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Thursday March 18, 2010 - 10:35:50 GMT
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European market Update: Risk aversion sentiment continues to simmer as perception that Greek bailout plan is faltering

Thursday, March 18, 2010 6:24:34 AM

 European market Update: Risk aversion sentiment continues to simmer as perception that Greek bailout plan is faltering


- (GR) Greece Q4 Unemployment Rate: 10.3% v 9.3% prior
- (SZ) Swiss Feb Trade Balance (CHF): 1.3Bv 2.2Be
- (SZ) Swiss Q4 Industrial Production Q/Q: 6.4% v 5.0%e; Y/Y: -1.1% v -3.5%e
- (SW) Sweden Feb Unemployment Rate: 9.3% v 9.4%e
- (NV) Netherlands Feb Unemployment: 5.7% v 5.7%e
- (NV) Netherlands Mar Consumer Confidence: -12 v -12e
- (HK) Hong Kong Feb Unemployment Rate: 4.6% v 4.8%e
- (RU) Russia Gold & Forex Reserves w/e Mar 12th: $441.3B v $437.1B prior
- (IT) Italy Jan Trade Balance: -€3.4B v -€1.7B; Trade Balance EU: -€165M v -€1.4B prior
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan Current Account: -8.1B€ v €1.9B prior; Current Account NSA: -€16.7B v €9.4Be
- (UK) Feb Major banks Mortgage Approvals: 48K v 54Ke
- (UK) Feb Public Finance: £7.7 v £11.0Be; Net Borrowing: £12.4 v £14.0Be M/M: 0.2% v 0.7%e; Y/Y: 3.6% 4.9% prior
- (SZ) Swiss Feb ZEW Survey: 53.8 v 52.5 prior
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan Trade Balance: -€8.9B v -€4.0Be; Trade Balance SA: -€2.3B v €5.5Be

- Equities: Equity markets in Europe have traded lower through the morning session following a broad rally yesterday that saw markets post new 2010 highs, moving into territory not seen since June-Oct 2008. Trading in
Asia was downside biased with this sentiment rolling into the European morning. Macro commentary from the Greek PM, in addition to trader caution ahead of US CPI and weekly jobless claims have pressured markets. In this environment, banks traded heavy with reiterated cautious commentary from Barclays and Citi on the financial sector driving this point home. RBS [RBS.UK] moved lower on fresh talk regarding the long term sell down of the UKFI's 84% stake. Commodities and energy prices eased from yesterday's rally taking their related sectors with them. Specialty steel manufacturer SGL Carbon [SGLGE] reported FY09 figures that disappointed expectations. The firm provided cautious guidance that stated rising input costs could not be fully passed to end clients. European steel names traded lower on the news. Earnings from cement name Heidelberg [HEI.GE] furthered caution in the construction sector and mirrored earlier reports from Lafarge [LG.FR]. Additional earnings from ENEL [ENEL.IT], Boksalis [BOKA.NV] and Baloise [BALN.SZ] have been met with negative reactions. Euro zone current account data at 5:00EST sent European markets into the mid-50% of their trading ranges, turnover volumes remain low.

- Individual equities: SGL Carbon [SGL.GE]: Reports FY net loss €60.3M, adj EBIT €110.4M v €112Me, Rev €1.23B v €1.3Be. || Heidelberg Cement [HEI.GE]: Reports FY09 Net €168M y/y v €1.92B y/y, Rev €11.1B v €14.2B y/y. || ENEL [ENEL.IT]: Reports Final FY09 Net €5.4B v €5.1Be; Confirms FY10 targets. || Sberbank [SBER.RU]: Reports FY09 Net RUB24.4B v RUB21.5Be. || Dassault Aviation [AM.FR]: Reports final FY09 Rev €3.42B v €3.75B y/y; announces cancellation of 65 unit order from NET
JETS. ||

