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Wednesday December 24, 2008 - 10:57:35 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Russia continues with currency devaluations and warns of possible unrest from its economic situation

Today 05:49am
European Market Update: Russia continues with currency devaluations and warns of possible unrest from its economic situation


- 3:00 (SZ) SNB Monthly Report: Sees 2009 GDP in range of -1.0% to -0.5%; lower inflation


- In equities: AstraZeneca [AZN.UK] Received FDA complete response letter asking for additional information for Seroquel XR NDA. The company stated it was evaluating the contents of the CRL and the proposed labeling revisions || Cadbury [CBRY.UK] Japanese Asahi Breweries to purchase its Australian beverage unit for £550M || Raymarine [RAY.UK] Reported YTD revenues of £123.3M compared to £126.0M y/y. It guided FY08 revenues in the mid £130M area versus £140M year prior. It noted that trading remained in line with prior expectations and that it had reached agreement with its banks to extend its credit facilities. || Fortis [FORB.BE] Firm stated that it would book €295M in FX losses and added that its net liquidity as of Sept 30 stood at €1.8B || Grupo Ferrovial [FER.SP] BAA unit stated that it saw the disposal of London's Gatwick airport effective July1, 2009. It guided 2009 traffic at 119.8M passengers v 124.8M in 2008. BAA added that it saws 2009 CAPEX at £1.9B || British Petroleum [BP.UK] Restarted partial oil production from central Azari platform and noted it would produce 3 to 5 central Azari wells over the next few weeks || Newcourt [NEW.UK] To Sell it Ely Property unit for €39.3M to Consortium of private investors, including Ely's CEO.

- Speakers: Chinese Cabinet will study measures to increase its domestic consumption and increase its exports. The article noted that it sought to increase exports of machinery and electrical goods via tax rebates. China likely to use government funds to support foreign trade and all other Asian nations to settle trades in CNY ||Polish Central Banker Filar more rate cuts are needed if the slowdown worsens || Russian Econ Aide Dvorkovich, stated that the government would use oil fund proceeds to cover budget deficits in 2009. He added that Russia might become an international borrower from its current creditor status || SNB Monetary Policy Report stated that it saw 2009 GDP in range of -1.0% to -0.5% coupled with lower inflation. The central bank repeated that "the improvement in the inflation outlook has provided room for maneuver which the SNB is decisively using".

It added that it will continue to "closely monitor developments in the global economy, in financial markets and in foreign exchange markets" and "will implement further measures should the situation so require".

- In Currencies: The USD was mixed during the pre-holiday trading environment. EUR/USD lingered just below the 1.40 handle. The CHF was again firm against the major pairs. Dealers noting that the CHF has gained as global recessionary fears and a negative earnings outlook undermined any positive aspects. ECB's Nowotny commented during Asia that bank is keeping some "fire power" on interest rates, but added that the central bank was analyzing data and acknowledging what the FED was doing. Nowotny stated that he could not exclude a further interest rate cut in January. || Russian Central bank widened its currency basket bank making this the 7th "mini devaluation" during Dec. The euro-dollar basket broken through the 33.45 mark viewed as the prior Central Bank support level. FX dealers noting that this 10th time since Nov 11th that the Russian Central bank has amended its trading band and has spent around $163B of its reserves in defending the Rouble in the process|| UBS Analyst commented that the US Dollar demand remained a "Haven" amid economic weakness and noted that USD demand from reserve managers remained strong. UBS believed that the GBP would remain in current trading range and not move lower adding that Pound volatility and weakness was exaggerated by thin market conditions || Ukraine Central Bank increased reserve requirement for foreign currency deposits to 4% from 3%, effective January 5th

- In Energy: Reportedly OPEC's El-Badi sees oil prices at $75/barrel in 2010 || Iraq to begin exports of 65K BPD to Korea's SK Energy in Jan according to an Iraqi oil official || Dealers murmuring the talk of a possible OPEC emergency meeting before the scheduled March affair if prices continued to drop. Feb Crude at $38.20 during the mid-European morning

*** NOTES ***

- The US durable goods orders, personal income and spending reports for November and the weekly jobless claims report are expected to influence trading this session. The recent slew of global output reductions and corporate earnings guidance will again have initial claims data on the front burner. The Initial claims print of 575k in the week of December 6 marked the highest level for initial claims since November of 1982. The traders and dealers commented that yesterday's drop in the median resale price of homes from a year earlier was the most since records began in 1968 and was likely the largest since the 1930s.

- The theme moving into 2009 might morph from economic turmoil into one of potential social unrest. Russia Government issued a report that warned of potential unrest over economic situation. The economic turmoil spared no borders in 2008 and one wonders if such things are possible on the social scene as well…

Looking Ahead

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications: No Expectations versus 2.9% prior

- 8:30 (US) Nov Personal Income: 0.0%e v 0.3% prior; Personal Spending: -0.7%e v -1.0% prior

- 8:30 (US) Nov PCE Core M/M: 0.0%e v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 2.0%e v 2.1% prior; PCE Deflator Y/Y: 1.5% v 3.2% prior

- 8:30 (US) Nov Durable Goods: -3.0%e v -6.9% prior; Ex Transportation: -3.0% v -5.4% prior

- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 558K v 554K prior; Continuing Claims: 4.410Me v 4.384M prior

- 8:30 (CA) Oct Gross Domestic Product M/M: -0.3%e v 0.1% prior

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