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Monday December 22, 2008 - 11:20:47 GMT
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European Market Update: China's PbOC cuts interest rates and reserve requirement; Toyota lowers guidance and sees its first FY operating loss in seven decades; German think-tank see ECB rate at 0.5% b


- (JP) Nov Convenience Store Sales Y/Y: 7.4% v 8.1% prior

- (GE) Germany Nov Import Price Index M/M: -3.4% v -2.5%; Y/Y: -1.3% v -0.2%e

- (GE) Germany Jan GFK Consumer Confidence: 2.1 v 2.2e

- (FR) France Nov Producer Prices M/M: -1.9% v -0.9%e ; Y/Y: 1.6% v 2.6% e

- (SW) Sweden Dec Economic Tendency: 68.9 v 70.0e; Consumer Confidence: -23.4 v - 25.5e ; Manufacturing Composite: -37 v -32e

- (SW) Sweden Nov PPI M/M: +0.7% v -0.3%e; Y/Y: 4.6% v 3.5%e

- (HK) Nov CPI Y/Y: 3.1% v 1.6%e

- (IT) Italy Nov Trade Balance-Non EU: -€1.23B v -€366M prior

- (EU) Oct Euro-Zone Industrial New Orders M/M: -4.7% v -4.0%e; Y/Y: -15.1% v-9.8%e


- In equities: Toyota Motors [TM] Confirmed press speculation that the company expected to report it first ever FY operating loss. The company lowered its 2008/09 guidence and now expects a Net profit ¥50B compared to earlier forecast of ¥550B. It now expects an operating loss of Loss ¥150B versus prior expectations of a profit of ¥600. Moody's noted that it would review company's Aaa rating for possible downgrade || Michelin [ML.FR] To cut global operations due to the economic downturn and decline in tire demand> it noted that it saw a €150M in Q4 charges. The company noted that November saw a sharp m/m decline in demand for tires in every major global market including
North America, Europe and Asia || Areva [CEI.FR] Confirmed nuclear JV with Mitsubish Heavy in which it would hold a 30% stake. Areva targeted revenues of ¥50B by 2020 || Swiss Re [RUKN.SZ] Entered into $1.5B credit facility with JP Morgan || Sulzer [SUN.SZ] Acquired Australian Towertech for A$11M || Bridgestone [5108.JP] Cut its FY08/09 guidance Net ¥12.00B compared to earlier forecast of ¥66.00B. The company cited the stronf JPY and weaker demand as reasons for the lower guidance. || Suzuki [7269.JP]To cut Japanese production cut by additional 29K units to 1.19M form 1.27M for 2008 || Continental [CON.GE] Reportedly close to agreement with banks on loans according to the FT Deutscheland || Scottish & Southern [SSE.UK] Acquired 17.5% stake in RockTron for £10M in cash. The plant is designed to remove and process all fresh ash produced by the power station and much of that currently stored in lagoons at the site || Akzo Nobel [AKZA.NV] To purchase Lii Europe; terms not disclosed. Company see thedeal being completed by Q1 2009 || Embraer [EMBR3.BR] British Airways Ordered 11 new generation fuel efficient planes for $376M || Deutsche Boerse [DB1.GE] Acquired Market News International (MNI) for $10M in cash || X 5 Retail [FIVE.UK] Established partnership with A5 Pharmacy Chain. The agreement grants X5 a call option to acquire the entire A5's business in two years with a discount that will depend on performance of A5's pharmacies located on X5's premises. || Rolls Royce [RR.UK] Awarded £258M helicopter support contract in which it would provide engine support to the UK's Sea King helicopter fleet. The company also announced a joint venture with Goodrich Engine Control Systems Limited, will operate as Aero Engine Controls. || Sinclair [SPH.UK] Announced pact with York Pharma. Under the terms of the agreement, each company will co-promote selected products to dermatologists and selected GP's. || Hypo Real Estate HRX.GE: Announced corporate realignment and that its Q4 would be further impaired by restructuring costs || Aker [AKER.NO] Acquired Antarctic Navigator for NOK550M || UBS [UBSN.SZ: To sell Canadian energy commodity unit and global agricultural unit to JP Morgan. UBS noted that it would hold further talks regarding additional non-strategic commodity sales || Scor [SCR.FR] Received Retakaful license from Labuan Offshore Authority. to provide Retakaful reinsurance products complying with the principles of Islamic finance. LOFSA also granted SCOR Global Life a conventional Reinsurance license. || Munich Re {MUV2.GE] Confirmed the purchase of HSB group from AIG. Munich re added that it saw the purchase accretive to earnings in 2009 ||

- Speakers: BOJ's Shirakawa noted that the strong JPY and weak demand to spark big export drop and confirmed that the Japanese economy was deteriorating ( a term not used in over 6 years). Economic conditions would become more severeand that low interest rates makes it hard to stimulate the economy thus the BOJ was focused on making funds available. He noted that core inflation to weaken further and that the central bank would keep an eye out for more downside risks. Lastly he noted that the Japanese corporate financing conditions were tightening quickly || BOE's Gieve stated that the BOE did not understand current financial market crisis || China's Commerce Ministry stated that 2008 Retail Sales could rise to CNY 10.8T; up 21% y/y || German IFW Think Tank (Kiel) lowered its GDP forecast for Germany. It cu itss 2008 GDP view to +1.5% from +1.9% prior and slashed the 2009 GDP view to -2.7% from +0.2% prior ||

- In Currencies: Currency markets piecing together to potential impact of the U.S auto bailout and news of a supplementary budget in Japan. Dealers noting that risk appetite would remain a core driver of currency movements as year-end approaches. The EUR/USD paired moved towards the 1.41 level. EUR/JPY firmer towards the 126.50 area. The Euro moved off its best levels following the IFW think tank report that the ECB could cut its refi rate to 0.5% by mid-2009. The PBoC combination move of lower interest rates and reserve requirement causing European pairs to weaken against
Far east currencies. || The USD/JPY holding below the 90.30 with dealers noting the 200-hour moving average providing technical resistance. USD buy stops said to be building above the 90.50 level. || Russia Central Banks once again confirmed a widening of the Rouble trading band. The World Bank urged Russia's government to reconsider defending its currency in order to forestall capital outflow projected at $100B this year

|| UBS comments on FX markets Believes that USD and JPY to maintain bulk of 2008 gains. Expects parity in between EUR and GBP \ Unicredit analyst also commented on the FX markets and yield curves. It noted that it Italian and German curve showed opportunities in short dated notes. It expected the Euro to stay firm against USD into 2009|| According to a Chinese official, FX reserves contracted for the first time since 2003


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