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Thursday March 27, 2008 - 11:45:58 GMT
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European Market Update: Trichet Reiterates Hawkish Comments; German Sentiment Measures Continue to Rise

European Market Update: Trichet Reiterates Hawkish Comments; German Sentiment Measures Continue to Rise


· GE Apr GfK Consumer Confidence: 4. 6 v 4.4e

· SW Feb Trade Balance: SEK17.1B v SEK8.8B || Prior revised from SEK9.6B to SEK11.0B

· IT Mar Retailers' Confidence: 110. 7 v 110.3e

· IT Mar Services Survey: 3 v 0 prior

· IT Feb Non- EU Trade Balance: -€1.33B v -€2.05Be || Prior revised from -€4.36B to -€4. 34B


· ECB's Quaden: The financial crisis is not over, but there is no reason for panicking || Does not appear, for the time being, that a big pan-European bank is close to collapse. Says the excessive volatility of the fx market is clearly a negative risk - WSJ Interview

· ECB's Trichet reiterates concern of excessive forex moves; notes with great interest in US strong dollar stance || Euro-Zone not observing the same credit crunch as in the US || Euro-Zone credit is growing very strongly || Euro fundamentals remain strong || Market turbulences are ongoing, not over yet || Must take decisions that anchor inflationary expectations

· According to a wire report citing a “G7 Source” Europe is increasingly irritated with the US on the Dollar ahead of G7 || Europe has little room to make any maneuvers on the USD's decline || France is frustrated by US authorities' answer to the financial crisis || Fed carrying too much burden in the financial crisis || US treasury should be doing more on the financial crisis


· The European indices are currently trading in positive territory in the session, with all of the major sectors currently trading in positive territory. In equity news overnight Q-Cells boosted its 2008 and 2009 revenue guidance after releasing earnings. The new guidance was ahead of the market consensus. Hennes & Mauritz reported favorable results, beating out revenue and net forecasts for the first quarter and posting same store sales of 10%. Shares of Compass Group were higher after the company reported that its strong first-quarter performance has continued into the second-quarter and is expected to last throughout the rest of the year. Man Group in the UK is trading higher after the company said that its full year pretax earnings will exceed consensus estimates, adding that full year net performance fess will also be above expectations. Shares of Hypo Real Estate Holdings dropped at the open after the company announced that market conditions may keep the company from reaching its 2008 targets. Elsewhere Lehman cuts its 2008 price estimates for large cap banks by 7% and its 2009 price estimates by 4%. Lehman said that the expected blow from writedowns has lessened, adding that loan loss provisions to be higher than previously expected. Looking ahead, earnings results expected in the
US pre-market include Conagra Foods, Lennar Corporation, Solarfun Power Holdings, and UTI Worldwide.

· European fixed income futures are trading lower today. There has been a general steepening across European yield curves. Following hawkish comments from the ECB's Trichet yesterday, which were reiterated this morning, we seem to be as far away from rate cuts as possible in the near term. According to wire headlines overnight the German public sector mediator suggested a 6% wage increase, which was accepted by employers, but declined by unions. Wages have been a point of contention within ECB policy. Also notable overnight, Germany GfK consumer confidence exceeded analyst estimates, following the trend seen in most of the German sentiment data. Long-gilt futures continued to trade lower in the
UK overnight despite a continuation of dovish commentary. Former BOE policy maker Julius said in an interview overnight that the BOE may cur rates a couple more times this year, noting that it possible that the BOE will cut rates by 50bps in April. Julius said that he is concerned that the BOE is behind the curve on rates. In new supply overnight Spain sold €1.07B in 6. 00% January 2029 bonos with an average yield of 4.786% and a bid-to-cover of 1.45x. In the UK the DMO sold £975M in 1.25% March 2027 I/L gilts with an average yield of 0.99% and a bid-to-cover of 1.41x. The cover compares to 2.67x at the previous auction, which sold in the amount of £1.0B. Italy sold €1.5B in 1.85% September 2012 BTPei with an average yield of 1.65% and a bid-to-cover of 1.60x, as well as €500M in 2.35% September 2035 BTPei with an average yield of 2.53% and a bid-to-cover of 2.438x.

· In commodities front month crude oil futures are trading higher after reports of an attack on one of
Iraq's two main oil export pipelines near the city of Basra. Saboteurs reportedly blew up the pipeline by placing bombs beneath it. The Zubair-1 pipeline, which is responsible for transporting crude to tanks at an export terminal located in the Persian Gulf was the pipeline affected by the attack. According to wire reports an official from an oil company in Southern Iraq said that the attack is expected have a great impact on exports. Crude futures came off of their overnight highs after word that the fire at the pipeline had been extinguished. Iraq exports 2.32M barrels of oil per day from Basra. Inventory data due out later today is expected to show that gas inventories declined by 44 bcf to 1.269tcf this past week.

· The USD opened the European session on a firmer tone after ECB's Trichet reiterated his concern over excessive forex moves and stated that he notes with great interest in US's strong dollar stance. The EUR/USD drifted to 1.5725 from 1.58 in the aftermath of the comments. However, an oil pipeline bombing inside Iraq help whittle away any positive USD sentiment as commodity prices edged higher. Comments from a G7 ''source" noted that Europe has little room to make any maneuvers on the USD'' decline. With oil prices higher, commodity currencies were mixed in their price action. CAD was softer at 1.0230, while AUD was firmer at 0. 9220-area.


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