Strong Data Sends Treasuries Lower

The much anticipated Retail Sales
was far better than forecast, rising
at the fastest pace since March 2004. January Retail Sales rose 2.3% and
Ex-Autos rose 2.2% (
Business Inventories also beat estimates, rising 0.7% in December (

Treasuries closed lower, selling off immediately
following the release of today’s data. However, the news failed to boost the US
Dollar which fell against all the majors except for the British Pound. The
Japanese Yen was the standout performer today, rising strongly across the board. FOREX traders should check out TradingMarkets
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FOREX PowerRatings

Ben Bernanke will make his debut as Fed Chairman
before Congress tomorrow.

The energies continued their decline, with Unleaded
Gas and Natural Gas the weakest performers. Crude Oil closed below $60 for the
first time since December 2005 ahead of tomorrow’s weekly petroleum status

In the softs, Cotton (+3.41%) was the biggest
gainer, while Cocoa was the only other one to register a gain of more than 1%.
Orange Juice fell more than 2% as reports indicate that the weekend freeze in
Florida didn’t cause much damage. Coffee was the other mover to the downside,
falling 1.74%.

All the grains closed lower with Corn and Soybean
Oil leading the declines, although none fell 1% or more. The meats were mixed.
In the metals, Gold bounced after a sharp 2-day selloff.

Economic News

Retail Sales Up 2.3% For Jan.; Ex Autos, Up 2.2%

Dec. Business Inventories Up 0.7% (report).

Ashton Dorkins

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