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Friday, 16 September 2011 13:57

European Market Update

Markets await message from Euro Group and Ecofin on steps to prevent the debt crisis from morphing into a banking crisis

Economic Data

(RU) Russia Narrow Money Supply w/e Sept 12th: 6.30T v 6.24T prior

(EU)Aug EU 25 New Car Registrations:+7.7 % v +7.7% prior

(IN) India Central Bank (RBI) raised the REPO and Reverse Repo Rates by 25bps to 8.25% and 7.25% respectively (as expected); The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) was maintained at 6.00% (as expected)

(HU) Hungary July Avg Gross Wages Y/Y: 6.2% v 4.7%e

(SP) Spain Q2 Labour Costs Y/Y: 0.8% v 0.8% prior

(TU) Turkey Aug Consumer Confidence: 91.7 v 94.8 prior

(AS) Austria Q2 Final GDP: 0.7% v 1.0% prelim

(EU) Euro-Zone July Current Account nsa: -€3.2B v -€3.1B prior; Current Account Seasonally Adj: -€12.9B v -€7.1B prior

(IT) Italy July Total Trade Balance: +€1.4B v -€1.8B prior; Trade Balance EU: +€1.8B v -€213M prior

(EU) Euro Zone Q2 Labour Costs Y/Y: 3.6% v 2.7% prior

(EU) Euro-Zone Trade Balance Seasonally Adj: -€2.5B v -€2.5B prior; Trade Balance: €4.3B v €2.0Be

Fixed income:

(SA) South Africa sold total ZAR95M in 2022, 2028 and 2033 inflation-linked Bonds

SPEAKERS/FIXED INCOME/FX/COMMODITIES/ERRATUM

Notes/Observations:

European Finance Minister meeting (Ecofin) in Poland today and Sat

Southern California grocery workers union representing 62K workers at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons supermarkets go on strike

Brazil continues with its protectionist measures announcing certain measures to support auto industry

Triple witching for US markets this Friday

Equities:

FTSE 100 +0.80% at 5380, DAX +1.2% at 5572, CAC 40 +0.30% at 3056, IBEX 35 +0.10% at 8342, FTSE MIB +0.70% at 14745, SMI +0.90% at 5479

European shares rallied following yesterday's concerted action among ECB, FED, SNB, BOJ and BOE to launch new coordinated USD 3-month repo operations. Although this is not the sustainable solution for the solvency crisis in Europe, it assures that lenders will have enough dollars. This and the reaffirmation of Sarkozy that Greece will remain in the Eurozone (which does not mean it will not default) helped lift sentiment again today. Investors are also confident ahead of US Secretary Geithner meeting with the EU Ministers. It is expected that Geithner will suggest that EFSF be used in the same way that TALF was used in 2008 when the Treasury gave credit protection to NY Fed which in return loaned the money to investors with the intent that that money be used to buy asset-backed security. Note that TALF was initiated once TARP was over - the original US bailout plan was abandoned after the Fed paid $700B to buy subprime assets from banks. TARP was the banks' bailout plan whereas TALF was the consumers' bailout plan, in the sense that the purpose of the TALF was to encourage investors to buy the asset backed securities which would encourage lending down to the consumers' chain. In the European version, sovereign debt would be replaced by the asset-backed securities with the EFSF playing the role of the US treasury while ECB the NY Fed. The biggest difference is that EFSF is composed of heterogeneous countries with heterogeneous political and economic conditions. Those same countries have also persistently misdiagnosed the situation as a liquidity problem rather than a solvency one; accepting EU TALF would mean revising the strategy.

Financials were higher on the sentiment but dropped off their highs during mid-session. UBS was also higher with the rest of its peers from yesterday's loss of over 10% in the market. Hermes [RMS.FR] dropped after receiving France court approval to create controlling family holding.

Speakers:

IMF Zhu Min: Europe debt crisis is in a 'dangerous new phase' and concerned it might spread to the banking sector. He noted that EU needed structural reforms to solve its debt crisis and that liquidity measures would NOT solve Europe debt problems

Germany Chancellor Merkel commented that Germany was vulnerable due to strong global market integration and must make sure "good" economic situation persists. Germany GDP growth was seen closer to 3% than 2.5%. She reiterated many themes from the July 21st Leader Summit that Germany would do what was needed to defend Euro.She again stressed ahead of the Euro Group meeting that the debt crisis would not be solved with "one big bang" and would involve a controlled and gradual process.

ECB Gonzalez-Paramo commented that the coordinated central bank move on USD Repo was aimed at reinforcing confidence

European finance ministers were quite vocal ahead of the meeting in Poland.

