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Wednesday December 2, 2009 - 11:08:21 GMT
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European Market Update: Currency Intervention watch gathers steam after Japan's top finance official pays Washington a visit (Trade the News)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 5:56:30 AM

 European Market Update: Currency Intervention watch gathers steam after Japan's top finance official pays Washington a visit


- (TH) Thai Central Bank kept its Benchmark Rate unchanged at 1.25%; as expected
- (BR) Brazil Nov FIPE CPI: 0.3% v 0.3%e
- (FI) Finland Sept Final Trade Balance: -272M v 0.0e
- (NO) Norway Dec PMI: 48.5 v 47.5e
- (HU) Hungary Sept Final Trade Balance: 477.1M v 485.6M prior
- (SP) Spain Nov Unemployment Net M/M: 60.6K v 98.9K prior
- (SW) Swedish Q3 Current Account (SEK) 53.1B v 67.9B prior
- (SA) South Africa Nov Naamsa Vehicle Sales Y/Y: -12.1% v -16.9% prior
- (UK) Nov PMI Construction: 47.0 v 46.9e
- (EU) Euro-zone Oct PPI M/M; 0.2% v 0.0%e; Y/Y:-6.7% v -6.8%e

- Equities: Following yesterday's strong global equity session, European markets have been more reserved. Equities have hovered above and below the unchanged mark in erratic trading that have been driven by an assortment of news flows. Macro themes continue to be dominated by the on-going upward trend in precious and industrial metals. Reduced contagion concerns from Dubai (as the UAE celebrates unity day) have settled financial sector names who look to give back some of their recovery from Tuesday. Mid East exposed banks are trading the lowest, more on profit taking from yesterday's surge than over continued loss fears. Equity movers included French listed Bouygues [EN.FR], Neopost [NEO.FR] and UK listed Sage Group [SGE.UK] following earnings releases. European auto names have moved lower following yesterday's November US sales figures. In IPO news, looking ahead to tomorrow's launch of PPR's [PP.FR] CFAO [CFAO.FR] unit, pricing has been reported at 26/share, just below the mid-point of its indicated range. Overall sentiment has been flat with equities at 5:30EST just ahead of the unchanged line as markets await commentary from Nokia [NOK1V.FH] in its capital day, and US ADP employment figures seen in the NY morning.

-In individual equities: Sage Group [SGE.UK] Reports FY09 Pretax 267M v 293Me, Rev 1.4B v 1.4Be. || Barclays [BARC.UK] To record a gain of 900M more than expected related to sale of Barclays Global Investors unit to BlackRock - FT. || Neopost [NEO.FR]: Reports Q3 Rev 215M v 221Me. || Bouygues [EN.FR]: Reports Q3 net 477M v 430Me, Rev 8.4B v 8.4Be; Reaffirms FY09 Rev target 31.2B v 31.4Be. || PPR [PP.FR] Reportedly CFAO spin-off to be priced at 26/share. ||

-Individual stocks:

- Speakers: Japan PM Hatoyama stated in a speech that a strong Yen currency cannot be left "as is". The Prime Minister added that he was unsure whether the strength was a temporary or lasting phenomenon || Japanese Gov Spokesperson Hirano tried to clarify the PM's currency comment and noted that Hatoyama did not state that Japan was ready to intervene in currency markets but meant officials were watching markets closely. || BOJ Gov Shirakawa commented about his meeting with PM Hatoyama and explained recent currencies price action with him. The two officials discussed about markets, economy and prices . The BOJ stated that Hatoyama did not call for more policy easing. BOJ shares Gov't view on deflation and the central bank pledged to maintain in contact with Gov't and meet when necessary || Japan's Banking Min Kamei stated that Japan should ask the U.S. and Europe to take coordinated action to weaken the yen currency

