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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Safe Haven flows helps USD recover from recent weak trend; North Korea launches another short-term missile

Today 06:00am EST/10:00am GMT

European Market Update: Safe Haven flows helps USD recover from recent weak trend; North Korea launches another short-term missile


- (MA) Malaysian Central Bank leaves Overnight Rate unchanged at 2.00%; As expected

- (SI) Singapore Apr Industrial Production M/M: 24.7% v 6.3%e ; Y/Y: -0.5% v -21.0%e

- (FI) Finland Apr Unemployment rate: 8.8% v 8.6%e

- (GE) German Q1 Final GDP Q/Q: -3.8% v -3.8%e; Y/Y WDA: -6.9% v -6.9%e; Y/Y NSA: -6.7% v -6.7%e

- (GE) German Import Price Index M/M: -0.8% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: -8.6% v -7.7%e

- (GE) German June GFK Consumer Confidence Survey: 2.5 v 2.5e

- (SZ) Swiss Apr UBS Consumption Indicator: 0.922 v 0.991 prior

- (FR) French April Consumer Spending M/M: 0.7% v -0.3%e; Y/Y: 0.6% v 1.2%e

- (SP) Spain March Mortgages on Houses Y/Y: -25.5% v -36.7% prior, Mortgages on Capital Loaned: -26.7% v -37.2% prior

- (SZ) Swiss Q1 Employment Level: 3.957M v 3.920Me; Y/Y: 0.8% v -0.1%e

- (NE) Netherlands May Producer Confidence: -17.3 v -16.8e

- (SW) Swedish Apr Unemployment Rate: 8.3% v 8.3%e

- (IT) Italian Apr Trade Balance Non EU: -€76.0M v -€700Me

- (EU) Mar ECB Euro-zone Current Account: -€6.5B v -€8.1B prior, NSA: -€3.5B v -€2.3B prior

- (PD) Polish Apr Retail Sales M/M: 5.0% v 4.0%e; Y/Y: 1.0% v -0.1%e

- (PD) Polish Apr Unemployment Rate: 11.0% v 11.2%e

- (HK) Hong Kong Apr Trade Balance (HKD): -16.4B v -11.8Be

- (EU) Mar Industrial New Orders M/M: -0.8% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: -26.9% v -30.6%e

- (IC) Iceland May CPI M/M: 1.1% v 0.5%e, Y/Y: 11.6% v 11.9% prior

- (SA) South African Q1 GDP (Annualized): -6,4% v -3.9%e; Y/Y: -1.3% v -0.2%e; First recession in 17 years


- In equities: -In equities: Europe returned to a full trading session on a heavy tone following sharply negative pre-market trading. In yesterdays light session (ex US and UK) markets, the CAC and DAX eked out slight gains in the last 30min of trade following a choppy and thin session that was characterized by risk aversion. Those slight gains were surrendered on today's open with the DAX the leading under performer. In the pre-market, Germany released its Q1 final GDP at -3.8% as expected. This number, while in line with expectations placed significant weight on German exporters with Daimler [DAI.GE], Siemens [SIE.GE] and Salzgitter [SZG.GE] trading lower. Following announcements of its first rights issue in 22 years, Danone [BN.FR] led the CAC to the downside followed by financials and some mixed cyclical names. Returning to trading for the first time since Friday, the FTSE joined its continental peers by opening negative on mixed sector results. Detailed commentary out of Rio Tinto's [RIO.UK] iron ore unit provided some context for hope in the sector but clearly outlined the overly pressures seen in the mineral sector. Shares of Rio opened to the downside but other FTSE mineral names led the upside including Xstrata [XTA.UK] and Eurasian [ENRC.UK]. Equity markets continued their heavy tone through the European morning, themes built on the low German GDP data and geo-political tensions following additional N Korean missile launches. These actions led to a stronger dollar and declines in European equities, oil and gold as the Dollar index snapped a multi-week decline. By 5:00EST, equity markets consolidated at their lows with the FTSE -1% and the CAC and DAX off by approx 1.5%. Volumes continued to be light across the board in Europe with the CAC trading 64% below its 30 day average.

- In individual equity news: Rio Tinto [RIO.UK] Iron Ore Head Walsh: In March iron ore exports rose by 19.6% m/m; Positive medium-term outlook for markets; Spot ore prices have "hit a floor" . Signs of improvement evident in recent data from China. || Danone [BN.FR] Plans to raise €3B in a rights offering (14.8% of market cap); Reiterates 2009 forecast for SSS growth of a few points below the medium-term objective of 8-10%. The company plans to use the proceeds to lower its debt levels. Danone also plans to push back some of its planned asset sales until market conditions improve, including the sale of its 25% stake in China Huiyuan Juice. COO Faber said the offering may dilute net earnings per share by up to 10%. Note: This will be the company's first rights offering in 22 years. || Credit Agricole [ACA.FR] May reportedly request a delay in implementing Italian antitrust conditions for its stake in Intesa Sanpaolo. || Freenet [FNT.GE] To sell DSL unit to United Internet for €123M in cash and stock. Price for DSL business is payable in €70M in cash and 4.58M in United Internet shares. || Deutsche Bank [DBK.GE] CEO Ackermann: Investment Banking remains groups most important business; Bank must raise €16B in 2009, of which half has already been met. Sees a difficult year ahead, economy flattening before improving. Bank has opportunity to emerge stronger from crisis. || ArcelorMittal [MT.NV] To issue 4 and 7y Euro denominated bonds. 4-year yield indicated at 8.50%, 7-year yield indicated at 9.63%. ||

