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European Market Update: Euro-Zone Retail Sales Lower in December
¬∑ *** ECONOMIC DATA ***
¬∑ UK Jan HBOS House Prices: M/M 0.0% v -0.4%e || Y/Y 4.5% v 4.5%e
¬∑ SP Dec Industrial Output: -2.4% v -0.3%e || Prior revised from -0.6% to -1. 0%
¬∑ SP Jan Consumer Confidence: 70.9 v 72.3 prior
¬∑ SP Jan Services PMI: 44.2 v 51.0 prior
¬∑ IT Jan Services PMI: 47.9 v 49. 4e
¬∑ FR Jan Services PMI: 56.6 v 57.7e
¬∑ GE Jan Services PMI: 49.2 v 50.6e
¬∑ EU Jan Services PMI: 50.6 v 52.0e
¬∑ EU Jan Composite PMI: 51.8 v 52.7e
¬∑ EU Dec Retail Sales: M/M -0.1% v 0.2%e || Prior revised from -0.5% to -0.7% |||| Y/Y -2.0% v -0.8%e || Prior revised from -1.4% to -1.2%
¬∑ IT Jan Preliminary CPI: M/M 0.4% v 0. 3%e || Y/Y 2.9% v 2.8%e
¬∑ IT Jan Preliminary CPI Harmonized: M/M -0. 8% v -0.9%e || Y/Y 3.1% v 3.0%e
¬∑ *** SPEAKERS/COMMENTS ***
¬∑ GE Deputy Finance Minister: FX to play a role at G7; Cannot say whether any changes will be made in the G7 communiqu√©
¬∑ GE Deputy Finance Minister: Says Europeans do not want to be alone in carrying burden of FX adjustment
¬∑ GE Deputy Finance Minister: Signals signs t compromise on IMF gold sale issue
¬∑ GE Deputy Finance Minister: Plans for more financial market transparency, stricter capital rules for banks riskier investment
¬∑ *** FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***
¬∑ European fixed income futures are trading higher in the session amid market chatter that a UK clearer suffered a failed cash settlement. Fixed income futures have been relatively stable ahead of the interest rate decisions due out later this week. There was a sense of uncertainty about liquidity issues nudging traders towards fixed income following chatter that a bank in the UK may be in trouble, however the BOE eased concerns when it announced that no lending via the special lending facility had been used on Monday.
¬∑ Front moth crude futures are back below the $90-handle today on little news. Elsewhere spot gold is also trading lower in the session and is well below the $900-handle. Citigroup revised some of its metal price forecasts overnight. Citigroup lowered its 2008 copper price forecast by 12% to $6,780/ton on the US slowdown and slower global growth. Citigroup also cut its 2008 Zinc price estimate by 16. 6% to $2,300/kg. Citigroup raised its 2008 iron ore price forecast and now sees 60% iron ore price hikes in the current year, which compares to its prior view of 30%.
¬∑ The European indices are trading lower today following mixed earnings results in Europe. British Petroleum shares are trading higher after the company reported foruth-quarter results, however results for Heidleberger Druckmaschinen pushed its shares lower at the open. The general tone was also tempered by tepid services sector sentiment after all of the service PMI readings fell below estimates, with readings in Germany and Italy falling below the key 50-expansion/consolidation-mark. Looking ahead, Emerson Electric, Health Net, Tyco, and Whirlpool are amongst some of the big names expected to report ahead of the market open in the US today.
¬∑ The USD was firmer against the major currencies during the European session, aided by a steepening yield curve. Dealers noted that banks were ''scrambling'' for USD funding ahead of the European equity open as evident by the price action in the Euro Dollar March futures contract. GBP weakness also Weakness attributed to chatter that BoE in talks with Royal Bank of Scotland regarding an emergency meeting about RBS possibly having to issue more shares to maintain tier one capital requirements. The EUR/USD elected stops below the 1.4760 level to probe 1. 4700 after a German Deputy Finance Minister noted that FX will play a role at the upcoming G7 meeting in Tokyo. The finance official noted that Europeans do not want be alone in carrying burden of FX adjustment.
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