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Forex Blog - European Market Update: European GDP data register multi-decade declines; yet Risk appetite returns on hope US, Chinese stimulus plans will stop the bleeding; G7 meets with protectionism

Today 06:05am
European Market Update: European GDP data register multi-decade declines; yet Risk appetite returns on hope US, Chinese stimulus plans will stop the bleeding; G7 meets with protectionism as main topic

*** ECONOMIC DATA ***

- (GE) German Q4 GDP Q/Q:-2.1% v -1.8%e; Y/Y wda: -1.7% v -1.4%e; Y/Y nsa: -1.6% v -1.3%e; Y/Y decline the largest since Mar 1993

- (GE) EU Jan 25 New Car Registrations: -26.9% v -18.2% prior

- (FR) French Q4 Non-farm Payrolls Q/Q: -0.6% v -0.5%e; Wages Q/Q: 0.3% v 0.4%e

- (FR) French Dec Central Govt Balance: -€56.5B v -€66.6B prior

- (SP) Spain Jan CPI: -1.2% v -1.3%e; Y/Y: 0.8% v 0.8%e

- (SP) CPI Core Index M/M: -1.4% v -1.4%e; Y/Y: 2.0% v -1.9%er

- (SP) CPI (EU Harmonized) M/M: -1.3% v -1.3%e; Y/Y: 0.8% v 0.8%e

- (CZ) Czech Q4 Preliminary GDP Y/Y: 1.0% v 0.5%e

- (CZ) Czech Dec Export Price Index Y/Y: 1.2% v -1.4% prior; Import Price Index Y/Y: -2.2% v -1.7% prior

- (HU) Hungary Q4 Preliminary GDP Y/Y: -2.0% v -1.5%e

- (HU) Hungary Jan Consumer prices M/M: 0.6% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 3.1% v 3.0%e

- (SZ) Swiss Producer & Import Prices M/M: -0.8% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: -0.9% v -0.1%e

- (NE) Netherlands Dec Trade balance: €2.5B v €2.6B prior

- (NE) Netherlands Q4 Preliminary GDP Q/Q: -0.9% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: -0.6% v -0.6%e

- (SW) Sweden Q4 Industry Capacity: 83.9% v 89.4% prior

- (IT) Italian Q4 Prelim GDP Q/Q: -1.8% v -1.3%e; Y/Y; -2.6% v -1.7%e; Y/Y reading is the lowest since at least 1980 when the series began

- (EU) Euro-zone Q4 Adv GDP Q/Q: -1.5% v -1.3%e; Y/Y; -1.2% v -1.1%e; Q/Q decline was largest since series started back in 1995

- (UK) UK Jan House Prices M/M: -1.4%; Y/Y: -12.2% - FT House price Index; 11th straight monthly decline

- German Bundestag (Lower House) approved German second €50B stimulus package



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

- Equities: Air France [AF.FR] Reported Q3 Net loss of €505M worse than the loss of €285.5M expected. It operating loss was €194M slightly better than consensus of a loss of €209M. The revenues came in at €5.97B above the €5.78B expected. The company noted a larger than expected loss on fuel hedging book and added that it had fuel hedge position of 43% for 2009. It would reduce itst capex spending by €600M in 2009 || Pernod-Richard: [RI.FR] Reported H1 Net €625M below the €657.0M estimates. The H1 revenues were €4.21 slightly below the €4.25B consensus estimates. Currency movements had a negative impact on sales but positive impact on profitability || Eni [ENI.IT] Reported Q4 Adj Net Profit (ex items) of €1.94B compared to €1.83B estimates. The company would hold a €1.5B bond offer. It set its FY08 final dividend at €1.3/share. Expected refining margins to drop in FY09 compared to FY08 || Saab [SAABB.SW] Reported Q4 Net loss of SEK724M below profit of SEK584.7M expected. Revenues were SEK8.19B above consensus of SEK7.78B. For its full year, revenues came in at SEK23.8B slightly above SEK23.42B estimates. It proposed to cut its dividend to SEK1.75/shr from 4.75 prior. It saw its FY09 sales as "flat"and noted that the development of the Swedish defense budget as "a challenge". Redundancies might not be avoidable as margins fall. || Michelin [ML.FR] Reported FY08 Net income €360M below the €480M estimates as rising raw material prices and energy and transportation costs had a negative impact Its revenues were €16.4B in-line with €16.5B estimates. ; cutting dividend.. It FY operating margin came in at 5.6% below its previous guidance of a range of between 7% and 7.5%. and compared to 9.8% y/y || Galapagos [GLPG.BE] Revealed key drug target for Alzheimer's disease || Solarworld [SWV.GE] Reported FY08 Net income €250M. Its EBIT came in at €260M below €272.5M estimates while revenues were €900M slightly below the €910M consensus. It noted that its January sales were higher than levels seen a year-ago. || Beazley [BEZ.UK] Reported FY08 pretax £87.2M below estimates of £103.6M. It announced a £150M rights issue. Lastly the company stated it would acquire First State Management for $35M in cash ||



