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Wednesday March 26, 2008 - 11:44:42 GMT
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European Market Update: Hawkish Day for the Euro-Zone; Dovish Day for the U


· FR Mar Business Confidence: 109 v 106e

· FR Mar Production Outlook: -11 v -15e

· FR Mar Own-Company Production Outlook: 14 v 10e || Prior revised from 13 to 15

· FR Feb Housing Starts: -0.6% v -7.1% prior

· FR Feb Housing Permits: -12.7% v -19. 1% prior

· IT Mar Business Confidence: 89.0 v 89.5e || Prior revised form 89.8 to 89.6

· GE Mar Business Climate: 104.8 v 103. 5e

· GE Mar Current Assessment: 111.5 v 109.5e

· GE Mar Expectations 98.4 v 97.8e

· EU Jan Current Account: -€10.6B v -€10. 3B prior || Prior revised from -€10.3B to -€3.5B

· EU Jan Current Account nsa: -€19.1B v €1.9B prior || Prior revised from €1.9B to €4. 3B

· EU Jan Industrial New Orders: M/M 2.0% v 0.2%e |||| Y/Y 7.3% v 3.3%e || Prior revised from 2.1% to 2.2%


· IFO's Russ: Financial crisis does not seem to have impacted real economy || German economy has uncoupled itself to an extent against the US economy || Sees no need for ECB to change interest rates at this time || Companies see oil prices as the first economic risk

· IFO's Nerb: German economy is in good condition || Believes that ECB would have to join the easing trend in monetary policy || Further upturn would indicate that sentiment has bottomed out || German conditions do not argue for ECB rate cut at this time; ECB will have to act sooner or later || 2H depends on US economic slowdown || Rise in Euro has different impact for exporters and importers

· BOE's King: Current market conditions suggest that central bank action is needed || BOE liquidity moves can only be temporary || Discussing longer term resolution to credit crunch with banks || Money markets situation is one of great fragility || BOE should not adopt a similar approach to the Fed || BOE will take necessary actions to bring inflation back to target || BOE lending to banks has been identical to ECB || Inflation seen rising to around 3% || MPC can have little effect on short-term inflation || BOE's projection is for inflation to fall back to 2% || Concerned by recent failure of coordinated central bank steps

· BOE Sentance: Stands by all of his previous rate votes || Consumer spending is more robust than sentiment || Consumer spending to weaken in 1H || Consumer slowdown will not be on same scale as in the 90s || Does not see the UK heading for a recession

· ECB's Trichet sees upward risk in price pressures in short term || Inflation to remain higher longer than previously expected || Now it is imperative to avoid second round effects || Expects ongoing growth, Euro- Zone fundamentals are sound || Downside risks include broader than expected impact from market developments || Vigilance is more than ever of the essence


· Deutsche Bank's CEO said overnight that the market environment remains difficult, adding that the bank may need to make additional writedowns . The CEO added that DB's total net subprime exposure business €1.19B at end of 2007, speculating that the negative economic climate may adversely hit its year-end targets. Shares of Xstrata were trading sharply lower at the open after Rio Vale discontinued negotiations to acquire the company. Shares of IKB were trading down at the open on word that
Germany's finance and economics ministries are planning a special probe of the bank. Shares of Hochtief were lower today after reporting earning results for 2007. The co. noted that is expects a decline in orders and its backlog in 2008.

· Bernstein raised its 2008 oil price forecast by 27% to $92.30/barrel, and raised its 2009 oil price forecast by 17% to $85/barrel. Bernstein also raised its 2008 gas price forecast by 7% to $8.3/mln, and raised its 2009 gas price forecast by 8% to $8.4/mln. Bernstein noted that the marginal cost of oil is now $63/barrel vs $27/barrel in 2000. Elsewhere
Mexico's Pemex reopened its Dos Bocas export terminal in Mexico after is was shutdown due to weather conditions yesterday. According to radio reports citing a senior official, the Nigerian government plans to scale down its military presence in the oil- rich Niger Delta.

· European fixed income futures opened slightly higher in today's session, perhaps suggesting that yesterday's sell off following the extended weekend was overdone, however futures quickly declined on the back of a stronger than expected reading on the March IFO survey, as well as some very hawkish comments by the ECB's Trichet in his testimony to parliament. Over in the
UK long-gilt futures declined following the IFO data as well. Dovish comments made my BOE members in their testimony to parliament were not enough to pick up the front month gilts, which continued their decline following the IFO data in Germany. With the above news dominating the session the flattening in European yield curves has continued today. The Euribor curve has pulled back from levels seen yesterday with the September 09 contract the currently the lowest around 3.805%. There have been some fluctuations in the short-sterling futures overnight as well. In new supply overnight Germany sold €5.33B in April 2013 S152 bobls with an average yield of 3.63% and a bid-to-cover of 1.1x. The cover compared to the 2.0x seen at the previous auction, which sold in the amount of €5.0B. Italy sold €2.0B in December 2009 2-year zero coupon CTZs with an average yield of 3.888%, and a bid-to-cover of 2.33x.

· The USD was dramatically mixed during the European morning as data and central bank speak pulled the USD in different directions. The USD was softer against the Euro following the German IFO data and increased after hawkish comments from the ECB's Trichet. The EUR/USD tested 1.5730 as the credit crunch showed no impact at this time against the Euro-Zone real economy. The USD was able to gain against the GBP following comments from the BOE's Sentance noting that a weaker pound was likely and BOE's King who acknowledged that the MPC was more predisposed to cutting rates. The GBP/USD fell from 2.01 level to test 1.9950 in the aftermath.


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