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Wednesday March 5, 2008 - 13:17:12 GMT
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FX Blog- TTN European Market Update

European Market Update: Euro-Zone Retail Sales a Non-Event


· SP Jan Industrial Output wda: 0.7% v -1.4%e || Prior revised from -2.4% to -2. 3%

· SP Feb Services PMI 46.1 v 44.2 prior

· IT Feb Services PMI 47.2 v 49.2e

· FR Feb Services PMI: 58.2 v 57.0e

· GE Feb Services PMI: 52.2 v 52.3e

· EU Feb Final Services PMI: 52.3 v 52. 3e

· EU Feb Final Composite PMI: 52.8 v 52.7e

· UK Feb Services PMI: 54.0 v 52.0e

· EU Jan Retail Sales: M/M 0.4% v 0.3%e || Y/Y -0.1% v 0.1%e || Prior revised from -2.0% to -1.8%


· UK Feb Nationwide Consumer Confidence: 78 V 81 prior; Lowest since poll began in May 2004

· UK Feb NTC/REC Permanent Placement Index: 49 V 51.4 prior

· RICS says that the outlook for Europe''s housing market will depend on how central banks cope with slowing growth and rising inflation

· Fed Watcher Greg Ip looks at Bernanke''s recent solution for dealing with the housing market || Ip notes that Fed Chairman Bernanke has taken an activist stance on multiple fronts in battling the housing crisis. || The article comments on Bernanke''s call to lenders to aid struggling homeowners by reducing their principal in order to lower the likelihood of foreclosure. || Ip notes that Bernanke''s actions suggest he is willing to advocate more aggressive measures to address the deepening housing crisis than the Bush administration has endorsed. [WSJ]

· GE BDB Banking Group: Cuts 2008 German growth forecast to 1.6% from 2.0% || Cuts 2009 German growth forecast to 1.8% from 2.0% || Sees scope for ECB rate cuts from mid-year || Says that the Fed may cut rates to 2.00% || US economy is in a recessive phase || Sees the Euro at $1.40 by the end of 2008 || Sees the Euro at $1. 35 by the end of 2009


· European fixed income futures are currently trading lower in the session. There has been a rise in the German swap spreads as uncertainty about the outlook for the financial sector continues to concern market participants. Over in the UK gilts are also trading lower in the session. Gilts gained downside momentum following a greater than expected reading on the February services PMI. On the data front Euro-Zone retail sales were a non-event overnight, while service PMI readings were mixed. The German BDB banking association cut its 2008 and 2009 German growth forecasts, and said that they see scope for ECB rate cuts from mid-year. In focus later today will be the ADP employment change in the US, as well as the Fed''s Beige Book.

· The European indices are trading higher in Europe today, led by the financial services sector, as well as the travel & leisure sector. The telecommunications sector is currently the greatest under-performer in Europe. French bank Credit Agricole reported a net loss for the fourth quarter overnight, its first loss since going public in 2001. Elsewhere earnings from Balfour Beatty were positively received, as well earnings from IMI; conversely earnings results from ITV group in the UK weighed down on prices today. In M&A activity FKI group received a revised proposal from Melrose valued at 85p/share in cash and stock representing a 16.8% premium to yesterday''s closing price; FKI is trading higher in today''s session. Earnings results from US giant Costco were released overnight. Earnings were in line with expectations, while sales were slightly ahead. The company did not provide any guidance, but did report February comp store sales +5.0%. Looking ahead, other notables expected to report during the US pre-market today are Saks Incorporated, Canadian Solar, and BJ''s Wholesale Club.

· In commodities front moth crude continues to hold above the $100-handle ahead of the official announcement from today''s OPEC meeting. OPEC is widely expected to keep output unchanged. Inventories data is due out in the US today. A recent survey forecasted a 2.4M barrel rise in crude inventories, a 1.83M barrel decline in distillate inventories, and no change in gasoline inventories. There has been some short covering in the metals markets overnight. Spot gold is currently trading higher in the session, while spot sliver is lower, and copper futures are higher.

· The USD was initially firmer on the European open as dealers access the possibility that central bank may be laying the groundwork for currency intervention. The comments came from Eco Fin over the last 48 hours. Comments have recently been slightly skewed towards concern about the Euro''s record level against the USD and GBP. The EUR/USD traded down to 1.5142 before recovering back to the 1.52 area. Higher crude oil prices are helping to erode the USD session gains. The GBP is maintaining a broadly weaker tone following soft consumer sentiment data and labor survey released during the Asia n session. The GBP/USD tested 1. 9718 before rebounding after better service PMI data.

· Dealers are now focusing on the European rate decisions on Thursday.


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Tue 17 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment
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AA 08:30 GB- CPI
A 12:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
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Thu 19 July 2018
AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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