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TradeTheNews.com EU Market Update: Italian election results remain murky but Europe vocal on need for Italy to continue reform process

TradeTheNews.com EU Market Update: Italian election results remain murky but Europe vocal on need for Italy to continue reform process
Tue, 26 Feb 2013 5:36 AM EST

***Notes/Observations***
- Risk aversion sentiment surges over the past 24 hours as election results in Italy fail to present a winning majority in both the Senate and chambers of parliament to form a government
-Grillo (5 Star Movement) and Berlusconi (Centre-Right) both appear unwilling to negotiate on a coalition
-Likely Senate seats: Centre-Left 121; Centre-Right 117; Grillo 54; Monti 22 (158 needed for majority)
- Markets calm down from opening turmoil after Italy's Berlusconi admitted defeat in the Lower House and added that it was NOT useful to return to the polls
- Italy sells 6-month bills with yield at highest level since Oct 2012

-Senate Majority Leader Reid: Sequester would cause harsh austerity; No sign of a compromise
- China Securities Journal editorial suggested that China is nearing the end of its loose monetary policy but rates are not expected to be adjusted in the near term
-Australia: RBA's Debelle: Scope to lower rates more if needed; lower rates will in part offset high AUD

***Economic Data***
- (ZA) South Africa Dec Leading Indicator: 131.7 v 131.5 prior
- (FI) Finland Jan Unemployment Rate: 8.7% v 8.0%e
- (FI) Finland Jan Preliminary Retail Sales Volume Y/Y: -0.3% v -1.4% prior
- (HU) Hungary Jan Unemployment Rate: 11.2% v 11.1%e
- (TW) Taiwan Jan Export Orders Y/Y: 18.0% v 17.6%e
- (ES) Spain Dec Mortgages-capital loaned Y/Y: -28.1% v -34.4% prior; Mortgages on Houses Y/Y: -27.8% v -31.6% prior
- (EU) ECB: 0.0 borrowed in overnight loan facility vs. 1.0M prior; 159.8B parked in deposit facility vs. 166.4 prior
- (ZA) South Africa Q4 GDP Annualized: 2.1% v 1.7%e; GDP Y/Y: 2.5% v 2.2%e

Fixed Income:
- (UK) DMO opened book for syndication of 0.25% 2052 I/L Gilt; initial guidance seen 2.5-3.0bps above the 2050 IL Gilt
- (EU) EFSF to sell new benchmark 3-year bond; Guidance seen at 5bps below mid-swaps
- (IT) Italy Debt Agency (Tesoro) sold 8.75B vs. 8.75B indicated in 6-month Bills; Avg yield 1.237% v 0.731% prior (highest since Oct 2012); Bid-to-cover: 1.44x v 1.65x prior
- (CH) Switzerland sold CHF1.16B in 3-Month Bills: Yield: -0.103% v -0.091% prior
- (EU) ECB allotted 131.1B vs. 130Be in 7-Day Main Refinancing Tender at fixed 0.75%
- (HU) Hungary Debt Agency (AKK) sold HUF60B vs. HUF50B indicated in 3-Months Bills; Avg yield 5.07% v 5.17% prior; Bid-to-cover: 2.68x v 2.36x prior

*** SPEAKERS/FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM ***

***Equities***
Indices: FTSE 100 -1.1% at 6,279,
DAX -1.6% at 7,638, CAC-40 -1.9% at 3,648, IBEX-35 -2.6% at 8,021, FTSE MIB -4.3% at 15,643, SMI -1.7% at 7,464, S&P 500 Futures +0.30% at 1,491

European equity markets are broadly lower, as the Italian FTSE MIB has lost over 4%, amid concerns that the close election result related to the Senate could complicate the country's reform efforts. Others factors which have weighed on markets include renewed monetary tightening concerns related to China, as China 7-day money market rate rose by over 75bps. European banks are broadly lower, led by Italian financials. Looking ahead, markets are expected to focus on comments by US Fed Chairman Bernanke and Wednesday's Italian bond auction.

Italy movers [ (Italian banks more lower by over 7%, amid concerns related to elections; Other heavyweights trade down over 3% (Fiat -3.9%, Finmeccanica -4%, Telecom Italia -5.5%))
UK movers [Whitbread -3.5% (expects more competitive environment), Bovis Homes -2% (broker commentary), Home Retail -2% (Argos exited Chinese jv)]
Germany movers [Fresenius SE +1% (raised dividend),BASF -2% (ruled out near-term buyback, Q4 Chemical unit EBIT declined)]
France movers [SEB -4% (FY12 results below ests), Vivendi -1.5% (lack of clarity on asset sales)]

