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Wednesday March 17, 2010 - 10:28:05 GMT
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European Market Update: European Market Update: UK jobless claims registered its largest monthly decline since Nov 1997

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 6:20:18 AM

 European Market Update: European Market Update: UK jobless claims registered its largest monthly decline since Nov 1997


- (PH) Philippines Feb Balance of payments: -$125M v $1.2B prior
- (FI) Finland Feb PPI M/M: 1.1% v 1.1% prior; Y/Y: 1.2% v -0.1% prior
- (HU) Hungary Jan Final Industrial Output M/M: 8.8% v 8.8% prior; Y/Y: 5.7% v 5.7% prior
- (SP) Spain Q4 Labor Costs: 2.5% v 3.3% prior
- (SW) Sweden Feb Average House Prices (SEK): 2.02M v 2.10M prior
- (IC) Iceland Central Bank (Sedlabanki) cuts its key rate by 50bps to 9.00%
- (RU) Russia Feb Industrial Production M/M: 4.8% v 6.6%e; Y/Y: 1.9% v 6.4%e
- (RU) Russia Feb Producer Prices M/M: 2.3% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 22.9% v 20.4%e
- (SA) South Africa Jan Retail Sales Y/Y: -1.7% v -2.4%e
- (UK) BOE monetary policy minutes from Mar: Voted 9-0 (unanimous) to maintain both interest rates and asset purchase target at current levels
- (UK) Feb Jobless Claims Change: -32.3K v 6.0Ke; Claimant Count Rate: 4.9% v 5.0%e; largest monthly decline since Nov 1997
- (UK) ILO Jan Unemployment Rate: 7.8% v 7.9%e
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan Construction Output M/M: -2.2% v -1.0% prior; Y/Y: -12.5% v -2.5% prior
- (EU) Euro Zone Q4 Labor Costs Q/Q: 2.2% v 2.7%e
- (IT) Italy Jan Current Account:: -€5.5B v -3.8B prior

- Equities: European equity markets look ready to continue the solid gains posted on Tuesday's trading. Upward rotation in the
US and Asia followed expected rate decisions in Japan and the US have continued the global equity rally. Equities in Europe are reacting to a deluge of macro flows from S&P comments on Greece after the close yesterday to a torrent of oil speak as OPEC holds its scheduled meeting. Reacting to central bank talk, financials have traded higher with globally geared minerals, miners and steel names following on their heels. Materials have shaken off bearish comments from SocGen related to possibility of a double dip, Chinese stockpiling and potential negative effects following a move to quarterly from yearly contract terms. Despite OPEC statements on softness in demand and growth in Iraqi exports, energy prices have moved higher, taking oil, gas and service names with them (service names also received positive mention from Goldman Sachs). Earnings noise has risen once again with Unicredit [UCG.IT], Metro [MEO.GE], Laxness [LXS.GE], Porsche [PAH3.GE] and Indetex [ITX.SP] presenting numbers. Into 6:00EST, equity markets have remained positive, but have trended off their worst levels before snapping sharply higher. Unexpectedly strong employment figures from the UK added some weight to the FTSE, leading that index to slightly decouple form the broader European trend. Despite the news flow and earnings releases, trading volumes remain below moving averages.

- Individual equities: BMW [BMW.GE]: Reiterates FY10 unit sales guidance ahead of 1.3M; Guides FY10 Rev growth in 'solid' 1 digit range. || Lanxess [LXS.GE]: Reports Q4 Net €14M v €4Me, Rev €1.39B v €1.4Be; Guides FY10 rev up 'significantly' y/y. || Metro [MEO.GE]: Reports final Q4 adj EBIT €1.27B v €1.36B y/y, Rev €19.4B v €20.1B y/y. || Porsche [PAH3.GE]: Reports H1 final figures: Op prof €329M, Rev €3.16B v €3.04B y/y. || Duerr [DUE.GE]: Reports FY09 Net loss €25.7M v loss €23Me, Op profit €24.8M v €73.3 y/y, Rev €1.08B v €1.1Be. || Indetex [ITX.SP]: Reports FY09 net €1.31B v €1.3Be, Rev €11.08B v €11.1Be. || Unicredit [UCG.IT]: Reports Q4 Net €371M v loss €26Me, net interest income €4.1B v €6.3B y/y. ||

