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FX Blog- TTN European Market UpdateEuropean Market Update: German Zew Beats Expectations for March
ยท *** ECONOMIC DATA ***
ยท UK Feb BRC SSS: 1.5% v 2.6% prior; ALL SALES: 3.9% v 4.9% prior
ยท UK Feb RICS House Price Balance: -64.1% V -54.7%e
ยท GE Feb Wholesale Price Index: M/M -0.2% v 0.5%e || Y/Y 6.0% v 6.7%
SW Feb CPI: M/M 0.4% v 0. 6%e || Y/Y 3.1% v 3.2%e
ยท SW Feb CPI Underlying Inflation: 0.4% v 0. 5%e || Y/Y 2.0% v 2.2%e
ยท SW Jan Activity Index Level: 122.9 v 123. 3 prior || Prior revised from 123.3 to 122.6
ยท UK Jan DCLG House Prices: 8.0% v 7.5%e || Prior revised from 9.1% to 8.4%
ยท GE Mar Zew Economic Sentiment: -32.0 v -40.0e
ยท GE Mar Zew Current Situation: 32.1 v 30.0e
ยท EU Mar Zew Economic Sentiment: -35.0 v -42.0e
ยท *** SPEAKERS/COMMENTS ***
ยท Citigroup to inject $1B across 6 highly leveraged municipal bond funds with $15B in assets || According to the report about $600M had been provided as of last week after lenders issued a margin call in response to falling securities values || Adds that the Citigroup funds had been selling some securites, before Citigroup agreed to the $1B equity commitment. [NY Times]
ยท Riksbank's Rosenberg: Spilt vote at February policy meeting was not so remarkable || Says Q4 GDP stronger than expected || Unemployment higher than expected || Says events so far support general outline in monetary policy report || Says own slightly more pessimistic view based on possible consequences of financial market turmoil
ยท ECB's Weber: Continued to see solid pickup in German growth || Sees increased downward risks to German growth || Must monitor inflation closely || Price pressures are still a cause for concern
ยท *** FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***
ยท Fixed income futures are trading lower in the session following slight signs of confidence in the equity markets. There was no new supply in Europe overnight. The main event today was the German Zew data for the month of March, which exceed expectations and pushed fixed income futures lower across the board. According to S&P house price weakness in the UK could hit nonconforming RMBS.
ยท On the commodity front crude oil futures are lower in the session. A Goldman Sachs Analyst said overnight that crude oil risks pulling back to $90/barrel by spring. In its monthly report the IEA cut its 2008 world oil demand estimate by 80K bpd to 87.54M bpd || Oil unlikely to return to the prices seen earlier in the decade || We are in an era of higher oil prices || Output rose in February offsetting other OPEC declines || OPEC crude output fell by 120K bpd in February. Elsewhere the Norwegian Oil Directorate noted overnight that the country's production was 2.19M bpd in February. Spot gold is higher at the moment. There is market chatter of longs disappointed due to gold's inability to break the $1000- handle, continuing to unwind any gold rallies. UK based industrial Antofagasta reported results overnight, and forecasted that copper prices would average $3.50/lb in 2008.
ยท The European indices are trading higher across the board today led higher by the industrial goods and services sector as well as the basic resources sector. The travel and leisure sector is the big underperformer at the moment. Shares of European Aeronautic defense were lower overnight following a less than favorable earnings report ahead of the open. German investment firm Hypo Real-Estate Holdings was lower overnight on rumors of a new billion-Euro write down. In portfolio reallocation overnight Credit Suisse cut its view on global stocks to neutral putting stocks at 60% of asset. Stocks were previously 63% of assets. Credit Suisse cited credit markets, the dollar, and oil prices as factors that will weigh down on stocks. Earnings are expected from Bon-Ton and Kroger in the US pre-market today, as well as other notables Dick's Sporting Goods, and Qiao Xing Mobile Communications.
ยท The USD softened during the European morning, but remains well contained in recent ranges. Dealers are citing good Middle Eastern demand for euros throughout the session. USD sentiment remains marred by firm commodity prices as oil and gold remains at elevated levels. The JPY was broadly weaker as the market responded well to bond manger PIMCO comments that the FED could take alternative steps to increase economic activity. The Fed should start buying so-called agency mortgage-backed securities to stabilize the market. The EUR/JPY is at 157.25, up 170 pips since the start of Asian trading. The USD/JPY is at 102.10 after probing 8-year support at 101.20-area.
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