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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Equities hold onto gains ahead of BOE decision, US Same Store Sales

Today 06:08am EST/10:08am GMT

European Market Update: Equities hold onto gains ahead of BOE decision, US Same Store Sales

- (SZ) Swiss March Unemployment Rate: 3.4% v 3.5%e; Unemployment Rate sa: 3.3% v 3.3%e

- (GE) German March Final CPI M/M: -0.1% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: 0.5% v 0.5%e

prior; EU Harmonized M/M: -0.2% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: 0.4% v 0.4%e

- (JP) Japanese March Preliminary Machine Tool Orders: -84.5% v -84.4% prior

- (IN) Indian Feb Industrial Production Y/Y: -1.2% v -1.3%e

- (CZ) Czech PPI M/M: 0.2% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: 2.3% v 2.1%e

- (SW) Swedish Feb Industrial Production M/M: % v -1.9%e; Y/Y: % v -21.3%e

- (SW) Swedish Feb Industrial Orders M/M: % v 1.2% prior; Y/Y: -30.0% v -31.9% prior

- (RU) Russian Gold & Forex Reserves Apr w/e 3rd: $385.0B v $388.0B prior

-(IT) Italian Feb Industrial Production M/M: -3.5% v -1.5%e; Y/Y: -20.7% v -17.5%e, NSA Y/Y: -23.7% v -21.0%e

- (UK) March PPI Input nsa M/M: 1.0% v 0.9%e, Y/Y: -0.4% v -0.7%e; (weakest Y/Y reading since April 2007)

- (UK) March PPI Output M/M: 0.2% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 2.0% v 2.1%e (weakest Y/Y reading since Jul 2007)

- (UK) March PPI Output Core M/M: % v 0.1%e, Y/Y: % v 3.1%e

- (UK) Feb Visible Trade Balance: -£7.3B v-£7.6Be; Total Trade Balance: -£3.25B v -£3.45Be

- (GE) Feb Industrial Production M/M: -2.9% v -3.0%e; Y/Y: -20.6% v -21.7%e


- European equity indices opened to the upside this morning, taking their cue from Asian markets, boosted by confirmation of the Japanese stimulus package and a NYT report indicating that all major US banks will pass the 'stress tests.' Reports that Barclays had completed arrangements to sell its iShares unit (while maintaining 20% holding) moved financials higher whilst miners and basic resources were buoyed by a strong 2008 production report out of Vedanta ResourcesMarkets reacted negatively to the ECB monthly report, which re-iterated the likelihood of negative inflation in 2009 before reversing their losses settling into positive territory with key event risks in the form of US same stores sales and the BoE's interest rate decision on the horizon. Volumes are extremely thin ahead of the Easter break.


- The German Govt announced a voluntary takeover offer Hypo Real estate (HRX.GE) offering holders €1.39/shr, notably below the €3 sought by major shareholder JC Flowers. The German Govt agency Soffin stated it was seeking 100% ownership of the firm and aiming to complete the offer swiftly, and that the offer is not dependant on the fulfillment of certain conditions. JC Flowers responded, expressing a clear preference to remain a shareholder in the firm, but that it would consider the offer.


- ING [INGA.NA] has traded higher following a strategic update. The Dutch financial services giant announced it would increase its divestments in non-core activities to between €6 to €8B from the originally intended €2 to 3B, conditions permitting . It plans to unwind of 10 to 15 businesses over the coming years, including its Ukrainian operations. Its €1B cost reduction initiative announced on 18 Feb is well on track, with over half of the planned 7,000 workforce reduction realized. Ing announced it plans to operate its Bank and Insurer units separately under one Group umbrella.


- The ECB monthly report echoed statements made by the Ecb's Trichet following last week's decision to cut refi and deposit rates by 25bps, forecasting temporary negative inflation in the middle of 2009 and a gradual recovery in 2010 The Report stated that price pressures subdued as largely a result of lower commodity prices.


- The ECB's Bonello confirmed the ECB was studying alternative measures, and that he expected an announcement on said measures at the May meeting. Bonello stated that some signs were emerging that the interest rate transmission mechanism was beginning to work


- The ECB's Trichet spoke early in the session, notably stating that he felt nationalization of some banks was inevitable. Trichet stated that he felt governments had been too slow in effectively implementing measures they had announced and called on measures agreed at the G-20 to be adopted quickly. Trichet noted that he supported comments from US officials including Bernanke, Geithner and President Obama on a strong US dollar


- The ECB's Nowotny made some provocative statements, noting that he was against cutting the refi rate below 1%, but that such an idea was open to debate. In the most forthright comments on the topic thus far, Nowotny said he was in favor of the ECB purchasing corporate bonds and also that the ECB could extend its liquidity to banks immediately.


- Speaking in Japan, non voting member of the FOMC Fisher stated that he saw a return to growth in 2010, noting that he had observed a slight revival in credit markets, with commercial paper issuance improving. Fisher noted that no-one could have predicted the complete reversal in the global economy in 2008.


- Further details of the confirmed Japanese ¥15.4T stimulus package surfaced. The MoF's Sugimoto revealed that the measures would include tax cuts valued at £100B, whilst Japansese PM Aso said the measures would help to boost Japan's GDP by ¥120T by 2020


- The BoE is widely expected to keep its interest rate on hold at today's MPC meeting, with markets expecting some form of pledge on commitment to the recently adopted asset purchase operation and quantitative easing. However reports surfaced in the UK press stating the BoE was considering forcing banks to split retail and investment bank operations, similar to Glass- St


-- In fixed income, Italy sold €9.05B in BTPs ranging in maturity from 2013 to 2029, and the supply has weighed on Bunds. UST futures are also lower ahead of the treasury's $18B 10y note auction, whilst Gilts have managed to stay in positive territory in light volumes.


- In commodities JP Morgan analysts raised 2009 price targets for metals, with Gold raised to $960/oz v $831/oz prior, Silver raised to $13.9/oz v $11/pz prior and Copper raised to $3.34K/t v $3.16k/t prior


- In currencies increased risk appetite has seen a weaker USD and a weaker JPY, with the notable expection of the GBP, which suffered from weak PPI figures . GBP/USD is down almost 50 pips at 1.4668. USD/JPY is back above the 100 level whilst EUR/USD is trading at the unchaged mark of 1.3280 at the time of writing


Looking Ahead

- 7:00 (CA) Canadian March Unemployment Rate: % v 8.0%e ; Net Change in Employment: k v -50.0ke

- 7:00 (UK) BOE Rate Decision: No change, the current bank rate is 0.50%

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Feb International Merchandise Trade: -C$1.2Be v -C$1.0B prior

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Feb New Housing Price Index M/M: % v -0.5%e

- 8:30 (US) Feb Trade Balance (last -$36B)

- 8:30 (US) March Import Price Index (last m/m -0.2%, y/y -12.8%)

- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims (last 669K), Continuing Claims (last 5.728M)

- 10:30 (US) Natural Gas Inventories

- 11:30 (US) Treasury's $18B 10y note auction

 

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