NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Monday trade offered a long break from European equities that sent the German Dax (7085) through yearly highs, and pushed the S&P 500 (1245) futures contracts up to test major swing point resistance toward 1250.
Speculative interest in global commodities raised soft and hard markets, with West Texas Intermediate oil (89.10) trade pushing back toward the $90 a barrel handle. Gold and silver found buyers as both markets held support but were unable to find liquidity to break and easily hold higher.
In response to the long moves into risk, interest rates, and commodities, it would have been expected that the 95% inverse correlation that the Usd has to those markets over a 12-month period would have been enough to expect weakness in the dollar index (80.70). However, as the Wall Street session approached there was no movement of note in the dollar, and traders saw a divergence in the Risk/Usd market that had just one question to answer: Will equity trade reverse off highs or would dollar index trade break lower to test support? Fundamentals holding the dollar higher included tensions in the Korean peninsula and a weak session of Asian market equity trade ahead of a main holiday period.
Major currency pairs are at their opening prices for the most part, with Gbp being the one currency that may be able to break its range on news from the Confederation of British Industry that sees a raft of U.K. interest rate increases coming in 2011, with the initial moves from the Bank of England implemented sooner than had previously been thought.
Gbp/Usd (1.5545) trades a main swing point area, and just a slight increase in volume could easily see a test 1.5750. Aud/Usd is starting to build buying interest, on the back of hard commodities holding support in the near-term, and also on the interest rate differential between Australia and the U.S. Both pairs however will have to see a major increase in volume if they are to break and hold alone.
Increasing Treasury yields in the U.S. may be supporting the dollar in the near-term, as traders push note values lower as a consequence of the moves into equities, which in turn have increased Treasury yields and commercial interest rates. Year-end book balancing and repatriation of overseas business activity may also be supporting the greenback. In all, the calm before the storm may be here, as traders and speculators sit tight and monitor pending orders that straddle the market until support or resistance breaks.
Marco Hague is one of the founders and principals of The London Forex Broadsheet (commonly known as TheLFB), a global forex trader portal with headquarters in the U.S. Hague began his career with the Bank of England dealing with foreign exchange control, and he has been trading for the last three decades. He has been involved with institutional risk asset ratio analysis and the implementation and maintenance of institutional trade desks globally.