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Forex Blog - European Market Update: Lloyds considering other alternatives to entering into asset protection scheme

Friday, September 18, 2009 5:59:44 AM

 European Market Update: Lloyds considering other alternatives to entering into asset protection scheme


- (GE) German Producer Prices M/M: 0.5% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: -6.9% v -7.2%e
- (FR) French Q2 Final Wages: 0.4% v 0.4%e
- (SP) Spanish Q2 Labor Costs: 3.9% v 3.9% prior
- (NV) Netherlands Sep Consumer Confidence: -17 v -15e
- (IT) Italian July Industrial Orders M/M: 3.2% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: -23.2% v -32.2%e
- (IT) July Industrial Sales M/M: 0.7% v -1.0%e Y/Y: -21.7% v -22.8%e
- (EU) ECB Euro-zone Jul Current Account: €6.6B v -€5.3B prior, Current Account NSA: €8.8B v €0.8B prior
- (UK) Aug Public Finances (PSNCR): £10.4B v £14.5Be; Net Borrowing: £16.1B v £17.6Be
- (UK) Aug Prelim M4 Money Supply M/M: 0.1% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 12.6% v 13.8%e
- (UK) BoE Trends in Lending Report: M/M: -13%; Y/Y: -37%

- In equities news overnight: European equity markets opened to the downside following a rapidly declining Chinese close.
China's Shanghai and Shenzhen made strong closing downside pushes with both exchanges closing down over 3%. This momentum carried in European pre-market trading and joined risk adverse sentiment emanating from the UK financial sector. The UK's FSA abruptly placed the breaks on Lloyds Banking Group's [LLOY.UK] hopes of avoiding the APS. FSA's view that Lloyd's could not pass a stress test absent the APS graphically resurfaced the lingering troubles in the broader at large banking sector. With equity markets looking forward to quarterly index changes and rebalances (on FTSE, DAX, CAC and Euro Stoxx), markets have shown a choppy pattern with the FTSE (also on options expiration) and DAX bouncing above and below the unchanged mark on lighter than average volumes. With a slight risk aversion theme in the air, Health care and Utilities names outperformed on the EuroStoxx50 while Industrials and Technology lagged. Note: Highlights of rebalances: EuroStoxx50: RWE, Anheuser Inbev and CRH added, Philips, Fortis and Renault deleted; FTSE100: Segro, Whitbread, Rentokil Initial added, Balfour Beatty, Foreign & Col Invest Trust, Pennon deleted; DAX: Infineion added, Hannover Re deleted.

-In individual equities: Lloyds [LLOY.UK] considering other alternatives to entering into Asset Protection scheme; Sees possibility of reducing the amount of assets covered by the program. Reminder: On March 7 it cpnfirmed participating in
UK asset protection program; to put about £260B of assets into UK protection program. || British Land [BLND.UK] Confirms £2.13B Broadgate jv with Blackstone. The Blackstone Partners' share of the gross attributable value includes £987M of third party debt, being 50 per cent of the debt secured against the assets of Broadgate, and the net consideration paid for their 50 per cent interest in Broadgate valued at £77M. || GlaxoSmithKline/Dr Reddy's [GSK.UK]: GlaxoSmithKline in talks to acquire a 5% stake - Economic Times. Reminder: On June 15 -Entering strategic agreement with Glaxo to develop, sell products in emerging markets. || BlueBay [BBAY.UK] Reports FY09 Prelim Pretax £22.3M v £23Me, Rev £100.9M v £104Me, Total AUM $24.3B v $21.0B y/y, launches 6.6M share placement (3.5% of capital). || EADs [EAD.FR] Follow up: Firm confirms WSJ report that 2010 production levels may be reduced on lower commercial demand. || Carbone Lorraine [CRL.FR] Launches €63.4M (about 15% of market cap) 4 for 17 rights issue at €17/share (35% discount from Thursday's close). || Munich Re [MUV2.GE] Has taken a provision against a potential $200M loss related to its exposure to South Korean container shipbuilding companies - FTD|| VW [VOW.GE] Follow up: Group considering integrating three truck makers (VW, MAN and Scania) into one partnership. Reminder: On Sept 16 -May restructure truck unit; Under the plan, the company may eventually partner with Man AG - FT. || Novolipetsk Steel [NLMK.RU] Approves RUB50B bond program (4% of current market cap). ||

- Speakers: Japanese Fin Min Fujii commented about the JPY currency and that its FX rates should be set on economic market conditions. He did not wish to be labeled as supporting a strong Yen currency and should not comment on JPY FX rates However, he did note that actions to drive currencies lower were not good for the global economy. He strongly supported BoJ independence and added that monetary policy was up to the central bank. Could not provide comment on if BOJ should extend corporate funding activities and that continued low employment and income levels would challenge consumption || Riksbank's Ekholm commented that Sweden's economy still needed monetary stimulus to stabilize economy; The Repo rate should remain low for several quarters. He could provide explanation for strength in SEK currency but noted that the Swedish Krona was not a key factor in determining monetary policy. SEK appreciation had reduced banks exposure to Baltic region but the funding of Swedish companies remain strained || BOE Miles stated that the UK economy might be out recession in 6 to 9 months time but it would be some time before growth would curtail the rise in the unemployment trend. Decline in yields due to quantitative easing was "pretty strong" evidence that QE had worked. The central banker did caution that any exit from QE required careful judgment. Inflationary pressures are likely to be subdued for next 2-3 years as there was considerable spare capacity within the
UK economy. The member noted that he has an open mind on the issue of lowering deposit rates and described any change to remuneration of deposits as merely "fine tuning" || China PBoC member Zheng commented that the Yuan currency was pegged to USD for regional stability purposes || EU's Almunia commented that the concept of using SDR's as replacement for USD as reserve currency was not viable. Europe would not desire too much Chinese reserve diversification into Euros. On the topic of the Tobin tax, he noted that more work was needed to make a such a tax more viable and noted that the concept was a good idea || BOE trends in lending report noted that net lending to business fell by 3.3% y/y or -£15.5B, which was the weakest reading since series began. Lenders reported weak demand for loans and remained cautious on house prices and the employment outlook. || Moody's raised Turkey's "Ba3" sovereign outlook to positive from stable. The move reflected the economy's improved resilience in the face of shocks, as illustrated by its unassisted performance during the global crisis of the past two years || German Chancellor Merkel stated that she expected new financial market regulation to be ready by mid 2010

