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Monday April 26, 2010 - 09:48:43 GMT
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European Market Update: Riksbank's Oberg warns of contagion from Greek fiscal situation; European peripherals hit fresh record levels

Monday, April 26, 2010 5:42:01 AM

 European Market Update: Riksbank's Oberg warns of contagion from Greek fiscal situation; European peripherals hit fresh record levels


- (SI) Singapore Mar Industrial Production M/M: -1.5% v -4.0%e; Y/Y: 43.0% v 30.3%e
- (CZ) Czech Apr Business Confidence: 6.6 v 3.7 prior; Consumer Confidence: -5.8 v -11.0 prior; Business&Consumer Confidence: 4.1 v 0.7 prior
- (SP) Spain Feb Mortgages on Houses Y/Y: 8.5% v 2.3% prior; Mortgages on Capital Loaned Y/Y: -9.3% v -14.4% prior
- (SW) Sweden Mar Trade Balance (SEK): 7.2B v 6.9Be v 0.6B prior
(TT) Taiwan Mar M2 Money Supply Y/Y: 4.6% v 5.1% prior

- Equities: Equity markets in Europe surged on the open the through the first 30-minutes of trade. Markets were initially driven on the macro level by continued risk appetite following expectations of a full solution to the Greek debt issue. This expectation provided an immediate boost to financials, and names related to Greek loans. Japanese March auto figures, showing surprisingly strong numbers from global giant Toyota [TM] provided support for the European auto sector. Cyclical names (steel, miners, and basic resources plays) continued their uptrend as the global recovery theme again dominated early flows. Enthusiasm for equities began to wane into 4:00EST following comments out of the Swedish Riksbank. Cautious commentary regarding issues in Europe (not being contained simply to Greece), led to a progressively accelerating widening of the Greece/German government bond spread. As peripherals and the Euro began to come under pressure, equities pulled back from their highest levels. News flows over the weekend have been mixed, broad speculation that RBS [RBS.UK] had lost two bidders for some its high street assets indicated the bank may be closer to coming to a sale; likewise Banco Popular [POP.SP] is seen as nearing its retail banking unit sale. The Bank of Ireland [BKIR.IR] announced the terms for €3.42B capital raise, putting the max government holding in the bank at 36%. Strong earnings were seen from TomTom [TOM2.NV] and Air Liquide [AI.FR], while Carphone Wharehouse [CWP.UK] boosted its guidance expectations.

- Individual equities: Bank of Ireland [BKIR.IR]: Announces plans to seek €3.42B capital raise (159% of market cap); Provides interim statement; Announces debt exchange offer. || Air Liquide [AI.FR]: Reports Q1 Rev €3.15B v €3.1Be; confirms 2010 guidance. || Publicis [PUB.FR]: Reportedly wins Chevrolet ad contract in the US. || Siemens [SIE.GE]: May raise its operating profit forecast at main sectors for FY10 to at least €7.5B - FT Deutschland. || TomTom [TOM2.NV]: Reports Q1 Net €3M v loss €4Me, Rev €268M v €253Me; Reiterates guidance for FY10 EPS and revenue flat y/y (implies Rev €1.5B). || Carphone Wharhouse [CPW.UK]: Guides FY11 EPS +40-45% y/y. ||

- Speakers: Sweden Central Bank (Riksbank) member Oberg commented that he saw the risk of more dramatic developments in Europe and that Greece was not the only problem in the region. Other countries could have major problems and could be a debt crisis in several countries and that Sovereign risk was main risk to financial system. Risk developments could be more dramatic then expected. *** Germany's SPD party noted that creditor banks of Greece should give to bailout and added that aid was dependent on potential risk to euro. The SPD stated that it should not reward bad fiscal policy. ***ECB's Nowotny reiterated his view that the euro exchange rate was adequate and would not hurt exports *** Swiss Fin Min Merz commented that it was maintaining the option to intervene in the currency markets. The official also added that it could not say how the Greek situation would be solved . Euro weakness was primarily due to Greece's fiscal situationand that a potential of spillover risks from Greece might keep Euro currency under pressure. It could not exclude deflationary risks given forex situation. It expected Swiss economy to continue to recover and that rising energy prices should have a limited impact on Swiss prices***

- Currencies/Fixed Income: The G20 gathering failed to produce anything of note for FX markets, with no mention of currencies, even the yuan or Greece, in the official statement. The market speculators continue to push Greece to provide detailed plans on its austerity measures as the peripheral spreads continue to exhibit volatility and post Euro launch record levels. The comments from Riksbank's Oberg sent the 10-year premiums wider as risk aversion sentiment crept back into the market. Spread between 10-year Portuguese/German and the Greek/German bonds widen to post Euro launch records as the session wore on at 250bps and above 635bps. The 2-year Greek paper opened with a yield of 10.7% and then proceeded to climb above 13% while the 10-year Greek yield tested over 9.3%. The EUR/USD began the session approaching the 1.34 neighborhood but the turmoil in the European peripherals sent the pair back towards 1.3300 as the NY morning approached.

- Geo-Political: In Hungarian second round elections, the center-right Fidsez party defeated the ruling socialist coalition. Taking a 2/3 majority (296 of 386 seats in Parliament), the party holds a broad mandate for both economic and legislative change. In final polls, the divisive far right/nationalist Jobbik party took 47 seats and is expected to play a small part in any Fidsez government. *** Austria has overwhelmingly reelected its center-left socialist President Heinz Fischer. Taking over 80% of the popular vote, the wide spread speculation of Fischer's success has been attributed to driving down voter turnout. Fischer's main challenger, the far right Freedom Party, led by Barbara Rosenkranz, polled only 15% of the vote following internationally noticed commentary regarding the Holocaust and Nazi ideology issues. *** An apparent terrorist attack against the UK ambassador to Yemen failed following an explosion near the diplomat's motorcade. The bomb killed one, but did not affect any member of the UK team. Violence in Yemen has broadly calmed since Jan 2010. A fundamentalist separatist sect in Northern Yemen drew Saudi Arabia into a cross border conflict that had looked to destabilize the strategic region.

- In The Papers: Handelsblatt article placed German 2010 tax revenues wa set decline y/y. the article noted that economist with the Kiel-based IfW economic institute put 2010 tax revenues at €513B-515B range, around €6 B less than last year. From 2011, tax revenues will be €5B-9B lower than previous tax revenue estimates for these years.

- G20: Did not produce anything of note for FX markets, with no mention of currencies, even the yuan or Greece, in the statement
- Greece's largest union threatened a "a social storm" over pension reforms
- Sweden central Banker Oberg warns of contagion from Greek fiscal situation
- European peripherals hitting post Euro launch highs

***Looking Ahead***
- (IS) Israel Mar Leading Indicator M/M: No est v 0.2% prior
-8:00 (HU) Hungary Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Consensus expectations for a cut in the Base Rate by 25bps to 5.25%
- 9:30 (TU) Turkey Apr Capacity Utilization: No est v 67.9% prior; Industrial Confidence: No est v 110.6 prior
- 10:30 (US) Apr Dallas Fed Manufacturing Activity: 9.8%e v 7.2% prior
- 10:30 (IS) Israel Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Consensus expectations for a 25bps increase in the Base rate to 1.75%



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