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Reports Europe

European stock market, economy and companies update (March 04, 2014)

March 4, 2014, Tuesday, 13:18 GMT | 08:18 EST | 17:48 IST | 20:18 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- Tensions in Ukraine ease a bit after President Putin orders ends military exercise in the western part of Russia
- RBA leaves Cash Rate Target unchanged at 2.50%, as expected; Exchange rate remains high by historical standards

Indices [Stoxx50 +1%, FTSE 100 +1% at 6,778, DAX +0.9% at 9,444, CAC-40 +1.3% at 4,344, IBEX-35 +1% at 9,979, FTSE MIB +1.6% at 20,080, SMI +1% at 8,384, S&P 500 Futures +0.6% at 1,855]

- Market Focal Points: Equity market pare some of the losses seen on Monday's session as traders watch events related to Russia/Ukraine, Glencore Xstrata rises on better than expected profits, RWE reaffirmed forecast, Fresnillo declines on weaker profits, Shares of Stada continue to trade heavy on Russia concerns

By Sector:
- Industrials [Sika SIK.CH +1.5% (raised dividend 12%)]
- Utilities [RWE RWE.DE flat (Reaffirms FY outlook)]
- Basic Materials/Resources [Arkema AKE.FR +3% (FY profits above ests, raised dividend), Glencore GLEN.UK +2% (FY EBITDA above ests); Fresnillo FRES.UK -7% (FY results below ests)]
- Financials [Bank of Ireland BKIR.UK -4% (share placement)]
- Consumer Discretionary [Ashtead AHT.UK +7% (raised outlook), Beiersdorf BEI.DE +1% (FY profits above ests), Metro MEO.DE +1% (declined over 3% on Monday)]
- Technology [PACE PIC.UK +5% (raised dividend 22%)], MONY.UK +4% (FY profits above ests)]
Stoxx50 Sectors [Consumer Non-Cyclical +1.4%, Consumer Cyclical +1.2%, Basic Materials +1.2%, Telecom +1.1%, Technology +1.1%, Utilities +1%, Financials +1%, Industrials +1%, Energy +0.9%]

- Russia President Putin said to have order troops involved in military exercises in Western Russia to return to bases. Defense Ministry reported that exercises involving 150K troops, 90 aircraft and 80 ships were successful and that the exercises ended on schedule. (**Note: These exercises in Russia had nothing to do with Russian troops in Crimea, Ukraine)
- Russia Presidential advisor Glazyev (hard liner) said to consider responses to possible sanctions on Russia including dropping USD. Russian banks and firms won't pay back USD loans if sanctions were imposed
- Russia Fin Min Siluanov halts purchases of Fx for reserve fund (sovereign fund) citing high market volatility. He later stated that it was considering $2-3B loan to Ukraine for gas debt
- Gazprom [GAZP.RU] CEO Miller stated that it would end Ukraine discount starting in Apr and increase prices. He noted that Ukraine could not pay its Feb gas bill in full and owed company $1.53B
- German Foreign Min Steinmeier: Hoping for solution on Crimea in coming days, but no breakthrough yet
- Poland Econ Min Piechocinski Ukraine crisis might put 2014 GDP growth forecast of 3.1-3.2% at risk
- Former Fed Chair Bernanke commented at a global financial markets forum the saw some progress in US economy and saw 2014 US GDP growth around 3%. He noted that US household wealth had recovered from crisis
- Bank of Korea (BOK) Minutes showed that the Board voted unanimously (7-0) to hold rates steady in Feb and noted that it must seek policy steps to support domestic economy. One member said domestic economy was improving, mostly on policy support, no clear sign of full-speed recovery; calls for better policy mix to prevent low growth from becoming a trend. Another member: economy will continue to see growth as global economy recovers
- China said to allow local govt to conduct larger bond sales for debt payback as the govt relaxed restrictions on bond issuance to allow over-leverage local govt to sell more debt to meet outstanding liabilities. China regulators might have given up trying to shrink the shadow banking
- Japan PM Abe: Japan is steadily moving out of deflation

Currencies/Fixed Income:
- The session began with safe haven flows easing a bit as risk of any near term full invasion of Ukraine by Russia seemed unlikely after Russia President Putin called back some 150K troops from exercises that took place in Western Russia.
- The EUR/USD tested session highs after Russian Presidential advisor Glazyev (hard liner) stated that it would move away from the USD into other currencies if the US Senate imposed sanctions against Russia. The view was later clarified as 'his own'
- Spot gold and oil retraced recent gains as some of the tension eased in the Ukraine. Spot gold was off by over $10/oz to trade under $1,340 while Brent Crude fell approx. 1.5% to move back below $110/barrel

