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Wednesday August 18, 2010 - 10:03:57 GMT
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European Market Update: BHP confirms it goes hostile for Potash; BOE minutes did NOT show a three-way split as initially feared (Trade the News)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 5:55:38 AM

 European Market Update: BHP confirms it goes hostile for Potash; BOE minutes did NOT show a three-way split as initially feared


***Economic Data***
- (GE) Germany Jun Retail sales Y/Y revised higher to +4.7% from +3.1% reported - Stats Office
- (GR) Greece Jun Current Account:-€1.9B v +€250M prior
- (SW) Sweden Q2 Industry Capacity: 84.2% v 84.9%
- (UK) Bank of England Minutes: Voted 8 to 1 to maintain interest rates at 0.50% and 9 to 0 (unanimous) to maintain Asset Purchase Target (APT) at £200B
- (MA) Malaysia Q2 GDP Y/Y: 8.9% v 8.4%e
- (MA) Malaysia July CPI Y/Y: 1.9% v 2.0%e
- (EU) Euro Zone Jun Construction Output M/M: 2.7% v -0.7% prior; Y/Y: 3.1% v -6.2% prior
- (IC) Iceland Central bank (Sedlabanki) cut Interest Rate by 100bps to 7.00%; More than the 50bps expected
- (SA) South Africa Jun Retail Sales M/M: 1.8% v 2.0%e; Y/Y: 7.4% v 7.2%e

Fixed Income
- (EU) ECB allots $35M in 7-day USD liquidity operation at fixed 1.19%
- (GE) Germany sells €5.01B in new 2.25% 2020 Bunds; avg yoeld 2.37% v 2.56% prior; Bid-to-cover: 1.6x v 1.4x prior
- (SW) Sweden sold SEK2.5B in 5% 2020 bonds; avg yield 2.392%; Bid-to-cover:
- (PO) Portugal Debt Agency (IGCP) sells total €1.525B in 3-month and 12-month Bills versus €1.5B indicated
- Sold €775B in 3-month Bills; Avg yield 0.994% v 1.861% prior; Bid-to-cover: 2.5x v 3.5x prior
- Sold €750B in 12-month Bills; Avg yield 2.727% v 2.394% prior; Bid-to-cover:1.8x v 2.2x prior

- BHP confirms it goes hostile for acquisition of Potash [POT] with $130/shr cash offer in $40B deal
- BOE minutes contain no surprises
- Decent German auction results and upward revision to its Jun retail sales data
- Continued chatter that China was selling USD and purchasing emerging markets currencies

- Equities:
- As of 5:35am ET Euro Stoxx 50 Index -0.3% at 2,728; DAX Index -0.1% at 6,200; CAC-40 Index -0.3% at 3,652 and FTSE 100 Index -0.5% at 5,321

-European stocks were poised to register their first decline in five sessions but were off their lows as the NY morning approached

- Vestas [VWS.DE] reported a wider than expected loss which was also disappointing compared to last year profit. Revenues, too, fell short of estimates and dropped 17% on a yearly basis. Company cut its guidance for revenue and profitability for the remainder of the year. This was due to a delay in order delivery in US,
Spain and Germany which could not be booked as revenues this fiscal year. Telekom Austria [TKA.AS] disappointed in net and revenues came in barely higher than expectations. But company raised its guidance for EBITDA and confirmed outlook for revenues.
- A P Moller-Maersk [MAERSKB.DE] reported an increase in its earnings which also surpassed significantly the consensus. Furthermore the company raised its operating profit to exceed $4B which is higher than the previous view of reported an increase in its earnings which also surpassed significantly the consensus. Furthermore the company raised its operating profit to exceed $4B which is higher than the previous view of $3.5B. Group was uncertain for the economic environment in the shipping and related activities, this uncertainty being skewed heavily into the fourth quarter. But overall the second half results were expected to be positive. Shares traded up by 16.1% at the open.
Switzerland's biggest insurer, Swiss Life [SLHN.SZ]surprised on the positive side, with gross written premiums and net increasing on a yearly basis and beating estimates. Solvency ratio had also improved and the company confirmed 2012 targets. Shares opened higher by 5.9%
Billiton [BHP.AU] confirmed it was taking the Potash [POT] deal directly to the shareholders and proceeding with a hostile takeover after the board rejected the $39B offer considering it not high enough. The market did not receive the news very well, especially when some analysts were advising against a friendly takeover deeming the cost to be too high. Company traded down while Potash was slightly up at the open.