- Currencies: The session was all about the JPY as various comments from the Tokyo open prompted possible intervention moves as numerous meeting took place over the last 24 hours. The speculation swirled after dealer took notice that Japan's top financial official Tamaki met with US Treasury officials in Washington DC to exchange views on wide range of issues. Tamaki declined to elaborate on the exact nature of the meeting. Intervention gather a bit more momentum after Japan PM Hatoyama commented in a speech that a strong Yen currency cannot be left "as is" but did concede that he was unsure whether the strength was a temporary or lasting phenomenon. The USD/JPY was firmly above the 87 handle throughout European morning but yet to take out the Tuesday high of 87.53 (made after the announcement of an emergency BOJ meeting). The key level for the short-term prospects for the pair is the 88.00, which acted as support throughout the summer period. (TTN duly notes that 'effective' intervention (particularly coordinated) would occur when the technical picture was 'favorable'. The successful intervention in USD/JPY back in 1995 occurred at the 95 level and was already 15 big figures off the all-time low of 79.80 made in April of that year). The USD/JPY would need to move above the 88 handle to offset some of the bearish technical forces currently seen in the pair. Most central bankers would note that currency intervention is not effective unless the circumstances are ideal.
- Dealers are preparing for Thursday's ECB meeting and noting that a lot of confusion on the ECB's exit strategy could result from the post decision press conference. Particularly the market is preparing how to interpret what the implications are for changes in the tender operations. Markets might latch onto something simple like an upgrade in growth and inflation forecasts. For today's session renewed chatter of a binary option barrier with 1.4850 to 1.5150 parameters was the discussion with Friday expiration being circulated. || China's PBoC Hu Xiaolian commented that gold prices were at high levels adding that markets should be worried about potential asset bubbles. The official noted that PBoC must keep in mind the long-term effects when considering what to use as our reserves (response to question whether China had plans to increase its gold holdings) || Canadian Govt provided stimulus updates: 97% of stimulus committed; warns its provinces to use or lose funds

- Fixed Income: Government bonds are softer this morning in Europe with bear steepening a constant theme in all three major markets. Gilts have underpeformed on a relative basis with the UK 10 year now 40bps cheap to the Bund and 30bps cheap to Treasuries. European peripherals are firmer against the core and Greek 10y has led the away again, shedding another 10 bps on the session to sit back below pre Dubai levels at Bunds +160bps. The UK sold 2.25B in 30yr Gilts with a 0.2bps tail and a strong cover of 1.74. In corporates, Credit Suisse launched a 3yr EUR floater while a 12yr sterling denominated offering from Australia's NAB is also in the works.

- Energy: Russia reported Nov Oil production at 10.07M bpd v 10.04M bpd m/m. It Gas output at 1.93Bcm/d v 1.76Bcm/d m/m with Gazprom Nov gas output at 1.57Bcm/d v 1.45Bcm/d m/m

- Commodities: Spot gold holds above $1,200/oz. || NY Post article makes the case for silver noting that it like the metal as a long-term investment over gold. Article noted that Silver has a "one-two punch" in being a a precious metal and industrial uses (citing batteries, dentistry and as an electricity conductor).

- In the papers: WSJ commented on OPEC's Nov production levels, which rose to an avg of 26.7M bpd. This is the highest level of production since Dec 2008 and come as OPEC becomes more confident that oil demand will recover with the global economy. Also, some OPEC members are still producing above their quota levels

- Equities: New month, new money entered markets. Thus what goes up, goes up further is the sentiment
- Japan's Tamaki: Met with US Treasury officials to exchange views on wide range of issues; declined to elaborate
- US job picture to unfold as the week progresses. Talk of a potential positive reading in Nonfarm Payrolls since Dec 2007 (23 months ago)
- ECB interest Rate decision and press conference on Thursday. Focus will be on 12-month repo (LTRO)

***Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications q/e Nov 27th: No est v -4.5% prior
- 7:30 (US) Challenger Job Cuts YoY: No est v -50.7% prior; 55.7K prior
- 8:15 (US) ADP Employment Change: -150Ke v -203K prior
- 8:30 (SI) Singapore Nov Purchasing Managers Index: 50.0e v 50.2 prior; Electronic Sector Index: No est v 49.6 prior
- 9:30 (US) Tsy Sec Geithner to testify before Senate on OTC Derivatives
- 10:30 (US) DoE Inventory report: Crude: 0.0E; Gasoline: +750KE; Distillate: -500KE; Capacity Utilization:80.8%E
- 12:00 (US) TALF Announcement
- 12:30 (US) Fed's Lacker speaks in NC
- 14:00 (US) Fed's Beige Book


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