Political/In the Papers:
- ECB chief Draghi in testimony in Brussels stated that: Inflation was "way below" target but he could not discuss monetary policy in detail ahead of Thursday's Council meeting. Risks go up the longer inflation stayed low, low inflation in core terms is mostly due to the process of adjustment in peripheral Europe
-(US) Fed's Williams (dove, FOMC non-voter): Opposes new threshold to replace 6.5% unemployment,
- (JP) BOJ Gov Kuroda: There is momentum stimulating Yen carry trade; Investors have incentive to pursue carry trade given low Japan interest rates - addressing parliament

**Looking Ahead***
All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 5 hours for GMT equivalent)
- (CH) Swiss Parliament Spring Session Bern
- (US) President Obama sends budget to Congress
- (US) Budget director Burwell testifies in House
- (RO) Romania Parliament to vote on new govt
- NATO to discuss aggression in Ukraine
- (GR) Greece Debt Agency (PDMA) to sell €875M in 26-week Bills
- 05:30(UK) BOE Dep Gov Cunliffe in London (**Note: BoE Deputy Gov for financial stability)
- 05:30 (HU) Hungary Debt Agency (AKK) to sell 3-Months Bills
- 05:30 (BE) Belgium Debt Agency to sell combined €2.8B in 3-Month and 6-month Bills
- 05:30 (UK) DMO to sell £4.25B in 1.75% 2019 Gilts
- 06:00 OECD Jan Annual Inflation: No est v 1.6% prior
- 06:00 (TR) Turkey to sell 2016, 2020 and 2023 bonds
- 06:30 (EU) ESM to sell €3.0B in 3-month Bills
- 06:45 (US) Daily Libor Fixing
- 07:00 (IE) Ireland Feb Consumer Confidence: No est v 84.6 prior
- 07:00 (EU) ECB allotment in 7-Day Term Deposit Tender to offset bond purchases in SMP program
- 07:45 (US) ICSC Chain Store Sales w/e Feb 8th
- 08:55 (US) Weekly Redbook Retail Sales
- 09:00 (EU) Weekly ECB Forex Reserves:
- 09:15 (SE) Sweden Fin Min Borg
- 09:45 (US) Feb ISM New York: No est v 64.4 prior
- 10:00 (US) Mar IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism: 45.0e v 44.9 prior
- 10:00 (DK) Denmark Feb Foreign Reserves (DKK): No est v 475.7 prior
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Weekly International Reserves
- 10:00 (US) Senate Banking Committee Confirmation Hearing postponed on Fed Nominees
- 10:30 (UK) DMO to announce size of upcoming auctions
- 11:00 (US) Fed to purchase $1.00-1.25B in bonds
- 11:30 (US) Treasury to sell combined $60B in 4-Week and 52-Week Bills
- 16:00 (CO) Colombia Feb PPI M/M: No est v 0.7% prior; Y/Y: No est v 0.2% prior
- 16:15 (US) Fed's Lacker on economy in NY
- 16:30 (US) Weekly API Oil Inventories
- 18:30 (CN) China Premier Li to give 2014 GDP growth target
- 18:30 (CN) China Fin Min Lou to present 2014 budget report
- 19:30 (AU) Australia Q4 GDP Q/Q: No est v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: No est v 2.3% prior
- 20:45 (CN) China Feb HSBC/Markit Services PMI: No est v 50.7 prior

***Economic Data***
- (ES) Spain Feb Net Unemployment M/M: -1.9K v +22.0Ke
- (EU) ECB €673M borrowed in overnight loan facility vs. €776M prior; €27.8B parked in deposit facility vs. €29.4B prior - Daily Eurosystem Liquidity Conditions
- (GR) Greece Feb Manufacturing PMI: 51.3 v 51.2 prior; second straight month of expansion
- (UK) Feb PMI Construction: 62.6 v 63.2e
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan PPI M/M: -0.3% v -0.1%e; Y/Y: -1.4% v -1.3%e

Fixed Income:
- (ZA) South Africa sold total ZAR2.35B in 2031, 2037 and 2048 bonds
-(AT) Austria Debt Agency (AFFA) sold total €1.21B vs. €1.21B indicated in 2018 and 2023 bonds
- (EU) ECB allotted €87.1B in 7-Day Main Refinancing Tender at fixed 0.25% vs. 95.0Be
- (CH) Switzerland sold CHF844.45B in 3-month Bills; Avg Yield: -0.099% v -0.102% prior