Euro advances on IMF and Greece, ahead of France’s and Spain’s bond auctions

Markets are rising quietly ahead of the France’s and Spain’s bond auctions on hopes Greece will soon reach an agreement with bondholders while the International Monetary Fund considers expanding its lending resources to help the euro-zone countries fight the debt crisis.

The IMF is seeking to expand its lending resources by $500 billion yet the U.S. and other countries rejected the idea, considering that the Europe must solve this problem with its own money. Meanwhile Greece might reach an agreement with bondholders over the size of the losses to avoid a messy default.

The upbeat earnings report from Goldman Sachs and EBay helped keep sentiment positive, while earnings from Bank of America, Morgan Stanly, Google, Microsoft and Intel will keep investors cautious, especially after the New York based Kodak filed for bankruptcy as consumers turned from film to digital technology.

Asian stocks advance today on IMF and China, as world’s 2nd largest economy considers easing the capital requirements and is letting its five biggest banks boost lending to avoid hard landing risks. Nikkei 225 rose 1.04% yet the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.07% after Australia’s employment unexpectedly fell in Dec.

In Europe shares advanced on Greece and IMF hopes ahead of the France’s and Spain’s long-dated bond auctions. Portugal’s yields fell yesterday after a successful auction easing some of the worries ignited since S&P’s mass debt rating cuts in Europe. DAX rose 0.04% while CAC 40 gained 0.49%.

Today the ECB will release its monthly report, while the US will be releasing its CPI index, the housing starts and building permits data along with the weekly jobless claims, Philly index and EIA crude oil inventories. In Europe, France will sell 9.5 billion euros of debt while Spain will sell 4.5 billion euros of bonds.

The euro is seeing some gains trading around 1.2888 while the pound is trading with a slight upside momentum around 1.5437. The dollar index is slightly falling trading around 80.36, while the yen is strengthening trading around 76.70. The AUD is weakening following the jobs data trading around 1.0395.

As the US dollar lost its appeal commodities found support for another day where crude is trading with gains around $101.65 compared with the lowest at $101.01 while gold is around $1665.20 from the lowest at $1655.80 as eyes are on Europe.

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