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Thursday August 28, 2008 - 11:02:46 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: German Unemployment Continues its Decline

·*** DATA ***

·GE July Unemployment Rate: 7.3% v 7.3% || Prior revised from 7.3% to 7.4%

·UK Aug Nationwide House Prices: M/M -1.9% v -1.5%e || Prior revised from -1.7% to -1.5% |||| Y/Y -10.5% v -9.6%e

·SP Aug Preliminary Harmonized CPI Y/Y; 4.9% v 5.2%e

·SP June House Transactions Y/Y: -29.6% v -34.3% prior

·SP June Mortgages on Houses Y/Y; -37.7% v -36.2% prior

·SP June Mortgages-Capital Loaned: -37.0% v -36.5% prior

·SZ Q2 Employment Level: 2.4% v 2.1%e

·SW Jul Retail Sales: M/M -0.5% v -0.5%e || Y/Y 1.3% v 1.4%e

·IT July PPI: M/M 0.5% v 0.5%e || Y/Y 8.3% v 8.4%e

·EU July M3 Y/Y: 9.3% v 9. 0%e

·EU July M3 3-Month Average: 9.6% v 9.5%e

·BE Aug CPI: M/M -0.61% v 0.53% prior || Y/Y 5.39% v 5.91% prior


·Ahold [AH.NV] reported Q2 net income from continuing operations of €177M above estimates of €169M, and operating income of €235M, below the €247M consensus. Revenue of €5.8B, was just above the €5.74B estimate. Ahold guided their FY08 operating margin at 4.8%-5.3%. [Shares were -4.4% in early trading]. Accor [AC.FR] reported 1H net income of €310M, above the €275M consensus, and pretax of €393M, just below the €398.6M consensus. Accor guided FY08 pretax of €910-€930M, below the €943.5M consensus. [Shares were -3.2% in early trading]. Credit Agricole [ACA.FR] reported a Q2 operating loss of €263M, down from a profit of €1.52B a year ago. Net income of €76M was below the €126M consensus, while revenue of €3.15B was down from €5.27B a year ago. Credit Agricole noted a H1 monoline impact of €1.34B on net income. At June 30th the company's Tier 1 ratio of was 8.9%, while the Core Tier 1 ratio was 6.5%. [Shares were -0.5% in early trading]. Swiss Life Holding [SLHN. SZ] reported 1H net income of CHF1.64B, below the CHF1.84B consensus. Swiss Life had net earned premiums of CHF8.56B, up from CHF8.4B a year ago, and gross premiums of CHF10.9B, down from CHF12.3B a year ago. Swiss Life said that it will not meet its FY09 EPS target without a buyback. [Shares were - 9.4% in early trading]. GFK [GFK.GE] reported Q2 net income of €22.2M v €19.3M a year ago, and revenue of €321.6M, above the €292.4M consensus. GFK raised its FY08 revenue growth forecast to 6% from 5%. [Shares were +1.7% in early trading]. Casino Guichard Perrachon [CO.FR] reported 1H net income of €229M, above estimates of €215M, operating income of €525M, below estimates of €542Me, EBITDA of €863M in line with the €864M consensus, and revenue of €13.8B, in line with estimates. Casino confirmed its FY08 targets. [Shares were -0.3% in early trading]. Carillion [CLLN.UK] reported 1H net income of £53.6M, up from the £33.7M a year ago, pretax of £27M, up from the £19M a year ago, and revenue of £2.4B, above the sole estimate of £2.24Be. Carillion reaffirmed their FY08 guidance, and noted that it will have materially enhanced earnings in 2009. [Shares were +0.8% in early trading]. Pendragon [
PDG.UK] reported 1H net income of £13M, down form £28M a year ago, pretax of £21.1M, down from £33.5M a year ago, and revenue of £2.48B down from £2.7B. [Shares were +2.9% in early trading]. Diageo [DGE.UK] reported FY08 net income of £1.52B, in line with the £1.56B consensus. Pretax was £2.09B, below the £2.19B consensus, while revenue of £8.09B was in line with estimates of £8.05Be. Diageo guided FY09 operating profit growth of 7%-9%, and double digit reported EPS growth. [Shares were - 0.75% in early trading]. AMEC [AMEC.UK] reported 1H pretax of £90.4M, up from £66.9M a year ago, and revenue of £1.26B, up from £1.15B a year ago. AMEC guided their FY08 EBITDA margin at 6.5%. [Shares were +0.8% in early trading]. Premier Foods [PFD.UK] reported 1H net income of £1.3M, up from the £10.2M a year ago, pretax of £3.6M, up from £5.1M a year ago and revenue of £1.29B up from £899.1M a year ago. Premier reiterated its FY08 outlook. [Shares were -3.3% in early trading].

