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Thursday February 14, 2008 - 11:43:00 GMT
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European Market Update: Preliminary Q4 GDP in the Euro-Zone Slightly Ahead of Estimates


· GE Q4 Preliminary GDP: M/M 0.3% v 0.3%e || Y/Y 1. 8% v 1.8%e || Y/Y nsa 1.6% v 1.8%e

· FR Q4 Preliminary GDP: Q/Q 0.3% v 0.3%e || Y/Y 2.1% v 2.0%

· SP Q4 Preliminary GDP: 0.8% v 0.7%e || Y/Y 3.5% v 3.4%e

· SW Jan Unemployment Rate: 6.4% v 6. 3%e

· NV Q4 Preliminary GDP: Q?Q 1.2% v 0.3%e || Prior revised from 1.8% to 1.9% || Y/Y 4.4% v 3.5%e

· NV Jan CPI: M/M 0.3% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 2.0% v 2.2%e

· IC Icelandic Central Bank keeps rates on hold at 13.75% as expected

· EU Q4 Advanced GDP: 0.4% v 0.3%e || Y/Y 2.3% v 2.2%e

· SZ Feb Zew Expectations: -55.6 v -35.0e


· Financial Times notes that European companies are being forced to turn to the dollar markets in order to raise funding

· ECB''s Quaden: ECB is waiting for the time being

· ECB''s Quaden: High inflation is not a catastrophe

· ECB''s Quaden: Euro Zone slowdown could be worse than expected

· ECB''s Quaden: ECB will cut economic growth forecasts in March

· ECB''s Quaden: US economic slowdown looks worse than expected

· ECB''s Quaden: Recent economic data on Europe has been mixed

· ECB''s Quaden: Will not bury growth scenario; will reassess it

· ECB''s Gonzales Paramo: ECB president Trichet''s comments last week fully reflect council decision

· ECB''s Gonzales Paramo: There are no signs of a hard landing in Spain

· GE Finance Minister: Negative consequences of possible IKB collapse unknown

· SP Finance Minister Solbes: Government has room to manoeuvre; means slowdown will be short-lived

· SP Finance Minister Solbes: Subprime impact more than expected

· ECB Monthly Report: There is unusually high uncertainty on the economic growth outlook

· ECB Monthly Report: Anchoring inflation expectations is the ECB''s main priority

· ECB Monthly Report: Economic fundamentals are sound

· ECB Monthly Report: Inflation seen slowing only gradually this year

· ECB Monthly Report: Medium-term risks to price stability are on the upside

· ECB Monthly Report: Forecasts 2008 GDP at 1.8% vs. 2.1% prior

· ECB Monthly Report: Forecasts 2008 CPI at 2.5% vs. 2.0% prior

· GE DIHK: Reaffirms 2008 growth forecast of 2.0% but sees risks

· GE DIHK: ECB has little room to cut rates


· European fixed income futures are trading lower in the session. European yield curves continue to maintain their recent steepening tone; particular focus is on the 2/10-year spread in Germany, which currently sits around highs made earlier in the week. In new supply overnight Italy sold €3.0B in 4.25% October 2012 bonds with an average yield of 3.68% and a bid-to-cover of 1.48x. Over in the UK the DMO sold £2.0B in 4.50% December 2042 gilts overnight with a bid-to- cover of 1.63x (vs. 1.8x at the previous auction). The auction had a 0.8bps yield tail and a 14-tick price tail.

· The European indices opened higher in the session, but slowly moved lower as the session progressed. There was a slew of earnings releases in the European pre-market today, with UBS amongst the most notable. UBS reported a net loss of CHF12.5B for the fourth-quarter, which was in line with expectations, however the company said that it expects 2008 to be another difficult year. The company wrote down $9.6B in US sub-prime losses, as well as $2.0B on RMBS and CDOs. The CFO later noted that the company''s total net exposure to monoline insurers is $3.6B, while the CEO noted that the company will adjust its head count according to market conditions beyond the planned 1,500 job cuts. Daimler earnings were released inter-session and were mixed; the report eventually took shares into negative territory. Both shares of Cap Gemini and Lafarge helped the CAC to outperform many of the other European bourses as shares rose sharply on positive earnings reports ahead of the open, however the response to Renault''s results was quite the opposite. Looking ahead into the US pre-market, Comcast is expected to report, along with Marriott International, Ingersoll Rand, and Visteon Corp.

· On the commodity front there was little news affecting crude oil overnight. Crude oil futures are trading higher in the session gaining some support from the Venezuela-Exxon dispute, as well as a smaller-than-expected rise in US crude stocks. Spot gold is also trading higher in the session but remains well off of its most recent highs. Overall the metals are still gaining some support from the power outage problems in South Africa, however the metals remain off of their most recent highs.

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