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Forex Blog - European Market Update: USD continues its soft tone in perhaps a critical week for its medium term trend outlook

Today 05:57am EST/09:57am GMT

European Market Update: USD continues its soft tone in perhaps a critical week for its medium term trend outlook



- Finland Jul Consumer Confidence: 8.4v 8.4 prior; Business Confidence: -27 v -32 prior

- (GE) German June Import Price Index M/M: 0.4% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: -11.3% v -11.0%e

- (GE) German Aug GfK Consumer Confidence Survey: 3.5 v 2.9e

- (CZ) Czech Jul Business Confidence: -7.5 v -9 prior; Consumer Confidence: -19.0 v -17 prior; Consumer & Business Confidence: -9.8 v -10.6 prior

- (SW) Swedish June Trade Balance (SEK): 17.3B v 9.0Be

- (SW) Swedish June Household Lending Y/Y: 7.7% v 7.9% prior

- (EU) Euro-Zone Jun Leading Indicators: +1.5% v +1.7% prior - Conference Board

- (TT) Taiwan June Leading Index M/M: 1.8% v 3.3% prior; Coincident Index M/M: 1.1% v 2.7% prior

- (EU) June Euro-Zone M3 Y/Y: 3.5% v 3.5%e; 3 mth ave. 4.1% v 4.0%e

- (HK) Hong Kong June Trade Balance -16.5B v -12.4Be; Exports Y/Y: -5.4% v -7.9%e; Imports Y/Y: -7.9% -12.5%e


- In equities news overnight: European equity markets opened sharply positive following Friday's mixed upside close (a result that snapped 9 straight positive closes across the main European bourses). Taking their motivation from equity out performance across
Asia, being led by the Nikkei225 that briefly topped Oct 2008 levels (above 10,170), strong earnings and positive sentiment boosted Europe's markets. Strong earnings from the Swiss bank and asset house Julius Baer [BAER.SZ] rallied asset management sector/financial sector, specifically those names that had seen weakness on the back of Swiss banking secrecy concerns. Strong earnings from printer Pearson [PSON.UK] and mail carrier TNT [TNT.NV] had similar sector effects. Earnings and updates from Ryanair [RYA.UK] and Wolsely [WOS.UK], both in trouble sectors (airlines, housing/home building) reflected on-going weakness in their sector. Following their strong open, European bourses generally trended lower through the session in another session with light economic data releases. Through 3:00EST and 4:00EST, equities trended lower with the FTSE continuing to under perform and trading in a choppy line above and below the unchanged mark. Following Friday's good volumes, equity trading again fell back to low summer numbers with the CAC, DAX and FTSE all trading below their depressed moving averages.

