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Monday January 26, 2009 - 11:05:44 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Barclays helps sooth some risk aversion concerns for the time being; Gold holds above $900/oz

Today 05:59am

European Market Update: Barclays helps sooth some risk aversion concerns for the time being; Gold holds above $900/oz

 

*** ECONOMIC DATA ***

- (SP) Spanish Dec Producer Prices M/M: -2.2% v -1.3%e; Y/Y: =0.2% v 0.8%e 

- (CZ) Czech Jan Business confidence: -9.2 v -6.4 prior; Consumer Confidence: -25.8 v -21.0 prior

- (SW) Swedish Dec Trade Balance: SEK11.0B v SEK6.1B prior

- (
PD) Polish Dec Retail sales M/M: 20.2% v 20.0%e; Y/Y: 6.6% v 5.0%e

- (
PD) Polish Dec Unemployment Rate: 9.5% v 9.5%e 

- (UK) Dec BBA Loans for Purchases: 22,051 v 17773 prior



*** SPEAKERS/FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***

- Equities: Barclays [BARC.UK] BARC.UK: Stated that it would not need further capital subscriptions and the firm would report pretax ahead of £5.3B consensus when its it announces results on Feb 9th. It noted that its Group Tier 1 capital excess of £17B. It noted that its income would absorb £8B of gross credit market write downs taken during 2008. Its capital resources were well in excess of regulatory requirements and create a large performance cushion. It noted that it had £36B of committed equity capital and reserves and remained well funded and profitable. It clarified that the profit included the gains arising from the acquisition of the Lehman Brothers North American business and the gain on the sale of its closed life business. BNP Paribas [BNP.FR] Guided Q4 Net Loss -€1.4B compared to estimate €464Me. The bank Proposed issuing €5.1B in preference shares to French Government and sought to raise tier 1 capital ratio by €2.55B from its current level of 7.5%. Lstly the bank stated it sought to repay €2.55B debt issued in Dec 2008 || Koninklijke Philips Electronica [PHIA.NV] Reportd Q4 Net loss of€1.5B worse than the consensus estimates of a loss of €1.2Be. That was the first quarterly loss for the company since 2003. The company did beat on revenues with €7.6B versus €7.2B estimates. It suspended its buyback program until further notice. It saw restructuring delivering savings of €400M annually starting in H2 2009. It commented that its healthcare market likely to weakening in Q1 and noted further declines in lighting sales. Lastly the company stated that it could not look 'too far into the future.' In a CNBC interview, the CEO noted that consumer confidence in emerging markets left little room for optimism and that the company will focus on cash flows and costs || Oerlikon [OERL.SZ] Sold 2 semiconductor units. It signed an agreement to sell the ESEC business unit to the Dutch BE Semiconductor Industries. It expected to agree a management buyout of the Etch business. The company commented that both units provided no synergies with the core business, and only limited economies of scale. || Credit Agricole [ACA.FR and Soc Gen [GLE.FR] Are reportedly to enter into an asset management partnership according the press . The banks are seeking to create a jv with about €700B in assets under management. || ING [INGA.NV] Appointed Jan Hommen as new CEO. The firm guided FY08 Net loss of €900M compared to consensus estimates of €3.23Be (unclear if comp). ING would cut 7K jobs (5% of workforce) || 

|| WH Smith [SMWH.UK] Reported 20 week like-for-like Sales -5% y/y. CEO noted that trading conditions remained challenging over the Christmas period; Increasing gross margins and accelerating our cost reduction plans. Looking ahead, expect consumer spending to remain subdued and have planned accordingly. || Wosley [WOS.UK] Provides interim management statement and saw trading below expectations and that its trading profit fell by 45% y/y. Its Net debt increased by 22% since
31 July 2008 to £3B. the company cited that recent adverse movement in foreign exchange rates had negatively affected its overall net debt position. It expected macro economic conditions to deteriorate in the short term|| Hiscox [HSX.UK] HSX.UK: Provided interim trading statement in which it experienced good rate increases in key areas. It also noted that it saw currency-related gains of £150M. || European Aeronautic Defence & Space [EAD.FR] Reportedly Airbus's CEO stated that demand for new aircraft was expected to fall by 50% to 60% y/y in 2009 versus prior expectation of a 40% decline. Separately, French press noted that French government planned to inject €5B into banks in order to help finance airplane purchases || Sibir [SBE.UK] divested its 50% stake in Korimos for $68M cash || Roth & Rau [R8R.GE] Awarded €26M turnkey orders from Millinet Solar || Santander [SAN.SP] CEO commented that it sought to divest $10B in Sovereign Bancorp unit assets. He expected sovereign unit to be profitable by 2011 || Land of leather [LAN.UK] Stated that interested parties would not purchase all stores and noted that discussion were on-going woth perspective buyers. It was also preparing the closure of 33 store, impacting some 95 positions || Henkel [HEN3.GE] CFOcommented that the company would make profit in 2009, but decline to elaborate on any details. He did note that demand for consumer profit was 'reasonable unaffected'