- Speakers:
Greece Official commented that the country could seek IMF aid during April 2-4 Easter weekend and was in steady contact with IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn. The official added that there would not likely hold another bond sale until after Mar 25th EU Summit. He did concede there was a growing rift with Germany over the debt crisis and it was deepening. *** Greece PM Papandreou addressed the EU parliament and stressed that Greece was responsibility to correct its own problems. He admitted that Greece was playing with 'loaded gun at the table' and that Europe needed to take action to curb any potential contagion risk. In the Q&A portion, the PM stated that his country was not in need of IMF loan but could be offered an "IMF-style" assistance from Europe and such assistance could be offered on an 'ad-hoc' basis. He noted that otherwise Greece might need IMF help if no assistance originated from Europe*** China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gang reiterated the gov't view that US demands regarding CNY currency were unfair and harmful to relations. The spokesperson noted that a calm and rational approach was needed to address the dispute to reach mutually beneficial solution*** Japan MoF Official Nakao: Japan should support USD as key reserve currency adding that it was difficult to justify other currencies in that role. The official noted that it was hard to expect Euro, yen or Chinese yuan to become the world's key currency. The lack of depth and liquidity in the European bond market was a problem for Euro. China was NOT trying to make the yuan an international currency. Lastly the MOF noted that it would be important for each country to strengthen the dollar-centric system *** BOJ Monthly report maintained the overall economic assessment in March. The BOJ increased its assessment on CAPEX and housing investment (says CAPEX is leveling out, but likely to remain flat, while the decline in housing investment is coming to an end). It lowered its view on public investment (says public investment is declining).The pace of Japan's economic recovery was likely to be mild for a while and reiterated income situation remained severe. Financial conditions were severe, but was showing signs of improvement. Lastly the pace of y/y CPI decline to slow as the economy improved. ***Japan's Vice MOF Noda commented that a flexible China yuan currency would be beneficial for both China and the rest of the world . He added that China needed to understand that other countries believe that the Yuan currency policy should be flexible *** S&P revised India outlook to Stable from Negative and affirmed the country's "BBB-" sovereign ratings. S&P commented that the revision in outlook reflected their view that India's fiscal position could now begin to recover and that its economy would remain on a strong growth path. However, the country's ratings continue to be constrained by the high government debt burden and deficit and complemented by its weak fiscal profile. S&P forecasted India's FY11 GDP growth at 8.0%

- Currencies: The Euro hobbled into the European morning as concerns over the European peripherals continue to plague the region. Dealers noted that the continued rhetoric on any possible mentioning of the Greek IMF aid was view as a sign of weakness. The Greek PM spoke before the EU parliament to back up his statement that there was "zero possibility" of
Greece leaving EMU or default on its obligations. The PM stressed that the country Greece needed to borrow at normal rates. The soft euro tone exemplified that the German EMF proposals would in fact provide a mechanism for Greece to leave the euro at some point. EUR/USD tested 1.3650 before regaining some composure following the Greece PM address. **The GBP was probing its session low at 1.5250 ahead of its public finance data then proceeded to move higher on the "better" finance data but was holding steady at 1.53 as dealer did note the highest February borrowing requirement remain the highest on record for that month. ***The JPY also benefited from risk aversion and retested the 90.00 against the USD and firmed against the European pairs.

Fixed Income:
Portugal IGCP confirmed to sell up to $1.0B in 5-year bond issue

- Geo/political: Nigerian acting Pres G Jonathan has dissolved the countries cabinet. It is expected that acting civil servants will take over key posts until new appointees are selected. Outgoing ministers have attempted to play down the possibility of a power vacuum. Local news sources have speculated that current leaders are considering moving forward a planned 2011 election cycle by up to three months, a move that could sure up Jonathan's political situation.

US Sec of State Clinton is in
Moscow seeking to finally hammer out final details of a new strategic arms treaty (the first since 1991). Conversations with Russian opposite Sergey Lavrov will also include mention on Iran and Israel. Clinton has publicly stated that she is awaiting commentary from Israeli PM Netanyahou as to when/if US special envoy George Mitchell should be dispatched to the region.

- Talk that China might impose transaction tax on FX to curb speculation
- Concern simmers that Greek bailout package will falter on German reluctance

***Looking Ahead:
- 7:00 (BR) Brazil Mar FGV Inflation: 1.1%e v 1.1% prior
- 7:00 (UK) Mar CBI Industrial Trends: No est v -42 prior
- 7:30 (CL) Chile Q4 GDP Y/Y: 2.0%e v -1.6% prior; Current Account: 620Me v 574M prior
- 7:30 Fed's Duke
- 7:30 (FR) France's Lagarde
- 8:30 (GE) Fin Min Schaeuble on social market economy
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Jan Intl Securities Transactions: C$8.0Be v C$11.2B prior
- 8:30 (US) Feb Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.1%e v 0.2% prior; CPI Ex Food&Energy M/M: 0.1%e v -0.1% prior; CPI NSA: 217.043e v 216.687 prior
- 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 455Ke v 462K prior; Continuing Claims: 4.516M v 4.558M prior

- 8:30 (US) Current Account: -$119.0Be v -$108.0B prior
- 10:00 (US) Philadelphia Fed: 18.0e v 17.6 prior
- 10:00 (US Feb Leading indicators: 0.1%e v 0.3% prior
- 10:00 (FR) France Fin Min Lagarde
- 10:00 (US) US Tsy Krueger at Muni bond conference
- 10:30 Natural Gas Inventories
- 12:45 (UK) BOE's Sentence
- 13:00 (SZ) SNB's Danthine
- 13:00 (TU) Turkey Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to maintain the Base rate at 6.50%
- 14:00 (BR) Brazil Feb Tax Collections (BRL): 57Be v 73.0B prior



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