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Thursday January 23, 2014 - 16:34:40 GMT
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| | Email US Market Update: Risk sentiment hits an air pocket largely on China worries US Market Update: Risk sentiment hits an air pocket largely on China worries
Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:18 AM EST

- China Jan Flash Manufacturing PMI contracts for first time in six month inducing general risk off sentiment in global asset allocations
- Euro gains after major European PMI data comes in better than expected
- US data and earnings reports do little to sway today's momentum

***Economic Data***
- (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Jan 17th: $498.8B v $499.1B prior
- (UK) Jan CBI Industrial Reported Sales: 14 v 25e
- (IE) Ireland Dec PPI M/M: -2.1 v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: -2.2% v -0.9% prior
- (IE) Ireland Dec Property Prices M/M: 0.3 v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: 6.4% 5.6% prior
- (BR) Brazil Jan IBGE Inflation IPCA-15 M/M: 0.7% v 0.8%e, Y/Y: 5.7% v 5.8%e
- (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 326K v 330Ke; Continuing Claims: 3.06M v 2.93Me
- (US) Dec Chicago Fed National Activity Index: 0.16 v 0.90e
- (CA) Canada Nov Retail Sales M/M: 0.6% v 0.2%e; Retail Sales Ex Auto M/M: 0.4% v 0.3%e
- (US) Jan Preliminary Markit US PMI Manufacturing: 53.7 v 55.0e
- (US) Nov House Price Index M/M: 0.1% v 0.4%e
- 10:00 (EU) Euro Zone Jan Advance Consumer Confidence: -11.7 v -13.0e
- 10:00 (US) Dec Existing Home Sales: 4.87M v 4.92Mer
- 10:00 (US) Dec Leading Index: 0.1% v 0.2%e
- 10:30 (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories: -107 bcf vs. -105 to -110 bcf expected range
- 11:00 (US) DOE Crude: +990M v -1Me; Gasoline: +2.12M v +1.5Me; Distillate: -3.2M v e; Utilization: 86.5% v 89.7%

Fixed Income:
- (UK) DMO sold 2.25B in 2.25% 2023 Gilts; Avg Yield: 2.87% v 2.732% prior; Bid-to-cover: 1.67x v 1.8x prior; Tail: 0.2bps v 0.2bps prior
- (FR) France Debt Agency (AFT) sold total 1.7B vs.1.2- 1.7B indicated range in I/L 2016, 2018 and 2024 Oats

- US stock markets opened under pressure while bond markets rallied as risk off sentiment prevailed. The US 10-year Treasury yield declined to lowest level in 6 weeks while US indices lost 1% or more. The VIX index surged more than 10% and gold prices rallied more than 1.5% to a 1-month high above $1260. The Greenback came under some pressure while emerging market currencies continue to get whacked.

- "China concerns" were back in focus with a confluence of stories cited as holding back investor sentiment. On top of the negative Jan advanced PMI figures which clearly set the tone during Asia equity trade, a SEC ruling that large US accounting firms' Chinese units should be suspended from practicing in the US for some time weighed on US listed Chinese names. Shares of BIDU SINA QIHU CTRP DANG SFUN were just a sampling of the names that traded off between 5-10% in the early going. Also continued speculation about an impending deadline in shadow banking industry ($492M China Credit Trust Co CTT's to mature Jan 31st) that which could lead to a first every default remains in the forefront of many investors' minds. Today's handwringing comes against the backdrop of the week's multi-month high PBoC liquidity injections of CNY375B.

- Activism in US equity investing remains a hot topic after Icahn made his latest pitch, this time to internet titan eBay. Yesterday he disclosed in continued to purchase shares of Apple Inc and would call yet again for the management to heed his calls for ever larger stock repurchases at the upcoming Board meeting. He followed that up with a disclosure of a less than 1% stake in eBay along with submission of a proposal they spinoff Paypal and nominate two members to the Board. EBAY shares have posted modest gains despite underwhelming Q4 earnings and a disappointing FY14 outlook. The initial response from management has been dismissive; with the CEO emphasizing he believes eBay and PayPal are more valuable together due to various synergies.

- We have seen this picture before with Netflix. Another strong quarterly earnings report highlighted by robust net addition figures and guidance sent shares rocketing. Even a nod towards the potential headwinds that could come about from this month's earlier court ruling on Verizon and net neutrality has done little to dent the sentiment. Brokerage houses have come out with another wave of upgrades and raised price targets while the stock price consolidates gains of more than 15%.

- McDonald's shares may have found their way to the Dollar menu ahead of Q4 results. Another lackluster earnings report and guidance offering little in the way of an uptick failed to move MCD shares markedly. Jan SSS are expected to be flat once again after Q4 comp sales declined marginally on a global basis. Management noted they expected many of the challenges faced in 2013 to persist in 2014, namely heightened competitive activity, continued consumer price sensitivity and ongoing cost pressures.

- The EUR/USD found some momentum post stronger than expected PMI figures in France and Germany to finally bust above the 1.3580 area for 1-week highs. Dealers are now eyeing whether 1.3700 could be breeched. Cable moved above 1.66 out to levels not seen since 2011. The CHF was also firmer after the Swiss Govt raised its countercyclical capital buffer to help prevent overheating in the real estate sector. EEM currencies remain under serious pressure an early theme here in 2014. The Argentine peso hit a fresh low after foreign reserves fell while the Turkish Lira hit another fresh lifetime low.

***Looking Ahead***
All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 5 hours for GMT equivalent)
- 11:00 (US) Treasury 2-year, 5-year, 7-year coupon and 2-year FRN announcement
- 11:00 (US) Fed to purchase $1.00-1.50B in Notes
- 11:00 (BR) Brazil to sell 2014, 2016 and 2018 Bills
- 11:00 (BR) Brazil to sell Fixed-rate 2021 and 2025 bonds
- 11:00 (US) Jan Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Activity: No est v -3 prior
- 13:00 (IT) ECB's Visco (Italy) in Davos
- 13:00 (US) Treasury to sell $15B in 10-Year TIPS
- 14:00 (AR) Argentina Dec Trade Balance: $900Me v $901M prior
- 15:00 (US) API Monthly Statistical Report




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