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Thursday October 2, 2008 - 10:03:18 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Is the ECB in denial or the first of possible October surprises?

Today 05:58am
European Market Update: Is the ECB in denial or the first of possible October surprises?

*** ECONOMIC DATA ***

- (SZ) Swiss SECO 2008 CPI Forecast raised to 2.6% from 2.5% prior; Government maintained its 2009 GDP growth view of 1.9%

- (UK) Sept Nationwide House Prices: M/M -1.7%v -1.5%e; Y/Y: -12.4% v -12.4%e;

- (SP) Spain Sept Unemployment LevelM/M: 95.4K v 46.0Ke

- (DE) Danish Aug Unemployment Rate: 1.6% v 1.6%

- (IT) 2Q Deficit to GDP YTD: 2.6% v 1.9% prior.

- (NO) Norway Sept Unemployment Rate: 1.7% v 1.6%e

- (SP) Spain to sell bonds

- (UK) Bank of England 3Q Credit Conditions Survey: Q3 Household and corporate credit availability tightened more than expected

- (UK) PMI Construction: 38.8 v 38.9

- 5:00 (EU) Euro-Zone PPI M/M: -0.5% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: 8.5% v 8.4%e

*** SPEAKERS/FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***

Equity News: UBS[UBSN.SZ] Guided 2009 as an overall profitable year; and added that it saw a "small profit" for Q3 compared to analyst estimates of CHF547Me. UBS stated it has completed its strategic review. The bank noted that it has substantially reduced its US commercial and residential mortgage-related positions, mainly through disposals. Lastly the bank said it would maintain adequate liquidity. || Heidelberger Druck [HDD.GE] Guided it Q2 Revenues in a range of €800M-€820M compared to current analyst estimates of €838Me. The company expected an operating loss in Q2 and see sales decline of 10% y/y. Restructuring costs caused by the comprehensive package of measures in Q2 would amount to up to €20M. Its Q2 Free cash-flow seen in a range of -€70M to -€90M mostly due to the lower sales volume. Lastly the company signed a collective labor agreement may lead to further provisions of up to €30M. || Fortis FORB.BE: HK's Ping An stated that it would terminated its agreement to purchase Fortis Asset Management unit. Ping Am noted that talks have ended at this time and that not all conditions could be satisfied. Ping Am noted that termination will not impact business or finances and is reportedly to maintain its stake in Fortis.

|| Volkswagon [VOW.GE] CEO stated that he remained cautious on its 2009 outlook and to ask US government for subsidized loans. || Wolfson [WLF.UK] Guided its Q3 Revenues in a range of $56-$62M v $63.2Me and its Gross Margin at 50% to 51%. It also lowered it Q4 Revenue guidance to $45M-50M compared to $58.90M estimates citing the to financial crisis || DSM [DSM.NV] To Close its Clavulanic Acid production site in Sweden by end of 2009 which would cut 100 jobs. It expected an Q4 aftertax charge of €10M. || Aberdeen Asset Management [ADN.UK] Mitsubishi UFJ to acquire 9.9% stake in the company . Under the terms of the capital alliance, MUTB intends initially to acquire 9.9% could purchase further shares up to an agreed maximum aggregate shareholding of 19.9%. || Solarworld [SWV.GE] to Create a 30MW Solar Park in Spain with a Deutsche Bank consortium. Marks & Spencer [MKS.UK] Reported 13 week UK like-for-like sales down 6.1% compared to analyst estimates of -7.0%e. Company guided its FY CAPEX growth in a range of 4%-5% versus 7% prior guidance. Company acknowledged that consumer confidence remained fragile and the retail environment unpredictable and added that consumers are increasingly cautious about their budgets. || Dexia [DEXB.BE] CNP assured it would participate in the bank's planned capital increase and would increase stake to around 3%. || Peugeot [UG.FR] CEO noted that the carmaker had €2B in savings during past 18 months and he maintains its outlook noting that should meet profit-margin goals. || Ford [F] CEO stated that 2009 would be no better than this current year. He added that he does not see any recovery until 2010. BMW [BMW.GE] CEO saw no recovery in auto markets until second half of 2009. he added that next year would be a tough year for the industry. The company plans to request subsidized loans from the US government.

