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Forex Blog - European Market Update: German IFO surveys registers first up tick in eight months, but lingers near 25-year lows; ECB's Quaden hints at more interest rate cuts

Today 06:01am

European Market Update: German IFO surveys registers first up tick in eight months, but lingers near 25-year lows; ECB's Quaden hints at more interest rate cuts



- (IN) Indian Central Bank leaves interest rates unchanged, as expected; Lowers 2009 GDP forecast to 7.0%

- (GE) German Dec Import Price Index M/M: -4.0% v -2.9%; Y/Y:-5.1% v -3.7%e 

- (FR) French Dec Housing Starts: -16.0% v -12.5%e; Housing Permits: -11.1% v -14.7% prior

- (IT) Italian Consumer Confidence: 102.6 v 99.0e

- (NE) Dutch Producer Confidence:-19.7 v -22.3e 

- (SW) Swedish Dec PPI M/M: -0.7% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: 3.8% v 4.6%e

- (GE) German Jan IFO - Business Climate: 83.0 v 81.0e; Current Assessment: v 85.0e; Expectations: v 77.5e

- (IT) Dec Trade Balance Non-EU: -€66.0M v -€1.35Be

- (SZ) Swiss UBS Consumption Indicator: 1.150 v 0.961 prior

- (EU) ECB Nov Euro-zone Current Account: -€16.0B v -€6.4B prior; Current Account nsa: -€13.9B v -€4.8B prior

- (BZ) Brazil Jan FGV Consumer Confidence: 100.3 v 94.0e

- 6:00 (UK) Jan CBI Distributive Trades: -47 v -55 prior


- Equities: Siemens [SIE.GE] SIE.GE: Reported Q1 Net profit of €1.20B versus estimates of €1.13B. Its revenues for the quarter were €19.6B slightly better than the €19.3B estimates. Its 'Main' Ops profit (ex items) were €2B compared to analyst expectations of €1.8B. The company noted that Q1 order backlog included no major cancellations. It commented that it would stick to its 2009 targets, even though reaching them has become more ambitious. The CEO commented on the conference call that it sought too cut costs further by using flexible working hours at manufacturing plants || Lonza [LONN.SZ] Reported 2008 net profit of CHF419M above estimates of CHF403M. Its EBIT CHF441M compared to 441M consensus and its sales CHF2.94B were in line with the CHF2.92B estimates. The company guided its EBIT growth in the mid to high teens on avg until 2013. ||
Japan's Normura [8604.JP] Reported Q3 Loss ¥342.9B compared to a Profit of ¥21.8B y/y. Its , Pretax Loss was ¥399.5B verus Profit ¥44.4B y/y. it noted it would record a ¥88.4B impairment loss from group companies. || Software AG [SOW.GE] SOW.GE: Reported FY08 Net of €115.9M in line with €114.2M estimates. Its EBIT of €180.5M was slightly above the €174.0M consensus. Revenues were €720.6M compared to €708.0M estimates. CEO confirmed its FY09 Rev growth target of 4% to 8%, and its EBIT margin between 24.5% to 25.5% || Clariant [CLN.SZ] Reported FY08 Rev CHF8.1B slightly below estimates of CHF8.30Be. The company announced a restructuring and Proposed not to pay dividend. It will reduce its workforce by 1K positions. It would Prepare for further restructuring in 2009 and its focus will be on cash generation. || KPN [KPN.NV] Reported Q4 Net profit of €295.0M below estimates of €394M. Its revenues were at €3.72B slightly above consensus of €3.65Be. It reaffirmed it s 2010 targets. || Novartis [NOVN.SZ: Launched Oral Malaria Drug For Children || Balfour Beatty [BBY.UK] Awarded contract for development of Heathrow from BAA worth up to £750M . The contract is to provide both pre-construction advice and construction services for a major part of the works associated with the Eastern Campus Development Program at Heathrow Airport. || De La Rue [DLAR.UK] Financial Director Stephen King to resign, effective Feb 2nd || Charter [CHTR.UK] Provided trading update and expected underlying earnings for FY08 slightly ahead of prior expectations with consensus estimates at £1.77B. It would reduce its workforce by 940 jobs || Phoenix Solar [PS4.GE] Guided 2009 EBIT €31M compared to estimate of €25.1M; with revenues seen at €520M versus €454M consensus. It noted that it saw 35% of revenues coming from international operations and noted that it foresaw €1.5B in revenues in longer term and €100M in EBIT || Friends Pro [FP.UK] Provided 2008 trading update with life and pensions new business down 11% y/y. It would maintain its dividend policy . the Total full year life and pensions new business was £1.0B compared to the £1.14B year ago. Its Q4 Total Life and Pensions new business was down 4% y/y || Telenor [TEL.NO] Withdrew its proposed $1.8B rights issue and noted that it would finance Unitech purchase through cash flow and debt. It canceled its 2008 dividend and intends not to propose any dividend for 2009 || Credit Agricole [ACA.FR] French press quoted the CEO Pauget commenting that any merger with SocGen not on agenda || Valora Holding [VALN.SZ] To reorganize Melisa SA companies which would result in a loss of 22 jobs at Bedano facility. It would base Melisa press wholesaling operations at its Muttenz plant || Lundbeck [LUN.DC] To divest non strategic businesses and sold its LifeCycle stake to its foundation || Solarworld [SWV.GE] CFO affirmed its2008 sales and earnings targets and saw growth of 30%. || Q-Cells [QCE.GE] Guided 2008 it Net profit approximately €185M compared to estimates of €180.6M. It forecasted its 2009 revenues around €1.75B to €2.25B range versus consensus expectations of €1.63Be. It reaffirmed 2009 output 800-1000MW and targeted 2010 output 2.5GWP pending financing || Saflio [SFL.IT] Major shareholder confirms talks with several prospective partners have begun 

