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Forex Blog - European market Update: Euro zone PMIs again register record low readings; Markets to Central bankers & Gov't officials: Action and innovation needed not vague rhetoric

Today 06:08am

European market Update: Euro zone PMIs again register record low readings; Markets to Central bankers & Gov't officials: Action and innovation needed not vague rhetoric



- (JP) Japan Jan Convenience Store Sales Y/Y: 7.0% v 6.1% prior

- (FR) French Jan CPI M/M: -0.4% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: 0.7% v 0.7%e 

- (FR) French Jan EU Harmonized M/M: -0.4% v -0.4%e; Y/Y: 0.8% v 0.8%e

- (FR) French Jan CPI Ex Tobacco Index: 117.10 expected v 117.63 prior

- (FR) French Feb Business Confidence Indicator: 68 v 73e; Production Outlook Indicator: -76 v -73e; Own-Production Outlook: -46 v -38e

- (CZ) Czech Jan PPI M/M: 1.1% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: -0.8% v -1.8%e

- (HU) Hungarian Dev Avg Gross Wages Y/Y: 4.6% v 8.3%e

- (GE) German Feb Adv PMI Manufacturing: 32.2 v 32.5e; Services: 41.6 v 45.0e

- (FR) French Feb Preliminary PMI Manufacturing: 35.4 v 38.2e; PMI Services: 40.1 v 42.8e

- (IT) Italian Dec Industrial Orders M/M: -2.0% v -3.0%e; YY: -15.4% v -27.6%e; Industrial Sales M/M: -3.8% v -3.9% prior; Y/Y: -10.3% v -13.9% prior

- (EU) Feb Advanced PMI Manufacturing: 33.6 v 35.0e; PMI Services: 38.9 v 42.5e; Composite: 36.2 v 38.5e; *Both are the lowest readings on record

- (UK) Jan Car production down 58.7% y/y - SMMT 

- (UK) Jan Retail Sales M/M: 0.7% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: 3.6% v 2.1%e


- Equities: Lafarge [LG.FR] Reported FY08 Adj Net income of €1.71B slightly below the €1.81B expected. Revenues were €19.03B v €18.89Be. It announced it would launch a €1.5B rights issue which is part of €4.5B action plan || Swiss Life [SLHN.SZ] Reported FY Net CHF340M compared to loss CHF411.8Me || Shire [SHP.UK] CEO commented that the firm to become more aggressive in takeovers. He noted that employees are concerned that the company itself could become takeover target. The CEO stated that it sought to acquire 5 companies in therapeutic field and wouldl use $1.2B revolver credit line to fund such acquisitions || Saint-Gobain [SGO.FR] Reported 2008 net €1.38B compared to €1.81B estimates. Revenues were €43.80B below the €44.15B consensus. It planned to raise €1.5B in capital and reduce its dividend by 50%. It expected 2009 to be an extremely challenging year and would cut its CAPEX by at least 25% in 2009. it also would cut its workforce by 8K jobs || Anglo American [AAL.UK] Reported FY08 Net profit of $5.21B below consensus of $5.78B. Revenues were $32.96B above the forecast of $28.55B. It would not pay final dividend and suspended further dividends. The firm will cut 19K jobs || Rentokil [RTO.UK] Reported FY Op profit of £147.7M compared to estimates of £142.6M. Revenues were £2.41B versus £2.35B expectations. It would not pay final dividend. It noted that Q4 Net margin decreased to 8.4% || Prudential [PRU.UK] Reported FY08 insurance Rev £3.02B, up 5% y/y. It confirmed transfer assets and liabilities of Taiwan agency to China Life || Bekaert [BEKB.NV] Reported FY08 Consolidated Rev €2.66B versus €2.62B expectations. It commented that it did not expect current economic slowdown to last on company-wide scale || Cattles [CTT.UK] Reports interim statement in which it would delay it 2008 preliminary results. I now expects its profits before taxes to be substantially below market expectations. The delay is due to pending completion of a review of the adequacy of its impairment provisions. || Titan [TSW.UK] Provided interim update in which it guided it FY08 Rev £450M compared to £440.0Mesitmates. it expected its pretax in line with prior expectations, but added it would not pay a final dividend || Telenor [TEL.NO] Siberian court ruled against that co. is liable for $1.76B in damages; will appeal decision 

