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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Sweden sets the tone for more significant cuts from central banks

Today 05:45am

European Market Update: Sweden sets the tone for more significant cuts from central banks

*** ECONOMIC DATA ***

- (SW) Swedish Riksbank cut interest rates by 175bps to 2.00%; More than 100bps expected

- (ID) Indonesian Central Bank cut interest rates by 25bps to 9.25%. It was expected to hold rates steady at 9.50%.

- (IN) India Wholesale Price Index w/e Nov 22: 8.40% v 8.95%e

- (SZ) Swiss Q3 GDP M/M: 0.0% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.7%e

- (FR) France Q3 ILO Unemployment Rate: 7.7% v 7.8%e; Mainland Unemployment Rate: 7.3% v 7.4%e Mainland Unemployment Change: 9K v 44ke

- (NE) Dutch Nov CPI M/M: 0.4% v -0.4%e; Y/Y: 2.3% v 2.2%e

- (DE) Danish Oct Industrial Prod ex Ships: -0.7% v 0.3% prior; . Industrial Orders ex Ships: 3.7% v -3.5% prior

- (UK) Nov HBOS House prices M/M: -2.6% v -1.0%e; 3M/Y: -14.9% v -14.2%e

- (UK) Nov UK New Car registrations -36.8% y/y; YTD registrations -10.7% y/y - SMMT (lowest monthly figure since 1980)

- (EU) Euro-zone Q3 Prelim GDP Q/Q: -0.2% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: 0.6% v 0.7%e

- (EU) Euro-zone Q3 Prelim Household Consumption: 0.0% v 0.1%e; Gross Fixed Capital Formation: -0.6% v -0.5%e; Government Expenditures: 0.8% v 0.7%e

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

- In equities: Credit Suisse [CSGN.SZ] Accelerated the implementation of its strategic plan and announced further headcount reduction of 5.3K jobs (about 11% of workforce) to be completed by H1 2009. The firm added it had substantially reduce risk and cost base and noted it had planned to cut costs by CHF2B. In terms of Q4 outlook, CS noted it saw net loss of CHF3B as of end of Nov and cited that the loss reflected difficult markets and the cost of risk reduction. Its risk-weighted assets to be around $170B by end of 2008 and forecasted it to be around $135B by end of 2009. Underlying 1-day variance cut by 60% in 2008 until end of Nov. it stated its tier 1 Ratio was expected to be around 13% at year end. The CEO added that he did not foreseeing taking Swiss govt aid || Aleo Solar [AS1.GE] Exceeded its annual Sales of €330M and noted that it would likely surpass itFY target of 40% foreign sales share. The company expected trends to continue into 2009 || Koninklijke Philips [PHIA.NV] Stated that it not expect to be capable of meeting EBITA forecasts in 2010 and saw additional restructuring charge in Q4. To take a non-cash write-down on the value of remaining shares in LG Display and NXP of about €1.1B in Q4. Remain committed to existing strategic plan. It guided Q4 Consumer lifestyle Revenues at €2.83B and Lighting Rev in a range of €1.83-1.93B || Roche [ROG.SZ] Agreed with FDA on pathway towards U.S. approval of ACTEMRA for rheumatoid arthritis || Vossloh [VOS.GE: Reaffirmed its 2008 estimates and expected further growth in 2009/10. It guided FY09 Revenues at €1.29B compared to estimates of €1.19B. EBIT at €138M versus €138M estimates (FY09 EBIT margin 10.7%) Sought to propose FY08 dividend of €2/share, with one off dividend of €1/share || ASML [ASML.NV] Received permission from Dutch Gov't to reduce working hours by 50% for 1.1K employees. The measures follow sales drop in Sept and Oct period and saw an additional charge of €110M. it did note that the sales drop not in contrast to its Q4 outlook || Endesa [ELE.SP] Italy's Enel is reportedly looking to raise is stake in the company from the current 67% according to the Spanish press. Enel wants Santander to finance a bid for the 25% stake in Endesa held by Acciona SA valued at €12B || Easy Jet [EZJ.UK] Reported Nov Load Factor 83.9% v 80.8% y/y|| Michael page [MPI.UK] Guides FY pretax at lower range of expectations (£151Me) . it noted that the market was increasingly challenging for operations and that a loss of confidence in markets were more pronounced. It expected year end employee count to be around 5K and that its cost base to be lowered || Balfour Beatty [BBY.UK: Signed partnership agreement with Areva and Rolls Royce || JJB Sports [JJB.UK] Continues constructive discussion with its creditors. It also noted that discussions continue in relation to JJB's Fitness Clubs and JJB's other non-core assets and businesses. || William Morrision [MRW.UK] Reported 13-week like-for-like sales (ex fuel) +8.1% compared to 8.2% q/q || Nestle [NESN.SZ] Chairman commented that he was confident the firm's ability to reach its 5% to 6% growth target in 2009 || Commerzbank [CBK.GE] Closing its UK M&A operations as part of Dresdner merger . The job cuts are part of previously announced reductions || Maersk [MAERSKB.DE] To lay up 8 vessels from Dec to Jun 2009. The capacity for each vessel at 6.5K TEU || Experian [EXPN.UK] Reportedly to reduce its workforce by 300 positions || Metrovacesa [MVC.SP] Reportedly confirms an arrangement has been reached with creditor banks. Files statement with Spanish market regulators. Shareholders swapping 55% stake in firm to debt holding banks. || British Airlines [BAY.UK] London Heathrow runway expansion program have been delayed until 2009. || Maersk [MAERSKM.DE] To lay up 8 vessels from Dec to Jun 2009.

