Market Brief
US stocks advanced yesterday, sending the S&P 500 Index to an 18-month high, as signs of growing demand for steel and semiconductors boosted confidence the economic recovery is strengthening. The S&P 500 increased 0.7% to 1,174.17, its highest close since Sept. 26, 2008. The DJIA climbed 102.94 points, or 1% to 10,888.83, also an almost 18-month high. Existing home dropped 0.6% to a 5.02 million, the lowest level in eight months. Japanese stocks rose as growing demand for semiconductors and metals boosted confidence in the strength of the global economic recovery. The Nikkei climbed 0.8% to 10,856.06 in early morning trade, the highest level in two months while the Topix index rose 0.7% to 954.17. Japan's exports climbed at the fastest pace in 30 years in February, increasing the likelihood the economic recovery will be sustained. Exports increased 45.3% from a year earlier, helping the trade surplus expand the most since 1982. Imports climbed 29.5%, the fastest pace in three years and the trade surplus swelled to 651 billion JPY. The JPY traded at 90.48 after the news. German business confidence is expected to rise in March as a weaker EUR boosted export prospects and warmer weather paved the way for resumption of consumer spending and construction. The IFO business climate index probably increased to 95.8 from 95.2 in February. The current situation probably increased to 91 from 89.8, while expectations are predicted to remain at 100.9, the highest since July 2007. In the UK, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling will present his budget today as he seeks to tackle a deficit set to reach 12.6% of GDP. In our opinion, there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the UK, and if the budget doesn't deliver concrete steps to cut the deficit, it would be negative for the GBP. The GBP could extend losses if retail sales data, due on Thursday, fall short of expectations. Sales probably rose 0.6% in February, after declining 1.2% the month before. And on a final note, the IMF yesterday said it predicts 2010 economic growth of 10% and 7.7% in China and India respectively, compared with 1% expansion in the EU and 2.7% in the U.S. The IMF sees the global economy expanding 3.9% this year.
G10 Advancers and Decliners vs USD
Global IndexesCurrent Level% Change
Nikkei 225 Index10784.70+ 0.10
Hang Seng Index21106.54+ 0.57
Shanghai Index3058.60+ 0.18
FTSE futures5638.50+ 0.79
DAX futures6033.00+ 0.72
S&P  future1168.40- 0.10
DJIA futures10817.00- 0.10
World MarketsCurrent Level% Change
Crude wti81.27- 0.78
Gold1104.55- 0.05
Silver16.95- 0.53
USD Index81.01+ 0.23
VIX16.35- 3.08
Todays CalenderEstimatesPreviousCountry / GMT
PMI Manufacturing56.857.2GE/0830
PMI Services52.251.9GE/0830
IFO - Business Climate95.895.2GE/0900
IFO - Current Assessment9189.8GE/0900
IFO - Expectations100.9100.9GE/0900
PMI Services5251.8EU/0900
PMI Manufacturing5454.2EU/0900
Industrial New Orders (MoM)1.8%0.8%EU/1000
UK Budget Report Published--UK/1230
Durable Goods Orders0.6%3%US/1230
Core Durable Goods Orders0.6%-0.6%US/1230
New Home Sales315K309KUS/1400
Currency Tech
R 2: 1.3835
R 1: 1.3650
CURRENT: 1.3469
S 1: 1.3425
S 2: 1.3280

R 2: 92.45
R 1: 91.10
CURRENT: 90.41
S 1: 89.60
S 2: 88.00

R 2: 1.5330
R 1: 1.5190
CURRENT: 1.5020
S 1: 1.4950
S 2: 1.4784

R 2: 0.9329
R 1: 0.9252
CURRENT: 0.9182
S 1: 0.9120
S 2: 0.9066

R 2: 1.0320
R 1: 1.0235
CURRENT: 1.0172
S 1: 1.0070
S 2: 1.0000