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Forex Blog - European Market Update: JPY-related pairs continue to hit multi-month highs; Auto's continue 4 session positive run

European Market Update: JPY-related pairs continue to hit multi-month highs; Auto's continue 4 session positive run

*** ECONOMIC DATA ***

- (CZ) Czech Feb Trade Balance: CZK8.7B v CZK4.0Be

- (RU) Russian Mar CPI M/M: 1.3% v 1.3%e; Y/Y:14.0% v 14.0%e; YTD: 5.4% v 5.6%e

- (UK) March New Car Registrations Y/Y: -30.5% v -28%e (-21.9% m/m) prior

- (EC) April Sentix Investor Confidence: -35.3 v -40.7e

- (EU) Euro-Zone Feb PPI M/M: -0.6% v -0.5%e; Y/Y: -1.8% v -1.5% largest annual drop on record

- (EU) Euro-Zone Feb Retail Sales M/M: -0.6% v -0.4%e; Y/Y: -4.0% v -2.5%e


***SPEAKERS/FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***

- Equities: Rio Tinto [RIO.UK] reportedly has drawn up an emergency £8B rights issue if Chinalco deal fails -Times. Article notes that contingency plans have existed since Feb, underwriters of share placement to include JP Morgan and Credit Suisse. States that plans are emergency option if $19.5B deal with Chinalco fails. || HSBC [HSBA.UK] confirms that 96.6% of rights placement has been subscribed by existing shareholders, as reported in UK/HK media. The bank announced that under the terms of the 5 for 12 Rights Issue announced on 2 March 2009, valid acceptances have been received in respect of 4,887,538,091 New Ordinary Shares representing 96.6 per cent of the total number of New Ordinary Shares offered to Qualifying Shareholders. || Deutsche Banks [DBK.GE] CEO Ackermann: Global crisis still isn't over; believes economy will start growing again in 2010 - German press. || Cadbury [CBRY.UK] reportedly has placed bid for Dutch Chewits Leaf International-Times. The Dutch confectionery has annual rev of approx £550M. Cadbury continues to target operations in Benelux and Scandinavian regions. ||

Value airline Easy Jet [EZJ.UK] reported its Mar Load factor 84.9% v 87.4% y/y with Mar passengers down 6.3% y/y. || Cobham [COB.UK] has agreed to purchase Argotek for $36.3M. Cobham see the acquisition to be completed in H1 of 2009 stating that Argotek is an information assurance services company. || Kirin/Diageo [DGE.UK] are to form a JV to market Guinness, Smirnoff Ice and other products In Japan. Diageo is to hold a 51% stake in operating JV with operations to begin in June of 2009. || Aer Lingus [AERL.UK] confirms press speculation that CEO would resign with immediate effect . || Alcatel lucent [ALU.FR] may seek to outsource the maintenance of its internal information technology - Les Echos. Alcatel-Lucent may also outsource some of its R&D facilities. Reminder: CEO has stated that the company is targeting cost cuts of €750M and sees earnings at 'break even' in FY09. || Deutsche Post World: [DPW.GE] Could seek to bid for Royal Mail - FT. Article states that other possible bidders for Royal Mail include TNT and CVC. Reminder: On Dec 16, 2008 -(UK) Business Secretary: Expresses interest in partnership with TNT; sees strategic minority stake for private firm in Royal Mail. It is expected that UK government will take over services £22B pension fund with a current deficit of £7-8B. || For troubled lender Hypo Real Estate [HRX.GE], Germany's government may make an offer for the company equal to a maximum price of €1.26/share (last: €1.26) - FT. The article stated that the offer could come by as early as next week. || Audi parent company [VOW.GE] reported Audit March global sales down -10.7% y/y, Q1 sales -16% y/y at 210K units. Audi put its Mar China sales +6.6% y/y and Western European sales -12.9% y/y. Executives at the unit expect to increases in orders for new Q5 model. || Linde [LIN.GE] has signed a long term JV pact with Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon Works (SVW) to build gas facility. Collaboration to get initial €50M investment. ||

Skanska [SKAB.SW] reported its Q1 preliminary Rev at SEK29.8B v SEK30.5Be. The firm put its Q1 construction order bookings SEK22.9B (-33% y/y) due to decline in US Civil construction operations with its Q1 Backlog at SEK141.3B v 143.2B y/y. ||


