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Monday January 18, 2010 - 11:25:21 GMT
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European Market Update: US holiday fails to dampen volumes in mixed global session

Today 05:52am EST/10:52am GMT

European Market Update: US holiday fails to dampen volumes in mixed global session



2:00 (FI) Finland Dec PPI M/M: 0.4% v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: -2.6% v -5.6% prior

3:00 (TU) Turkey Dec Consumer Confidence: 78.8 v 78.4 prior - 4:00

3:00(SW) Sweden Dec AMV Unemployment Rate: 5.6% v 5.8%e - 4:00

3:00 (SA) South Africa Dec Kagiso PMI: 52.5 v 51.0e - 4:00 3:00 (IT) Italy Nov Total Trade Balance: -€790M v -€500Me; Trade Balance EU: -€760M v -€750Me


- In equities: European equity markets have opened the week on a positive footing. Equity rotation shook off a mixed picture in
Asia and a disappointing trading session last Friday following JPMorgan's [JPM] earnings release. In trading, earnings from Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont [CFR.SZ] added upside lift to the broader sector with PPR [PP.FR], LVMH [MC.FR] and Luxottica [LUX.FR] moving higher. Press speculation that French utility GDF Suez [GSZ.FR] was in talks with UK International Power [IPR.UK] was met positively with both names trading upbeat. Ahead of the Jan 19 offer update deadline from Kraft [KFT], Cadbury [CBRY.UK] has been trading higher. Insurance names Munich Re [MUV2.GE] and Hannover Re [HNR1.GE] have traded higher following new contract announcements from UK based Admiral [ADM.UK]. Strong rotation in metal prices led to sector outperformance while the tech sector underperformed, moving lower after last week's gains. Despite today being a federal and market holiday in the US, trading volumes have remained strong in Europe, trading at or near moving averages. Intersession lows were printed at 4:00EST on choppy trading before rebounding. Into 5:30EST, bourses look set to print new highs.

-In individual equities: Swiss Re [RUKN.SZ]: Transfers CHF1.3B in
US individual life retrocession risk to Berkshire Hathaway. || Heritage Oil [HOIL.UK]: Confirms press speculation; Tullow exercises pre-emption right on proposed sale of Heritage's Ugandan assets. || International Power [IPR.UK]: GDF Suez has made an offer to acquire the company after months of discussions - Sunday Times. || Richemont [CFR.SZ]: Reports Q3 Rev €1.6B v €1.5Be. || ArcelorMittal [MT.NV]: Expect to post loss on Northern European operations in 2009 -Lettre de L'Epansion. ||

-Fixed Income: With US markets closed for
MLK day, volumes in macro markets have been thin with no real discernible patterns in trading. All the action in currencies has been in cross rates : EUR/GBP hit fresh 4 month lows below 0.8800 with the move attributed to deal related flows ( specifically GDF Suez' proposed €5B offer for the UK's International Power). while EUR/CHF was subject to some volatility after the SNB, citing improved funding conditions, announced that it would discontinue its CHF liquidity swaps with the ECB, Hungarian and Polish Central banks from the end of the month. Session lows were reached in the cross below 1.4750. A significant sequential improvement in UK Rightmove House prices data for Jan also contributed to broad based strength in GBP - cable hit a one month high above 1.6380. Government bond prices are modestly bid despite a positive start to the week for equities. Yields on the benchmark 10y bund and 10y gilt are both down 1bps at 3.25% and 3.925% respectively.

Qatar's Oil Ministry commented that it did not expect to see OPEC raise output levels through 2010 at current prices. Qatar stated that overall domestic production is expected to rise to over 1M bpd by 2011. UK based Tullow [TW.UK] announced its intention to utilize a preemptive arrangement to acquire 50% of Heritage [HOIL.UK] Oil's Ugandan based operations. This option moves Tullow ahead of ENI and requires approval from the Ugandan government. China's 2010 energy consumption level is expected to increase by 7% y/y in 2010 according to Xinhua with December generation up over 26% y/y.

Ukraine has held a successful first round in a subdued presidential election. With approx 70% of the votes counted, a Feb 7th runoff will be held between current PM Timoshenko (27.2% of vote) and opposition leader Yanukovich (31.5%). Current President and figurehead in 2005's Orange Revolution, Yushechenko has been sidelined with only 6% of the vote. Experts see the Feb 7 runoff as being extremely close with final vote counting running through February and moving into March. In such a result, a leadership vacuum is expected to exist for a period of 2-3 months ahead of final results. In this situation, outstanding negations with the IMF regarding a $16.4B loan package are expected to remain strained. Aid efforts in Haiti have accelerated over the weekend with the US military taking the lead in distribution of food and water. In an increasingly desperate environment, the level of violence and tension has been reported as rising significantly. US, UN and international partners continue to pledge money and support in assistance of the local Haitian government. In a further challenge to the security and overall sovereign nature of Afghanistan's government, Taliban backed forces have staged a daring daylight attack in the very center of Kabul. Government targets included the central bank, ministry of education and presidential offices were all targeted in the coordinated attack. Militants killed or injured over 40 police, gov officials and civilians in a running gun battle that ended in suicide bombings.

***looking Ahead:

6:00 (IR) Ireland Nov Retail sales Volume M/M: No est v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: No est v -9.1% prior

8:30 (CA) Canada Nov Intl Securities Transactions: C$5.3Be v C$5.8B prior - US


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