- Equities: Marks and Spencer [MKS.UK] provided an interim trading statement,
it reported its Q4 UK Like-For-Like sales at
-4.2% v -6.8%e, General Merchandise LFL Sales -4.8% y/y and Food LFL sales
-3.7% y/y. The UK
retailer reaffirmed its prior FY08 guidance UK
gross margin at -1.75% y/y, and CAPEX at ┬ú700M. M&S reported its Q4 Group
sales +1.9% y/y, UK Sales -0.3% y/y, Online Sales +20% y/y and International
sales +23% y/y. ||Barclays [BARC.UK] has determined would not be in interests
of investors, depositors and clients to participate in UK's Asset Protection
Scheme (APS). The bank noted discussions over sale of iShares unit with
interested parties are "progressing well." ||Kazakhmys [KAZ.UK]
reported its FY08 Net at $909M v $1.14Me, Pre tax $1.1B v $1.22Be, and Rev
$5.2B v $5.27Be. The Eurasian miner put its Net debt at end of FY08 stood at
$1.63B v liquid fund holding of $298M y/y and the value of holdings in ENRC at
$2.2B (26% holding). ||UK home builder Bellway [BWY.UK] reported its H1
completed sales at 2.0K v 3.2K y/y homes and avg selling price at ┬ú156.1K v
┬ú174.8M y/y. The builder will see further write downs on stocks of ┬ú66.3M.
Total Group turnover of ┬ú320.2M v ┬ú51.5M y/y and the firm cut its dividend to
3p from 18.1p. Chairman stated: "in the first eleven weeks of this
calendar year, visitor and subsequent reservation rates have improved upon
those seen in the last five months of 2008." || RBS [RBS.UK], According to
the Chairman of UK Financial Investments Ltd. Glen Moreno the firm and Lloyds
should make "significant" profits again when the economy rebounds -
FT. The UK Financial Investments Ltd added that the banks were now in a stable
capital and financial position. ||ICAP [IAP.UK] provided an interim statement:
it guided FY09 Pretax in line with analyst expectations of ┬ú334Me, and Rev
"in excess" of ┬ú1.5B v ┬ú1.5Be. The groups chairman noted:
Over-the-counter (OTC) markets have demonstrated their flexibility, depth and
breadth as they have adapted to recent market conditions. Low short term
interest rates, steep yield curves and substantially increased bond issuance
have kept interest rate derivatives busy, particularly in longer maturity
interest rate swaps in Europe. Corporate bonds have been
strong performers though credit derivative volumes have been lower. ||Porsche
[PAH3.GE] reported its H1 Net at ÔéČ5.55B v ÔéČ2.5Be (1 est), Pretax profit ÔéČ7.34B
v ÔéČ3.6Be (1 est), and at Rev ÔéČ3.04B v ÔéČ3.49B y/y. Porsche reiterated that its
expected its FY09 rev to decline y/y. The automaker noted that it was not
possible to provide a reliable forecast for the remainder of FY09 and stated
that H1 results were aided by beneficial cash settlement of stock options.
Porsche noted that the fall in price of VW will bring down profit from options
with overall refinancing costs are rises. ||Siemens [SIE.GE] is reportedly to
cut 74,000 of its 370,000 suppliers - German Press. The company says that it
can't have so many suppliers in the future and its is expected to demand lower
prices from its suppliers. ||Fortis [FORB.BE] reported its FY08 Final Net loss
(inc items) at ÔéČ28.0B v loss ÔéČ1.53Be; Belgian Insurance unit had a net profit
for ÔéČ6M. The bank stated that the results include losses and writedowns of
ÔéČ27.4B from discontinued operations. The banks core equity stood at ÔéČ7.9B and
stated that solvency ratios remain 'very strong' with the embedded value of
current insurance units at end of FY08 stood at ÔéČ4.92Be. || Fiat [F.IT],
reportedly it will start with 20% stake in Chrysler vs 35% under original
arrangement - WSJ cites sources. Article states that stake would rise over
time. || Cepsa [CEP.SP]. Santander
to sell 32.5% of its stake in company to Abu Dhabi IPIC at ÔéČ33/shr. Note: IPIC
already holds 9.5% stake in the Cepsa, would raise position to second largest
behind Total with 48.8%. ||
- Speakers: ECB's Ordonez commented that we are facing a global recession and
that Spain was
in a profound economic contraction. He remained concerned over the Spanish
elevated unemployment level. The decline in global output and trade has been
'spectacular' ||Senior German Official commented that was expecting a 'clear
signal' against protectionism at upcoming G20 summit. The IMF funds should at
least be doubled at summit and he expressed concern about indebtedness of some
nations. The G20 to address against currency devaluations and that the USD
status as reserve currency not a theme at the upcoming summit || OECD issued
updated economic forecasts for 2009. Overall it noted that the economic
scenario was bleak and that deflation prospects have increased. It saw GDP
contracting by 4.3% in the 30-country OECD area during 2009 It revised its
German 2009 GDP to - 5.3% from 0.8% prior view. It noted that more ECB Rate
Cuts are needed and that quantitative easing was "warranted". The
OECD stated that more fiscal stimulus for Govts with budget room should be
taken and might be needed if economies slump even further. || China PBOC noted
that it has expanded its Yuan currency swap accords and was in discussion with
other central banks for additional agreements. The PBoC commented that it has
already signed 6 swap accords totaling CNY650B and planned to extend swap
accords to a period of 3 years. The PBoC noted that the swaps accords would
help foster trade || Russian Deputy Economic Minister: Sees risk of a greater
than 2.2% GDP contraction || ) Japan
PM Aso commented that the new stimulus plan must place a'firm floor' under the
economy. He stated that he soughtthat the US
