- In equities: Rio Tinto [RIO.UK] RIO.AU] To reduce net debt by $10B by end of
next year (net debt at end of Oct $38.9B); cutting 14K jobs worldwide(about 30%
of workforce); reducing 2009 Capex from $9B to $4B. To defer and cancel some
projects. The company. Targets divestment of significant assets and plans to
cut operating costs by $2.5B/yr in 2010. The 2008 dividend to be maintained at
2007 level. It guided 2009 iron ore output & shipments at 200M tons and
aluminum output being 5% less than capacity. It saw 2009 copper output at 830K
metric tons. The CEO stated on the conference call that the short term outlook
remained uncertain and that it would distribute job cuts across the globe ||
SKF [SKFB.SW] Announced it was cutting capacity and eliminating, 2.5K positions
(5.5% of workforce). Cuts resulted from a weakening demand in commercial and
industrial markets. It expected a charge of SEK470M from capacity and position
cuts. The company guided Op profit of SEK1.61.7B compared to SEK1.58B estimates
(ex items) and forecasted a volume drop of nearly 15% during that period. ||
Axel Springer [SPR.GE] to Take a15% stake in Stepstone with plan to purchase up
to a 33% stake. It would purchase shares up to a maximum price of NOK7/share
and added it did not plan to offer stepstone publicly || Carillion [CLLN.UK]
Stated that earnings in 2009 would be 'materially enhanced' and added it
continued to see strong performance || Wienerberger [WIE.AS] Extended its CFO
Van Reit's contract until 2014 || Marstons [MARS.UK] Extended the maturity of
its bank facility to August 2013. The amount of the facility would reduce from
the current Â£400M to Â£295M in August 2010 || Clipper Windpower ]CWP.UK] Stated
it it encountered no cancellation of orders but added tat some were being
delayed. It had renegotiated terms of some client payments. Milestone payments
originally scheduled for 2009 are being delayed. It added that for 2008its year
end cash balance in range of $150-$200M versus $250M previous view. YTD
installations have totaled 294 units and expected that number to rise over 200
by 2009 || Television Francaise [TFI.FR] CEO noted it was:
"Impossible" to forecast higher revenue next year || Belvedere
[BVD.FR] Reported H1 Net loss of â‚¬38.7M compared to a profit of â‚¬100K year-ago.
Its 9 month revenues of â‚¬875.5M, up 22.1% y/y. The firm had experienced a
marked slowdown in consumption. May be unable to reach its 2008 profit targets
(had guided EBITDA â‚¬60M) || Daimler [DAI.GE] German Cartel Office stated that
Daimler filed to acquire stake in Russian truck maker Kamaz (was rumored in
Russian press back on Nov 20th) || Pearson [PSON.UK] Acquires Fronter, a
European online learning company || RWI Think tank: Germany is in deep
recession; sees 2009 GDP at -2.0%
- Speakers: BoJ Shirakawa stated that the central bank was closely monitoring
impact of JPY on the economy; appreciation due to shift into JPY denominated
assets from risk aversion. He noted that the MOF could issue an order for
central bank to intervene in the FX market if the JPY continues to gain.
Shirakawa noted that economic stagnation was mounting and that the weak
economies of US and Europe were responsible for JPY appreciation
China's PBoC reiterated that it would maintain relatively loose monetary policy
in 2009 to promote economic growth || ECB's Stark commented in a WSJ Editorial
stated that the environment for conducting economic policies, in particular
monetary and fiscal policies, has become extremely challenging . The
unfavorable conditions in parts of the financial market are spilling over into
the real economy. Neither Europe as a whole nor the euro
area will escape the storm. In view of declining inflationary pressures, the
ECB has reduced rates in 3 steps so far, most notably by an unprecedented 75
bps last week. The euro-area governments have provided support for the banking
system and to date the envelope of funds for possible recapitalizations and
guarantees amounts to some â‚¬2T (20% of euro-area GDP). || ECB's Bini Smaghi
noted that Europe ran the risk of "falling behind the curve" in
recapitalizing its banking system, and reiterated that governments should
encourage capital injections in banks
|| PBoC issues statement on regional central bank meeting with BOJ and Korea;
committed to cooperation and FX stability || China Gov't stated that More
difficulties and downward pressures are seen in economy and would take steps on
expanding domestic demand. Gov'f would cut taxes and increase spending to boost
economy activity. It noted that it would maintain a flexible economic policy.
