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Wednesday December 3, 2008 - 11:06:38 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Services PMI register all time low readings ahead of key European interest rate decisions on Thursday

Today 05:59am
European Market Update: Services PMI register all time low readings ahead of key European interest rate decisions on Thursday


- (TH) Thai Central Bank cuts benchmark interest rate by 100bps to 2.75%, more than the 50bps expected

- (NO) Norway Nov PMI: 40.7 v 40.7e; lowest reading on record

- (SP) Spain Nov PMI Services: 28.2 v 32.2 prior; lowest reading on record

- (IT) Italian Nov PMI Services: 39.5 v 43.4e; lowest reading on record

- (FR) French Nov Final PMI Services: 46.2 v 46.6e; lowest reading on record

- (GE) German Nov Final PMI Services: 45.1 v 46.2e

- (SP) Spain Nov Consumer Confidence: 48.7 v 50.1 prior; lowest reading on record

- (EU) Nov Final PMI Service: 42.5 v 43.3e; Composite: 38.9 v 39.7e; lowest readings on record

- (UK) Nov PMI Services: 40.1 v 41.2e; lowest reading on record

- (EU) Euro-zone Retail Sales M/M: -0.8% v -0.4%e; Y/Y: -2.1% v -1.5%e

- (UK) BRC Nov Shop Price Index M/M: 0.2 % v -0.1% prior; Y/Y: 2.7% v 3.0% prior



- In equities: Taiwan Semi [TSM] CEO stated that company would reduce its 2009 CAPEX citing economic weakness and that its Manufacturing department would take an unpaid leave in December || Man AG [MAN.GE] CEO stated that the company planned to cut 2009 truck production by 30% citing 'difficult' outlook. Man would halt truck production for 40-50 days over course of first half 2009. Company is preparing for longer downturn, sees no reason to expect that economic crisis will be over in 6 months || Telecom Italia [TIT.IT] TIT.IT: Guided FY09 EBITDA in a range of €9.9-10B compared to estimates of €11.5B. It saw next year's revenue around €22.7-22.8B below consensus estimates of €30B. @009 CAPEX forecasted at €3.3B

Expected to see further 4K cut in Italian positions (5% of workforce). CEO reiterated that it had no plans for a capital increase || Man AG [MAN.GE] CEO stated that it planned to cut 2009 truck production by 30% citing 'difficult' outlook; reaffirms FY08 targets for Rev, Op margin. The CEO noted that it would likely truck production for 40-50 days over course of first half 2009 and that the company was preparing for longer downturn, sees no reason to expect that economic crisis will be over in 6 months || Constellation Energy [CEG] France's EDF offered to purchase up to 50% of nuclear unit for $4.5B; Sees transaction closing in 6-9 month period || Infineon [IFX.GE] Reported Q4 Net -€763M worse than the -€321M expected. Revenues were €1.15B better than the €1.09B estimate. However, the company guided Q1 2009 Revenue down 30% compared to Q4 and noted that its fiscal 2009 revenues could be down at least 15% y/y || Anglo Irish [ANGL.UK] Reported FY08 Net €670M v €998M y/y; not paying final dividend. Its Tier 1 capital 8.4%. To take €500M charge against loan losses (0.715 of book)and added that its lending rose by €9.3B to €73.2B || Sage [SGE.UK] Reported FY08 Pretax £241.0M v £223.3M y/y, Rev £1.30B v £1.16B y/y. Its growth in subscription revenues had continued to offset weakness in software revenues but remained cautions on outlook and expects demand for customer support to remain robust || Stagecoach [SGC.UK] Reported H1 Net £69.4M v £65.8M y/y, Rev £1.05B; to cut jobs in UK rail operations. Expected business to continue to perform well despite difficult market conditions but added it saw challenging 2009/10 outlook in UK rail || DS Smith [SMDS.UK] Reported H1 Net £17.3M v 40.7M y/y, Rev £1.1B v £642.7M y/y .Expected trading conditions to remain difficult as a result of lower demand across all markets and sought to cut investment and CAPEX || Statoil Hydro [STL.NO] Reached settlement on merger structuring costs regarding Hydro oil and gas assets. Expects gain of NOK1.46B in 4Q following settlement and noted that arbitration case to be withdrawn. Cutting partner charges by NOK550M. || Hiscox [HSX.UK] Expanded International business as it would open 5 new offices in the US but noted ot would close its Bermuda based specialist reinsurance team. Company also confirming that S&P upgraded company's ratings to A from A- back on Dec 1st || Wavecom [AVM.FR] Gemalto stated it would terminate its tender for company adding that an increased bid was not in shareholders interest (Note: Back on 12/02, Wavecom was being acquired by Sierra Wireless in a friendly deal ) || Vodafone [VOD.UK] Indian Court dismissed company's tax petition but reportedly can appeal the decision to higher court . The petition was related to Co's challenge to a tax bill relating to its 2007 acquisition of Hutchison Essar || Arcandor [ARO.GE] Named Karl-Gerhard Eick new CEO, effective March 1 2009 || Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling [CCH] Reiterated its 2008 profit forecast. It remained confident about growth possibilities in Russia but expressed concern over weaker currencies. Its emerging market strategy remains intact || MTU Aero Engines [MTX.GE] CEO noted the company was awarded 9 maintenance orders in Nov, valued around €500M . he added that the economic slowdown in air traffic has not affected business || Qantas [QAN.AU] Reportedly Australian Gov't warned against takeover of the airline