- Speakers: German Fin Min Steinbrueck commented that he more protectionism on international front and would bring up the issue at official meeting. He reiterated that he was opposed to the Centralized "bad bank" concept . Reiterated that must halt vicious spiral in bank balance sheets || Czech Central Bank Minutes: Weaker currency rate for CZK reduces scope for lower policy rates. Latest production and trade data suggested deeper then expected economic decline but possible government spending to fight economic crisis could pose upside risk to inflation in long run. Some central bank members express concern that inflation would converge towards target rate at slower pace than forecast. || BoE provided details on Commercial Paper purchases under Asset Purchase Facility || EU's Junker noted European Commission must examine Italian and French auto and economic stimulus packages. Commented that protectionism can not be the vehicle used to get out of economic crisis. Sees a lack of coordination between national programs designed to stimulate economy || German Bundestag (Lower House) approved German second stimulus package of €50B



- In Currencies: Risk appetite returned in the session with the latest U.S. mortgage plans cited as the catalyst for the price action today. Dealers also noted some evidence position squaring ahead of the G7 summit in Rome which softened the USD and JPY pairs. Overall, no surprises are expected from G7 communiqué on currencies. Typically, G7 states that excessive moves are undesirable but market forces should determine appropriate rates.

The GBP was firmer by 300+pips to regain the 1.46 handle for a brief moment ahead of the NY morning. EUR/GBP cross lower by 170 pips at 0.8845.

The EUR/USD was in the upper end of its recent range after failing to break 1.2700 option barrier on Thursday. The slew of negative European GDP readings did eventually par some of the Euro's gains against the USD.



- Fixed income: Risk appetite and supply from Italy have sent government bond prices lower in European trade this morning in relatively thin volumes ahead of the G7 meeting in Rome. Italy tapped €7.2B in 4, 12, 15 and 20y BTPS, with results in the mid-range of expectations. Gilts have under performed Bunds and UST's but yields are still sharply lower in the UK on a weekly basis. 2y Gilt is 10bps higher today at 1.31% but still around 35bps lower on the week. The 10y Gilt is about 6ps higher today 3.54%, but still about 40bps lower than last Friday's close.



- In Energy: WSJ reported that US Energy Sec Steven Chu noted that the DoE must accelerate its process for approving funds. Chu wants his staff members to be prepared to approve projects within 4 weeks. The department may be given the responsibility of allocating $40B in government funds. ||Total [FP.FR] CEO commented that actions and production cuts made by OPEC have been more reactive than usual. He added that current oil prices not good enough for the long term || India's Dec diesel sales rose by 1.5% y/y vs. 10.7% in Dec of 2007 || Reportedly, China is establishing a fuel price fund which would be used to stabilize prices and support local refiners. ||



*** NOTES ***

- Optimism returns prompting renewed round of risk appetite. Some speculating is building that China's economy is showing signs that a CNY4T stimulus package is taking effect. This euphoria was being complemented with U.S. plan to bring relief to cash-strapped consumers, businesses and states and aiding a job- creating program. The European GDP data was below expectations for the most part with multi-decade and all-time readings being registered.

- This Friday 13th has the G7 ministers meeting in Rome to discuss implementing measure to avoid the growing sense of protectionism. No surprise is expected from the meeting, but one never knows….

- Looking Ahead:

- 8:30 (PD) Polish Jan CPI M/M: 0.4% expected v -0.1% prior; Y/Y: 3.0% expected v 3.3% prior

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Dec New Motor Vehicle Sales M/M: -15.0% expected v -7.0% prior

-10:00 (US) Feb Prelim University of Michigan Confidence: 60.2 expected v 61.2 prior

- G7 summit begins in Rome, Italy

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