In equities: European equities futures took their direction from a
positive Asian session. Worse than expected German prelim GDP at
2:00EST provided a strong positive pop as US and German futures moved
to their best levels before paring those gains. Premarket strength
followed through into the equity open with the second consecutive
positive open on all three bourses. Financials dominated the news flow
once again, strong earnings from Italian banks [ISP.IT], [BP.IT],
[BMPS.IT] and news that Barclays [BARC.UK] was shopping its asset
management unit led the outperformance. Comments from Commerzbank
[CBK.GE] that it would not be interested in participating in German bad
bank scheme and that Deutsche Post [DPW.GE] had completed its placement
of Deutsche Bank [DBK.GE] provided strength to the German financial
names. Utilities and industrials led underperforms and by 3:15EST,
weakness in specifically German industrials [EOAN.GE], [BMW.GE] had
dragged the DAX into negative territory following the strong open. As
the reality of the German and French GDP numbers, both lower than
expected began to weigh on traders, markets continued to trend south
with the CAC hitting neg territory by 3:20EST joining the DAX. Equity
markets continued their volatile fluctuation through the Euroepan
morning as the CAC and FSTE scraped to hold on to pos levels while the
DAX lagged below the unchanged mark. Continued lower than expected GDP
figures out of the Euro zone and Hong Kong were taken in stride and
further easing in Euribor rates just past 5:00ESTcorresponsed with a
significant equity lift. At that time the DAX moved out of neg
territory aided by rumors of a potential offer for Man Ag [MAN.GE] by
rival VW [VOW.GE] and continued financial outperformance. At this time
the CAC and FTSE tested their intersession trading level highs.
In individual equities:-Barclays [BARC.UK] In negotiations regarding
the sale of Barclays Global Investors (BGI) for at least â‚¬6B - FTD.
Possible bidders for the asset management unit include BlackRock.
||Viviendi [VIV.FR] Reports Q1 Net â‚¬650M v â‚¬707.8Me, Rev â‚¬6.5B v
â‚¬6.6Be; Affirms outlook. Revenue at Universal Music flat y/y. Digital
sales +27% y/y. SFR mobile churn rate 11.5% v 16% y/y. ADSL churn rate
15% v 20% y/y. CFO: We can see some impact of the recession on our
activities, but most are protected by subscriptions. Revenue increase
was driven notably by the acquisitions of fixed-line operator Neuf
Cegetel and Activision. || Severstal [CHMF.RU] Reports Q1 Net loss
$644M (incl items) v loss $224Me, Rev $2.80B v $2.93Be. Q1 net loss
includes $381M pre-tax foreign exchange loss. Q1 Capex $265M, 'in line'
with $1B full yr guidance. || Banco Popolare [BP.IT] Reports Q1 Net
â‚¬219M v â‚¬128.7Me, Rev â‚¬1.08B v â‚¬900.7Me. Q1 interest income â‚¬532M
(-3.5% y/y). Q1 net commissions â‚¬218.9M v â‚¬296.8M y/y . Q1 net
wirte-downs on impairments â‚¬132.9M, provisions for risks and charges at
â‚¬15.9M. || AngloGold Ashanti [ANG.SA] Reports Q1 Production of 1.1M oz,
Adj Net ZAR1M v loss ZAR11.9B -6% y/y. Reaffirms FY production of
4.9M-5.0M oz. Q1 cash costs at $445/oz. Q1 hedge book commitments -154K
tonns y/y. Guides Q2 production at 1.14M oz. Guides Q2 production costs
at $465/oz. ||Commerzbank [CBK.GE] CEO: Reiterates all guidance for
FY09, have seen some signs of stabilization, no signs of normalization.
