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European Market Update: Russian Central bank continues to adjust the Ruble basket trading band

Thursday, March 11, 2010 5:58:49 AM

 European Market Update: Russian Central bank continues to adjust the Ruble basket trading band


- (PH) Philippine Central Bank maintained the Overnight Borrowing Rate at 4.00%; as expected
- (GE) Germany Q4 hourly Labor Costs Q/Q: -0.5%; Y/Y: +1.6%
- (FR) France Jan Central Gov't Balance: -€9.2B v -€140.0Be
- (FR) France Q4 Final NoN-Farm Payrolls Q/Q: % v -0.4%e
- (SP) Spain Jan House Transactions Y/Y: 2.1% v -0.3% prior
- (HU) Hungary Feb Consumer Prices M/M: 0.3% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 5.7% v 6.1%e
- (HU) Hungary Jan Preliminary Trade Balance: €290.4M v €203.0Me
- (TU) Turkey Jan Current Account (TRY): -3.0B v -3.2B prior
- (RU) Russia Gold & Forex Reserves: $436.9B v $434.1B prior
- (DE) Denmark Jan Current Account (DKK): -0.2B v 4.2Be; Trade Balance ex Shipping: 4.0B v 5.7Be
- (SW) Sweden Feb CPI Headline M/M: 0.6% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: 1.2% v 1.1%e
- (SW) Sweden Feb CPI Underlying M/M: 0.6% v 0.4%e; Y/Y: 2.7% v 2.6%e; CPI Level: 301.59 v 301.45e
- (SW) Sweden revised Jan Retail Sales 0.8% v 1.7% prior; Y/Y: 3.3% v 5.1% prior
- SW) Sweden Feb AMV Unemployment Rate: 5.6% v 5.6%e
- (EU) ECB Mar Monthly Report: Reiterates the ECB press conference from March 4th. Interest rates are appropriate
- (UK) BOE Quarterly Inflation Attitudes Survey: 1 year CPI expectations at 2.5% v 2.4% prior (Nov)

- Equities: Equity markets in Europe looked set to ignore a positive session in Asia with a few disappointing earnings releases and a $7B cash purchase by BP [BP.UK] for Devon [DVN] assets setting the pre-market tone. After market reports from Lagardere [MMB.FR],
France's largest publisher presented a strongly bearish view of the advertising market with expectations of further decline in spending through 2010. Shares of K+S [SDF.GE], following a moderately strong earnings and guidance figures joined Lagardere in pressuring markets lower. It has been speculated that as strong figures in K+S were already 'baked in,' that the shares are taking a breather from a sharp upward run. Into 4:30EST, markets attempted to rally with a number of German listed names providing 'final' FY09 numbers. Autos led a rally that took the DAX positive with VW [VOW3.GE] and BMW [BMW.GE] pushing higher. Swatch Group [UHR.SZ] confirmed strong sales figures in the YTD period that rallied the luxury sector names. Other notable upward movers included Thomas Cook [TCG.UK] on a Citi note postulating at TCG/TUI trading play. Equities in Europe, however, continued to be weighed slightly to the downside with miners and banks broadly giving back ground. Reported commentary from Brazilian miner Vale [VALE] that iron ore price talks with China had been broken off has continued a trend of pricing issues that has troubled ore markets since 2008. Trading volumes in Europe remain below moving averages.

- Individual equities: Devon/BP DVN: [BP] confirms plans to acquire $7B in assets; BP to sell 50% stake in Kirby Oil sands to
Devon. || Old Mutual [OML.UK]: Reports FY09 op profit £1.17B v £1.14B y/y; Reducing exposure to US by exploring disposal of US Life business. || Morrison's [MRW.UK]: Reports FY09 Pretax £858M v £655M y/y, Rev £15.4B v £14.5B y/y. || Lagardere [MMB.FR]: Reports FY09 net profit €165M v €627M y/y, EBIT €450M v €480Me, Rev €7.9B v €8.2B y/y. || K+S [SDF.GE]: Reports Q4 Net €17.5M v €18Me, Rev €1.1B v €960Me. ||

