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Thursday September 18, 2008 - 11:20:28 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Central Banks announce fresh measure to combat liquidity concerns; UK retail sales beat expectations


- (JP) Aug Tokyo Dept Store Sales: -4.1% v -0.9% prior; Nationwide: -3.1% v -2.5% prior

- (JP) Aug Final Machine Tool Orders Y/Y: -13.9% v -14.2% prior

- (SZ) August Trade Balance: CHF1.43B v CHF1.03Be

- (NE) August Unemployment Rate: 3.9% v 3.9%e

- (HK) August Unemployment Rate: 3. 2% v 3.3%e

- (UK) August Retail Sales M/M: 1.2% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: 3. 3% v 1.6%e

- (UK) August Public Finances: 5.1B v 6.5B; Public Sector Net Borrowing: 10.4B v £9.0B

- (UK) August M4 Money Supply M/M: 1.4% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 11.5% v 10.5%; Sterling Lending: 22.0B v 14. 2Be


- In equities news overnight: HBOS [HBOS.UK} Lloyds TSB and HBOS announced that they have reached agreement; Lloyds to purchase HBOS in all-stock transaction, deal valued at £12.2B. HBOS Shareholders will receive 0.83 Lloyds TSB Shares for every 1 HBOS Share. || Barclays [BARC.UK] Announced a placement to raise £750M via a new share offering || (RU) Russian Regulators suspended short selling and margin trading on Russian exchanges until further notice and reopened its exchanges on a limited basis. || Toshiba [TOSBF] Stated that it is aiming for ¥750B in revenues for their TV business in FY10 and target more than 10% share of LCD TV market in 2010. || Pernod Ricrad [RI.FR} Reported FY Net of €897M (ex-items) compared to consensus estimates of €899Me. The company raised its annual dividend by 5% to €1.32/shr. Its op margin came in at 23.1%. Pernod guided FY09 organic growth of 8% and net growth at double digits. It see strong impact from Vin & Spirit integration in 2009 and noted that the general environment is more difficult. || Tate & Lyle [TATE.UK] Announced resignation of CFO
John Nicholas and noted that its H1 trading is in line with prior expectations. || Kingfisher PLC [KGF.UK] Reported H1 Net £147M above consensus estimates of £139Me. ItsAdj pretax £214M versus £174M from a year ago. Revenues came in at £5.13B and were in line with estimates of £5.11Be, Like-for-like sales -2.6%. || Bluebay Asset Management [BBAY.UK] Reported FY08 Net of £33. 6M just below estimates of £36.0Me, Pretax £49.7M v £52.5Me; Net Mgt Fee £93.1M v £91.M y/y and assets under management (AUM) $21.0B v $13.1B y/y. Merck KGAA [MRK.GE} Announced the initiation of a phase 3 trial for multiple sclerosis; Cladribine tablets have been granted a fast track designation by the U.S. FDA. || Aegon [AGN.NV] Announced a strategic refocus of its Canadian business and appointed Douglas W.Brooks new CEO, effective immediately. || Crucell [CRXL] Signed exclusive license agreement with Talecris in which it is eligible for $30M in milestone payments. || Raiffseisen [RIBH.AS] Confirmed its 2008 profit target of €1.0B; noted that its outlook remains realistic despite financial market turmoil. || Trina Solar [TSL] CEO stated that he expected FY09 Revenue to double to $1.7B-$1. 8B compared to current street estimates of $1.29Be. SAAB [SAABB.SW] Exec VP stated that he expects 2008 profits to rise aroud 8-9% from year ago levels. He noted business was impacted by Boeing, Airbus project delays and that the global credit crunch will affect company's profits.

- Speakers:
UK's Darling: Current circumstances in financial markets are exceptional. He noted that the takeover legislation should be moderated to achieve UK financial stability. Lastly he supported and welcomes Lloyds TSB, HBOS merger. || (UK) BoE's Dale noted that he saw balanced risks on the inflation front; Risks in house price add to credit woes. He added that consumption is likely to remain subdued and must continue to monitor inflation expectations and that the recent house price decline has been 'painful'. || (SW) Sweden's Chief Economist Floden noted that Sweden is well equipped to handle the current financial market crisis and that its banks have sufficient capital. || (JP) BOJ Shirakawa noted that the USD liquidity offering will help stabilize markets and added that it would hurt BOJ balance sheet. || German BDB Lobby Group noted that the German economy would likely stagnate but avoid recession with stagflation a more possible scenario. The group forecasted 2008 GDP at 1.9% and 2009 GDP at 1. 0%. it added that it saw the ECB maintaining interest rates at 4.25% for remainder of 2008 and could have room for cuts in 2009

