Share Prices and Commodity Currencies Higher

March 21, 2011

Few data releases this Monday.  In Japan, which was closed for the Vernal holiday, news was mixed.  While progress was reported in cooling the damaged nuclear reactor, radiation was discovered in food and water there.

Oil prices climbed 1.6% to $102.72 per barrel, as the U.S., France, and Britain engaged in missile strikes in Libya to protect protesting rebels against being massacred by Qaddafi forces.  Other commodities also advanced.  Gold was as high as $1429.30 per ounce and shows a net increase of 0.8% now at $1427.10.  Wheat prices rose more than 2%.  The dollar has declined 0.8%, 0.6%, and 0.5% against the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand currencies.

Equities firmed 1.7% in Hong Kong, 1.6% in Singapore, 1.5% in Thailand, 1.1% in South Korea, 0.7% in Indonesia, 0.4% in Australian and 0.3% in New Zealand but slid 0.3% in China.  The German Dax, Paris Cac and British Ftse hare 2.3%, 1.9%, and 1.1% higher thus far in today’s session.

With Japanese markets shut, no further yen intervention was reported.  However, traders fear more operations later in the week, and the dollar is 0.8% stronger against the yen, which also slid as low as 115.065 per euro.  Pre-intervention peaks in the yen last week were set at 107.49 per euro and 76.25 per dollar. 

The dollar is currently up 0.5% against the Swiss franc and 0.1% versus the euro, unchanged relative to sterling, and down 0.1% against the yuan.

Yields on ten-year sovereign German bunds and British gilts are two and three basis points higher.

The British Rightmove house price index recorded a third straight on-month rise, gaining 0.8% in March after 3.1% in February and 0.3% in January.  The indes was also 0.9% above its year-earlier level.

Swiss M3 growth accelerated to a 12-month 7.7% pace in February from 6.8% in the year to January.  M2 was 8.3% higher than a year before.

The Greek current account deficit widened 47.6% on month to EUR 2.8 billion in January.

New Zealand credit card spending slid 0.3% on month but rose 5.3% on year in February.

In this light data release day, only existing home sales the Chicago Fed manufacturing index is scheduled in the United States, and Canada has no meaningful releases planned.  ECB President Trichet speaks publicly today.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2011.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.

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