***Economic data*** - (HU) Hungary Central Bank maintained Base Rate at 5.25%; as expected.
- China's announcement that it plans to gradually let the yuan appreciate is the story this morning. US equity markets are up modestly on the news, following in the wake of strength seen on Shanghai and European indices. The PBOC said the yuan's trading band would remain in effect, and FX analysts are waiting to see how much the yuan is allowed to move over the next several day to see whether China's announcement will turn out to be more than a token gesture. US Congressmen have reacted to China the news with caution and skepticism, with China critic Senator Schumer (D-NY) calling the news "vague and limited" and a "typical response" from China. Resource names have been a primary beneficiary of the news, with miners and metal names making strong upward moves. The USD/JPY had been another beneficiary, with USD/JPY earlier probing 91.45. Front month crude is up $1.30, to trade around $78.50.
- Shares of Anadarko traded down 3% in the premarket after the company and BP exchanged threatening rhetoric over the weekend. Last Friday a BP spokesperson warned that BP had a right to seek a contribution for paying oil spill damage claims from its partners (Anadarko owns a 25% stake in the leaking oil well). The following day, Anadarko's CEO stated the weekend Deepwater Horizon incident was "preventable and the direct result of BP's reckless decisions," and further stated that BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement. There were press reports that BP is preparing to sue APC for its share of cleanup costs, although analysts have written that APC will likely have very limited liability for the spill. In addition, BP said it has no immediate plans to issue new bonds, contradicting reports last week that it would seek to raise $5-10B through a corporate debt offering as soon as this week.
- It has been yet another merger Monday, with multiple deals announced this morning. Valeant Pharmaceuticals plans to merge with with Biovail in a stock and cash deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Valeant shareholders will receive a one-time special cash dividend of $16.77 per share and 1.7809 shares of Biovail common stock for each share of Valeant common stock they own. Biovail stockholders will own approximately 50.5 percent and Valeant stockholders will own approximately 49.5 percent of the shares of the combined company, which will be called Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. American Italian Pasta is being acquired by Ralcorp for $53/share in cash (a 25% premium to Friday's close), in a $1.2B deal. Ralcorp is off more than 5% after noting that its Q3 earnings would miss expectations by a wide margin due to the deal. In other equity news, shares of California Pizza Kitchen are down about 9% after cutting Q2 expectations.
- EUR/USD was consolidating at the level end of its session range at 1.2370 area. The euro lost some luster after Germany's Bundesbank June Report highlighted that a weaker euro could help offset fiscal tightening on Germany growth. Also S&P raised its cumulative credit losses on Spanish banks for the 2008/11 period to 6.1% from its prior forecast of 5.2% prior. S&P now sees a protracted economic adjustment for Spain and lowered its forecasts of the average real growth to 0.7% through 2016 from its prior view of 1.0% annual growth.
***Looking Ahead*** - (SZ) SNB Hildebrand speech - (BR) Brazil May CAGED Formal Job Creation: 250.0Ke v 305.1K prior - (AR) Argentina closes $18.3B debt restructuring
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