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Forex Blog - European Market Update: The Return of the JPY Carry trade, but economic storm clouds remain; UK inflation data surges above expectations but BOE confident CPI will return back below targe

Today 06:18am EST/10:18am GMT

European Market Update: The Return of the JPY Carry trade, but economic storm clouds remain; UK inflation data surges above expectations but BOE confident CPI will return back below target


- (FR) French Feb Consumer Spending M/M: -2.0% v -1.0%e; Y/Y:-2.0% v -0.6%e

- (FR) French March Business Confidence Indicator: 68 v 68e; Production Outlook Indicator: -70 v -78e; Company Production Outlook: -45 v -46e

- (FR) French March Preliminary PMI Manufacturing: 36.3 v 35.0e; Preliminary PMI Services: 42.9 v 40.2e

- (CZ) Czech Jan Retail Sales Y/Y: -3.3% v -4.4%e

- (HU) Hungarian Jan Retail Trade Y/Y: -2.8% v -4.5%e

- (GE) German March Advanced PMI Manufacturing: 32.4 v 32.0e; Advanced PMI Services:41.7 v 41.0e

- (SW) Swedish Feb PPI M/M: -0.2% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.4% v 3.4%e

- (PD) Polish Feb Retail Sales M/M: -1.6% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: -1.6% v -0.6%e

- (PD) Polish Feb Unemployment Rate: 10.9% v 10.9%e

- (EU) Jan ECB Euro-Zone Current Account: -€12.7B v -€7.3B prior; NSA: -€18.2B v €1.4B prior

- (EU) March Advanced PMI Manufacturing: 34.0 v 33.5e; PMI Services: 40.1 v 39.1e; PMI Composite: 37.6 v 36.2e

- (UK) Feb CPI M/M: 0.9% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.2% v 2.6%e; Core CPI Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.3%e

- (UK) Feb RPI M/M: 0.6% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: 0.0% v -0.7%e; RPI Ex Mortgages Y/Y: 2.5% v 1.9%e

- (UK) Feb Retail Price Index: 211.4 v 209.2e

- (UK) Feb BBA Loans For House Purchase: 28,179 v 24,278 prior


- Equities: Swiss Life [SLHN.SZ] Reported FY08 Adj Net loss CHF1.14B roughly in line with the loss CHF1.11B expected. It announced that it had established a strategic partnership with Germany's Talanx. Talanx to purchasing a long-term participation of up to 9.9% in Swiss Life. Talanx will also acquire a stake of 8.4% in MLP from Swiss Life. Swiss Life intends to reduce its remaining stake in MLP of 15.9% to below 10% and is currently holding discussions with potential buyers and MLP. The partnership deal effectively ends Swiss Life''s attempt to buy German financial advisor MLP. || BG Group [BG.UK], Arrow Energy has accepted the co. offer for Pure Energy. This decision takes BG ownership over the 90% which mean it would pay A$8.25/shr. ||Severn Trent [SVT.UK] provided an interim statement: Trading in line with prior expectations. Severn has seen no material changes to business performance from Jan 27. Expects to see a decline in consumption across measured income base, estimated to impact year-on-year revenues in 2008/09 by around £20-25M. Firm guided 2008/2009 CAPEX at £650-670M and stated that its cost savings plans for 2008-2010 remain on track. ||Metro AG [MEO.GE], the supermarket retailer reported its Q4 Net profit at €691M, below the €786.7M expected, EBIT €1.37B v €1.32Be, and Rev at €20.1B v €20.11Be. Metro expected positive impact on earnings from restructuring program from 2010, to become fully effective from 2012. Metro expects weaker sales growth impacting FY09 earnings and stated that it is impossible to provide a precise profit-loss forecast for this year due to high level of uncertainty. Firm expects EBIT (ex items) to rise more than 8% in the medium term and FY09 Rev growth rate to fall substantially short of medium term target of more than 6%. Metro proposed an unchanged div for FY08 of €1.18/shr while planning rapid expansion in China. || Deutsche Bank [DBK.GE] CEO in its final FY08 report stated that he saw no requirement for raising capital from external source at the moment; should return to profit in FY09. The bank states that funding and liquidity at the bank remain strong, that it sees some degree of recovery in 2010 is foreseeable and reiterated that the bank had good start this year. Deutsche Bank noted that the bank is well positioned to weather the bad economy in 2009 and that difficult conditions in the banking sector are expected to persist for some time. It was stated that further cost-saving measures may be needed. || Arcelor Mittal [MT.NV], the steel maker is launching at €750B due 2014 convertible debt offering and confirmed its Q1 EBITDA Guidance at €1.0B with -15% to +15% range. Arcelor Mittal stated that it may increase the bond offering by €120M. || Reiter holdings [RIEN.SZ] reported its FY08 Net loss at CHF396.7M v a loss of CHF267.9Me, and Rev at CHF3.14B v CHF3.11B expected. Reiter proposed options in lieu of a final FY08 dividend. Firm is also to prematurely terminate buyback program while expecting FY09 to be challenging; sees operating losses in automotive, textile units. || Credit Suisse [CSGN.SZ] CEO commented that the co had a strong start in 2009, will continue to invest in private bank growth. The Swiss bank is seeking conditional approval to sell up to 100M new shares, or CHF4M in capital. Additionally, the group will seek to cut cost base by approx CHF2B. || Telenor [TEL.NO] stated that it had no intention of paying $1.7B fine to Russian court. Reminder: Back on Feb 20, 2009 - Siberian court ruled against co. relating to Vimpelcom investment, saying it is liable for $1.76B in damages; firm will appeal decision, will continue to defend investments in Vimpelcom. || Volvo Trucks [VOLVB.SW] reported its Feb Truck Deliveries at 10.9K v 10.2K m/m. the Swedish truck maker put European Truck Deliveries at 4.8K v 5.0K m/m, North American Truck Deliveries 1.7K v 1.2K m/m and Asia Truck Deliveries 2.8K v 2.6K m/m. ||

