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Thursday January 31, 2008 - 12:01:11 GMT
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European Market Update: German Retail Sales Slide in December


· UK JAN Nationwide House Prices: M/M -0.1% v -0.4%e || Prior revised from -0.5% to -0.4% |||| Y/Y 4.2% v 4.2%e

· UK Jan GfK Consumer Confidence: -13 v - 15e

· GE Dec Retail Sales: M/M -0.1% v 1.7%e || Prior revised from - 1.3% to -1.9% |||| Y/Y -6.9% v -4.2%e || Prior revised from -3.2% to -3. 4%

· GE Dec ILO Unemployment Rate: 7.8% v 7.8%e

· GE Jan Unemployment Rate: 8.1% v 8.3%e (lowest since Jan 1993)

· GE Jan Unemployment Change: -89K v -40Ke

· GE Jan Preliminary CPI: M/M -0. 3% v -0.3%e || Y/Y 2.7% v 2.7%e

· GE Jan Preliminary CPI Harmonized: M/M -0.3% v -0.3%e || Y/Y 3.0% v 2.9%e

· FR Dec Producer Prices: M/M 0.2% v 0.2%e || Y/Y 4.5% v 4.5%e

· SP Jan Preliminary Harmonized CPI Y/Y: 4.4% v 4.4%e

· IT Dec Hourly Wages: M/M 0.0% v 0.2%e || Y/Y 2. 0% v 2.2%e

· IT Dec PPI: M/M -0.1% v 0.2%e || Prior revised from 0. 9% to 1.1% |||| Y/Y 4.6% v 4.5%e || Prior revised from 4.6% to 4. 8%

· EU Dec Unemployment Rate: 7.2% v 7.1%e

· EU Jan CPI Estimate: 3.2% v 3.1%e

· EU Jan Business Climate Indicator: 0.78 v 0. 86e || Prior revised from 0.92 to 0.89

· EU Jan Consumer Confidence: -12 v -10e

· EU Jan Economic Confidence: 101-7 v 1-4.1e || Prior revised from 104.7 to 103.4

· EU Jan Industrial Confidence: 1 v 2e

· EU Jan Services Confidence: 12 v 13e


· Finance Minister Solbes: Must be worried about the US economic situation || US economic problems affect Europe || Says ECB is less inclined to raise rates

· GE BDB Association: It is appropriate for the ECB to keep rates on hold

· S&P: The UK, Spain, and Italy are the most at risk from a pronounced economic slowdown


· European government bonds opened higher in the session today following the decline in US equities towards the end of the NY session yesterday. While recent activity has brought fixed income futures to their highest levels in around one year there are some analysts predicting that perhaps upside momentum is limited in the near-term. The 2/10 year spread in Germany has widened following the 50bps FOMC cut yesterday, and isn't too far off from its recent high of 65bps. Elsewhere the gilts are outperforming their European counterparts today. With all of today's major European data out of the way the focus rests upon Friday's jobs number in the US as there is no top tier data scheduled in Europe tomorrow. This week has been slow in terms of European Central Bank speak, as well think-tank speak, however the German BDB Association did say overnight that it is appropriate for the ECB to keep rates on hold. Elsewhere S&P commented overnight saying that the UK, Spain, and Italy are the most at risk from a pronounced economic slowdown.

· The European equity indices were mixed at the open, but quickly dropped into the red as market participants remain concerned about the outlook for the global financials. There were a few big names that reported in Europe overnight including Vodafone, Altana, Royal Dutch Shell, AXA, and Atos Origin. While earnings results were mixed all of the named companies quickly declined following the open. One of the bigger declines overnight was seen in UK insurer and FTSE 100 component Friends provident; Shares were down as much as 12% after the company announced less than favorable results from its strategic review.The WSJ noted ran a piece today saying that, despite the writedowns that have already been announced, banks are not out of the woods yet. Elsewhere Merrill Lynch's CEO Thain said in an interview with the Financial Times that a bailout of the bond insurance industry is not likely, pointing out that there are difficulties in orchestrating an industry-wide solution. According to a report released by S&P overnight Asian banks could suffer the most from a US economic slowdown. The report notes that while most nations will be able to weather the storm, Pakistan, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines are vulnerable. On the earnings front in the US today pharmaceutical giants Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Wyeth are expected to report, along with Dow component Procter and Gamble.

· On the commodity front crude oil prices are holding above the $90-handle ahead of tomorrow's OPEC meeting. There have been many comments from OPEC delegates and oil ministers throughout the night. The general consensus is that OPEC will leave output unchanged tomorrow. At least one OPEC delegate suggested that OPEC should reduce output by 500K bpd at the March meeting, however the OPEC president later said that it is too early to think about the March meeting. Spot gold continues to hover within the range of its all time highs, but is trading lower in the session as profit taking sets in after hitting a new all time high during Asian trading.

· The USD remains on the soft side following the FOMC interest rate decision and the related statement released on Wednesday. The EUR/USD continues to hold above the 1.4830 technical pivot point, but is off of its best levels seen in pre-European trading. However, the Euro failed to achieve fresh all-time highs against the USD post FOMC. The 1.5000 option barrier remains safe at this time following the soft German retail sales data for Dec. Any break above the 1.50 area is currently diminishing in likelihood as dealers continue to view that the ECB will hold rates steady for foreseeable future. Some suspect that an ECB rate cut is in the works now that Fed has moved 225 bps since the start of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch. The USD/CHF managed to hit fresh all-time lows of 1.0798 before recovering to 1.0825 area. Dealers cited that some risk aversion behavior resurfaced in the market after the US equities ended Wednesday's session in negative territory.

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AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Mon 10 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- GDP, Trade, Output
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Wed 12 Sep 2018
A 12:30 US- PPI
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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