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Friday May 21, 2010 - 10:05:43 GMT
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European market Update: ECB member reiterates that FX volatility rather than outright level is the concern; Chatter of EU considering assuming some national debts curbs some risk aversion fears

Friday, May 21, 2010 5:47:55 AM

 European market Update: ECB member reiterates that FX volatility rather than outright level is the concern; Chatter of EU considering assuming some national debts curbs some risk aversion fears


***Economic Data***
- (JP) Mar Final Leading Index: 102.7 v 102.8 prior; Coincident Index: 101.5 v 101.1 prior
- (GE) Germany Q1 Final GDP Q/Q: 0.2% v 0.2%e; Y/Y: 1.7% v 1.7%e;
GDP WDA Y/Y: 1.6% v 1.6%e
- (GE) Germany Q1 Final Private Consumption: -0.8% v -0.4%e; Gov't Spending: 1.1% v 0.6%e ; Construction Investment: -3.8% v -3.0%e; Capital Investment: -1.6% v 0.6%e; Domestic Demand: 1.4% v -2.1% prior; Imports: 6.1% v 4.0%e; Exports: 2.6% v 1.5%e
- (SZ) Swiss Apr M3 Money Supply Y/Y: 5.4% v 5.7% prior
- (FR) France May Preliminary PMI Services: 61.9 v 59.0e (highest since Aug 2006); PMI Manufacturing: 56.2v 56.7e
- (NV) Netherlands Apr Unemployment Rate: 5.6% v 5.9%e
- (NV) Netherlands Mar Consumer Spending: 0.8% v -0.8% prior
- (NV) Netherlands May Consumer Confidence: -16 v -17e
- (GE) Germany May Advanced PMI Services: 53.7 v 55.4e; PMI Manufacturing: 58.3 v 61.1e
- (GE) Germany May IFO Business Climate: 101.5v 101.9e; Current Assessment: 99.4v 100.0e v 99.3 prior; Expectations Survey: 103.7v 103.5e
- (EU) Euro Zone Mar Current Account: €1.7 v -€4.59B prior; Current Account Net Seasonally Adj: €1.3B v -€6.2B prior
- (EU) Euro Zone May Preliminary PMI Services: 56.0v 55.6e; PMI Manufacturing: 55.9 v 57.4e; PMI Composite: 56.2 v 57.2e
- (UK) Q1 Preliminary Total Business Investment Q/Q: 6.0% v -0.6%e; Y/Y: -11.0% v -16.5%e
- (UK) Apr Public Finances (PSNCR): £8.8B v £7.0Be; Net Borrowing: £10.0B v £10.9Be
- (UK) Apr Preliminary M4 Money Supply M/M: 0.0% v 0.3%e; Y/Y: 3.3% v 3.8%e; Lowest YoY since Sept 1999
- (UK) Apr Major Banks Mortgage Approvals: 47K v 54Ke; lowest level since may 2009
- (UK) UK revises 2009/10 net borrowing requirements lower to £145.4B from £152.8B prior
- (MA) Malaysia Apr CPI Y/Y: 1.5% v 1.6%e

- Equities: European equities opened mixed and remains so ahead of the NY morning. During the latter part of the morning, most indices moved into negative territory following disappointing German PMI and IFO data, continued strains in the money market as evidenced by plans by Credit Suisse to suspend redemptions in one of its European property funds (AUM of €6.2B) and comments from Germany's Siemens' would not resume its share buyback in 2010. As of
5:33 EST, markets have moved off of their worst levels following positive data regarding UK business investment and public finances, slightly better thane expected German IFO expectations survey and rumors that the ECB might by purchasing Greek and Irish debt. The FTSE 100 is lower by 0.12%, DAX -0.61%, CAC 40 +0.12%, IBEX +1.66%, FTSE MIB +0.80%.

- In Individual Stocks: Abbot Laboratories [ABT]: Company will acquire Piramal's Healthcare Solutions unit for an upfront payment of $2.1B. This is in addition to a $400M annual payment for the next 4 years starting in 2011. With this deal, the combined Healthcare Solutions and Abbott businesses will become the clear market leader in
India, with a market share of apprx 7%. The transaction will not impact Abbott's ongoing earnings per share guidance in 2010. || London Stock Exchange [LSE.UK] Reported preliminary FY Net profit of £90.4M which compared favorably to year-ago loss of £338M. Revenues came in at £682.3M lower than year-ago figures of £671.4M. || British Airways [BA.UK]: Reported preliminary FY10 loss of £425M comparing negatively to year-ago loss of £358M. Revenues, at £8B were slightly above analysts expectations of £7.9B. Company noted an improvement in revenue trend due to optimism about economic recovery in the premium sector, while non-premium revene would require a return to economic growth to deliver historic performance levels. Targeted revenue growth of about 6% and breakeven at the profit before tax level. Noted a recovery in passenger revenue due to increased corporate activity particulary across the Atlantic. || United Utilites [UU.UK]: Reported FY Operating profit of £817.9M above estimates of £737M. Pretax profit came in at £474.2M below estimates of £483M. Company increased final dividend by 5% in line with dividend policy

