Corn production and yields this morning. 2006-07 Corn production was estimated at 10.905 billion bushels, down over 200 million bushels from the average analysts' estimate. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

The US dollar remained largely unchanged today against its major counterparts, with the EUR/USD stuck in a narrow 50-pip range. The widely watched Beige Book , was released this afternoon with the Federal Reserve, reporting that a quarter of the districts reported firming growth, with the balance showing moderate or mixed growth. Housing was reported as weak in all districts, but consumer spending has increased in some areas of the country.
Some economists expect US economic growth to slow to around 2.0 pct in the third quarter from 2.6 pct in the second, marking an abrupt slowdown from the 5.6 pct growth notched up in the first three months of the year. By XPRESSTRADE Futures Analyst David Hilgeman

"Friendly" USDA Report For Soybeans

"Friendly" USDA report for Soybeans: Soybean futures have been the weak sister of the grain complex, lagging the spectacular gains of the Wheat market, and lacking the energy component of the Corn market. However, this morning's USDA crop production and supply/demand report could help the Bean market in the short-term. Read More....

Inflation Fears Despite Positive Retail Sales

Inflation fears dominated FOMC comments yesterday, despite positive retail sales and a new low for the federal deficit and trade balance reports. Friday's consumer spending report may be higher than expected, spurring further strength for the Dollar against the Euro. Read More....

Markets To Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading mixed in the pre-market session. Traders are waiting for the release of the U.S. Fuel Inventories Report due later this morning. Crude Oil inventories are expected to gain about 500,000 barrels, while stocks of distillates are expected to gain about 400,000 barrels a day. November Crude Oil futures are currently trading up 13 cents at $57.72 a barrel.

Wheat: December Wheat futures closed yesterday’s trading limit-up once again, as the bull market continues. The overnight session saw several large swings in December Wheat on the eCBOT, as the contract went limit-up to $551.00 a bushel early in the session, before selling-off. The December Wheat contract on the eCBOT ended the overnight session up 3 cents at $534.00 bushel. The July Wheat contract ended the overnight session down 3 ¼ cents at $440.75 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading higher in pre-market trading, as traders react to positive earnings and dropping Crude Oil prices. Strong earnings were reported this morning from Costco Wholesale Corp., Harley-Davidson Inc., and PepsiCo Inc. Crude Oil futures are also trading lower in the overnight session. December S&P 500 futures are trading up 3.60 points, at 1362.70.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WWS: World Wheat Shortage?

WWS: World Wheat Shortage? That is the phrase on traders' minds, as once again old crop CBOT Wheat futures closed up the 30-cent limit. A severe drought is decimating the Australian Wheat Crop, with some estimates calling for a nearly 75% reduction in this year's production vs. last year's totals. Read More...

FX Daily Wrap Up

The Dollar edged higher against the Euro and Yen today, after the Federal Reserve released the minutes from their September policy meeting. Fed officials remain “quite concerned” about upside inflation risks despite 17 consecutive 25-basis point rate increases. Last month, the Fed held interest rates steady at 5.25% stating that slower growth was expected to help cut inflation over the next few months. Today, the Dollar dropped 60 pips early in the afternoon closing out the day hovering near the 1.2500 level. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s EIA Petroleum stocks reports, continued ample Crude Oil supplies should support the US Dollar in the near term.

Rumors of More Nuclear Testing Pushes Yen Down

Rumors of another North Korean nuclear test sent the Yen down in the Asian session. It turned out that seismic activity attributed to the rumor was, in fact, a small earthquake, and not another test by the communist country. Read More....

No Soft Landing For Cotton

No soft landing for Cotton! Another day, another contract low for Cotton futures, as traders continue to flee the market ahead of tomorrow's USDA crop production and supply/demand report. Trade houses, who would usually support the market on price dips, have been notably quiet of late, as US Cotton exports have been lackluster at best. Read More....

Markets To Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are trading higher in the pre-market session, as OPEC has finally announced production cuts. OPEC’s president Edmund Daukoru announced production cuts of 1 million barrels per day in order to help support prices. The cuts are due to begin at the end of the month. November Crude Oil futures are trading up 14 cents, at $58.66 a barrel in early trading.

