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Forex Blog - European Market Update: EU's Almunia brings up Euro appreciation issue

Today 05:58am EST/09:58am GMT

European Market Update: EU's Almunia brings up Euro appreciation issue


- 4:00 (PH) Philippines Central bank left its Overnight Borrowing Rate unchanged at 4.00%; as expected

- (IN) India Aug Trade Balance: -$8.4B v -$15.8B prior

- (GE) German Aug Retail Sales M/M: -1.5% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: -2.6% v -0.8%e

- (SW) Swedbank Sep PMI: 55.9 v 53.0e

- (TU) Turkey Sept PMI Manufacturing: 55.3 v 53.7 prior

- (IR) Irish Sep NCB Services Manufacturing PMI: 46.6 v 46.7 prior

- (CZ) Czech Industrial Output Y/Y: -8.1% v -12.4%e

- (SP) Spanish Sep Manufacturing PMI: 45.8 v 47.2 prior

- (SZ) Swiss SVME PMI: 54.3 v 51.0e

- (CZ) Czech Sep PMI Manufacturing: 49.5 v 47.1 prior

- (DE) Danish Aug Unemployment Rate: 3.7% v 3.9%e

- (DE) Danish Aug retail Sales M/M: -1.2% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: -4.6% v -0.5% prior

- (IT) Italian Sep PMI Manufacturing: 47.6 v 45.2e

- (FR) French Sep Final PMI Manufacturing: 53.0 v 52.5e

- (GE) German Sep Final PMI Manufacturing: 49.6 v 49.6e

- (EU) Euro-zone Sep Final PMI Manufacturing: 49.3 v 49.0e

- (NO) Norwegian Sep Unemployment Rate: 2.7% v 2.9%e

- (IT) Italian Aug Trade Balance non EU: -€1.0B v €1.7B prior

- (UK) PMI Manufacturing: 49.5 v 50.2e

- (UK) BoE Quarterly Credit Conditions survey: Mortgage spreads widened in Q3 but expected to narrow next quarter

- (SA) South Africa Sept Kagiso PMI: 48.0 v 41.7e

- (EU) Euro-zone Unemployment Rate: 9.6% v 9.6%e; highest since Mar 1999


- In equities news overnight: European equity markets opened marginally positive follow negative close in NY and an Asian session that saw the first day of China's Golden Weak public holiday celebrations. While
China celebrated its Diamond Anniversary (60th) with tanks in Beijing and a shopping splurge in Hong Kong, Japanese markets led an East Asian equity decline. Heading into the European opening, currency comments out of the EU's Almunia, the announcement by Munich Re [MUV2.GE] that it would be reinstating its share buyback program and Cisco's [CSCO] $3B offer for Norwegian Tadberg [TAA.NO] stimulated equity moves. Equity movers were widely spread with some interest in Auto's ahead US figures, mixed movements in Miners following commentary out of Deutsche Bank, and mixed movements out of Media names in France following commentary out of Citi. Decidedly to the downside were DAX listed Solar's following FDP statements regarding interest in limiting state subsidies to the industry, along with the postal sector. PMI reads have been mixed, Swiss figures beat expectations and showed continued growth (ahead of 50) while the UK PMI missed expectations and showed continued declines (under 40 and down m/m). Deutsche Bourse and the LSE saw IPO action today with Chinese firm Vitron [V33.GE] listing in Germany and Virgin Media dual listing [VMED.UK] on the LSE. Volumes have remained mixed, with trading biased to the downside following the disappointing UK PMI read at 4:30EST.

-In individual equities: Tandberg [TAA.NO] Cisco to acquire company for NOK153.5/share or a total NOK17.2B (approx $2.97B). Cisco seeking 100% of shares outstanding. || Munich Re [MUV2.GE] Will resume share buy back operations; to buy back approx €1B in share capital (approx 4.75 of shares outstanding). || Gas Natural GAS.SP: Suez Environment sell part of stake in firm (holds 2.50% stake, 22.4M shares).
Suez to sell down stake to less than 0.20%. || ICAP [IAP.UK] Releases Trading Statement: Guides H2 Rev +6% y/y, Pretax "slightly lower " y/y, FY10 Pretax (ex items) "in line" with market expectations. || British Airlines [BAY.UK] CEO: Company has a chance to finalize proposed merger with Iberia by the end of the year; Also interested in making an offer for BMI - FT. || Daimler [DAI.GE] CEO: Sept was best sales Month in 2009 so far at Mercedes unit; Brazilian truck market "Positive Surprise." || BNP [BNP.FR] Negotiations to sell further Fortis assets to BNP have ended - unconfirmed report. Had been holding talks regarding commercial banking and finance units. || Dexia DEXB.BE: Will seek to end usage of government guarantees in next year; targeting Oct 2010 exit date. ||

