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Thursday December 13, 2007 - 11:36:30 GMT
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European Market Update: The SNB Keeps Rates Unchanged


· FR Nov CPI: M/M 0.5% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 2.4% v 2.2%e

· FR Nov CPI Harmonized: M/M 0.6% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 2.6% v 2.4%e

· FR Nov CPI Ex Tobacco Index: 116.02 v 115. 81e

· FR Q3 Final Non-Farm Payrolls: 0.4% v 0.2%e

· SZ SNB Keeps rates unchanged at 2.75% as expected

· SW Nov Unemployment Rate: 5.2% v 5.6%e


· SNB Leaves the 3-month target libor range unchanged at 2.25%-3.25%

· SNB Leaves its 2007 and 2008 GDP growth estimates unchanged at 2.5% and 2.0% respectively

· SNB Boosts 2007 inflation forecast to 0.7% from 0. 6%

· SNB Boosts 2008 inflation forecast to 1.7% from 1. 5%

· ECB Dec Report: Sees upside inflation risks

· ECB Dec Report: To monitor developments very closely

· ECB Dec Report: Will act against second round effects

· ECB Dec Report: Inflation will moderate gradually in 2008

· SNB Roth: Inflation risk is not a matter of urgency

· SNB Roth: Banking sector seen adding to a decline in GDP as early in Q4

· SNB Roth: No need to adjust policy for now

· SNB Hildebrand: Not clear if the worst of the credit crisis has passed

· SNB Hildebrand: SNB will continue to watch markets, the Franc, growth, and oil prices

· SNB Hildebrand: Market turmoil calls for prudence

· IFO Cuts 2007 German GDP growth forecast to 2.5% from 2.6%

· IFO Cuts 2008 German GDP growth forecast to 1.8% from 2.5%

· IFO Forecasts 25bps ECB rate cut in 2H 2008

· BOE Inflation Expectations survey 3.0% v 2.7% in August [highest since records began in November 1999]


· Economic data was relatively unexciting today. French CPI for the month of November exceeded estimates on the back of higher food and energy prices, while the final readings on Italian CPI data for November were delayed due to a strike at ISTAT. The SNB kept rates unchanged at 2.75% as was widely expected, and maintained their 3-month libor target range of 2.25%-3.25%. The SNB maintained 2007 and 2008 GDP growth forecasts, and raised its inflation forecasts slightly. The ECB's monthly report was not surprising as it was much in line with that seen in November, and touched upon much of the ECB's rhetoric over the past few weeks.

· There weren't any notable comments from any Euro- Zone officials overnight, however the IFO think tank cut its 2007 and 2008 GDP growth forecasts. IFO also forecasted a 25bps ECB rate cut during the second half of 2008. Similarly the IFW think tank cut its 2007 and 2008 German GDP growth forecasts, but said that they expect the ECB to hold rates at 4.00% until the end of 2009. Following the SNB decision, MPC members Roth and Hildebrand touched upon market uncertainty. The members reiterated that they will watch the Franc, oil prices, and markets. Notably, the SNB said that a substantial slowdown would make the SNB change direction. One interesting note, the SNB's Roth said that the SNB is vigilant to react to further money market tensions. Over in the UK the BOE said that their inflation expectations survey rose to 3.0% from 2.7% in August for its highest reading since records began in November of 1999.

· Front month crude oil futures are trading in negative territory, and have been in a relatively tight range since Asian trading. Merrill Lynch boosted its 2008, and 2009 average Brent crude price forecasts by $10 each to $90/barrel and $82/barrel respectively. Elsewhere, Renaissance boosted its Brent crude price forecast for 2008 by $10 as well to $75/barrel. Spot gold is slightly lower on the back of a little bit of Dollar strength, while copper futures are hovering around the red side of the unchanged level.

· Fixed income futures are trading higher today as market participants are skepticism around the implications of the coordinated central bank action seen yesterday. In new supply overnight Spain sold €1.46B in 4.00% January 2012 bonos with an average yield of 4. 094% and a bid-to-cover of 1.6x. The auction brought the amount outstanding for the issue up to €13.96B.

· In the currency markets US Dollar price action is mixed as the market continues to evaluate the implications of the joint central bank liquidity operation yesterday. There has been some profit taking in Yen carry flows, which is aiding the Dollar against the European currencies. The Franc is slightly lower following the SNB's decision to keep interest rates on hold.



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