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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Risk appetite seems to again return as governments continue to scramble to limit the impact of the recession

Today 06:06am

European Market Update: Risk appetite seems to again return as governments continue to scramble to limit the impact of the recession

** ECONOMIC DATA ***

- (GE) German Feb GFK Consumer Confidence Survey: 2.2 v 2.0e

- (FR) French Jan Consumer Confidence Indicator: -41 v -45e 

- (GE) German Jan CPI - Saxony M/M: -0.5% v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 1.2% v 1.3% prior

- (SP) Spain Nov Mortgages on Houses Y/Y: -45.8% v -33.9% prior

- (SP) Spain Mortgages on capital Loaned Y/Y: -45.6% v -25.3% prior

- (IT) Italian Jan Bus Confidence: 65.5 v 65.6e; lowest reading on record

- (SW) Swedish Dec Retail Sales M/M: -0.1% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: -1.1%v -0.6%e

- (GE) German Jan CPI - Brandenburg M/M: -0.5% v 0.4% prior; Y/Y: 0.9% v 1.0% prior

- (GE) German Jan CPI - Hesse: M/M -0.3% v 0.4% prior; Y/Y: 0.8% v 0.9% prior

- (NO) Norwegian Nov Unemployment Rate (AKU): 2.9% v 2.8%e

- (SA) Dec CPI Core Rate Y/Y: 10.2% v 10.8%e ; CPI (all items) M/M: -1.1% v -0.7%e; Y/Y: 9.5% v10.0%e 

- (GE) German Jan CPI - North Rhine-Westphalia M/M: -0.6% v 0.4% prior; Y/Y: 1.0% v 1.0% prior

- (SZ) Swiss KOF Swiss Leading Indicator: -0.87 v -0.50e 

- (GE) German Jan CPI - Bavaria M/M: -0.3% v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.3% prior



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

- Equities: Novartis [NOVN.SZ] Reported Q4 Net $1.51B below consensus estimates of $1.86B. Revenues were $10.08B missing the estimate of $10.53B. Guided revenues to grow 'at mid-single digit rate' in local currencies this year and added that 2009 would be an increasingly challenging year. To raise dividend by 25% to CHF2/shr || SAP [SAP.GE] Reported Q4 Net €850M above consensus estimates of €826.4M. Revenues were €3.49B roughly in line with the €3.45B estimate. It noted that it would reduce its global workforce to 48.5K (about 3K jobs or 5.8% of workforce) by end of 2009. The company planned to pay dividend this year and retain a 30% payout ratio. It did not plan a share repurchase program in 2009 || 

|| Wacker Chemical [WCH.GE] Reported its Q4 revenues of €1.01B which was slightly below expectations of €1.03B. It met its 2008 revenue goal with revenues coming in at €4.3B versus €4.31B estimates. To introduce shorter working hours to cut costs but noted it was 'well equipped' to meet current year's challenges. It saw demand falling in chemical divisions and in semiconductor wafers || Schneider [SU.FR] Announced strategic update and reaffirmed 50% dividend payout ratio. It targeted EBITA margin of at least 12% this year and noted that near term visibility resulting from the global economic downturn reduced considerably the group's ability to provide reliable forecast on growth. It would cut further €400M from costs if needed by 2011 and targeted organic growth of GDP plus 3 pts over cycle || Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria [BBVA.SP] Reports FY08 Net €5.02B v €5.63Be || Centrotec [CEV.GE] Met its FY08 outlook. Guided FY09 revenues €455-480M v €467M estimates || British Sky Broadcasting [BSY.UK] Reported H1 Adj Op Profit of £388M above £361M estimate with revenues of £2.60B and in-line £2.58B consensus. It was increasing its dividend by 5% to 7p/shr and noted it was creating 1K new job. Its Q2 Net Adds were171K above 134K estimates while Churn came in at 9.9% v 10.4% consensus. || 3i Group [III.UK] Names Michael Queen new CEO || Carillion [CLLN.UK] Awarded Bankside contract worth up to £130M || GKN [GKN.UK] Provided trading update in which its 2008 group sales would to be up 12% y/y. Its pretax seen at higher end of forecast. It noted that that conditions have deteriorated and that its 2008 results would include £150M impairment. Its automotive business loss-making in Nov and dec period || Vedanta [VED.UK] Provided Q3 production update: Reports highest ever quarterly production of zinc and aluminum; record sales of iron ore. The company also reported Q3 revenues of Rev $1.31B compared to $1.89B seen a year ago || Norsk Hydro [NHY.NO] Announced NOK3.5B asset writedown and saw impairment on Q4 results. It would reduce 2009 CAPEX by 30%. It noted that Aluminum products have been hit by weak demand || Tate & Lyle [TATE.UK] Provided interim management statement in that the current orders are lower than in H1 of FY. It commented that the firm remained 'well financed' despite the deterioration in the global economy. || SSL [SSL.UK: To sell up to 19.2M shares (about 10% of shares outstanding) and noted that its trading remained in line with expectations || Balfour Beatty [BBY.UK] JV names preferred provider for National Grid contract, valued at $1.7B || Areva [CEI.FR] Awarded long term EDF contract for uranium conversion, worth several hundred million euros || Fraport [FRA.GE] Board Member Schulte noted that its Q1 would be 'worst of crisis' for aviation industry and that overall 2009 would be a very difficult year. He noted that the firm wwas still interested in other airports such as Edinburgh || British Land [BLND.UK] May sell its 50% stake in the Meadowhall shopping center for about £550M according to UK press reports || Spanish Car Assoc: See 2009 sales at 900K units || 