- Speakers: ECB's Nowotny commented that recent financial market indicators show easing tensions. He also reiterated the view that liquidity could be rapidly absorbed at the appropriate time ||Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway) commented that Norwegian Banks losses continue to rise and thus require more capital to improve access to funding. Weak NOK currency could soften impact of crisis on exporters as the economy was likely to contract further. The central bank noted that considerable uncertainty remains on potential bank losses ||

|| India Fin Min Mukherjee commented that his country's economic fundamentals remain strong and that were was scope for more economic liberalization. The Indian revenue deficit should be cut as soon as possible. He did note that it had to deviate from debt management due to global economic crisis. Problems of export sector have to be addressed and adequate attention needed towards infrastructure || A PBOC 'source' commented that the USD remained a safer, better bet than other currencies as reserve vehicle. || German Building Assoc sees 2009 Nominal Sales -3.0% v 0.0% prior view. It forecasted 2010 Sales would shrink by a nominal 2% to 4%. ||

- In Currencies: The US was broadly firmer against the European pairs as the market participants returned from holiday. Currency dealers taking notice of recent price movement in EUR/USD pair and the Russian Central bank action. Dealers noted that the Russian Central Bank (CBR) has been trying to prevent the RUB from strengthening. Thus CBR doing everything to slow or prevent RUB from strengthening implies lots of Euros to be bought. The Russian GDP data gave the dealers some ammunition to counter recent Ruble demand. Overall USD short covering have been evident in early Europe. North Korea's continued to defiance despite Western pressure was a source of safe haven demand and Monday's article on continued appetite for U.S. Treasuries from China will temper aggressive dollar sales.

- Also helping to keep the Euro above the 1.40 level was a Telegraph article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard regarding the German debt outlook (see our credit crisis paragraph for more details. As the NY morning approached the EUR/USD as below the 1.39 level, GBP/USD retreated back below 1.58 and USD/CHF regained some composure above 1.09. The JPY maintained a firm tone. Dealers noted that Japan May retail investor sentiment came in with its best reading since Sept 2007. at -16 versus -20 seen back in April

-In Fixed Income: With the market facing $101B in new treasuries and over €20B in European Government Bonds supply over the course of the week, uncertainty on the geopolitical front and a generally risk averse sentiment amongst investors has provided a much needed boost to Government bonds this morning. UST's are seeing most of the upside and outperforming Bunds and Gilts. The yield on the 10y Note is down by about 3bps and to 3.423%, the yield on the Bund is lower by about 1bps to 3.59% with the 10y Gilt yield also lower by 1bps at 3.71%. Euribor fixings continued to increase with 3 Month rising by another basis point to 1.27%. The flood of corporste issuance is yet to subside with a 2 part EUR denominated offering from Arcelor Mittal being planned and a €400M 6y issue from Air Liquide in the works

- I n Energy: Saudi king: No need to liquidate any State investments; sees quick rebound in global economy and sign of rising demand for oil || Nigeria is reportedly looking to reopen the Ogoniland wells. Oil production was halted in Ogoniland in 1993 when Shell was forced to end its operations due to protests over pollution and lack of development. || According to the National Energy Administration, China's annual growth in the apparent consumption of crude oil is expected to slow to 3.9% from 5.1% in 2008 || French Pres Sarkozy: Sustained low oil prices could lead to future price shocks ||

- Credit Crisis: Telegraph's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard article on the German debt outlook. Article noted that Germany's financial regulator (BaFin) has stated that the toxic debts of the country's banks would blow up "like a grenade" unless they utilize the government's bad bank plans. BaFin President commented that the danger is a series of "brutal" downgrades of mortgage securities by the rating agencies, which would eat into the capital reserves of the banks and cause broader stress across the credit system. || Reportedly German government agrees on third stimulus package. Frankfurter Rundschau reports that CDU's parliamentary chief volker Kauder and Peter Struck, the SPD's parliamentary leader have agreed on a debt financed tax-relief package amounting to €3B

*** NOTES ***

- Trade volumes picking up following US and UK holidays on Monday

- North Korea: Preparing for more missile launches (Two more in today's European session so far)

- Dealers cite some safe-haven flows aiding the USD in the session with North Korea concerns providing the catalyst. Russian and Norwegian comments on economy also complemente USD purchase.

- Saudi Oil Min: OPEC not expected to change production at its May meeting.

- Singapore Apr Industrial Output beat expectations with +24.7% m/m, -0.5% y/y

- Telegraph: German Banks toxic debt will" blow up like a grenade" unless bad bank plan is taken advantage of.

- South Australian State Treasurer: Expect to lose AAA rating

- Looking Ahead:

- 9:00 (BE) Belgium May Business Confidence: -27.1 expected versus -29.4 prior

- 9:00 (US) Q1 S&P Case Shiller US HPI: 140.7 expected v 139.1 prior, Y/Y: -18.7% expected v -18.2% prior

- 9:30 (BR) Brazil Apr Current Account: $475M expected versus $1.65B prior; Foreign Investment: $2.3B expected versus $1.44B prior

- 10:00 (US) May Consumer Confidence: 42.6 expected v 39.2 prior

- 10:00 (US) Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -6 expected v -9 prior;

- 10:30 (US) Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity: -22.1% expected v -31.6% prior

- 11:00 (US) Fed to repurchase TIPS

- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $40B in new 2-year Notes


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