- Speakers: Chinese Cabinet announced plans to ensure liquidity through the use of FX and interest rates. The cabinet stated that it would increase bond sales and stabilize stock markets. It would encourage commercial banks to increase lending. Lastly the Cabinet suggested additional use of the reserve requirement to enhance liquidity too ||Bank of Korea announced it would pay interest on reserves for first time in 22 years. The Central Bank would pay a total of KRW500B and purchase additional securities issued by Local State Housing Corp. in open market operations. The moved come to improve domestic liquidity || German Econ Min Glos called for a quick decision on rescue package by EU || Irish Fin Min noted that there was little room for more tax increases in 2009 and added that the Government would borrow more in 2009 than it did in 2008. Bank management talks continue week by week and that the State could use pension funds to provide support to banks || German VDA: 2009 passenger car market to decline to the lowest level since the German reunification in 1990. It saw production and export of passenger cars declining significantly in 2009 and that the financial market crisis would impact employment in auto sector. It forecasted 2009 new car registration at 2.9M || Hungary Central Bank noted that he saw a slowing need for currency measures and that the FX sawp and bond markets showed signs of 'normalization' ||

- In Currencies: The GBP exhibited a fresh round of weakness as continued 'speculation' that the government was considering 'possible' entry into the euro. Today's vague Daily Express article on the topic aided to the downside momentum to the GBP. Kindly note that a UK PM spokesperson denied such speculation earlier this week and added that UK position on euro remains unchanged. However the weekend comments from EU's Barrosa is hindering the upside GBP potential for the time being. || Risk aversion continued to maintain a foothold during the session. The GBP/JPY Cross tested below 137 level to hit its lowest level since Jul 1995. The CNY was steady today ahead of US Treasury Sec Paulson visit to Beijing.

Overall the EUR/USD continues a consolidating pattern ahead of Thursday's central bank meetings with the 1.24 to 1.29 range basically intact.

-In Fixed Income: Sweden sells SEK3.5B 4.25% 2019 Bonds, avg yield 2.65%

- In Energy: Qatar Oil Minister: Oil below $70/barrel is not economically feasible and noted that it is certain that OPEC would cut output at its Dec meeting. || Eni [ENI.IT] Declared force majeure on 15-18K bbp of Nigerian production || Statoil Hydro [STL.NO] STL.NO: Reached settlement on merger structuring costs regarding Hydro oil and gas assets and expected gain of NOK1.46B in 4Q following settlement || Reportedly Gasoline inventories held by CNPC and Sinopec rose to 33.1M barrels in Oct from 30.9M barrels m/m. The diesel inventories of both companies rose to 51.6M barrels in Oct from 46.8M m/m

- Commodities: Australian PM Rudd stated that he did not expect the mining boom to completely unwind and added that commodity prices unlikely to fall below 2003 levels || Reportedly, China's central government is mulling buying all types of base metals for its reserves

*** NOTES ***

- Euro-Zone Services PMI registered record low readings ahead of the BOE and ECB interest rate decisions on Thursday. EONIA interest rate contracts forecast a 75bp rate cut by ECB on Thursday compared to the 50bp consensus expectations. Reminder: Back on Dec 1st, ECB sources registered concern that a cut of 75 bps or more could stoke panic, and added that it saw little chance of a deflationary spiral in the EU. The BOE is expected to cut by 100bps to 2.00% on its Thursday MPC meeting. European companies continue to issue profit warnings and cautious outlooks for 2009 as highlighted by Man AG and Infineon. Taiwan Semi suggestion that economic weakness would last a fairly long time has brought back a renew degree of risk aversion to the market sentiment.

- The year-end funding issue will be key. Euribor rates continue to edge lower but dealers noting that Japan's Tokyo 3 month Interbank rate (Tibor) has moved for the 18th consecutive sessions, despite actions by the BoJ.

- Financial markets are trading cautiously ahead of three key employment surveys from the U.S. today, Thursday and Friday.

Looking Ahead:

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e 28 Nov: There are no consensus expectations for this number; The prior number was 1.5%.

- 7:30 (US) Nov Challenger Job Cuts: Y/Y there are no consensus expectations; The prior number was 78.9%.

- 8:15 (US) Nov ADP Employment Change: Consensus expectations are -205k; The prior number was -157k.

- 8:30 (US) Q3 Final Non-farm Productivity. Consensus expectations are 0.9%; The prior number was 1.1%.

- 8:30 (US) Q3 Final Unit Labor Costs. Consensus expectations are 3.6%; The prior number was 3.6%

- 9:00 (BE ) Belgian Q3 Final GDP. Q/Q there are no consensus expectations for this number; The prior number was 0.1% . Y/Y there are no consensus expectations for this number; The prior number was 1.2%.


- 11:00 (SZ) SNB's Roth speaks in Vezia, Switzerland

- 12:30 (US) Fed's Lacker, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, Wachovia CEO Bob Steel speak in Charlotte

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