-Speakers: France confirmed an emergency weekend summit with Germany, Italy, UK to discuss the current financial crisis || Swiss SECO Government raised 2008 cpi to 2.6% from 2.5% prior view. SECO maintained its GDP view at 1.9% from its prior forecast made back in June. The Gov't noted that risks to its 2009 economic growth forecasts have increased. It sees 2009 inflation ay 1.3% . The 2008 jobless rate seen at 2.5% and at 2.7% in 2009. || (SZ) SNB noted in its monetary report that the economic slowdown is likely to continue in near future. The SNB noted that it continues to monitor developments in both theoil and financial markets and would act appropriately to circumstances. || EU's Juncker expressed relief at US Senate approval of relief package. || (KS) Korea Fin Min Kang stated that now is not to time to be concerned about FX reserves, but to use them appropriately. He noted that it is appropriate to use forex reserves during times like these. S. Korea would spend $5B to help small businesses. || Japan Vice Fin Min Sugimoto noted that the MoF remained in close contact with other countries. He noted that the financial crisis was spreading faster than expected.

- In Currencies: EUR/USD fell to 1-year lows at 1.3856 and approached it 6-year uptrend line at the 1.3810 area. The JPY maintained a firmer tone against both major currencies and commodity related pairs on continued risk aversion plays. There are over two dozen eew Toshin funds to be launched during the month of Oct. However, launching is only one aspect of the equation where finding subscriptions could be an entirely different issue. EUR/JPY fell to 2-year lows below the 146.30 area. Fortis Analyst revised their ECB interest rate forecast and now expects ECB to lower the rates in January and March of 2009. Their prior view was for the ECB to hold rates steady at 4.25% through 2009.

- In Energy: Reportedly the Chanomi creek pipeline in Nigeria has ruptured and this could close the Warri refinery (capacity of 125K bpd). The Warri refinery has enough oil for 3 days. No group has claimed attack that caused the pipeline rupture. || Merrill Lynch lowers 2009 oil price target 16% to $90 || Nov NYMEX crude was lower by $1 to test 97.50 area. Softer global demand again cited for the softer tone in the commodity.

- In Fixed Income: (SP) Spain sells €3.17B 5-year, 4.42% highest bid yield, 1.43x bid-to-cover

- Credit Crisis: France confirmed the weekend summit plans with Germany, Italy, UK to discuss financial crisis. ECB's Trichet and EU's Juncker would attend the meeting on Saturday, Oct 4th || The BOE quarterly credit conditions survey highlighted the recent stress exhibit. In a survey conducted between Aug. 26 and Sept. 17, the demand for mortgages fell sharply in Q3 with a further drop expected in Q4. the survey noted that corporate lending spreads widened more than expected and added that further credit contraction was expected. The BOE noted that the demand for secured loans have slowed dramatically while unsecured Household lending defaults higher than expected. Unsecured household credit availabilty fell to its lowest reading on record to -27.5 from its prior -24 level. Spain Economic Minister noted that his country would support a coordinated EU effort to raise deposit guarantees

- Metals: Goldman Sachs Analyst updated its 2009 metal prices forecasts. It raised its Gold estimate by 9% to 876/oz; lowered Platinum estimate by 9% to 1,782/oz; lowered its Palladium estimate by 4% to $350/oz; lowered its Rhodium estimate by19% to $7,250/oz; lowered its Nickel estimate by 10% $18,734/to and lowered its Zinc estimate -9% to $1,873/ton

*** NOTES ***

- Stress levels continue to rise in Europe and the recent spat of economic data is not providing any comfort. Dealers noting that early indication of the TED spread was the 451 bps level compared to 320bps yesterday. Some dealers noted that US Senator Reed's comments about an insurer near bust has the market guessing exactly who.

- The Paris auto show is not appearing to be any love fest. numerous auto makers express a cautious outlook on the 2009 market. Most auto CEOs did express some optimism on a potential rebound in the industry but not until 2010.

- European equity markets in positive territory help by the passage of the US financial market bailout plan by the Senate. The House vote is expected to come on Friday. Dealers are noting that the outcome of the House vote is not all certain. The market remains tad skeptical of exactly how the US Gov't is to value the toxic instruments.

The focus this morning will be on the ECB. The market believes that there is little doubt the central bank made a mistake back in July when it tightened policy. The ECB obsession with inflation over economic growth is now a key cause for concern. Thus while the European economy slows the ECB will fiddle around and maintain its steady policy with rates at 4.25%. Last week market chatter of a potential coordinated G7 interest rate cut would be the first of the potential “October surprises”.

Looking ahead

-7:45 (EU) ECB Interest Rate Decision: Consensus expectations are for interest rates to remain steady at 4.25%

-8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: Consensus expectations are 475K; The prior number was 493K.; Continuing Jobless Claims: Consensus expectations are 3.550M; The prior number was 3.542M.

- 09:00 (US) July RPX Composite 28dy Index. There are no expectations; The prior number was 230.00, Y/Y: There are no consensus expectations; The prior number is -17.15%

- 10:00 (US) Aug Factory Orders: Expected at -3.0% v 1.3% prior

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