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Forex Blog - European Morning Update: ECB's Liikanen says Zero interest rates not necessarily a solution to credit crunch and deflation; Gold moves above $920/oz on speculation that Chinese funds are

Today 05:44am

European Morning Update: ECB's Liikanen says Zero interest rates not necessarily a solution to credit crunch and deflation; Gold moves above $920/oz on speculation that Chinese funds are being told to avoid U.S. Treasury's; Russia Central Bank vows that Ruble will maintain its ceiling of 41 in basket


- (IN) India Q1 Annual GDP 9.0% v 9.6% prior

- (HK) Hong Kong Dec M2 Money Supply Y/Y: -1.35 v -12.1% prior

- (SP) Spain Nov Current Account: -€8.5B v -€7.5Be

- (SP) Spain Jan Preliminary CPI - EU Harmonized Y/Y: 0.8% v 1.1%e

- (IT) Italian Retailer's Confidence: 95.5 v 88.7 prior; Services Survey: -30 v -26 prior

- (IT) Italian Nov Large Company Employment Y/Y: -1.0% v -0.6% prior

- (NO) Norway Dec Retail Sales M/M: 0.1% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: 0.2% v-0.6%

- (CZ) Czech Dec Money Supply: 6.5% v 7.9% prior

- (UK) Dec Net Consumer credit: £0.3B v £0.7Be; Net Lending: £1.9B v £0.6e

- (UK) Dec Mortgage Approvals: 31K v 26ke

- (UK) Dec Final M4 Money Supply: M/M: 1.4% v 1.7% prior; Y/Y: 16.1% v 16.6% prior

- (IT) Italian PPI M/M: -1.3% v -1.2%e; Y/Y: 0.6% v1.0%e

- (EU) Euro-zone Jan CPI Estimate: 1.1% v1.4%e; lowest since July 1999

- (EU) Euro-zone Unemployment Rate: 8.0% v7.9%e; highest since Oct 2006


- Equities: Honda Motor [HMC] Reports Q3 net profit ¥20.2B compared to ¥200B y/y || Kuoni [KUNN.SZ] Guided FY08 Rev CHF4.86B versus 4.96B estimates. It announce that it would reduce its workforce and initiates 3-year CHF106M investment and cost reduction program. || Roche [ROG/sz} Reduced offer for Genetech [DNA] to $86.50/share in cash for the company from $89/shr prior || Kloecker [KCO.GE] Reported Q4 Operating loss of €65M. It FY08 revenues were €6.70B slightly below the €6.84B consensus estimates. It noted that it was impossible to issue guidance for 2009. || Misys [MSY.UK] Reported H1 Adj Op profit £36M versus £35M y/y. its revenues were £280M compared to £230M y/y. Company was conscious of the difficult environment, but remained optimistic that it would achieve full year targets. || Porsche [PAH3.GE] CEO stated that H1 Rev €3B which was lower by 14% y/y as Car sales plunged by 27% to at 34K units. CEO gave no current FY outlook. Company targeted to increase 50.76% stake in Volkswagen to 75% throughout 2009 depending on economic circumstances || Close Brothers [CBG.UK] Provided trading update in which its FY08 AUM was £7.1B compared £7.0B from prior quarter. It noted that the businesses have faced increasingly challenging and unpredictable trading conditions; but expected to benefit from a particularly strong performance in our Securities division || Banco Popular [POP.SP] Reported Q4 Net of €92.6M below consensus of €235M. its FY08 Net €1.05B versus €1.17B expectations. It was not considering a capital increase, to continue paying dividends but will not increase payout || Dexia [DEXB.BE] Announced transformation plan in which it would book net loss of about €3B in 2008. it also announce that it planned to cut 2008 dividends and eliminate 900 jobs (about 2.5% of workforce) || Lufthansa [LHA.GE] Reportedly Cargo Unit strikes an agreement with employees to shorten work week, impacting 2.6K jobs in Germany || Renault [RNO.FR] CEO commented that he saw 2009 Industry car sales down by 14% to 55M units; will be a 'tough' year. He did note pent up demand was strong in emerging markets. Coordinated support needed for European auto makers

- Speakers: ECB"s Liikanen: GDP in developed countries to contract considerable; Zero interest rates not necessarily a solution to credit crunch or deflation. He noted that the deflation risk was smaller in
Europe than in US. Deflationary expectation would be detrimental || SNB's Roth noted that the central bank still has the ability to support economy in comments from a newspaper interview. He stated that Swiss banks are among the 'best capitalized banks in the world' but acknowledged that they could face trouble if global economy continued to deteriorate || German Fin Ministry expected the recession to continue for the time being and noted that the job market situation would deteriorate further in next few months. He noted that deflationary trends should not be feared as a slowdown of core inflation was not expected || Russian Central Bank's Ignatyev stated that he would not allow ruble to fall beyond 41 to the basket and would use currency intervention of other monetary tools if necessary ||RBNZ's Bollard: Sees additional room for rate cuts and capacity for cash injection; Expects economy, households, and exports to remain weak through 2009 || Japan MoF: Confirms that did not intervene in the currency markets during January || US Econ Advisor Tyson stated that the Obama administration sought to incresase economic growth in H2 with a front loaded stimulus package. US does not plan long-term nationalization of banks || Swiss KOF: Jan Banking indicator hits lowest level since survey began back in 2000