- Speakers: Japan Vice Fin Min Sugimoto commented that the Japanese economy continued to worsens 'rapidly'. He also reiterated that both the central bank (BoJ) and gov't shared similar views on economy. || ECB Noyer noted that Latin American countries were affected by external shocks, but seem less vulnerable at this time. || Norway Government stated that it saw 2009 GDP contracting by 0.5% compared to prior forecastof +2.3%made back in oct. Norway confirmed plans for NOK20B stimulus || UK PM Brown noted that the Current economic crisis was characterized by its "unparalleled proportions". He noted that a coordinated global action was required to ensure growth returns. || 



- In Currencies: GBP recovered after report a 2008 profit well ahead of the consensus estimate of £ 5.3B. Barclays helped to underpinned
U.K. banking stocks sentiment in the session. GBP/USD recovered from 1.3550 area to test above 1.3740 during the European morning. The Euro also benefited on the improvement in equity markets. EUR/USD at 1.2945 as the European morning drew to a close. Dealers attributed to weekend comments from ECB's Mersch, which downplayed quantitative measures in the Eurozone due to the recent widening in interest rate spreads. The USD momentum was also a bit stymied by the rise in Gold, which is probing towards some key technical resistance at the $920/oz area. Oil also retraced earlier losses to move towards the unchanged level at 46.50. 



- In Energy: Petrofac [PFC.UK] Awarded $2.3B Abu Dhabi contract for the development of the onshore Asab oil field || Dec Iraqi crude oil exports rose to 56.2M barrels (+3.4M barrels m/m) || Repsol [REP.SP] Announced gas discovery in 3 Algerian fields. Preliminary production estimated at 1M cubic meters per day || 



- Credit Crisis: UK Chancellor Darling is mulling a new rescue package for key industries || WSJ discusses the impact of rising unemployment on the US banking sector, the "Heard on the Street" column noted that if the US unemployment rate rose toward 10%, credit losses could balloon unpredictably because of high defaults among people with previously strong credit histories. The column noted that at this time bank balance sheets do not appear in a position to deal with unemployment moving sharply higher from its current 7.2% rate. ||
Norway confirmed a new NOK 20B stimulus package. Fiscal stimulus package will comprise SEK16.7B in spending and SEK3.3 B in tax cuts for businesses 



*** NOTES ***

- The Chinese year of the Ox is upon the market and the current economic landscape making one feel like such an work animal. 

- Some relief on the financial sector front help equity markets move higher after Barclays noted that it did not need further capital subscriptions and would report pretax ahead of the £5.3B consensus estimates when it reports on Feb 9th. 

- The weekend press had the European central bankers make contrasting opinions on the interest rate front. BOE's Blanchflower (ultra-dove) noted that interest rates must head down to zero and noted that the
UK economy would continue to shrink until at least Q3. ECB's Mersch commented in the FT that he would be unwilling to see the ECB's main interest rate fall much lower than the current 2% level. However ECB Gonzales-Paramo noted that price stability could require interest rate. 

- The market gearing up for US earning season that now moves into full gear this week. 

- Friday's US GDP number expected to be the lowest reading since the 6.4% contraction seen back in March of 1982. 

- Looking Ahead: 

- 6:45 (FR) French Finance Minister Lagarde speaks in 

- 10:00 (US) Leading Indicators: -0.2% expected v -0.4% prior

- 10 :00 (US) Existing Home Sales: 4.40M expected v 4.49M prior

- 10 :00 (US) Existing Home Sales M/M : -2.0% expected v -8.6% prior

- 10:30 (US) Jan Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity: No expectations v -60.6 prior

- 10:30 (IS) Israeli Base Rate Announcement: 50bps cut to 1.25% expected; Current base rate is 1.75% 

- 1:00pm (US) Treasury Dept to sell $8B 2029 TIPS

 

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