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Forex Blog - European Market Update: More officials hint that perhaps 'worst' of global crisis is behind us; Market participants debate "shape" of any economic rebound

Today 05:49am EST/09:49am GMT
European Market Update: More officials hint that perhaps 'worst' of global crisis is behind us; Market participants debate "shape" of any economic rebound


- (PH) Philippines Central Bank cuts overnight borrowing rate by 25bps to 4.50%; as expected

- (JP) Japan Mar Final Machine Tool Orders Y/Y: -85.2% v -84.5% prior

- (EU) EU 25 New Car Registrations: -9.1% v -18.0% prior

- (TU) Turkey Mar Consumer Confidence: 74.8 v 74.0 prior

- (SZ) Swiss Producer & Import Prices M/M: -0.5% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: -2.8% v -2.4%e

- (NE) Netherlands March Unemployment Rate: 4.1% v 4.0%e

- (NE) Netherlands Retail Sales Y/Y: -8.5% v -0.4% prior

- (SW) Swedish March Average House Prices: SEK1.82M v SEK1.73M prior

- (IT) Italian March Final CPI (NIC inc Tobacco) M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e, Y/Y: 1.2% v 1.2%e;

- (IT) Italy March Final CPI EU- Harmonized M/M: 1.2% v 1.1%e; Y/Y: 1.1% v 1.0%e

- (RU) Russian Gold & Forex reserves: $383.9B v $385.0B prior

- (EU) Euro-Zone CPI M/M: 0.4% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: 0.6% v 0.6%e; CPI Core Y/Y: 1.5% v 1.4%e

- (EU) Feb Industrial Production M/M: -2.3% v -2.5%e; Y/Y: -18.4% v -18.0%e


- Equities: European equity markets opened on a positive footing with strong sentiment in the financial community (expecting JPM's numbers) and strength in the heavy industrial names following a sector upgrade out of Credit Suisse and continued comments regarding Chinese buying of resource inputs. Poor performance in Q1 from Dassault Systems/STM/Intel added weight to the information technology sector as shares of SAP dragged the DAX30 into negative territory within 30 min of trading. Markets across the board turned negative by 4:00EST, automotive names joined the downward weight (specifically in France), while financials paired opening gains. Markets recovered following strong bid to cover results on both Spanish and French auction results, turning positive past the 5:00EST hour. Financials led the recovery along with miners and basic resource names (continuing from expectations of a recovery in China following 'green shoots' commentary after a disappointing Q1 GDP figure). Comments from Chinese PM Wen that the economy was better than expected pushed the FTSE100 to its session highs. ||STM Microelectronics [STM.FR] Board proposes to pay an annual cash dividend of $0.12/share, implying a 66.7% cut in quarterly dividend to $0.03 from $0.09 prior. || SABMiller SAB.UK: Releases interim trading statement: Financial results remain in line with expectations, economic conditions deteriorated in the H2 and consumer demand has fallen in most markets, particularly in Q4. FY Lager Volumes +2% y/y. || Roche [ROG.SZ] Reports Q1 Rev CHF11.6B v CHF11.6Be, full-year outlook to be updated to include impact of Genentech transaction and communicated with half-year results. Pharmaceuticals Division CHF9.22B v CHF8.57B y/y, Diagnostics Division CHF2.36B v CHF2.29B y/y. || Bunzl [BNZL.UK] Provides Interim Management Statement: Reports Q3 Group revenue +18% y/y, underlying rev down marginally due to the impact of deteriorating macroeconomic conditions across the international markets in which the Company operates. ||

