- Equities: European equity markets quickly erased pre-market and opening gains
resuming yesterday's downward march. All three major bourses were turning
negative within 15 min of cash trading. As with yesterday, heavy weight
remained in the broad financial names with Tier 1 banks and Insurance names
taking a heavy hit. Retailers, however, buoyed by results from Tesco [TSCO.UK]
bucked the trend and held on to opening gains in early trade. Thailand's
March customs trade balance, showing a significant decline in exports hurt
shipping and energy names with oil selling off rapidly. Prior to Sweden's
rate decisions (3:30est) equity markets bounced northward touching then session
highs on expectations of further cuts. The Riksbank's 50BPS cut (as expected)
sent markets higher despite the continued underperformance of financial names
across the board. Markets continued their lighter tone following the Swedish
decision and pushed the 1% mark to the pos side. The FTSE100 took a dip
following 5:00EST as MPC Fisher made bearish statements noting that he remained
concerned that the BoE had missed its inflation target to the downside. Markets
rallied soon after as the German April Zew economic sentiment survey came in
ahead of expectations (13 v 2e). With a wide range of US corporate earnings
ready to kick off past 6:00est, European markets continue to position
themselves. As of 5:30est, the DAX and CAC remain well positive (+0.50%) while
the FTSE still hovers above and below the unch mark following BoE comments to
- Tesco [TSCO.UK] Reports FY08 Pretax Â£3.13B v Â£3.04Be, Rev â‚¬54.3B v Â£47.4Be. 6
week UK LFL sales ex petrol +3.4% y/y, Total
sales ex petrol +12.0% y/y. || Anglo American [AAL.UK] Increases convertible
bond offer to $1.7B following exercise of over allotment option. || AB Foods [ABF.UK]
Reports H2 Op Profit Â£297M v Â£277Me, Rev Â£4.4B v Â£4.4Be, declares div 6.9p/shr
( up 2% y/y). || Deutsche Post [DPW.GE] Guides Q1 net income in region of
approx â‚¬1B v â‚¬318Me on back of successful options positions on Postbank. DHL
unit continues to make progress towards 2010 goals. Volumes have continued to
decline across all divisions. || Actelion [ATLN.SZ] Reports Q1 Net CHF102.1M v
CHF99.1Me, Op profit CHF121.6M, Rev CHF405.6M v CHF400.4Me. Sees 2009 trading
in line with expectations. ||HSBC [HSBA.UK] Reportedly to announce first
interim dividend on May 5th, confirms talks with various lenders regarding
interest rate reductions (BCAB). ||
- Speakers: ECB Noyer stated that global growth forecasts are being reduced
across the board. He did note there were signs that things are improving. ||
ECB's Ordonez commented he supported non-conventional measures by the ECB and
reiterate view that interest rates could move lower . He continues to see
enormous complexity in financial markets. The world economy was experiencing
strong deterioration but continued to believe that growth would return in 2010.
He did not rule further losses from structured products. Money markets are
improving, but some markets remain closed. || ECB's Wellink stated that
restoring confidence remains key in overcoming economic crisis || BOE Fisher:
cannot rule out FX intervention tool; always available if necessary. Have seen
some signs that economic indicators are improving. Quantitative easing (QE) has
had an impact on yields; could take a long time to see impact BUT Can not say
that worst is over for the UK
economy. He noted that the biggest factor behind the failed Gilts auction of a
couple of weeks ago was the balance sheet pressure the market makers are
already under. He commented that there was concern that inflation target was
missed on the downside in which inflation may continue to fall lower than
target. Main downside risk to the UK
was a continued downward move in the global economy. He remained concerned that
monetary policy implemented may not be effective || BoE's Sentence stated that
the downward CPI momentum might be weaker than thought. He noted that the
effects ofinterest rate cuts and Quantitative easing should be felt in 2009
||German Fin Min Steinbrueck commented that he saw German bank toxic assets at
â‚¬853B. he expected Landesbanken to use "bad bank" || Polish Central
Banker Skrzypek commented that Polish banks have about PLN10B over liquidity.
He sought looser capital requirements || Sweden central bank stated that it
could resort to other measures if economic activity deteriorates. It noted that
today's decision to cut by 50bps to 0.55 was made by consensus. One Board
Member voted for larger interest rate cut. The Riksbank added that it could see
some Probability of further rate cuts. And that the weaker SEK currency would
help to stimulate the Swedish economy. The Riksbank cuts its 2009 GDP view cut
to -4.5% from -1.6% prior. It also lowered its 2010 GDP forecast +1.3% from
+1.7% prior view. || BOE Trends in Lending Report saw weak demand for unsecured
lending with availability of unsecured lending seen unchanged in Q2 q/q.