German Fin Min Schaeuble stated that Europe's problems must be solved under the basis of current treaties

Austria Fin Min Fekter stated that he was confident that the next EU/IMF/ECB tranche for Greece would be paid out

Belgium Fin Min Reynders: Disappointed by German Chancellor Merkel's rejection of Euro Bond

Senior EU Official commented that US Treasury Sec Geithner did press for the EU to leverage the EFSF at the Euro Group meeting, but made no reference to the TALF program

BoE's Bean commented that more quantitative easing in the UK would be effective as the outlook in the UK was weaker recent economic indicators disappointing - Events in Europe are worrying.

Fed Fisher reiterated view that Fed's promise to keep interest rate low for an extended time did not stimulates the economy

China Foreign Ministry reiterated its support of measures taken by Europe to address its crisis and believed that key European Nations could coordinate its efforts to solve problems. The Ministry also reiterated that the yuan had potential to be included in the IMF's special drawing rights (SDR) basket. Expansion of the SDR basket would help expand representation of global monetary system

China Commerce Ministry (MOFCOM) Chai commented that helping Europe would in itself help China. He added that China should consider its own interest in handling European crisis and be based on its own capacity

China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) stated that its end-June Outstanding foreign debt was at $642.5B with short term foreign debt at $462.1B and medium-long term foreign debt at $180.4B

India Central Bank (RBI) commented after its rate decision that it was is premature to change its policy stance and imperative to persist with current anti-inflationary stance. The RBI rate stance would be guided by the trajectory of the inflation. It did note that the global economic outlook had worsened and was a matter of serious concern. Slower growth could dampen inflation

India Fin Min Mukherjee: Headline inflation continues to be a concern, while there are signs that growth is being impacted by monetary tightening

India Economic Advisor Basu commented that India faced difficult inflationary situation but added he would press for a pause in rate increase in November

Japanese PM Noda reiterated that excessive JPY currency strength had negative effects on Japanese exporters

Currencies/Fixed income:

Focus today would be on the Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings with a press conference schedule in the early NY hours. The US will reportedly encourage Europe today to leverage the ESEF bailout fund in the manner that the U.S. TALF was in 2008.

The EUR/USD retraced from its Thursday session high and was lower by around 80 pips as the pair entered the NY morning at the 1.3790 area. Selling of the Euro was said to be related to a well known US investment bank that recently reversed from its 'bullish' euro view. Dealers took note of the failure for the Euro to recapture the 1.40 handle after the announcement of the central bank coordinated move to launch USD repo operations during the Q4 period.
There was vague dealer chatter of a Far East central bank on the bid around 1.3780 area (which corresponded to the session low)

Political/ In the Papers:

In news related to the EU debt crisis, a report in the Greek press noted that Greece's government was believed to be planning to extend liquidity guarantees to banks, amid reports of declines in US dollar liquidity. IMF Managing Director Zhu was quoted as stating that the EU needs to make expanding the powers of the EFSF a main priority, as the official believes that the facility should be used to aid in the recapitalization process for banks. Following yesterday's US session, a CNBC report disclosed that a TALF-like program might be considered by EU officials in order to deal with the debt crisis, while a later report disclosed that any leveraging of the EFSF would require further discussion, as various countries have concerns about the proposal. Recall back in 2008, US officials implemented the TALF program in order to increase the availability of credit.

In other EU news, the FT reported that Ireland's government wants the EU to revise its treaty in order to protect the country's low tax rate. In Denmark, the centre-left opposition leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt won the general elections and will become the next Danish PM.

In the UK, BoE official Bean stated that he thinks additional quantitative easing in the UK would be effective, as CPI will start to ease in 2012. Bean added that recent economic indicators have been "disappointing" and the events in Europe were concerning. UK Business Sec Cable said that a new round of quantitative easing would help restore business confidence and support consumption. Former UK PM Gordon Brown stated that in his opinion the Euro Area could not survive in its present form.

Looking Ahead

(PE) Peru Central Bank Quarterly Inflation Report

6:00 (EU) EU Commissioner Rehn and Juncker hold Euro Group news conference

6:00 (FI) Finland Opposition no-confidence vote

8:00 (PD) Poland Aug Employment M/M: 0.0%e v 0.0% prior; Y/Y: 3.3%e v 3.3% prior

8:00 (PD) Poland Aug Avg Gross Wages M/M: -1.0%e v +0.3% prior; Y/Y: 4.9%et v 5.2% prior

8:00 (PO) Bank of Portugal releases monthly economic indicators Report

8:30 (CA) Canada July Int'l Securities Transactions: +C$2.0Be v -C$3.46B prior

9:00 (US) July Net Long-term TIC Flows: $30.0Be v $3.7B prior; Total Net TIC Flows: No est v -$29.5B prior

9:55 (US) Sept Preliminary University of Michigan Confidence: 56.9e v 55.7 prior

10:00 (GE) German Chancellor Merkel attends Berlin State Election Campaign Event

12:00 (US) Flow of Funds

15:00 (AR) Argentina Q2 GDP: 7.8%e v 9.9% prior

Weekend:

(EU) EU Finance Ministers and Central Bankers meet in Poland

Sunday: German State Election in Berlin

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