- In Currencies: GBP sentiment was soft heading into the European morning as dealers focused on speculation that Lloyds bank failed a stress test. Also contributing to the weaker GBP sentiment is a WSJ "Currency Section" column about the GBP now being a 'carry-trade' currency. The GBP/USD traded as low as 1.6296 before retracing back towards the 1.6370 area following the
UK net lending data. EUR/GBP tested the 0.90 level during the session but was off its session highs. ||
- The JPY was mixed in the European morning but within recent it recent 48-hpour ranges against the major. Japanese Fin Min Fujii tried to clarify his recent comments on the JPY currency front. Fujii noted that He did not wish to be labeled as supporting a strong Yen currency but noted that actions to drive currencies lower were not good for the global economy. USD/JPY again probed the 5-week downtrend line in the cross and was unable to break above the 91.60 intra-day high from Thursday's price action. USD buy stops continue to build above the 91.70 level as the NY morning approached.

- In Fixed Income: Government bonds have enjoyed a revival for most of the European morning whilst equities undergo something of a rethink. The
UK was the focal point in terms of economic data with some interesting releases. The expansion of QE in August appears to have had little effect on the UK money supply with a sharp drop in M4 on a monthly basis, and the weakest annual reading since Sept 2008. The reasons behind the decline were illuminated by the BoE's Trends Lending report, released simultaneously, which revealed significant drops in lending for mortgages, consumer credit and the worst reading for net lending to business since the series began. On top of this, UK public finances and government borrowing for August were revealed to be a their worst ever levels for an August. The Gilt curve continues to hit fresh steepening highs with 2s10s though 280bps. The German yield curve has undergone bull flattening with better buying in the belly relative to the short end, but the long end is under pressure thanks to the launch of a syndicated 30y from Spain. Austria revealed it was planning another USD denominated issue following the successful sale of $1.5B in 3s earlier this week, with the upcoming sale likely to be in a longer part of the curve. Barclays analysts issued a bearish outlook for Treasuries, forecasting a yield of 3.85% in the 10y Note by year end, with the 2y Note expected to reach 1.3%.

- In Energy:
Iran Pres Ahmadinejad reiterated his view that nuclear weapons were not part of his country's "peaceful" atomic program as Iran did not need weapons. He also reiterated that Iran would never stop enriching uranium for peaceful purposes. || WSJ's Heard on the Street" commented on recently announced oil discoveries and noted that in Sept, various companies have found about 10B barrels of oil equivalent of potential reserves. Noted that markets should be cautious in jumping to conclusions regarding the new oil discoveries because some of the countries where the oil was found have political barriers and commented about Mexico's oil industry being controlled by state oil companies. ||

- In commodities: During the Asian session it was noted that the IMF's executive board reportedly to consider Gold sales on today. The IMF is planning to sell about 13M ounces (12.5% of total holdings).***Reminder: The Apr 2nd G20 Summit in London G20 discussed the use of proceeds from planned gold sales by the IMF to increase funding for poor countries

- In the papers: An article in China's Caijing Magazine commented on the recent press reports noting that various Chinese state owned enterprises sent letters to their trading counter parties in relation to commodity derivatives contracts.- The letters were sent to 6 unnamed international investment banks. The letters noted that the state-owned companies had reserved the right to withhold payments related to commodity derivatives contracts. Caijing noted that 28 central government SOEs were involved in the financial derivatives business in Sept, and that most had faced losses. TTN points out that a Sept 9 WSJ op-ed article noted that China Eastern Airlines, Air
China and COSCO had filed derivative-related documents with Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citi and Morgan Stanley involving a combined $2B in contracts. ||WSJ "Currency Trading" section commented on reclassification of UK's Pound Sterling (GBP) as a "funding currency" . The article saw GBP at decade-lows against high-yielding risk appetite driven AUD and NZD pairs. It noted that the traditional funding JPY currency has actually strengthened while Sterling lost ground. The article attributed weakness to outlook for UK rates after BOE Gov King suggested UK rates still have room to fall

*** NOTES ***
- IMF to discuss proposal to sell a portion of its gold stocks. 1/8 of their holdings of their 13M ounces
- Japan's Fin Min Fujii tries to clarify his recent currency comments
- Talk of GBP as a carry trade funding currency

***Looking Ahead
- (RU) Russian Aug Unemployment Rate: % v 8.3%e
- (RU) Russian Aug Retail Sales M/M: % v 1.9% prior, Y/Y: % v -9.0%e
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Sep FGV Inflation IGP-10 M/M: 0.3%e v -0.6% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Jun Wholesale Sales M/M: 0.9%e v 0.6% prior
- 9:00 (BE) Belgian Sep Consumer Confidence: No estimates v -11.0 prior
-10:00 (MX) Mexican Rate Decision: No change expected, current overnight rate is 4.50%


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