|| Deutsche Bank [DPW.GE] Reportedly has placed up to 50% of its stake
in Deutsche Bank, to have earned approx â‚¬100M. Reminder: Lock up period
for next 50% tranche set to expire June 15, 2009. ||
Speakers: ECB's Nowotny coomented that there was no divergence among
ECB council members in regards to the recent policy decisions on rates
and Quantitative measures. He believed covered bond program's size and
time were adequate || IMF's Strauss Kahn commented that he remained
concerned about the overall banking sector. He stressed that any
economic recovery would not take root until banks' balance sheets are
'cleansed' . He did noted that economic 'green shoots' are appearing
'everywhere' but stressed caution that downside risks remain
significant for forecast of recovery in H1 2010. Believes we could hit
'floor' for economy after this summer. Risks in Central Europe are
manageable. || IMF's Vinals cautioned of a potential "spring frost" in
the global financial crisis. He urged continued action on addressing
financial issues and needs to update and enforce financial system
regulations || ECB's Sramsko commented that that the ECB continues to
be fully 'in agreement' on its ongoing operations regarding
non-standard tools. || BoE's Besley commented that the current period
of de-globalization is underway and added that it was difficult to know
if process is only temporary || Polish PM Tusk commented that it was
difficult to maintain Polish deficit at previously planned levels ||
Norwegian Gov't stated that it saw its overall fiscal stimulus at 3% of
GDP and its underlying inflation level at 2.4% in 2009 . The Gov't
commented that it did not expect severe downturn in Norway || Hong Kong
Gov't revises 2009 GDP estimate lower to -5.5% to -6.5% range versus
prior view of -2.0% to -3.0%
- In Currencies: The slew
of European data prompted some initial risk aversion flows. The USD and
JPY currencies firmed against their European counterparts as various
GDP data continued to hurt sentiment. Several large European economies
saw some sharp downward revisions in prior months of data. USD/JPY
finally was able to break below the 95.00 level where alleged option
barrier lurked. Dealer chatter about an aggressive EUR/JPY option plays
with a 3-month 110 strike position going through the market.
- The EUR/USD grinded lower in the session as the GDP was released but continues to hold its weekly trading range.
Fixed Income: Fixed Income maintained a steady to firm tone during the
European morning following the various European GDP reports. US
Treasury's were mixed in European trading as equity markets remain
steady. US Yield curve flattened a bit with the 2-year/10-year
benchmark spread narrowing by 2bps to 222bps.
Energy: WSJ "Heard on the Street" discussed the correlation of Oil
prices to the broader S&P500 equity index as it has risen to 70%,
as crude has become less sensitive to energy sector specific
fundamentals. The article cited that oil prices are ignoring bullish
decline in weekly inventories and bearish forecast from IEA
Credit crisis: China's PBOC's Gov Zhou commented that the global
financial crisis could no longer be resolved by the G7 along.
*** NOTES ***
- The session saw a slew of Euro-zone and some Asian GDP figures and
the results were not pretty. Both headline numbers and back month
revisions were very negative. German GDP was the lowest reading on
record since 1970.
- Hong Kong Government sharply revises lower it 2009 GDP forecast
- US morning will see a steady flow of data with CPI, TIC flow and Michigan sentiment as the highlights
Temasek sells its stake in Bank of America [BAC] for a loss of around
$3.8B. Dealers were noting that Temasek used the proceeds to buy some
of BoAs sale of its China Construction Bank stake. Belief is "the world
is not so American centric anymore. Chinese economy and consumer will
be the drivers so might as well load up on Chinese banks than American
- PBOC: Minor adjustments to monetary policy possible.
- IMF reiterates that key to global recovery remain properly addressing the toxic assets at banks.
- ECB continues to try reassure the markets that there is no dissent among the ranks in terms of its non-standard measures.
- Looking Ahead: JC Penny [JCP] to report before the NY opening bell
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil May FGV Inflation IGP-10: M/M: 0.2% expected versus -0.7% prior
- 8:00 (PD) Polish Mar Trade Balance: -â‚¬485M expected versus -â‚¬142M prior; Current Account: â‚¬400M expected versus â‚¬525M prior
- 8:30 (CL) Chile Apr Copper Exports: No estimate versus $1.45B prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Mar Manufacturing Shipment M/M: 1.0% expected versus 2.2% prior
8:30 (US) Apr Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.0% expected versus -0.1%
prior; Y/Y: -0.6% expected versus -0.4% prior; CPI NSA: 213.313
expected versus 212.709 prior
- 8:30 (US) Apr CPI Ex Food& Energy M/M: 0.1% expected versus 0.2%; Y/Y: 1.8% expected versus 1.8% prior prior
- 8:30 (US) May Empire Manufacturing: -12.0 expected versus -14.7 prior
9:00 (US) Mar Net Long Term TIC Flows: $35.0B expected versus $22.0B
prior; Total Net TIC Flows: No estimate versus -$97.0B prior
9:15 (US) Apr Industrial Production: -0.6% expected versus -1.5% prior;
Capacity Utilization: 68.8% expected versus 69.3% prior
- 9:15 (US) Fed Fisher to speak at Texas Bankers Association
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Central Bank interest rate decision: Expected to cut its Overnight rate by 75bps to 5.25% from 6.00% prior
- 10:00 (US) Map Preliminary University of Michigan Confidence: 67.0 expected versus 65.1 prior
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