European Market Update 3/6 - Euro-Zone Retail Sales Fall to 19-Month Low

Discussion in 'Trading' started by TradeTheNews, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. TradeTheNews

    TradeTheNews ET Sponsor

    - The European indices are currently trading in positive territory in what has turned out to be a quiet session, breaking a five-day retreat. The rise was led by Xstrata, which posted record profit, and Novartis, which received FDA approval for its blood pressure drug Tekturna.
    - European government bonds are trading slightly lower today, giving up gains made over the past few sessions after investors moved away from equity markets. Over in the UK gilts are also trading lower, giving back some of the recent gains made. Note that the March Euro-Bobl, Euro-Shatz, and Long Gilt Futures contracts expire this Thursday; most long gilt traders have already made the move to the June contract.
    - Swiss GDP growth accelerated by a slower pace than expected as consumer spending slowed. GDP rose to 0.5% in Q4 from 0.4% in Q3, but fell below estimates of 0.7%. Y/Y GDP fell below estimates of 2.4% at 2.2%. The prior y/y figure was revised up to 2.5% from 2.4%.
    - The EU commission left its forecast for Q1 GDP growth unchanged at 0.4% to 0.9%, and Q3 growth of 0.3% to 0.9%. The EU commission boosted the lower end of their Q2 growth forecast, bringing the forecast to 0.5% to 0.9% from 0.4% to 0.9%.
    - Euro-Zone retail sales fell to their lowest level since April of 2005 during the month of January after Germany implemented its VAT hike. While retail sales were lower, preliminary fourth quarter GDP was in line with expectations at 0.9% q/q, and 3.3% y/y, with y/y growth remaining at a six-year high.
    - Regarding the carry trade, analysts seem to agree that the trend remains in focus as they do not expect the Yen to become unwound on a growth scare. Analysts noted that Yen appreciation has shaken shorter-term players, but reiterated that there is no reversal underway.
    - In a quiet night on the energy front Royal Dutch Shell announced that it did not intend to declare forced majeure in Nigeria after a pipeline spill that was announced yesterday. Shell estimated that the total amount of production lost was 664K.