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Tuesday January 5, 2010 - 11:05:47 GMT
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European market Update: German Labor Minister paints a different, bleaker picture from the recent trend in the German employment situation

Tuesday, January 05, 2010 5:54:09 AM

 European market Update: German Labor Minister paints a different, bleaker picture from the recent trend in the German employment situation


- (GE) German Nov ILO Unemployment Rate: 7.6% v 7.6% prior, Seasonal Adj Employment change:- 19K v -28K prior
- (FR) France Dec Consumer Confidence: - 31 v -30e
- (TT) Taiwan Dec CPI Y/Y: -0.2% v 0.0%e;
CPI WPI Y/Y: 5.6% v 5.3%e
- (HU) Hungary Nov Producer Prices M/M: 0.5% v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 0.3% v 0.0% prior
- (NO) Norway Dec PMI: 50.4v 49.5e; highest reading since Mar 2008
- (SP) Spain Dec Preliminary CPI EU Harmonized Y/Y: 0.9% v 0.8%e
- (SP Spain Dec Net Unemployment M/M: 54.7K v 60.6K prior
- (GE) Germany Dec Unemployment Change: -3K v 5Ke; Unemployment Rate: 8.1%v 8.1%e
- (UK) Dec PMI Construction: 47.1 v 47.4e
- (EU) Euro-Zone Dec CPI Estimate Y/Y: 0.9% v 0.9%e v 0.6% prior; highest reading since Feb 2009 but remains below the 2.0% ECB target

- Equities: European equity markets opened the session on a heavy note and quickly pushed off to new lows. Markets looked eager to surrender Monday's large gains and to punish several retailers following disappointing LFL sales out of UK high street retailer Next [NXT.UK]. Broker notes, cutting a number of European retail and grocery names furthered this trend. Equity markets bottomed at 3:50EST following the leaked, then confirmed German December unemployment change and rate figures. Rotating off this figure, equities retraced their losses with the DAX and FTSE making trades in positive territory. In this upward push, leading names were dominated by banks, with RBS [RBS.UK] up over 7.5% and Barclays [BARC.UK] up over 3%. German potash name K+S [SDF.GE] benefited from an upgrade at BoA/Merrill Lynch along with a strong PT raise. A notable standout against this movement has been the Swiss SMI that has been held down by shares of Nestle [NESN.SZ] and Novartis [
NOVN.SZ]. Following yesterday's Alcan [ALC] agreement, Nestle announced a $3.7B cash purchase of US based Kraft's frozen pizza unit, while simultaneously clarifying that it has no interest in UK based Cadbury [CBRY.UK]. Kraft, announced that the proceeds of the unit sale will be used, if necessary, to form an enlarge cash offering portion of its bid for Cadbury (overall valuation of offer remains unchanged). Trading volumes have been good on the back of this news flow with the continental bourses significantly trading ahead of moving averages.

-In equities: Kraft Nestle [KFT/NESN.SZ]: Nestle buys company's frozen pizza unit for $3.7B cash. || Cadbury [CBRY.UK]: Nestle states that it has no intention to make offer for company. || Cadbury [CBRY.UK]: Kraft Foods Offer to Include Partial Cash Alternative Enabled by Net Proceeds from Sale of North American Pizza Business, extends acceptance period for tender offer until
Feb 2nd 2010. || Next [NXT.UK]: Provides trading statement: 22 week LFL ex direct sales +1.6%. || CRH [CRH]: Provides trading update: H2 Like-for-like -18% y/y; Guides FY09 Pretax €750M v €807Me, EBITDA €1.8B v €1.9Be. || Air Liquide [AI.FR]: FY09 profit and revenue levels seen near to FY08 -La Tribune. || Solarworld [SWV.GE]: Expects to beat FY09 Rev forecasts of €1B; See provisional FY09 Rev at €1.01B. || Syngenta [SYNN.SZ]: Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences Sign Cotton Technology Licensing Agreements (financials not disclosed). ||

- Speakers: ECB's Bini Smaghi urged looser foreign exchange policies in emerging
Asia, particularly in China. He noted the domestic case for appreciation of Chinese Yuan currency has become harder to argue in the post-crisis environment. Removal of currency rigidities would contribute to a better-balanced world economy, with benefits both in surplus and deficit countries***Japan PM Hatoyama commented that Fin Minister Fujii would remain at his post (despite the recent health issues). Japanese press wrote that Fujii mentioned he would like to resign from position but that the PM requested for him to remain***Fitch commented about Japan's credit risk and noted that it was offset by strong external balances. Fitch did note that Japan's debt-to-gdp ratio was expected to continue rising over the next few years***German Labor Min Weise commented that the Dec jobs report figures were affected by statistical changes that came into effect ahead of the September general elections and he stated that there was no 'all clear' signal for German job market. Short-term labor saved 330K jobs in 2009 but commented unemployment to rise by 250K to 300K in Jan. he forecasted 4.1M jobless on average in 2010 but might not rise above 4M until Autumn. He expected 600K short term workers in 2010 ***Greek debt agency PDMA commented that it might borrow privately in Jan but the decision depended upon reaction to budget plans. The agency noted that the risk of Greek sovereign bond default over the next two years was zero***

