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Forex Blog - European Market Update: China PMI provides equity, commodities markets with 'relief'; Euro-Zone PMI data mixed with employment components soft; Fitch cuts Russia Sovereign debt to "BBB"

Today 05:57am

European Market Update: China PMI provides equity, commodities markets with 'relief'; Euro-Zone PMI data mixed with employment components soft; Fitch cuts Russia Sovereign debt to "BBB"



- (FR) French Dec Producer Prices M/M: -1.4% v -1.1%e; Y/Y: 0.0% v 0.3%e 

- (SP) Spain Jan Services PMI: 31.8 v 32.1 prior

- (IT) Italian Services PMI: 41.1 v 40.0e 

- (FR) French Jan Final Services PMI: 42.6 v 42.9e 

- (GE) German Jan Services PMI: 45.2 v 45.4e 

- (EU) Jan Final PMI Services: 42.2 v 42.5e 

- (EU) Jan Final PMI Composite: 38.3 v 38.5e 

- (UK) Jan PMI Services: 42.5 v 40.3e 

- (UK) Jan Official Reserves (changes): -$166M v $1.5B prior

- (EU) Euro-zone Dec Retail Sales M/M:0.0% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: -1.6% v -1.4%e

- (UK) BRC Jan Shop Price Index: M/M: % v -2.0% prior 


- Equities: Roche [ROG.SZ] Reports FY08 Net CHF10.8B v CHF10.0Be, Rev CHF45.62B v CHF45.79Be; to increase dividend by 9% to CHF5/shr from CHF4.6/shr || Alcatel Lucent [ALU.FR] Reported Q4 Net loss €3.89B (incl items) v €208Me, Adj Op profit €297M versus 270M expected. Revenues were €4.95B in-line with consensus of €4.9B. The company reaffirmed FY09 outlook. The company had an asset impairment charge that severely impacted its bottom line made necessary by the drastic deterioration of the global economic outlook during the Q4 || Swiss Re [RUKN.SZ] Reportedly the Swiss Exchange is conducting a probe into the company || Alfa Laval [ALFA.SW] Reported Q4 Net SEK862M below expectations of SEK1.04B. Revenues came in at SEK8.1B slightly better than the SEK7.99B expectations. It noted that restructuring had been intensified by weak demand with further cost cutting and capacity reductions. It proposed final dividend of SEK2.25/shr v SEK2.50/shr estimate || Munich Re [MUV2.GE] Reported Prelim FY08 net "above" €1.5B v €1.71Be. its gross premiums came in at €37.8B, up 1% y/y; It noted that its FY08 results were satisfactory and saw its Q4 profit €100M. It would leave dividend at €5.50/shr. It did note that the market showed signs of hardening and that two-thirds of property-casualty up for renewal. CFO noted that it would be very difficult to give 2009 outlook || Electrolux [ELUXB.SW] Reported Q4 Net Loss of SEK474M versus expectations of a loss SEK524M.; Q4 Sales SEK28.7B roughly in line with consensus of SEK28.5B. It would not pay FY08 dividend. || Sandvik [SAND.SW] Reported Q4 Net SEK 1.15B below the consensus of SEK 1.64Be. Sales were slight better at SEK24.17B versus SEK23.33B expectations. CFO: Q1 demand will be no better than prior quarter CFO noted that Q1 demand would be no better than prior quarter 

|| Sage Group [SGE.UK] Provided Interim statement in which its UK Business remained strong despite market conditions. It noted that the weaker British Pound currency had a positive effect || French Telecom [FTE.FR] Reportedly French appeal court confirmed suspension of co's iPhone exclusivity deal. Note: Bouygues Telecom: Will Soon Be Able To Distribute iPhone || Gas natural [GAS.SP] Reportedly to sell around 224M new shares (about of 50% shares outstanding) to raise €3.5B to help finance takeover of Union Fenosa. It will offer one new share for every two already owned || Metso [MEO1V.FH] Reported Q4 Net €112M versus €116M estimates. Revenues were, €1.84B v €1.83B consensus. The company to propose extra dividend of €0.68 in 2009. Its Q4 Orders came in at €1.04B v €933M estimates.