- Speakers: Chinese PM Wen Jiabao commented that China's economy was in better shape than expected and that government actions will produce results. However the PM warned that China still faces large pressure on the unemployment front and cautioned about "blind optimism" on any economic recovery. Govt should not underestimate duration of crisis. Wen also reiterated that china would continue with its "moderate loose" monetary policy and the 'pro-active' fiscal policy. It would fully implement stimulus package and accelerate government-led investment|| China's Trade Min Chen commented that China's export slump was easing but no fundamental change seen in its weak external demand. It sought a 'positive change in trade' and studying policies to expand foreign investment. || Australian Treasurer Swan: Expects government economic and revenue forecasts are to be 'substantially worse' in the May budget. Just note back in early Feb, the Aussy Gov't forecasted a 2008-09 budget deficit of A$22.5B which was revised lower from a surplus of A$5.4B. || China Foreign Ministry's Jiang Yu commented that China would continue to push for reform on its Yuan exchange rate with its objective is to keep the currency at a reasonable level. She reiterated the view that China FX reserves management sought both security of the investment and liquidity in its analysis. || BoE Designate Miles commented that perhaps the worst of UK recession might have already passed. He noted that the early signs Quantitative Easing (QE) as improving bank lending and that QE would have 'significant' impact on demand || Indian MoF Official commented that India had not asked th IMF to sell its gold reserves. This contrasts earlier press speculation. (However, back on Apr 2nd: Group of 20 nations had decided IMF would sell a portion of its gold reserve to help fund poorer nations). || HKMA's Yam stated that he expected CNY to be more widely accepted with time. He added that HK could serve as 'testing ground' for liberalization of CNY || Italian employer group note that perhaps the worst was over in economic crisis ||

- In Currencies: Risk aversion theme helping USD and JPY firm in early European trading. Dealers noting that the recent Fed Beige book and mixed Chinese data suggest that because things have stopped “getting worse” does not automatically suggest that the economic environment would improve. thus the question at this time is all about the "shape" of any potential recovery... with letters representing sentiment "V" , "U" "W" and the dreaded "L". China's PM Wen cautioned about holding "blind optimism" in regards to any economic recovery and that Govt should not underestimate duration of crisis.

- The Euro was under some broad pressure throughout the European morning as dealers have doubts growing regarding the EU economic future. One head dealer noted that it will take some effort for EUR/USD to break below the 1.3070 level (Pre FED quantitative easing level from Mar 18th), but momentum could greatly accelerate if and when this level can be breeched. EUR/JPY cross below the 130 level during the mid-European morning and EUR/GBP drifted lower.

- The GBP/USD pair again tested above the 1.50 handle and again encountered some medium term profit-taking endure for the second straight session.

- Fixed income: Bunds have been under pressure this morning amidst a flood of European supply with Spain selling just over €4B in 10 and 15y Bonos, and France selling more than €7B in 2011 to 2014 BTAN's and OAT's. Meanwhile in the UK, the DMO sold £4B in a tap of the 2.25% 2014 Gilt. The auction was covered an impressive 2.11 times, with a yield tail of less than 2bps significantly below the multi year high of almost 10bps last time around. Treasuries have held up better than their European peers with no supply and the Fed looking to purchase a range of TIPS later in the session. 3M euribor fixed at a new record low of 1.41%, € swap spreads are narrower across the curve ,with 10ys notably outperforming, down by over 2.5bps

- In Energy: Analysts at Macquarie cut their WTI 2009 price guidance to $51.30 from $60 previous. They also cut its 2010 guidance to $71 from $78 previous ||

*** NOTES ***

- More and more government officials and central bankers are uttering that perhaps the 'worst' of the global recession is behind us. “What shape will the global recovery take?”

- That seems to be the question following the recent Fed Beige book and mixed Chinese data. However, The European session participants came in thinking that Because things have stopped getting worse does not mean they would get better .

- RealtyTrac: US March Foreclosures at 341.2K, which was up 17% m/m and +46% y/y. The data was the highest on record.

- Fed's Beige Book: US economy still weak.

- China GDP data basically met the low end of expectations. The 6.1% GDP reading was the slowest growth in 10 years.

- South Korea revised March exports. South Korea's President Lee commented that its domestic economy was likely passing “halfway point” of downward economic cycle.

- Looking Ahead: JPM earnings

- 8:00 (BR) Brazil Feb Retail Sales M/M: 1.0% expected v 1.4% prior; Y/Y: 1.0% v 4.0% expected v 6.0% prior

- 8:30 (US) March Housing Starts (last 583K), March Building Permits (last 564K),

- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 660K expected versus 654K prior; Continuing Claims: 5.893Me versus 5.84M prior

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Feb Manufacturing shipments M/M: 2.0% expected v -5.4% prior

- 9:00 (FR) France to sell €1.5B inflation linked OAT's and up to €8B in 2011 -2014 BTAN's

- 10:00 (US) April Philadelphia Fed (last -35)

- 10:30 (US) Natural Gas Inventories

- 11:00 (US) Fed to buy back 01/15/10 - 04/15/32 TIPS

-12:00 (TU) Turkey Base Rate Announcement: 50bps cut to 10.00% expected

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