- Central Banks: At the onset on the European equity open at
3am ET, the Major central banks announce a fresh round of coordinated liquidity measures. The FED authorized $180B in currency swaps. Participating central banks included Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank (ECB the Bank of Japan, and the Swiss National Bank. The coordinated measures are designed to address the continued elevated pressures in U.S. dollar short-term funding markets. These measures, together with other actions taken in the last few days by individual central banks, are designed to improve the liquidity conditions in global financial markets. Fed said the ECB has been authorized to double its existing limit to $110B from $55B and the Swiss central bank (SNB) can offer an extra $15B. New swap facilities were created with the Bank of Japan in the amount of $60B, the Bank of England in amount of $40B and the Bank of Canada in the amount of $10B. || (JP) BOJ Nishimura state that uncertainty in financial markets was increasing and that the Japanese financial system was not be seriously affected. He noted that the economy is experiencing some slowdown, but to return to moderate growth path. The rise in inflation will likely to moderate ||- (SW) Sweden Riksbank: Not planning a market injection for now, prepared to do so when necessary , but are monitoring situation carefully || (IN) India Fin Min noted that its public sector banks were not exposed to the US financial market crisis and AIG India unit continues to function. The ministry added that it would take appropriate measures to provide liquidity if tightness in credit is seen. ||NO) Norway Central bank: Liquidity supply for money markets is close to normal

- In Currencies: The USD was broadly lowers in a choppy session as credit tensions remained the focal point. The USD initially was bid ahead of the European equity open as 3-month USD LIBOR fixings were signally continued stress in liquidity and at one time was over 100bps above yesterday's 3.06% fixing. The GBP/USD tested below the 1.81 area on rumors that the BOE would enact an emergency interest rate cut before the
US equity markets opened on Thursday. Strong UK retail sales data calmed the markets raw nerves that global economic growth was about to seize up. GBP/USD over 100 pips from session lows as it hovers around the 1.82. EUR/USD higher as the liquidity measures helped to bring the early indications of a higher LIBOR spreads back into a more manageable range ahead of the fixings.

In Energy:
Nigeria Oil Minister stated that recent militant attacks on facilities have reduced oil production by 100K bpd to 2.1M bpd. The minirty noted that around 1M bpd in capacity remained untapped due to short and long term issues

- In Fixed Income. The
Paris club noted that its negotiations with Argentina on debt repayment plan is perhaps nearing a significant milestone in reestablishing Argentina credit rating.

- Bond Auctions: (SP)
Spain sold €1.78B in 10-Year issue with an ; avg yield of 4.62% v 4.76% prior; bid-to-cover 1.31x v 1. 44x prior. || (FR) France Sold €1.86B in 3.75% Apr 2010 ,avg yield 3.91%, bid-to-cover 3.76x; Sold €2.47B in 4.0% Apr 2013 Notes, avg yield 4.07%, bid-to-cover 1.91x and lastly sold €690M 4.% 2013 Bonds, avg yield 4.05%, bid-to-cover 1.94x

Credit crisis:

- Dubai Group says that they are "not interested" in distressed U.S. bank assets, says it is more prudent to invest in Middle East, North Africa. Planning to start a fund of funds for
U.S. equities. || S&P Report: Asian financial industry facing increased risks from slowing economy. || (SP) Spanish Central Bank announced that its July Loan delinquencies increased by €9.6B, with the delinquency ratio at 2.21%.

*** NOTES ***

Ahead of the European equity open, traders and dealers were ex[ressing continued concerns over the elevated rates of various swap rates. The early indication of 3-month dollar libor rate was at 3.25% area before soaring to over 4.25% compared to yesterday's 3.06% fixing. Wednesday's increase of 19bps was the highest in 9 years and the potential of 100+bps in today's scramble for funding prompted the central bank to announce a resh round of liquidity operations. Dealers described the price action over the last 24 hours as "stressed, seized, locked and dysfunctional" with an added flavor of turmoil, panic, coupled with chaos. There were numerous stories of electronic platforms simply not responding. The focus continues to move on the financial sector with Morgan Stanley being the lynchpin as various potential merger partners are thrown around.

- China Citic denied talks but Singapore GIC would welcome a potential.
Russia provided a limited equity open and provided some news tools suspend short selling and margin trading until further notice.

Looking ahead

8:00 (SZ) SNB central bank announces its monetary policy decision with consensus expectations that the SNB will hold its target rate at 2.75%

8:30 (CA) August Leading Indicators MoM: % v 0.0%e;

8:30 (CA) July Wholesale Sales MoM: % v 0.8%e;

8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 440Ke v 445K prior; Continuing Claims: 3.525M v 3.525M prior

10:00 (US) Sept. Philadelphia Fed: v -10e

10:00 (US) August Leading Indicators: % v -0.2%e .


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