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Thursday January 15, 2015 - 11:24:23 GMT
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| | Email EU Mid-Market Update: SNB abandoned its EUR/CHF floor at 1.20 and cut its 3-month Libor Target in a surprise move; volatility in all asset classes surge

Thu, 15 Jan 2015 5:20 AM EST

- Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandons its 1.2000 EUR/CHF floor and cuts interest rates into negative territory (3-month Liboe set at -0.75%)

- India Central Bank (RBI) surprised in its timing to begin lowering rates as inflation eases
- Bank of Korea (BoK) left its 7-Day Repo Rate unchanged 2.00% (as expected)
- Australia Dec Employment Change registered its 3rd straight month of double-digit gains (+37.3K vs. +5.0Ke); Unemployment Rate at a 4-month low (6.1% vs. 6.3%e)
- China Dec New Yuan Loans come in below expectations (CNY): 697.3B V 880.0BE; M2 Money Supply hits a 9-month low (YoY: 12.2% vs. 12.5%e)
- Asian equity markets showing a rebound (aided by Fed's Beige Book, RBI rate cut and Australia employment data
- European equities give back gains after SNB move

***Economic data***
- SNB ABANONDED ITS MINIUM EXCHANGE RATE FLOOR OF 1.2000; cuts its 3-month Libor Target to -0.75% (from 0.00% prior)

- (SG) Singapore Nov Retail Sales (missed) M/M: -0.7% v -0.2%e; Y/Y: 6.5% v 7.0%e%e; Retail Sales Ex Auto Y/Y: -0.4% v +1.3%e
- (TR) Turkey Oct Unemployment Rate (better): 10.4% v 10.8%e
- (ES) Spain Dec CPI M/M: -0.6% v -0.6%e; Y/Y: -1.0% v -1.1%e
- (DE) Germany 2014 GDP Y/Y: +1.5% v +1.5%e; Budget Deficit to GDP Ratio (under Maastricht): +0.4% v +0.1%
- (EU) Euro Zone Nov Trade Balance (Seasonally Adj): 20.0B vs. 20.0Be; Trade Balance NSA (unadj): 20.0B v 24.0B prior

Fixed income:
- (SE) Sweden opened its book to sell USD-denominated 3-year notes; guidance at -5bps
- (IT) Italy Debt Agency (Tesoro) opened books to sell new 30-year BTP bond; guidance seen at +7bps over 2044 BTP
- (ES) Spain Debt Agency (Tesoro) sold total 4.68B vs. 4.0-5.0B indicated range in 2017, 2020 and 2022 bonds
- Sold 1.56B in 0.50% Oct 2017 bono bond; Avg Yield: 0.556% v 0.584% prior; Bid-to-cover: 2.46x v 2.94x prior; Maximum Yield: 0.576% v 0.595% prior
- Sold 1.76B in 1.40% Jan 2020 bono; Avg Yield 0.849% v 0.928% prior; Bid-to-cover: 2.39x v 1.49x prior; Maximum Yield: 0.869% v 0.964% prior
- Sold 1.36B in Jan 5.85% Jan 2022 Bono Bonds; Avg Yield 1.147% v 2.091% prior; Bid-to-cover: 2.37x v 2.32x prior; Max Yield 1.158% v 2.100% prior

Indices [Stoxx50 -0.7%,
FTSE 100 -0.7% at 6,345, DAX -0.6% at 9,756, CAC-40 -0.7% at 4,181, IBEX-35 -0.6% at 9,797, FTSE MIB flat at 18,419, SMI -6.8% at 8,579, Athens Stock Exchange -1%, S&P 500 Futures -0.5% at 1,998]

- Market Focal Points/Key Themes: Equity markets open higher following losses on Wed and amid gains in Shanghai and Tokyo; Nikkei rises amid BoJ lending program speculation; Markets pare gains as SNB cuts rates and ends currency floor, SMI index drops sharply; Swiss banks move sharply lower (Credit Suisse -7, UBS -4%); Weaker sales weigh on UK's Home Retail; H&M Dec Sales above ests; Total reports rise in Q4 European refining margin; Richemont Q3 sales below ests; NY morning earnings (BlackRock, Citi, Bank of America)

By Sector
- Consumer Discretionary
[Beiersdorf BEI.DE +5% (FY sales above ests); Home Retail HOME.UK -5% (Q3 sales below ests), Richemont CFR.CH -1% (Q3 sales below ests)]
- Financials [Savills SVS.UK +7% (upbeat outlook)]
- Stoxx50 sector [Utilities -0.3%, Telecom -0.1%; Energy +0.9%, Consumer Non-Cyclical +0.6%, Industrials +0.5%, Technology +0.2%, Basic Materials +0.2%, Consumer Cyclical flat, Financials flat]

