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Monday June 2, 2008 - 10:43:47 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Risk Aversion Returns


·SZ Q1 GDP: Q/Q 0.3% v 0. 3%e || Prior revised from 1.0% to 0.9% |||| Y/Y 3.0% v 3.3%e

·SW May Swedbank PMI: 51.2 v 50.8e

·SP May Manufacturing PMI: 43.8 v 45.2 prior

·SZ May SVME PMI: 55.7 v 55.4e

·IT May Final Manufacturing PMI: 48.0 v 48.2e

·FR May Final Manufacturing PMI: 51. 5 v 51.3e

·GE May Final Manufacturing PMI: 53.6 v 53.5e

·EU May Final Manufacturing PMI: 50.6 v 50.5e

·UK Apr Mortgage Approvals: 58K v 65Ke || Prior revised from 64K to 63K

·UK Apr Final M4 Money Supply: M/M 0.6% v 0.7% prior || Y/Y 11.1% v 11.2% prior

·UK Apr Final M4 Sterling Lending: £27.9B v £26.0B prior

·UK Apr Net Consumer Credit: £900M v £1.0B

·UK Apr Net Lending Secured on Dwellings: £6.4B v £6.8Be || Prior revised from £6.9B to £6.7Be

·UK May Manufacturing PMI: 50.0 v 50.5e


·In equity news overnight JP Morgan raised the European Telecom Sector to a Neutral rating. Things were pretty quiet elsewhere, with the major story being
Bradford and Bingley's [BB.UK] confirmation of press speculation over the weekend. TPG will take a £179M stake in the company and will become a major strategic investor. Bradford and Bingley added that a restructured rights issue will raise £258M with shares issued at 55p/share. TPG later noted that they do not plan to launch a full takeover offer for the company.

·In the newspapers overnight the Financial Times wrote overnight that Toyota (TM) is mulling cutting its
US sales forecast, citing the market for pick-up trucks other large vehicles. The Wall Street Journal reported overnight that GM's (GM) market share could fall below 20% when the auto industry reports sales for May. A decline in truck sales may hurt GM's market share. According to Il Sole 24 Ore Finmeccania (FNC.IT) may sell a 60-70% stake in Ansaldo Energia in an IPO. The Financial Times wrote overnight that prices in the solar power industry could collapse, noting that lower prices could increase industry consolidation and increase the adoption of solar technologies.

·In energy news overnight, according to the New York Times the CFTC is expected to announce new regulatory measures this week. Recall that last week the CFTC announced that it would seek to increase transparency in the trading of energy futures and expand its international crude market surveillance. Pemex announced overnight that it has closed 2 oil export terminals in the
Gulf of Mexico due to weather conditions. The terminals were closed due to rains and winds from a tropical depression. OPEC's President said in a press interview overnight that the weak USD, subprime crisis, and market speculation are the causes for high oil prices. The International Air Transportation Agency Chief said overnight that if oil averages $107/barrel in 2008, he sees industry loss of $2.3B. The IATA Chief added that if oil prices remain at $135/barrel in 2008 the airline industry loss will be around $6.1B. Imperial Energy [IEC.UK] announced oil find at Kiev Eganskoye field overnight.

·In fixed income related news overnight the UK Observer wrote overnight that that the BoE is expected to leave rates at 5% this week, noting that Blanchflower is expected to vote for a rate cut. Former BOE MPC Member Willem Buiter (1997- 2000) wrote in the Telegraph overnight that inflation expectations are at their highest level since the Bank became operationally independent, and this is a serious threat to its credibility. The Bank hopes that, with the economy slowing down quite sharply, further rate increases will not be necessary to get inflation back on target over a two-year horizon. I am not so sure. A bank rate increase now could have an impact on inflation expectations, precisely because it would be costly. It would push up unemployment and weaken economic activity, but this is a price worth paying. I would vote for a 0.25pc increase in bank rate at the next MPC meeting.

·In the currencies the risk aversion theme returned to the market following confirmation of the restructured rights offering by
UK mortgage provider Bradford and Bingley. The GBP probed below the 1.9600-handle making two-week lows, while carry-related pairs were broadly lower. The USD/JPY tested below the 107.70-level, while the EUR/JPY was over 100 pips lower in the 163-area. The GBP/JPY was off 250 pips at 205.60-area. The EUR/USD was in the upper portion of its session trading range as various ECB members reiterated concerns over the inflation outlook. The ECB meets on Thursday and dealers note that it is likely that Trichet will raise its inflation projection while trimming its GDP growth estimate.

·There were a series of ECB speakers in the mix overnight. The ECB's Wellink said overnight that the strong Euro is not a problem yet but noted that it is "approaching a limit". The ECB's Mersch said that the strength of the Euro has shielded
Europe, adding that the Euro reflects the development of the economy. The ECB's Bini Smaghi reiterated overnight that inflation to slow in next months. The ECB's Draghi said that the inflation build-up is greatest global economic threat. The EU's Almunia said in an interview with El Pais that US credit crisis will have a muted impact on Europe. The ECB's Trichet reiterated overnight that the ECB's mandate is clear, and that is to maintain price stability. Trichet added that the financial market turmoil is a challenge of great magnitude. The Irish Finance Minister said overnight that we must not must link wages to inflation, adding that strong Euro is a problem for Irish exports. The Spanish Finance Minister reiterated overnight that he is concerned about the recent level of inflation. German Finance Minister reiterated overnight that inflation remains a challenge, and remains ECB's top priority, adding that should not react politically to oil prices. US Treasury Secretary Paulson said overnight that he is committed to policies to ensure USD remains reserve currency. Paulson said that the long-term health of the economy will shine through in the forex markets. Paulson added that the US is in a rough period, noting that he expects faster growth by the end of the year. Paulson said that oil prices are likely to persist for some time, asserting that speculation and depreciation of the dollar are small factors in the rise of oil prices The EU's Juncker said overnight that high inflation is not acceptable adding that the ECB is right to target an inflation level of 2.0%.

·Looking ahead, economic data is rather light in the
US today, with focus on the May ISM manufacturing, and ISM prices paid releases due out at 10:00 ET, along with the April construction spending data. In central bank speak the Fed's Lockhart is due to speak on the economy in Jacksonville at 12:20 ET. There are no major earnings reports expected this morning.


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