-In individual equities: Julius Baer [BAER.SZ] Reported H1 Net CHF324 above CHF290.2M estimates. Rev came in at CHF1.2B and in line with expectations of CHF1.2Be. Total Client Assets stand at CHF367B, consolidated AUM CHF299B (+9% y/y). BIS Tier 1 Ratio : 16.7%. Net interest income rose by 27% to CHF 281M thanks to higher average deposit levels as well as higher interest margins, and despite a slight decrease in lending to private clients. With foreign exchange trading income rising slightly and on the back of lower net income from equity trading, net trading income decreased by 7% y/y to CHF165M. || TNT [TNT.NV] Reported Q2 Net profit of €81Me below consensus of €99M. Rev came in at €2.5B and inline with expectations of €2.5B. It , proposed interim dividend of €0.18/shr. CEO commented that the trading environment continued to be tough this quarter. Through the quarter, the rate of decline of Express volumes has been stable, with a small upturn in the last weeks of June. || Ryanair [RYA.UK] Reported Q1 Adj Net €136.5M slightly above estimates of €132M., Rev €774.7M missed the €798M consensus. It Guided FY09 Net toward the lower end of €200-300M compared to €381.4M estimates. Limited visibility beyond next two months but expected passengers to be very price sensitive for rest of year. || Wolseley [WOS.UK] Provided trading statement: Reports Q1 Rev -16% y/y in constant currency terms. Outlook: New residential markets are showing signs of stabilization but are unlikely to recover quickly. RMI markets are continuing to decline albeit at a slower rate. Commercial and industrial markets are expected to decline at a faster rate. || Pearson [PSON.UK] Reported H1 Pretax £62.0M above £52.2M estimates with rev £2.4B slightly above the £2.3B estimates. Healthy outlook: Strong positions in growth markets combined with accelerating digital and services businesses underpin confidence for 2009 and beyond. || National Grid [NG.UK] Provided Interim Statement: Trading in line with expectations. Current trading in line with our expectations of a strong operational and financial performance in 2009/10. Sound financial position, Moody's credit ratings reaffirmed with stable outlook. || Barclays [BARC.UK] CEO Varley: Q2 earnings to be in line with Q1 report -Corriere della Sera. Article cites interview with the CEO. Estimates for Q2 are Rev £5.9Be. || Easy Jet [EZJ.UK] Is seen announcing revised expansion plan -Telegraph. Article sees carrier expanding fleet by 5-10%. || Friends Provident [FP.UK] Reject revised Resolution proposal. Board of Friends Provident rejected the proposal, as the terms and structure of the proposal remain wholly inadequate. The proposal involved Resolution acquiring Friends Provident for 0.82 of a Resolution share for each Friends Provident share, valuing Friends Provident at 74.6p a share at Friday's closing price. The proposal included a cash element of £500M. || Thales [HO.FR] Reported H1 Net €12M well below the €254.3M estimate Rev €5.74B were in line with €5.7B estimates. New orders booked in H1 €5.9B. Group took H1 net provision of €102M in regards to A400M. Guides FY09 EBIT 'in line with previous years'. Sees organic revenue growth and an order book at year's end close to approximately worth 2 years of revenue. || Danone [BN.FR] CEO stated that its H2 profit margin might not necessarily equal those levels seen in H1 -Le Figaro || EDF [EDF.FR] Indian based GMR Infrastructure may place bid for Eggborough -Times. Article notes that EDF's takeover of British Energy was dependent on a regulatory demanded sale of the 1.96MW site. ||VW [VOW.GE] Might raise up to €4B (4.8% of market cap) - FT. The capital raise could be part of Volkswagen's plan to buy Porsche. Also, Volkswagen's management wants to maintain the company's credit rating. || BWM [BMW.GE] Will be expanding operations with Daimler, merger, however, is not at option -wirtschaftswocke. Firms have been in supply chain negotiations for some time, seeking to lower costs by standardizing supplies. ||

Metro [MEO.GE] Might choose not to formally combine its Kaufhof store chain with Karstadt's outlets - Focus. If Metro does not combine the units, it would be able to avoid the antitrust process. Instead of integrating the stores, Metro may be able to rent them directly from the owner, Highstreet. Karstadt is operated by troubled retailer Arcandor. || Anheuser Busch [ABI.BE] Completed sale of Korean based Oriental Brewery for $1.8B. Reminder: On May 3 -Private equity firm KKR reportedly finalizing deal to purchase company's Korean assets for $1.8B - WSJ. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co is finalizing an agreement to buy Anheuser-Busch
InBev NV's South Korean brewer Oriental Brewery Co (OB) for about $1.8B, sources familiar with the situation said. || Anglo Platinum [AMS.SA] Provides interim results: H1 Rev ZAR17.2B v ZAR18Be. Equivalent refined platinum production of 1.24M ounces, up 10% and sales of 1.22M platinum ounces, up 9% on 1H 2008. Productivity measured as square metres mined per total operating employee per month up 12% to 6.04m² per employee in 1H 2009 compared to 5.38m² in 1H 2008. Total labour complement reduced by 8 903 since the end of December 2008. Increase in net debt to ZAR17.957B. ||

