- Equities: European equity markets opened to the downside following mixed
pre-market trading on some bearish corporate earnings news. Most significantly,
Pugeot (UG.FR) released its Q1 sales figures that were broadly in line with
expectation but still showed a 25% decline in revenues y/y. Auto names opened
strongly to the downside in Paris
and Frankfurt. Lower than expected earnings out of Nestle
(NESN.SZ) and the failure of Avastin to reach its primary end points took Roche
(ROG.SZ) to the downside on the open. With a light data and speaker series in
the European pre-market, markets floated off their worst levels by 4:00EST
awaiting further direction. Traders continue to await the expected UK budget that could come in anywhere from Â£160B to
as high as Â£200B in shortfall. Specifically, expect to see the FTSE100 position
itself ahead of these numbers. Financials, however, continue to outperform the
broader market following the US turnaround in the NY afternoon yesterday
(financial segment of INDU closing up 7.50%). Markets moved positive within
1-hr of trading as automotives came off their worst levels and financials
continued their outperformance. Equity markets digested mixed economic data out
of the UK at rallying to their then session highs (+0.50% across the board) just
past the 5:00est hour on solid volumes. Expectation beating Q1 results out of
VW (VOW.GE) pushed the German auto names higher simultaneously.
- RioTinto [RIO.UK] CEO Iron Ore Unit Sam Walsh: Saw no deferrals from
customers, continues hiring for IronOre division, sees signs of stimulus package working
in China. || Peugot [UG.FR] Reports Q1 Sales â‚¬10.97B v
â‚¬14.76B y/y (-25%); Confirms that group expects FY09 loss, Q1 automobile sales
8.7B v 11.3B y/y (-23%). ||Nestle [NESN.SZ] Reports Q1 CHF25.2B v CHF26.0Be;
Confirms 2009 outlook (FY09 organic growth at least +5% y/y), Q1 growth outside
of acquisitions stood up 3.8% y/y. ||Roche [ROG.SZ] Reiterates DNA acquisition
to be accretive to earnings in first year - conf call. Notes Phase III C-08
Study of Avastin study was overhyped, with only 50% chance of success. ||
Heineken [HEIA.NV] Reports Q1 Rev â‚¬3.05B, up 24% y/y; organic revenue -1% y/y,
Q1 consolidated beer volume +12% y/y, organic volume -6.3% y/y. The decline in
organic volumes were due to lower volumes in Europe and the Americas.
||Volkswagen [VOW.GE] Reports Q1 Pretax â‚¬52M v loss â‚¬687.3Me, Net â‚¬243M v loss
â‚¬419Me, Op Profit â‚¬312M v Loss â‚¬328Me , Rev â‚¬24B v â‚¬23.3Be. Sale of Brazilian
truck unit added approx â‚¬600M to earnings, net liquidity in automotive unit at
â‚¬10.74B (-24.5% y/y). ||
- Speakers: ECB's Stark reiterated the central bank view that a gradual
economic recovery in 2010. he noted that fiscal sustainability could be
pressured by debt and deficit. The economic and financial crisis should not
lead to increase stimulus measures. He stressed that the ECB's policy
transmission remains via the banking system || ECB's Notwotny commented that
one needs sustainable medium term budget policy for restoring confidence ||
French PM Fillon commented that a 2.5% contraction in 2009 likely, recovery in
2010 possible || China to increase vehicle subsidies to CNY1.0B from CNY600M
prior - Ministry || Japan MOF official: Deterioration in G7 economies is
easing, but cannot be optimistic about economic outlook, USD remains global
reserve currency. Expected discussion of US bank stress tests at this weekend's
G7 Finance Minister meeting in Washington DC. || South Korea not planning another
extra spending package stated its Fin Ministry. The job market remained weak as
joblessness remained high. The minister noted that now is not the time to
tighten liquidity || Bank of Spain denied it has identified 7 troubled banks ||
PBOC Dep. Governor Yi Gang: Economy hit bottom in Q4â€¦. Goldman Sachs raised its
forecast for China's 2009 GDP to 8.3% from 6.0% prior. Goldman also raised its
2010 forecast to 10.9% from 9% prior. || German Dep Fin Min says G7 to discuss
currencies at this weekend meeting; does not expect any surprises || Russian
Fin Min Kudrin commented that he expected reserve fund to be nearly exhausted
in 2010 || German Institute forecasted 2009 GDP to contract by 6.0% and 2010
GDP contracting by 0.5%
- In Currencies: a minor bout of risk aversion greeted the European morning but
price action mellowed out as the early hours drifted by. All eyes on the UK
budget expected out later today.
