European Market Update: Spread on Greek/German 10-year bonds at record levels ahead of ECB policy meeting
Thursday, April 08, 2010
European Market Update: Spread on Greek/German 10-year bonds at record levels ahead of ECB policy meeting
*** ECONOMIC DATA *** - (JP) Mar Eco Watchers Current Survey : 47.4 v 44.9e; Outlook Survey: 47.0 v 46.7e - (SZ) Swiss Mar Unemployment rate: 4.2% v 4.3%e; Unemployment Rate Seasonally adj: 4.1 - (FI) Finland Jan GDP: -0.2% v 0.0%e - (JP) Japan Mar Preliminary Machine Tool Orders: 262.1% v 217.4% prior - (FR) France Feb Trade Balance: -â‚¬3.6B v -â‚¬3.4Be; Central Gov't Balance: -â‚¬21.8B v -â‚¬9.2B prior - (HU) Hungary Feb Preliminary Trade Balance: â‚¬373.6M v â‚¬490Me - (SP) Spain Feb Industrial Output NSA Y/Y: -1.9% v -5.0% prior; Industrial Output WDA Y/Y: -1.9% v -1.1%e - (TU) Turkey Feb Industrial Production M/M: 1.6% v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 18.2% v 16.1% prior; Indust Prod NSA Y/Y: 18.1% v 15.8%e - (RU) Russia Gold & Forex reserves: $447.3B v $444.0B prior - (NV) Netherland Mar CPI M/M: 1.2% v 0.9%e; Y/Y: 1.0% v 0.8%e - (NV) Netherland Mar CPI EU Harmonized M/M: 1.5% v 0.9% prior; Y/Y: 0.7% v 0.3% prior - (UK) Mar Halifax House Prices M/M: 1.1% v 0.5%e; 3M/Y: 5.2% v 4.7%e - (TT) Taiwan Mar Total Trade Balance: $1.5B v $1.7Be v $0.9B prior; Total Exports Y/Y: 50.1% v 41.1%e; Total Imports Y/Y: 80.3% v 68.0%e - (UK) Feb Industrial Production M/M: 1.0% v 0.5%e; Y/Y: -0.1% v -0.5%e - (UK) Feb Manufacturing Production M/M: 1.3% v 0.6%e; Y/Y: 1.4% v 0.8%e - (UK) Mar Total car Registrations: 26.6% v 26.4% prior - (EU) Euro-Zone Feb retail Sales M/M: -0.6% v 0.0%e; Y/Y: -1.1% v -0.4%e - (SA) South Africa Mar Sacci Business Confidence: 83.2 v 83.0 prior - (GE) Germany Feb Industrial Production M/M: 0.0% v 1.0%e; Y/Y: 5.8% v 6.3%e
*** SPEAKERS/FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM *** - Equities: European equity markets have joined the global pull-back parade with main bourses trading down approx 1% through three hours of trading. In addition to global sentiment weighing on equities, and despite any new catalysts (strikes/supply offerings), Greek/German bond spreads continue to widen to new all time highs. Stresses on the financial sector in Greece have spread to core European banking shares with the sector leading the lower rotation. Cyclical names have also seen sell downs with a pull back in input price levels affecting miners and resource names. Retail names opened higher on strong earnings and LFL sales figures from M&S [MKS.UK] and H&M [HMB.SW], but this strength was tempered by weak Euro-zone Feb retail figures. Continuing the M&A flow in the airline sector, British Airways [BAY.UK] and Iberia [IBLA.SP] finally closed a merger deal (despite terms allowing for break off). European markets are seeking to position themselves ahead of base rate decisions from the BOE (expected at 7:00EST) and the ECB (expected at 7:45EST). While both decisions are expected to be 'non events,' markets have remained broadly cautious. Trading volumes have accelerated in the pullback with continental bourses finally shaking off a low turnover trend.
- Individual equities: M&S [MKS.UK]: Provides trading statement: Q4 UK LFL +5.1% (adj +2.2%) v +1.7%e. || H&M [HMB.SW]: Reports Q1 Gross Profit SEK15.4B v SEK13Be, Rev SEK24.8B v SEK25Be; March SSS +9% v +5%e. || Vedanta [VED.UK]: Q4 and FY 2010 Production Results; Q4 saleable ore production at 7.8M tons +59.2% y/y. || EasyJet [EZJ.UK]: Report Mar load factor 87.5.% v 84.7% y/y. || Sanofi [SAN.FR]: Enters into agreement with Curedm for Diabetes program. || Alstom [ALO.FR]: Appoints Nicolas Tissot as CFO, effective 17 May. || Rosneft [ROSN.RU]: Reportedly reached agreed securities order with Yukos Capital; will allow for the release of UK Court freeze order. ||
- Speakers: Greece Fin Min Papaconstantinou commented that it would take time for Greek spreads to narrow and stated that the 2009 Greek deficit to GDP might be revised by Eurostat from the 12.9% level. He added that the Country continued to borrow at "normal levels" ***Moody's revised outlook on Agricultural Bank Of Greece to Negative from Stable; affirms Baa1 rating***German Gov Spokesperson stated that its current position on Greece remained unchanged despite widening in Greek spreads ***Russia Central Bank official stated that it would adhere to current intervention mechanism in fx markets for the foreseeable future but it did reserve the right to change the size of intervention step from the current amount of $700M. ***Chancellor Darling commented that stronger growth in 2011 would aid in its deficit reduction program *** S&P commented on Italy and stated that the country's fiscal Consolidation plan could support its sovereign ratings./ It noted that the expected implementation of the ruling coalition's expenditure-led fiscal consolidation program from 2010 could be an important supporting factor for the sovereign ratings on Italy (A+/Stable/A-1+). In contrast, if the government delayed the implementation of policies to put debt on a sustainable downward trajectory.