Wheat: Wheat futures closed yesterday’s trading session mixed, after a day of choppy trading. The December contract opened yesterday’s session limit-up, before falling off its highs to settle at $501.00 a bushel, up 7 cents. The July contract ended the day down 15 cents at $469.00 a bushel. The overnight session was uneventful, after two days of volatility. The December Wheat contract on the eCBOT ended the overnight session up ½ cent at $501.50 bushel. The July Wheat contract ended the overnight session down ¼ cent at $454.50 a bushel.1

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower in pre-market trading, as earnings season has officially begun. Alcoa, the first major company to release third quarter earnings, missed expectations on Tuesday. Futures were also affected by Crude Oil’s overnight rise, after OPEC announced production cuts. December S&P 500 futures are trading down 3.70 at 1357.00 in pre-market trading.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sugar Buzz!

Sugar Buzz! After making contract lows at 10.65 last week, March Sugar futures have been on a bullish tear of late, gaining over 1 cent the past several sessions. Today was no exception, as trade and fund buying sent prices to two-week highs. Strong White Sugar prices in London spilled over to the New York session, as prices gapped higher on the opening. Read More....

FX Daily Wrap Up

With large moves early in the morning, the majors traded relative flat pushing into the afternoon session. Among the few indicators today, wholesales inventories and sales received the greatest amount of attention. Often used as a leading indicator to the retail sales gauge for the same month, August inventories at wholesale level grew 1.1 percent to $386.6 billion. The Dollar had a 100-point rally today against the Euro sending the pair to a 3-month low. The largest move of the day came from a 180 point drop in the Pound/Dollar which sank to a two-and a-half month low near 1.8525. Another notable mover was Dollar/Yen which rallied to 119.80, the highs for the year. By XPRESSTRADE Analyst David Hilgeman

Markets To Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts fell back below $60 a barrel in the overnight session. Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest state-owned oil company by output, announced it will ship full volumes to Asia in November. November Crude Oil futures fell as low as 71 cents, to $59.25 a barrel. It is currently trading down 48 cents, at 59.48 a barrel.

Wheat: Wheat futures followed yesterday’s price-limit move, by going limit-up again in overnight trading. December wheat is now trading at a significant premium to July. The old crop/new crop spread settled with a premium to the December contract of 14 cents. That spread widened in overnight trading. In the overnight session, December Wheat futures on the eCBOT rose the daily price limit of 30 cents, at 524.00 a bushel. July Wheat futures on the eCBOT ended the overnight session down 10.75 cents, at 468.25 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading flat to slightly higher in pre-market trading. Traders are anxiously awaiting the start of the third quarter earnings season. Alcoa, a Dow Jones component releases earnings today. Wholesale inventories is the only economic release today. A 0.6 percent rise is expected, after a 0.8 percent rise last month. December S&P 500 futures were trading up 0.50 at 1359.70 leading up to the opening bell.

Strong CAD Againist the USD

The Canadian Dollar remains a strong currency against the greenback, emerging from last Friday's sluggish trading. The loonie finds support from higher metal and energy prices, and a possible OPEC cut in Crude Oil production. Read More....

Lean Hog (Bulls) Get Slaughtered!

Lean Hog (bulls) get slaughtered! Lean Hog futures closed at their lowest levels since August, as weak cash prices and commodity fund selling have put prices on the defensive. Cash Hog quotes fell nearly $2 per hundred weight on Monday, as pork processors are holding back on purchases due to lower profit margins. Read More....

Ground Beef

Ground Beef: Live Cattle futures had a rough start to the week, falling to 10-week lows today, as sharply higher grain prices coupled with weak packer demand put bears firmly in control. Commodity funds were active sellers, especially once the December contract fell below the 100-day moving average. Read More....

Monday, October 09, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

With holidays in Canada, USA and Japan, European statistics did little to change the over all direction of the currency markets. From the European finalized PPI report for September, prices charged by producers decreased 0.3% in September and only 1.8% for the year to date. This represents the lowest gain since December 2005. Many analysts were expecting a 0.1% monthly increase and a 2.0% for the year. In England, inflationary pressures are not as strong as they had been forecasted, although this does not seem to be reason enough for the Bank of England to approve another rate hike to 5.0% by the end of the year. The major pairs were trading in tight ranges today. The EUR/USD had a range just below 80 pips along with the USD/JYP trading in a range of only 50 pips. With all this consolidation, many experts believe that a major move is waiting just under the surface….

