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Monday September 22, 2008 - 11:02:56 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Market digests the new era unfolding on Wall Street; USD softer on deficit concerns over financial market bailout

Today 06:13am


- (JP) August Supermarket Sales y/y: -1.0% v 0.9% prior.

- (JP) August Convenience Store Sales y/y: 5.3% v 11.7% prior.

- (HK) August CPI - Composite Index y/y % v 6.3% prior.

- (HK) Q2 Overall Bal of Payments: $10.3B v $55.03B prior; Current A/C: $34.40B v $52.94B prior.


- In equities news overnight, Zentiva [ZEN.CZ] Sanofi strengthened its bid for Zentiva to CZK1,150/shr from CZK1,050/shr prior. || EuroCement reported 6.52% stake in Holcim [HOLN.SZ]. Holcim noted that it viewed the stake as "friendly." || The French press noted that Natixis' [KN.FR] €3.7B capital increase is close to 90% subscribed. || Deutsche bank [DBK.GE] spelled out the details of its capital increase plan for €2B with a 40M share issue to acquire Germany's Postbank [DPB.GE]. || Yell Group [YELL.UK] reported that its trading was in line with forecasts, however it said it would lower its debt and suspend its dividend. || Gas Natural [GAS.SP] completed its sale of a 15% stake in its Mexican unit to Inbursa. || TDK purchased an additional 10% stake from the main shareholder in Epcos [EPC.GE], bringing its position in the firm is 44%, noting that its takeover is assured. || Salzgitter [SZG.GE] boosted its stake in Norddeutsche Affinerie to 17.6%, noting that current market conditions prompted it to raise its stake

- In speakers, Australian Treasury Secretary Swan noted that Australia is susceptible to the global financial crisis, noting that the global economy is going through a difficult period although confidence remains. || The French Finance Minister said the government has no plans for intervention to back the financial industry. The EU's Almunia said risks remain for a potential global economic downturn, noting that he sees divergences in the Euro economies. Almunia noted that financial crisis continues to unsettle markets, and that the Euro Zone has not been unaffected by the global economic slowdown and financial market turmoil. || The Chinese central bank noted in its quarterly household survey that bankers are seeing risks of economic slowdown, while export orders fell 2.6% q/q. || Japan's LDP elected Taro Aso as party leader, succeeding PM Fukuda. || Japanese Finance Minister Sugimoto stated there was no need for Japan to set up fund like the one in US at this time, adding that Japan has not received any requests from the US for it to get involved in the bailout program. Sugimoto expects the US measures to have a positive impact on the global economy and global markets. || Germany's Bundesbank noted that its GDP is being impacted by real economic pressures and is showing signs of visable slowdown. The Bundesbank also noted that the earnings situation will most likely worsen in the remainer of the year.

- In currencies, the greenback was mildly softer against the majors as dealers evaluated the details emerging on the US government bailout. The initial $700B price tag has raised questions about the possibility that the US's AAA debt rating could come under review. The EUR/USD is trading at 1.4570 and the GBP/USD is around 1.8430, firmer by 100 pips from opening levels seen in Asia. || Malaysian Finance Minister Najib said he has no plans to adopt a currency peg for the ringgit. || The Indian Trade Minister stated that the recent decline in the INR should help India's export markets, but noted that the current trade gap was worrisome. India still expects to achieve $200B exports during 2008.

- In Energy: IEA's Ramsay stated that Oil prices at current levels remained too high, but noted that supply has improved a bit since last May. OECD countries' oil demand has softened more than expected, but unable to determined if overall oil demand might fall. Non-opec oil supply remained relatively stable. IEA notd that it is monitoring the US bailout impact over oil demand closely. Stated that China is facing tough times meeting its electricity demands but it's rapidly building power capacity. Lastly Ramsay believed that the appropriate price of oil is between $20 to $100 per barrel || Reportedly Nigeria's militant group MEND announced a cease-fire agreement until further notice. However, over the weekend the goup claimed responsibility for another Shell pipeline attack. In an emailed statement MEND noted that it intended to attack Nigerian's oil infrastructure until oil exports are reduced to "zero" || Saudi Arabia reportedly lowered its oil supplies by a marginal amount to US refiners and to oil majors since early Sept.

- In Fixed Income Supply: The German Finance Agency announced that it would increase Q1 Bubill amount to €7.0B, This is a total increase in the amounts of ?2.3B. || Germany confirmed its Q4 gross capital market borrowings at €30B

|| Sweden's Riksbank stated that it would amend its collateral requirements for credit in RIX, effective immediately. The changes permitted the central bank increased the permitted share of covered bonds to 75%. || BoE offered $40B in overnight repos. BOE: it Allotted $26.2B overnight with a bid-to-cover ratio of 0.65 times. || ECB called for bids in $40B 1-day repo, allotted the $40B at 3.25% with a bid-to-cover of 2.05x|| SNB allotted $10 in overnight repos at 2.25% with a bid-to-cover of 1.6x.

- In the papers: WSJ notes that the the Federal Reserve, in an attempt to prevent the crisis on Wall Street from infecting its two premier institutions, took the extraordinary measure on Sunday night of agreeing to convert investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. into traditional bank holding companies. Article noted that with the move, Wall Street as it has long been known -- a coterie of independent brokerage firms that buy and sell securities, advise clients and are less regulated than old-fashioned banks -- will cease to exist. Wall Street's two most prestigious institutions will come under the close supervision of national bank regulators.

*** NOTES ***

Markets focused on the emerging details in regards to the US financial bailout plan Dealers noting that the their attention is being drawn to the fact that the deficit would likely have to dramatically increase in size. Questions linger at this time ask to the price the US Treasury would pay determined during the auction process. In the end this could still leave banks vulnerable to more write downs and further under capitalization. Furthermore, market players noting that US growth could receive an addition soft spot and force the FED into a round of interest rate cuts.



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