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Wednesday September 2, 2009 - 10:08:17 GMT
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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Dealers focus on chatter that SNB might have purchased US Treasuries in yesterday's session; Prelude to intervention????

Today 06:02am EST/10:02am GMT

European Market Update: Dealers focus on chatter that SNB might have purchased US Treasuries in yesterday's session; Prelude to intervention????



- (NO) Norwegian Aug Trade Balance: 42.3 v 51.0e

- (HU) Hungarian Jun Final Trade Balance (HUF): 457.3M v 549.1M prior

- (SP) Spanish Aug Unemployment M/M: 85.0K v 33.0Ke; First rise in four months

- (GE) German Aug new car registrations +26.8% y/y at 275K units - VDK

- (UK) PMI Aug Construction: 47.7 v 48.0e

- (EU) Euro-zone Q2 Preliminary GDP Q/Q: -0.1% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: -4.7% v -4.7%e

- (IR) Irish Aug Unemployment Rate: 12.4% v 12.2% prior; Live Register Monthly Change: 5.4K v 10.5K prior


- In equities news overnight: Coming off Tuesday's rocky start to September, pre-market equity trading proved mild, but mixed with the DAX continuing to display heavy tones. Asian trading ex-China was decidedly biased to the downside. Indian markets opened negative but managed choppy rallies, bouncing above and below the unchanged mark. With H1 earnings effectively wrapped up, equity sentiment has sought direction from macro signals including data, G20 expectations and overall economic sentiment. Press articles regarding Lloyds [LLOY.UK] and the possibility of the banking name holding a £10B offering and an article relating to EU regulations forcing capital raises in
UK and European insurance names sent heavy weight into a sector that saw large declines in US trading yesterday. Overall risk averse themes also weighed on industrial and basic resource sectors. Despite the overall negative trend, markets traded erratically with UK PMI data and Euro Zone GDP and PPI numbers providing trading level lifts. Announcements out of BP [BP.UK] regarding a 'giant' field discovery in deep water Gulf of Mexico supported the energy sector briefly. As seen in yesterday's session, volumes in European bourses has returned with all three bourses beating their averages with the CAC smashing its moving average by 96%.

-In individual equities: Lloyds [LLOY.UK] May have received investors support for a £10B ($16.1B) rights offering - Guardian. The article adds that CEO Daniels is mulling insuring about £130B of its £260B of toxic loans, to cut the cost of the
UK government's asset protection plan and reduce the bank's use of the government plan. || (UK) New EU rules could mean a $80B cash call for UK insurers - FT. The article cites a letter from the Association of British Insurers' Director-General Haddrill. According to Haddrill the rules could destabilize the insurance industry in Europe and Chancellor Darling should intervene. The new rules called Solvency II, would come into effect in 2012 and their purpose is to create a single capital requirements standard for insurers in the EU. The rules will initially require a "massive recapitalization" by insurance companies, according to Haddrill. || AP Moller [MAERSKB.DE] Announces placing of 250K Treasury B Shares; Seeking to raise DKK9.2B (approx 6% of market cap). Placing to be handled by VP Securities. Share sale to be used to strengthen financial flexibility. States the overall economy and loan market are seen as unusual. || Alcatel Lucent [ALU.FR] Planning €750M convertible bond offering, proceeds to support group debt refinancing (approx 13% of market cap). Bonds to pay yield of between 5 - 5.50%. Nominal value to correspond to 35% premium to reference share price. || National Express [NEX.UK] CVC and Cosmen family may make an improved bid for the company - FT . The article adds that Stagecoach was in talks with the Cosmen family. || Neopost [NEO.FR] Update: Reports Q2 Rev €228M v €232M y/y. Guides FY09 Rev +1% v +1-3% prior (Given March 3). Sees FY09 operating margin at 25.7% of turnover. || Iberdrola [IBE.SP] WSJ: Company has been a large recipient of $500M in recently announced US stimulus funds. Firm was awarded $294M for five projects. Federal subsidy program has no spending group and is expected to run through 2011. || Banco Santander [SAN.SP] Will not exercise an option to redeem a €500M Lower Tier 2 bond as scheduled citing administrative reasons. ||

- Speakers: EU's Juncker: Worst of economic crisis is over but not the time to withdraw fiscal stimulus || Australian Treasurer Swan commented that the Aussy Government still faced substantial tax write downs || China security regulator Liu commented that the global economic uncertainties could impact Chinese equities || Dutch Fin Min stated that a lack of clear exit strategy could result in huge deficits and undermine Euro currency || World Bank Pres Zolleck commented that cutting of stimulus in China at this time might put its economic recovery prospects at risk . he also noted that the
US consumer spending can not solely drive global growth

- In Currencies: The USD maintained a steady tone against its European components in both the Asian and European session thus far. The USD/JPY briefly dipped below the 92.50 level in which dealers noted was impressively defended during the Asian morning. The bounce off the session low of 92.40 has been shallow thus far with the pair heading into the NY morning at 92.70 area. Dealers note that September corporate Japanese repatriations could be 'heavy' expected for fiscal half-year end purposes.

