- European equity markets opened to the positive side following a broadly positive session in Asia. Equities trended lower almost immediately as the sharply advanced news flow (in relation to recent volumes) focused heavily on autos, manufacturing and discretionary names. In the auto sector, truck maker Volvo [VOLVB.SW] released its August sales figures, reflecting a continued downward trend in y/y and m/m declines. EU Aug new car registrations temporarily rallied automakers, but a constant flow of sales and unit expectations out of Citroen [UG.FR], Daimler [DAI.GE], BMW [BMW.GE] and Porsche [PAH3.GE] dampened this initial excitement. Equity markets continued to trend lower through mixed data along with further commentary out of China regarding international trade, tires and carbon taxes. Markets snapped sharply negative, and to their worst levels of the session at 5:00EST following German and EU ZEW surveys that missed expectations. Mixed commentary out of the BoE's MPC added to the picture, as both King and Bean refused to comment on the current trading levels of the FTSE100. Positive comments out of Citi on European steel names and positive comments out of BNP on German solar names allowed those sectors to outperform throughout the session. In this thoroughly mixed trading environment, markets continue to seek direction in (what is a not unexpectedly) a varying turnover environment.
- In individual equities: Volvo [VOLVB.SW] reported August truck sales of 7.1K v 8.9K m/m, - 52% y/y.
BMW [BMW.GE] sees 2009 sales -10% to -15% y/y, although the company said it remains possible to post a full year profit in 2009. Peugeot [UG.FR] sees the European market declining to 15.5M units in FY09 and 14M units in 2010. The group is continuing to discuss JV opportunities with Chinese names. Porsche [PAH3.GE] reported FY unit sales -24% y/y to 75.2K, and said FY revenue would decline 12% to approx â‚¬6.6B v â‚¬6.2Be. Porsche believes the nadir in auto markets has been reached. VW's [VOW.GE] CEO said that the auto industry crisis has not yet concluded, although there is evidence that markets are near a bottom. VW disclosed August sales +9.5% y/y, and said the company is performing much better than competitors. BG [BG.UK] announced a new discovery in the SantosBasin pre-salt BM-S-9 concession area, offshore Brazil. Unicredit [UCG.IT] said it would make a final decision regarding government-sponsored convertible bond offer by end of Sept. The bank may sell up to â‚¬4B in bonds through the offer. Debenhams [DEB.UK] sees Pretax, EBITA in line with expectations and total sales increasing Y/Y. Ashmore [ASHM.UK] reported FY09 Rev Â£203.5M v Â£201Me, AUM $24.9B v $37.5B y/y, and announced a secondary offering of 15.7M new shares. Michelin's [ML.FR] CEO said lower material costs are helping earnings and forecasted positive FY free cash-flow. EDF [EDF.FR] may take stake in new GazProm South Stream gas pipeline project, according to Kommersant. Dexia [DEXB.BE] has three potential buyers for its life insurance unit valued as much as â‚¬120M, according to La Tribune. A BP [BP.UK] exec said short-term refining margins will remain under severe pressure.
- In speakers: the BoE's King said he does not want currency reserves to remain unnecessarily high and was looking at ways to reduce reserves, which could include a cut in its deposit rate. He also said the BoE would look at the timing of ending fiscal measures but noted that the severity of recession would impact the public finances. The BoE's Bean noted that it would take time for quantitative easing measures (QE) to have effect and that some channels for QE might not be working. The BoE's Miles stated that he voted for QE due to the large excess capacity in UK economy. The BoE's Barker stated that the recent rise in house prices might not continue. China's MoF reiterated the view that the global economic recovery was not solid yet and it is too early to discuss exit strategies. The MoF noted that US carbon tariff was also a form of protectionism. The official noted that China would continue to pursue an active fiscal policy and moderately loose monetary policies. China's PBoC assistant governor commented that the bank would be looking for a larger role for China in IMF governance at the upcoming G20 meeting in Pittsburgh. The PBoC official noted that IMF bond purchases would serve to diversify China's reserve assets. A Chinese vice minister stated that he hoped that G20 would continue to oppose protectionism and added that the summit should seek an early close to Doha round negotiations. German Labor Institute commented that 2009 unemployment was seen at 3.5M and at 4.1M in 2010. These numbers are a bit better from the Sept 1st view. The German Labor Min forecasted then of an average 2009 jobless rate below 3.7M and 2010 unemployment between 4M to 5M. ZEW economists noted that the positive expectations have stabilized but noted that the recovery was expected to take place at a slow pace. Prospects for next six months have been hampered by the end of the car wrecking scheme. The ZEW's Franz noted that additional stimulus measures are not appropriate.
