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Tuesday October 7, 2008 - 10:28:15 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: UK and Iceland banking sectors highlight session; A degree of some calm returns

Today 06:03am
European Market Update: UK and Iceland banking sectors highlight session; A degree of some calm returns


- (JP) Japan Aug Lending Index CI. 89.3 v 89.2e; Coincident Index: 100.7 v 100.7e

- (BE) Belgium Sept Unemployment Rate: % v 6.6% prior

- (SW) Sweden Budget Balance: SEK54.0B v SEK 0.0B prior

- (NO) Norway Aug Industrial Production M/M: -5.7% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: -6.1%

- (NO) Norway Aug Industrial Production Manufacturing M/M: -0.3% v -0.5%e; Y/Y 2.8% v 3.3%e

- (UK) Aug Industrial Production M/M: -0.6% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: -2.3% v -2.0%

- (UK) Aug Manufacturing Production M/M: -0.4% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: -1.9% v-1.6%e

- (GE) Germany Aug Factory Orders M/M: 3.6% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: -7.6% v - 4.7%

- (CH) China Regulator SAFE reports end of H1: Short-term foreign debt at$265.4B (+20.6% h/h) and Foreign debt holdings of $427.4B (+14.4% h/h)

- (ID) Indonesia Central bank raised its reference rate by 25 bps to 9.50%, as expected


- Equity News: Barclays [] BARC.UK: Spokesperson stated that the company had 'not categorically' requested any capital from UK govt. The bank's CEO stated that there was no reason to request capital from UK Government. (Note the WSJ reported that UK Banks were in talks to raise capital and the London Times reported that the UK gov't was mulling injecting £40B-£50B (about 26% of the combined market caps of Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS) of capital into retail banks by buying shares). || Wavecom [WVCM] Company Commented on Gemalto's Unsolicited Offer in amount of EUR7/shr; Management believes that the price offered does not reflect the intrinsic value and prospects of the company . Contrary to information in the press, Wavecom emphasized that this offer was neither encouraged, endorsed nor discussed with Wavecom and therefore considers the offer hostile. Wavecom's board of directors will meet shortly to consider the terms and conditions of the offer. || Novartis [NOVN.SZ] NVA237 Phase II Results Presented at the European Respiratory Society Annual Meeting Showed Efficacy and Tolerability With Potentially Faster Onset Than Tiotropium. The new data show that NVA237 provides sustained 24-hour bronchodilation in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. || CGG Veritas [GA.FR] Provides Q3 vessel utilization update. The company's Vessel availability rate was 98% compared to 86% q/q sequentially, and versusv 90% y/y. the Vessel production rate was 90% versus 80% q/q sequentially and 85% y/y. || Bull Technologies [BULL.FR] To acquire S+C in Germany (terms not disclosed). The acquisition was expected to be completed in the Q4 of 2008. S+C recorded revenue of €26M in fiscal year 2007-2008, ended June 2008. || Erste Bank [EBS.AS] Guided FY net lowers to flat or 'slightly above year-ago levels compared to a prior view of a 20% increase. | Yell Group [YELL.UK] Amended credit agreement which revised leverage and interest cover covenants have been set to give Yell 20% headroom against its forecasts. In consideration of this, the interest rate on the facilities will rise by 1% and a one-off amendment fee of 0.5% will be paid to consenting lenders. || Air france [AF.FR] Reported Sept Load Factor 80.9% v 82.3% y/y and noted its passenger traffic + 0.5% || British energy [BGY.UK] Reported H1 output in amount of 22.7Twh compared with 30.7Twh y/y. || Northern Foods [NFDS.UK] Reported H1 Underlying Revenues up 3.9% y/y and total Revenues up 6.5% y/y. Growth was impacted by strength in commodity prices and the Euro FX levels. Group trading performance in the first half year showed consistent progress in a challenging external environment || Munich Re [MUV2.GE] Reaffirmed mid-term EPS target of €18/shr in 2010 and forecasted a return of capital at 15% . A re-evaluation of risks will be reflected in greater demand for cover from financially strong insurers and reinsurers like US, and is in higher overall price level for reinsurance protection. || J. Baer [BAER.SZ] confirmed its financial targets through 2010. Targeting Private Bank Gross Margin over 100bps and saw new deposit growth of 8%.