Lows In For Lumber

Lows in for Lumber? As the US housing market continues to slow, Lumber futures have been hard hit, losing over $100 per 1,000 board feet since April. During the decline, there was talk that Lumber prices could fall below $200, as demand dwindled. However, no market goes straight down, and Lumber futures surged on Friday, as commodity fund buying and speculative short-covering sent prices up the $10 limit. Read More....

Markets To Watch

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts rose back above $60 a barrel in early trading on Monday, as the market reacts to North Korea’s nuclear test. The market is also awaiting an announcement from OPEC, with their decision whether or not to cut production. After dropping below $60 a barrel on Friday, November Crude Oil futures are currently trading higher at $60.47 a barrel, up 71 cents.

Wheat: Wheat futures traded higher in the overnight session, ending the early session up 20 cents. A dry weather report for the upcoming week in Australia is behind the buying effort. This is raising fears that the Australian crop will be under 10 million tonnes, much less than the 25 million tonnes it produced last year. December Wheat futures from the eCBOT ended the overnight session up 20 cents, at a price of $484.00 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures are trading lower in early trading on Monday, as the market reacts to North Korea’s announcement of a successful nuclear test. This is the first-ever nuclear test for the rogue state, and it increases already high political tensions. This news should be the main event behind today’s trading action, as volume is expected to be light on the Columbus Day holiday. Financial and Interest Rate products are closed today. December S&P 500 futures were trading at 55.80 in early action Monday, down 3.00 from Friday’s settlement price of 1358.80. The contract hit a low of 1354.20, down 4.60, when the announcement of the nuclear test was released.

Bears Squeezing Out Profits In Orange Juice

Bears squeezing out profits in Orange Juice: Long speculators started to throw in the towel on their O.J. positions today, as the market fell through key support levels, triggering pre-placed sell-stops along the way. The O.J. market was already showing signs of weakness this past week, as prices traded below both the 20 and 50-day moving averages. Read More....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

After almost two months of next to non-existent volatility in the majors, the Dollar took a leap on an otherwise disappointing employment report. With many of the majors already pushing-up against major levels in their respective charts, it seemed the infusion of any sort of volatility was needed to fuel Dollar favorable runs.

EUR / USD early morning trading ranges were trapped in a 30 point range, hovering around the 1.2685 level. When the highly anticipated payroll report hit, an initial spike of 50 pips made the day’s high at 1.2718 before the pair took a huge plunge to 1.2572 and then finished out the day in at 1.2594. On a positive note, this may be the start of a rise in volatility, and hopefully a better trending market going forth.

Columbus Day Holiday Trading Schedule

Non- Farm Payroll Non Event!

Non-farm payroll Non-event! The Labor Department reports that employers added 51,000 jobs in September, the fewest in 11 months, bringing the unemployment rate to 4.6 percent. The Eurocurrency made a very modest move on the report to 1.2635. Read More....

Markets To Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil contracts are little changed in overnight trading, as OPEC ponders production cuts. Traders are cautiously awaiting word from Saudi Arabia with their stance on the cuts. Nigeria and Venezuela have already announced cutbacks of 170,000 barrels a day. November Crude Oil futures fell 5 cents, to $59.98 a barrel in pre-market trading.

Wheat: Wheat futures traded higher in the overnight session, gaining back some of yesterday’s losses. December Wheat at the CBOT settled 1 cent lower yesterday, at a price of $4.64 a bushel. Trading hit a contract high of $4.87 a bushel, before selling-off into the close. The overnight session has seen bulls return, as CBOT December Wheat futures finished the overnight session up 3.50 cents at a price of $467.50 a bushel.

S&P: December S&P 500 futures traded lower going into the opening bell, on lower-than-expected non-farm payroll figures. The job report showed non-farm payroll gains of 51,000, much less than the expected 120,000. There was an upward revision for the prior month to 188,000 from 128,000. Hourly earnings rose 0.2%, below the 0.3% estimate, and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6% from 4.7%. These figures have weakened the market on fears that the economy may be slowing. December S&P 500 futures were trading at a price of 1358.00, down 2.80 at the opening bell.

