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Forex Blog - European Morning Update: Gold gilters as it approaches $1,000/oz; European seems vulnerable to C4 explosives

Today 05:52am

European Morning Update: Gold gilters as it approaches $1,000/oz; European seems vulnerable to C4 explosives


- (JP) Japan Jan Final Machine Toll Orders -84.1% v -84.4% prior

- (FI) Finland Jan PPI M/M: -1.5% v -0.4%e; Y/Y: -3.7% v -1.4%e

- (CZ) Czech Dec Retail Sales Y/Y: -2.9% v -0.7%e

- (SZ) Swiss Dec Retail Sales: 3.6% v -1.4% prior

- (HK) Jan Hong Kong Unemployment Rate: 4.6% v 4.3%e

- (UK) Jan CPI M/M: -0.7% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: 3.0% v 2.7%e

- (UK) Jan CPI Core Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.0%e

- (UK) Jan Retail Price Index: 210.1 v 209.9e

- (UK) RPI M/M: -1.3% v -1.4%e; Y/Y: 0.1% v 0.0%e; RPI Ex Mortgage Payments: 2.4% v 2.3%e

- (UK) Dec DCLG UK House Prices: -10.2% v -10.1%e

- (GE) Feb ZEW Survey -Econ Sentiment: -5.8v -25.0e; Current Situation: -86.2 v -82.0e

- (IT) Italian Current Account: -€5.8 v €-4.66B prior

- (EU) Eurozone Feb ZEW Survey: Econ Sentiment: -8.7 v -27.5e

- (EU) Eurozone Dec Trade Balance:-€0.7 v -€6.7Be; Trade Balance sa: -€0.3 v €-5.3Be


- Equities: Daimler [DAI.GE] Reported Q4 Net loss €1.53B worse than the loss €103M expected. Revenues came in at €23.2B slightly better than the €22.1B consensus. For its 2008 year the firm reported Net profit of €1.4B worse than the €2.9B estimate with revenues of €95.9M versus €95.7M view. Dailmer expected that global demand could decline by further 10% in 2009 and added that they saw a “substantial” l burden on its EBIT || Volvo [VOLVB.SW] Awarded SEK1.3B Canadian order for 410 buses || Givaudan [GIVN.SZ] Reported FY08 Net CHF111M below the CHF157M expectations. Revenues were CHF4.09B slightly below the CHF4.15B consensus. Confident to outgrow the underlying market in 2009 based on brief pipeline and new wins and expected to reach savings target of CHF200M by 2010 || Teva [TEVA] Reported Q4 $0.76 v $0.73e, R $2.80B v $2.93Be, increases dividend to $0.147e/shr || Coca Cola Hellenic [EEEK.GA] Reported Q4 Net €3.0M below estimates of €45.2M. (ex items). It revenues were €1.59B slightly above consensus of €1.55B. The company did not provide 2009 guidance due to uncertain economic environment. Its Q4 volume 492.1M cases versus 465M cases y/y || Aegon [AGN.NV] Reported Preliminary Q4 net loss €1.2B worse than the loss €317.7M expected. New life sales €600M || L'Oreal [OR.FR] Reported 2008 net (ex-items) €2.06B slightly below estimates of €2.08B with Op profit €2.73B versus €2.81B expectations. Revenues came in at €17.54B slightly below the consensus estimates of €17.66B. It remained confident that it can weather economic problems. But noted that the economic environment would be tough. || Imtech [IM.NV] Reported FY08 Net profit €113.3M below estimates of €120.6M. Revenues were €3.86B in line with expectations of €3.85B with organic growth of 8% y/y.. it expected EBITA to rise this year through acquisitions and organic growth while maintaining EBITA margin of 6%. || Legal & General [LGEN.UK] Provided statement in which its IGD capital surplus was in excess of £1.6B. It noted it would double reserves against defaults to £1.2B and stated that the changes reflect falls in equity markets to 31st December 2008 || InterContinental Hotels [IHG.UK] Reported FY08 Operating Profits of $535M in line with estimates of $534.7M. revenues were $1.85B compared to consensus of $1.91B. It did note it saw a sharp deterioration in Q4 trading demand in the Asia Pacific region.. Global constant currency RevPAR -6.5% in Q4 and -12.2 percent in January.

- Speakers: ECB's Nowotny commented that zero interest rates would mean negative real rates and commented that he would not support cutting rates to zero. There are ongoing discussions on additional tools at ECB as they must expect negative GDP for Euro-Zone in 2009. Would have to wait and see on developments of more tools and the EU needed to discuss whether to help stabilize the economies like Ukraine || ECB's Constancio: commented that the most recent inflation and GDP data signaled a deterioration || IMF's Strauss Kahn stated that the pace of clean up of bank toxic assets are not rapid enough as banks still holding too many toxic assets. IMF believes that a stronger stimulus packages are required among countries. It saw a possible end to current economic crisis from 2010 with 2009 remaining difficult to navigate. || EU's Almunia reiterated the growing view that it is likely for ECB to cut rates next month and added that the monetary policy should be expansionary || ZEW commented that the recent ECB interest rate cuts and fiscal measure have had a positive impact on the index. However, It noted that the downward economic trend likely to continue but expected the German economy to bottom within few months and to improve during H2 of 200. it noted that lower raw material and food prices would support consumptio. Lastly the ZEW stated that Q1 to be worst period for German economy. Latest data supports further ECB interest rate cut. || Polish Central Banker Slawinski noted that Zloty currency weakening due to speculation. He noted that Central bank FX intervention should increase risk of speculation and curb such appetite. Additionally, Polish banks may forgo dividends to increase capital ||
Japan's Yosano to replace outgoing Finance Min Nakagawa. Yosano will also retain his current title as economic minister as well. ||