- In currencies: the greenback held a steady tone during the European morning as option barrier talk helped drive price action. EUR/USD seemed set to test the 1.4560 level where an option is set to expire later today. The softer German ZEW data also helped the dollar to maintain its poise for the time being. Sterling saw its earlier gains erode following comments from the BOE chief King. BOE's King stated that he did not want currency reserves unnecessarily high and was looking at ways to reduce reserves, which could include a cut in its deposit rate. The GBP/USD slumped from 1.6600 to probe 1.6500 following the comments. EUR/GBP moved to the middle of the 0.8850 level, its highest level since early June.
- The JPY was a touch weaker for most of the morning against the major pairs (But not against the GBP after BOE's deposit rate comment)
- In Fixed Income: Short dated yields in the UK fell sharply after BoE governor Mervyn King stated that he was still considering lowering deposit rates in order to reduce bank's excess reserves and hoarding of capital. The yield on the 2y gilt fell by over 6bps to hit session lows below 0.86%, about half a basis point away from the all time closing lows set earlier last month when similar comments were made in the same settling. In the only coupon supply of the session, Ireland comfortably sold â‚¬1B in 5 and 10y bonds. In corporates, Australian bank Westpac launched a Euro denominate d 7y benchmark, indicated at around 120bps over swaps , whilst Chritian dio announced a â‚¬350M 5y offering, with price talk at 125bps/swaps
- In Energy: Shell [RDSA.UK] executive stated that he saw gasoline outlook remaining weak but that the recovery in global economies would raise distillate demand post recession China's NDRC ordered domestic energy companies to make sure that supplies are adequate during the early Oct 60th National Day celebrations | Petro China [ PTR] Caijing reported that the China Marine Bunker jv had billions of yuan in unrealized losses from its oil derivatives positions
*** NOTES ***
- German ZEW survey fails to meet expectations; its economists see recovery expected at a slow pace
- UK RICS House Price balance registers its first positive reading since July 2007
- Singapore retail sales come in below expectations.
- Dealers label the US-China trade spat on tires as ping pong. The US believes that not imposing duties would be abdication of responsibility. China just states that tire duties simply sends wrong message.
- WSJ: Protectionist measures to rise.
- Japan's outgoing min Yosano: Rising JPY will have big impact on exporter earnings. Could make Japan less competitive.
- Australia's RBA: If trends continue less expansionary policy will be adopted.
- US govt might sell its Citi stake over the next 6-8 months, starting as early as October
- (RU) Russian Aug Industrial Production Real M/M: % v 4.7% prior, Y/Y: % v -11.0%e
- (RU) Russian Aug Producer Prices M/M: % v 1.4%e; Y/Y: % v -11.7%e
- 8:00 (BR) Brazil Jul Retail Sales M/M: 0.8%e v 1.7% prior, Y/Y: 6.2%e v 5.6% prior
- 8:00 (PD) Polish Aug CPI M/M: -0.5%e v 0.1% prior, Y/Y:3.6%e v 3.6% prior
- 8:30 (US) Aug PPI M/M: 0.8%e v -0.9% prior , Y/Y: -5.3%e v -6.8% prior, Ex Food & Energy M/M: 0.1%e v -0.1% prior, Y/Y: 2.2%e v 2.6% prior
- 8:30 (US) Aug Adv Retail Sales: 1.9%e v -0.1% prior, Less Autos: 0.4%e v -0.6% prior, Ex auto & gas: 0.0%e v -0.4% prior
- 8:30 (US) Sep Empire Manufacturing: 15.00e v 12.08 prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Q2 Labor Productivity: 0.8%e v 0.3% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Jul New Motor Vehicle Sales M/M: 5.0%e v -0.6% prior
- 10:00 (US) Jul Business Inventories: -0.9%e v -1.1% prior - 11:30 (MX) Mexico Bond auction results
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