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Tuesday June 17, 2008 - 11:19:21 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: German Zew Falls to Fresh 15-Year Low; UK CPI Prompts Explanatory Letter



·*** ECONOMIC DATA ***

·SP Q1 Labor Costs: 5.1% v 4.1% prior

·SZ Q1 Industrial Production: Q/Q -9.3% v -5.1% || Y/Y 4.3% v 7.5%e || Prior revised from 9.1% to 9.2%

·IT Apr Total Trade Balance: -€1.0B v -€1. 1Be || Prior revised from -€545M to -€538M

·IT Apr Trade Balance EU: €770M v €300Me || Prior revised from €667M to €676M

·UK May CPI: M/M 0.6% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 3.3% v 3.2%e || Core Y/Y 1.5% v 1.5%e

·UK May RPI: M/M 0.5% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 4.3% v 4.2%e || Y/Y Ex-Mortgage 4.4% v 4. 1%e

·GE Jun ZEW Economic Sentiment: -52.4 v -42.5

·GE Jun ZEW Current Situation: 37.6 v 37.0e

·EU Jun ZEW Economic Sentiment: - 52.7 v -43.6 prior

·EU Apr Trade Balance: €2.2B v -€1.5Be || Prior revised from -€2.3B to -€1.5B

·EU Apr Trade Balance sa: €2.2B v - €500Me || Prior revised from -€2.4B to -€1.1B

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

·After the close overnight Kraft Foods (KFT) announced its intention to split-off its Post Cereals business. The split-off transaction is in connection with the merger of Cable Holdco and Ralcorp Mailman LLC, which is a subsidiary of Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (RAH). Luminex Corporation (LMNX) announces the public offering of up to 3. 5M shares of common stock overnight, representing approximately 9.5% of shares outstanding. Cemex (CX) guided Q2 revenues “above $6.4B” v $6.17Be. The company cut its FY08 EBITA outlook to $5.3B from $5.6B. Computerlinks [CPX.GE] received an offer from Platin 274 at €15.50/share representing a 38.7% premium to yesterday's closing price. Skyepharma [SKP.UK] announced overnight that Flutiform met its primary endpoint in a second phase III efficacy study. Elan (ELN) and Wyeth (WYE) announced overnight that phase 2 trial results of Bapineuzumab for Alzheimer's disease failed to reach the primary endpoint.

·In the newspapers overnight the Financial Times wrote that Goldman Sachs (GS) is close to finalizing a plan to restructure a $7bn investment vehicle formerly run by London-based hedge fund Cheyne Capital, in a move that could potentially usher in a crucial new phase in the credit turmoil.

·In energy news overnight, According to data released by the head of the Senate's Energy Committee, speculators hold close to 70% of all of the outstanding WTI oil contracts. The Financial Times wrote overnight that the
US wants China to be more transparent about its oil reserves. The Times of Oman wrote overnight that there are indications that Saudi Arabia could seek to have Western governments lower their domestic fuel taxes, if the oil producing nation decides to raise output. The Iranian President said overnight that the Market is full of oil adding that the rising price trend if take and imposed.

·In fixed income realted news overnight the Financial Times wrote overnight that financial markets are in danger of getting carried away with their expectations for Fed rate hikes. According to the article, there is a belief that the market may be pricing in too much tightening too soon. The Financial Times wrote overnight that, in order to save the Lisbon Treaty,
Ireland may be offered added guarantees of its sovereignty. The measure could seek to maintain Ireland's ability to levy taxes or maintain its neutral position. The Wall Street Journal noted overnight that on Tuesday, the US Treasury to meet with bankers and regulators to discuss the feasibility of lenders using covered bonds to raise capital. The Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that a consortium of global money-market funds aims to create a market which will allow banks to borrow funds from each other or central banks.

·In currencies dealers were digesting various factors that are impacting FX including pending central bank decisions, M&A news, option barriers, commodities, as well as quarterly and half-year end. However, the main event drivers were the UK CPI data, which came in above expectations, and the German ZEW survey, which missed expectations falling to fresh 15 year lows. The GBP/USD spiked to 1.97 following the UK CPI data, but failed to sustain upward momentum. Cable tested session lows of 1.9555 following the release of the BOE letter to Exchequer noting the dilemma of central banks in the environment of higher inflation and slowing economic growth. The EUR/USD started the European session moving from its best levels of 1.5550 as dealers took note of Bini Smaghi's comments that one rate hike of 25bps should be sufficient to curb Euro-Zone inflation. The EUR/USD broke below the 1.5470 following the fresh 15-year low of the ZEW survey. In currency news overnight, according to Arab News citing a report about Saudi oil investment plans “the GCC would continue to face inflationary pressure as long as currencies of the member states are linked to a weak US dollar, given the tendency of the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates further.” The report said that “At the same time, any move by GCC countries to change their dollar-peg policy would have a negative effect on their plan to establish a monetary union by 2010”. The report urged the GCC governments to introduce the monetary union “without delay.”



·On the speaker front the ECB's Bini Smaghi said in an interview with Il Sole 24
Ore that a 25bps rate hike would bring inflation down to about 2.0%, adding that ECB policy does not need to follow that of the US. Bini Smaghi noted that the Euro-Area is more protected than the US from shock, and said that the rise in oil prices may leave a mark in the second half. The EU Business Chief said overnight that he hopes for limited action from the ECB, adding that high oil and food prices are likely to persist for a long time. The Business Chief added that he understands the need for policy action. The Business Chief also said that EU firms are coming to terms with the high Euro exchange rate, adding that the Irish “no” vote on the Lisbon Treaty will not impact business confidence. A ZEW economist said following the that the German economy will lose steam over the next six months adding that an ECB rate increase is weighing on sentiment and will harm the economy. The economist said that he still sees German GDP growth around 2.0% this year. Spanish Central Bank Chief Economist Malo de Molina said overnight that the global situation is adverse for Spain. In his explanatory letter to the exchequer the BOE's King said that inflation should peak at the end of 2008, and will remain markedly above target in 2009. King said that the government will support the BOE's decisions noting that the rate path necessary for the BOE to meet its inflation target is uncertain.

·*** NOTES ***

·Interesting, humorous, and probably useless this <http://www. stoptrichet.com/?en> is at least worth a glance and a laugh as it further highlights some people's concerns about an ECB rate hike at the July policy-setting meeting.

·As noted earlier, the ECB's Bini Smaghi said in an interview with Il Sole 24
Ore that a 25bps rate hike would bring inflation down to about 2.0%. While a handful of other ECB members have indicated that the ECB is not about to set out on a rate tightening path, Smaghi's comments seem to reinforce that the ECB aims to meet its price stability mandate with a sole interest rate hike for the time being. The “one more and that's it” tone also seems to suggest that perhaps the uncertain ECB members acquiesced the hawkish members rather than adopting the hawkish view. This hit the Euro and added a little confidence to the fixed income futures in early European trading today.

·There were a few articles scattered around in some of the major
US and European newspapers overnight speculating that markets are well ahead of themselves in pricing in multiple Fed rate hikes in 2008.

 

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