- In Currencies:. The currencies were fixated on the growing concern in the Eastern European countires and the possible impact on the Western European banking sector. The comments from Moody's earlier in Asia has brought the Eastern European currencies into focus about a potential currency crisis in the Eastern European region, nicknamed C4 by dealing desks (Polish Zloty )PLN), Czech Krona (CZK), Hungarian Forint (HUF). Dealer chatter noting that banks balance sheets do not look 'healthy' as they have both clients and bank books sitting on large structured losses. Dealers pointing out the extent of the amount of CHF denominated home and consumer loans. Back in late Nov, 2006 the currency interbank took notice of comments from SNB's Roth over the 'carry trade' issue. Back then the SNB issued a blunt warning on such carry trades and called the short term focus on carry trades "troubling'. It was observed at the time that Switzerland had become the world's second biggest source of carry-trade credit after Japan with more than 80% of all new mortgages in Hungary are in Swiss Francs (CHF), with a similar pattern emerging in Poland, Croatia and Romania areas. The EUR/USD pair took out the chart support at 1.2720 level and the pair tested 1.2602 during the European morning before retracing. The “better” German ZEW data helped to limited the Euro's losses in the session. || (CH) Reportedly China Planning Official says CNY may weaken to CNY7 per USD from CNY6.95, gives no timeframe. The current level for the pair was at 6.84.

- Fixed income: In fixed income German government bonds have attracted bids this morning on renewed risk aversion. The yield on the 2y Schatz is currently at all time lows below 1.2%, , whilst the 10y Bund had oscillated around the 3% level. Peripheral government bonds have been weaker after Moody's issued concerns on Eastern European banks. 10y debt of
Austria and the Netherlands( considered most exposed to eastern Europe) as well as Portugal and Greece widened to record levels over the benchmark Bund. The UK DMO sold £1B in 2055 long gilts, with the bid-to cover of 1.45 weaker than the previous 1.86. In corporate, Tesco announced plans to issue 3 part Euro and Sterling denominated bond offering. Traders are noting the iTraxx crossover index is back above the 1100bps level and approaching its Dec 2008 all time high of 1,125bps. Chatter also circulated noting 5y CDS spreads on US, Germany, France, Austria, and Ireland had all touched record highs.

- In Energy: China MOF stated that it would subsidize purchases of alternative energy vehicles || Russia signs $25B oil loan deal with China

- Rosneftand Transneft have reportedly signed a $25B loan deal with China Development Bank || Statoil [STL.NO] Reported Q4 Net NOK2.0B v loss NOK52M expected. It operating income NOK37.8B below expectations of NOK40.2B.. The revenues were NOK145.9B slightly better than the NOK141.1B. Its FY08 ROACE came in at 21.0% versus 17.7% y/y with production 1.93M bpd. The company noted that results was negatively affected by weaker oil prices. Furthermore, the significant strengthening of the US dollar compared to NOK had a material negative effect on net financial items and consequently, the result became subject to an unusually high effective tax rate. || Total [FP.FR] To deliver 25 Metric Tons of LNG to Japanese buyers between 2011 and 2020 period ||

- Credit Crisis: Moody's warned during the Asian session that weakness in East European banks could spill over to their Western financial parents. It noted that economic crisis in emerging European markets places ratings pressure on Western banks ||Moody's analyst: Chances of an Irish default is remote

*** NOTES ***

- Safe-haven flows into USD and Gold seemed to be the main trading theme on Tuesday as risk aversion over the banking sector weighed upon equities. Eastern European concerns (C4) have dominated the conversation among trading desks for a second straight session.

- Daimler failed to live up to chatter that it would beat expectations, but there were some bright spots buried in its report as Smart sales up 35% and record sales and revenues numbers for its bus unit. Traders noted that the company's earning were generated in the first part of year to express concerns as 2009 commences.

- the German ZEW data beat expectations for the second month in a row with its -5.8 reading. ZEW noted that ECB rate cuts and government fiscal measures had a positive impact on the index but cautioned that the economic downward trend continues . ZEW was optimistic that German growth could rebound in H2 portion of 2009, but EU is not all

- As US traders return to their desk, it should be noted that G7 was all rhetoric but little details in how to handle the economic crisis, hence Gold has been firm as confidence wanes in paper and Governments at this time. Numerous sovereign 5-year credit default swaps hitting record highs with US, Germany, France, Austria, Ireland, Finland and Slovenia among them at record high levels.

- Looking Ahead:

-7:00 (BZ) Brazil Retail Sales M/M: -0.5% expected v -0.7% prior; Y/Y: 3.4% expected v 5.1% prior

- 8:00 (UK) Business Secretary Mandelson to speak in New York

- 8:00 (
PD) Polish Jan Avg Gross Wages M/M: -8.8% expected v 3.0% prior; Y/Y:

- 8:00 (
PD) Polish Jan Employment M/M: 0.3% expected v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: 0.8% expected v 2.3% prior

- 8:30 (US) Feb Empire Manufacturing: -23.75 expected v -22.20 prior

- 9:00 (US) Net Long Term TIC Flows: $20.0b expected v -$21.7B prior

- 9:00 (US) Dec Total Net TIC Flows: No expectations v $56.8B prior



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