- Speakers: Swedish Central bank (Riksbank) commented that its sharp 175bps rate cut to 2.0% level was prompted by an unexpectedly rapid economic deterioration since Oct andd that the cut was necessary to dampen fall in unemployment and necessary as policy less effective . It saw interest rates remaining at 2% over coming year and at 2.5% in Q4 2010. The Central bank cut its 2009 GDP view to -0.5% from prior +0.1% made just back in Oct and lowered 2010 GDP view to 2.2% from 2.5% prior. It also cut its inflation forecast. It noted that the weaker SEK currency would soften the decline in economic growth|| (CH) China MOF: Global financial market crisis poses big impact on exports ||US Official commented that it welcomed the Chinese economic stimulus package. However, US has continued to stress the importance of currency reforms for China but noted the tone of meeting with China today was 'quite good'. US stated that China remained committed to CNY appreciation over medium and long term, but had no comment on recent CNY depreciation. US believes that Chinese leaders remain supportive of currency reforms and have not given any reason to believe they are any less committed || China's PBOC's Zhou stated that its country would take necessary and pre-emptive actions to fight global financial market crisis; but added that China should prepare for 'worst case scenario'. PBoC stated that the US must take measures to stop credit crisis contagion|| Chinese Commerce Sec stated that the CNY exchange rate has remained stable but acknowledged it recently encountered a slight depreciation phase || Polish Central Banker Pietrewicz stated that its MPC should maintain easing interest rate cycle and that further decisive steps are needed. He added that it was unsure if joining ERM2 is a good move now. He forecasted key rate at 4% at the end of 2009 as likely || Swiss Regulators noted that they have crafted new maximum leverage ratios of financial institutions and that new targets to be enforced from 2013 || (HK) Monetary Authority Yam stated that risk of large international recession growing || Russia PM Putin reiterated thet gov view that 2008 GDP seen in a 6.8-6.9% (was revised lower in late Nov from 7.3%), Stated that Russia could withstand financial market and economic crisis with minimal costs. Lastly he muttered that would not allow sharp fluctuations in its currency ||

- In Currencies: The session was all about the British Pound and its related pairs ahead of the BOE interets rate decision today. The market is becoming poised for more aggressive BoE rate cuts. Prior to the European open the consensus was for a 100bps cut to 2.00%, but the surprise 175 bps cut from the Sweden's Riksbank has seen the market harden its BoE rate outlook and 150 bps is already being touted as a real possibility. BOE interest rates have never been below 2.0% since its inception back in 1694 and any cut more than 100bps would set off this historic event. GBP/USD hit 6 ½ year lows of 1.4470; GBP/JPY tested fresh 13-years lows of 134.10 and EUR/GBP hit al -all-time high of 0.8679. The economic data continues to support any aggressive BOE action as both HBOS House Prices and UK Car registration painted a bleak economic picture. The EUR related pairs mirrored the GBP move for the most part against the USD and JPY. || The USD/JPY holding above a key support level of 92.50 where chatter circulating of a 'good' Far east name actively buying USD; but large USD sell-stops are building below.