·In energy news overnight the Venezuelan Energy Minister said that OPEC should cut production or maintain current output levels at the September meeting. The UAE Central Bank Governor said overnight that he expects oil prices to fall as the global economy slows.

·According to an article in the Financial Times Deutschland the Fed, the ECB and other major central banks are seeking to make it easier to access liquidity during times of emergency. The plan could allow European banks to have access to funds from the Fed in return for securities denominated in euros as currently, central banks only accept securities in their own currency.

·In new supply overnight
Italy sold €4.0B in 4.25% 2011 bonds with an average yield of 4. 51% and a bid-to-cover of 1.4x, as well as €2.5B in 4.50% 2018 bonds with an average yield of 4.76% and a bid-to-cover of 1.5x, and €2.0B in 2015 floating rate notes with an average yield of 4.86% and a bid-to-cover of 2. 04x. In fixed income related news overnight, S&P release a report that said that the second quarter performance in the German RMBS market was solid. The report said that "the overall performance of the German residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market has been broadly sound”. The report noted however that, "despite this solid performance, some transactions reported higher losses, or registered a loss for the first time. Our total delinquency index remains at 3%; some strongly performing pools which had significant weight in the index have recently been removed, following regulatory calls related to the introduction of Basel II, and this has placed upward pressure on the index. "

·In currencies the USD was mildly softer during the European session as higher oil prices weighed upon sentiment with tropical storm Gustav approaching the Gulf of Mexico. Currency showed little reaction to German labor and M3 data, which beat expectations. The GBP/USD rebounded from earlier lows of 1. 8325 as UK Nationwide Housing data continued to suggest softness in the
UK economy. Carry related crosses were softer as Equity markets remained in negative territory.

·On the speaker front the Norwegian stats agency raised their 2008 non-Oil GDP growth forecast to 3.1% from 2.9% overnight, and cut its 2009 forecast to 1.7% from 1.9%. The stats agency forecasted 2008 Core CPI 2.6%, up from its previous forecast of 2.5%, and raised the 2009 forecast to 2.5% from 2.3%. Furthermore the stats agency left its 2008 wage growth forecast unchanged at 6.0%, and raised the 2009 forecast to 5. 0% from 4.8%. The stats agency said that Norwegian interest rates have peaked, adding that they expected lower interest rates in 2009.

·*** NOTES ***

·Much of the focus overnight fell upon the Euro-Zone M3 money supply. Money supply was above expectations, but declined from the prior month's readings, which muted any major market reaction. The German unemployment rate, which declined to its lowest level since May of 1992, also drew some attention overnight. Despite the above, following yesterday's comments from a number of ECB members, it appears that any chance of a rate hike in 2008 is off of the table. As the ECB continues to focus on second round inflation effects, specifically wages as oil prices have come off of recent highs, the question has become 'when will the ECB cut rates if they do in fact decide to do so?'

·“Even if what you're working on doesn't go anywhere, it will help you with the next thing you're doing. Make yourself available for something to happen. Give it a shot.” - Cormac McCarthy


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