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Thursday December 27, 2012 - 11:19:08 GMT
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| | Email EU Market Update: Supportive equity markets provide backdrop for softer USD and JPY currencies as Europe returns from Christmas break; US fiscal cliff negotiations to resume today EU Market Update: Supportive equity markets provide backdrop for softer USD and JPY currencies as Europe returns from Christmas break; US fiscal cliff negotiations to resume today
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 5:33 AM EST

- Treasury Sec Geithner confirms will conduct additional measures to avoid reaching the debt ceiling limit (**Note: Technically will hit debt limit on Dec 31st)
- Moody's: highly likely that US will eventually act to raise the debt limit; direction of US bond ratings most likely to be determined by the outcome of budget negotiations
- House GOP Leaders: Senate must act first on Fiscal Cliff
- President Obama back in Washington after cutting his Hawaii vacation short
- South Korea Finance Ministry cuts 2012 and 2013 GDP growth outlook
- Italy's Bersani Open to more budget control by EU
- Japan Chief Cabinet Sec Suga: Forex movement is a reversal of past on-sided yen appreciation; yen weakens to 2+year low against USD on continued hope for more Japanese policy stimulus
- China 2013 Budget deficit to widen as the country moves to stimulate the economy and push ahead with structural economic reforms
- ECB daily borrowings hit highest level of 2012 (Trend very similar to year-ago levels)
- ECB's Coene: Still have room on rates
- Italian auctions results mixed; yields higher on 6-month bills but lower on 2-year CTZ
- Italian and France confidence data slightly exceeds expectations
- Supportive equity markets provide backdrop for softer USD and JPY currencies

***Economic Data***
- (EU) ECB: 16.3B borrowed in overnight loan facility (highest amount of 2012) vs. 13.9B prior; 221.6B parked in deposit facility vs. 229.4B prior
- (CN) China Sept Outstanding Foreign Debt $770.8B v $785.2B in June
- (FI) Finland Dec Consumer Confidence: 3.5 v 1.0 prior; Business Confidence: -15 v -13 prior
- (CH) Swiss Nov UBS Consumption Indicator: 1.23 v 1.30 prior
- (FR) France Dec Consumer Confidence: 86 v 84e
- (FR) France Nov Producer Prices M/M: -0.5% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: 1.9% v 2.3%e
- (ES) Spain Oct Mortgages-Capital Loaned Y/Y: -21.2% v -35.3% prior; Mortgages on Houses Y/Y: -14.4% v -32.2% prior
- (CZ) Czech Dec Business Confidence: 1.6 v 0.3 prior; Consumer Confidence: -26.0 v -26.3 prior; Composite: -3.9 v -5.0 prior
- (TW) Taiwan Nov Leading Index M/M: 0.8% v 0.7% prior; Coincident Index M/M: 0.4% v 0.5% prior
- (HK) Hong Kong Nov Trade Balance (HKD): -44.1B v -43.2Be; Exports Y/Y: 10.5% v 3.3%e; Imports Y/Y: 9.0% v 2.6%e
- (IT) Italy Dec Business Confidence: 88.9 v 88.8e; Economic Sentiment: 75.4 v 76.5 prior
- (UK) Nov BBA Loans for House Purchase: 33.6K v 34.5Ke

- (BR) Brazil Dec FGV Inflation IGP-M M/M: 0.7% v 0.8%e; Y/Y: 7.8% v 7.9%e

Fixed Income:
- (IT) Italy Debt Agency (Tesoro) sold 8.5B vs. 8.5B indicated in 6-month Bills; Avg Yield 0.949% v 0.919% prior; Bid-to-cover:1.57 x v 1.65x prior
- (IT) Italy Debt Agency (Tesoro) sold 3.25B vs. 3.25B indicated in Zero Coupon Sept 2014 CTZ; Avg Yield 1.884% v 1.923% prior; Bid-to-cover: 1.69x v 1.50x prior
- (HU) Hungary Debt Agency (AKK) sold HUF vs. HUF indicated in 3-Month Bills; Avg Yield % v 5.63% prior; Bid-to-cover: x v 2.31x prior


Indices: FTSE 100 +0.20% at 5965,
DAX +0.24% at 7654, CAC-40 +0.60% at 3676, IBEX-35 -0.10% at 8293, FTSE MIB +0.50% at 16,412, SMI -0.20% at 6877, S&P 500 Futures +0.10% at 1414.50

- Following the Christmas break, European equity indices are trading mixed. The French CAC-40 and Italian FTSE MIB have outperformed, while the Swiss SMI index has lagged. The FTSE 100 and DAX indices are trading within reach of fresh 2012 highs. European banks are mostly higher and outperformers include Deutsche Bank, Intesa and RBS. Resource-related firms have tracked the recent gains in oil prices. In terms of the US fiscal cliff talks, lawmakers are due to return to Washington on Thursday, following the holiday break. US officials have until Dec 31st in order to reach an agreement to avoid certain automatic tax increases and spending cuts. Also, the US government is expected to reach its debt ceiling on the same date.