- Speakers: EU's Almunia commented that the Eurogroup would discuss appreciation of EUR as it prepares its position ahead of this Saturday's G7 meeting in
Istanbul, Turkey. He also noted that its remained unclear if 2011 would be the right time to withdraw stimulus measures. || BOE Miles commented in a newspaper No immediate plans for Deposit Rate; Not easy to impact GBP currency via policy || EU's Junker stated that FX was discussed at the at Ecofin meeting today and that it would stick with prior terms of reference on currencies. He noted that a balanced approach remained key for economic growth and now was not the time to withdraw fiscal stimulus measures. Would look at EU commission forecasts about possible stimulus exit in 2011 period. EU budget rules have to be applied flexibly with less stringent application during sluggish economic times || IMF officially raised 2010 GDP view to 3.1% from 2.5% prior ( in line with press speculation) and revised 2009 global GDP view to -1.1% v -1.4% prior. For specific countries the IMF trimmed US 2009 GDP to -2.7% v -2.6% prior and increased the 2010 GDP to +1.5% v 0.8% prior, sees US growth near 2% for a considerable length of time. Trimmed UK 2009 GDP to -4.4% v -4.2% prior, Lifted 2010 GDP to +0.9% v +0.2% prior. It raised Japan 2009 GDP to -5.4% from -6.0% prior, 2010 GDP maintained at +1.7% . The IMF raised China's 2009 GDP to 8.5% v 8.0% prior, 2010 GDP to 9% v 8.5% prior. The IMF raised Euro-zone 2009 GDP to -4.2% v -4.8% prior, 2010 GDP +0.3% v -0.3% prior || IMF's economist Blanchard commented that a global recovery has commenced as markets are healing. He did note that the strength of global recovery would depend on rebalancing of growth and that sustained economic recovery would require increased private consumption and investment. The IMF noted that it was hard to imagine rebalancing adjustment taking place at current exchange rates and that budget consolidation must wait for the recovery to be solid and sustainable || Polish Central Bank's Czekaj commented that Polish CPI likely to fall below 2% level by mid 2010 and noted that its monetary easing cycle might not be over at this time. He saw no mandatory reserve rate cut before Feb and that monetary policy should move to neutral in coming months. Lastly He saw 2009 GDP might be 1.3% || Bundesbank's Kotz commented that one must not be "euphoric" on German economic outlook and noted that he did not evidence of any self-sustaining upswing in economy || BoE Q3 Credit Conditions Survey reported increased corporate credit availability in Q3 with further increases seen in Q4. However, the survey noted that spreads on corporate lending widened in Q3 though lenders expected them to tighten in Q4.

- In Currencies: The USD strengthened just ahead of the European morning following comments from EU's Almunia that the Euro-group would discuss appreciation of EUR as it prepared its position ahead of this Saturday's G7 meeting in Istanbul. European Finance Ministers and Central Bankers met at informal EcoFin in
Sweden today. The dollar paused from its gains after the IMF officially confirmed its upward revision to its 2009 and 2010 GDP forecasts. IMF's Chief Economist Blanchard noted that strength of global recovery would depend on rebalancing of growth (which was a major theme at the G20 summit and referred that surplus countries are to focus on domestic growth, while deficit countries are to focus on savings and fiscal consolidation). EUR/USD tested the 1.4550 level on the Almunia comment and retested the 1.4600 on the IMF rebalancing statement. Dealers see key support at 1.4530, which sovereign names were said to lurk.

- There was some dealer chatter focusing on the current situation in
Romania, which saw its Coalition Government in turmoil after the President fired the interior minister. Talk about central bank intervention to stem the Romanian Leu losses in the session.

- The GBP price action was choppy and tested 1.5930 after
U.K. manufacturing PMI below the 50 level. The pair managed to regain its composure and retest 1.60 as the NY morning approached.

- In Fixed Income: Government bond markets have suffered some indigestion amidst a deluge of supply this morning in
Europe. Spain sold €4.5B in 2013s- right at the tope of the range of expectations whilst France sold €7B worth of OAT's in an auction best described a sluggish. The 10 year Oat was sold at a generous 32bps discount to the Bund. Meanwhile there were shades of March in the air as results of today's 2030 Gilt auction took longer than expected to filter out. In the end, £2.25B were sold with an above average 1.86 cover and with the supply out of the way , Gilt futures are testing the unchanged mark in current trade.

- In Energy: NY State to regulate horizontal drilling and rock fracturing for wells and to require checklist for gas-well fracturing. To restrict wells within 1,000 feet of NYC water supply. || Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have set up a joint $2.5B investment fund for oil and gas and real estate projects in both countries as well as abroad || Deutsche Bank analyst raises its 2010 oil price forecast to $65 from $55 prior

- In commodities: Analysts at BoA Merrill Lynch commented on European Steel sector and continued to view Chinese actions as driver in sector

*** NOTES ***

- OCT is here….new month and quarter

- Two month lows in the Nikkei 225 Index with a close below 10K

- Monster online employment index 119 in Sep from 121 in Aug.

- EU officials starting to mention Euro appreciation concerns ahead of weekend G7 meeting in Turkey

***Looking Ahead

- (RU) Russian Gold & Forex Reserves: $ v $411.7B prior

- 7:30 (US) Sep Challenger Job Cuts: No estimates v -13.8% prior

- 8:30 (US) Aug Personal Income: 0.1%e v 0.0% prior, Personal Spending: 1.1%e v 0.2% prior

- 8:30 (US) Aug PCE Deflator Y/Y: -0.6%e v -0.8% prior, PCE Core M/M: 0.1%e v0.1% prior, Y/Y: 1.3%e v 1.4% prior

- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims w/e Sep 26th: 535Ke v 530K prior, Continuing Claims: 6.17Me v 6.14M prior

- 8:30 (US) Treasury's Ramanathan speaks in Boston

- 9:00 (US) Fed's Bernanke speaks at House Financial Services

- 10:00 (US) Sep ISM Manufacturing: 54.0e v 52.9 prior

- 10:00 (US) Aug Construction Spending M/M: -0.1%e v -0.2% prior

- 10:00 (US) Aug Pending Home Sales M/M: 1.0%e v 3.2% prior, Y/Y: No estimates v 12.9% prior


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