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Wednesday June 18, 2008 - 10:41:51 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: BOE Minutes Show that Some BOE Members Considered and Ruled Out a Rate Hike in June


·UK BOE Minutes show 8-1 vote to hold rates at June 5th meeting

·SZ ZEW Expectations -63.8 v -60. 8e

·EU Apr Construction Output: M/M -0.8% v -2.2% prior || Prior revised from -2.2% to -2.8% |||| Y/Y -2.4% v -1.4% prior || Prior revised from -1.4% to -2.4%


·In equity news overnight Hennes & Mauritz [HMB.SW]reported Q2 revenue in line with estimates at SEK21.6B, and a Q2 net of SEK3.94B above expectations of SEK3.8B. Sainsbury [SBRY.UK] reported Q1 same store sales ex-fuel +3.4%, just below estimates of +3.5%. In sector rotation Credit Suisse cut its view on the
UK real estate Sector to an underweight rating from an overweight rating. BNP Paribas cut its rating on the European real estate sector to underweight from neutral.

·According to the Telegraph, in a note to clients Royal Bank of
Scotland told clients that global markets (equity and credit) could face significant declines because central banks are currently battling rising inflation. RBS believes that the S&P 500 could fall by more than 300 points by September.

·In energy news overnight a former Saudi Oil Minister said that speculation can lead to a new crisis. President Bush announced that he will request that Congress remove ban on oil drilling offshore on Wednesday. JP Morgan said in a note overnight that they expect an average Brent Crude price of $90/barrel in 2008, adding that the oil bullrun could be over due to rising volatility and potential output increases by
Saudi Arabia. An Iranian official said overnight that Iran would be open to raising crude oil output if it were agreed upon by OPEC, adding that they would welcome gestures that relax the oil market.

·In new supply overnight
Germany sold €4.044B in 4.50% 2013 Bobl with an average yield of 4.69% and a bid-to-cover of 1.3x. The cover compares to the 1.7x seen at the previous auction. In fixed income related news the Financial Times wrote overnight that there are concerns that the approval of the Lisbon Treaty could be further delayed by the political situation in the Czech Republic and Poland. Both the Czech Republic and Poland are not expected to ratify the treaty in time for the EU summit in October. According to wire reports the Greek PDMA is planning a global Dollar bond later this year. The maturity has not yet been decided.

·In currencies, the USD continued to consolidate within its 1-week ranges against the majors with dealers noting that volatility was moving lower. The EUR/USD probed the upper end of the range around the 1.5540-area after comments from ECB's Stark noting that some effects of second round wage & price effects were emerging in some regions. The GBP tested session lows of 1.9500 after the BOE minutes showed a vote of 8 to 1 to maintain a steady policy at its June 5th policy meeting. The cable managed to curb its losses as dealers focused on MPC comments that it saw no case for June rate cut, but noted that the position could change as more
information becomes available. MPC members added that new data could be enough to consider a future rate hike. The EUR/JPY tested its best level since last July as it touched above 168 handle following the comments from ECB's Stark on second round inflation concerns. The CHF softer against major pairs as Swiss ZEW survey for June came in below expectations. EUR/CHF at 1.6185 and USD/CHF at 1.0450 area. In currency news overnight the People's Bank of China Governor Zhou said overnight that the US and China talked about forex on Tuesday. Zhou noted that the weaker USD, will put pressure on the Yuan and drive higher commodity prices.

·The ECB's Liebscher reiterated overnight in an interview with Oesterreich newspaper that the strong Euro helps to dampen inflation. Liebscher said that he sees slower growth in
Austria in 2008 and 2009. The ECB's Stark reiterated that inflation will remain high in the coming months. The ECB is in a state of heightened alertness. Stark added that he does not see any signs of a credit crisis in the Euro-Zone. Stark also said that he sees some second round effects in wages and prices in some regions.

·BOE Minutes: The BOE voted 8-1 to hold rates at 5.00% at the June 5th policy-setting meeting, with David Blanchflower voting for a 25bps rate cut. Blanchflower argued that slowing
UK growth outweighed the CPI risk, adding that there is a growing risk of a very negative outcome. The majority said that they saw medium-term CPI risks further to the upside, adding that there was no case for a rate cut in June. Some members of the BOE considered whether or not a rate hike was warranted, but noted that a rate hike might exaggerate the CPI concern.

·*** NOTES ***

·The Financial Times wrote about the Lisbon Treaty overnight noting that further delays could come from Poland and the Czech Republic. At the going rate it is likely that the
Lisbon reforms to the EU's institutions and voting procedures will not come into effect on January 1st 2009 as planned. At the most basic level a large part of the EU is based upon economic and political cooperation. We are currently witnessing a divide on economic issues. While the German growth engine remains strong other members are struggling. The strugglers seem to believe that raising rates in July is a bad idea, and complain about the strong Euro, while Germany, and perhaps even France (despite their protest) will be able to weather a rate hike and the strong Euro. In the current economic environment, which some believe is on the cusp of a recession, the economic divide is likely to continue for the mean time. Developments on the Lisbon Treaty are well worth watching as a political divide coupled with an economic divide are likely to shake the foundations of the EU.

·ECB member Stark's acknowledgement of the presence of second-round wage and price effects in some regions was the first of its kind as ECB members had previously noted the need to watch for the development of second-round effects, but said nothing of existing effects. The comment isn't likely to change anything, but it does re
inforce that the ECB hawks are as hawkish as ever.

·The SNB's quarterly rate decision is worth watching tomorrow as the SNB tends to be a good meter for the state of the European economy. Estimates are split down the middle with some economist forecasting that the SNB will hold at 2.75%, and others predicting that it will raise rates to 3.00%.


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