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Wednesday August 6, 2008 - 10:37:02 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update for Wednesday August 6th: Markets quiet ahead of Thursday's European rate decisions


- (SP) Spain Jun Industrial Output NSA Y/Y: -9.5% v -7.6% prior

- (SP) Spain Jun Industrial Output WDA Y/Y: -9.0% v -5.8% prior

- (IC) Iceland July Trade Balance: deficit ISK1.82B v ISK 2.33B prior

- (UK) July BRC Shop Price Index: M/M: 0. 1% v 0.9% prior; Y/Y: 3.2% v 2.5% prior

- Yet To be released: (GE) Factory orders M/M sa: Expected at 0.4%, prior -0.9%; Y/Y: Expected at -4. 7%, prior -2.0%


- In equity news: overnight: BNP Paribas [GLE.FR] reported Q2 Net €1.51B and in line with v €1.52B consensus. Revenues came in lower at €7.51B v €8.21B year ago. Writes down totaled €457M v 475Me.\ Commerzbank [CBK.GE] reported Q2 operating profit €484M v €466Me (€1.08B y/y); Net €817M v €768M y/y. Says that commercial real estate portfolio has taken a write down of €250M, says new business has been restrained. Says the global economic slowdown has reached Germany, even if there are no signs of a recession. Bank is comfortable with Tier 1 ratio target of 6.5% to 7.5%\ Munich Re [MUV2.GE] Reports H1 Net Profit €1.37B v €2.098B y/y; Operating Profit €2.17B v €2.85B y/y. Munich Re stated that they remained confident about reinsurance market.\ Henkel [HEN3.GE] Reported Q2 net €38M (-84% y/y), Sales €3.67B (+11.4% y/y). Henkel says it plans to raise prices by 5%-10% during the H2 2008. \ Lonmin PLC [LMI.UK] received £33/share in cash from Xstrata [XTA.UK]. Lonmin later stated that the offer is 'opportunistic' and unwelcome. Lonmin added that its holders should take no action as offer undervalues company's assets.

- In the papers: FT reported that UK pension plans to show deficit after market turmoil. Article notes that FTSE 100 companies recorded an aggregate deficit of GBP41B in July v surplus of GBP12B y/y.

The Independent reported that the irish Government may raise taxes arevenue drops €2bn

- There was no new supply of fixed-income overnight.

- In energy: an explosion in Eastern Turkey halted oil flow; Turkish official says pipeline blast was not sabotage. BP stated that that oil output is unaffected and that the BTC's Ceyhan Oil Storage exports could last a few days. However, BP added uncertain how long the fire would last. The Turk- Azeri gas link was reopened during the European mid-morning following the fire. \ Reportedly the US and its allies are rejecting Iranian nuclear letter that was delivered n Tuesday.

\IEA Tanaka stated that recent drop in oil prices would not make Asian countries stockpile inventories

- In currencies

- The USD was slightly softer during the European session as firmer oil and gold helped to ensue some consolidation in the USD recent gains. EUR/USD hovered around the 1.55 level. Dealers were noting that the USD slippage was reflecting some disappointment over the 'dovish' tone out of Tuesday's FOMC. Where dealers were expecting a bit more 'bite' from the FED. Overall USD was steady despite gold up $10 in the session. USD/JPY continued to encounter some resistance at the 108.60 approach.

- Polish Econ Min Pawlak says now is the time to talk about intervention to stop Zloty appreciation\- India Economic Panel stated that inflation could moderate to 8%-9% by March 2009

·*** NOTES ***

- The data front was light in Europe ahead of Thursday's BOE and ECB interest rate decisions. Better financial notes from BNP help set the stage in Europe as post FOMC sentiment helped the financial sector to rally.

The economic data releases were light ahead of Thursdays BOE and ECB interest rate decisions. Dealers continue to discuss the implications of the 'leaked' Q2 German GDP just ahead of the ECB policy meeting and press conference.

In oil geopolitical and supply concerns helped to stabilized crude from its recent sell-off. A Turkish pipeline fire helped to erode opening level gains in the European Bourses. However, after British Petroleum stated that it has sufficient reserves to last a few days, the equity markets rebounded from session lows. Oil was back in positive territory after US and Allies reportedly were rejecting the Iranian nuclear letter delivered on Tuesday. Thus, US will state to its Allies that they have no choice but to take punitive steps on Iran.

Looking ahead there are a number of notables due in the US this morning including Blackstone Group (BX), El Paso Corp (EP), Freddie Mac (FRE), Mylan Labs (MYL), Quest Communication (Q), Sprint Nextel (S) and Time Warner (TWX)

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