- Speakers: Iceland Financial Services Authority (FSA) Confirmed it was taking Control of Landsbanki to ensure continued commercial bank operations in Iceland || ECB's Noyer stated that he had no comment on market rumors of coordinated interest rate cuts. He added that he saw an extraordinary level of volatility in financial markets. Noyer added that He did not believe markets would crash and that no French bank was close to failure. Thus he reiterated that the French govt would not allow any bank to fail. Noyer noted that the upcoming G8 should meet and discuss the financial crisis

- Does not see signs of people withdrawing funds from banks. Noyer added that French economic growth was flat at this time but expected it to recover next year. || Polish Central Banker Noga noted that an Interest rate increase remained necessary regardless of financial market crisis. He added that he Expected mild economic slowdown. || Czech Central Bank Vice Gov Singer stated that he does not see the need to increase liquidity at this time but added that the central bank would act when necessary. He noted that a debate over raising the bank deposits insurance is possible. ||Dutch Fin Min Bos stated that the Ecofin would discuss harmonizing bank guarantees. || Swedish Finance Minster stated that there needs to be a coordinated solution on banks adding that one country's solution could pose problems to other members. || BoJ's Shirakawa stated that the Japanese economic recovery was delayed and that downside risks have increased. No board member called for an interest rate cut at today's policy meeting Lombard rate cut is possible without cutting key bank rates. The BoJ is cooperating closely with other Central Banks and is observing any crisis impact on its equities and stocks and economy. Lastly he noted that banks remained the best provider of liquidity || China Foreign Ministry stated that there are no plans for financial meeting with other regional powers || Thai Deputy PM Chavalit resigned following antigovernment clashes

- In Currencies: The USD and JPY were choppy throughout the session as the market digested the impact of the aggressive Australian interest arte cut just ahead of the European open and the speculation that several UK banks would seek government help in raising capital. EUR/USD climbed above the 1.3620 level on hopes that the RBA rate decision would be the catalyst of coordinated rate moves by G7 central banks. However, euphoria began to wane after the BOJ Governor Shirakawa stated that no Board member called for any interest rate cut to today's policy meeting in which the BOJ left its key rate at 0.50%. The rumors that Barclays, RBS and Lloyds would seek Gov'rt assistance in raising capital turned terminated the initial strong European equity open and sent the bourses into negative territory. European equity market. The Icelandic Government receivership of landsbanki brought back the risk aversion plays as the US morning approached. EUR/JPY at 137.45 after testing 140.40 in late Asia. Iceland Central Bank stated that the ISK basket would be fixed at 175 and that this fixing corresponded to EUR/ISK rate of 131.

- In Energy: Qatar Oil Min Al Attiyah stated that the country would lower oil supply to return to back to its OPEC quota amount. The minister added that he cannot predict where the oil price is heading but that demand has not changed for Qatari crude. || Iran OPEC Gov noted that it is still too early to say whether OPEC should reduce oil output again in December || Goldman Sachs analyst noted that the risk to $120 oil forecast for Q4 is to the downside. The analyst cited technical selling pressure for downside risks to their forecasts. Noted that fundamentals supports oil above $90 per barrel but any oil rally unlikely until economy expectations settle. || Gazprom [GAZP.RU] Expected OPEC to stop decline in oil prices. The company stated it saw gas prices declining over 2009 due to a lag relationship with oil prices. Lastly the company expected strong FY08 revenue due to high gas prices.

- In Fixed Income: There was no sovereign supply, but central banks continued with the generous liquidity operations in dollar overnight operations. ECB allotted $50B in one day dollar operation with total bids received in amount of $109.23B. SNB allocated $10B in overnight repos with $12.1B in total bids. BoE allocated $8.4B in its o/n liquidity operation. To bring its target rate back to 4.25%, the ECB would hold a reverse repo draining up to €231.5B from money markets. || UK alloted 1.2B of 1.875%2022 inflation linked Gilts with a bid-to-cover of 1.2 x.

- Credit Crisis: Iceland regulator takes receivership of Landsbanki. The Russia Government to lend Iceland €4.0B in which the proceeds would be used to prop up Iceland's currency reserves. The Russian loan would have 3-4 year maturity (Russia Finance ministry did not confirm this loan). Iceland to peg its currency (the Krona) at 175 against the trade-weighted basket.

*** NOTES ***

- Overall traders and dealers were wondering which market was the 'sideshow' as the currents continued to wreak their wrath this morning, but in a manner that was 'calmer' then Monday's price action. The UK banking sector was the focus as opening level euphoria dwindled into concerns over potential capital increases. RBS was off 30% at one point. Iceland announced a peg for its currency after the Government brought Landsbanki into receivership. Thus The market is digesting the price action over the last 24 hours. De-leveraging remains the theme today The immediate focus will look forward to the Bank of England policy decision on Thursday, especially after the RBA cut its cash rate target by 100bps earlier to 6.0% (was expected to cut by 50 bps).

- The markets continue to look for some sort of pan-European plan to support the European banking system. The G7 has a regularly scheduled meeting at the end of this week in Washington D.C.

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