- 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" â‚¬2B, below the â‚¬2.5B consensus view. The bank's Q4 net was
around breakeven, compared to expectations of â‚¬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 Â£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 â‚¬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:
- (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
- 12:30 (SZ) SNB Hildebrand speech
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