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Wednesday December 23, 2009 - 11:04:07 GMT
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European Market Update: Continental bourses hit 2009 highs - "it's the most wonderful time of the year"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 5:55:43 AM

 European Market Update: Continental bourses hit 2009 highs - "it's the most wonderful time of the year"


- (GE) German Nov Import Price Index M/M: 0.4% v 0.3%e Y/Y: -5.0% v -5.2%e
- (FR) French Nov Consumer Spending M/M:-0.1% v 0.5%e Y/Y: 3.2% v 3.3%e
- (SP) Spanish Nov Producer Prices M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e , Y/Y: -1.8% v -1.7%e
- (NV) Netherlands Q3 Final GDP Q/Q: 0.5% v 0.4%e Y/Y: -3.7% v -3.7%e
- (IT) Italian Consumer Confidence: 113.7 v 112.7e
- (PD) Poland Nov Unemployment Rate: 11.4% v 11.5%e
- (NO) Norwegian Oct Unemployment Rate (AKU): 3.2% v 3.2%e
- (IT) Italian Oct Retail Sales M/M: 0.0% v 0.1%e, Y/Y: 0.5% v -1.8%e
- (UK) BoE Mninutes: Unanimous vote to keep rates and QE on hold in Dec
- (UK) BBA Loans for House Purchase: 44.7K v 43Ke
- (SP) Spain Oct Total Housing Permits M/M: 14.8% v 59.7% prior, Y/Y: -36.1% v -41.7% prior

-In equities: In the last full day of trading ahead of the Christmas Holidays, equity markets in Europe are looking to continue a two day positive run. In trading today, both the DAX and CAC40 set new 2009 calendar year highs. This rotation followed the S&P closing Tuesday at a new year high and strong closes across
Asia (ex Japan that was closed for Emperor's day holiday). As expected, trading in Europe has been light with the FTSE volume down as much as 60% from its average. All sectors on the EuroStoxx50 were in positive territory on little specific corporate news, but broader macro flows as the USD maintained its strength against the GBP, but eased in relation to the EUR. Commodity strength pushed resource names higher in a move that was furthered by commentary from ArcellorMittal [MT.NV] that it planned to acquire further iron ore mine assets in 2010 as it expected prices to continue rising. Tech names also showed outperformance, with Infineon [IFX.GE] continuing to trade higher after its surprise upside guidance in yesterdays session.

- In speakers: comments that may gain more attention after the holidays, the PBoC reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining a moderately loose monetary policy, adding that they would seek to make monetary policy more targeted and flexible. Chinese authorities also noted that they were seeking to expand the Yuan denominated settlement program.

-In individual equities: ArcellorMittal [MT.NV]: Plans to buy more mines in 2010 to raise its iron ore supply, anticipating recovery in iron ore prices. || Tesco [TSCO.UK]: Has become the first retailer to cut prices in the online Christmas sales war - Guardian. || BAE Systems [BA.UK]: Awarded £220M contract by French govt for 129 Viking armored vehicles - Times. || Siemens [SIE.GE]: Reportedly GVK is considering acquiring firms 40% stake in
Bangalore Airport. || Heineken [HEIA.NV]: Have acquired remaining debt of Globe Group; Net debt reduced by €215M. ||

Currencies: Fx markets have been exceptionally quiet this morning with EUR/USD and USD/JPY largely unmoved from yesterday's
New York close at the time of writing. The Swiss Franc has noticeably been subject to another bout of weakness. EUR/CHF has session lows below 1.4930 and the market is pondering whether the SNB's original Mar 12 intervention point of 1.4850 will be defended. Dealers noted chatter of a of KO option at 1.0510 in USD/CHF as an explanation for a failure of the pair to sustain a break above 1.0500 in yesterday's session. There was also speculation that corporate flows of the back of Swiss private commodity house Glencore's $2.2B convertible bond issuance had weighed on the currency. Sterlng has expereinced a choppy session, despite the BoE minutes revealing that the MPC's December decision to keep rates and QE on hold was unanimous - in line with market expectations.

Fixed Income: Volumes hqve been exceptionally thin in UST's with
Tokyo out for Emeperor's Day but some bargain hunting by London desks has driven yields lower. The 10y Note has outperformed the rest of the curve with the yield down 1.5bps and back to 3.74%, while the the Bund yield is higher by roughly the same amount at 3.28%. The Greek 10y has shed another 4bps against the European benchmark to trade at +242bps while spain, Ireland and Italy have also firmed up against the core. Gilts have been the whipping boy of the session, with benchmark 10y yield has testing 5 month highs above 3.965%. A report in the Daily Mail suggesting a 25B increase to QE was likely in the new year has been largely ignore by Gilt and currency markets alike.

Geo-Political: 6 party talks including
Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the US failed to set a deadline for presenting guidance to the UN regarding Iran. Further talks will be held in the second half of January, 2010 as Iranian Pres Ahmadinejad again dismissed calls for a year end agreement to swap uranium for nuclear fuel. China (PRC) and Taiwan (ROC) continued to ease towards normalization as further accords on economic issues were signed; agreements on free trade and intellectual property rights are planned for 2010. Saudi Arabia again claimed that its border conflict with rebels in Yemen was nearing an end; total casualties since Nov were put at 73. In Jamaica, an American Airlines 737 flight overshot its runway in heavy rain. All 150 passengers and crew are reported to have survived with 40 minor injuries reported

- In the Papers: Key themes in global news papers continue to focus on the US Health Care bill and the fallout from
Copenhagen. In the US, the Washington Post cites an interview with Pres Obama stating that he still supports the bill and its final position. The last of three Senate votes on the bill remains scheduled for Christmas eve. UK and European news papers continue to focus on the role of China in disrupting/destroying the Copenhagen talks. A further spat of email and network issues from Canadian based Research in Motion, operator of BlackBerry have made headlines in the US and Canada.

Looking ahead

- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Dec 18th: No est v 0.3% prior
- 8:00 (PD) Polish Central Bank Rate Decision: No change expected, current Base Rate is 3.50%
- 8:30 (US) Nov Personal Income: 0.5%e v 0.2% prior, Personal Spending: 0.7%e v 0.7% prior
- 8:30 (US) Nov PCE Core M/M: 0.1%e v 0.2% prior, Y/Y: 1.5%e v 1.4% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canadian Oct GDP M/M: 0.3%e v 0.4% prior
- 10:00 (US) Dec Final U of Michigan Confidence: 73.8e v 73.4 prior
- 10:00 (US) Nov New Home Sales: 438Ke v 430K prior, M/M: 1.7%e v 6.2% prior
- 15:30 (MX) Mexico Nov unemployment Rate: 5.70%e v 5.94% prior



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