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Tuesday February 24, 2009 - 11:14:42 GMT
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Forex Blog - European market Update: German IFO business confidence at 26 year low; financial sector continues to be the focus

European market Update: German IFO business confidence at 26 year low; financial sector continues to be the focus

- (MA) Malaysia Central bank cuts interest rates by 50bps to 2.00%; was expected to keep unchanged at 2.50%
- (TT) Taiwan Jan Export Orders Y/Y: -41.67% v -38%e
- (SZ) Swiss UBS Consumption Indicator: 0.985 v 1.184 prior
- (FR) French Consumer Spending M/M: 1.8% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 1.8% v 0.3%e
- (FR) French Jan Housing Starts 3M/Y: -20.2% v -16.0% prior; Housing Permits 3M/Y: -9.1% v -11.1%
- (FR) French Feb Consumer Confidence Indicator: -43 v -42e
- (HU) Hungary Dec Retail sales Y/Y: -3.9% v -2.8%e
- (SZ) Swiss Q4 Employment Level: 3.963M v 3.956M prior; Y/Y: 1.6% v 2.0% prior
- (IT) Italian Feb Consumer Confidence: 104.1 v 101.5e
- 3:30 (NV) Dutch Producer Confidence: -22.9 v -19.5e
- (GE) German Feb IFO - Business Climate: 82.6 v 83.0e; Current Assessment: 84.3 v 84.9e; Expectations: 80.9 v 81.1e; confidence reading was the lowest since Nov 1982
- (
PD) Polish Jan Retail Sales M/M: -22.9% v -24.0%e; Y/Y: 1.3% v0.5%e
- (
PD) Polish Jan Unemployment Rate: 10.5% v 10.3%e
- (EU) ECB Euro-zone Dec Current Account: -€7.3 v -€13.9B prior; Current Account nsa: €1.4B v -€11.8B prior;
- (UK) Q4 Prelim Total Business Investment Q/Q: -3.9% v -4.3%e; Y/Y: -7.7% v -5.5%e
- (UK) Jan BBA Loans for House Purchase: 23,376 v 22,416 prior
- (SA) South African Q4 GDP Annualized: -1.8% v -1.5%e; GDP NSA Y/Y: 1.0%v 1.4%e; largest quarterly contraction since 1992
- (EU) Euro-Zone Dec industrial orders M/M: -5.2% v-4.9%e; Y/Y: -22.3% v -21.7%e
- (UK) UK CBI Feb Distributive Trades: v -47 prior

- Equities: Q-cells [QCE.GE] Reported FY08 Net of €140.2M (ex items) compared to consensus of €181.0M. It EBIT was €205.1M versus €204.8M expectations wit revenues at €1.25B slightly better than the €1.24B forecast. It guided FY09 revenues in a range of €1.7B to 2.1B above expectations of €1.58B and production at 800 MWP to 1 GWP
Its prior 2009 revenue guidance was €1.75 to2.25B || Tom Tom [TOM2.NV] Reported Q4 Net loss of €989M compared to a profit forecast of €47.2M (which included a non-cash goodwill impairment cost of €1.05B as it wrote down its Tele Atlas unit). Its EBITDA was €82M versus estimates of €100.5M and revenues came in at €528M in line with consensus. of €527M. It guided FY09 revenues in a range of €1.4 to1.6B which is inline with expectations of €1.51B and expected to sell between 11-12M units. It saw continuing challenges throughout this year and added it was difficult to provide specific guidance for FY09. it was studying how it can stay within loan covenants || Akzo Nobel [AKZA.NV] Reported Q4 Net profit of €121M (ex items) below expectations of €135M. Revenues were €3.56B slight above forecasts of €3.51B. it announced the suspension of its share buyback program and guided FY11 EBITDA margin 14%. It noted that its Q4 slowdown had impacted all operations across the globe and expected 2009 to be very challenging. || maurel [MAU.FR] In discussions to sell its Colombian production assets || WMH Walter Meier Holding [WMHN.SZ] Reported FY08 Net profit of CHF5.9M compared to CHF6.5M estimates. Revenues were CHF782.7M above expectations of CHF766M. Sees trading remaining stable throughout H1 in climate tech sector but guided manufacturing tech revenues down 30% in Q1 || Redrow [RDW.UK] Reported H1 Net loss of £21.2M (ex items) compared a profit £35.8M y/y. it revenues were £149.5M above expectations of £132.0M. it noted it was ahead of plan to achieve debt objectives and significantly reduced land payments mean well placed to reduce debt to below £225M at June 2009 with further reduction anticipated in 2009/10 || Volvo [VOLVB.SW] Reported Jan truck deliveries at 10.2K units, down 51% y/y || Aker Solutions [AKSO.NO] Reported Q4 Net loss NOK336M better than the loss of NOK508M expected. Revenues were NOK15.5B above consensus of NOK14.39B. its order backlog at end of FY08 stood at NOK58B with its FY08 EBITDA margin coming in at 5.8% compared to year-ago level of 6.8% . it reaffirmed previous FY guidance and sees 2009 EBITDA in excess of NOK4.5B.

