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European market Update: UK Production data declines for the first time since Aug; UK budget release date of March 24 makes a May 6th general election seem even more likely

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 5:53:41 AM

 European market Update: UK Production data declines for the first time since Aug; UK budget release date of March 24 makes a May 6th general election seem even more likely


- (TH) Thailand Central Bank maintained its Benchmark Interest Rate at 1.25%; as expected
- (CH) China Feb NDRC Housing Prices: 10.7% v 9.4%e
- (FI) Finland Jan Industrial Production M/M: -1.8% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 0.0% v 4.0%e
- (GE) Germany Jan Current Account: €3.6B v €15.0Be; Trade Balance: €8.0B v €14.5Be; Imports M/M: 6.0% v 1.2%e; Exports M/M: -6.3% v 0.5%e
- (GE) Germany Feb Final Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.4% v 0.2%e; Y/Y; 0.6% v 0.4%e
- (GE) Germany Feb Final CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 0.4% v 0.2%e; Y/Y; 0.5% v 0.3%e
- (FR) France Jan Industrial Production M/M: % v 0.1%e; Y/Y; % v 1.7%e
- (FR) France Jan Manufacturing Production M/M: % v 0.2%e; Y/Y; % v -2.0% prior
- (SP) Spain Jan Real Retail Sales Y/Y: -4.5% v -1.2% prior; Retail Sales Adj Y/Y: -2.8% v -2.1% prior
- (HU) Hungary Q4 GDP Y/Y: -4.0% v -4.0% prior
- (SW) Sweden Jan Industrial Production M/M: 1.6% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: -0.2% v -1.7%e
- (SW) Sweden Jan Industrial Orders M/M: 3.7% v -1.1% prior; Y/Y: 4/.0% v 8.0% prior
- (DE) Denmark Feb Final CPI M/M: 1.2% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 1.9% v 1.7%e
- (DE) Denmark Feb Final CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 0.9% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 1.8% v 1.5%e
- (IT) Italy Jan Industrial Production M/M: 2.6% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: -3.3% v -1.5%e; Indust Prod WDA: 0.1% v -3.4%e
- (CZ) Czech Q4 Current Account: -€290M v -€927M prior
- (NO) Norway Feb CPI M/M: 1.3% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 3.0% v 2.6%e
- (NO) Norway Feb CPI Underlying M/M: 0.7% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 1.9% v 1.9%e
- (NO) Norway Feb Producer Prices (incl oil) M/M: 2.1% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 18.8% v 17.4%e
- (UK) Jan Industrial Production M/M: -0.4% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: -1.5% v -0.8%e; First negative monthly decline since Aug 2009
- (UK) Jan Manufacturing Production M/M: -0.9% v 0.2%e; Y/Y:0.2 % v 1.4%e
- (IT) Italy Q4 Final GDP Q/Q: -0.3% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: -3.0% v -2.8%e
- (IT) Italy Q4 Private Consumption: -0.1% v 0.2%e; Government Spending: -0.2% v 0.1%e; Total Investments: -1.0% v -0.3%e; Exports: 0.1% v -0.1%e; Imports: 3.2% v 0.9%e
- (PO) Portugal Feb Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.1% v 0.1%e; Y/Y: 0.2% v 0.2%e
- (PO) Feb CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 0.0% v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: 0.2% v 0.1% prior

- Equities: Markets in Europe took little direction from a flat line Asian trading session. Equities have continued their week trend of mostly directionless trading. European markets opened slightly offered with mediocre earnings setting the tone. FY09 final reports from utility E.on [EOAN.GE], insurer [MUV2.GE] and advertiser JC Decaux [DEC.FR] traded positive and negative, going along with a vague market flow. Earnings from Fortis [FORB.BE] were clearly positive and supported the smaller mid-cap Benolux-financials. Chinese import/export data has had a positive impact on the basic resource names, but their upward rotation has been muted in comparison to recent reactions. In specific news, Barclays [BARC.UK] has remained under limited pressure on speculation the bank is looking to acquire US retail assets. Interbroker dealers ICAP [IAP.UK] and Tullett Prebon [TLPR.UK] have moved higher on sector consolidation speculation. Jenoptik [JEN.GE] has come under pressure following speculation f an accelerated book build while merger talk for Piaggio [PIA.IT] with Immsi has been quashed. Into 5:30EST markets appear to be consolidating in slightly positive territory with a continued trend of soft turnover volumes.

Individual equities: Tullow [TLW.UK]: Reports FY09 Net £19M v £19Me, Op profit £95M v £100Me, Rev £582.7M v £578Me. || JC Decaux [DEC.FR]: Reports FY09 Net €24.5M v €39Me, EBIT €122.8M v €236.4M y/y, Rev €1.9B v €2.17B y/y: will not pay dividend. || E.on [EOAN.GE]: Reports FY09 Net €5.33B v €5.8Be, Rev €81.8B v €83.9Be; Outlook into 2010 remains uncertain. || Munich Re [MUV2.GE]: Reports final FY09 Net €2.56B v €1.58B y/y, Gross written prem €41.4B v €37.8B y/y. || Fortis [FORB.BE]: Reports FY09 Net €1.19B v €1.12Be; Net earned premiums €9.0B v €8.3B y/y; Plans to change name to Ageas.