- Speakers: SNB's Roth: Sees 'commented that there was no evidence' for a potential 2010 recovery so far. He added that the Swiss economy was in solid shape but would 'suffer' like other countries in the current environment. He expressed no surprise over weakness of USD given Fed's policy. Switzerland needs a stable US economy for recovery and noted that its export sector showed weakness. He commented that Swiss could encounter some negative inflationary forces in next few months but not deflation|| ECB Gonzales- Paramo noted that the EuroZone inflation had declined significantly and inflationary expectation are currently anchored. Anchored Inflationary expectations have allowed ECB to lower interest rates but the central bank's mandate remains medium term price stability || EU's Juncker commented that controlling deficits at any price without considering economic realities would be 'harmful' || OECD's Gurria reiterated that both the ECB and BoE have additional room to lower interest rates || Polish Central Banker Noga: Key interest rate may fall under 4% level || Economist Nouriel Roubini labels current environment as a “synchronized global recession” || SNB to set up a swap line with Magyar Nemzeti, a Hungarian bank || World Bank Chief Economist noted that China's Q1 GDP growth may be under 7% but remain confident its 2009 GDP growth to be 7-8% range || IMF's Strauss-Kahn stated that the Eurozone was in need of political coordination and could be 'in danger' without it. || German Bundesbank commented that it was not selling gold (This seems to be in regards to its Sept 30th comment Sept 30th comment that would not sell gold in fifth year of central bank agreement and would pass on remaining sales quotas to other central banks). || Spain GDP contracted by 1.1% in quarterly terms in Q4; officially in recession - Central Bank



- In Currencies: The risk appetite in the session was aided by speculation that the US was moving towards setting up a toxic bank and an agreement on its bailout package. The JPY and USD were on a weaker footing as a result of the firmer equity bias. EUR/USD tested back above the 1.33 early in the session before consolidating in the mid-1.32 neighborhood. The GBP continued with its retracement rally moving above the 1,43 handle against the USD and below 0.93 versus the Euro

- The CHF was weaker in the session. The SNB agreed to set up a swap line with Magyar Nemzeti, a Hungarian bank, which would be effective from February 2nd through the end of April. One dealer commented that that the development could remove a source of CHF buying. USD/CHF moved from the 1.1360 area to above 1.1430 during the course of the morning. || the Russian Rouble moved above the 38 level against its basket. Some analysts noting that perhaps the new upper band of RUB41 could be tested in weeks rather than months. 



- In Energy: WSJ article noting that the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar indicated that the Obama administration could be open to expanded offshore drilling. Article notes that the administration was mulling doing away with a program that allows oil companies to pay in kind for oil and natural gas taken from public lands. || FT noted that President Obama was looking to cut US oil demand by about 4M bpd; The figure would equal the combined daily consumption of France and Canada. Article quoted Obama as saying "within 10 yrs (we aim) to save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined."



- Credit Crisis: Speculation that a US “bad bank” plan might be announced next week. FDIC's Chairman Bair seeks to run such an entity



- In Fixed Income volumes have been predictably thin ahead of the FOMC decision later in the session. Italy sold €1.5B in 2019 and 2035 inflation linked bonds, with healthy results not really suprising and consistent with recent auctions. Supply continues to be provided with Spain launching a new 10y and Slovenia offering new 3 and 5 years later in the year. Elsewhere details emerged of upcoming new issues from some major European corporate names. KPN , AC.FR and Nokia (NOK) are all expected to tap corporate debt markets with new 5 and 10y bonds on the horizon 



*** NOTES ***

- Risk appetite seems to again return as governments continue to scramble to limit the impact of the recession amid the turmoil . Speculation that a US “bad bank” plan might be announced next week. FDIC's Chairman Bair expressed interest to run such an entity. The success of such an operation is at what level would the toxic assets be purchased at. Dealers noting that the level would be whether or not the plan has the foundation for 'success.' 

- Dealers also noting the pending FOMC announcement later today. The focus would be on the communications challenges that the central bank endures now that interest rates are basically zero. 

- Looking Ahead: 

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Jan 23: No expectations v -9.8% prior

- (GE) German Jan CPI- Baden Wuttemberg M/M: % v 0.4% prior; Y/Y: % v 1.4% prior

- (GE) German Jan Preliminary CPI M/M: -0.3% expected v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 1.1% expected v 1.1% prior

-14:15 (US) FOMC Rate Decision : Expectations are for no change to the Fed Funds target rate of 0.0% to 0.25%



 

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