- In equities: May day celebrations bring a holiday to Deutsche Bourse and NYSE
Euronext. In the absence of continental trading the London Stock Exchange
trades alone on little fresh earnings news. US futures rallied back to the
unchanged mark just prior to the London
open, but the FTSE100 Still opened to the downside, snapping a two day pos open
streak. Financial names led the downside, specifically insurance names
including Old Mutual (OML.UK) and Prudential (PRU.UK) on the back of poor US
insurance Q1 reports in the New York
post market yesterday afternoon (MET). Utilities and energy names held on to
gains in early trading at oil in electronic trading, while in negative
territory, remains above the $50/bbl handle. Just after the abbreviated
European open, Citi announced the finalization of their Nikko Cordial Japanese
Brokerage to Sumitomo for $7.9B. In light trading (approx 42% below its 30 day
average), the FTSE100 turned positive by 4:00EST and then again negative just
past 5:00EST. UK Data including PMI, mortgage approvals and Q1 individual and
corporate liquidations had little net effect on equity trading patterns as the
majority of European firms enjoyed the continental European holiday.
- In Specific equity news: UK FASB reportedly close to new regulation regarding
'off balance sheet' assets for UK
banks. Chairman Herz has noted the Financial Acounting Standards Board is close
to new decision that could add up to billions of new assets to books that are
currently not listed. ||Vodafone [VOD.UK] Threatens legal action against
Telecom NZ regarding 3G network launch. NZ Telecom has stated that it is in
full compliance with its terms of Spectrum License. Vodafone states that NZ
telecom's network is causing interference on its on platform. || Pearson
[PSON.UK] Provides interim statement: Reports Q1 Rev Â£1B v Â£800M y/y; sees
trading in line with expectations. || Siemens [SIE.GE] Reportedly awarded
INR13.8B order form Adani Power, to install 2.5K MW high voltage direct current
transmission system. || UBS [UBSN.SZ] Tells Miami
judge that it would violate Swiss criminal law to comply with the demands of
the US tax
authority on disclosing its clients. Spokesperson: "The summons is
incompatible with the tax treaty between the United
States and Switzerland,
which provides specific standards for government-to-government exchanges of information
relating to tax matters." || Citi [C] Sumitomo Mitsui agrees to purchase
Citi's Nikko Cordial Securities for total cash value of Â¥774.5B ($7.9B). Cash
consideration of transaction put at Â¥545B ($5.4B). Citi states that deal will
generate up to $2.5B in tangible common equity. Deal to include payments of
$28.5B in equity securities, $201B in cash. Citi expected to recognize an
after-tax loss of approximately $200M. ||
- In Currencies: The session began with another bout of risk appetite as both
the USD and JPY currencies maintained soft tones. Initially, the China Apr PMI
data was cited as the catalyst. China's
PMI Manufacturing registered its second consecutive month of expansion and
provides further evidence of recent government and central banker rhetoric of
"green shoots". The rotation out of bonds and into equities are also
suggesting a growing optimism that the worst of the global recession has past.
- The UK data
also suggested some improvement as UK PMI manufacturing and mortgage approval
hit levels since last summer. The GBP was firmer against its major pairs with
GBP/USD back above the 1.48 level and GBP/JPY inching towards 148.
- The CAD continued its firm tone and was again probing its 200-day mvg avg of
-In Fixed Income: US Treasury's hover close to unchanged in holiday-thinned
electronic trading Friday. Dealers noted that activity was extremely light with
major European markets closed for the May Day holiday, while the UK
participants were preparing to be closed Monday.
- Credit Crisis: Sweden's
Fin Min Borg comments on US banking bailout efforts. Borg expressed doubts that
it could work. Believes that U.S.
officials should confront the financial industry's political power and seize
temporary ownership of troubled banks. Otherwise, error-prone bankers will be
bailed out at taxpayer expense. Article noted that during a crisis in the early
1990s, Sweden successfully
rehabilitated its banking system via temporary nationalization. The government
divided the industry into healthy banks and troubled institutions. It pumped
capital into the healthy ones, while punishing their shareholders, and held
onto the troubled assets until their values recovered. Borg stated that their
approach better protected taxpayers than the current U.S.
*** NOTES ***
- Risk appetite continues to receive booster shots. China Official Apr PMI
Manufacturing came in at 53.5 compared to its prior reading of 52.4. This was
its highest level since Apr 2008 and the second consecutive month of expansion.
The European PMI in Ireland,
UK and Denmark
also were better that prior releases.
- Sumitomo Mitsui agrees to purchase Citi's Nikko Cordial Securities for Â¥545B
- Stress tests release delayed by a few days as banking executives debate
preliminary findings with Federal examiners
- Obama might get an early pick for the US Supreme Court as Souter seeks to
- Looking ahead:
-10:00 (US) April Final U. of Michigan Confidence: 61.9 expected versus prior
- 10:00 (US) April ISM Manufacturing: 38.4 versus prior 36.3; Prices Paid: 34.0
expected versus 31.0
- 10:00 (US) March Factory Orders: -0.6% versus prior -1.8%
- No set time (US) Apr Total vehicle sales expected at 9.7M versus 9.9M prior;
Domestic sales expected 7.1M versus 7.1M prior
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