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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Citi says having best quarter since 2007; USD weighed down by pending supply glut; IMF hints are negative global growth for 2009

Today 06:26am EST/10:26am GMT

European Market Update: Citi says having best quarter since 2007; USD weighed down by pending supply glut; IMF hints are negative global growth for 2009


- (CH) China Feb Vehicle sales 827K (+25% y/y), first advance in four months

- (GE) German Feb Final CPI M/M: 0.6% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 1.0% v 1.0%e

- (GE) German Feb Final CPI - EU Harmonized M/M: 0.7% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 1.0% v 1.0%e

- (GE) German Jan Trade Balance: €8.5B v €9.5Be; Current Account:€4.2B v €9.2Be

- (GE) German Jan Imports M/M: -0.8% v -3.5%e; Exports M/M: -4.4% v -4.0%e

- (FR) French Jan Industrial Production M/M: -3.1% v -0.6%e; Y/Y: -13.8% v -11.9%e

- (FR) French Jan Manufacturing Production M/M: -4.1% v -1.3%e; Y/Y: -16.5% v -15.6%e

- (FR) French Jan Trade Balance: -€4.5B v -€3.0Be; Central Govt Balance: -€8.1B v -€56.5B prior

- (DE) Danish Feb CPI M/M: 1.3% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 1.9% v 1.2%e

- (SW) Swedish Jan Industrial Production M/M: -2.5% v -2.0%e; Y/Y: -22.9% v -19.0%e

- (IT) Italian Jan PPI M/M: -0.8% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: -2.0% v -0.4%e

- (NO) Norwegian Feb CPI M/M; 0.8% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 2.5% v 2.1%e

- (NO) Norwegian Feb CPI Underlying M/M;1.1 % v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 3.0% v 2.5%e

- (NO) Norwegian Producer Prices incl Oil M/M: -2.3% v 0.5% prior; Y/Y: 0.2% v 3.9% prior

- (UK) Jan Industrial Production M/M: -2.6% v -1.2%e; Y/Y: -11.4% v -9.9%e

- (UK) Jan Manufacturing Production M/M: -2.9% v -1.4%e; Y/Y: -12.8% v -11.7%e


- Equities: European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co [EAD.FR] Reported FY08 Net profit of €1.57B better than the €1.23B consensus expectations. Its EBIT was €2.8B above €2.18B consensus. Revenues were in line with forecasts at €43.3B versus €41.37B estimates. EADs reported Q4 Net profit of €490M beating consensus of a loss €160M. It expected FY09 revenues to be roughly in line with FY08 level but saw its EBIT (ex items) to fall in 2009 but would remain 'significantly' positive. Airbus was expected to receive 300-400 gross orders this year and its order book was at €400B, which was up 18% y/y. The firm did note that the order book was being challenged by market deterioration. The CFO commented that deliveries of Airbus commercial 300 series aircraft during 2009 could be below those of 2008. the firm has backlog of orders for 2009 and 2010

|| E.On [OAN.GE: Reported FY08 Adj Net €5.6B above the €5.17B forecasts. Revenues came in at €86.75B better than estimates of €79.72B. the company noted that the economic crisis would take its toll on its business as it will likely lead to lower power and gas demand. Thus lower energy prices, the depreciation of currencies and higher costs of financing its business will impact earnings. It would cut spending by €6B and noted it would allocate €10B per year form 2009-2011, in which 1/3 of spending to be used to modernization of its facilities|| Barclays, [BARC.UK] the bank stated Monday that it its financial records would be subjected to intense Treasury examination if it decided to enter the APS according to the Financial Times. Additionally, Barclays Capital agreed to acquire the Bear Wagner Specialists LLC unit currently held by JPMorgan Chase. || HSBC [HSBA.UK] Held a press conference regarding its capital raise. A spokesperson for the bank stated that January was good trading month at the the firm and that the bank was to raise its HK lending to HK$4B. Further, it was stated that the rights issue had been fully underwritten and that the bank remained well capitalized. HSBC reiterated that it was not seeking government support and that the cap raise will bring tier 1 cap to 10%. The bank plans to being dividend payments in 2010. || Weir Group [WEIR.UK] reported its FY08 figures. Op profit was reported at £185M compared to the £181.4M expected with revenues at £1.35B, ahead of the £1.31B expected. Stated that the firms order book is significantly stronger than year-ago levels but that net debt increased to £239.9M v £171.3m y/y. || Deutsche Bank [DBK.Ge], reportedly it does not intend to merge with Postbank saying Deutsche Bank and Postbank will maintain their own strategies. || Antofagasta [ANTO.UK] Reported FY08 Net $1.71B above the forecasts of $1.03B. Revenues were $3.37B below consensus of $3.5B. it would pay a final dividend of $0.536/share. It's FY08 turnover $3.37B compared to $3.83B y/y. It saw a sharp deterioration in the global economic environment which was likely to continue well into 2009. For 2009, copper and molybdenum production were expected to be 433,000 tons and 8,100 tons respectively || Sodexho [SW.FR] Announced the Acquisition of India's Radhakrishna Hospitality Services Group; terms not disclosed. The parties expected to close the transaction before the summer of 2009. || Roche [ROG.SZ] CEO Schwann stated that the firm had continued to perform strongly in first 2 months of 2009 . Its Operating profit was better than management's expectations and remained confident regarding full-year outlook