Speakers:
- Italy's Berlusconi admitted defeat in the Lower House to Bersani and added that the party now must reflect on what to do next. He added that it was NOT useful to return to the polls
but excluded any deal with Monti's Centrists. He later posted that he was taking time to consider alliance with PD but too early to comment on any possible deal. He stressed that the PDL would not make any deal with Monti
- BoE Gov King commented in Tokyo that he saw the need more sustainable pattern of global demand. Monetary policy could bring forward spending, but stimulus was still needed to encourage future spending. Existing configuration of exchange rates would unlikely to deliver stability in the long run and that without adjustments in imbalances, some countries would look to currency rates. Exchange rates had become less and less flexible. Emerging economies preferred a stronger US economy rather than a stronger USD currency. Near term outlook for EU was weak, long-term was uncertain. - 2012 weakness due to sharp fall in construction, unlikely to be repeated in 2013. Negative real bond yields in UK were not consistent with sustainable economic recovery and that inflationary expectations remained anchored
- German Econ Min Roesler: No alternatives to structural reforms that have already been launched in Italy. He urged all parties in Italy to be cognizant of their responsibility to support stability in the country
- German CDU member Broemer: Italy needs a functioning govt without delay following the recent election. He added that Italy had a key role in the EMU crisis and needed to win back confidence of the markets. He also stressed that Italy must continue with consolidation and reforms
- German Foreign Min Westerwelle: Will exert pressure on Italy to continue reforms
- France Industry Min Montebourg: Euro was too strong and should become more politicized. ECB should listen to politicians and should act more like Bank of England. The Eurozone needed to reinterpret ECB's role and the central bank should monetize debt
- Spain Foreign Min: Concerned about the Italian election outcome
- Russia Govt said to be considering delegating its own representatives to the country's central bank (CBR)
- Italy market regulator, Bourse to monitor exchanges, use all instruments to calm market volatility
- Sweden Central Bank (Riksbank) Minutes noted that economic growth was weak and inflation was low but did expect the domestic economy to gradually strengthen in 2013
- Sweden Central Bank Gov Ingves saw a gradual normalization of developments and that monetary was policy short-sighted when managing household debt
- Sweden Central Bank Member Ekholm (dissenter); Economy has not developed as positively but cycle might have bottomed out. Need analysis on how house price drop would hurt the country
- Sweden Central Bank Member Svensson (dissenter) saw failings in Swedish monetary policy and must focus on inflation and NOT on household debt
- Sweden Central Bank Member Wickman-Parak saw Sweden economy recovering this year and that developments overseas might be better than expected. Had not seen impact of latest rate cut on economy. Cut in rates was more likely than hike in near-term if a need arose to adjust rates
- Sweden Central Bank Member Jansson: Can be more certain that hoped-for recovery has begun
- Sweden Central Bank Member Af Jochnick: Need financial stability for monetary policy to work
- BOE members testified to Treasury Select committee
- BOE members Bean noted that growth would gradually strengthen but downside economic risks remained especially in the EMU region. He reiterated that inflation to remain above the 2% target for longer than thought (**Note: In line with minutes). He saw a marked improvement in sentiment and this will feed into activity. Banking union desirable for Euro Zone stability
- BOE's Tucker stated that he remained open to more QE but was dependent on outlook for demand and inflation. QE likely to be more effective than late 2012 period. He also reiterated that inflation to remain above the 2% target for a few years. Escape velocity was needed to start withdrawing stimulus. He did see great uncertainty and needed to adopt watchful and probing approach. Threats to UK from EMU had receded
- Japan Opposition Democratic party policy chief stated that the ruling party would present the BOJ gov candidate to Parliament on Thursday Feb 28th. The opposition had no intention to delay process of choosing new BoJ Gov
- China said to be planning additional property curbs, amid rebound in property market
- EU spokesperson for Ashton: New P5+1 offer a "balanced and fair" basis for nuclear discussions with Iran; Hopes for serious discussions with concrete steps to build confidence
- Reports circulated that Iran believed the offer from P5+1 was unbalanced. P5+1 would ease sanctions on banking and gold but it would required Iran to give up 20% of its enrichment program and Iran to offer new proposals during nuclear talks with world powers in Kazakhstan

Currencies:
- Risk aversion sentiment saw surge over the past 24 hours after election results in Italy failed to present a winning majority in both the Senate and chambers of parliament in order to form a government. The political uncertainly left under Bersani winning an absolute majority in the lower house, but not in the Senate, where even a coalition with Monti will leave Bersani without a majority.
- The USD and JPY currencies benefited from a fresh wave of save haven flows. Ahead of today's equity open the European Fixed Income saw support in Bund and Gilt futures and a renewed widening of euro zone spreads. The Spanish and Italian 10-year gov't yields initially rose by over 40bps ahead of the European equity open to 5.55% and 4.85% respectively. However Markets calmed down after Italy's Berlusconi admitted defeat in the Lower House and added that it was NOT useful to return to the polls. The Spanish 10-year yield found the ability to probe back towards 5.20% while Italy followed with its yield softening to 4.70%
- The EUR/USD currency pair hit a fresh 7-week low and was approaching the lower end of the pivotal January range (1.2994 to 1.3711). The break of the January trading range historically marked either the HIGH/LOW for the Euro for the remainder of the trading year. Today's low for the pair was 1.3016. The pair was just under the 1.31 handle as the NY morning approached.
- The USD/JPY pair tested below 91.40 in early Europe. Econ Min Amari noted that the currency move might be the result of uncertainty in Italian elections. It was only yesterday that the pair was approaching the 95 handle. EUR/JPY moved off lows of 119.01 to retest the mid-120 area with alleged help by Middle-Eastern investors.

