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Hitt og þetta 15. september 2006

DJ EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

AMERICAN MARKETS OUTLOOK: U.S. stock markets are set to open little changed Friday, as investors await key U.S. inflation data, having taken a cautious stance Thursday after robust retail sales data re-ignited fears of inflation.

"So maybe inflation is not dead and perhaps (Fed chief) Ben Bernanke and his FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) will have to rethink a Fed rate rise in the months to come," said Buik.

CPI numbers for August are due for release at 1230 GMT, with investors set to focus on the core numbers. August CPI is forecast to rise 0.2%, with the core ex-food and energy rate also seen up 0.2%.

"The strength of the U.S. economy looks a bit vulnerable as a result of the decline in the U.S. housing market, which is a real concern," said Buik.

Cantor Index is calling the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open up 3 points at 11,530, the S&P 500 down 0.3 points at 1316, and the NASDAQ 100 0.5 points at 1626.

EUROPEAN MARKETS: European stocks are a touch higher Friday, despite a weaker performance on Wall Street overnight. European markets showed little reaction to euro-zone headline inflation which eased to 2.3% in August from 2.4% in July.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 0.2% at 5888, following the expiry of stock index futures and options, which caused little volatility, a trader says. Notes the market is rising, as "all the buyers who were holding off because of the expiry are coming in now." The German DAX 30 index is up 0.3% at 5923, amid lackluster trade, traders say. Continental leads the blue-chip advancers, up 2.6% driven by the U.S. government's possible request to make electronic stability control systems mandatory. The French CAC 40 is up 0.3% at 5138.

Bunds and gilts are lower on a weak overnight Treasury performance. The market took EMU CPI figures in their stride, dealers say. The December bund is down 0.16 at 117.17. The December gilt is down 0.18 at 109.55.

The dollar is mostly higher midday in Europe, retaining support garnered from Thursday's strong retail sales print. At 1030 GMT, the dollar was at Y117.55. The euro was down at $1.2690, while sterling was at $1.8825.

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TOP STORIES:

VEOLIA 1H 06 NET +40%; KEEPS 06 PFT TARGETS: French water and waste utility Veolia Environnement (VE) Friday reported a 40% jump in first-half net profit on dynamic international activities. (By Anne-Sylvaine Chassany)

EURO-ZONE INFLATION DIPS FOR SECOND MONTH: The annual rate of consumer price inflation in the 12 countries that share the euro fell for the second-straight month in August. (Data Snap by Paul Hannon)

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INSIGHT & ANALYSIS FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRES:

=FOREX FOCUS: The New Zealand dollar hit multi-month highs across the board Thursday after the Reserve Bank surprised the markets by introducing a tightening bias to its policy assessment. (By Gary Stride)

=CHARTING EUROPE: This column achieved a correct forecast rate of 81.82% in August, bringing this year's correct prediction rate to date to nearly 73%. (By Axel Rudolph)

=FOCUS: Investment banks in Europe have been hiring senior investment consultants in recent months to help their pensions advisory divisions win more business. (By Adam Bradbery)

=FOCUS: The introduction next year of a U.K.-wide smoking ban will have little impact on the sales of the U.K.'s major pub groups, with smaller independents likely to be harder hit, industry leaders say. (By Michael Carolan)

=ASSET CLASS: So, Fibonacci numbers are meaningless for the markets. (By Alan Mattich)

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STILL TO COME

ET/GMT COUNTRY PERIOD

0830/1230 US Aug CPI
0830/1230 US Aug CPI, ex-food and energy
0830/1230 US Sept NY Fed Mfg Index
0915/1315 US Aug Indus Production
0915/1315 US Aug Capacity Utilization
0945/1345 US Sept University Of Michigan Consumer Sentiment
Index, prelim.
1000/1400 EU ECB Member Paramo speaks on fiscal policy and macroeconomics at University of Valencia in Spain.
1145/1545 US Kansas City Fed Pres Hoenig speaks on "Twelve Banks: The Strength of the Federal Reserve"
in Copper Mountain, Colo.
N/A N/A JPN Nigeria Pres Olusegun Obasanjo to visit Japan.
N/A N/A JPN Sept Economic Monthly Report
N/A N/A JPN Bank of Japan Gov Toshihiko Fukui to attend G7 finance ministers and central bankers, IMF/World Bank
meeting in Singapore.
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OTHER NEWS:

The euro zone's trade balance with the rest of world remained in surplus in July, although it was well below the level of July 2005, data from the European Union's statistics agency showed. (Data Snap by Nina Koeppen)

AWG (AWG.LN), the owner of Anglian Water, is set to become the latest U.K. infrastructure company to fall into foreign hands after receiving a GBP2 billion-plus bid approach from a consortium led by 3i Group (III.LN) but funded largely by overseas pension funds, according to The Independent.

Spain's current account deficit widened to EUR44.6 billion in the first half, as the country's trade gap increased due to strong growth in imports, the Bank of Spain said. (Data Snap by David Roman)

Fiat SpA (FIA) and Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) saw new car registrations rise on the year in August fueled by revamped versions of key models such as the Fiat Grande Punto and Toyota Yaris, according to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. (By Christoph Rauwald)

Italian industrial output fell 0.3% on the month and 0.2% on the year in July, due to monthly declines in all sectors except energy, national statistics office Istat said. (Data Snap by Kristine Crane)

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