- In equities: Sligro [SLIGR.NV] Reported 2008 sales of â‚¬2.17B in line with consensus estimates of â‚¬2.18B. It noted that its organic growth was 6.4% || Repsol [REP.SP Economista reported that Caixa ended its discussions with Lukoil; to let Sacyr to sell stake || Deutsche Post [DPW.GE] CFO John Allan to resign, effective June 2009 || Wolfson [WLF.UK] Appointed J. Michael Hickey as new CEO, effective Jan 1st, 2009 || E.On [EOAN.GE] Has completed asset swap with Statkraft. Statkraft given â‚¬2.2B in company shares (83M shares) ||
- Speakers: ECB's Nowotny: Liquidity actions need some time to take effect || Polish Central Banker Noga stated that the finance ministry's inflation outlook is 'credible'. He reiterated that Poland could cut rates in January and added that a rate cut could occur in each month this quarter || BOE Quarterly report on credit conditions stated that the central bank saw continued tightening in both Household and corporate lending in Q1 as bank noted that they see defaults and losses rising on all types of lending. BOE expected mortgage spreads to stay unchanged in Q1 and added that spreads in corporate lending would likely widen further ||
- In Currencies: The USD was firmer ahead of the European morning but saw the gains erode as the morning wore on. EUR/USD tested 1.3840 in late Asia trading aided by softer commodity prices .The Euro managed to regain some footing but was unable to retrace above the 1.40 level. GBP was mildly softer ahead of its plethora of economic data. GBP/USD off 150 pips at 1.4575, but was off its worst level of 1.4500 seen in late Asia. EUR/GBP remains whippy in terms of price action. The cross tested 0.9440 in late Asia before retesting the 0.96 handle ahead of the BOE credit condition survey. Dealers noting that UK's housing market activity had virtually come to a halt and that today's data suggested that a quick turnaround was not in sight. However, The UK CIPS December manufacturing PMI showed an improvement to 34.9 versus the 34.5 record low seen in November. The CHF maintained a former tone in Europe with EUR/CHF cross at 1.4865, lower by 40 Pips from its opening levels in Asia. Dealers noting that the JPY was mixed against the major pairs but implied that risk appetite improved for most carry-related tardes as the new year commences. ||
- WSJ commented on the Euro after its decade of existence. The article noted that the Euro has gained wide public acceptance since 1999 but, because of falling unemployment, booming trade, and tame inflation investors are nervous. The yield differentials between 10-yr German bonds and those of Italy and Greece remained wide at 140 and 220 basis points, respectively. The article noted that there are concerns that a prolong recession would put huge stress on euro zone members and added there are doubts over the Czechs' ability to rise to the task of the EU presidency in such tough circumstances. WSJ noted that individual countries could struggle with the one-size fits all monetary policy and rigid exchange rate. Lastly the article noted that without the euro, Europe would have suffered more from the financial crisis of 2008 due to currency devaluations and wildly diverging interest rates.
-In Fixed Income: European fix-income futures rebounded from opening level lows to move towards their best respective levels as the NY morning approaches. March bunds were at 124.89, up 5 ticks and March Gilts off 25 ticks at 123.24. The yield curve took on a steepening shape with the spread between UK 2-year and 10-year at 205bps and Germany spread at 125 bps.
- In Energy: Angola Oil Min Vasconselos stated that country was reducing its oil production by 244K bpd to comply with OPEC quota. Note Vasconselos became OPEC President yesterday succeeding Khelil|| Gazprom [GAZP.RU]) Reportedly, Russia was prepared to resume talks with Ukraine related to their gas dispute. (Earlier, Russia had cut off gas supplies to Ukraine). The Ukrainian Pres said that the two sides are near a compromise and he urged NAK Naftogaz and Gazprom to meet again in the next 1 or 2 days. || Royal Dutch Shell [RDSA.uk] Reportedly shutting some units at its Deer Park, TX refinery (333.7K bpd). It is shutting selective hydrocracker, hydrogen plant and noted that the maintenance to last through January 11th ||
*** NOTES ***
- The New Year begins with some volatility, as conditions remain thin in the aftermath of the holiday period. Commodities retraced some of their exaggerated gains seen experienced on Wednesday. NYMEX Feb crude futures lower by 43.00/barrel to hover below the $42 mark. The USD is a touch firmer on the back of lower energy and metal prices.
- The European data had a mixed tone with the German and French manufacturing PMI registering fresh record low readings. The UK and Italy beat consensus expectations. The UK housing market data suggested that a quick turnaround was not in sight and the BOE noted that a further tightening of credit for both households and corporations was likely in Q1 2009.
- 7:30 (BR) Brazil Dec PMI Manufacturing: Expectations versus 41.6 prior
- 8:00 (BR) Brazil Dec Trade Balance: Expectations $1.52B versus $1.6B prior
- 10:00 (TU) Turkey Dec Consumer Prices M/M: Expectations -0.3% versus 0.0% prior; Y/Y: Expectations 11.8% versus 12.3% prior
- 10:00 (TU) Turkey Dec Producer Prices M/M: Expectations 0.0% versus 0.8% prior; Y/Y: Expectations 10.5% versus 10.8% prior
- 10:00 (US) Dec ISM Manufacturing: Expectations 35.4 versus 36.2 prior; Prices paid: Expectations 20.0 versus 25.5 prior
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