- 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
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 â‚¬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 â‚¬123M in cash and stock. Price
for DSL business is payable in â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬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 â‚¬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.
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $40B in new 2-year Notes
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