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Reports Europe

European stock market, economy and companies update (March 21, 2014)

March 21, 2014, Friday, 10:08 GMT | 06:08 EST | 14:38 IST | 17:08 SGT
Contributed by Trade The News

- (US) Fitch affirmed the United States of America (USA) Sovereign Rating at AAA and revised its outlook from negative to stable (rating watch negative was resolved)
- Chinese equities surge after reports that two largest banks ICBC and CCB) stopped distributing trust products (**Note: Had been cited as a source of a potential systemic risks to the Chinese banking system); also aiding appetite was reports that China might release measures to promote consumption and Security regulator (CSRC) would issue rules ona preferred share pilot program
- US economic schedule is light with focus on several Fed speakers (might try to clarify the message on interest rates after the confusion caused by Fed Chair Yellen)

Indices [Stoxx50 +0.5%, FTSE 100 +0.3% at 6,559, DAX +0.5% at 9,344, CAC-40 +0.4% at 4,344, IBEX-35 +0.6% at 10,141, FTSE MIB +0.4% at 21,179, SMI +0.4% at 8,296, S&P 500 Futures +0.3% at 1,871]

- Market Focal Points: European equities trade broadly higher, Commerzbank supported by broker commentary, Sanctions and sovereign outlook downgrade weigh on Russia's equity market

By Sector
- Telecom [Bouygues +0.5% (improved offer for SFR)]
- Consumer Discretionary [Air Berlin +4% (takeover speculation)]
- Financials [Commerzbank CBK.DE +2% (broker commentary)]
- Industrials [Faiveley Transport LEY.FR -10% (cut outlook)]
- Stoxx50 Sectors [Basic Materials +0.5%, Technology +0.4%, Telecom +0.3%, Utilities +0.2%, Energy +0.2%, Financials +0.2%, Industrials +0.2%, Consumer Non-Cyclical +0.1%; Consumer Cyclical -0.1%]

- Fitch affirmed the United States of America (USA) Sovereign Rating at AAA and revised its outlook from negative to stable (rating watch negative was resolved)
- Fitch lowered Russia Federation sovereign outlook to negative from stable and reaffirmed its BBB rating
- S&P Affirmed Greece Sovereign rating at B- with its outlook stable
- Italy PM Renzi planned budget cuts might fall short of IMF's Cottarelli suggestions. Renzi said to be looking to keep budget cuts to €20-25B over three years vs. Cottarelli plan of €33.9B. Renzi also rejected proposal to immediately cut pensions of more than €26K
- Russia Foreign Min Lavrov: Western sanctions were irrational and created unnecessary barriers
- Russia President Putin said to be discussing sanctions on the West with top aides but stressed that; should not be use just yet
- Russia PM Medvedev: Russia should ask Ukraine to repay $11B due to denunciation of 2010 agreement
- EU Leaders said to sign political section of EU Trade Association Agreement with Ukraine (**Reminder In mid-December 2013 Then Ukraine PM Yanukovych's rejected the planned Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer trade relations with Russia. This set off a wave of protests within Ukraine
- China's Securities Regulator (CSRC) issued rules related to preferred share pilot program noting that 3 types of listed firms could issue preferred shares.
- Thailand Constitutional Court ruled that the Feb 2nd general elections were not valid as it violated the charter thus new elections must be held
- Thailand Central Bank again cut its 2014 GDP forecast from 3.0% to 2.7% (**Note 4th cut in growth since Oct. It saw more downside risks to growth than upside as political unrest reduced local demand and tourism

Currencies/Fixed Income:
- Quiet session in FX today with the major currency pairs steady
- The EUR/USD was holding above its 2-week low of 1.3749, seen following Yellen's signal that the Fed is on course to hike rates by mid-2015
- Morgan Stanley analyst commented that the USD's rebound post the FOMC would likely to be focused against the commodity-related currencies with USD/CAD leading the way. The acceleration of USD/CAD through the previous highs at the 1.1225 level now opened the way for gains to be extended towards 1.1465 and then its1.1600 target
- The PBoC set the USD/CNY reference rate at a 13-month low of 6.1475

Political/In the Papers:
- -EU expanded diplomatic sanctions against Russia and added 12 names to list of targeted Russian individuals. US also announced sanctions against more Russian individuals and one Russian bank. Thus Russia has retaliated with its own sanctions on US officials
- (EU) EU official: EU governments have reached agreement on changes in structural budget balance calculation - press; The change will be beneficial countries with high unemployment like Spain by lowering their structural deficit estimates.
- (DE) German "wisemen" increase 2014 Germany GDP forecast to 1.9% from 1.6%
-(UK) BOE's Weale: Expecting slack in the UK economy to be used up over the coming 2-3 years; comfortable with the estimates from the MPC; Sees interest rates remaining low for coming 2-3 years but not possible to guarantee such a scenario; Sees slack in the economy at 0.9% vs 1-1.5% forecast at the MPC
-(UK) Fitch comments on UK budget announcement: UK budget confirms assumptions, though fiscal challenge remains; The public debt ratio will need to be lower and steadily declining before any upgrade to 'AAA', if warranted by other credit factors.
-(US) Fed releases bank stress test results: 29 of 30 pass stress scenarios; Zions Bancorp falls short of minimum capital levels under stress scenario
-(JP) Japan parliament approves FY14 budget totaling ¥95.88T, as expected - financial press

