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Tuesday April 14, 2009 - 10:27:59 GMT
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Forex Blog - European market Update: Participants await for clues that worst of economic crisis has past, eyes US retail sales and Chinese GDP and Industrial Prod data

Today 05:56am EST/09:56am GMT

European market Update: Participants await for clues that worst of economic crisis has past, eyes US retail sales and Chinese GDP and Industrial Prod data


- (FR) French Feb Current Account: -€2.2B v -€2.8B prior

- (CZ) Czech Feb Industrial Output Y/Y: -23.4% v -18.0%e; Construction Output Y/Y: -14.3% v -11.1% prior

- (CZ) Czech Feb Retail Sales Y/Y: -7.9% v -3.5%e

- (DE) Danish March CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.3%e, Y/Y: 1.8% v 1.7%e;

- (DE) Danish March CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 0.4% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.5%e

- (SW) Swedish March CPI M/M: 0.3% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 0.2% v 0.5%e

- (SW) Swedish March CPI Underlying Inflation M/M: 0.5% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 1.5% v 1.7%e, CPI Level: v 299.22e

- (CZ) Czech Feb Current Account: CZK17.1B v CZK1.50Be

- (UK) Feb UK Mortgage loans at 24.3K, +4% y/y


- Equities: European equity markets opened on a mixed note. Financials rallied on the back of news from Goldman Sachs in the New York post-market and continued strength in the sector through the Asian session. US German listed financial names (Citi and Bank of America traded up as much as 30%). A court ruling from Belgium allowing all Fortis shareholders a vote in the this month's EGM strongly supports the likelihood of a break up; shares of Fortis and BNP traded higher. Despite this sector strength, the DAX30 opened negative and negative sentiment from poorer than expected earnings out of Phillips weighed on healthcare systems manufacturers. Markets continued their pre-holiday choppy nature as 4-days of market news is being digested in Europe. By 4:30EST, markets had shaken off Chinese data concerns and negative earnings numbers making a sharp break into positive territory, reflecting gains of approx 1% across the board || Goldman Sachs [GS] Reports Q1 $3.39 v $1.64e, R $9.43B v $7.20Be, announces $5B Public Offering of Common Equity (about 7.6% of market cap), confirms to use proceeds to repay All TARP funds borrowed. || British Telecom [BT.UK] reportedly seeking to cut an additional 10K jobs (9% of workforce), reduce dividend by more than 50% -FT. Announcements to purportedly come next month along with earnings results, at that time, BT may announce £1.0B in write downs. ||Phillips [PHIA.NV] reported its second consecutive loss, Q1 Net Loss was €59M v a loss of€25M expected, EBITA was a loss of €74M v profit 35Me, and Sales were €5.08B v €5.16Be . By units: Healthcare Q1 sales -2% y/y, Consumer lifestyle Q1 sales -25% y/y, Lighting Q1 sales -19% y/y. The group expects no material change to markets in Q2. The CFO commented thatits North American markets faired better than Euro markets in Q1. The company would accelerate restructuring measures in the Q2 after its Q1 results missed analyst expectations.

- Speakers: Fed's Fisher reiterated the view that the US economic data looked 'quite grim as Q1 GDP likely to contract at a 'very dismal' rate'. He reiterated that the US jobless rate could exceed 10% by end of the year. China is not decoupling from US economy, does not expect sharp declines in USD currency rates and saw a strong case favoring the dollar based on capital returns. He believed that China would do nothing to harm US interests and that both countries have a symbiotic relationship. || ECB's Orphanides commented that the risk of deflation had 'increased somewhat' recently and could spur ECB moves after May policy meeting. He reiterated the view that downward pressure on inflation into 2010. ECB must stay 'open and flexible' over measures which could include asset purchases and longer liquidity operations. Such moves could lower money market rates further. || Polish Central Banker Filar commented that perhaps the interest rate easing cycle by MPC could be over. However, he saw no scope for higher interest rates. || Polish Central Banker Noga also stated that he saw steady interest rate policy at next two MPC meetings || Spain's PM Zapatero commented that its Gov't was ready to take additional stimulus measures if needed

- In Currencies: All eyes glued on upcoming Chinese data and the differing opinions have been emerging from both the “official' and analyst fronts. The pre-European session encountered some 'risk aversion', which aided both USD and JPY positions. Dealers returned from a long weekend and grew 'edgy' over the pending Chinese GDP data set for release on Thursday as catalyst. European dealers were 'reacting' to earlier comments from Chinese PBoC advisor Fan that it might take need additional 2-3 years to complete China's economic adjustment. One investment house put out a research note that Premier Wen seemed to indicate that China Industrial Production jumped 8.3% in March, which would be above current consensus of 6.3%

- The EUR/USD tested below the 1.33 level to move back within its one-week consolidation range of 1.31 to 1.3330 range. USD/JPY moving back below parity to test 99.50 level.