- SNB abandoned its EUR/CHF floor at 1.20 and cut its 3-month Libor Target in a surprise move.
It stated that the CHF currency was still high, but overvaluation decreased and cap no longer justified. It remained a factor in FX rate in formulating monetary policy in the future and it would remain active in currency markets if necessary.
- Bank of France Gov Noyer: Oil price decline and EUR decline were helping economy; Livret A saving plan rate should be cut to 0.75%, Livret A formula would normally mean rate of 0.25%
- France Finance Ministry: 2014 State Budget Deficit estimated to be 85.6B; overall public deficit within 4.4% target
- ECB said to be reconsidering its refusal to participate in Ireland Parliamentary inquiry on banking sector and might provide documents to aid the probe
- Poland: No plan to use IMF credit line; seen only as a precautionary tool (**Note: refers to recent 2-year $23B flexible credit line)
- Turkey Fin Min Simsek: 2015 GDP growth might be around 4.0%; inflation seen declining rapidly this year
- South Korea Fin Min Choi: 2015 GDP growth target of 3.8% is achievable; prospects aided by lower oil prices and export boost from FTA

- The session saw the equivalent of annual moves in FX price action in an event-driven market.
The SNB abandoned its EUR/CHF currency floor and cut its 3-month Libor Target Rate in a historic and surprising move. The EUR/CHF floor was enacted back in Sept 2011 at 1.2000 but the SNB deemed it unnecessary to waste funds in defending it further. EUR/CHF cross slumped from 1.2008 to test 0.86 area before rebounding back above parity. USD/CHF approached its all-time record low just above the 0.70 level. Emerging European Market currencies walloped after SNB abandoned its FX floor. PLN currency tumbled 40% at one point today against CHF currency after SNB abandoned its EUR/CHF floor.
- Various analyst provided commentary on their call for next week's ECB meeting and potential size of QE (mainly between 500-750B) and potential impact on EUR currency. All noted that EUR should continue its trend lower if QE comes in on the upper end of expectations
- AUD rally coming on the back of the strong Australian labor market report but dealers noted that it should soon run into resistance

**Political/In the Papers:
- (ES) Catalonia leader Mas: To call for regional elections on Sept 27, 2015
- (RU) Russia Central Bank replaces Yudaeva as First Dep Gov in charge of monetary policy

**Looking Ahead***
All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 5 hours for GMT equivalent)
- (TR) EU's Juncker with Turkey PM Davutoglu
- (ES) Spain Nov Trade Balance: No est v -2.2B prior
- (ID) Indonesia Central Bank (BI) Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Reference Rate unchanged at 7.75%
- 05:30 (BR) Brazil Nov Economic Activity (Monthly GDP) M/M: -0.2%e v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: -1.5%e v -1.2% prior
- 05:30 (HU) Hungary Debt Agency (AKK) to sell 12-month Bills
- 05:30 (HU) Hungary Debt Agency (AKK) to sell Floating Rate Bond
- 05:30 (UK) DMO to sell 1.75B in 4.5% 2034 Gilts
- 06:00 (RO) Romania to sell 4.75% 2019 Bonds; Yield: % v 2.77% prior, bid-to-cover: x v 3.24x prior
- 06:00 (PL) Poland canceled to sell 2024, 2025 and 2028 bonds
- 06:00 (IE) Ireland Dec CPI M/M: No est v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: No est v 0.1% prior
- 06:00 (IE) Ireland Dec CPI EU Harmonized M/M: No est v -0.3% prior; Y/Y: No est v 0.2% prior
- 06:00 (IE) Ireland Dec Trade Balance: No est v 2.9B prior
- 06:45 (US) Daily Libor Fixing
- 07:00 (RU) Russia Gold and Forex Reserve w/e Jan 9th: No est v 388.5B prior
- 08:00 (PL) Poland Dec CPI M/M: -0.2%e v -0.2% prior; Y/Y: -0.9%e v -0.6% prior
- 08:15 US) Baltic Dry Bulk Index
- 08:30 (US) Jan Empire Manufacturing: +5.00e v -3.58 prior
- 08:30 (US) Dec PPI Final Demand M/M: -0.4%e v -0.2% prior; Y/Y: 1.0%e v 1.4% prior
- 08:30 (US) Dec PPI Ex Food and Energy M/M: 0.1%e v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 1.9%e v 1.8% prior

- 08:30 (US) Initial Jobless Claims: 290Ke v 298K prior; Continuing Claims: 2.40Me v 2.452M prior
- 08:30 (US) Weekly USDA Net Export Sales
- 09:00 (BE) Belgium Nov Trade Balance: No est v 0.1B prior
- 09:00 (CA) Canada Dec Existing Home Sales M/M: No est v 0.0% prior
- 10:00 (US) Jan Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook: 18.6e v 24.5 prior
- 10:30 (US) Weekly EIA Natural Gas Inventories
- 11:00 (SE) Sweden Fin Min Andersson
- 11:00 (US) Treasury 10-year TIPS Refunding announcement
- 11:15 (EU) EU's Tusk with Turkey PM Davutoglu
- 11:30 (IL) Israel Dec CPI M/M: +0.1%e v -0.2% prior; Y/Y: -0.1%e v -0.1% prior
- 12:15 (EU) IMF chief Lagarde on CNBC
- 16:00 (CL) Chile Central Bank (BCCh) Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Overnight Rate Target unchanged at 3.00%
- 18:00 (PE) Peru Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Reference Rate unchanged at 3.50%
- 22:35 (JP) Japan to sell 1-Year Bills
- (PE) Peru Nov Trade Balance: No est v -$0.4B prior
- (PE) Peru Dec Unemployment Rate: No est v 5.4% prior
- (PE) Peru Nov Economic Activity (Monthly GDP) Y/Y: No est v 2.4% prior


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