- Equities: For [BMW.GE] [VOW.GE] [DAI.GE] German VDIK: March New Car
Registrations +20% (adj) y/y, +40% y/y For Lloyds [LLOY.UK] institutional
shareholders are seeking resignations from Victor Blank and Eric Daniels
-Times. Article states that institutional holders have told the UK
gov they do intend to increase positions, or move into the equity until the
Chairman and CEO are forced out. Investors remain angered over the hurried, gov
backed merger of Lloyds and HBOS back in 2008, that move led to a current loss
of ÂŁ11B in FY08 on HBOS's toxic exposure. UK
gov has take of approx 60% in bank. ||Tate and Lyle [TATE.UK] provided a
trading statement: Guides FY pretax marginally below prior guidance. The firm
noted solid progress has been made on debt reduction , with Net debt at 31 March 2009 less than ÂŁ1.25B,
around ÂŁ300M lower q/q, and more than ÂŁ150M lower y/y. || Thales [HO.FR],
reportedly its multimedia unit seeking FY09 break even -La Tribune. La Tribune
reported that its aeronautic division faces losses of â‚¬300M linked to flight
and security systems. Article stated that company in addition has generated
losses of â‚¬500M in its on-board multimedia activity. The article lastly noted
that the firm denied that unit has generated â‚¬500m in losses. || K+S [SDF.GE],
DOW: Confirms sale of Morton Salt for $1.68B to K+S. The transaction is subject
to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected
to close in mid-2009. The Company has almost replaced the $7.5 billion cash
shortfall created by the failure of the K-Dow transaction to close. ||
Commerzbank [CBK.GE] is to seek acceptance on proposal to allow bank to raise
capital at its AGM. The bank is seeking to issue new shares without
subscription rights as part of German SoFFin lead 25% stake purchase. Item 10
on agenda to seek approx 1.2M shares at â‚¬6/share. || Continental [CON.GE],
Shaffler has received â‚¬500M bridge loan facility - Handelsblatt, the facility
will provide more time for reorganization of company. Group sees restructuring
complete in 3-5 month period. || Arcelor Mittal [MT.NV] has secured an
additional $1.2B through a 2nd phase of forward start facilities. The credit
lines from these new facilities effectively extend existing financing until
2012. ||ABB Group [ABBN.SZ] has been awarded an $490M oil and gas contract in
US. The firm stated that overall markets are remaining challenging and that
base orders continue to deteriorate. ABB stated that increased volatility in FX
and commodity prices will have a negative effect on the firm, hurt EBIT. ||BHP
[BHP.AU], reportedly the miner has won an appeal against disputed A$1.8B tax
bill. Reminder: Dec 2007 -Vast majority of charges in A$1.8B attached to
abandoned Boodarie iron plant in Pilbara region, plant was eventually written
off and scrapped. || yesterday's session for Fiat [F.IT] March unit sales +6.1%
y/, Italian market share 32.6% v 30.8%, March registrations 69.9K v 65.9K y/y.
CEO stated that he Expects to see global sales in Q1 -30% y/y, still expects to
match global FY08 sales in FY09. ||
- Speakers: Treasury Sec Geithner: reiterates standard US
currency policy. Says strong USD remains in US interests ||SNB's Hildebrand
stated that the CHF currency interventions would continue as long as
deflationary risks remained. CHF sales are to increase both liquidity and
loosen monetary policy conditions. He noted that the central bank would
implement extraordinary measures, which could carries long-term risks. He noted
that other central banks understood the SNB's currency intervention policy
||Polish Central Banker Pietrewicz reiterated his dovish views. Says interest
rate cuts should be continued to help increase economic growth || Polish
Central Bank Trenkner cautioned that further Polish interest rate cuts were risky,
but the bank has not started considering interest rate increases || Polish Fin
Min stated that the Budget revenue after March was higher than prior forecasts
by around PLN1B. He noted that the 3-month budget deficit was PLN10.1B compared
to forecast of deficit PLN12.3B. || Sweden
extended its bank guarantee program until Oct, 31 2009. It was set to expire at the end of this
month. || UN Atomic Agency's El Baradei commented that he welcomed the US,
Russian reduction plan for weapons. He added that the process for North Korean
denuclearization remained urgent || BoE Quarterly Credit Conditions survey:
Corporate and household defaults rose in Q1; Seen rising in Q2. Lenders have
tightened credit to households but have seen increased lending to corporate sector
since December. Household and corporate loan spreads widened more than expected
since December and are expected to continue rising || EU's Barroso stated that
the EU must have strong and long term coordinated stimulus. Must make rules to
manage the spread of globalization and that protectionism and nationalism in
economic terms were unhelpful. || UK
Minister: Additional IMF funding includes sale of IMF gold
- In Currencies: risk appetite resurfaces as equity markets surge higher
keeping the USD soft and the JPY broadly weaker. Japanese pension and mutual
funds remained aggressive buyers of the crosses since Tuesday. The unwinding of
hedges made for the fiscal year also complemented the selling of JPY. USD/JPY
hit 5-month highs above 99.70
- the EUR/USD pair remain locked in a range ahead of the ECB policy meeting and
press conference. The pair has been locked between its 100 and 200 day moving
averages since the Fed's quantitative easing back on March 18th. ECB is
expected to cut its interest rate by 50bps to 1.0% later today.