- Speakers: IMF Strauss-Kahn commented that the Chinese CNY currency was 'much undervalued'. He noted that the current global economic recovery was looking better than prior forecasts and labels it 'multi-speed'. However, he stressed that the view that stimulus measures should not be withdrawn too soon. Must make public debt sustainable again but it would be a hard task. Reiterated view on global rebalancing those deficit countries needed to save while surplus countries needed to increase domestic demand***BOJ Gov Shirakawa commented at his press conference that the latest BOJ step was not quantitative easing (QE) but part of monetary policy to make clear anti-deflationary stance . He added that BOJ actions alone cannot defeat deflation in economy. H e did note that it was not appropriate to implement policy aimed at currency ***German Bundesbank Member Zeitler: 'Softening' of the 'no bailout' clause will impact the basis of the EMU; skeptical over the European Monetary Fund concept ***ECB's Draghi reiterated that the that European economic recovery was fragile and that a gradual exit from special measures should be implemented*** BOE voted unanimously to maintain both the interest rates and asset purchase facility at current levels of 0.50% and £200B respectively. The BOE sa upside CPI risks from economic recovery, energy costs and GBP currency. It noted that it was increasingly likely that CPI would remain above the 2.0% level for the next few months. It added that the
UK economy likely to remain below capacity for an extended period but saw no significant change to balance of risks***ECB's Weber commented that any potential changes to inflation targets was a dangerous game. He agreed with view that Greece should help itself but did confess that Greece put forward a credible consolidation plan. He cautioned that Greece was not the only country with inflation problems

Energy: Saudi Arabia Oil Min Naimi reiterated the view that oil output would remain unchanged at today's meeting and saw no need to revisit quotas. He noted that global oil inventories have declined significantly and that
Asia was leading the global demand for oil. He added that he saw demand increase at about 1M barrels/day in H2. Saudi output seen at 8.1M/day in April (FY08 avg 9.26M/day) ***OPEC Sec Gen Abdallah Salem el-Badri: sees quick meeting today as no major decisions to be made***Kuwait Oil Min commented that OPEC compliance seen at around 55% level and would like target level compliance around 60%***

- Currencies: The USD and JPY pairs were softer as risk appetite persisted in the early European morning following the Fed pledged to maintain "exceptionally low" for an "extended period" and complemented when the BoJ doubled the credit facility for 3-month maturities to ¥20T. The weaker USD against the European pairs was mirrored in higher energy and metal prices in the session. *** The GBP saw a surge in activity following better-than-expected jobless claims data for Feb which registered its largest monthly decline since Nov 1997. GBP/USD surged above 1.535 while the EUR/GBP dipped back well below the 0.90 area. The GBP currency was also aided by the BOE minutes from its March 4th policy decision and members focus on upside risks to CPI. On the fixed income front
Germany sold additional €4.1 B in 10-year Bunds with a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.0x versus prior 1.7x. the average yild came in at 3.13%

- Geo/political: Japanese steel makers have entered new benchmark coking coal contracts with Rio Tinto and Teck Resources at a price of $200/ton. This price is up nearly 55% y/y and follows similar smaller contracts that were reached by
BHP. Significantly, the contracts are on quarterly basis, reflecting a further push away from the yearly benchmark operation. Difficult negotiations regarding pricing of iron ore remain. *** Egyptian Pres Mubarak has reemerged following gall bladder surgery in Germany. The 81 year old long term (some say life term) president went into the hospital on March 6 and sparked a 10 day disappearance in which rumors ran. Mubarak assumed the presidency in 1981 following Sadat's assassination, it has been speculated that he is grooming his son as his replacement.

- BoJ unch policy and unch bond purchases. 2 yr JGB yields hit 4 year lows 0.14&
- World Bank amends
China forecast; urges stronger more flexible CNY; Raises GDP view to 9.5% v 8.7% prior
- China Min of Comm: Focus on CNY will not solve China US trade issues. 'Cannot be any clearer'. CNY weaker in line with USD.
- Ex LTCM:
China the biggest bubble ever.
- FOMC only subtle shifts. Some reports of increasing discomfort with phraseology . Asset purchases program winding down on schedule. Labor mkt stabilizing instead of deterioration

***Looking Ahead:
- EU report on budget deficits
- 7:00 (CZ) Czech Rep to sell CZK7.0B in 5-year bonds
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Mar 12th: No est v 0.5% prior
- 8:30 (US) Feb Producer Price Index M/M: -0.2%e v 1.4% prior; PPI Ex Food&Energy M/M: 0.1%e v 0.3% prior
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Jan Wholesale Sales M/M: 0.5%e v 0.7% prior
- 9:00 (HU) Hungary Central Bank minutes from policy meeting
- 9:00 (PD) Poland Feb Producer Prices M/M: 0.3%e v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: -2.1%e v 0.2% prior
- 9:00 (PD) Poland Feb Industrial Output M/M: 3.2%e v -5.4% prior; Y/Y: 9.4%e v 8.5% prior
- 10:30 (US) DOE weekly energy inventories: Cude: +500Ke; Gasoline: +200Ke; Distillate:-1Me; Utilization: 80.7%e
- 14:00 Fed's Bernanke
- (BR) Brazil Central Bank (COPOM) Interest rate decision: Analyst expectations are for the SELIC Target rate to be raised by 50bps to 9.25%


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