- Speakers: ECB Trichet stated that both the US and Europe face same challenges and reiterated that prior comments of a possibility to cut interest rates at its March policy meeting . He also noted that ZERO rates would bring inconveniences. The ECB has taken decisive measures to combat global market turmoil and that the crisis was serious challenge to global financial system. Trichet noted that the ECB balance sheet has increased by €600B since the beginning of crisis, which is a two thirds increase. | ECB's Stark reiterated the “official” view of that no break-up of Eurozone would result from the global economic and resulting fiscal issues. He commented that no bailout clause was important foundation of Euro|| World Bank commented that the Eastern European 2009 outlook was "gloomy" and that the weaker CE4 currencies leave the regions' central banks with limited room for rate cuts to provide economic momentum. It noted that some currencies have given back previous gains that took 4 years to achieve. It added that Eastern Europe has little room for fiscal impulses and forecasted the region's 2009 GDP at flat to up 2.0% || Russian Pres Medvedev stated that the bottom of the global economic crisis still has not reached. He added that leaving EU would exacerbate the financial problems of departing members. || German Fin Ministry denied earlier speculation (and German press report) regarding Eurobond issue to help EU members. The ministry noted that it must discuss the widening EU bond spreads with EU Commission, ECB and Eurogroup || Russian Econ Min Nabiullina stated that the country's GDP declined 2.4% in January; economic situation remains 'quite difficult' and noted that the trend would continue for 'next few quarters' || India Planning Panel Head stated that the central bank has room for more interest rate cuts as inflation recedes || Club Med [CU.FR] Reported Q1 Rev €329M compared to €323M y/y. Its like-for-like sales were higher by 3% y/y || Iceland's Fin Min commented that it should lower its interests rates soon and pledged to settle debts to foreign depositors. He noted that rates should be lowered prior to the removal of cap restriction laws || German Bundesrat (Upper House) approved €50B economic stimulus package || Germany's Vice Chancellor Steinmeier did note that a “process” has begun to consider how strong Euro nations could help each other during the economic turmoil but added it was too early to say what kind of steps might be taken

- In Currencies: The EUR/USD hovered around the 1.26 for most of the European morning. The dealers taking note that the recent break of 1.2730 earlier this week was retested and rejected providing some validation that the pair could moved back towards it 1.2330 lows from last October. || USD/CHF was its highest level sine East Dec as it broke above the 1.1830 level. Dealers noting that CHF remains subdued over concerns that the Swiss banking secrecy laws have been compromised following UBS's decision to release names to the IRS. Concerns also about CHF denominated Eastern European debt pressured the currency as well. The GBP moved into positive territory after better than expected Jan retail sales data. GBP/USD at 1.4275, up 20 pips from its Asian opening levels. EUR/GBP at 0.8840 after opening the Asia session at 0.8875. 

- Fixed income: Concerns over supply have lost out to the broader macroeconomic malaise and risk averse sentiment this morning, driving prices higher and yields lower across curves in both Germany and the UK. Uncertainty over EU plans to assist Eastern European members remain, with German government officials providing little by way of detail on intended measures of assistance, and denying press reports over joint eurozone issuance, pushing 5y CDS spreads of both Germany and Austria into fresh record highs. In corporates, BMW and Volvo both announced plans to offer Euro denominated issues, with sizes as yet unconfirmed. || Moody's noted that “AAA” ratings of Austrian Sovereign debt are resistant to stress tests 

- In Energy: FT reported that China has signed an agreement with Brazil securing long term oil delivery in exchange for financing Brazil's coastal development of reserves.

*** NOTES ***

- The price action in the markets suggests that participants seek action and innovation not vague rhetoric. The equities are making new bear market lows as the NY morning approaches. The BOJ monthly report noted that its economy was deteriorating significantly coupled with its corporate profits worsening at faster pace. Japan's Topix Index fell to its lowest level since 1984, while Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index slid to a five-year low. Several European companies announced rights issues to shore up their balance sheets. 

- Dealers seem to note that the ECB is at a loss on additional steps as rates are poised to continue to move lower. The European PMI showed that activity in both the manufacturing and service sectors fell more sharply than the previous month lows. 

- Dealers chatter again circulating that Citigroup [C] would be nationalized over the weekend.

- Looking Ahead: 

- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Unemployment Rate: 7.8% expected v 6.8% prior

- 7:00 (CA) Canadian Jan CPI M/M: -0.2% expected v -0.7% prior; Y/Y: 1.2% expected v 1.2% prior

- 7:00 (CA) Bank of Canada CPI Core M/M: -0.1% expected v -0.4% prior; Y/Y: 2.2% expected v 2.4% prior

- 8:30 (US) Jan CPI M/M: 0.3% expected v -0.8% prior; Y/Y: -0.1% expected v 0.1% prior, CPI NSA 211.081 expected v 210.228 prior

- 8:30 (US) Jan CPI EX Food & Energy M/M: 0.1% expected v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 1.5% expected v 1.8% prior

- 10:00 (MX) Mexican Interest Rate Decision: 50bps cut to 7.25% expected, current Overnight Rate is 7.75%

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