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Thursday March 4, 2010 - 11:02:36 GMT
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European Market Update: Greece formally launches 10-year bond sale; BOE and ECB expected to remain on hold in their policies

Thursday, March 04, 2010 5:56:52 AM

 European Market Update: Greece formally launches 10-year bond sale; BOE and ECB expected to remain on hold in their policies


- (ID) Indonesia Central Bank leaves reference rate at 6.50%
- (MA) Malaysia Central Bank interest Rate decision raised its overnight rate by 25bps to 2.25%; nor expected
- (FI) Finland Dec Final Trade Balance: -€88M v -€50M prior
- (FR) France Q4 ILO Unemployment Rate: 10.0% v 9.8%e; Mainland Unemployment Rate: 9.6% v 9.4%e; Unemployment change: 145K v 9K prior
- (HU) Hungary Dec Final Trade Balance: €375.4M v €375.4M prior
- (DE) Denmark Jan Unemployment Rate Seasonally adj: 4.2% v 4.5%e
- (NE) Netherlands Feb CPI M/M: 0.7% 0.5%e; Y/Y: 0.8% v 0.7%e
- (HK) Hong Kong Jan Retail Sales Value Y/Y: 6.6% v 10.1%e; Retail Sales Volume Y/Y: 3.2% v 6.3%e
- (UK) UK Feb Halifax House Prices M/M: -1.5% v 0.1%e; 3M/Y: 4.5% v 5.0%e
- (UK) Feb New car registrations: 26.4% v 29.8% prior
- (RU) Russia Gold & Forex Reserves w/e Feb 26th: $434.1B v $432.4B prior
- (EU) Euro-Zone Q4 Preliminary
GDP Q/Q: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: -2.1% v -2.1%e
- (EU) Euro-Zone Q4 Preliminary Gross Fix Capital: -0.8% v -0.9%e; Gov't Expenditures: -0.1% v 0.4%e; Household Consumption: 0.0% v -0.1%e

- Equities: European equity market opened offered following late losses in NY and a steep sell off in China that followed building concerns over potential lending tightening, and rate increases. Speculation that position size rules would be changed in
China for copper trading had bearish effects on wider basic resource sector. Earnings names including French utility GDF Suez [GDF.FR] and global shipper Maersk [MAERSKB.DE] disappointed the market. After market reports from construction firm Vinci [DG.FR] pleased analysts, and traded higher. Chemical names have put in a mixed session after an update from the German Chemical group VCI which stated that full 2009 chemical sales were below expectations. Final confirmation that Greece would be in the market to sell a 10-year syndicate ushered in a relief recovery for equities into 4:00EST. Recovery in energy and commodity prices from their Asian session levels dragged their corresponding sectors higher. This rotation led to a broad uptrend from lower negative levels. The material heavy RSX and FTSE led the rotation. Trading volumes remain below moving averages as equities have put in three consecutive sessions of gains.

In individual equities: Maersk [MAERSKB.DE]: Reports FY09 Net loss DKK7.03B v loss DKK5.5Be, Rev DKK260B v DKK259Be. || Kazakhamys [KAZ.UK]: Reports FY EBITDA $1.21B v $1.2Be Rev $3.68B v $5.15B y/y. || Beiersdorf [BEI.GE]: Reports FY09 Net €380M v €567M y/y, Rev €5.7B v €5.9B y/y. || GDF Suez [GSZ.FR]: Reports FY09 Net €4.5B v €4.5Be, EBITDA €14B v €14.2Be, Rev €79.9B v €82.2Be. || Vinci [DG.FR]: Reports final FY09 Net €1.6B v €1.5Be; will maintain dividend at €1.62/share. || Anheuser InBev [ABI.BE]: Reports Q4 Net profit $877M v $850Me, EBITDA $3.11B v $3.3Be, Rev $9.3B v $9.3Be. || Ahold [AH.NV]: Reports Q4 Net €267M v €250Me; Rev €6.8B v €6.8Be; Announces €500M share buyback. ||