- Speakers:
- Germany reportedly to postpone decision on tax on nuclear power station operators until end of September
- Czech Central Bank Gov Singer: Outlook for beginning policy tightening seems to be delayed
- Poland PM spokesperson commented that the Q2 GDP to be at or above 3% y/y
(GDP data scheduled for official release on Aug 30th with current analyst estimates is for 3.2% growth versus 3.0% seen in Q1.)
- Japanese DPJ law makers states that
Japan PM Kan was willing to adopt news measures against the yen currency

- Currencies/Fixed Income:
- The USD was weaker against the major pairs with continued chatter circulating that
China was selling USD and purchasing emerging markets currencies despite assurances that the greenback would remain the core of China's investment strategy.
- The
GBP began the session on soft footing with its weakness attributed to a potential 3-way split in BOE minutes on interest rate vote. Dealers also cited chatter that the Canadian Potash M&A deal would be finance in USD with the BHP UK entity financing the deal. The GBP/USD pair tested 1.5500 ahead of the European morning, which corresponded with its 200-day mvg avg seen at 1.5491. The BOE voted 8-1 to leaves rates unchanged and this helped the GBP/USD recover to approach the 1.5650 area. The EUR/USD retested the 1.29 mid-morning as it was aided by upward revision in its June retail sales data and a decent Bund auction.
- The JPY continues to hover inside the 85 neighborhood and little changed during the session.
- CAD continued to maintain a firm tone aided by talk of
China reserve diversification and M&A flows after BHP confirmed a hostile bid for Potash.

- In the Papers-Geopolitical:
- In the German press, Co-operative Bank associate Hofmann stated that German cooperative banks are well placed to finance an upswing. He observed that the first half was in positive territory and expects the second half to remain positive.
- The Financial Times reported that call center workers in the
US are becoming almost the same price as India call center workers. The high unemployment levels have driven down wages in the US, especially in the Hispanic population. India's outsourcing sector have risen by 10% this year and senior managers command salaries above global averages.

***Looking Ahead ***
- 6:00 (CZ) Czech Republic to sell CZK8B in 5.7% May 2024 Bonds
- 6:00 (RU) Russia to sell up to RUB20B in OFZ bonds
- (BR) Brazil Jul CAGED Formal Job Creation: No est v 213.0K prior
- (PH) Philippines July Budget (PHP): No est v -34.6B -prior
- (PO) Portugal July Producer Prices M/M: % v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: % v 3.7% prior
- (IS) Israeli July Leading Indicator M/M: % v 0.1% prior
- 7:00 (US) MBA Mortgage Applications w/e Aug 13th: No est v 0.6% prior
- 8:00 (PD) Poland July Producer Prices M/M: -0.3%e v 0.8% prior; Y/Y: 3.2%e v 1.9% prior
- 8:00 (PD) Poland July Sold Industrial Output M/M: -3.8%e v 7.0% prior; Y/Y: 12.9%e v 14.5% prior
- 8:00 (RU) Russia to sell up to RUB20B in OFZ bonds
- 8:30 (CL) Chile Q2 Current Account: $75ME v $1.5b prior; GDP Y/Y: 6.2%e v 1.0% prior
- 10:30 (US) Weekly DOE energy inventories: Crude: -1.0Me; Gasoline: -375Ke; Distillate: +1.4Me; Utilization: 87.2%e
- 12:30 (CA) Bank of Canada report on impact of banking standards
- 17:00 (CO) Colombia Jun Industrial Production Y/Y: 8.9%e v 7.5% prior; Retail Sales Y/Y: 12.5%e v 13.1%



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