- Speakers: ECB's Quaden: ECB could be ready to move lower on interest rates. He Labeled Q4 Euro-Zone GDP growth as 'catastrophic' and reiterated it would take a while for stimulus measures to take effect. 2009 would not be a good year and hoped that a bottom is reached by 2010

||(GE) IFO's Abberger: does not see change in trend in H1 2009, construction sector benefiting from German stimulus package || IFO's Nerb: Too early for turning point in sentiment; German stimulus package did have an impact, ECB rates are not likely to decline to zero || Indian Central Banker: No systemic risk to country's banking sector due to Satyam debacle

- In Currencies: The European session began with a sense of increased risk appetite. the euro-related crosses performed well with EUR/JPY pushing up to 119.45 and GBP/JPY above 127.60 level. EUR-CHF initially struggled to build on its recent gains but moved toward the 1.51 handle as the morning progressed. Again dealers attribute Euro strength to continued hints from ECB members that Feb policy meeting would likely a pause in interest rate cuts. .The EUR/USD pair moved above the 1.33 level to test 1.3330 area before retreating toward the 1.3250 neighborhood. The European currency sentiment aided by 'better' IFO data for January. However several IFO members noted that the data did not indicate a bottom 

this time, but noted that the German stimulus package was providing a positive effect. Just ahead of the NY morning, ECB's Quaden noting that Euro-Zone interest rates could move lower|| Dealers noted that the Russian Ruble was softer against its recently widened trading band. Note the Russian basket was widened to 41.0 from 37.15 last Thursday. The current level is approaching the 38 handle

- Fixed income: A combination of supply and better than expected economic data saw Euro-zone Government Bonds exhibit a softer tone in early trading, before a mid morning equity sell off has seen Bunds recover lost ground and move into positive territory (up 22 ticks in March to 122.57 at the time of writing), giving the yield curve a flatter shape. Supply from peripheral markets was swallowed up with the
Netherlands selling a total of €2.1B in 2,4 and 5y Bonds, slightly more than initial expectations; and Italy selling €2B in 2010 zero coupon Bonds with a bid to cover of almost 2, higher than the previous 1.56. The UK sold £750M 0.75% 2047 index linked Gilts with a bid-to-cover of 1.62. Attention now turns to today's gigantic T-note auction, with the Treasury Department expected to sell $40B in new 2y Notes.

- In Energy: OMV [OMV.AS] Provided Q4 trading statement in which its Oil and Gas Production was 318K bpd. Total Refining Sales 5.72M tons || EU's Barroso: No adverse impact on EU relationship with
Ukraine from recent Gas dispute || Statoil [STL.NO Restarted production at Kvitebjoern gas field ||

- Credit Crisis: Hypo Real estate [HRX.GE] German Govt reportedly desires a majority stake in the company. German paper Handelsblatt reported that compnay reportedly would be nationalized || 

*** NOTES ***

- Some risk appetite return ahead of the European morning helped by continued government response to the global economic crisis. Today, the Japanese govt offer ed public funds to firms adversely impacted by financial crisis by share purchase program. In response the Nikkei 225 Index saw its largest one day gain in 6 weeks.

- The German IFO saw its first increase in eight months with a reading that beat expectations. However, the bounce in the IFO was just off its prior 25 year lows in the survey. German IFO members were cautious in labeling the 'end of the economic downturn.' European bourses limped lower throughout the morning session. 

- Looking Ahead: Key earnings expected this AM from a slew of key companies. Bristol Myers [BMY]; Du Pont 

- 9:00 (US) Nov S&P CaseShiller Home Price Index: No expectations v 158.1 6prior

- 9:00 (US) Nov S&P/CS Composite 20 Y/Y: -18.40% expected v -18.04% prior

- 9:30 (US) Nov Current Account Cumulative: -$109.1B expected v -$94.9B prior

- 10:00 (US) Jan Consumer Confidence: 39.0 expected v 38.0 prior

- 10:00 (US) Jan Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -50 expected v -55 prior

- 13:00 (US) Treasury Dept to sell $40B 2y Notes



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