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Forex Blog - European Market Update: BoE lowers its economic growth outlook; Euro Zone Industrial Production registers its largest annual decline on record

Today 06:06am EST/10:06am GMT

European Market Update: BoE lowers its economic growth outlook; Euro Zone Industrial Production registers its largest annual decline on record


- (RU) Russian Central Bank cuts Refi rate by 50bps to 12.0%; Not expected

- (FR) French Mar Current Account: -€2.0B v -€2.0B prior

- (FR) French Apr CPI M/M: 0.2% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 0.2% v 0.2%e

- (FR) CPI - EU Harmonized M/M: 0.1% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 0.1% v 0.2%e; CPI Ex Tobacco Index: v 118.07e

- (SP) Spain April Consumer Price Index M/M: 1.0% v 1.0%e; Y/Y: -0.2% v -0.1%e

- (SP) Spain Apr CPI Core M/M: 1.2% v 1.0%e; Y/Y: 1.3% v 1.2%e

- (SP) CPI (EU Harmonized) M/M: 1.0% v 1.0%e; Y/Y: -0.2% v -0.1%e

- (SW) Sweden Q1 Industry Capacity: 78.1% v 83.1% prior

- (EU) Euro-zone Industrial Production M/M: -2.0% v -1.0%e; Y/Y: -20.2% v -17.6%e; Largest annual decline on record

- (RU) Russia Apr Official Reserves: $383.9B v 383.9B prior

- (UK) Bank of England quarterly Inflation Report: Sees relatively slow recovery and CPI staying below 2% target

- (SA) South Africa Mar Retail Sales Constant Y/Y: -5.3% v -5.5%e


- In another heavy equity news driven pre-market, European bourses opened broadly positive on strong Q1 and FY08 earnings reports out of the UK [CPG.UK], [LGEN.UK], German [EOAN.GE], [SDF.GE] and French [EDF.FR], [DEXB.BE] firms. In initial trading, markets seemed poised to show a return to positive momentum with all three bourses pushing to above +0.5%. This momentum could not be sustained and weakness in financials and material names drove weight into trading and by 3:15EST European markets had turned negative in a sharp downward line. Financial names had produced mixed results in the pre-market with ING [INGA.NV] reporting below expectations while Dexia [DEXB.BE] and UniCredit [UCG.IT] at first glance provided more positive results. Chatter regarding an FT article noting the possibility that US sovereign credit ratings (currently AAA) could be at a long term risk due to inflating health and senior care costs drifted negative sentiment out of Fx trades and into equities in the financial and insurance sector. Markets searched for direction and tempo throughout the morning session as exchanges bounced above and below the unchanged mark repeatedly. By 4:30EST, markets caught a bid with the CAC40 outperforming and printing new highs +0.5%. Sector performance continued its erratic and divergent tone with individual equities responding to specific news rather than general trends, financial names being the best representatives of this behavior. At 5:00EST markets shrugged off disappointing Euro-zone industrial production (March), and continued a slow movement higher.

- In individual equities: E.On [EOAN.GE] Reports Q1 Net €2.5B v €1.8Be, Rev €25.9B v €24.7Be; Confirms FY09 outlook/forecast. Reiterates commitment to London Array project. Expects cost savings measures to be 'partially realized' in FY09 (targeting €1.5B), net debt at end of Q1 at €45B. || Unicredit [UCG.IT] Reports Q1 Net €447M v €438Me, Net interest income €4.65B v €4.61Be. Core tier 1 ratio 6.38% as of end March (ex gov support), Q1 Net commissions €1.85B v €1.85Be, Q1 operating costs -2.8% y/y, Q1 gross impaired loans on book €44.8M, provisions for risk charges €68M, Q1 net write downs €1.65B, Q1 trading loss €93M v €683M y/y. || ING [INGA.NV] Reports Q1 Net loss €793M v loss €524Me, Underlying net loss €305M v loss €170Me. Pre-tax impairments, fair value changes, DAC unlocking and other impacts €1.71B. Divestments and special items totalled €488M bringing the quarterly net loss to €793M. Key capital and leverage ratios within target; Tier 1 ratio 9.7% and core tier 1 ratio 7.5%. || Telefonica [TEF.SP] Reports Q1 Net profit €1.69B v €1.7Be, OIBDA €5.35B v €5.3Be, Rev €13.70B v €13.7Be. Reaffirms FY09 guidance, Q1 net debt declined to €42.25B, Q1 results helped by rise in Latin American sales. || Sainsbury [SBRY.UK] Reports FY08 Adj Pretax £543M v £537Me, Rev £20.4B v £19.0Be, LFL sales (ex fuel) +4.5% y/y. Accelerated growth of convenience chain with 50 new stores planned in 2009/10 and 100 in 2010/11. || Land Securities [LAND.UK] Reports FY09 Net loss £5.19B v loss £4.95Be, Rev £821.2M v £749Me. Expects market conditions to remain challenging in weak economic environment. Sees rising vacancies and weaker rental values putting pressure on rental income. States 2008 saw the most rapid declines in property values group has ever seen, Net debts at £3.92B (-£1.46B y/y). || EDF [EDF.FR] Reports Q1 R€21B v €18.3B y/y ; affirms 2009 targets with moderate EBITDA growth. Q1 organic sales +12.5% y/y, does not see FY09 net exceeding FY08 levels. Reiterates plans to sell assets of up to €5B by 2010. || K+S [SDF.GE] Reports Q1 Op Profit €174M v €194Me, Rev €1.08B v €925Me. - FY09 outlook remains unchanged with revenues down markedly y/y and significantly lower operating EBIT and adj earnings after tax y/y. ||Dexia [DEXB.BE] Reports Q1 Net €251M v €189.5M, Rev €1.70B v €1.5B y/y. Tier 1 ratio 10.7% v 11.2% y/y, Q1 Writedowns €419M, US RMBS exposure $718M, CMBS exposure 172M.