- The USD was mixed against the majors. EUR/USD continued to find support at
the 1.29 level and dealers continue to express that the 1.2950 area remains a
magnet for price action due to option-related plays this week.
- The GBP was weaker ahead of the UK budget. There was a slew of UK data and
dealers seemed to focus on the March Public Finances, which came in worse than
expected and at their highes levels on record. Dealer also noting that
volatility in GILTS and GBP could pick up significantly depend how close the
actual UK budget numbers come in. Dealers noting that the expected shortfall in
the UK budget seen around the Â£160B area, which would represent a 11% of GDP.
This compares to the 8% forecasted by Darling last November. GBP/USD was off
over 120 pips ahead of the NY morning and probing the lower end of the 1.45
neighborhood. EUR/GBP near 0.89, up over 70 pips from its Asian open.
- Fixed income: Gilts have been under significant pressure ahead of the UK
budget, with the Debt Management Report respected to increase issuance to as
much as Â£200B this year, an increase of over Â£50B from the November pre budget
report. Bunds have held up comparatively well on technical buying , whilst
Treasuries have remained firmly in positive territory ahead of US Feb House
price data, expected to decline to -0.7% from 1.7% in Jan.
- In Energy: WSJ "Heard on the Street" column comments on the
inability of declining oil prices to produce a positive US GDP impact, which it
attributed to fewer drivers on the road from rising unemployment. The article
also noted that credit spending is being hampered by the financial crisis and
"memories of oil price spike" || Reportedly Iran is ready for
constructive talks on its Atomic issue
- In the papers: WSJ discussed the impact of the Obama administration's
proposals to tax offshore profits. Article noted the impact might have a
sizable impact on the likes of Pfizer Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Coca-Cola Co.
and Hewlett-Packard Co., which shelter tens of billions in income offshore
annually. Under current law, U.S. companies can defer taxes indefinitely on the
profits they say they have earned overseas until they "repatriate"
that money back to the U.S. The administration has proposed changing this law,
and has already baked in the new tax receipts into its budget figures for 2011.
*** NOTES ***
- Budget day in the UK. Dealers noting that shortfall expected around the
Â£160B-175B area which is over 11% of GDP versus 8% forecasted by Darling last
Nov. budget release later today is likely to show sharp upward revisions of net
borrowing estimates as well as significant downward revisions to growth
estimates. However, The real market mover could be the Greek budget deficit and
the rules underpinning European monetary union.
- Pace of deterioration in Japan's trade balance stabilizes. The March Trade
Balance saw its second consecutive positive total surplus after 5 months of
deficits. Could see some nice volatility in GILTS and GBP currency
- China PBOC reiterates that it believes its economy is entering a recovery
- ECB Weber maintains the cautious central bank approach. ECB has very limited
scope in buying gov't debt, which is not a desirable option. Marginal room for
rate cuts as he believes that the lowest interest rate is 1.0%.
- Credit Swaps Market fall 38% y/y to $38 Trillion, first annual decline in 8
years - International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)
- Corporate earning season in full swing. Traders noting the WSJ article
discussing President Obama's plans to change law and tax offshore profits of
- Looking Ahead: Key earnings before the NYSE open include Boeing [BA];
Continental Airlines [CAL]; Freeport Mcmoran [FCX]; McDonalds [MCD]; Altria
[MO]; Morgan Stanley [MS]; Northrop [NOC]; Pepsi Bottling [PBG]; St Jude
medical [STJ]; AT&T [T]; Wells fargo [WFC]; Wellpoint [WLP]
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e April 17th: No expectations v -11.0%
- 7:30 (UK) Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers Budget Statement
- 8:00 (PD) Polish Mar Net Core inflation M/M: % v 0.2% prior; Y/Y: % v 2.4%e
- 8:00 (EU) ECB's Quaden to speak in Belgium
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian March Leading Indicators M/M; -0.85 expected v -1.1% prior
- 9:00 (US) Treasury Sec Geithner to speak in Washington
- 9:30 (BZ) Brazil March Current Account: -$600M expected v -$591M prior;
Foreign Investment $2.5B expected v $1.968M
- 10:00 (US) Feb House Price Index M/M: -0.7% expected v 1.7% prior
- (SA) South Africa holds national Elections
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