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Friday April 4, 2008 - 11:07:45 GMT
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European Market Update: Markets Await Jobs Data in the US

European Market Update: Markets Await Jobs Data in the US

· *** ECONOMIC DATA ***

· SZ Mar CPI: M/M 0.3% v 0.2%e || Y/Y 2.6% v 2.5%e

· FR Feb Central Government Balance: -€22.7B v -€6.6B prior

· SP Feb Industrial Output Y/Y wda: 1.8% v -1.0%e || Prior revised from 0.7% to 0. 3%

· SP Feb Industrial Output Y/Y nsa: 3.9% v -0.2% prior || Prior revised from -0.2% to -0.6%

· GE Feb Factory Orders: M/M -0.5% v 0. 9%e || Prior revised from -1.5% to -0.7% |||| Y/Y 9.0% v 6.6%e || Prior revised from 9.5% to 8.9%

· *** SPEAKERS/COMMENTS ***

· Fed's Yellen: U.S. economic prospects remain unusually uncertain || FOMC must be prepared "to act in a timely manner" || Monetary, fiscal stimulus should aid 2H growth || U.S. economy has "stalled," could contract over 1H || Downside risks to growth are significant || Must be mindful of inflation fighting credibility

· Fed's Mishkin: Inflation objective has benefits || Inflation target would help improve Fed communication || Inflation anchor could help stabilize output, and jobs || Notes countries with highest degree of central bank independence have best inflation records || Does not comment on economy or interest rates

· ECB's Constancio: Slowing EMU growth should dampen inflation || Expects some deceleration in EMU growth in 2008 || Commodity prices are unpredictable and affect inflation || Global slowdown should dampen commodity inflation || Inflation expectations are well anchored || Not really seeing second round inflation effects at EMU level yet

· *** FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***

· European government bonds are currently mixed in what has been an extremely quiet session ahead of the jobs data due out in the US later on today. Following today's jobs data focus in fixed income is likely to fall upon next week's interest rate decisions from the Bank of England, and the European Central Bank. Consensus estimates are for a 25bps rate cut from the BOE, while the ECB is widely expected to hold rates steady. Despite the ECB's price stability stance, there have been some indications that perhaps inflation will not be as bad as some think this year. Namely, comments from the EU draft yesterday noting that inflation is expected to moderate in 2008, as well as comments from the ECB's Constancio today, who noted that slowing growth should dampen inflation. It is however somewhat difficult to imagine slowing inflation given the recent rise seen in the March readings of German, Italian, and Euro-Zone CPI data. At the going rate the ECB is likely to keep rates on hold, while maintaining their wait and see policy in the name of price stability. With the interest rate decisions still a week away the focus in the meantime will be today's jobs number in the
US. The change in non-farm payrolls is expected at -50K in March; estimates range from -150K to +65K. If the reading is negative it would be the first time that we've had three consecutive negative readings since 2003. Recall that the ADP employment data seen earlier this week came in at +8K, above the consensus estimate of -45K. The back month reading posted upward revisions. Additionally, note that ahead of the US jobs data, the Canadian jobs data is due. Consensus estimates are for a net change in Canadian employment of +15K, with estimates ranging from 5K to 30K.

· The European indices are currently trading in positive territory in the session, led by the telecommunications and healthcare sectors. In equity news overnight the Royal Bank of
Scotland announced that it sold its European consumer-finance unit to Santander. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Shares of Air Berlin were trading higher overnight on word that holder Harlem One sold its 18.56% stake in the company to an institutional investor. Looking ahead to the US pre-market, earnings are expected from notables Family Dollar, and Mosaic Company.

· In currencies, the USD is hovering near sessions lows against the European currencies in subdued trading ahead of the
US payroll report. The EUR/USD back above the 1.570- area, while the GBP/USD is testing the 2.0-level. Continued hawkish talk from European officials on inflation is providing firm footing for the Euro. However the overall sentiment remains fragile as traders are wary of the impending US payroll numbers.

· The JPY was softer across the board as the recent rally in equities prompted some risk appetite via carry trades, especially as the new fiscal year began in
Japan. The iTraxx Crossover Idex was back below the 500bps level as tension eased amongst traders. The EUR/JPY retested the 161-level where Japanese exporters had offers earlier this week.

· The CAD at 1.0065 ahead of the Canadian employment report.

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