- Currencies: The European session began with dealers trying to rationalize factors that might limit the dollar's recent downside momentum exhibited over the last 24 hours. Dealers took notice of growing chatter that large Swiss companies were on the prowl for potential acquisitions and viewed such rumors as possibly providing some relief to the USD's soft tone. Shortly thereafter the chatter Nestle announced its purchase of Kraft's frozen pizza unit for $3.7B cash, which aiding the USD/CHF pair. The commented that Nestle would not then make a bid for the
UK's Cadbury eventually played a role in capping the pound's positive sentiment as the GBP/USD stumbled from 1.6150 area to probe the 1.60 handle ahead of the NY morning. The JPY maintained a firm tone against the other major pairs with dealers citing Japanese exporters taking advantage of the recent carry-trade sentiment and buying JPY.

As the NY morning approached the dollar again seemed to be benefiting from a backdrop of relative yield differentials and the associated expectations for the Fed to commence a removal of accommodative monetary policies. The German job picture as presented by the labor minister highlighted the difference between the reported figures and the growing expectations that the worst of the employment situation had yet to materialize in

- Fixed Income: Bond markets are generally softer this morning in
Europe with underperformance in the long end in Germany and the UK producing steeper yield curves. Selling has pushed the yield on the 10y Bund back above 3.40% and the 10y Gilt above 4.00%. Meanwhile Treasuries yields are a touch lower across the curve with the 2yr note the best performers, down 2bps to sit just below 1.05%. Issuance has showed some signs of picking up with a number of offerings from financial names including 7yr covered bonds from BBVA and BNP, a 3yr floater from Santander, and a CHF denominated offering from Australia's Commonwealth Bank.***European peripherals concerns creeping back into the market. The Portuguese 5-year to German BOBL spread widening a bit to +67 bps with renewed supply concerns cited as a factor. Greek debt agency PDMA chief Papanicolaou commented that the country might borrow via private placement in Jan and the choice depended on both official and market reaction to budget plans

- Energy: OPEC concerned about Russian rising oil output - unconfirmed Kuwaiti official

- In the papers: Telegraph: Greece faces intrusive EU surveillance amid reports of burgeoning deficit

-Geo/political: A suicide attack that killed 7 CIA officers in Afghanistan last week continues to receive attention as the role of a Jordanian double/triple agent and the nature in which conflict is fought comes to light. In
Yemen, the US diplomatic arm has reopened following a two day close which was triggered by 'imminent threats' of attack. Israel has approved plans for a controversial four building apartment complex building plan in East Jerusalem in what is a heavily Palestinian dominated region. Chinese authorities have reiterated calls for further diplomacy related to Iran and its quest for a nuclear program. EU leaders have reported that Iran has requested a delay of nuclear site expectations. Iranian Pres Ahmadined meanwhile is visiting Central Asian neighbors. China continues to dig out of record snow falls which took place yesterday, leading to travel chaos across the northern sections of the country

- Nestle says it will not bid for Cadbury and instead buys pizza unit from Kraft
- German Dec jobless better than expected due to statistical change in reporting
- European stocks recover from session lows. Chatter that Barclays might raise guidance circulating and helping risk appetite
- US 2-year yields fall 1.05% after testing 1.18% on Monday
Telegraph: Greece faces intrusive EU surveillance amid reports of burgeoning deficit.
- PBoC's Zhou:
China banks must control pace of lending, and pay attention to growing credit risks.
India's Economic Panel Chief: Fiscal tightening maybe needed. Inflation seen at +6%

***Looking Ahead:
- 6:30 (CL) Chile Nov Economic Activity Y/Y: 2.3%e v -0.9% prior
- 7:45 (US) ICSC/UBSW Chain Store Sales: No est v 0.4% prior
- 8:00 Fed's Hoenig to speak on Gov't bailouts
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Nov Industrial Product Price M/M: 0.5%e v -0.3% prior; Raw material Price Index M/M: 1.1%e v 2.5% prior
- 8:55 (US) Redbook Retail Sales: No est v 3.0%
- 10:00 (US) Nov Factory Orders: 0.5%e v 0.6% prior
- 10:00 (US) Nov Pending Home Sales M/M: -3.0%e v 3.7% prior; Y/Y: No est v 28.6% prior
- 11:00 (HU) Hungary Dec Budget Balance YTD (HUF): No est v -1.1B prior



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