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Wednesday January 21, 2009 - 12:31:07 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: global economic slowdown has government and central bankers facing fiscal and monetary realities

Today 05:55am

European Market Update: global economic slowdown has government and central bankers facing fiscal and monetary realities


- (CH) China Q4 real GDP: % v 6.8%e

- (CH) Dec Retail Sales Y/Y: % v 19.5%e

- (CH) China Dec Industrial production Y/Y: % v 4.2%e

- (GE) German Dec Producer Prices M/M: -1.0% v -1.2%e; Y/Y: 4.3% v 4.2%e 

- (SZ) Swiss Dec M3 Money Supply Y/Y: 2.4% v 1.9% prior

- (IT) Italian Nov Trade Balance: -€1.08B v -€1.75Be; Trade Balance EU: €151M v -€280.0Me 

- (UK) Bank of England Minutes: Voted 8 to 1 to cut interest rates by 50bps on Jan 8th; Blanchflower sought 100bps cut

- (UK) Dec Claimant Count Rate: 3.6% v 3.5%e 

- (UK) Dec Jobless Claims Change: 77.9K v 81.0ke 

- (UK) Nov Avg Earnings incl Bonus 3M/Y: 3.1% v 3.3%e; Avg Earning ex Bonus 3M/Y: 3.6% v 3.6%e 

- (UK) Nov ILO Unemployment Rate 3M/Y: 6.1% v 6.1%e 

- (UK) Nov Manufacturing Wage Cost 3M/Y: 4.2% v 3.1% prior

- (UK) Dec Prelim M4 Money Supply M/M: 1.7% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 16.6% v 16.0%e 

- (UK) Dec Public Sector Net Borrowing: £14.9B v £10.5Be; Public Finances (PSNCR): £44.2B v £18.0Be 

- (UK) Malaysian Central bank cut interest rates by 75bps to 2.50%; more than the 50bps cut expected


- In equities, Ericsson [ERICB.SW] reported a Q4 net of SEK4.1B, below estimates of SEK4.56B. Revenues were SEK67B, above expectations of SEK58.4B. || Autonomy [AU.UK] reported a Q4 net $53.4M, well above estimates of $45.6M, with revenues of $145.4M, in-line the consensus view. For 2008, revenues came in at $503.2M compared to $504.2M estimates. CEO commented that he expected to see 10-20% organic growth in FY09 and that the firm continued consolidating its outstanding cash positions. || Societe Generale [GLE.FR] reported a 2008 net of "about" €2B, below the €2.5B consensus view. The bank's Q4 net was around breakeven, compared to expectations of €588.7M. || Novartis [NOVN.SZ] obtained Japanese approval for four innovative medicines that treat cancer, asthma, high blood pressure and wet AMD. The drugs are Tasigna, Xolair, Co-dio and Lucentis; all four have undergone Japanese clinical trials to support the approvals. || Gemalto [GTO.FR] won a contract from the
Kingdom of Bahrain for advanced e-ID cards. || Roche's [ROG.SZ] Roactemra has received European approval for treating rheumatoid arthritis. || Tullow Oil [TLW.UK] announced a £400M share placement to help finance the development of new oil fields. It also issued a trading statement, noting that its debt refinancing was on schedule. It reported 100% exploration success in 2008 in Ghana and Uganda, as well as 17 discoveries from 22 wells in its overall drilling program. || Skyepharma [SKP.UK] provided an update on Flutiform, noting that the product could face delays in EU submission by a few months. || A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank [DBK.GE] refuted press speculation regarding losses in its US hedge funds. The spokesperson commented that no losses were seen at the two funds, also noting that the funds, CQ Capital and Distressed Opportunity, are for institutional and asset management clients. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung had reported that the funds were down over 40%. || Adidas [ADS.GE] reiterated that it remains on track for a record 2008, adding that the industry remained more resilient than others.