Political/In the Papers:
- (IT) Insight to Italian elections: Lower chamber of parliament; Democratic Party leader Bersani and his leftist coalition scraped a razor-thin victory over Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right, winning by 29.55% to 29.18% with 99.9 percent of the ballots counted
Senate: Preliminary results of 305-seat Senate showed that former PM Berlusconi's coalition could win 110 seats to the left's 97 seats, with neither group winning a majority, which is required in both chambers of parliament to form a government.
- (EU) ECB's Weidmann: ECB should move back toward traditional monetary policy and away from its current path.; Monetary policy, FX rate policy cannot be the solution to the debt crisis.
- (ES) Fitch downgrades Spain autonomous region Murcia to BBB- from BBB- financial press
- (US) WSJ's Hilsenrath: Fed's Bernanke will not signal a big change in policy at this week's Congress testimony - CNBC
- (US) House Speaker Boehner (R-OH): There are better ways to cut spending than the sequester, calls on President Obama to work with the Senate to pass a new package
- (AU) RBA's Assistant Gov Debelle: RBA has the capacity to intervene if necessary - financial press; Has plenty of scope to lower cash rate to offset impact of bank funding costs.

***Looking Ahead***
***All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 5 hours for GMT equivalent)
- 06:00 (BR) Brazil Feb FGV Consumer Confidence: No est v 117.9 prior
- 06:00 (UK) Feb CBI Industrial Reported Sales: +16e v +17 prior
- 06:30 (US) Daily Libor Fixings
- 07:00 (EU) ECB allotment in 7-Day Term Deposit Tender to offset Govt Bond Purchases under SMP; to drain 205.5Be
- 07:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Unemployment Rate: 5.3%e v 4.6% prior
- 07:45 (US) Weekly ICSC Chain Store Sales
- 08:00 (HU) Hungary Central Bank (NBH) Interest Rate Decision: Expected to cut the Base Rate by 25bps to 5.25%
- 08:30 (BR) Brazil Jan Total Outstanding Loans (BRL): No est v 2.359T prior; M/M: No est v 2.4% prior; Private Banks Lending: No est v 1.233T prior; Personal Loan Default Rate: No est v 7.9% prior
- 08:30 (ZA) South Africa Crop Estimates Committee
- 08:55 (US) Weekly Redbook Retail Sales
- 09:00 (HU) Hungary Central Bank Gov Simor post rate decision press conference
- 09:00 (MX) Mexico Jan Preliminary Trade Balance: -$8.0Me v +$961.7M prior
- 09:00 (US) Dec S&P/Case-Shiller 20 City MoM: 0.65%e v 0.63% prior; Y/Y: 6.60%e v 5.52% prior; Home Price Index: 145.82e v 145.82 prior
- 09:00 (US) Q4 S&P/Case-Shiller Q/Q: 7.00%e v 3.64% prior; HPI: No est v 135.67 prior
- 09:00 (US) Dec House Price Purchase Index M/M: 0.6%e v 0.6% prior; Q/Q: No est v 1.1% prior;
- 09:00 (EU) Weekly ECB Forex Reserves
- 09:30 (EU) ECB calls for bids in 3-Month Refinancing Tender
- 10:00 (US) Fed Chairman Bernanke testifies at annual Senate Banking Committee
- 10:00 (US) Feb Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index: -4e v -12 prior
- 10:00 (US) Feb Consumer Confidence: 62.0e v 58.6 prior
- 10:00 (US) Jan New Home Sales: 380Ke v 369K prior
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico weekly International Reserves
- 11:00 (IT) Italy Bersani to hold press conference
- 11:00 (US) Fed to purchase $1.25-1.75B in Notes
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell $45B in 4-Week Bills
- 12:00 (FR) France Jan Net Change in Jobseekers: +17.5Ke v +0.3K prior; Total Jobseekers: 3.168Me v 3.133M prior
- 13:00 (BR) Brazil Jan Central Govt Budget (BRL): 21.1Be v 28.3B prior
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $35B in 5-Year Notes
- 13:30 (UK) BOE member Fisher
- 16:00 (KR) South Korea Feb Consumer Confidence: No est v 102.0 prior
- 16:30 (US) Weekly API U.S. Crude Oil Inventories
- 16:45 (NZ) New Zealand Jan Trade Balance: No est v 486M prior

 

 

 

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