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Tuesday June 24, 2008 - 10:41:14 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: French consumer spending rises; German sentiment declines


·GE GFK Consumer Confidence: 3.9 v 4.6e || Prior revised from 4.9 to 4.7

·FR May Consumer Spending: M/M 2.0% v 0.7%e || Prior revised from -0.8% to -0.9% |||| Y/Y 3.1% v 2.0%e

·FR May Housing Starts: -21.6% v -18.2%e

·FR May Housing Permits: -19.9% v -16.3% prior

·FR June Business Confidence Indicator: 102 v 101e

·FR June Production Outlook Indicator: -15 v -17e || Prior revised from -15 to -14

·FR June Own-Company Production: 7 v 5e || Prior revised from 6 to 5

·IT June Consumer Confidence: 100 v 102e

·UK May BBA Loans for House Purchase: 27,968 v 38,704 prior || Prior revised from 38,704 to 34,752


·In equity news overnight Thomas Cook Group [TCG.UK] reported 1H revenue of £2.96B, up from £1.72B a year ago, and a net loss of £191M, down from the profit of £30.6M a year ago. The company also announced the appointment of a new CFO. Debenhams [DEB.UK] reported 10-week like-for-like sales of 1.0%, and 42-week like-for-like sales of -0.6%. Imperial Energy [IEC.UK] said that they are on track to meet their production targets, adding that drilling is ahead of schedule. Tullow Oil [TLW.UK] noted that they encountered 5 meters of net oil pay and 9 meters of net gas pay at the NGEGE-1 exploration well in

·In energy news overnight, OPEC's El-Badri said overnight that he is not aware of a
Kuwait oil production increase, adding that OPEC members ex-Saudi do not want an output increase. El-Badri reiterated that prices will not fall despite group's efforts, and blamed speculators for higher prices. Citing a Pentagon report, the Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that Iran is still sending military supplies to Shiite militants in Iraq. The Telegraph wrote overnight that former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, predicted that Israel could attack Iran after the November presidential elections, but before Pres Bush's successor is sworn in. In an interview with the Telegraph, Bolton said that the Arab world would be "pleased" by Israeli strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities. The EU's Piebalgs said overnight that he is not convinced that speculation is causing the rally in oil prices, adding that he will ask OPEC to get rid of their production ceiling.

·In new supply overnight the DMO sold £660M in 0.75% 2047 gilts with a real yield of 0.455% and a bid-to-cover of 1.64x.
Germany confirmed its Q3 issuance schedule overnight. Germany will top-up the July 2039 bond on July 23 in the amount of €4.0B, the July 2018 bund on July 2 in the amount of €7.0B, the July 2018 bund on August 13 in the amount of €6.0B and the June 2010 Schatz on July 9 in the amount of €7.0B. Germany will also sell €8.0B in new September 2010 Schatz on September 10 and €7.0B in new October 2013 Bobl on September 24. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) said overnight that they expect Ireland to have its first recession since 1986, noting that Ireland will be in breach of the EU Stability Pact in 2009. Citing a report by Moody's, the Wall Street Journal wrote overnight that recoveries on defaulted debt of junk-rated companies may be lower than in the past. Moody's believes that the highest-priority debt could only recover on average 68 cents on the dollar if a default occurs vs. the 87 cent historical average. The Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in his column today that the ECB is likely to raise rates in July despite the recent soft economic data.

·In currencies the USD was softer against the European pairs as higher commodity prices weighed upon sentiment. The EUR/USD is around 1.5570, up 45 pips since the Asian open. The GBP/USD is around 1.9665, higher by 20 pips in the session. The GBP is holding steady despite softer housing data from the BBA. The USD/JPY and JPY crosses traded higher as importer bids coupled with demand from Japanese investors seeking overseas yields. The EUR/USD is back above the 168 level and within striking distance of retesting last July's all-time high of 168.85. The CAD and AUD were steady on firmer oil and gold prices. The Icelandic Prime Minister said that the benefits of an independent Krona outweigh the costs. Furthermore the PM said that the Krona is weaker than the equilibrium value should be, adding that the Krona should stabilize.

·On the speaker front overnight the Spanish Finance Minister said overnight that 2009 GDP growth could be below that of 2008, adding that he Sees 2008 economic growth below 2%. The Spanish Labor minister said overnight that he sees unemployment close to 11% in 2009.
Germany's Deputy Economic Minister Otremba said overnight that Q2 GDP growth could be negative due to strong Q1 results, noting that the Strong Euro FX rate is rather negative overall. Otremba reiterated his view that the higher Euro does offsets oil price increase. The EU's Bajuk said overnight that the ECB should leave all options open for monetary policy, adding that he does not expect harmonized inflation to go any higher.


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