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Tuesday May 27, 2008 - 10:58:37 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: German Consumer Confidence Weakens; French Housing Starts Dive


·UK Q2 CBI Consumer Services Optimism: -60% v -48% q/q

·UK Q2 CBI Consumer Selling Prices in the Next 3 Months: 14% v 45% q/q

·GE Q1 Final GDP: Q/Q 1.5% v 1.5%e || Y/Y 2.6% v 2.6%e || Y/Y nsa 1.8% v 1.8%e

·GE Q1 Final Private Consumption: 0.3% v 0. 4%e

·GE Q1 Final Government Spending: 1.3% v 0.4%e || Prior revised from -0.5% to -0.6%

·GE Q1 Final Capital Investment: 3.7% v 2.0%e || Prior revised from 1.1% to 1.5%

·GE Q1 Final Construction Investment: 4.5% v 6.3%e || Prior revised from -1.1% to -0.5%

·GE Q1 Final Domestic Demand: 1.9% v 2.2%e || Prior revised from -0.5% to -0. 3%

·GE Q1 Final Imports 3.5% v 3.5%e || Prior revised from -0.2% to 0.2%

·GE Q1 Final Exports 2.4% v 2.2%e

·SZ Apr Trade Balance: CHF1.57B v CHF1.25Be || Prior revised from CHF1.25B to CHF1.27B

·FR May Business Confidence 102 v 105e

·FR May Production Outlook: -15 v -10e

·FR May Own-Company Production Outlook: 6 v 11e

·FR Apr Housing Starts: -18.8% v -6.5%e

·FR Apr Housing Permits: -16.3% v - 13.9%e

·SW May Manufacturing Confidence: 0 v 1e

·SW May Consumer Confidence: -1.1 v 0.0e

·SW May Economic Tendency Survey: 98.5 v 103.2 prior || Prior revised from 103.2 to 102.5

·SW Apr PPI: M/M 0.4% v 0.5%e || Y/Y 2.9% v 2.9%e

·IT May Business Confidence: 89. 6 v 86.9e || Prior revised from 86.9 to 87.6

·IT Apr Hourly Wages: M/M 0.1% v 0.0% prior || Y/Y 2.8% v 2.8% prior

·SZ Apr UBS Consumption Indicator: 2.179 v 2.289 prior || Prior revised from 2.289 to 2. 249

·UK Apr BBA Loans for House Purchase: 38,704 v 35,417 prior || Prior revised from 35,417 to 35,546

·UK Apr BBA Gross Mortgage Lending: £17.8B v £16.6B prior


·In equity news overnight Petrobras (PBR) announced an oil and gas find in the
Gulf of Mexico. Petrobras said that the find signals potential "significant reserves". According to source reports GE (GE) is mulling the sale of its Australian Wizard Mortgage unit. Wizard has 250 branches and a loan book worth $11.5B. Emergent Biosolutions (EBS) announced overnight that it will acquire protein sciences' phase III recombinant flu vaccine candidate, FluBlok, and related novel platform technology. The company also reiterated its FY08 sales guidance of $180M-$195M v $185Me.

·In the newspapers overnight, the South China Morning Post wrote that there are rumors that a Chinese state-owned company is eyeing Talisman (TLM) as a buyout target. According to the Financial Times Wal-Mart (WMT) has selected SAP (SAP) to help with the roll out of its new global IT system. The system will break from Wal- Mart's traditional reliance on home-grown IT. The Financial Times reported overnight that Blackstone Group (BX) and Apollo Management are in talks to buy Chemtura (CEM). According to De Tijd InBev [INB.BE] may give go-ahead for Anheuser (BUD) talks today.

·In energy news, according to the U. S. Department of Transportation, the number of miles traveled on U.S. roads fell by 4.3% in March from a year earlier, sharpest yearly drop on record and the first decline in the month of March since 1979, when the last major oil shock hit drivers.

·On the speaker front overnight Former Fed Chairman Greenspan said that a recession still likely in the US, adding that he still sees a greater than 50% chance of recession. Greenspan estimates that house prices will fall by another 10% from February levels, noting it is too soon to tell whether the worst of the financial crisis was over. The ECB's stark reiterated overnight that he sees no room for complacency on price stability. The German economic minister Glos said overnight that stronger domestic demand is offsetting rising uncertainty in the international environment, adding that there is still a risk that oil price, the weak dollar, and financial markets could hit growth. The Bank of France's Saint Marc said overnight that he does not see a change in ECB rates for a long time, adding that the EBC can avoid a rake hike if second round effects do not materialize. Saint Marc added that the ECB knows that a rate hike will not lower oil prices, adding that commodity prices can only rise so the economy must adapt. Furthermore Saint Marc said that markets are correct in that there is no rate cut on the agenda right now.

·On the data front the German GDP data for the first quarter was unrevised from the preliminary readings as expected. The GfK consumer confidence for the month of June fell below expectations, and was accompanied by a downward revision to the back month reading. GfK economist Rolf Buerkl noted that inflation overshadowed everything else, but added that he still believes that the German economy is robust, and expects consumer spending to rise later this year. French consumer confidence continued to follow its recent downward path in May falling to its lowest level since December of 2005 on the back of the strong Euro, and higher energy prices. French housing starts for the month of April declined to their lowest level since records began in January of 2000, as the result of major declines in the hotels/hostels, and single family components.

·In currency news overnight the Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that hedge funds are betting that Gulf nations will have to abandon their dollar currency pegs as a result of inflation in the
Middle East. In trading the USD rebounded from 1-month lows against the Euro as the-1.58 level was tested just prior to the European open. The USD was aided by renewed jitters in the European banking sector. Following a comment from UBS on Monday noting that the bank may face more losses from its mortgage exposure the ECB disclosed today that €538M in marginal lending was used yesterday. Overall the EUR/USD remains range bound within the 1.5700 to 1. 5800 range that has been largely intact since May 21st. The USD/JPY is trading around-103.80. Dealer chatter continues to focus on option barriers in play. Market talk centers on allege 102.50-105.50 DNT (Do Not Touch) option that expires on Wednesday.

·In new supply overnight
Italy sold €2.5B in May 2010 zero-coupon bonds with an average yield of 4.361% and a bid-to-cover of 1.84x. Germany set a coupon of 4.25% on the 10-year bund due to be auctioned tomorrow. The ECB said overnight that €538M in marginal lending was used on Monday. The announcement prompted a flight to the safety of fixed income.

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