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Forex Blog - European Market Update: UK provides details on asset protection scheme; Euro-Zone economic confidence falls to all-time low

Today 05:57am

European Market Update: UK provides details on asset protection scheme; Euro-Zone economic confidence falls to all-time low


- (GE) German Jan ILO Unemployment Rate: 7.3% v 7.3%e

- (UK) Feb Nationwide House Prices M/M: -1.8% v -1.3%e; Y/Y: -17.6% v -17.1%e

- (GE) German Mar GFK Consumer Confidence Survey: 2.6 v 2.0e

- (GE) Feb CPI - Saxony: M/M: 0.2% v -0.5% prior; Y/Y: 0.8% v 1.2% prior (German State of Saxony says there were calculation errors in CPI figures, reading was likely higher than actual report) 

- (SP) Spain Dec Mortgages on Houses Y/Y: -31.7% v -45.8% prior; Mortgages on Capital Loaned Y/Y: -24.0% v -45.6% prior

- (DE) Denmark Jan Unemployment Rate: 2.3% v 2.3%e

- (IT) Italian Feb business Confidence: 63.2 v 66.0e

- (SW) Swedish Jan Household Lending Y/Y: 8.6% v 9.0% prior 

- (SW) Swedish Jan Trade Balance: SEK6.2B v SEK11.0B prior

- (GE) German Feb Unemployment Change: 40K v 60Ke; Unemployment Rate: 7.9% v 7.9%e

- (GE) Feb CPI - Hesse: 0.3% v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: 0.6% v 0.8% prior

- (GE) Feb CPI - Brandenburg M/M: 0.3% v -0.5% prior; Y/Y: 0.6% v 0.9% prior

- (NO) Norwegian Unemployment Rate: 2.7% v2.6%e

- (IT) Italian Trade Balance (non EU): -€3.98B v -€3.0Be

- (EU) Euro-zone Jan M3 Y/Y: 5.9% v 6.9%e; 3 month Ave: 7.0% v7.3%e

(GE) Feb CPI - North Rhine Westphalia M/M: 0.3% v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: 0.7% v 1.0% prior

- (SA) South Africa PPI: M/M: -0.7% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: 9.2% v 9.5%e

- (EU) Feb Business Climate: -3.51 v -3.20e; Consumer Confidence: -33 v -31e; Economic Confidence indicator: 65.4 v 68.5e; Industrial Confidence: -36 v -34e; Services Confidence: -23 v -22e


- Equities: Royal Bank of Scotland [RBS.UK] Reported FY Net loss of £24.1B compared to consensus estimates of a loss of £25.9B. Its revenues were £21.1B slightly below expectations of £22.7B. It confirmed its intended participation in HM Treasury's APS scheme. Its FY08 impairment loss was £8.1B. Tier 1 capital ratio 9.9%; Core tier 1 Capital Ratio 7.0% (guided FY08 Group tier 1 ratio at 6.9-7.4% on 1/19). It would seek to wind down/sell £240B in assets over 3-5 years || Lloyds [LLOY.UK] Confirmed ongoing talks with UK Treasury over Asset Protection scheme Dexia [DEXB.BE] Reported Q4 Net Lossof-€2.6B worse than the loss of€2.3B forecasted. Its Core Tier 1 Ratio 9.6%. Company stated that its Net result were impacted by insurance operations and from, Madoff exposure. It had an additional impairment for
U.S. mortgage-backed securities. || UBS [UBSN.SZ] Has appointed Oswald Gruebel as its new Group CEO, effective immediately || Nicox [COX/FR] Reported FY08 Net loss €73.9M worse than the estimates of a loss of €70.3M. Revenues were €3.4M below the €6.0M estimates. It did note that it could finance activities until the end of 2010 || Allianz [ALV.GE] Reported FY Net Loss -€2.4B compared to a Profit €1.69B expected. The sale of Dresdner Bank impacted the net by €6.2B. It s Op Profit came in at €7.4B inline with consensus of €7.4B. it noted that difficult market to conditions continue in 2009, operating in 'midst of toughest downturn in decades' and cannot provide reliable profit forecasts for 2009. It noted that it expected an additional €400M charge on Dresdner sale || Centrica [CNA.UK] Reported FY08 revenues of £21.34B above the expectations of £18.6B.; dividend at 8.73P/share, final dividend 12.2P/share. It did note that the business climate in 2009 to be very challenging. Its British gas units to be combined into single retail operations || Tognum [TGM.GE] Reported FY08 Net of €264M in line €256.4M estimates. Its EBIT came in at €407M better than the €392.7M consensus. The revenues were €3.13B slightly below expectations of €3.15B. It expected 2009 to present firm with new set of challenges but remained confident of success in the mid term || British American Tobacco [BATS.UK] Reported FY08 Op profit £3.57B just missing the £3.65B consensus. Revenues were £12.12B above the expectations of £11.94B. CEO noted that company remain alerted to the possibilities of down trading. || National Express [NEX.UK] Reported FY08 Profit £119.7M worse than £141.4M expected. Its continuing revenues of £2.77B in line with £2.77B expected. It was cutting dividend a nd noted its normalized op margin was 9.2% compared to 8.1% y/y || Telefonica [TEF.SP] Reported Q4 Net profit €2.0B above the €1.8B expected. Its revenues were €14.80B slight better than the €14.67B consensus. || Deutsche Post [DPW.GE] Reported FY08 Net Debt €2.41B; Saw a €1B additional cost savings through 2010. It experienced €2.1B in restructuring costs regarding changes in DHL US operations. Negotiations with UPS continue, firm looks at possibility of action with other firms||

