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Wednesday April 30, 2008 - 10:43:31 GMT
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European Market Update: Euro-Zone CPI Shows Signs of Cooling


· GE Mar ILO Unemployment Rate: 7.3% v 7.4%e || Prior revised from 7.4% to 7. 6%

· UK Apr Nationwide House Prices: M/M -1.1% v -0.5%e || Prior revised from -0.6% to -0.7% |||| Y/Y -1.0% v 0.0%e

· GE Apr Unemployment Rate: 7.9% v 7.8%e

· GE Apr Unemployment Change: -7K v - 30Ke

· NO Mar Retail Sales: M/M -0.4% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 3.3% v 4. 7%e

· IT Feb Large Company Employment: 0.3% v 0.3% prior || Prior revised from 0.3% to 0.2%

· IT Apr Preliminary CPI: M/M 0.1% v 0.3%e || Y/Y 3.3% v 3.4%e

· IT Apr Preliminary CPI Harmonized: M/M 0.5% v 0.7%e || Y/Y 3.5% v 3.7%e

· EU Mar Unemployment Rate: 7.1% v 7. 1%e

· EU Apr CPI Estimate: 3.3% v 3.4%e

· EU Apr Business Climate: 0.44 v 0.69e

· EU Apr Consumer Confidence: -12 v - 13e

· EU Apr Economic Confidence: 97.1 v 98.9e

· EU Apr Industrial Confidence: -2 v -1e

· EU Apr Services Confidence: 7 v 9e

· SZ Apr KOF Swiss Leading Indicator: 1.2 v 1.46e || Prior revised from 1.54 to 1.4


· In equity news overnight, Costco (COST) announced overnight a 10.3% increase to its quarterly dividend, bringing the dividend up to $0.16. The dividend is payable
May 30, 2008, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 16, 2008. Siemans (SI) reported a first-quarter net of €384M overnight, and revenues of €18. 1B, while software company SAP (SAP) reported a first-quarter net of €242M and revenue of €2.46B. Siemans shares were higher at the open, while SAP shares were sharply lower. Elsewhere, Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) reported a second-quarter net of €1.86B, and revenue of €6.9B. Sanofi shares were slightly lower at the open. Eon [EOA.GE] announced that it will boost its dividend by 22% to €4.10.

· In the newspapers overnight, the Financial Times wrote overnight that AstraZeneca (AZN) said that it is in talks with the
UK government regarding the taxation of foreign profits. An AstraZeneca spokesman said that the company is in "constructive dialogue" with the government to ensure that business issues are fully discussed and understood. According to the Times Unilever (UL) will transfer 14 of its European food brands into a separate company. The brands are specifically from the UK, France and Germany. The Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that the Rockefeller Family wants Exxon (XOM) to change its corporate governance. The family, which is an influential shareholder of Exxon, said that it plans to support proposals which urge Exxon to create an independent chairman position and examine if it (Exxon) should take a more active role in developing sustainable energy technologies. The Times wrote overnight that Time Warner's (TWX) CEO is expected to announce Wednesday plans to spin-off the company's cable tv unit. Sweden's Dagens Industri reported that the country's industrial minister prevented Vattenfall [VATT. SW] from making a bid for British Energy [BGY.UK].

· All was quiet on the energy front overnight. Following a blackout overnight,
Venezuela's state oil company said that its main oil refineries were not harmed by the blackout. The Kuwaiti Oil Minister said overnight that oil prices soar due to speculation and refinery bottlenecks adding that oil prices are not driven by supply and demand. As expected, Exxon (XOM) workers in Nigeria began returning to work as union/management talks re-commenced.

· In new supply overnight the Agence France Trésor sold €1.78B in 4.00% October 2014 OATs with an average yield of 4.13% and a bid-to-cover of 2.58x, as well as €2.38B in 4.00% April 2018 OATs with an average yield of 4.35% and a bid-to-cover of 2.32x, and €1.31B in 4.25% October 2023 OATs with an average yield of 4.63% and a bid-to-cover of 2.49x. In related news overnight, the Wall Street Journal examined recent gains in the junk bond market in an article. The article noted that the junk bond market is closing out its best month in year. Despite the recent gains in the junk bond market, the article said, some analysts remain cautious because the market is expected to see a rise in defaults and there are worries that when defaults occur, the recovery rates on those bonds and loans will be far less than in the past. A Bank of Spain official stated in a newspaper interview overnight that the BOS estimates that Q1 GDP growth will declined to 2.8% y/y from 3.5% y/y in Q4.

· In currencies a slew of Euro-Zone data provided fresh evidence that EU is encountering some headwinds on the growth front, as well as a pause in its inflationary hump. Dealers noted that they encountered some good USD buying from various types of market players in the session. The USD was firm, but was still unable to break some key technical levels to achieve additional upside momentum. The EUR/USD was trading at the lower end of its 1.5510 to 1.5630 trading range. The USD/CHF continued to probe its channel resistance line at the 1.0430 approach. The JPY maintained a softer tone following the BOJ rate announcement and the BOJ's lower of its 2008 GDP estimate of 1.5%.

· In central bank speak, the ECB's Trichet said in a newspaper interview overnight that the ECB is concerned that sharp FX moves could hit financial and economic stability. Trichet added that markets are certainly listening to the ECB's message on FX. When asked whether or not the ECB will follow the Fed Trichet reiterated that the US and European economies are different.

· On the data front overnight the German ILO unemployment rate declined to its lowest level on record in March at 7.3%. The German Labor Ministry also released its jobless figures overnight, which showed a jobless change of -7K, above the -30K expected; the unemployment rate unexpectedly rose to 7.9%. In the Euro-Zone, the Apr CPI estimate came in at 3.3%, just below the 3.4% estimate. Despite remaining above the key 3.0% mark, the data seemed to chop away at the foundations of the ECB's hawkish stance as it was accompanied by weaker than expected preliminary CPI data in

· Looking ahead, the economic scheduled in the
US is packed this morning, making up for the data void experienced over the past couple of days. Data will begin with the volatile ADP employment change for April, which is expected to yield results of -60K, and is due at 8:15am. At 8:30am advanced Q1 GDP annualized q/q, GDP price index, personal consumption, and core PCE are due, and are expected to come in at 0.5%, 3.0%, 0.7%, and 2.2% respectively. Shortly thereafter, at 9:45am, the Chicago PMI for April will be released, and is expected at 47.5. The most anticipated release today, the FOMC rate decision, is due at 2:15pm. The overwhelming consensus is for a 25bps cut today, however there are a few analysts forecasting a 50bps cut, and other forecasting that the FOMC will leave rates unchanged. Earnings will also be heavy today. In the pre-market earnings results are expected from Colgate Palmolive (CL), First Solar (FSLR), General Motors (GM), Hess Corp. (HES), International Paper (IP), Kellogg (K), Kraft Food (KFT), Procter & Gamble (PG), Reynolds American (RAI), and Time Warner (TWX). In addition to the above, the Fed is scheduled to make its TSLF announcement at 1:00pm this afternoon.

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AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
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