- Germany movers
[BMW +0.70% (CEO commented on 2012 sales outlook), Rheinmetall +0.60% (named new CEO and CFO)]
- Spain movers [Bankia -11% (Spain regulators confirmed the firm's negative valuation, approved capital raise)]
- Switzerland movers [Clariant +4% (asset sale)]

- IMF's Lagarde:
France should worry about the credibility of its efforts on fiscal reforms, rather on if it would meet EU's budget deficit target of 3% of GDP
- ECB's Coene: ESM could serve as European bank resolution fund
- Spain Autonomous Regions to call for looser deficit targets with Catalonia to lead the regions in asking the central govt to ease 2013 deficit targets of 0.7% vs 1.5% y/y. The request to be made at regular meeting with Budget Min Montoro in Jan
- Spain said to be planning decree to prevent early retirement
which would make it harder and more expensive for companies to use early retirement . Govt might delay early retirement age to 63 and the decree would complement pension reform passed by prior govt which comes into effect on Jan 1st 2013 and gradually raises retirement age to 67
- France Fin Min Moscovici penned an Op Ed articile in the German press which reiterated that the country has duty to reverse years of budget deficits as public debt had risen to unacceptable 1.7T. He reiterated 2013 deficit target of 3% and that France planned to start lowering its debt from 2014 although the plan was ambitious.
- Japan Govt Advisor Hamada: BoJ foreign bond buying could be a policy option and the central bank should buy more long dated JGBs and risk assets. He reiterated that a desirable inflation target of 2-3% and BoJ should pursue unlimited monetary easing. Must change BoJ law that guarantees its independence to hold BoJ accountable for its policy objectives.
- Japan Ministry of Finance (MOF) expanded its special forex monitoring program by three months until end of March 2013 (**Note: program was introduced in Aug 2011 when the BoJ performed a second act of solo FX to help curb JPY currency appreciation)

- Supportive equity markets continued to provide backdrop for softer USD and JPY currencies into thin year-end conditions. The USD/JPY hit its highest level in over 2-years when it tested 85.87 and EUR/JPY cross tested fresh 16-month highs of 113.85. The new Japanese Govt maintained its rhetoric on seeking a weaker yen. The Japan Chamber of Commerce head expressed his desire to see USD/JPY stabilize between the 85-90 level but cautioned that any rise to 110-120 level was its limit from importers' stance. Some vague chatter circulated that Japan might impose a 90 floor in pair (highly doubtful since BOJ had preached to China in the past on the virtue of floating, market driven rate)
- The EUR/USD was higher by almost 50pips as it traded near 1.3250.

Political/ In the Papers:
-(DE) German Econ Min Roesler: Planning the sale of state holdings by 2016 in order to reach balanced budget - German press
-(DE) IMF's Lagarde: EMU growth to accelerate in 2013; warns against overly ambitious fiscal consolidation in Germany - Germany press
-(CY) Russia Deputy Fin Min Storchak: No plan to grant 5B Cyprus loan request, too much risk for one creditor- financial press
-(NL) Netherlands Fin Min Dijsselbloem said to be opposed to relaxing new mortgage rules - US financial press; Said may change discussion on EU budget limit of 3%; not in Dutch government's interest to be the first to start talks on budget limit.
-(US) Treasury Sec Geithner confirms will conduct additional measures to avoid reaching the debt ceiling limit, as has been customary in prior debt ceiling impasses; Technically will hit debt limit on Dec 31, but will take extraordinary measures to avoid hitting the limit as it has in the past; Measures will create $200B in headroom
-(US) Moody's: highly likely that US will eventually act to raise the debt limit; direction of US bond ratings most likely to be determined by the outcome of budget negotiations; if there is no clear path on the fiscal outlook and debt trajectory in 2013, the US sovereign rating will be downgraded.
-(US) China rating agency Dagong Global place US sovereign rating on Negative watch citing lack of political consensus on how to tackle debt problem over the long term
-(US) Republican aide: Republican House caucus expected to hold conf call Thursday to discuss fiscal cliff - financial press
-(US) Senate Majority Leader Reid's (D-NV) reiterates call for the House to act on the Senate bill extending middle class tax cuts in order to avoid fiscal cliff effects. The Senate bill is the only one that can become law.
- (US) House Speaker Boehner's office: The Senate should act on House passed budget bills; Senate must act first on House proposals, then House will consider Senate bill revisions.

***Looking Ahead***
***All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 5 hours for GMT equivalent)
- (BR) Brazil Nov Central Govt Budget (BRL): No est v 9.9B prior
- (RU) Russia Gold & Forex Reserve w/e Dec 21st: No est v $528.8B prior
- 06:30 (US) Daily Libor fixing
- 08:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 360Ke v 361K prior; Continuing Claims: 3.20Me v 3.125M prior
- 09:00 (MX) Mexico Nov Preliminary Trade Balance: No est v -$1.7B prior
- 09:30 (EU) ECB calls for bids in 6-Day Main Refinancing Tender
- 10:00 (US) Dec Consumer Confidence: 70.0e v 73.7 prior
- 10:00 (US) Nov New Home Sales: 379Ke v 368K prior
- 11:00 (IC) Iceland Central Bank Minutes
- 11:00 (US) Fed to purchase $4.25-5.25B in Notes
- 12:00 (FR) France Nov Net Change Jobseekers: +25.0Ke v +45.4K prior; Total Jobseekers: No est v 3.103M prior
- 14:00 (AR) Argentina Nov Supermarket Sales Y/Y: No est v 15.5% prior; Shop Center Sales Y/Y: No est v 12.6% prior
- 16:30 (US) Weekly API U.S. Crude Oil Inventories
- 18:30 (JP) Japan Nov Jobless Rate: 4.2%e v 4.2% prior
- 18:30 (JP) Japan Nov National CPI: -0.2%e v -0.4% prior; CPI Ex Food&EnergY/Y: -0.5%e v -0.5% prior
- 18:50 (JP) Japan Nov Industrial Production M/M: -0.5%e v +1.6% prior; Y/Y: -4.6%e v -4.5% prior


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