- Speakers: ECB's Liikanen: No prospect of a rapid global recovery; ECB has room to maneuver on all key policy rates. -He noted that the global economy was in 'deep' recession and might only recover in first half of 2010. He reiterated that ECB has not used up leeway on interest rates and that the central bank might broaden its 'arsenal' of non-standard measures. It would keep 'all options open' on measures. The US and Europe might face weaker growth after crisis || BOE letter to Exchequer on CPI: Sharp inflation drop likely to resume; CPI to go below target over next year. BOE noted that inflation has been more volatile over the past two years and that the drop in inflation might reflect GBP depreciation but that the GBP fall has dampened the commodity price decline UK GDP contraction had created substantial spare capacity and that global activity would constrain UK demand prospects. The MPC would want to consider CPI risks at next policy meeting and would monitor effectiveness of APF. || BOE King commented that it might not have to reverse injection of broad money but an Exit strategy would be to raise interest rates || Chancellor Darling commented that the UK Government would continue to support decisions of BOE MPC . Darling noted that he would update govt economic forecasts in the Apr 22nd Budget.

||BOJ Shirakawa reiterated that conditions in corporate finance remained severe and added that it was important for banks to strengthen capital base ||Czech Central Banker Gov Tuma noted that the challenges faced are greater than a year ago | BoE Dale noted that there were signs that the economy would turn at the end of the year || Indian Panel Deputy Chief stated that he saw 2009 GDP growing by about 6.5% and saw room for additional fiscal stimulus. Forecasted a softening of prices, but not deflation. || India Ruling party: Will take steps to revive economic growth with fiscal prudence and low inflation || IATA: 2009 airline industry revenues to decline by 11.7% to $467B, losses to hit $4.7B v Dec forecast of $2.5B || Bahrain Central Bank Gov Al-Maraj commented that the GCC monetary union was essential for GCC's future and that the region's low debt allows them to withstand financial crisis || Former IMF chied Koehler commented that a new Bretton Woods style accord is needed and would need to double the IMF funding at minimum. EU members should 'bundle' interests together in IMF/World Bank. He noted that Germany faces a huge challenge in tackling crisis in Eastern Europe, EU needs to be ready to help eastern neighbors || Fed's Evans stated that US govt interventions are helping markets at both home and abroad. The flight to liquidity by investors was hurting other markets. Policy initiatives will help stimulate world economic recovery; policy designed to address cycle of instability in financial markets, economic weakness and that arbitrage opportunities were going unexplored. Weak growth and low inflation outlook calling for additional accommodation from Fed and that the FOMC would return to focus on funds rate as US economy recovers.

- In Currencies: Return of the carry as the JPY price activity tracked movement in equity markets, which experienced decent gains on the back of the U.S. toxic asset plan.. Dealers noted that the outlook for JPY remained bearish, with Japanese fundamentals soft and improved risk appetite encourage Japanese investor demand for overseas assets. Technical were also favoring a weaker JPY. CitiFX targeting 139 level in EUR/JPY after its break above the 132 area. || EUR/USD tested 1.3678 before retreating below 1.36 handle as Eastern European flows were cited. || Fin Min Yosano Important to use FX reserves for FX market stability; Sees no need to loan FX reserves to other financial institutions;. The GBP surged to session highs against the major after the higher than expected inflation data. GBP/USD tested 1.4780 before contracting. GBP/JPY probed the 145 area and EUR/GBP moved towards the 0.9200 level.

- In Energy: UAE OPEC Min: Crude prices would be much lower if not for OPEC || Abu Dhabi: To cut supplies of Upper Zakum crude oil by further 10% in May following 17% cut in April

*** NOTES ***

- Dealers noting that despite the recent euphoria over the US toxic asset plan some storm clouds do remain on the horizon. European bourses saw opening level gains erode into losses.. The European morning was a 'bit surprised' by the Deutsche bank annual report, which contained higher than expected amount of non-investment grade, and central European debt the bank is carrying

- A slew of European services and manufacturing PMIs came out in the session and although steady and slightly improving from prior readings they do remain firmly below the 50 point no change mark, which suggests ongoing contraction.

- GBP helps deflation risks as UK inflation data 'shocks' market with higher readings. BOE is assured that CPI will move back in-line with targets

- Looking Ahead:

- 10:00 (US) Jan House Price Index M/M: -0.9% expected v 0.1% prior

- 10:00 (US) March Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -51 expected v -51 prior

- 10 :00 (US) Bernanke, Geithner appear before House Panel

- (SA) South African Interest Rate Decision: 100bps cut to 9.50% expected; current Benchmark Rate is 10.50%


- 7:40 (IR) Ireland to sell up to €1B 4.00% 2011 and 4.50% 2020 Bonds

- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $40B in 2y Notes


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