- Speakers: BoE's Sentence commented that there was good ground to expect an economic recovery in 2010, but the economy needs further stimulus. He noted that a chance of protracted deflation was an outside risk. With interest rates near ZERO. Sentence noted that Quantitative easing was a step into unknown. He added that the economy would receive a boost from the low interest rates environment and softer Sterling FX rate. Lastly, he added that protracted deflation was an outside risk || IFO's Nerb commented that the results do not signal cyclical turning point; situation is improving slightly; may cut current 2009 GDP forecast of -2.2% further. He noted that German business was worsening but chance to see a possible bottom in coming months. He did not see risk of inflation ||India Fin Min stated that its economy wuld continue to feel impact from global economic crisis in coming months || Polish President: ERM entry could hurt growth and the recent decline in Zloty currency rates have been excessive. He reiterated the view that its Central Bank should intervene in the currency markets if necessary. He commented that Euro entry in 2012 or 2013 period was not a realistic proposition || Japan's Fin Min Yosano commented that the decline in Japanese share prices was not desirable and would closely watch stock move after NY stock fall on Monday. He noted that
Japan must consider steps on share markets. || IFO's Abberger noted that German industry continues to be weak although wth some stable development in construction and retail sectors. He noted that the ECB should cut rates further by 50bps to 1.5% level. Expected a stabilization in H2 of 2009 in case worldwide stimulus packages proved successful. || Moody's placed Ukraine's Key sovereign Ratings on review for possible downgrade ||

- In Currencies: In currencies, a mixed picture developing with a weaker JPY and stronger CHF as the overall trading theme. The Swiss Franc (CHF) firmed against the major pairs with dealers citing risk aversion as one of the factors. Some dealers were also attributing the CHF strength to repatriation. Dealers are watching the EUR/CHF level of 1.47 to see if the SNB is concerned (and possible act) over the threat of deflation and a sharp fall in the country's exports, which will place greater emphasis on currency levels || The JPY was weaker as dealer chatter circulated that Japanese firms have scaled back their fiscal year-end JPY purchases as citing that the slump in corporate earnings abroad leading to a drop in yen repatriation. USD/JPY at 95.40, EUR/JPY above 122.50 area and GBP/JPY tested 139 before consolidating. || The GBP retreated from earlier session highs as data continued to highlight the severe growth contraction as business investment growth contracted both quarterly and annually. EUR/USD at back above the 1.28 level, up 150 pips from its opening level in

Fixed income: In fixed income, markets have struggled to digest a slew of supply. Holland sold just over €1B in 2011, 2013 and 2106's, Italy sold €2B in 2010 zero coupon bonds and the UK sold £950M in 2037 linkers, all with weak results. It was reveled that Portugal plans to launch a new 10y via syndicate later in the week. European peripherals have remained under pressure Despite this equity weakness has driven the yield on the 10y Bund back below 3.00%, whilst the 10y Gilt is back below 3.45%. Nonetheless nervousness still exists highlighted by the German CDS spread, which touched record highs above 90bps. The supply story continues with focus now shifting to the Treasury's $40B 2y Note auction later in the New York afternoon

- In Energy: WSJ article noted that according to a senior OPEC delegate, the group might pledge another production cut of as much as 1M barrels/day at its March 15 meeting || Dana Petroleum [DNX.UK] Discovered a third oil field in Rinnes structure in Block 210/24a in the UK Northern North Sea. anada's PM Harper commented that the US would have to import oil drilled from Canadian oil sands based on supply/demand, despite the carbon-print related political opposition

- Credit Crisis: UK Telegraph article commenting that the ECB faces a possible “mutiny” from national bank governors as recession deepens. The Article notes a dovish sentiment of national governors is emerging, in favor of quantitative easing. It suggests that the "ring leader" according to the report, was
Cyprus' Orhpanides, who is notably supported by Finland's Liikanen and Italy's Draghi

*** NOTES ***
- The global equity market continues to have difficulty finding a bottom in this environment. The financial sector continues to be the focus. WSJ reported that AIG quarterly loss will likely exceed $60B, requiring an added govt bailout beyond the current $150B. JPM cuts dividend by 87% as a precautionary measure in this environment. Traders and dealers noting that many issues are still not resolved and the equity price action reflects this. Perhaps the authorities are listening to too many and cover too many bases. The market seek a decision!

- The European economic picture not suggesting any improvement. The German IFO a bit weaker and unable to repeat the increase experienced in its jan reading. Chatter of a growing dissention within the ECB ranks ahead of its achedule policy meeting next week.

- The
Far East was bubbling with tidbits as the Hong Kong GDP is reportedly contracting by up to 2%, which would be the first negative growth in 6 years. North Korea preparing to launch a satellite described as “test of its space program not be an act of military provocation”
Looking Ahead:

- 9:00 (US) Dec S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index : No expectations v 154.59; S&P/CS Composite 20 Y/Y: -18.30% v -18.18% prior; S&P CS HPI Y/Y: -17.2% expected v -16.6% prior
- 10:00 (US) Feb Consumer Confidence: 35.0 expected v 37.7 prior
- 10:00 (US) Feb Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -47 expected v -49 prior
- 10:00 (US) Q4 House Price Index M/M: -1.7% expected v -1.8% prior
- 10:00 (US) Q4 House Price Purchase Index Q/Q: -2.0% expected v -1.8% prior
- 10:00 (US) Fed Chairman Bernanke testifies before Senate
- 11:30 (US) Fed's Fisher speaks in Rhode Island
- 12:00 (US0 Fed's Duke speaks in Washington


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