- Dealer chatter in FX circulated around the Swiss Franc (CHF) and rumors that the SNB might have purchased US Treasuries in yesterday's session. One chief dealer noted that on past occasions such action had been a prelude to currency intervention, but doubts linger if the purchase could have been just for commercial purposes. Nonetheless given the shaky start to the equity markets in September the rumor has some teeth behind it. The 1.0570 level had been previously deemed to be a critical chart point in USD/CHF and correlated the level to the key resistance in spot gold at the $990/oz level

- The EUR/USD hovered above the 1.4210/20 level through out the European morning as weaker-than-expected Spain unemployment data weighed on Euro sentiment. The Spanish data seems to echo EU's Juncker thoughts that although the worst of economic crisis might be over it was not the time to withdraw fiscal stimulus. The

- In Fixed Income: In a follow though from yesterday's themes, Government bonds are rallying this morning amidst September nervousness in equities. A look at the short end of the European yield curve is instructive, where the yield on the 2y Schatz tested all time lows below 1.16%, and 2y swap spreads widened though 55bps for one week highs. Meanwhile Bund futures have comfortably moved above the 123.00 level and yields tested 3.205% in the cash market. A decent bid moved into the belly of the
UK yield curve following a healthy Gilt auction . The DMO sold £5B in Jul 2012 in an auction covered 2.05 times. In Treasuries, the yield on the 10y Note is lower by a basis point at 3.362% with traders looking at the July low of 3.30% as next resistance. In corporate issuance, UBS is launching up to ¥500B in samurai bonds, whilst Alcatel Lucent announced plans to sell up to €1B in converts

- In Energy: British Petroleum [BP.UK] Announced 'Giant'
Mexico oil discovery in Tiber prospect deep water field. Finding is in 1.3K meters of water and further appraisals would be needed to determine commercial possibilities. BP has 62% interest in field the rest is co-owned by Brazil's Petrobras and ConocoPhillips ||Russia Energy Min commented that August Oil Output 9.97M bpd versus 9.91M bpd m/m, Natural Gas output 1.40 BCM/da, up 4.7% y/y . Gazprom's August output at 1.08 BCM/day, up 4.3% m/m || || Caltex Australia [CTX.AU] Australian Competition regulators (ACCC) to rule on the company's planned purchase of some 300 Mobil filling station by Oct 7th. Regulators fear proposal would reduce competition in wholesale fuel market and might lead to higher gasoline and diesel prices

In the papers: Dow[DOW] al-Hayat reported that the co. targeted to save around $4B on joint petrochemical complex with Saudi Aramco due to slowing economic activity. Article noted that estimated cost of the plant was at least $20B before reduction. Article noted that the project at the Saudi energy hub of Ras Tanura is two years behind the. Dow and Aramco are expected to make an investment decision on it next year.

*** NOTES ***

- FOMC: uncertain with respect to the economy and the appropriate policy course

Downside follow-through selling in Asian and European equities stocks. Nikkei -2.4%,
China +.6, HK -1.6.; Eurostoxx 50 index off 1.0% at 2,687; Traders note that ETF selling in the US on Monday was 'huge'.

- Australia Q2 GDP exceeds expectations with growth at 0.6% v 0.2% expected; Upbeat Australian economic growth figures reassured on the health of recovery

- Bomb outside
Athens stock exchange. Minor damage reported.

- WSJ: Employment concerns linger but global economy gaining some upward momentum.

***Looking Ahead- US job picture to come into focus over the next few sessions

- Finance ministers of all 27 European Union member meet later on today ahead of the Sept 24th/25th G20 summit in Pittsburgh, PA

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Aug 28th: No estimates v 7.5% prior

- 7:30 (US) Aug Challenger Job Cuts: No estimates v -5.7% prior

- 8 :15 (US) ADP Employment Change: -250Ke v -371K prior

- 8:30 (US) Q2 Final Nonfarm Productivity: 6.4%e v 6.4% prior; Unit Labor Costs: -5.8%e v -5.8% prior

- 10:00 (US) Jul Factory Orders: 2.2%e v 0.4% prior

- 10:30 (US) DoE Crude Oil/Gasoline/Distillate Inventories

-10:30 (US) Treasury's Geithner briefs press ahead of G-20

- 11:30 (MX) Mexico to sell up to MXN3.8B in 1, 3 & 5-years bonds

- 11:30 (US) Fed's Lockhart

- 12:00 (CA) Canada to sell C$3.0B in 10-year bonds

- 14:00 (US) FOMC Minutes


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