¬∑In sector rotation Lehman cut the European oil refining shares to Negative,
while European integrated oil shares were cut to a Neutral rating. Lehman also
cut its 2008 earnings estimates for the European refiners by 15%. In an analyst
note UBS said that a merger between DSG International [DSGI.UK] and Kesa
Electricals [KESA.UK] is becoming more logical. Jp Morgan said that the credit
cycle is ‚Äúfar from over‚ÄĚ noting that US large cap banks may need to raise an
additional $51B, and cut take up to $265B in additional provisions. Novartis
[NOVN.SZ] announced overnight that it purchased a 51% stake in Speedel
[SPPN.SZ], bringing its stake up to 61.4%. Novartis plans to offer CHF130/share
for the remaining shares of Speedel. Heidelberger Druckmaschinen [HDD.GE]
guided Q1 Revenue ‚ā¨640M-‚ā¨660M v ‚ā¨648Mem and an Operating Loss of ‚ā¨40M-‚ā¨35M v
Loss ‚ā¨37.5Me. The company plans to adopt cost structure enhancing measures,
which include cutting 500 jobs by the end of 2011. Sports Direct [SPD.UK] Reported FY08 Revenue of ¬£1.26B v
¬£1.33Be, Net Income of ¬£78.2M v ¬£58.5Me and Pretax Profit of ¬£85M v ¬£118.9Me.
Gross margins were 43.6% v 44.3% y/y. Barratt Developments [BDEV.UK] reported
that FY volumes, margin, and debt levels in line with expectations. The company
sees ¬£85M in writedowns, and plans on closing 2 divisions and cutting 1200
jobs. Furthermore Barratt sees forward sales below expectations and will
deleverage business over near-term. The company does not see paying a final
dividend for 2008.
¬∑In the news papers overnight the Wall Street Journal wrote that Best Buy (BBY)
is seeking to double its sales to $80B over the next 5 years. The article
reports that the company is looking to meet is sales goal by increasing its
market share, adding new product categories, adding new businesses and by
continuing international expansion. According to the Wall Street Journal Apple
(AAPL) the DoJ has ended its criminal probe of options backdating at Apple. The
DoJ reportedly decided not to bring charges against the company or executives.
The Economic Times wrote overnight that WNS to pay $230M to acquire the Indian
global back-office unit of Aviva [AV.UK]. The CEO of Delhaize [DELB.BE] said in
an interview with Het Financieele Dagblad that the company may make
acquisitions in the Balkans. La Repubblica reported overnight that Naguib
Sawiris, the owner of Wind Telecomunicazioni, may make a ‚ā¨4.0B offer to buy 3
Italia from Hutchison Whampoa [13.HK]. A Hutchison spokesperson later denied
¬∑In energy news overnight Nigerian militant group MEND said that it will end
its ceasefire. Iran reportedly fired some additional test
missiles overnight as the country's war games continued. In its monthly report
the IEA raised its 2008 world oil demand growth forecast for the first time in
six months; the IEA raised the forecast by 80K bpd to 86.9M bpd. The IEA cited China and the Middle East for the upward revision to its 2008
forecast. The IEA said that 2009 world oil demand growth is seen rising by
about 1.0%, roughly in line with 2008. The IEA noted that if the output level
seen in June is sustained that it will boost world oil stocks, and added that
the oil speculation argument is weaker following the recent CFTC data.
¬∑There was little news on the fixed income front overnight as there was not any
new supply scheduled. In related news, according to the Financial Times
Germany's government is planning to cut down on excessive executive pay before
the end of 2008. The move could lead to lower use of stock options as a form of
compensation. According to RealtyTrac June Foreclosures in the US were +53% y/y, while bank repossessions
were +171% y/y. Filings were above 250k for the second consecutive month.
¬∑In the currencies, the USD continued to consolidate within its post ECB press
conference range of 1.5630 to 1.5730 against the Euro, but did manage to
briefly probe 1.5760 ahead of the European open as Euro stop loss orders were
elected. Dealers continued to cite the potential concerns that linger in the
financial sector. Geopolitical concerns also remained prevalent as Iran continued to conduct war games in the
Gulf region. The JPY related pairs were higher despite the softer equity
scenario. The EUR/JPY held steady in the mid-168 area and EUR/CHF cross
maintaining a foothold above the 1.62 handle. The GBP was lower by 90 pips ahead
of the BOE rate decision, the EUR/GBP higher by 24 pips at 0.7965 level.
¬∑The ECB reiterated in its July monthly report that the bank's interest rate
hike was needed to combat second round inflation effects from materializing.
The ECB reiterated that economic fundamentals remain strong, but did not that
the economic outlook still remains uncertain. The ECB said that inflation
remains high, noting that the MPC is monitoring this closely. Finally the ECB
reiterated that it must anchor inflation expectations. Elsewhere, the German
Finance Minister reiterated overnight that 2008 GDP growth could top 1.7%, and
added that growth of 1.2% in 2009 is no unrealistic. Steinbrueck reiterated
that the second quarter will be ‚Äúbad,‚ÄĚ and said that he sees clear downside trends
in the German economy.
¬∑*** NOTES ***
¬∑The European indices opened lower in the session as renewed uncertainty over
the outlook for the financial sector cast a shadow of doubt over the market as
we head into earnings season. There were a fair amount of data releases in the
session, none of which led to any major reactions. The Scandinavian data
releases contained the biggest ‚Äúoutliers‚ÄĚ with the y/y CPI reading in Sweden at its highest level since November of
1993, and the y/y reading for the Norwegian producer prices at its highest
level since record began in January of 1978. The ECB's monthly report was much
of the same; the report highlighted Trichet's post-rate hike press conference
and encapsulated the general tone that the ECB's MPC has projected since the
June policy-setting meeting. The IEA monthly report was exciting in that the
IEA raised its 2008 world oil demand growth forecast for the first time in six
months following a series of reductions. Despite the upward revision to the
IEA's forecast the report did not have much of an effect on crude oil prices.
Looking ahead the BOE is due with its interest rate decision at , and is widely expected to hold interest
rates at 5.00%. A recent survey of nearly 50 economists showed that only one economist
was forecasting a 25bps at today's meeting. In terms of earnings in the US we are looking out for the release of US notables Marriott International (MAR)
and Progressive Corp. Ohio (PGR) amongst others, as well as same store sales
data for the month of June. Costco (COST) released June SSS data overnight; the
headline reading of 9.0% was above the 8.0% consensus estimate.
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