Well we were calling the market to open positively in the small hours of the morning but a sudden bout of selling in Asian markets caused European futures to dip and so we’re started the day in the red.  The FTSE continues to hover around 5600, just above it at the moment and the resistance of 5670-5700 remains in place.  For the bulls they’ll be expecting support to hold around 5580 and if not there then 5550.

For some reason the market interpreted yesterday’s employment numbers as positive for sterling despite the fact that they showed that employment levels fell to their lowest level since January 2006!  Hardly the boost that Labour needs that the headlines are reporting today.

Even though the claimant count actually fell, there are fewer jobs around than there were a couple of months ago and the private sector is still making cut backs.  The private sector is suffering badly with pay cuts or at best pay freezes, meanwhile the public sector is enjoying pay increases!  At some point the axe will have to be wielded across the public sector, but there’ll be no commitment to do such a thing ahead of the up and coming election.

On the economic data front today we’ll get to see the state of the UK’s public finances.  PSNB is expected to rise from February’s £4.3b but the important figure for our Captain Darling is what the total borrowing figure will be for 2009/10 which is expected to be around a whopping £178b.

Later the weekly US jobless numbers are expected to continue their little downward trend after the bad start to the year.  At the same time CPI numbers are released and then we wrap up things with Phili Fed at 14h00.

It looks like the bear squeeze is on for cable is well and truly on.  Having breached 1.5200 the rate used that level as support and bounced swiftly though to almost test 1.5400.  This morning a bit of weakness is setting in and we’re around 1.5260, but if the squeeze continues, then the bulls will be looking at 1.5375 as the next target and possibly even 1.5500.

The BOE is still worried about inflation but the economy is still on its knees so there’s little to see it getting out of control.  Spending cuts expected from whichever government that’s in power this summer will have to be made and that to should put further downward pressure on inflation.

Gold bulls enjoyed a rally back to the 1125 mark touching an intra day high of 1134.0 early on.  Any dollar negative news will translate into support for gold and the prospect of low interest rates for longer in the US makes the shiny metal just that little bit more attractive.  Goldman Sachs also helped the precious metal by raising their price target to $1390.  It gave back some of its gains and is around 1119.0 this morning.  Having broken out of its short term down trend it was forming since the beginning of March support is seen around 1112.0 and the next target for bulls is 1135.

Crude was well supported above $82 as we saw a little bit of excitement over the inventory numbers.  Traders seem reluctant to push Crude higher have seen it reject highs regularly.  It was interesting to see the black stuff recover back to the mid $82 area after declining after inventory data showed US imports for oil declined to their lowest level for seven years!  That’s bearish if ever I heard it as demand for oil remains tepid in Western economies and will continue to do so until there’s a real spurt of growth.

Last Updated: March 18th, 2010