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Fear over concerns about sovereign debt default and a worse than expected U.S. initial claims report helped to push commodity and stock markets lower on Thursday. Risk aversion drove investors toward safer, lower-yielding assets to the benefit of the U.S. Dollar.

Investors were lightening up positions before the U.S. opening when the news hit that Weekly Initial Claims had surprisingly increased. This quickly encouraged long liquidation sending prices spiraling down throughout the session, sending the major indices sharply lower.

The key level in the March E-mini S&P 500 at 1084.50 was violated with a vengeance, triggering a free fall to a new low for the week. Besides the fear that debt problems in Greece will spread to other Euro nations thereby disrupting the global economic recovery, traders reacted as if tomorrow’s U.S. jobs report will not show an increase as expected.

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