- Speakers: ECB's Nowotny reiterated the standard G7 view that currency volatility was not desired and that the ECB sought the Euro to remain within its historical range. The member added that countries had to massively reduce the deficits to avoid a debt spiral ***French Budget Min Baroin stated that the Euro must be saved at all costs and believed that recent Euro rescue package was sufficient and the Euro was NOT in danger ***France's Stock Market Regulator Jouyet commented that the Euro had impacted other currencies and the partners would NOT allow Euro "to drift". He noted that the recent Euro rebound showed that the
US and others would not abandon it ***German Fin Min Schaeuble reiterated the view that it must toughen the Maastricht Stability pact instruments. He noted that a national financial transaction tax did not make sense but could have financial tax in Europe or even just in euro zone ***Greece Fin Min Papaconstantinou commented that the country's YTD State budget deficit was -€6.3B versus -€10.8B prior ***ECB's Weber reiterated the view that a credit crunch was not a risk at this time ***IFO's Nerb commented that the Germany economy remained robust but consumers remained volatile. He noted that a lower euro currency helped the country's exporters *** India Central Bank's Chakrabarty commented that the RBI would intervene in the markets if deemed necessary. He also noted that the USD would remain a major component of its FX reserves. He notyed that the Euro was not a significant component in its total reserves as 90% of India's trade happens in dollars

- Currencies/Fixed income: The pre-European morning saw a surge in Euro-denominated pairs with panic buying in EUR/CHF summing up the sentiment of concerns of central bank intervention. Dealers seemed prepared to handle a "freaky Friday" scenario. The fears of central bank action fueled short covering across a range of strategic positions in JPY related pairs in Asia The EUR/USD tested 1.2670 while EUR/CHF approached the 1.46 handle just ahead of the European day. However, comments from ECB member Nowotny that currency volatility was not desired and that the ECB sought that the Euro to remain within its historical range cooled any imminent attack to curb the euro downtrend. The EUR/USD fell over 150 pips to probe below 1.25 before stabilizing. Consistent market rumors of ECB again buying European peripheral debt provided some risk appetite complemented with vague chatter that EU government was considering assuming some national debts. The GBP/USD rebounded from European lows after the
UK revised its 2009/10 net borrowing requirements lower to £145.4B from £152.8B prior. GBP/USD holding above the 1.44 handle as the NY morning approached. USD/JPY hugging the 90 handle and in the middle portion of its session range

- Geopolitical: The main German opposition party SPD might refrain from voting in today's proposed rescue bill in the Bundestag. Representatives for the party noted that in its current form, as of Thursday, the party will unlikely vote for the proposed bill. Note proposed bill does not need SPD's support to pass. ***
North Korea threatens South Korea over ship sinking row with tough measures including war if sanctions are imposed. South Korea held emergency security meeting with President Lee to address the country in next couple of days. US Secretary of State Clinton begins week long Asia tour with Korean ship sinking incident to be one of the top agendas.*** Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit commented today that the situation in the country was back to normal and that order has been restored in Bangkok and provinces **** US Senate passed the financial reform legislation with a 59-39 vote. The legislation did not include the 'Volker rule', which bans banks from initiating in proprietary trading. *** US Treasury Secretary Geithner announced trip to Europe next week to discuss economic situation with European officials. He is to meet with UK Prime Minister Cameron, ECB Head Trichet and German Finance Minister Schaeuble. *** Western Australia State commented that it was preparing for possible legal challenge against the recent mining tax. Note that Western Australia is the country's largest state and it holds the iron ore rich Pilbara region.

- European PMI data mixed and showing signs of a trend top
- German IFO below expectations but officials suggest the German economy remains 'robust'
- UK revises 2009/10 net borrowing requirements lower to £145.4B from £152.8B prior
- Senate Financial Bill: Likely losers include Credit Rating agencies, Large Financial Firms and consumers. Winners appear to be the small banks and the Federal Reserve.

***Looking Ahead***
- (RU) Russia Q1 Foreign Direct Investment YTD: No est v $15.9B prior
- 6:05 (EU) EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht and China's Chen
- 6:30 (IN) India to sell INR130B in bonds
- 6:45 ECB's Papademos in Germany
- 7:00 (CA) Canada Apr Consumer Price Index M/M: 0.2%e v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 1.7%e v 1.4% prior
- 7:00 (CA) Canada Apr CPI Core M/M: 0.2%e v -0.2% prior; Y/Y: 1.8%e v 1.7% prior
- 8:00 (PD) Poland Apr Core Inflation M/M: 0.2%e v 0.2% prior; Y/Y: 1.8%e v 2.0% prior
- 8:00 (EU) EU's Van Rompy host EU Finance Meeting on Euro Area reforms
- 8:30 (CA) Canada Mar Retail M/M: 0.1%e v 0.5% prior; Less Auto M/M: 0.4%e v -0.1% prior
- 9:00 (GE) Germany Chancellor Merkel and UK PM Cameron
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Mar Retail Sales: 2.0%e v 2.3% prior
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Central Bank Interest rate decision: Expected to maintain the Overnight Rate at 4.50%
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Apr Trade Balance: $1.8Be v $311M prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Apr Industrial Production M/M: No est v 0.1% prior; Y/Y: 8.9%e v 10.6% prior



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