- Speakers: (GR) Greece PM Papandreou commented in a press interview that Europe could see a new wave of nationalism if fear prevails***Speculation surfaced that Greece might seek EU aid in roughly two months time if interest rate spreads did not narrow *** Japanese govt official Tsumura commented that the Gov't believes that BOJ not need to increase bond purchases to stimulate demand. He added that more BOJ bond purchases might raise the longer end of the yield curve. He did not see any risk that
Japan would enter a double-dip recession. ***Turkey's Econ Min stated that Turkey and IMF would not have any loan program discussions before May and that Turkey would maintain its own medium term program with or without the IMF. The official noted that Turkey could move forward with its own program using IMF advice and did not need emergency funding from IMF and not need to sign an agreement. Standby accord is an option for all IMF member countries ***Former EU Commissioner Prodi commented that the worst of the Greek debt crisis was over and added that Spain and Portugal would not follow Greece's path. He did note that Budget deficits were problems for all wealthy nations. On the currency front he stated that the recent Euro decline against China Yuan was a positive step for producers***Germany Econ Min stated that the proposed European Monetary Fund (EMF) should only include Euro-zone states and should only be used in case of potential insolvency. The capital for fund should come from quota system from member states***Austria Debt Office commented that a second syndicated bond offering depended on the country's budget and would have a clear picture by the end of May ***UK Debt office (DMO) confirmed that Mar 24th would be the budget release date. (Dealers note that the March 24 date for the Budget makes a May 6 general election seem even more likely)**

- Currencies: The European currencies were on the defensive during the early part of the session but managed to regain some composure as the trading day wore on aided by comforting comments from former EU Chief Prodi (who noted that the worst of the Greek crisis had past). The European session saw a mixed batch of data but the weaker
UK production data appeared to be the most important for sentiment. This was the First negative monthly decline for UK production since Aug 2009 and reflected the caution on the recovery stressed by UK PM Brown earlier in the morning. GBP/USD tested 1.4885 before consolidating its losses was off around 100 pips from the opening levels in Asia. The GBP continues to be weighed down by various polls that suggest the potential for a hung Parliament after the next UK elections. *** The JPY was mixed against the majors as Japanese fiscal year-end flows and global interest rate differentials continue to battle it out. There is growing chatter that the BOJ might be leaning towards easing monetary policy further at its policy meeting next week.

- Fixed Income: Germany tapped €5B in the March 2012 Schatz with a very solid cover of 2.1x. France's 50 yr OAT is set to price later in the session with reports of robust orders of around €5B. meanwhile Spain launched a 5 year FRN offering of its own. and in corporate, European names Alstom and Edison have both come to market with offerings. *** Portugal sold €990M in its 3.85% 2021 bonds, which was more that the €750M expected.

- In the Papers: UK Telegraph commented on the recent Fitch warnings on the sovereign front. Fitch seemed to warn Britain and questions the Greek austerity measures as sovereign risks grow. Article noted that Fitch Ratings has delivered a serious blow to the credibility of the Government's budget plans, warning that Britain risks a loss of investor confidence and erosion of its AAA rating unless it maps out clear austerity measures.

- Geo-political
UK PM Gordon Brown has set March 24 as the date for the release of the UK's next budget. The date is seen as a benchmark signal for the UK election cycle that is expected to culminate 6 weeks later at a May 6 General Election. Chancellor Darling has as recently as last Sunday reiterated expectations that operations to bring down government debt would be continued. *** In a diplomatic revolving door US Def Sec Gates has wrapped up a tour of Afghanistan just as Iranian Pres Ahmadinejad begins a 3-day regional visit. Iran shares an extensive land border with Afghanistan and is seen as a critical partner in cutting the opium trade and supporting the Karzai government. Iranian operations remain murky as the state has a clear interest in border stability and lowering the refugee influx. Afghan's main Taliban rebels are Sunni Muslims, long bitter enemies of Shia Iran.

UK production data highlight the fragility of the economic recovery in the developed world.
- UK budget release date of March 24 makes a May 6 general election seem even more likely
- Growing Speculation that the BOJ might be leaning towards easing monetary policy further at its policy meeting next week

***Looking Ahead:
- 6:30 (SZ) Switzerland to sell additional 2.50% Bonds due 2036
- 7:00 (PD) Poland to sell up to PLM4.0B in Zero Coupon Bonds
- 7:00 (EU) ECB's Weber
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Mar 5th: No est v 14.6% prior
- 8:00 (IC) Iceland Feb Unemployment Rate: No est v 9.0% prior
- 9:00 (BE) Belgium Q4 Final Q/Q: No est v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: No est v -0.8% prior
- 10:00 (US) Jan Wholesale Inventories: 0.2%e v -0.8% prior
- 10:00 (UK) NIESR GDP Estimate: No est v 0.4% prior
- 10:30 (US) DoE Weekly Inventories:
- 13:00 (US) US Treasury to sell $21B in 10-year Note reopening
- 14:00 (US) Feb Monthly Budget Statement: -$210.0Be v -$42.6B prior
- 15:00 (NZ) New Zealnad Central Bank (RBNZ) Interest Rate decision: Expectations for the Official Cash Rate to remain at 2.50%



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