- Speakers: S&P commented on the Sovereign debt outlook and saw 2010 EU sovereign bond issuance rising to record level of almost €1.45T. Sovereign debt-linked vulnerabilities have risen especially in the EMU area. It saw benchmark yields rising as central banks phased out special stimulus measures. S&P forecasted Greece's 2010 budget deficit to GDP ratio at 10.1% (Note Greek target is 8.7% under its austerity measures) and saw UK 2010 budget deficit to
GDP ratio at 12.9%***EU's Juncker reiterates view European Monetary Fund (EMF) would not help Greece's situation ***China Commerce Min Chen commented that inflation was a big problem in 2010 and that the Gov't should monitor the imported commodity prices *** ECB March Monthly report largely reflected the press conference from last week. The ECB saw price developments to remain subdued over the policy relevant horizon. The latest information has also confirmed that the recovery in the euro are is on track. Current key ECB interest rates remained appropriate. As regards fiscal policies, high levels of public deficit and debt placed an additional burden on monetary policy and undermine the Stability and Growth Pact as a key pillar of Economic and Monetary Union. Consolidation of public finances should start in 2011 at the latest and will have to exceed substantially the annual adjustment of 0.5% of GDP set as a minimum requirement by the Stability and Growth Pact.*** ECB's Mersch stated that inflationary pressures were not evident at this time. He reiterated that ECB never pre-commits but wa always ready to act . He added that the has not discussed European Monetary Fund (EMF) at governing council and referred to the concept as "fantasy". He stated that the Greece austerity measures were 'courageous' and was moving in the proper direction. Overall he saw balanced economic risks *** Japan MOF Noda: Believed BoJ has a sense of crisis and will closely watch their decision next week. He noted that both the government and BoJ would do what is needed to avoid deflation*** India Central Bank Dep Gov Gokarn reiterated the view that government borrowing would not to be a huge challenge in FY11. He also noted that h e did not see double-digit WPI inflation persisting too long in India***German Econ Min Bruederle reiterated that he did not see a broad credit crunch occurring in Germany but saw credit shortages in some sectors and mainly related to larger medium sized businesses. He called on banks to increase their lending ***Germany BGA Export association forecasted a weak recovery in export levels through 2010 and trimmed the overall view fir 2010 to a rise of 9% from their prior view of a 10% increase. German economy seen rising 3% in 2010 with German foreign trade surplus seen at €161.7B. It noted that a weaker Euro is aiding exports but reiterated a risk of credit crunch by mid-year. Lastly it commented that it did not seen reaching pre-crisis levels until 2013 ***German IFW institute maintained its 2010 German GDP forecast at +1.2% but lowered its 2011 view to 1.8% from 2% prior. The German economy to contract in Q1 due to harsh winter weather - Sees only modest economic recovery and the environment remains fragile ***IATA lowered Airline Industry 2010 loss forecast to $2.8B from $5.6B prior. It revised the 2009 loss target to $9.4B from $11B prior view. It noted that 2010 improvements to be driven by growth in Latin America and Asia while the Atlantic and Euro markets to remain soft ***Poland Central Bank Dep Gov Wiesiolek commented in a press interview that there was no need to extend IMF loan for Poland. He saw little danger of speculative attack on Zloty currency (PLN). It would halt 6-month repo operations in H2 of the year.

- Currencies: The USD was mildly softer in a subdued European morning. Russia shifted its floating ruble band by another 5 kopecks to 34.30, which is its 14th move since mid-February and dealers noting that this was fueling euro currency demand. EUR/USD heading into the NY morning at 1.3660 area. The EUR/CHF cross tested the 1.46 option barrier ahead of the SNB rate decision later today. The GBP shrugged off some M&A flows and rallied to teat 1.5030 area following the UK inflation expectations survey by the BOE. Poland Central Bank Gov commented on its reserve makeup and noted that it lowered its portion of USD and sterling and raised the AUD and NOK levels.

- Fixed Income: ECB borrowing spiked to €4.1B from €67M in the prior session*** The UK sold £900M in 2032 linkers with a respectable bid-to-cover 1.83x *** Belgium announced plans to tap its 5 year USD denominated issue for another $500M

- In the Papers: FT article El Erian said deteriorating public finances may effect the global economy more than realised. Countries will be forced to make difficult decisions relating to higher taxation and lower spending. If these do not materialise on a timely basis, the universe of likely outcomes will expand to include inflating out of excessive debt and, in the extreme, default and confiscation. El Erian that the importance of the shock to public finances in advanced economies is not yet sufficiently appreciated and understood.

- Geo-political: Ukrainian Pres Yanukovych's Party of Regions has formed a new coalition government to control the countries Parliament. Yanukovych proposed Mykola Azarov as new PM, Azarov was subsequently approved by roll call vote. Azarov, while the leader of the Party of Regions, is broadly seen as a technocrat, and served as Finance Minister under the previous ruling administration. In that role Azarov was instrumental in the formulation of a number of fiscal, tax, regulatory and pension reforms that led to successful loan negotiation talks with the IMF. These skills will be needed as Ukraine looks to move back into compliance with outstanding lending covenants that have temporarily suspended IMF aid. *** Further waves of strikes have all but paralyzed services, travel, and government operations in Greece as labor unions continue to protest austerity measures. The nationwide shutdown is the second held in a 7-day period. Striking action is expected to accelerate into Friday as police, coast guard and fire departments plan to join the action.

- British Petroleum [BP.UK] pay Devon Energy Corp. $7 billion for assets in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Azerbaijan
- Swiss central bank interest rate decision later this morning. Likely to reiterate view to prevent excessive chf appreciation.
- China inflation a bit above expectations. PBoC has adjusted the Reserve requirement on the 12th of each month this year. All eyes on Friday in this regard .
- Australia employment growth slows .

***Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Retail Sales M/M: 1.5%e v -0.4% prior; Y/Y: 8.7%e v 9.1% prior
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Q4 GDP Q/Q: 2.2%e v 1.35 prior; Y/Y: 4.5%e v -1.2% prior; GDP Accumulated: -0.1%e v -1.0% prior
- 8:00 (SZ) Swiss Central Bank (SNB) Interest Rate Decision: Three-month LIBOR Traget rate expected to remain unchanged at 0.25%
- 8:00 (CZ) Czech Q4 Final GDP Q/Q: % v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: % v -4.2% prior
- 8:30 (US) Jan Trade Balance: -$41.0Be v -$40.2B prior
- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 460Ke v 469K prior; Continuing Claims: 4.500Me v 4.500M prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Q4 Capacity Utilization: 70.0%e v 67.5% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Jan New Housing Price Index M/M: 0.4%e v 0.4% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Jan Intl Merchandise Trade: C$0.2Be v -C$0.2B prior
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Dec Gross Fixed investment: -5.0%e v -7.1% prior
- 10:30(US) Natural Gas Inventories
- 11:30 Fed's Baxter
- 13:00 (US) US Tsy to sell $13B in 30-year bonds
- 13:50 (CA) BOC Gov Carney



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