- In speakers, the ECB'S Trichet reiterated that the economic outlook has weakened since December and that inflationary pressures have subsided. Trichet reiterated his view that the Euro Zone is experiencing disinflation, not deflation, and insisted that recent policy measures should boost demand and generate trust in the financial sector. || The ECB's Noyer said tensions in money markets remain and continue to impact lending, noting that such market tensions have spilled over into emerging market economies. French banks are suffering from a lack of liquidity but remain stable. Noyer reiterated that ECB rates are at historical lows and should lift market confidence. || The ECB's Nowotny commented that economic slowdown began from a high level of growth. || The German Government provided new 2009 economic forecasts, confirming earlier press speculation.
Germany now sees 2009 GDP contracting by 2.25%, with unemployment rising to 8.4% compared 7.8% in 2008. The government commented that the current recession was the largest challenge since unification, hitting the country harder than others. || New Zealand Finance Minister English commented that New Zealand could recover from recession at end of 2009. The government was balancing the need for stimulus against debt control. The NZD is at a level that helps the country's exporters. || French Finance Minister Largarde said that 2008 lending growth has slowed, noting that the six main banks were trying to keep annual lending growth around 3-4%. || HKMA's Yam commented that 2009 would be a difficult and volatile time for markets. He expressed fears that the second wave of the financial crisis could be more substantial than the first. || A member of the German governing coalition said that 2009 net borrowing was around €40B. || Czech Central Banker Tuma noted that 2009 GDP growth would be below forecast made back in October. || Germany's BGA forecasted that German 2009 GDP would contract by 2.5-3%. It sees export sales falling by 4-6%. || German Econ Min Glos said unemployment could rise by 500k by the end of 2009, adding that the Bundesbank saw Q4 GDP contracting by 1.75%.

- In currencies, the greenback was mixed against the major pairs in the session. GBP/USD tested seven-year lows under 1.38, while GBP/JPY hit fresh all-time lows below the 123.00 handle. The EUR/USD cross was briefly above the 1.30 handle but continued concerns over the global economic outlook prompted several spats of risk aversion into the USD and JPY pairs, with ECB members stressing the potential for slowing growth. 

- In fixed income, pressure in
UK debt markets have subsided after the Bank of England's King yesterday indicated purchases of Gilts would be included in the Asset Purchase Facility. In a choppy session, long Gilts are up 80 ticks at 119.84 in the March contract at the time of writing. || The yield on the two-year Schatz has oscillated around an all-time low of 1.431%; better buying of the short end on rate cut expectations giving the European yield curve a steeper tone. Germany continues to outperform European peripherals, with Irish 10-year debt blowing out to a record 254bps over Bunds and the Italian 10-year at a record 157bps over the European benchmark. Meanwhile Greece has reportedly priced a new five-year issue at 260bps over mid-swaps, implying a yield of 5.52% , or a whopping 325bps over the 5y BOBL at current levels.

- In energy, Venezuelan Oil Minister Ramirez stated that he would support additional OPEC output cuts. || Oil recovered from earlier lows in late
Asia to trade in the mid-41 area ahead of the New York morning.

*** NOTES ***

- The German economic minister experienced a bit of reality, admitting that the global recession was adversely impacting
Germany. He noted that the country faced its biggest challenge since unification back in the early 1990s. ECB members continued to note that 2010 was the "year of recovery." Dealers are noting that Singapore's Q4 GDP fell below estimates and the country has cut its 2009 forecasts. Dealers are noting with particular interest that equity prices seem to be moving lower. Creeping nationalization, perhaps? Aversion to paper assets has spot gold looking to move above key levels chart resistance layered up to the $930 area.

- Looking Ahead: 

8:30 (CA) Canadian Wholesale Sales M/M: -1.5% expected v -1.8% prior

- 8:30 (
US) ECB's Bini Smaghi speaks in Strasbourg

- 10:00 (
US) US Treasury Nominee Geither's Senate confirmation hearing

- 12:30 (SZ) SNB Hildebrand speech



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