the Gov't noted it would maintain an active fiscal policy, maintain moderately
loose monetary policy, to keep CNY basically stable and sought to balance in
international payments || BoJ Nishumura: Notes that credit turmoil is still
expanding || Bank of Indonesia sees Q4 GDP in range of 5.5% to 5.6%; 2009
growth below 5.0% || China Official stated that he was not aware that China
could seek to subsidize the costs of shipping corn and issue a 5M ton export
quota for corn || Hungary Central Banker Simor stated that Hungary had
stabilized economy in short-term. He sa no chance of a 300bps interest rate cut
as any accelerated easing of policy would run the risk of devaluing the
currency. Thus monetary policy scope remained limited|| Sedlabanki (Central
Bank) postpones Iceland
collateral requirement until Jan 28th
- In Currencies: The USD was firmer against the European pairs as the European
morning wore on. The decline in Chinese exports spurring a bit of risk aversion
and safe haven plays. EUR/USD at 1.2915, down 15 pips from its opening levels
in Asia. BOJ Shirakawa warned that he was carefully
watching forex moves that affect the economy. The threat of currency
intervention helped the JPY weaken just ahead of the European morning. The
comments on the currency indicate increasing concern on the impact on exporters
from rising JPY. Recall that Sony [SNE} announced job cuts earlier this week.
His concerns over the sluggish economy come in the wake of the news that
Japanese manufacturers will be extending holidays at year end due to falling
demand. The JPY was off its pre-European lows as the NY morning approached.
USD/JPY at 92.60, EUR/JPY at 119.60 (bothe about 25 pips higher from Asia
opening levels) and GBP/JPY at 136.95, higher by 75 pips. || Bank of America
analyst noted that perhaps the phase of repatriation in USD may be coming to
end. It saw the Euro trend upside potential against the Dollar and JPY pairs.
|| BNP Paribas analyst commented that EUR/USD could recover to the 1.32 area in
the near term. He cited the firmer equity markets as one factor.
-In Fixed Income: EURIBOR Fixings for Wednesday Dec 10th saw the 3-month at
3.38% compared to 3.43% prior, its lowest level since Sept 2006 || Germany sold
â‚¬5.74B of the 2.25% 2010 Schatz at an average yield of 2.23%. Despite the
supply, and hawkish comments from ECB members Junker and Bini Smaghi , the
short end of the European Yield curve rallied on equity weakness. Anticipation
of further monetary policy easing in the Eurozone was reflected in the EONIA
swap index, which is fully pricing in a 25bps cut in January . UST's are seeing
selling and higher yields across the curve, whilst better buying of the 10y
Gilt is leading to bull flattening in the UK.
- In Energy: Lukoil [LUKOY] Reportedly signed a MOU with Argentine Energy
companies || Total [FP.FR] Nigerian Akpo oil field to start production in Q1
2009 and noted that the economic crisis would not delay project due to start in
2009. the CEO stated that the company's 2008 earnings would be "good"
and saw oil prices resuming their rise in mid-long term || WSJ looks at the
recent decline in oil related ETFs. According to the article, in addition to
the sharp drop in oil prices ETFs are also being impacted by the fact that oil
markets are in a state known as "contango", which is when
longer-dated futures are more costly than the spot price. || FT article noted
that the World Bank's chief economist forecasted that global oil demand
would" collapse" in 2009 and commodities would not return to the
highs they reached this past summer in the foreseeable future ||
*** NOTES ***
- Fed weighs debts sales of its own. The question is whether this is a sign
that some market stabilization could be emerging or does it open up a bucket
list of concerns like the could be fears of deflation or that the FED is not in
control of interest rates? Yesterday nervous investors paid for the privilege
of owning US
government debt, pushing interest rates on three-month Treasury bills to
negative levels for the first time in postwar history.
- China's Trade
Surplus came in at a record $40.1B for November, but the increase came for all
the wrong reasons and highlights the global recession fears. Both China's
exports and imports declined for the month. This was the first drop in Chinese
exports in seven years (India's
exports experienced that as well recently). The rash of lower corporate
earnings guidance, planned capacity cut and workforce reductions illustrate
these recessionary concerns. Rio Tinto was the latest to slash its workforce.
- (US) MBA mortgage Applications
w/e Dec 5th. There are no consensus expectations; the prior number was 112.1%
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Q3 Labor Productivity: Q/Q Consensus expectations are
0.2%; The prior number was -0.2%
- (US) Oct Wholesale
Inventories: Consensus expectations are -0.2%; the prior number was -0.1%
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