Job Growth Slows in September

Job growth slows in September: The month of September was not kind to the workforce, as the Labor Department announced that non-farm payrolls grew by an anemic 51,000 jobs last month. This figure was well below the average analyst estimate of a gain of 120,000 jobs. Read More....

Cocoa Climbs

Cocoa climbs: Cocoa futures appear to be ready to break out of their recent slump, with speculative buying tied to strong CRB index, sending prices to 1-week highs. Short-covering buy stops were seen being triggered once the December contract broke past resistance at 1480. Today's rally was particularly impressive given a stronger US Dollar vs. the Euro Currency. Read More....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Daily FX Wrap Up

The Euro traded lower against the Dollar and Yen today after the European Central Bank president signaled that interest rates will rise once more this year, but provided no clear signal on any further euro-zone tightening. In early morning trading the Euro slid to a low of 1.2670 before climbing to the close at 1.2690

Looking north of the Border, the Canadian dollar put the brakes on the dollar’s rise against its northern brothers today as a batch of strong data was helped along by a modest rebound in energies. The Loonie was supported by bullish fundamental data released this week. Building permits were up first. According to Statistics Canada, filings to break ground on new building grew 8.3 percent to c$5.78 billion. This was way beyond the predicted 1.0% and has the distinction of the second highest value of permits in history. Second was a favorable Ivey Purchasing Managers Index. The September report of business and government spending fell just shy of expectations to 59.9, but the increase over August’s 55.7 was more than enough to attract bulls. In the next week this pair should be an exciting one to watch……..

Markets to Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil continued to rise in overnight trading, following yesterday’s gain of 73 cents. News that OPEC will be making its first output cut since 2004 has the November Crude Oil contract trading up $1.35 at $60.76 a barrel in pre-market trading.

Wheat: Wheat futures traded higher in overnight trading, continuing yesterday’s late-day rally. Yesterday, CBOT December Wheat futures gained 25 ½ cents, to settle at $4.68 a bushel. The near limit-up move came in a late-day surge, as analysts used an Egyptian purchase of Soft Red Wheat and fund buying as the catalyst for the up-move. December CBOT Wheat futures ended the overnight session trading up 1 cent at $4.66 a bushel.

S&P 500: December S&P futures traded flat to slightly lower leading up to the market opening. The only data released this morning was initial jobless claims, which carries much less weight than the unemployment number due out tomorrow. Traders remain cautious entering the trading day, after seeing the Dow Jones reach all-time highs in yesterday’s trading. December S&P futures were trading at 1357.80, down 0.50 going into the opening bell.

It's All About Interest Rates!

It's all about interest rates today as two decisions were announced, but there was little market reaction to the news. The Bank of England let interest rates rest at 4.75% after the last 25 bps hike in August. The Pound remains strong against the Euro and Dollar even though there was a small dip after the announcement. Read More....

Will Gold Give Back 2006 Gains?

Will Gold give back 2006 gains? Where are all the Gold bugs? That is the question being asked by Gold traders, who are seeing nearly all of this year's price gains vanish, as speculators are exiting the Gold market. Fears of a slowing world economy have taken the "inflation factor" out of the Gold market, with sharply lower Oil prices, a stronger US Dollar, and easing political tensions with Iran also contributing to the recent sell-off. Read More....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Egypt Buy Wheat, Bears Retreat!

Egypt buys Wheat, bears retreat! Chicago Wheat futures skyrocketed higher, touching the 30-cent limit late in the session, as Egypt announced a purchase of 115,000 metric tons of US Soft Red Wheat. This news, combined with Iraq's purchase of 100,000 tons of Hard Red Wheat, gave traders reason to believe that US Wheat exports will soon pick-up. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap Up

After giving back all of Tuesday’s gains in the early morning training hours, the Euro rallied against the dollar to finish out at 1.2715. Earlier in the week, the Euro had received favorable news from the Purchasing Managers Index, which helped push the Euro to a 105-pip gain. Adding to the seesaw effect, Kansas City Federal Reserve Chief Thomas Hoenig gave a favorable opinion about the US Economy while the Dow Jones Index’s soared to a record breaking close. Current support for the EUR/USD is seen at 1.2665, with resistance found at 1.2760. For the past month, EUR/USD has traded between 1.2635 and 1.2830, lulling just about every market participant to sleep in the process. However, periods of low volatility are often followed by breakouts, so now would be the time to keep an eye on price action. It is exciting to note that this is the tightest the trading range has ever been for EUR/USD (since the advent of the euro in 1999). Going back 10-years with synthetic prices, there are only two instances when volatility was this low – December 1996 and August 1998. Both instances led to breakouts within 2-weeks producing moves of over 1,000 pips in less than 2-months.