- Speakers: Nowotny reiterated the view that Euro currency offers protection against excessive currency speculation . He commented that it was completely 'absurd' of any potential Euro-Zone breakup. He stated that interest rate cuts have made sense and have helped to ease money markets, but added that the credit markets still are not functioning properly. Lastly the increase in the money supply would not cause inflation, says it 'quite the contrary'||

- In Currencies: The EUR/USD moved a big figure off its Asian session highs to probe the mid-1.29 level ahead of the NY mooring. The USD action was secondary at JPY related flows and Central European currency pairs. The AUD/JPY saw a dramatic decline ahead of the European morning. with dealers noting that it was possibly related to samurai bond issue. Central European currencies were weaker with Polish Zloty and Hungarian Forint leading the charge. Merrill analyst noted that these CE4 currencies could weaken further. One dealer did note that the Hungarian Central Bank might intervene if EUR/HUF tests above the 310 area. Polish Central Bank Chief commented that the country must preserve currency reserves ahead of ERM2 entry and saw no need for any FX intervention. NYU Professor Roubini commented on Eastern Euopre as well. He noted that Eastern Europe might suffer 'financial contagion' and added that Russia's defense of ruble is 'indefensible.' The fixed FX regimes are a 'recipe for disaster' in Eastern Europe and the earlier Kazakhstan devaluation was not likely to be enough and the country is like a 'smaller version' of Iceland. Roubini noted that the ECB was doing 'too little, too late' amid a deepening recession and that ECB was wrong not to cut rates to zero;. He noted the economic growth is 'real problem' in Euro Zone || Citi analyst made some bullish observations on Euro currency. He noted that the impact of sovereign spread widening was overstated. ECB's Trichet's Hawkish stance on interest rates could be positive for Euro and commented that the Euro was unlikely to test lows in near future || Kazakhstan's central bank devalued the tenge by 18%. The move is similar to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in abandoning attempts to prop up exchange rates as currency reserves dwindle || 

- Fixed income: A return to risk appetite has pushed European Government Bonds prices lower this morning. Short end underperformance has lead to a flattening bias in the German yield curve, after yesterday steepening highs. Perhiperal debt spreads have also narrowed against Germany, with the Italian 10y below 120bps over Bunds. Long dated supply from the UK was swallowed up, with traders noting strong demand from real money and buy to hold accounts. The £2B 2049 Gilt auction was covered 2.03 times, better than the average 1.98 times over the previous three auctions. Focus now shifts to the Treasury's refunding announcment later in the New york morning

- Commodities: ENRC [ENRC.UK] Provided Q4 Production update: Ferroalloys, Iron Ore Production post sharp declines || UBS analyst raised their 2009 gold price estimate to $1K/oz from $700/oz prior ||

- In Energy: Lybian Oil Official Ghanem commented that Crude Oil to rebound in near term. He reiterated the view that no meeting was planned before the originally scheduled one in March. He added that he did not expect OPEC to cut production in March

- Credit Crisis: S&P commented that New Zealand had a 67% chance of keeping current AA+ foreign rating and that no formal review of the rating was underway but always under surveillance. It noted that it was not unduly concerned by drop in NZD currency, which is an effective way to adjust imbalances || S&P cuts California's Lease Revenue Bond SPUR to A- from A; impacting $7.6B in outstanding lease revenue. Also removed if from CreditWatch with negative implications, where it was placed Oct. 13, 2000

*** NOTES ***

- Equities markets shrugged off some negative sentiment and managed to trade higher during the European morning. Ther were some concerns that the U.S. stimulus package could run in to some delays before it is successfully passed || 

Costco guided its Q2 “substantially below analyst consensus of $0.70 noting that General economic conditions have negatively affected its sales and gross margins

- However, markets noting that the better China PMI reading of 45.3 compared to the 41.2 in Dec helping offset the mixed European PMI data. This sentiment also complemented by stronger December retail sales in Australia. Nonethe less, dealers noting the WSJ article 'buried in the back' that discusses the warnings that sound the alarm in China…

- China CB Gov Zhou says to keep fx rate basically stable. FX policy will have some differences during financial crisis from normal times.

- the next three sessions will be a slew of earnings complemented by various US payroll data. The ECB and BOE decisions on Thursday with BOE expected to cut by 50bps to 1.0% and market divided on if ECB is on 'pause mode' after cutting by 225bps since Oct 5th

- Looking Ahead: 

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage applications w/e Jan 30th: No expectations v -38.8% prior

- 7:30 (US) Jan Challenger Job Cuts: No expectations v 274.5% prior

- 8:00 (NO) Norwegian Interest Rate Decision: Consensus expectations are for a 50bps cut to 2.50%

- 8:15 (US) ADP Employment Change: -535k expected v -693k prior

- 10:00 (US) ISM Non Manufacturing Index: 39.0 expected v 40.1 prior


- 10:00 (SU) Treasury's Ramanathan speaks


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