to rapidly carry out its banking bad asset plan. Hopes to have compiled
stimulus plan be mid-April and would involve compiling extra budget. The
overall size of the extra budget has yet to be determined ||Taiwan Vice
President Siew commented that the global economy has not yet reached a bottom
|| Sweden NIER Think tank forecasted 2009 GDP at -3.9% versus -0.9% prior
forecast || French Budget Min: French deficit to hit around 3.4% of GDP for
2008 || EU Junker reiterated the view that no Euro Zone member state was in
need of economic bailout, but EU prepared to respond if need arises. He noted
that they have yet to find a good solution to the toxic asset situation. ||
World bank's Zoellick commented that 2009 continued to be a dangerous year for
global economy coupled with a high degree of uncertainty lurking. || South Africa
Deputy Fin Min Nene stated that interest rate cut by the central bank would
help spur the economy and would aide in the creation of jobs || BoE's Tucker
commented that the World was yet to have moved through the financial crisis and
that there was no one specific prescription for reform
- In Currencies: World Bank's Zoellick commented that USD would remain
principal global reserve currency. The dollar based system and strong USD are
critical to pulling the world out of the economic crisis. However, he did point
out that the USD's role as principal reserve currency would be discussed 'over
- Fundamentals weighing upon JPY sentiment. Rising japenese unemployment and
falling spending showed Japan
continued to be mired in its worst recession in 60 years. Dealer chatter
circulated thatJapanese importers sold the Japanese currency for book-closing
on the last day of the Japanese fiscal year. On the data front, Japan Housing
Starts -24.9% y/y and jobless rate hit a 3 year high of 4.4%.
- The USD and JPY were softer in the session. The EUR/USD probing the 1.3300
level where Chinese offers are said to lurk.
- Fixed income: ||EU's Junker commented that a Euro-Zone bond deserves serious
consideration.|| Despite stregth in equity markets Gvoernment bonds have
performed reasonably well in Europe this morning.
Monthend buying has pushed Bund and Gilt futures into positive territory at the
time of writing and yields are lower across the curve in both Germany
and the UK.
Eurozone perhiperal government bonds are again weaker against the Bund. After
yesterday's sovereign downgrades by S&P the yield on the Irish 10y is
approaching 250pbs over the Bund, its widest level in over a month. , and with
the Geek PDMA in the process of issuing up to
ÔéČ7.5B 5y bonds via syndicate, the yield on the Greek 10y is back to 270bps over
the European benchmark. UST's are moderately lower in Asian and European trade,
with the yield on the 10y about 2bps higher at 2.73%
- In Energy: Indian oil refiners may seek to raise prices for jet fuel by as
much as 15%, due to the rise in spot prices
- Credit Crisis: Deutsche bank [DBK.GE] CEO Ackermann: some stabilization of
market conditions in Q1 ||Research group noting that three major meetings will
take place in Europe over the next nine days: a meeting of the G-20, a NATO
summit and a meeting of the European Union with U.S. President Barack Obama.
The week will define the relationship between the United
States and Europe and
reveal some intra-European relationships. If not a defining moment, the week
will certainly be a critical moment in dealing with economic, political and
military questions || Swiss Regulator FINMA: Further action necessary in market
supervision. More Shocks could threaten bank solvency; need to be tougher in future
and would have to conduct more stress tests || Comments out of JP Morgan
Analysts: Expected global wholesale and investment banks to experience a
further $17B in writedowns in 2009-Sees: Expects Deutsche Bank to incur further
pre-tax writedowns of $4.9B, Expects Barclays to incur a further $3B in
writedowns in 2009, Expects BNP Paribas to incur a further $1.1B in wirtedowns
in 2009, Expects Credit Suisse to suffer $1.2B in further writedowns in 2009,
Expresses a preference for US investment banks over European banks. ||
*** NOTES ***
- Month end and quarter end flows. Japanese fiscal year end as well. Equity
markets relieved that losses do not continue into a third session. Equities
aided by comments from Japan's
PM Aso that a new stimulus package to be unveiled.
- Asia was all about ÔÇťFixing demandÔÇŁ for Everything/JPY.
Now that the new fiscal year will commenced the chatter is that funds already
being placed overseas to gather ' yield'
- Dealers noting some modest M&A activity: Canada
pension board bids for Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group. China
Minmetals bids for Australia's
- Looking Ahead: .
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Jan GDP M/M: -0.7% expected v -1.0% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Jan Raw Materials Price Index M/M: 0.6% expected v 1.4%
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Industrial Product Price M/M: 0.4% expected v -0.1% prior
- 9:00 (US) Jan S&P/CS Home Price Index (last 150.66), Jan S&P/CS
Composite-20 y/y (last -18.55%)
- 9:15 (US) Fed's Stern speaks in Washington
- 9:45 (US) March Chicago Purchasing Manager Index (last 34.2)
10:00 (US) March Consumer Confidence (last 25), March NAPM-Milwaukee (last 29)
- The G20 summit will remain in focus.
- ECB interest rate decision on Thursday. ECB moving towards quantitative ease.
Said to be considering buying corporate bonds. A 50bps Rate cut expected.
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