Another Range Bound Session For The Dollar

Trading against the Dollar has been slowing on foreign exchange through mid-week. Projects of a weak ADP for U.S. payroll report, due this Friday, caused a little ripple to the downside for the Dollar against the Eurocurrency. Read More....

Markets to Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil dropped again on Tuesday, this time falling well below $60 a barrel. On a day with no news to provide price support, traders continued to pound on Crude Oil futures. With Nigeria and Venezuela only cutting production by 170,000 barrels a day, the market has eased fears of production cuts. OPEC does not meet until December 14, and there is increasing speculation that it is not in OPEC’s best interest to make cuts in order to keep Crude Oil above $60 a barrel. Such action could curb demand, and re-intensify calls for alternative energy exploration. November Crude Oil futures fell $2.35, to settle at $58.68 a barrel.

Corn: Corn futures fell on Tuesday, as profit-takers took control of the trading action. With Monday’s low volume rally providing technical traders with an overdone outlook, Corn futures were unable to hold onto Monday’s gains. December Corn futures fell 3 ¾ cents, to settle at $2.64 a bushel.

Gold: Gold futures fell again on Tuesday, closing at its lowest price since September 15. The front month November contract blew through any remaining support at $600 a troy once, closing well below the psychologically important mark. Once again, Gold futures found themselves being dragged lower by falling Crude Oil prices. The three session sell-off has totaled more than $29 a troy ounce. December Gold futures fell $21.80, to settle at $581.50 a troy ounce.

What Hurricane Season?

What hurricane season? Crude Oil bulls still recall how energy prices surged in 2005, as a record Atlantic hurricane season wreaked havoc on production in the Gulf of Mexico. 2006, however, is a different story. November Crude Oil fell to 7-month lows yesterday, as Colorado State University cut its hurricane forecast due to a developing El Nino weather pattern. Read More....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sugar Sell-Off Continues

Sugar sell-off continues! Sugar, among the best performing markets in 2005 has now become one of the worst, as futures prices continue their slide today. A commodity wide sell-off, tied to sharply lower energy and metals prices had spilled over to the Sugar ring this morning. Read More....

Daily FX Wrap-Up

The dollar managed to pull-out slight gains against both the Euro and the Yen this afternoon, coming back from yesterday's dramatic fall. In the US markets, Crude Oil plunged below $60.00 a barrel, giving a much need break from higher gasoline prices, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied to an all-time high, and produced a reason to look bullish on the US dollar. The big news today remains the soaring Pound. Many professionals were expecting a bit of a retraction after yesterday's 120 pip gain, and while the Euro and the Yen did see a pull back, the Pound stayed firm. GBP is currently trading at 1.8875 vs.the dollar, up another 10 pips from yesterday's stellar performance. Great Britain has had a surge of favorable government reports recently, leading to this stellar run against the greenback. Traders will be looking towards this Friday's US employment report for further clues to the direction of the Dollar.

Weak U.S. Reports Trigger Sell Off

The Dollar is seen consolidating today against the Euro and Yen, after a quick sell off triggered by a weak U.S. manufacturing report for September yesterday. It was a mixed session overall, with traders still looking for clarity on the domestic economic situation and how it may impact Fed policy. Read More....

Wheat Not Yet Ready To Test Contract Highs!

Wheat not quite ready to test contract highs! Soaring European Wheat prices spilled over to the US market, as tight world Wheat ending stocks, due to poor crops in Australia, Argentina, and the US, are helping Chicago Wheat prices stay near contract highs. Read More....