-In Fixed Income: European fixed income continues to rally ahead of the BoE and ECB rate decisions, with the 2y Schatz down 11bps and below 2%, a multi- year low in yield, and the 2y Gilt down 10bps to yield below 1.6%. Buying is not limited to the short end of the curve, however, with the 30y Buxl down over 20bps to yield 3.14% and long gilts yields all lower . Spain sold €1.7B 4.2% 2013 SPGB'S and €2.31B 4% 2010 SPGB's

- In Energy: Exxon [XOM] Executive commented that the firm had no plans to alter existing investment scheme; not drawing down group exploration. The offical added that he hoped that new US presidential administration does not add new taxes in sector || Reportedly Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) plans to shutdown plants and cut output if the global financial crisis hurts demand. SABIC is the world's largest petrochemical maker ||

*** NOTES ***

- The NY morning is all about the European Central banks. Sweden's Riksbank cut aggressively by 175bps to 2.0% citing a rapidly deteriorating economic situation. Prior to the NY equity open the BOE and ECB will render their rate decisions. For the record the BOE interest rates have never been below 2.0% since its inception back in 1694. The consensus expectation is for the BOE to cut by 100bps to bring the rate to that 2.0% level. As to the ECB there seems little that the central bank can say or do to prompt any sustain buying of the Euro currency. The global economic front data appears to grow dimmer. Japan's July- Sep quarter of recurring profits for all industry fell by over 22% y/y for 5th consecutive quarterly drop. New Zealand Central bank cut by 150bps (as expected) earlier in Asia to bring its interest rate to 5.00%.

- Dealers noting that the Wednesday's US ISM data suggested a Q4 GDP of -8% and consensus for Friday's US non-farm-payroll grows more negative with each new poll. The whisper number coming in around sees payrolls down around 400K compared to consensus estimates of -330K

- Rumors that GM has filed for bankruptcy has stocks giving up yesterday's gains. Various press reports that GM and Chrysler are considering pre-arranged bankruptcy as price of getting the multi billion dollar bailout. However, Equity markets recovered from their initial bout of weakness in Europe following the Riksbank aggressive interest rate cut.

- Dealers taking note of a WSJ article noting that Goldman's Blankfein and Morgan Stanley's Mack have been regularly dining together thus recently fueling speculation of possible merger between them

- Numerous hedge funds continue to halt client redemptions temporarily.

Looking Ahead: US Same-store sales data will trickle out ahead of the US equity open. Overnight COSTCO (CSCO] Reported its Nov SSS -5.0% versus -1.6%e

- 7:00 (UK) BoE Interest Rate Decision. Consensus expectations are for a 100bps cut ; The current bank rate is 3.00%

- 7:30 (IN) India Wholesale Price Index w/e Nov 22. Consensus expectations are 8.95%; The prior number was 8.84%

- 7:45 (EU) ECB Interest Rate Decision. Consensus expectations are for a 50bps cut; Current base rate is 3.25%

- 8:30 (EU) ECB's Trichet speaks at monthly news conference in Brussels

- 8:30 (CA) Oct Building Permits: M/M consensus expectations are -6.0%; The prior number was 13.4%.

- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims w/e Nov 29: Consensus expectations are 540k ; The prior number was 529k.

- 8:30 (US) Continuing Claims w/e Nov 22nd: Consensus expectations are 4.03M ; The prior number was 3.962M.

- 9:15 (US) Fed's Lockhart speaks in New Orleans

- 10 :00 (CA) Nov Ivey Purchasing Managers Index : Consensus expectations are 50.0 ; The prior number was 52.2.

- 10:00 (US) Oct Factory Orders: Consensus expectations are -4.5%; The prior number was -2.5%.

- 10:00 (US)_ Automaker CEO's to testify before Senate Banking Panel

- 10:45 (US) Fed's Evans to speak at Michigan Bankers Conference

- 11:15 (US) Fed' Bernanke to speak in Washington

 

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15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude
Thu 21 Dec
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13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
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Fri 22 Dec
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13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
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