- Fixed income: A relatively quiet start to the week in European fixed income this morning , with no major economic data or supply Government bond markets are range bound in thin volumes. Gilts have outperformed with the Bank of England set to purchase £3B in 2020 - 2032 Gilts later in the session, with the long end in particular benefiting, leading to a flatter UK yield curve. Bunds have almost closed the gap on Treasuries after yesterday's rally with the cash Bund yield at 3.19%, about 2pbs cheaper relative to Treasuries on last weeks close at 33pbs. € swap spreads are wider across the curve with 2y swap spreads +2bps at 57bps and 10y swap spreads 2.4bps wider at 36bps. 3M Euribor fell another basis point to reach 1.00%

- In Energy: Dealers chatter focused on the topic that OPEC production cuts have been hampered by Brazil and Russia efforts. Dealers took notice of recent US Energy Dept stats which noted that U.S. imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell 818K/day, or 14% to 5.02M in January from a year earlier while imports from Brazil more than doubled to 397K and Russia's increased to 157K, a trend that continued in

February and March, according to data from each country. || Transneft [RNFP.RU] Submitted request to raise oil transit tariffs by 4% || PetroChina [PTR] According to CNPC, China is targeting oil reserves to meet 90-100 days of demand. The report added that China has started research regarding storing oil underground. Currently China's 3 oil majors have around 21 days worth of reserves. || Nippon Steel [5401.JP] Reportedly settled a semi-soft coal price in which it would pay $80-85/ton in 2009 versus $240/ton last year

- Credit Crisis: S&P cuts Kingdom of Thailand sovereign rating by one-notch to 'A-' from 'A'. it maintained a negative outlook ||S&P cuts its outlook Taiwan's sovereign credit rating to Negative from Stable. S&P cited the weaker fiscal position as a key factor in its decision. || German Spiegel magazine looks at the concerns facing Russian banks. Article noted that in recent weeks, senior Russian government ministers and officials have been striking an increasingly optimistic note amid signs the economic situation in Russia has stabilized. However despite the financial turmoil of recent months, no major Russian bank has gone bust, and there have been minimal signs of depositor panic. But in recent weeks, a chorus of doomsayers has been warning the stability won't last. A "second wave" of the crisis is about to hit Russia, they argue. The Russian government now appears to be taking the threat seriously.

*** NOTES and THEMES ***

- The current phase of improving risk appetite appeared to be hitting some speed bumps despite guidance from Wells Fargo last week and Goldman Sachs yesterday after the close. However, chatter circulating that that one bank has failed the "stress tests" and could result in another potential bailout package being put together to head off a crisis

- North Korea continued it bipolar ways as it again noted that current round of discussions are useless and planned to resume nuclear development.

- The reserve currency discussion continues. Japan's Yosano noted that unlikely any other currency other than USD key global currency…but PBoC advisor Fan commented that China, Japan and South Korea should establish a routine mechanism to diversify the region's reserve currencies away from the dollar

- China March foreign direct investment (FDI) -9.5% y/y. All eyes glued on upcoming Chinese data and the differing opinions have been emerging from both the “official' and analyst fronts (see currency section)

- Reality check: Singapore Q1 GDP Y/Y -11.5% v -9.1% forecast. Lowers 09 forecasts. The Central Bank re-centered its currency policy band for a weak SGD…but currency strengthens in session

- Dealers chatter focused on the topic that OPEC production cuts have been hampered by Brazil and Russia efforts.

- Looking Ahead:

- 8:00 (PD) Polish March Money Supply M3 M/M: 0.3% expected v 1.4% prior

- 8:00 (PD) Polish Feb Current Account: -500 expected v -441 prior

8:30 (US) March PPI (last m/m 0.1%, y/y -1.3%, ex food & energy last m/m 0.2%, y/y 4.0%), - - 8:30 (US) March Advanced Retail Sales (last 0.1%, ex autos last 0.7%)

- 10:00 (US) Feb Business Inventories (last -1.1%)

- 10:00 (UK) BoE to buy £3B 202 - 2032 Gilts

- 10: 30 (US) Fed's Evans speaks in Chicago

- 10:30 (US) Fed's 2013 to 2016 Coupon Purchase


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