- In equities news overnight: European equity markets opened bid following a broadly negative session on Wednesday. Asian trading provided a mixed picture and cautious guidance commentary out of US tech giant Cisco [CSCO] provided a drag to equity exuberance. As seen throughout the weak, equities in Europe took cheer from Q2/H1 earnings releases. Strong earnings from the financial sector buoyed that segment, earnings out of Commerzbank [CBK.GE] and KBC [KBC.BE], while mixed, presented a clear improvement from Q1 results while earnings out of Hannover Re [HNR1.GE] and Zurich Financial [ZURN.SZ] were broadly positive. In consumer names, giant Unilever [UNA.NV] reported slightly light of expectations but posted solid margin, volume and pricing increases (those metrics analysts were most focused on). In choppy trading, equities pushed higher into 4:00EST. Past 4:00EST, Commerzbank conference comments regarding net interest levels remaining flat and projected increases in provisions for retail unit rapidly sent shares negative and brought the broader German integrated financial sector lower. Mixed results from a Spanish auction at 4:30EST furthered the drag on equity markets. While still remaining positive, markets fell rapidly from their best levels. Through 5:00EST, all three main European bourses printed strong volumes well ahead of summer averages with the FTSE outperforming, up nearly +45% at 330.6M shares traded. Equities and broader markets continue to prepare themselves for key data releases expected later in the European session. German Factory orders (6:00EST), BOE rate decision (7:00EST) and ECB rate decision (7:45EST) are anxiously awaited.
-In individual equities: Unilever [UNA.NV] Reports Q2 Net â‚¬758M v â‚¬852Me, Rev â‚¬10.49B v â‚¬10.51Be. Q2 Underlying sales growth 4.1%. Q2 Volume growth 2.0%. || KBC [KBC.BE] Reports Q2 Net â‚¬302M v â‚¬371.3Me (Includes items), Rev â‚¬2.19B v â‚¬2.2Be. Tier 1 ratio 10.8% v 8.3% q/q CEO: Business margins remained strong, sentiment on the capital markets improved, insurance results were solid and cost cutting is paying off. Trends for problem loans rose, but remained within expectations. We also marked down some investment banking positions that have been discontinued. || Commerzbank [CBK.GE] Reports Q2 Net Loss â‚¬764M v Loss â‚¬648Me, Op Loss â‚¬201M v â‚¬351Me. Rev â‚¬3.1B v â‚¬2.5Be. Provision for Loan Losses: â‚¬993M v â‚¬488M y/y. || Deutsche Telecom [DTE.GE] Reports Q2 Net â‚¬521M v â‚¬767.8Me, Rev â‚¬16.2B v â‚¬16.3Be. || Aviva [AV.UK] Reports H1 Pretax Â£747M v Â£84M y/y, Op Profit Â£1.05B v Â£1.22B y/y lowers interim dividend by 31% to 9p/shr, Delta Lloyd looking into possible IPO. || Cobhams [COB.UK] Reports H2 Pretax Â£141M v Â£127Me, Rev â‚¬952M v Â£912Me. Military and government business has performed well with organic revenue growth of 7% y/y. || Veloia Environment [VIE.FR] Reports Net â‚¬220.0M v â‚¬388.1Me, H1 Rev â‚¬17.4B v â‚¬18.2Be. || Hanover Re [HNR1.GE] Reports Q2 Net â‚¬202.9M v 146Me, Rev â‚¬2.37B v â‚¬2.4Be. ROE 26.6% v 30.0% y/y. ROI 5.4% v 2.7% y/y. || AirBerlin [AB1.GE] Reports July Load Factor 83.4% v 83.3% y/y. Passenger volume 2.81M (-3.3% y/y). || Delhaize [DELB.BE] Reports Q2 Net â‚¬125M v â‚¬122Me, Rev â‚¬5.1B v â‚¬5.0Be. Confirms FY09 guidance. || Zurich Financial [ZURN.SZ] Reports Q2 Net $892M v $874.8Me, Op Profit $1.5B v $1.4Be. Q2 Combined Ratio 96.2% flat y/y. H1 Net $1.3B v $1.2Be. ||
- Speakers: Australian PM Rudd commented that the distribution of part and full time employment was of concern. Note: earlier in the session Australian July Unemployment came in at 5.8% v 6.0%e, full time jobs fell by 16k with part time jobs rising by 48.2k || Fitch affirmed Kuwait's sovereign rating at "AA" with its outlook Stable
- In Currencies: The USD was steady ahead of BoE and ECB policy announcements later today. The EUR/USD continues to straddle the 1.44 handle, GBP/USD hugging the 1.70 mark and USD/CHF holding above the 1.06 level. Both central banks are expected to maintain their key interest rate levels. The key focus for the BOE is whether the quantitative easing program would be extended from the current ceiling of Â£125B. For the ECB, dealers are pondering whether the Trichet press conference would comment on the current level of the Euro
- Bank of America amended its ECB interest rate view and now saw a rate hike in June 2010 compared to its prior forecast of interest rate hike in Sept 2010. BoA sees 3.0% ECB rate by early 2011
- In Fixed Income: UK and German government bonds are are modestly weaker ahead of BOE and ECB rate decisions with Treasuries outperforming on a cross market basis in the prelude to another round of Fed buybacks. Spain sold â‚¬3.4B in 3 and 4y issues with respectable results. In corporates, Barclays announced plans to issue a benchmark 10y following its Kangaroo issue priced overnight , with pricing indicated at 140bps over swaps. Three month Euribor improved marginally to fix at yet another all time low of 0.883%
- In Energy: Petrobras [PTR} reportedly to be the To be exclusive operator of new sub-salt oil projects in Brazil.
*** NOTES ***
- Continue concern that China's PBOC will combat what is perceived to be a Chinese equity price bubble
- BOE: The question is whether the Quantitative easing program would be extended. Recent data suggests 50-50 either way
- ECB press conference to be the key. Focus on any mention of exit strategies or potential for further widening of credit support. Dealers pondering if any mention of recent Euro strength to be addressed
- US job picture also on radar now.
- (CZ) Czech Central Bank Interest rate decision: No change expected from the current 1.50% in its Repo Level
- 7:00 (UK) Bank of England (BOE) Interest Rate decision: No change expected in the current 0.25% level. Key focus is whether the BOE will increase its APF from the current ceiling of Â£125B
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Jul FGV Inflation: -0.4% expected versus -0.3% prior
- 7:45 (EU) ECB Interest rate Decision: No change is expected from the current 1.0% level
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Jun Building Permits M/M: -3.0% expected versus 14.8% prior
- (EU) ECB Press Conference
- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 580K expected versus 584K prior; Continuing Claims: 6.250M expected versus 6.197M prior
- 11:00 (US) Jul ICSC Chain Store Sales Y/Y: No estimate versus -5.1% prior
- 11:00 (US) US Fed to purchase notes/bonds
- 15:00 (BR) Brazil to sell Floating-Rate-Notes (FRNs) and bonds
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