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Thursday July 10, 2008 - 10:57:49 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: ECB Maintains Tone in Monthly Report; IEA Boosts 2008 Demand Growth Forecast

  *** ECONOMIC DATA ***

·FR May Industrial Production: M/M -2.6% v -0.6%e || Prior revised from 1.4% to 1.5% |||| Y/Y -1.2% v 1.5%e || Prior revised from 3.2% to 3.1%

·FR May Manufacturing Production: M/M -2.5% v -0. 6%e || Prior revised from 1.7% to 3.1% |||| Y/Y -1.4% v 1.6%e || Prior revised from 2.8% to 2.6%

·SW June CPI: M/M 0.5% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 4.3% v 4.1%e

·SW June Core CPI: M/M 0.4% v 0.3%e || Y/Y 3.2% v 3. 2%e

·SW June CPI Level: 302.45 v 301.94

·SW May Activity Index Level: 123.6 v 123.6 prior

·SW June AMV Unemployment Rate: 2. 8% v 3.0%e

·UK HBOS House Prices: M/M -2.0% v -1.0%e || Prior revised from -2.4% to -2.5% |||| Y/Y -6.1% v -5.9%e

·NO June Producer Prices: M/M 4.8% v 4.2%e || Y/Y 29.3% v 28.7%e

·NO June CPI: M/M 0.2% v 0.2%e || Y/Y 3.4% v 3.4%e

·NO June Core CPI: M/M 0. 0% v 0.2%e || Y/Y 2.4% v 2.5%e

·IT May Industrial Production: M/M -1. 4% v -0.5%e || Prior revised from 0.7% to 0.4% |||| Y/Y wda -4.1% v -1.2%e || Prior revised from 2.0% to 2.4%

·IT May Industrial Production Y/Y nsa: -6.6% v -4.0%e || Prior revised from 8.0% to 8.4%

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

·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 “far from over” 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 €640M-€660M v €648Mem and an Operating Loss of €40M-€35M v Loss €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 €4.0B offer to buy 3 Italia from Hutchison Whampoa [13.HK]. A Hutchison spokesperson later denied the report.

·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 “bad,” 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 “outliers” 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 7:00 ET, 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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