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Volatile market yet to settle down
18
Mar '08
After a very volatile market last week, Monday started off the week with an overall weak commodities market. Uncertainty regarding future of the U.S. economy has made investors pull their investments out of the commodities market. Chicago wheat, soybeans and corn all locked limit down with synthetics trading nearly another limit under.

As speculators and funds liquidate their longs, cotton traded on and off the limit but finally settled at limit down during the second half of the session. The longs liquidation can be seen from the Spec Hedge report as of Friday March 14. The specs have reduced their long positions by 6,429 contracts or 1.8%, and have increased their short positions by 11,556 contracts or 4.2%.

The net spec position is 12.3% long, down 6% from the week before (please see charts on page 2 in attached PDF). Roller coaster action was seen in the stock market on Monday. As Bear Stearns buyout is still in the headline, a surprise came from the Fed that it lowered the discount rate by a quarter point Sunday night, 2 days before its scheduled meeting tomorrow.

As further interest rate cut is expected out of tomorrow's meeting, the Fed is determined to do everything possible to keep the financial crisis from collapsing the nation's economy. Also on the headline is the plunge in share values of MF Global and Lehman Brothers amid liquidity rumors. Shares of MF Global Inc., the largest exchange traded futures and options broker fell as much as 80% during New York trading.

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