- The USD concerns continue for the longer term as China's
leaders, increasingly concerned about the nation's $740B of U.S. Treasuries,
are making it easier for trading partners and consumers to do business in Yuan.
Dealer chatter has been circulating of a possible ECB signaling support Eastern
European currencies (CEE) and the session did encounter some vague chatter of a
debt default since it was unlikely to meet IMF conditions for additional loans.
- Hildebrand comments that the SNB would use all means to prevent renewed CHF
appreciation. The CHF was weaker during the session with EUR/CHF at 1.5260
- GBP firmer in the session. Sterling
fueled by the GBP/JPY cross which benefited from a pick up in risk appetite
following strong equity market gains. GBP/USD at 1.4630, up 160 pips from its
opening level in Asia. GBP/JPY approaching the 146.00
handle, up 330 pips for the day.
- Fixed income: An eventful session in fixed income this morning, with risk appetite
sending government bond prices lower, apart from an upward spike in T-Note
futures of almost a full point, which was later attributed to fat fingers.
Supply from Spain and France was well received, with the former selling â‚¬6.3B
in 2 and 5 year Bonos, more than expected, and the latter selling almost â‚¬8B in
5 to 30y OAT's. After last weeks failed long gilt auction the UK
appread to have passed a key litmus test, selling ÂŁ2.2B in 2049's. The auction
did, however, draw a higher than average yield tail of 5pbs, and at the time of
writing Gilt futures have lead the way down, lower by around 70 ticks and
eyeing the 123 handle.
- In Energy: OPEC Sec Gen El-Badri commented that the oil market fundamentals
remain 'the same' and reiterated that current oil prices would not help
investment, which is necessary to increase capacity. He reiterated the view
that the decline in oil prices from last summer has given global economy a $2T
stimulus . He cautioned that a 'massive supply crunch' to occur || IEA's Tanaka
commented that he saw downside risks of lower oil demand from the current view
of 84.4M bpd for 2009. He stated that economic stimulus packages could work and
was looking for a positive decision at G20 summit. He did caution of further
downward revisions for demand were likely || India
To commence 8th round of oil block sales next week. India
to offer 70 oil blocks for auction on April 9th || Total [FP.FR] CEO commented
that its 2009 profits would not bew the same as those seen last year. He noted
that OPEC measures to stabilize oil prices are working. Total would maintain
plans for investment and expected an increased in demand from emerging markets
- G20 Summit: Reportedly G20 not clear if Communique would include sanctions on
tax havens according to Diplomats ||German Fin Min Steinbrueck: Important G-20
agrees that no market can stay unregulated. He welcomed US efforts to make
progress on regulation || Ukraine
PM Timoshenko: Expects IMF mission to continue
*** NOTES ***
- Global equity markets rally. Hang Seng Index up 7.4% in session and erased
all of it prior 2009 losses. Traders noting that â€śbetterâ€ť US
auto sales figures on Wednesday and the awaited FASB announcement on
â€śMark-to-marketâ€ť accounting. However, the best explanation appears to be the
fact that a new quarter is simply showing that new money being deployed. The
question lurks whether the rally is simply a â€śBear-marketâ€ť retracement as bank
results, larger write-downs, higher loss provisions, and disappointing earnings
results are just around the corner.
- ECB interest rate decision this morning. Speculation that perhaps the ECB
would announce (or consider) a form of quantitative easing to complement its
likely 50bps rate cut. However, currency traders caution that Trichet just does
not seem to be an unconventional type..
- G20: extendes regulation to systemically important hedge funds. Will identify
tax havens and deploy sanctions. Will refrain from competitive devals. Commit
to IMF surveilance. Agree for more imf resources and to support sdr allocation
to ease liquidity.
- Geithner leaves option open of forcing out ceo's of failed banks.
- China boosts
CNY swaps so foreign importers of Chinese goods can avoid paying in $. Maybe a
further step towards convertability........
- Looking Ahead:
- 7:45 (EU) ECB Interest Rate Decision: 50bps cut to 1.00% expected, current
Refi Rate is 1.50%
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Mon 18 Dec
10:00 EZ- final HICP Tue 19 Dec
09:00 DE- IFO Survey
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
13:30 US- Current Account Wed 20 Dec
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude Thu 21 Dec
03:00 JP- BOJ Decision
13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
13:30 US- GDP Fri 22 Dec
09:30 US- GB- GDP
13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final University of Michigan
17:00 US- early Closes Mon 25 Dec
00:00 Christmas Holidays
Potential Trading Opportunities
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Mon--10:00 GMT-- EZ- final November HICP. flash data are rarely changed.
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium Tue --09:00 GMT-- DE- IFO Survey. Key report but usually not a market-mover
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium- Tue --13:30 GMT-- US- Housing Starts and Permits. Leading indicators of activity
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH-Medium- Wed --15:00-- US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing statistic
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