- In Currencies: The USD was mixed against the major pairs. The EUR/USD tested below the 1.2900 level ahead of the European morning as vague rumors circulated that perhaps
Greece might withdraw from EMU this weekend. The yield on Greek 10y closed at 247bps over Bund on Thursday, which was below the record 300bps touched on 26th of Jan. ECB's Trichet commented on Thursday that there was no chance of an EMU breakup. The Russian Ruble weakendabove 40 against the basket but remained within recently expanded ceiling of 41. The Russian Central Bank'head Ignatyev was vocal in noting that the Ruble weakness would not go beyond the 41 to the basket and vowed that it would use currency intervention and other monetary tools to ensure that task. Ahead of the NY morning the EUR/USD tested 1.2835 following the lower Euro-Zone CPI estimate and the 8.0% unemployment reading

- the GBP was firmer against the USD and Euro pairs. BOE's Blanchflowwer commented on Thursday that he was”Bullish on the pound” and saw it as undervalued. EUR/GBP moving below the 0.90 level while GBP/USD probed around the 1.43 handle. The
UK mortgage approval data also aided the GBP's cause in the session with its better reading in December.

- Note that the USD was modestly steady to firmer despite the higher gold prices. Spot Gold broke above the "key" $920/oz level as dealer chatter suggested that strong gold demand being attributed to speculation that Chinese funds are being told to avoid U.S. Treasury's

Reportedly Eurozone seeks that the new
US administration to get more involved on currency policy at G7 meetings. The 'source' noted that EU sought to avoid strong fluctuations in FX and keep FX markets calm during times of crisis. It also stated that currency intervention was unlikely; but more cooperation between the US and the Eurozone group could help reduce volatility

- Fixed income: In fixed income the German yield curve has exhibited a steepening bias this morning, with the long end of the curve selling off in response to yesterday's disappointing T-Note auction and the short end rallying in response to weak CPI and unemployment figures. Better than expected mortgage lending data has eased some of the pressure on Gilts which solidified yesterday after the UK's own weak auction, and expected supply next week, but yields are still higher across the curve , with March Gilts down 30 ticks at 117.30 at the time of writing.

- In Energy: OPEC Sec Gen El Badri reiterate sit wopuld cut output further at its March summit if market was not balanced. He again urge non-OPEC oil producers to lower supply if current OPEC cuts fail to balance the oil market || IEA's Tanaka: Turkey is an important strategic transit route, notes stability in Middle East is important for investors. NYMEX Mar crude was off 0.30 to move towards $41.oo level.

- Credit Crisis: JP Morgan analyst: Forecasts German banks to take up to €34B of potential collective write downs and identifies up to €93B of assets 'at risk.' The analyst expected Deutsche Postbank to take €4B in write downs; Aareal bank to take €2B in write downs. Expected Hypo Real estate to take €8B in write downs

*** NOTES ***

- What the global leaders need to be aware of is that credit remains more effective than interest rates. Today the attention is focused on the US GDP today and the question is just how negative the reading would be. Below -3% would be the worst since 1982 and below a -6.4% reading would be the lowest since 1980. The global economic front remains dismal following a slew of Japanese data that was all below expectations today. Euro-Zone Unemployment came in at 8.0%. The New Zealand Central Bank stated that it had room to continue its aggressive easing cycle.

- ECB's Trichet stated on Thursday that no breakup of Euro-Zone would happen, but 'vague' rumors circulated that
Greece could pull out this weekend.

- Looking Ahead:

- 7:00 (CL) Chile Dec Copper Production: v 442.8K tons prior

- 8:30 (CA) Nov GDP M/M: -0.4% expected v -0.1% prior

- 8:30 (US) GDP Q4 Adv Q/Q Annualized: -5.5% expected v -0.5% prior

- 8:30 (US) Q4 Personal Consumption: -3.5% v -3.8% prior

- 8:30 (US) Q4 GDP Price Index: 0.4% expected v 3.9% prior

- 8:30 (US) Core PCE Q/Q: 1.0% v 2.4% prior

- 8;30 (US) Employment Cost Index: 0.7% expected v 0.7% prior

- 9:00 (US) Nov RPX Composite 28dy Y/Y: No expectations v -20.14% prior

- 9:00 (US) Nov RPX Composite 28dy Index: No expectations v 206.73

- 9:45(US) Chicago Purchasing Manager: 34.9 expected v 35.1 prior

- 10:00 (US) Jan Final University of Michigan Confidence: 61.9 expected

- 10:00 (US) Jan NAPM- Milwaukee: no expectations v 30 prior


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