- Speakers: BoJ's Noda stated that it did not rule out additional steps to ease credit market strains. He noted that currency movements needed to stabilize and that recent swings have been excessive. The BOJ has nothing in mind on its next policy step as of yet and unsure if can replace overnight call rate with any other target. The BOJ plans to monitor effectiveness of previous policy steps and consider effective ways to impact term-fund rate || S&P Report that Japan could see 'worst recession' since World War II 

- S&P expects Japan to suffer real GDP shrinkage of 4.0% in 2009 || Swedish Riksbank Ingves commented that the central bank balance sheet has tripled since the start of the crisis. The recent months had required use of "abnormal policy tools" but reiterated the view that central bank will do whatever is necessary to assure financial market stability. Sees jobless rate over 9% by end of 2010 but economic outlook appears better in early part of 2010 but timing is uncertain. A further interest rate cut is possible and saw interest rates around 1% over the next year || HM's Treasury Releases Statement on Asset Protection Scheme in which under the Scheme, in return for a fee, the Treasury will provide to each participating institution protection against credit losses incurred on one or more portfolios of defined assets to the extent that credit losses exceed a "first loss" amount to be borne by the institution. The Scheme aims to target those assets where there is the greatest amount of uncertainty about their future performance. || ) Japan Fin Min Yosano: Instability in USD's value is 'undesirable' ||
UK Chancellor Darling commented on the previously announced banking schemeand says it aims to rebuild confidence in system. He noted that it would provide certainty that banks will continue lending and added that UK banks must clean up their balance sheets. The ultimate target was to return RBS or any bank with govt holding back to private sector || Spain's PM Zapatero comment that government was looking at additional measures to help the unemployed and increase hiring || Russia's Gov't aide Dvorkovich reiterated 2009 GDP view of a contraction of2.2%. He saw expects no abrupt change in Ruble currency rate || Chinese Regulator: To require banks to further raise provisions against bad loans and focus on lending to real estate sector || BoE's King commented to the UK Treasury that the first step wass determine what is on Bank balance sheets, process will take time, estimating amount of capital needed was impossible. Notes an "extreme" loss of confidence in Banks and was important for gov't to support Bank balance sheets

- In Currencies: The USD consolidated in a quiet session that also characterized the Asian session. The Euro currency was mildly firmer against the major pairs despite the German GDP which revealed a sharp drop in exports and cautious comets from former Bundesbank President Pohl (See the Credit Crisis section). EUR/USD in a 100 pips range since
Asia and current at 1.2758 at the middle portion as the NY morning approaches. The JPY is maintaining a softer tome as it probes the 98 level against the USD. 

- Fixed income: Reportedly China's CBRC has said it will continue US Treasury purchases if it remains in China's interest

- In Energy: Gazprom [GAZP.RU: Reportedly company warned it will again cut off gas to Ukraine on March 8 if the country does not pay back $400M of new debts || Reportedly, China plans to cut energy use per GDP unit by 18% by 2010

- Credit Crisis: Dealer noting comments from former Bundesbank President Pohl. He warned that the euro is under serious threat to survive the current crisis. He believed countries like
Ireland and Greece are in danger of defaulting on their obligations and admitted the euro was under intense pressure and heavily indebted countries could be forced out of the single currency. Pohl did note it could be very expensive for any country considering the possibility of leaving the Euro-Zone commenting that the exchange rate could go down, 50 or 60% and then interest rates would go sky high because the markets would lose all confidence. 

*** NOTES ***

- The concerns continue to mount over the global economy and the impact on the financial sector as the stress test commences today for US banks. Talk circulating that Citigroup [C] will announce an agreement to have the Government increase its stake in the entity to 40%. AIG reportedly in talks about breaking company into 3 separate gov't controlled parts The UK banks started to present today.

- European and
US equities moving off session highs as the NY morning approaches

Britain launched a scheme which could end up insuring more than £500B worth of toxic bank assets and risky loans

- The JPY continues its soft tone that it has carried all week. The BoJ's Noda noted that the Japanese economy was worse than the central bank's prior forecast made only last month. 

- Euro-Zone Feb confidence data below expectations with the economic component hitting an all-time low

- Looking Ahead: Main earnings General Motors[GM] ands Sears Holdings [SHLD]

- (GE) German Jan Wholesale Price Index M/M: -2.0% expected v -3.0% prior; Y/Y: -6.3% expected v -3.3% prior

- (GE) Feb CPI - Baden Wuttemburg M/M: No expectations v -0.7% prior; Y/Y: NO expectations v 1.1% prior

- 6:00 (GE) Feb CPI- Bavaria M/M: No expectations v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: No expectations v 1.3% prior

- 8:00 (EU) ECB's Trichet speaks in Dublin

- 8:30 (US) Jan Durable Goods Orders: -2.5% expected v -3.0% prior; Durables Ex Transportations: -2.2% expected v -3.9% prior

- 8:30 (GE) Initial Jobless Claims w/e Feb 21: 625k expected v 627k prior; Continuing Claims w/e Feb 14th: 5.025M expected v 4.987M prior

- (GE) German Feb Prelim CPI M/M: 0.3% expected v -0.5% prior; Y/Y: 0.8% expected v 0.9% prior, EU Harmonized M/M: 0.3% expected v-0.6% prior; Y/Y: 0.7% v 0.9% prior

- 10:00 (GE) Jan New Home Sales: 324k expected v 331k prior; M/M: -2.1% expected v -14.7% prior

- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $22B 7y Notes


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