Lenders expect conditions to remain tight in 2009 and saw some cost of lending
continuing to increase. Overall availability of credit was expected to rise
over the course of the next 3-months. Demand for mortgages seen continuing at
lower levels || ZEW economists commented that sentiment was positively affected
by German gov't stimulus program. It noted that the US economic outlook had
improved and saw positive signs from China. The ZEW noted that low inflation
should be supportive of private consumption and saw the inklings that economy
would slowly recover in H2 of 2009. There remains room for the ECB to cut
interest rates even further.
- In Currencies: Dealer noting that some consolidation likely after recent
currency moves. The USD was softer against the European pairs. The better than
expected ZEW survey helped the EUR/USD to moved towards the 1.30 area. However
the 1.2950 option expiration point continues to act 'like a magnet' ahead of
expirations this week. The weak Irish bond auction results tempered the Euro
upside momentum. Dealers noted that Ireland 2018 auction had a bid-to-cover of
only 1.1 times.
- The GBP was a touch firmer. BOE member Fisher commented that one cannot rule
out currency intervention and that such a tool was always available if
necessary. Nonetheless, dealers continue to await the U.K. budget unveiling on
- the SEK strengthened following the Swedish central bank interest rate
decision. The 50bps rate cut was a bit tighter than the 'whisper' number of a
90bps cut circulating just ahead of the decision.
- Scale of SNB forex intervention significant based on central bank reserve
data today. SNB held â‚¬20.2B in its foreign currency investments at the end of
the first quarter, up from â‚¬15.7B at the end of 2008. euro's share of the SNB's
overall currency reserves rose to 55% from 49.4% prior
- Fixed income: Central bank comments and weak auction results all contributing
to session price action. Gilts have lead the way down after the BoE's Fisher
appeared to indicate the BoE could revise its Gilt purchase program . Fisher
noted that the BoE would need a serious discussion at its next two meetings to
determine whether additional quantitative easing was necessary. Ireland sold
â‚¬1B in 2014 and 2018 Bonds, with the latter issue drawing a bid-to-cover of
just 1.1 times. The weak auction results raised concerns amongst dealing desks
and ultimately weighed on Bunds. 3 month Euribor fixed unchanged at 1.41%,
whilst 1 month Euribor actually increased by 1bps to 1.01%. 2y â‚¬ swap spreads
have narrowed below 53bps but USD 2y swap spreads are back above 65bps, their
widest level since 18 March.
- In Energy: Iranian OPEC Gov: additional output cuts possible if market
remains oversupplied. The Cartel was worried about oil stockpile by consumer
nations || Reportedly, Russian Dep PM Sechin says Russia has signed oil loan
agreements with Chinese govt in Beijing || Nigeria shortlisted 12 foreign firms
for investment in its gas sector.
- Credit Crisis: WSJ reported that theTARP Watchdog stresses need for better
financial oversight. Treasury committed $590.4B of TARP to date. The rescue
efforts have expanded since Congress approved the $700B bailout package last
fall. The initiative now includes about a dozen programs that could reach a
price tag of $3T when Federal Reserve loans, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
guarantees and private money are factored in, according to the report by the
Office of the Special Inspector General for the TARP set for release Tuesday.
*** NOTES ***
- Economic growth continues to be a cause for concern. Dealers noting that some
15 major central banks have cut their interest rates in April.
- Treasury has committed $590B of the $700B TARP money. The initiative now
includes about a dozen programs that could reach a price tag of $3T when
Federal Reserve loans, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. guarantees and private
money are factored in
- RBA Stevens: Australia is in recession; sees lower growth and inflation out
- Fed's Kohn: Does not anticipate that time when Fed needs to raise interest
rates is coming anytime soon
- Looking Ahead: Key earnings continue: Bank of NY [BK]; Caterpillar [CAT];
Dupont [DD]; Coca Cola [KO]; Lockheed [LMT]; Merck [MRK]; Schering [SGP]; State
Street [STT] United Airlines [UAUA]; US Bancorp [USB] and United technologies
[UTX] are some of the notable names before the NYSE opening bell.
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Wholesale Prices Y/Y: 1.0% expected v -4.2% prior
- 9:00 (CA) Bank of Canada Interest Rate Decision: No change expected, current
rate is 0.50%
- 9:30 (US) Fed's Hoenig testifies before Joint Economic Commitee
- 10:00 (US) Treasury Sec Geithner to testify at Congressional Oversight Panel
- 11:00 (EU) ECB's Constancio speaks in Portugal
- 13:30 (EU) ECB's Papademos speaks at EU Parliament in Strasbourg
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Mon 19 Feb 2018
00:00 CN, US- Holiday Tue 20 Feb 2018
00:00 CN- Holiday A 10:00 US- ZEW Survey Wed 21 Feb 2018
00:00 CN- Holiday A All Day flash PMIs A 15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales A 15:30 US- EIA Crude AA 19:00 US- Fed Meeting Minutes Thu 22 Feb 2018 A 09:00 DE- IFO Survey A 09:30 GB- GDP AA 13:30 CA- Retail Sales A 13:30 US- Weekly Jobless Fri 23 Feb 2018 A 10:00 EZ- Final HICP AA 13:30 CA- CPI
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