**Looking Ahead***
All times listed for economic events are denominated in Eastern Standard Time (Add 4 hours for GMT equivalent)
- (CY) Cyprus Sovereign Debt Rating may Be Published by Moody's
- (EU) EU Leaders Summit in Brussels
- 06:00 (IT) Italy Feb Hourly Wages M/M: No est v 0.6% prior; Y/Y: No est v 1.5% prior (revised from 1.4%)
- 06:00 (EU) Daily Euribor Fixing
- 06:30 (DE) German Fin Min Schaeuble
- 07:00 (EU) EMA Releases Drug Approvals and Safety Decisions
- 07:00 (EU) ECB announces weekly 3-Year LTRO Repayment vs. €7.0Be
- 07:10 (UK) DMO to sell £5.5B in 1-month, 3-month and 6-month Bills
- 07:30 (IN) India Forex Reserves w/e Mar 14th: No est v $295.4B prior
- 07:45 (US) Daily Libor Fixing
- 08:00 (BR) Brazil Mar IBGE Inflation IPCA-15 M/M: 0.8%e v 0.7% prior; Y/Y: 5.9%e v 5.7% prior
- 08:30 (CA) Canada Jan Retail Sales M/M: +0.7%e v -1.8% prior; Retail Sales Ex Auto M/M: +0.7%e v -1.4% prior
- 08:30 (CA) Canada Feb CPI M/M: 0.6%e v 0.3% prior; Y/Y: 1.0%e v 1.5% prior; Consumer Price Index: 123.9e v 123.1 prior
- 08:30 (CA) Canada Feb CPI Core M/M: 0.5%e v 0.2% prior; Y/Y: 1.1%e v 1.4% prior
- 08:30 (CA) Canada Feb CPI (Seasonally Adj) M/M: No est v 0.2% prior; CPI Core (Seasonally Adj) M/M: No est v 0.2% prior
- 09:15 (US) Baltic Dry Bulk Index
- 10:00 (MX) Mexico Jan Retail Sales Y/Y: -0.3%e v +2.2% prior
- 11:00 (MX) Mexico Central Bank (Banxico) Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Overnight Rate unchanged at 3.50%
- 11:00 (EU) Euro Zone Mar Advance Consumer Confidence: -12.3e v -12.7 prior
- 11:00 (US) Fed to Purchase $1.00-1.25N in Notes
- 11:45 (US) Fed's Bullard speaks on Brookings Panel on Nominal GDP
- 13:45 (US) Fed Fisher on forward guidance in London
- 14:00 (EU) EU President Van Rompuy in Brussels
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Feb Industrial Production M/M: No est v 2.2% prior (revised from 1.6%); Y/Y: -3.1%e v -2.6% prior
- 15:00 (AR) Argentina Q4 Current Account Balance: -$1.4Be v -$1.3B prior
- (CO) Colombia Central Bank Interest Rate Decision: Expected to leave Overnight Lending Rate unchanged at 3.25%
- 16:30 (US) Fed's Kocherlakota speaks on Monetary Policy in Washington
- 16:30 (UK) BOE's Dale in Washington DC
- 18:30 (US) Fed's Stein speaks on Monetary Policy in Washington
- (MX) Mexico Banamex Survey of Economists

***Economic Data***
- (UK) Retailer John Lewis reports weekly LFL sales for week ending Mar 15th (y/y): +5.3 v +6.6% prior
- (RU) Russia Narrow Money Supply w/e Mar 14th (RUB): 8.09T v 8.09T prior
- (FR) France Q4 Final Wages Q/Q: 0.2% v 0.2%e
- (CN) Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) Weekly Copper Stockpiles: 209.9K v 213.3K tons prior
- (DK) Denmark Mar Consumer Confidence Indicator: 5.0 v 4.0e
- (CH) Swiss Feb M3 Money Supply Y/Y: 8.8 v 8.6% prior
- (EU) ECB €1.0B borrowed in overnight loan facility vs. €245.0M prior; €26.9B parked in deposit facility vs. €30.7B prior - Daily Eurosystem Liquidity Conditions
- (NL) Netherlands Feb House Price Index M/M: 0.0% v 0.4% prior; Y/Y: -1.7% v -0.5% prior
- (CN) China PBOC Survey: Q1 enterprise confidence 67.6% v 71.3% q/q
- (EU) Euro Zone Jan Current Account (Seasonally Adj): €25.3B v €20.0B prior; Current Account NSA (unadj): €6.4B v €28.2B prior
- (IT) Italy Jan Industrial Sales M/M: +1.2% v -0.2% prior; Y/Y: +3.0% v -0.6% prior
- (IT) Italy Jan Industrial Orders M/M: +4.8% v -4.8% prior; Y/Y: % v 1.9% prior
- (IS) Iceland Feb Wage Index M/M: 0.4% v 1.0% prior; Y/Y: 4.7% v 6.7% prior
- (MY) Malaysia Feb CPI Y/Y: 3.5% v 3.4%e
- (UK) Feb Public Finances (PSNCR): -0.2B v -£7.0Be; PSNB ex Interventions: 9.3B v £8.6Be; Public Sector Net Borrowing: 7.5B v £7.9Be

Fixed Income:
- None seen

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