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Friday July 18, 2008 - 10:25:00 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: European Markets Anticipate Key US Earnings Releases


·IT May Industrial Orders: M/M -3.1% v -1.5%e || Prior revised from 1.2% to 0.5% |||| Y/Y -5.3% v 0.1%e

·IT May Industrial Sales: M/M -1.7% v -0.6%e || Y/Y -2.7% v 13.9% prior

·UK June Public Finances: £15.5B v £12.6Be

·UK June Net Borrowing: £9.2B v £7.4Be || Prior revised from £11.0B to £12.5B

·UK June Preliminary M4 Money Supply: M/M 2.0% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 11.5% v 0.7%e

·UK June Preliminary M4 Sterling Lending: £45.9M v £10.0Be || Prior revised form £4. 8B to £7.5B

·EU May Trade Balance: -€4.6B v €1.0Be || Prior revised from €2.3B to €2.5B prior

·EU May Trade Balance sa: -€1.5B v €800Me || Prior revised from €2.2B to €1.4B


·There isn't much to report on the equity front, however Belgium's Delhaize [DELB.BE] reported preliminary Q2 operating profit of €194M overnight, below estimates of €218.5Me, and reported revenue of €4.5B, below estimates of €4.69Be. Delhaize cut its FY08 revenue growth forecast to 3.0%-4.5%, from 4.0%-5.5%, and its net income growth forecast to 15%-20% from 25%-30%, citing continued weakening of the consumer environment for the reduction in its outlook.

·In the newspapers, according to the Wall Street Journal Freddie Mac (FRE) may sell up to $10B in new shares. The plan would have the potential to avoid a full-blown government rescue. The article speculates that Freddie's stock offering could range from $5B to $10B. According to Handelsblatt IKB [IKB. GE] will be sold in two parts by KFW group who holds a controlling stake in the bank.

·On the fixed income front, according to the Wall Street Journal two European Parliament members said that they want the ECB to reconsider its inflation ceiling. The lawmakers believe that the inflation limit should be examined in the context of a new age of globalization characterized by rising energy and food prices. The European Parliament has no jurisdiction over the ECB and the WSJ notes that policy makers are not likely to yield to political pressure.

·The USD was mixed ahead of the NY open on Friday. Dealers continued to monitor corporate earnings releases from US financial firms. The earlier positive reports from Wells Fargo and JP Morgan were largely offset by Merrill Lynch's announcement following the close yesterday. All eyes are now glued to Citigroup, which will report after 6am ET. The EUR/USD was around 1.5860 and USD/CHF was hovering around the 1.02 handle. The Euro was aided by comments from ECB Trichet, which seemed to start the groundwork for the next rate hike in Europe. Trichet focused on the potential of secondary affects of inflation and is zoned in on the recent rise in labor costs.

·In central bank speak the ECB's Trichet said that the base scenario is for a decline in growth during Q2, Q3. Trichet said that risks to growth are on the downside, adding that risks include a very significant financial market correction. Trichet reiterated that he will do what is appropriate to deliver price stability, particularly important to deliver price stability. When analyzing monetary situation, focus also on credit growth, which might feed asset inflation. The SNB's Hildebrand said overnight that he sees encouraging signs in subprime, noting that the potential for further damage decreasing. Hildebrand added that the financial crisis now in second phase. The BOE's Gieve reiterated overnight that the BOE Will do whatever it takes to fight inflation. Gieve sees CPI above 4.00% for the remainder of 2008. Gieve said that he sees credit conditions continue to deteriorate, noting that rapidly falling housing market affecting consumer confidence. Gieve added that the economy needs slower growth to curb inflation

·*** NOTES ***

·Typical of Fridays there was chatter circulating about a possible rate cut in China over the weekend; although these rumors usually do not amount to anything, as the past has shown one should never say never. Comments from the Bank of England's Gieve overnight served to remind us that the BOE is stuck between a rock and hard place. The BOE's next policy decision is still a few weeks away, but early surveys show that economists expects the BOE to hold rates at 5.00% once again. In politics the Belgian King rejected Prime Minister Yves Leterme's resignation, and asked the PM to continue to seek a dialogue (not the 10- year Bond-OLO spread is at its highest level since late March). With no data scheduled in the US the focus this morning will be earnings results from Citigroup. Consensus expectations are earnings of -$0.66 on revenue of $17.55B.

·“I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours” - Hunter S. Thompson

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