- Speakers:
India Junior Trade Min Scindia commented that the Apr-Jun exports declined by 19.6% compare to a previous quarter decline of 30.0. He noted that the country's exports to China might face curbs as China cited 'food safety' problems with Indian foods. Overall, the minister attributed the Indian export decline to the global economic slowdown and noted that both Indian Gov't and Central Bank (RBI) were monitoring the situation. Lastly, he did added that the Indian manufacturing industry was clearly showing signs of improvement || Japanese Opposition DPJ Party member commented that could issue deficit covering bonds if more stimulus is needed but was seeking to avoid the necessity of having to offer such bonds || BOE Asset Purchase Facility (APF) report noted that it had seen improvements in the UK corporate credit market. The report also stated that the Gilt yield rise seen during Q2 reflected an expectation for the long run interest rate path to be followed by BOE. It would keep eligible Gilts under review for APF|| Philippine Pres Arroyo stated that country was seeking improved tax collections and would raise/implement new 'sin taxes' on alcohol and tobacco products || Italy Debt chief noted that Italy would increase its 2009 issuance projection to €240B from €220B prior view. He cited its weak economy and declining tax revenues. || The Australia Trade Min: Not concerned about gains in Australian Dollar currency rate

- In Currencies: The USD maintained a soft tone against the European and commodity related pairs as the week began as firmer Asian equities and European markets coupled with firmer gold and oil weighed down the USD and JPY sentiment. Currency analysts were vocal in the session calling for a weaker USD. Goldman Sachs analysts noted that the cyclical risks were skewed towards weaker USD and added that they believe that the dollar would not rally until
US demand improved. Goldman reiterated their view that EUR/USD could test 1.45. Separately Bank of America stated that the USD would likely weaken this week and that EUR/USD could retest its last Dec highs of 1.4719. However, BOA noted that any lack of USD sell off would signal 'major shift'. This week will see that U.S. government action a record amount of paper this week should keep the USD on a downward bias. The EUR/USD just off its best level of 1.4270 as the NY morning approached. The Australia Trade Min stated that he was not concerned about gains in Australian Dollar FX rate. AUD/USD holding above the 0.82 level throughout the European morning. USD/CAD just above its key pivot point of 1.08

- In Energy/commodities: economic optimism helping to drive the price to the highest settlement for a front month contract since July 1st. Nippon Oil [5001.JP] To process 3.73M kiloliters in Aug, down 17% y/y due to weak demand

- In Fixed Income Supply: Government bonds have got off to a shaky start in Europe as a supply heavy week gets underway. Prices are lower and yield curves flatter in both
Germany and the UK, whilst Treasuries undergo a bout of bear steepening. Yields are probing their highest levels since the early June non-farm payroll induced sell off. The yield on the Bund is back above the 3.50% level, the 10y Gilt is yielding 3.982% whilst the 10y Note has reclaimed 3.70%. A decline in M3 figures for June provided little relief to the short end of the German yield curve with 2y Schatz under performing the rest of the market and its yield approaching 1.37%. Italy increased its 2009 issuance forecast by some €20B as a result of worsening economic conditions and declining tax receipts, but BTP's handled the news with typical resilience. Thanks to risk appetite 10y yield spreads have actually improved almost 3bps against Bunds to sit just below 86bps.

*** NOTES ***

- Normalized risk environment and USD weakness pretty much holding true throughout the European morning.

- The USD entering a pivotal week in terms of its medium term trend. US/China meets in
Washington DC.

- U.S. government action a record amount of paper this week

***Looking Ahead***

- 8:00 (HU) Hungary Base Rate Announcement: 50bps cut to 9.0% expected, current rate is 9.5%

- 9:30 (BR) Brazil June Current Account - Monthly $500M e v -$1738M prior

- 9:30 (BR) Brazil June Foreign Investment $1500M e v $2483M prior

- 10:00 (US) June New Home Sales: 352K e v 342K prior

- 10:00 (US) June New Home Sales M/M: 2.9%e v -0.6% prior

- 10:00 (US) Dallas Fed Manf. Activity: -11.0% e v -20.4% prior

- 10:30 (IS) Israeli Base Rate Announcement: Expected to maintain its interest rate at the current level of 0.50%

- 12:00 (FR) French June Total Jobseekers" No estimates v 2543.1 prior; Net Change: 40Ke v 36.4K prior

- (US) US/China Economic Talks commence in Washington


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