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Thursday July 24, 2008 - 11:21:39 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: European Sentiment Shows Signs of Decay


·FR July Business Confidence Indicator: 98 v 100e || Prior revised from 102 to 101

·FR July Production Outlook Indicator: -34 v -17e

·FR July Own-Company Production: 2 v 4e || Prior revised from 7 to 6

·FR July Preliminary Manufacturing PMI: 47.3 v 49.0e

·FR July Preliminary Services PMI: 47.0 v 49.7e

·SP Q2 Unemployment Rate: 10. 44% v 9.95%e

·IT July Business Confidence: 83.5 v 86.5e || Prior revised from 87.1 to 86.7

·SW June PPI: M/M 0.5% v 0.4%e || Y/Y 3.0% v 2.9%e

·SW June Unemployment Rate: 8.1% v 7.3%e

·GE July Advanced Manufacturing PMI: 50.9 v 52.0e

·GE July Advanced Services PMI: 53.3 v 51.5e

·GE IFO Business Climate: 97.5 v 100.1e || Prior revised from 101.3 to 101.2

·GE IFO Current Assessment: 105.7 v 106. 5e

·GE IFO Expectations: 90.0 v 93.2e || Prior revised from 94.7 to 94.6

·EU July Advanced Manufacturing PMI: 47.5 v 48.7e

·EU July Advanced Services PMI 48.3 v 48.8e

·EU July Advanced Composite PMI: 47.8 v 49.0e

·EU May Current Account nsa: -€21.4B v -€6.0Be || Prior revised from -€9.2B to -€7.4B

·EU May Current Account: -€7.3B v €1.5B prior || Prior revised to €1.5B from -€300M

·UK June Retail Sales: M/M -3.9% v -2.6%e || Prior revised from 3.5% to 3.6% |||| Y/Y 2.2% v 4.4%e || Prior revised form 8.1% to 7.9%


·In sector rotation overnight Morgan Stanley raised the European banking sector to Neutral from Cautious overnight, and cut the Media & Internet sector to In-Line from Attractive. In equity news Credit Suisse [CSGN.SZ] reported their Q2 Net at CHF1.22B, above consensus estimates of CHF615Me. Core revenue rose to CHF7.83B from CHF3.02B a year ago, while net new assets were CHF17.4B. The CFO said that he expects market conditions to remain volatile, but noted that the company is well positioned to deal with such an environment. Shares opened higher by over 5%. TeliaSonera [TLSN.SW] reported Q2 revenue of SEK25.3B, in line with the SEK25.2B consensus. Net Profit was SEK4.13B, shy of the SEK4.36B consensus estimate, while EBITDA was in line with estimates at SEK8.0B. The company maintained its FY08 outlook, noting that overall market trends remained unchanged in Q2. Shares opened higher by over 2.5%. Pernod Ricard [RI.FR] reported Q4 revenue of €1.5B, in line with the €1.52B consensus. The company guided full-year organic revenue growth of 8.7%, up slightly from its previously guidance of 8.6%. Shares opened higher by over 5%. BG Group [BG.UK] reported Q2 net income of £807M, in line with the £800M consensus. Revenue rose to £3.21B from £2.16B a year ago, while operating profit rose to £1.43B from £747M a year ago. Shares opened lower by over 2. 5%. Rolls-Royce [RR.UK] reported 1H net income of £309M, above estimates of £287M, and revenue of £4.05B, above estimates of £3.92B. The company's order book rose by 17% y/y to £53.5B. Shares opened higher by around 2.5%. Renault [RNO.FR] reported 1H revenue of €20.94B, in line with the €20.84B consensus, and net income of €1.47B, above estimates of €1.28B. The company reduced its 2009 sales forecast to 3M cars from the previous forecast of 3. 3M cars, and noted that further economic deterioration would make meeting margin goals difficult. Shares opened higher by over 6% but declined shortly thereafter.

·The printing presses were relatively dry overnight as the newspapers void of anything interesting and exciting. The Financial Times noted overnight that a Goldman (GS) fund has raised $10B to invest in leveraged buy-out loans. Handelsblatt wrote overnight that Volkswagen [VOW.GE] sees Porsche [POR3.GE] as a takeover defense.

·In energy news overnight the Venezuelan Oil Minister said overnight that he sees no need for OPEC to change output despite the price drop in oil. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the collapse this week of SemGroup LP, a little known private oil-marketing firm, may have played a role in crude oil's 14% drop over the past 10 days. Semgroup filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, citing amongst other financial woes a loss of at least $2.4 billion in crude-oil futures. Changes in its hedging strategies coincided with big moves in oil recently, the WSJ points out. One theory making the rounds in the market is that as SemGroup's long positions snowballed, so did the oil rally.

·In the currencies the USD maintained a firmer tone during Europe as softer Euro- Zone data began to confirm that the economic upswing has come to an end. Although European officials insist that no recession is looming, the Euro, GBP and CHF currencies had trouble finding their footing. The GBP/USD retraced gains achieved during Wednesday's trading session as it fell 100+ pips to 1.9870 on weak retail sales data. The EUR/USD tested 1.5640 following weak IFO data.

·In new supply overnight the DMO sold £1. 05B in 1.25% 2027 index linked gilts with a real yield of 1.163% and a bid- to-cover of 1.2x. The cover compares to the 1.1x seen at the previous acution.

·On the speaker front the IFO' Abberger said that he sees no danger of a recession in Germany, but noted that the economy is cooling considerably. Abberger said that 2008 consumer spending is likely to remain weak, adding that the ECB should remain on hold with interest rate policy. The IFO's Nerb said that the German economic upswing is coming to an end, adding that oil prices continue to weigh on the German economy. Nerb said that the recent oil price decline may have a positive effect on future IFO results. Nerb also noted that the Euro has impacted the index, and recommended that the ECB to keep the rates unchanged. According to La Repubblica the EU's Almunia expressed concerns about the Euro being overvalued and EU inflationary pressures.

·*** NOTES ***

·While the European pre-market was jam packed with earnings from some of Europe's most notable companies economic data was the guiding hand in today's session. Weaker than expected PMI readings, coupled with weaker than expected IFO data in Germany, poor French business confidence, and soft retail sales in the UK provided a somewhat grim outlook for the state of European economic and consumer sentiment. PMI readings in France and the Euro-Zone fell below the key mark of 50 for the third consecutive month, historically indicating a contractionary phase. French business confidence was at its lowest level since May of 2005 as the result of high energy prices, and the strong Euro. According to the IFO economists the weak IFO data was largely the result of high oil prices. The economists speculated that the recent decline in energy prices could have a positive effect on future IFO data, but despite this the economists seemed to project a slightly less optimistic outlook for the German economy. Finally, UK retail sales declined to their lowest m/m level on record as inflationary pressures and slower economic growth hinder consumer sentiment. Waning confidence in the outlook for European sentiment was undeniably the prevalant theme in today's European session.

·Looking ahead there are a number of notables expected in the US this morning including Amerisourcebergen (ABC), Autonation (AN), Ashland (ASH), Franklin Resources (BEN), Bunge Limited (BG), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Celgene (CELG), Daimler (DAI), Dow Chemical (DOW), Ford (F), Kimberly Clark (KMB), L-3 Communications Holdings (LLL), Eli Lilly (LLY), Southwest Air (LUV), Level 3 Communications (LVLT), Medco Health Solutions (MHS), 3M (MMM), National City (NCC), Potash (POT), Rohm & Haas (ROH), Union Pacific (UNP), and Xerox (XRX).

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