Markets to Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil fell 3% on Monday, amid low-volume trading on the Yom Kippur holiday. Strong U.S. inventories amid easing fears of production cuts from Venezuela and Nigeria factored into the decline. Fears of OPEC cuts were reduced by news that BP was able to restart production at the Lisburne oil field in Alaska. November Crude Oil futures fell $1.88, to settle at $61.03.

Corn: Corn futures rose on Monday, holding onto gains in early trading. Technically motivated buying bolstered prices pre-market trading. This buying activity lent the necessary support to keep Corn in positive territory on the first trading day of the month. Volume was on the light side, as many traders were absent for the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday. December Corn futures gained 5 ¼ cents, to settle at $2.67 ¾ a bushel.

Gold: Gold futures fell on Monday, but remained above the psychologically important $600 barrel mark. Once again Gold futures found itself mirroring moves in Crude Oil, which fell 3% on Monday. Weakness in the U.S. Dollar also factored into Monday’s weakness. December Gold futures fell 90 cents, to settle at $603.30 a troy ounce.

Cold Coffee

Cold Coffee: Someone threw cold water at the recent Coffee rally this morning, as prices gave back all of last week's gains. Speculative selling was to blame for today's sharp drop, with commodity funds adding to an already existing short position, and small speculators being stopped out of their longs once the December contract broke below support points at 105.80 and 105.00. Read More....

Monday, October 02, 2006

FX Closing Comments

The dollar had a tough day slipping in all the majors. A strong Japanese Tankan Report led the charge with the Index for Large Manufacturers rising to 24 from 21. This is its strongest level since the Third Quarter 2004. Apparently, Japanese manufactures are benefiting from strong export performance and industrial production figures. Across the pond a favorable U.K. September manufacturing PMI jumped to 54.4 from 53.0 well above the estimated 52.4. The Euro also received a boost after a closely-watched survey showed euro zone manufacturing growth held firm in September, keeping up with the expectations intact that the European Central Bank would raise interest rates this week to 3.25 percent. The Euro started this weeks trading against the dollar at 1.2665 level and has since rallied to 1.2740.

Can The Canadian Dollar Continue Its Trend

After a relatively muted Asian and European session, dealers await fresh U.S. ISM and Construction Spending data out today at 10:00am Eastern, which may spark some fresh buyers for the Dollar. Other than a smattering of economic news, trading is expected to remain quiet through the week amid speculation over October's Fed meeting. Read More....

Corn Ready To Make Its Move?

Corn ready to make its move? Corn futures have moved higher the past several days, as traders are gearing-up for what many think will be a bullish USDA Corn production report on October 12th. Current estimates are for a drop in this season's production of between 30 and 40 million bushels from last month's estimates. Read More....

Markets to Watch Today

Crude Oil: November Crude Oil fell, ending another choppy day of trading, as traders speculate on whether or not OPEC is going to cut production in an effort to bolster prices. The rumor-mill began on Thursday, as the media released reports that Nigeria will be cutting production on October 1 as part of an OPEC deal. OPEC officials quickly denied this claim, saying there were no plans to cut production anywhere at this time. Uncertainty continued on Friday, as Venezuela told OPEC it plans to cut their Crude Oil output by 50,000 barrels a day. More confusion ensued when Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez later said that oil prices between $50 and $60 were “adequate”. The conflicting statements led to another day of choppy trading for the Crude Oil contract. Early losses saw Crude Oil trade down to $61.45 a barrel in early trading. The Venezuelan reports quickly erased these losses, as November Crude Oil finished the day with a small gain. Friday’s small gain left the contract with its first weekly rise in five weeks. On Friday, November Crude Oil futures had gains of 15 cents, to settle at $62.91 a barrel.

Soybeans: Soybean futures fell on Friday, retracing much of Thursday’s gains. Overbought conditions on Thursday were the underlying factor in Friday’s sell-off. The speculative selling took control after early gains, as favorable weather conditions are expected for this season's harvest. November Soybeans fell 5 ¼ cents, to settle at $5.47 ½ a bushel.

Gold: Gold futures fell on Friday, as technical selling placed a pause in Gold’s recent recovery. A strong U.S. Dollar and a choppy session in Crude Oil helped support Friday’s selling pressure. Technical traders sold on Gold’s inability to break through the $610 mark. December Gold futures fell $6.70, to settle at $604.20 a troy ounce.