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Tuesday June 3, 2008 - 10:33:43 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Dollar Loses Ground as Markets Become Weary


·SZ May CPI: M/M 0.8% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 2.9% v 2.4%e (high Oct. 1993)

·SP May unemployment Net M/M: 15.1K v 37.5K prior

·SP May Consumer Confidence: 56.4 v 63.8 prior

·UK May Construction PMU: 43.9 v 45. 8e

·EU Apr PPI: M/M 0.8% v 0.8%e || Y/Y 6.1% v 6.1%e || Prior y/y revised from 5.7% to 5.8%

·EU Q1 Preliminary GDP: Q/Q 0.8% v 0.7%e || Y/Y 2.2% v 2.2%e

·EU Q1 Preliminary Gross Fixed Capital Formation: 1.6% v 1.5%e

·EU Q1 Preliminary Government Expenditures: 0.4% v 0.7%e

·EU Q1 Preliminary Household Consumption: 0.2% v 0. 2%e


·In equity news overnight Lennox International (LII) announced a $300M stock buyback program (16.2% of market cap). State Street (STT) announced a $2.5 billion common stock offering (9% of market cap). Staples (SPLS) raised its offer for Corporate Express [EXP.NA] to €9.15/share from €8.00/share overnight.

·In the newspapers overnight the Wall Street Journal reported that a GM (GM) dividend cut is not likely. The article notes that a dividend cut will probably not be a part of the restructuring measures that GM will announce on Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal Metlife (MET) plans to divest mostly all of its 52% stake in Reinsurance Group. The Wall Street Journal reported overnight that due to losses Lehman (LEH) will weigh raising new capital. The article says that "the exact amount of the capital hike isn't known but analysts and Wall Street executives said it is likely to be $3 billion to $4 billion." Adds: "The amount of money to be raised suggests Lehman's loss could be larger than the $300 million or so that some analysts have been expecting." Handelsblatt wrote overnight that Pirelli (PC.IT) is willing to consider acquisitions in the truck tire industry.

·In energy news overnight, according to source reports, Motiva's (325K bpd) Port Arthur Refinery will be shut for about 1 week. The Wall Street Journal reported overnight that
Bolivia's President ordered the nationalization of a natural-gas pipeline half-owned by Shell [RDSA.UK] Apache (APA) reported an explosion at gas plant in Western Australia overnight. The plant supplies 30%-40% of Western Australia's gas. The company said that gas supplies will be affected for a number of days.

·In the currencies the USD was stymied by speculation that Lehman Brothers may need to raise additional capital due to trading losses. The EUR/USD was back above the 1.56-level, with European economic data also contributing to softer USD sentiment. The Euro was also helped out by better GDP reading for Q1, while Euro-Zone PPI levels remained lofty at a 6.1% annual rate. The CHF was firmer on initial unwinding of carry-related pairs following concerns over the health of the financial market sector. Swiss CPI came in above expectations as well. The JPY was off its best levels due to carry flows. Commodity related currency pairs were a touch firmer. USD/CAD was trading around the 0.9980-area, while AUD hovered around the 0.9600-area. Dealers noted some geopolitical factors and supply concerns on physical commodities helping to firm the CAD and AUD this session.

·On the speaker front the Finnish Finance Minister said overnight that oil prices are expected to stay high for many years, adding that the national government must help ECB to tackle inflation. The EU's Almuina said overnight that he hopes that inflation does not remain high all year. Almunia added that we have to accept external price shocks, noting that he expects G8 summit to discuss high oil and food pricesEU President Bajuk reiterated overnight that inflation remains a source of great concern, adding that monetary policy cannot deal with high inflation. The Bundesbank's Zeitler said overnight that it will take time for financial markets to return to normal adding that he sees "light at the end of the tunnel". Riksbank's Governor said overnight that financial stability in
Sweden remains satisfactory but risks have increased. Sveriges added that Swedish bank resilience to shocks remains good, but contingent risks have risen. Spain's Solbes said overnight that he sees 2008 GDP growth around 2% , and inflation at 3.5% at the end of 2008 given current oil market.

·Looking ahead, the schedule is light in terms of data, with focus falling upon the release of April factory orders at
10:00 ET. In Fed speak the Fed's Bernanke is scheduled to speak with the ECB's Trichet in Barcelona.


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