- Speakers: ECB's Bini Smaghi: Should the situation worsen, ECB is ready to cut rates further, "even to zero". He noted that cutting interest rates to zero would be appropriate if economy was threatened by deflation|| IMF's Strauss Kahn stated that the Global GDP growth would slow below zero in 2009 and thus economic growth outlook was 'worst in our lifetime. The IMF commented that the world was in a 'great recession' || Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned the US naval activities noting that an incident occurred when a US ship violated international law. China called upon the US to halt illegal activities || ECB's Weber stated that the German economy would be hit harder and longer than previously expected by global market crisis. The financial turbulence still provided downside risks to its growth outlook. Falling demand has impacted Germany's economy and expected to see a few months of negative inflation this year, which should not to be confused with deflation || Polish Central Banker Czekaj commented that the economic situation in coming months may not back view for additional interest rate cuts || German Fin Min Steinbrueck reiterated that he saw no advantage in reduced VAT rates || German National central bank (Bundesbank) to create financial stability division effective May 1st || Japan MoF Senior Official commented that currency would not likely to be a major topic at upcoming Fin Min G-20 summit this weekend (ahead of the formal April 2nd G20 meeting) G-20 ministers to take every action to confront crisis and help economies.

- In Currencies: The USD was softer across the boards in the session as a firmer equity markets prompted some unwinding of long USD positions. Dealers attributed the price action to position squaring rather than fresh fundamentals but the supply of pending US Government debt auctions this week seen as a factor in the sentiment. The EUR/USD tested back above the 1.2730 area but remains below its post US payroll employment highs of 1.2770. Comments from ECB Bini Smaghi that the ECB could lower interest rates to zero if warranted helped to cap the Euro currency upside momentum in the session.

- The JPY was initially firmer ahead of the European morning as dealers took note of comments from the Singapore Sovereign wealth fund GIC, who commented that the JPY and CNY currencies were 'safe'. USD/JPY moved towards the 98.25 level after opening in Asia at 99.00 level. || Citigroup analyst commented on CAD currency noting that USD/CAD could moved towards 1.24 level and suggested that CAD should not be selling off (CAD hit its lowest level since Q4 2004 on Monday against the USD at 1.3070 area).

- Fixed income: On the supply front the Netherlands sold €2.B in 2012 DSL's whilst results of Austrian 5y and UK 10y auctions are imminent. US Treasuries are weaker across the curve ahead of todays 3y note offering, with T Note futures down 12 ticks at 121-08 at the time of writing. The Bank of England announced it would issue a new $2.0B USD denominated, 3 year bond, with pricing indicated at 40bs over swaps. The bond replaces a previous EUR denominated program, with proceeds to be used to supplement the Bank's own foreign exchange reserves as opposed to UK national reserves.

- In Energy: Qatar Oil Min Al-Attiyah stated that OPEC needs 100% quota compliance before making additional supply cuts || Salamander [SMDR.UK] To sign production sharing contract for block 31 Vietnam with PetroVietnam

- Credit Crisis: Singapore wealth fund GIC official commented that Gold, Sovereign bonds, JPY and CNY were all “safe bets” while corporate bonds look more attractive than equities || A Irish republican dissident group reportedly claimed responsibility on Sunday for shooting dead 2 UK soldiers at an army base. This is the first killing of British soldiers in Northern Ireland in 12 years. || PBoC Vice Gov Su Ning, the growth of China's FX reserves slowed in Jan - Shanghai Securities News

*** NOTES ***

- Citi says enjoying a good start to the year.

- More and more talk any decline in prices would be short lived among government officials and central bankers. China says not in deflation despite inflation drop

- Singapore GIC official: commented that Gold, Sovereign bonds, JPY and CNY are all safe bets; corporate bonds look more attractive than equities

- Violence returns to Northern Ireland with a second deadly attack in as many days.

- China Feb steel output and power consumption up but too early to conclude industry recovering. China Feb Vehicle saw their first advance in four months

- Looking Ahead:

- 6:30 (IR) ECB's Hurley speaks at Irish Parliament

- 8:00 (BR) Brazil Q4 GDP (IBGE) Q/Q: % v -2.3%e; Y/Y: % v 1.9%e; GDP Accumulated: % v 5.2%e

- 8:30 (US) Fed's Bernanke speaks in Washington

- 10:00 (US) Jan Wholesale Inventories: -1.0% expected v -1.4% prior

- 10:00 (SU) IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism: 43.0 expected v 44.6 prior

- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $34 in 3 Year Notes


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