- Currencies/Fixed Income: The European currencies continued to be affected by the Greek situation as the Greek/German 10-year bond spread hit a record wide of 432 bps in the session. Comments from the Greek Fin Min that the 2009 Greek deficit to GDP might be revised by Eurostat from the 12.9% level was one factor fir the continued concerns. European press also fanning the risk aversion sentiment with reports that the Bundesbank building up resistance to any Greek rescue. Dealer chatter circulated thatf repo lines for Greek banks 'being pulled' by North American and European banks (although some banks did freeze lines back in early Feb period) ***The GBP was softer in the earlier part of the morning and tested the 1.5140 level. UK press article on the UK public debt rising out of control hurts its sentiment with it stated that U.K. risks debt interest payments of 27% of GDP in 30 years time should the budget deficit be left unchecked. However, The GBP did experience a rebound following the better-than-expected production data and regained a foothold above the 1.52 area and tested its best level against the Euro in seven weeks. ***The JPY benefited from the risk aversion sentiment as USD/JPY approached the 93.00 level. The interest rate factor also playing a role as the US 2-year yields retreated to move below the 1.05% area.
- Geo-political: The presidents of the US and Russia are meeting today in Prague to sign an updated START treaty. Talks will also focus on an upcoming strategic talk in DC next week along with a number of nuclear issues in Iran. *** Following a' popular' uprising in Kyrgyzstan yesterday, interim leader Roza Otunbayava (a former confederate of ousted leader Bakiyev) sought to assure the US that its military airbase would not be threatened by the new government. Control over the military, police and border forces remains unclear along with the status of Bakiyev.
- In the Papers: London Telegraph's Ambrose Evans Pritchard points out that according to the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the UK would need "drastic" austerity measures to stop public debt from rising out of control . According to the Bank for International Settlements, interest payments on the UK's public debt would double from 5% of GDP to 10% within a decade under the BIS' baseline scenario, before rising to 27% by 2040, which would be the highest level among OECD countries. The BIS added that Labour party's plan to consolidate the budget deficit by 1.3% of GDP annually for the next 3 years was not enough.
***Notes/Observations: - German press saying that the Bundesbank's resistance to Greece rescue was building. - Dealer chatter circulating of repo lines for Greek banks 'being pulled' by North American and European banks - Japan Feb machine orders miss estimate by a wide margin - Key European Central bank decision in NY morning with BOE and ECB expected to maintain current policy - Traders noting that there will be plenty of Fed speak next the next two days, with Kohn, Bernanke, Duke, Tarullo. Most expecta the member to continued with a soft tone on the rate outlook - China PBOC Advisor: China should peg CNY to a trade weighted basket - NY Times: China close to announcing revision of its currency policy with possible action similar to China's currency shift in policy back in 2005 - US Tsy Sec Geithner in Beijing today for unscheduled meetings
***Looking Ahead*** - (RU) Russia Feb Trade Balance: No est v $16.8B prior - 7:00 (UK) BOE Interest Rate Decision: Expected to maintain both interest rates and Asset Purchase target unchanged at 0.50% and Â£200B respectively - 7:00 (BR) Brazil Mar FGV Inflation: 0.8%e v 1.1% prior - 7:00 (SA) South Africa Feb Manufacturing Production M/M: 0.5%e v -0.6% prior; Y/Y: 4.9%e v 3.7% prior - 7:45 (EU) ECB Interest rate Decision: Expected to maintain the Refi rate at 1.0% - 8:00 (BR) Brazil Mar IBGE Inflation M/M: 0.5%e v 0.8% prior; Y/Y: 5.2%e v 4.8% prior - 8:00 (CL) Chile Mar CPI M/M: 0.6%e v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 0.9%e v 0.3% prior; CPI Ex Perishables & Fuel M/M: 0.55e v 0.1% prior - 8:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 435Ke v 439K prior; Continuing Claims: 4.630Me v 4.662M prior - 8:30 (EU) ECB's Trichet press conference - 8:30 (US) Fed's Duke - 10:00 (MX) Mexico Mar Consumer Prices M/M: 0.7%e v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: 5.0%e v 4.8% prior; Core CPI M/M: 0.4%e v 0.4% prior - 10:00 (UK) Mar NIESR GDP estimate: No est v 0.3% prior - 10:30 (US) Mar ICSC Chain Store Sales: No est v 3.7% prior - 10:30 (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories - 10:30 (US) Fed's Tarullo - 14:45 (US) Fed's Kocherlakota - 16:00 (US) Fed's Kohn - 20:30 (US) Fed's Bernanke on US Economic Outlook
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