- In speakers, the BoE quarterly inflation indicated a relatively slow recovery and CPI staying below target until 2012. According to the report, the economy will be aided by the stimulus plan and sterling, although any recovery will be hindered by continued squeeze on credit conditions. The UK and global economies remain vulnerable to further shocks.

|| Polish Central Banker Czekaj commented that inflation poses a lesser risk at this time due to economic downturn. He did note that additional interest rate cuts are possible. The Czech economy would struggle to achieve 1.1% GDP growth and stay could contract in 2009. || Economist Stiglitz stated that the US economic recovery would be slower than expected as globalization has spread the economic problems abroad || German Fin Min Steinbrueck: Interbank lending still faces weak confidence. He noted that Germany sought to pass its bad bank legislation by summer recess and that the plan targets about €200B in toxic assets. The Bundesbank would provide liquidity against bad bank loans. He noted that the plan for bad bank would be voluntary and expected Bad Bank to operate as holding model for bank assets.

- In currencies, sterling was softer following the BoE quarterly inflation report. Dealers noting that overall the new growth estimates were weaker than the central bank's last report back in Feb. GBP/USD fell from 1.5310 to 1.5170 in the aftermath of the BOE report which questioned the durability of any UK economic recovery. GBP/JPY off 150 pips at 145.70 after testing 148 earlier today. EUR/USD hovered around the 1.37 mark for the majority of the session but was unable to take out the highs of 1.3740 from its March trading period. The yen was firmer across the board. FX chartists are noting of potential H&S formation in pair referring to a pattern developed since early. Dealers noting that a break of 96.30 level seen violating the neckline with measured move objective of 500 bps to 91.30 area. Recent currency moves not to the central bank expectations. With a stronger JPY and CHF, dealers noted that in the past both the SNB and BOJ had previously expressed some concerns over their currency appreciation. Against the USD at this time, both the JPY and CHF are at near term critical levels that would provide some momentum for additional appreciation of the respective currencies.

- In fixed income, US Treasuries have under performed Gilts and Bunds in Europe with traders taking notice of an FT report stating the US AAA rating could be under threat as a result of its fiscal profligacy. The short end of the US yield curve has also been offered for most of the morning after John Talyor, architect of the Taylor rule, stated that according to his reasoning a Fed rate hike should be imminent.. The Bank of England's gloomy quarterly inflation report lifted Gilts significantly higher, dragging Bunds and Treasuries along the way . In supply Portugal sold €750M 15s with results with stronger than in the previous auction. After yesterdays enormous €11B in corporate supply was priced , only MAN AG is set to tap debt markets thus far today with a 2 part benchmark offering in the works. Fixed-income futures took a bid following the BoE quarterly inflation report and the lowered UK growth outlook. June Gilts up over 80 pips as it approaches the 120 handle while the Bund futres firmed by 30 ticks and approached the 121 neighborhood.

- In credit crisis news, an ECB report noted that unsecured and covered bonds are being forced to compete with government guaranteed instruments. The report noted that just how guaranteed and non-guaranteed instruments co-exist would be the key to whether the funding markets eventually reopen. Orderly restarting of bond market was very closely tied with exit strategies from the crisis and long-term prospects for bank funding. The ECB noted that banks remained pessimistic about funding market recovery; the report commented that it could take years for funding market to normalize.

*** NOTES ***

- Euro Zone Mar Industrial Production registered its largest annual decline on record

- Mixed economic signals from China as industrial order rise less than expected, but retail sales slightly beat consensus. Both series of data did rise.

- Former Fed Chair Greenspan: Currently seeing indications of 'seeds of bottoming' in the housing market

- US RealtyTrac: April Foreclosures at 342K, up 1% M/M; highest since the series began back in Jan 2005

- Intel positive guidance after the close.

- US Treasury Department set to unveil which of the 104 funds that have applied to become legacy-security managers

- Looking Ahead:

- 6:00 (CZ) Czech Republic to sell Apr 2012 Floaters

- 6:10 (PO) Portugal to sell €750M 4.95% 2023 Bonds

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e May 8th: No expectations v 2.0% prior

- 8:00 (IC) Iceland Apr Unemployment rate: No estimate versus 8.9% prior

- 8:30 (CA) Canadian New motor Vehicle Sales M/M: 6.0% expected v -2.2% prior

- 8:30 (US) April Import Price Index M/M: 0.6% expected versus 0.5% prior; Y/Y: -16.8% expected versus -14.9% prior

- 8:30 (US) April Advance Retail Sales: 0.0% expected versus -1.2% prior; Ex Autos: +0.2% expected versus -1.0% prior

- 9:00 (US) Treasury Sec Geithner to speak in Washington

- 10:00 (US) March Business Inventories: -1.1% expected versus -1.3% prior

- 10:30 (US) DoE Crude Oil/Gasoline/Distillate Inventories

- 10:30 (US) Fed's Plosser (non voting) speaks in Atlanta

- 12:00 (US) Fed's Lockhart speaks in Jekyll Island


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