Euro Firm Despite Negative European News

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The U.S. dollar was mostly firmer vs. the majors, down modestly only vs. CAD. The euro recovered from early selling due to Ireland downgrade to make another run at 1.30, but was unable to breach it and ended basically flat on the day vs. USD. Besides 1.30, next key level is the post-EFSF high of 1.3094 posted on May 10.

The yen and Swiss franc were mixed. EM FX was mostly weaker, and we feel that we correctly highlighted risks for the weaker EM credits last week in our EMFX Weekly as risk appetite remains very choppy. Hungary developments are simply the latest reminder of continued stresses in Eastern Europe, while Ireland downgrade by Moody's the latest reminder of ongoing downward ratings pressure in Western Europe.

European bank stress tests due Friday pose some event risk. Biggest gainers on the day vs. USD were CZK, MXN, CAD, COP, and RON, while biggest losers vs. USD were HUF, KRW, INR, ZAR, and NZD. Hungary central bank left rates steady at 5.25%, as expected. MXN stabilized after recent weakness and very choppy trade, but remains vulnerable in the current environment.

U.S. equity markets were higher, as DJIA, S&P and Nasdaq ended up 0.6%, 0.6%, and 0.9%, respectively. European markets were lower, with Euro Stoxx 50 down 0.4%. Asian equities are likely to open up today as Asian ADRs were higher during N. American trading Monday. Nikkei futures point to a down Japan open, but this is mostly catch-up for Monday, when Japan markets were closed for holiday.

The U.S. bond market was lower, as 2- and 10-year yields were up 1 bp and 4 bp, respectively. European bond markets were mostly lower, as 10-year yields in UK, France, and Germany were up 2 bp, 4 bp, and 4 bp, respectively. Greek 10-year yields rose 18 bp, Portugal rose 2 bp, Ireland rose 5 bp, Italy fell 3 bp, and Spain fell 6 bp. Ireland downgrade and nervousness about European bank stress tests helped keep pressure on the peripheral bonds.

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