- Speakers:
Greece formally announced the launch of its 10-year bond issue with a €5B amount slated with guidance seen around the 310bps area over mid-swap. The Greek Debt Agency noted that strong investor demand should bring the spread below 300bps.** Moody's analyst commented that the Greece's austerity measures gave certainty for 2010 but cautioned the developments for 2011 and 2012 outlook remained to be seen. The analyst added that strike action taking place indicated just how ambitious Greek government measures were. ***Sweden Central Bank (Riksbank) Gov Ingves commented that the global Economic recovery was on firmer ground at this time but difficult decisions were ahead in regards to exit policies on special measures. He reiterated that Swedish interest rate hikes might come during the summer or early autumn (in line with Feb 11th statement). The Kroner currency (SEK) had been weak during the economic crisis and should see a gradual currency strengthening and aid in curbing inflation *** South Africa Finance Min Gordhan stated that the country sought less volatility in the ZAR exchange rate but noted capital controls are not the solution at this time. Looking at the impact of the carry trade on its rand currency and was weighing its options to curb currency volatility. He added that all exporting currencies were seeking competitive edge as far as exchange rates are concerned *** Switzerland's SNB Jordan commented that options remained open to continue its currency intervention but had no plans to sell any of its 1,040 tons of gold at this time *** German Chemical VCI stated that 2009 chemical sales were down more than forecasted at -13.5% y/y, €152.7B **Japan Fin Min Noda reiterated that it was carefully observing bond markets and stressed that it needed to inform markets that Japan's debt was not an issue. He added that investors know the situation between Japan and Greece was different ***Japan's PM Hatoyama stated that Japan's fiscal hardship was a serious situation but noted that he would not describe the current state as a "crisis"

- Currencies: The currency market was best described as 'range bound' ahead of the BOE and ECB interest rate decisions later today. The dollar and JPY pairs were modestly firmer against the European counterparts on some initial risk aversion flows that rumored
China inflation data might prompt a PBoC rate hike. However, the peripheral situation calming a bit down following the Greek austerity measures announced on Wed. Greece formally announced the launching of its 10-year bond issue and the order book was stated to be over €10B. Moody's did note that the Greece's austerity measures did give the markets some certainty for 2010 but was questionable beyond that. EUR/USD at 1.3680 ahead of the NY morning. The JPY hit three month highs against the dollar as it tested 88.15. The pair remains below the 88.50 level that acted as prior support.

- Fixed Income: Bond markets are range bound ahead of ECB and BoE rate decisions .
Greece finally launched its long awaited 10y issuance. Guidance was set at 300bps/swaps with the PDMA seeking to sell €5B, early reports are suggesting healthy order books (above €10B) although there is certain to be skepticism within the bond community after suggestions of inflated orders from book runners last time Greece came to market. Spain sold €4.5B - top of the range - in new 5 year Bono's, while the market swallowed up over €8.1B worth of Oat's from France.

- Geopolitical:
Taiwan's south continues to be jarred by up to 15 aftershocks of a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit at 8:20AM local time. While violent, damage and fatalities have been limited in a country that is seen as well prepared for such events. The earthquake follows last Saturdays pacific rim quake in Chile. *** Despite an acceleration of violence, Iraq has begun pivotal national elections with members of the police and military (607K votes) voting ahead of the general election day (scheduled for this Sunday, March 7). The national election is Iraq's second since the 2003 US led invasion and is seen as a benchmark signal for the level of stability in the country.

- Asset manager Blackstone: seeing funds leave risky assets and moving in to more stable assets
- ECB and BoE policy announcements should be relative non-events for markets but watching for wording on Quantitative measures
- People Congress kicks off in Beijing. Chinese Premier Jiabao's address to Congress in Bejing
- There were rumors that
China February inflation could be higher than expected and would lead the authorities to raise rates
- China CIC said commodities may be outpacing the economic recovery
Japan PM Hatoyama: No doubt Japans fiscal state is quite severe.
- Greece launches 10-year bond sale

***Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (UK) BOE interest rate decision: Expected to maintain both the interest rates and Asset Purchase Target at current levels of 0.50% and £200B
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Industrial Production M/M: 1.1%e v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: 16.0%e v 18.9% prior
- 7:45 (EU) ECB interest rate decision: Expected to maintain the main refi rate at 1.0%
- 8:00 (BR) Brazil Jan CNI Capacity utilization: v 81.7% prior
- 8:30 (EU) ECB press conference begins
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Jan Building Permits M/M: 0.8%e v 2.4% prior
- 8:30 (US) Q4 Final Nonfarm Productivity: 6.3%e v 6.2% prior; Labor Costs: -4.5%e v -4.4% prior
- 8:30 (BR) Brazil Feb Vehicle Sales: No est v 213.3K prior; Vehicle Production: No est v 243.4K prior; Exports: No est v 44.8K prior
- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 470Ke v 496K prior; Continuing Claims: 4.600Me v 4.617M prior
- 10:00 (US) Jan Factory Orders: 1.8%e v 1.0% prior
- 10:00 (CA) Canada Feb Ivey Purchasing Managers Index: 56.0e v 50.8 prior
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Feb Consumer Confidence: 82.5e v 82.1 prior
- 10:00 (US) Jan Pending Home Sales M/M: 1.0%e v 1.0% prior; Y/Y: No est v 10.5% prior
- 10:00 (US) ICSC Chain Store Sales Y/Y: No est v 3.0% prior
- 10:15 Feb Bullard
- 13:25 Fed's Evens
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Feb Producer Price Index M/M: No est v 1.2% prior; Y/Y: No est v 0.5% prior
- 16:15 Fed's Bullard



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