- Speakers: In some surprisingly candid comments, the ECB's Bini Smaghi noted that theoretically, intervention into FX markets could be warranted, adding (in a hint to Central and Eastern Europe) that bad policies in nearby nations might hurt the euro currency. Addressing fears over competitive devaluation in currencies, Bini Smaghi noted that using fx to gain advantage could result in protectionism. He also called for verbal discipline amongst European leaders on exchange rates, stating that the Euro Zone must speak with one voice on forex, especially when dealing with the IMF


||Japanese Finance Minister Yosano announced Japan was planning to unveil its new stimulus program on April 10th with the size of program to be greater than 2% of GDP. The BoJ Vice Fin Min Sugimoto commented that he sought the BoJ to continue supporting the Japanese economy with policy, and that the BoJ would consider stimulus funding after measures are set || The ECB's Quaden reiterated the view that the level of ECB interest rates was yet to reach a bottom and that the central bank was considering other possible measures. The ECB's Bonello also expressed the standard line that 'all options' are being evaluated, pointing out that some European money market rates are lower than their global peers || The Indian Central Bank Gov Subbarao commented that the 2009 Current Account deficit will be higher than the prior year but capital flows will be lower than 2008. He also noted that Indian banks continue to lend at a slower rate || Polish Central Banker Gov Skrzypek commented that prior Zloty weakness was caused primarily by options but that the currency currently remains in a rising trend. He saw 2009 GDP possibly dipping below the 1.1% level but added he saw no contraction taking place in 2009, adding that the Polish Central bank remains in easing mode || Polish Central Bank's Wasilewska-Trenkner provided a different view when she reiterated that additional interest rate cuts were risky, and preferred a "wait and see" attitude. She noted that future rate cuts could be increasingly risky for the PLN currency and could imagine interest rate hikes in coming months || EU Almunia commented that he saw rapidly increasing unemployment in the EU and that the Euro Zone was experiencing an increase currency volatility || Russian PM Putin noted that the devaluation of ruble was inevitable, gradual but that the threat of collapse in banking sector has passed


- In Currencies: The JPY hit fresh 5 ½ month lows against the USD as the pair climbed above the 101 handle. Dealers noting that continued growing of risk appetite helping the JPY weaken. EUR/USD has moved lower in response to weak economic data and comments from the ECB's Bini Smaghi, finding support at session lows of 1.3500


- Fixed income: Strength in equities has sent government bonds lower this morning, with higher yields across the curve in Germany and better selling of short dated issues leading to a flatter yield curve in the UK. Despite a brief bout of risk aversion prompted by Eurozone February PPI data, which printed its largest annual decrease on record, Bund and Gilt futures are firmly in negative territory with the latter leading the way down. In contrast, US Treasuries were well bid for most of the European morning, suggesting a short squeeze amongst European investors in response to the sell off on late Friday afternoon in New York . At the time of writing T Note futures have managed to hold onto positive territory at 122 even, whilst Long bond futures are 4 ticks lower at 126-27. In corporate issuance, German minerals giant BASF announced it would tap €250M of its 3.5y bonds offered last week.


- In Energy: The US State Department warned of potential attacks on Nigerian consulate facilities. Japan and Venezuela announced an agreement to co-operate on the Orinoco oil & gas project. || Royal Dutch Shell [RDSA.UK] Confirmed re-opening of Utorogu facility following last weeks closure, the facility was closed due to leaks that were attributed to thieves. || Japan and Venezuela have reached an agreement to cooperate on Orinoco oil & gas project. ||


-Geopolitical: A Magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck central Italy - USGS. The quake struck 53 miles northeast of Rome. Follow Up as of 10:28 PM EST: According to ANSA damage has been reported in L-Aquila as well as many injuries. Two fatalities reported by Italian media as of 11:45 PM EST. || South African prosecutors have dropped charges against ANC leader Jacob Zuma. Chief prosecutor calls for investigation into abuse of legal process during Zuma case. ||


*** NOTES ***

- The week begins on a quiet note with little key data.

- Spot Gold begins to whittle away at key support.

- Japan new stimulus to be announced April 10 to be > 2% of GDP.

- Looking Ahead:

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Building Permits M/M: -4.0% expected v -4.6% prior

- 10:00 (CA) Canadian March Ivey Purchasing Managers Index: 47.0 expected v 45.2 prior

- 10:00 (US) TAF auction

- 11:00 (US) Treasury's 3 and 10y note

 

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