US and Canadian Trade Balance numbers were released before the US equity opening. The US numbers came out at -$40.4 billion which was right around consensus estimates. The Canadian figures were worse than expected as the Trade Balance was 0.3 billion versus forecasts of 1.6 billion.

Regarding the US figures, exports showed nice growth of 3.2% which was slightly better than the 3.1% rise of US imports. The rise in exports follows a better than expected ISM Manufacturing report last week. Today's Trade Balance along with the favorable trends in the manufacturing sector are revealing that fears that the US would lose global market share following the financial crisis may have been overblown. Following the news, the dollar has been trading slightly lower as risk appetite has been rising in the overall markets this afternoon.

Unlike the US results, the Canadian Trade Balance figures were surprising. Exports showed a 0.7% decline, even as metal prices were moving higher. The main cause of the decline was a sharp drop in energy exports, as lower volumes and prices of petroleum led to a 6.6% decline in that sector. On the news, the Canadian dollar weakened and gave back part of its earlier gains of the day.