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Hitt og þetta 12. september 2006

DJ EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

AMERICAN MARKETS OUTLOOK: U.S. stock markets are set to open flat Tuesday as traders await the release of U.S. trade balance data for July at 1230 GMT.

The market's primary focus returns to U.S. economic data, traders said, after oil and commodity prices rose in European trading following heavy declines Monday. On the corporate front, investors will closely watch Goldman Sachs' earnings.

Finspreads is calling the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open flat at 11,396 points, the S&P 500 unchanged at 1299 and the Nasdaq 100 2 points lower at 1581.

EUROPEAN MARKETS: European markets are a touch higher midday after oil stocks recovered from Monday's retreat following a positive close on Wall Street.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 index is up 0.1% at 5865, despite fears of another rate hike from the Bank of England following the release of stronger-than-expected U.K. inflation data. The German DAX 30 index is up 0.15% at 5807, recovering from earlier losses. Traders said technical charts point to the continuation of the recent upward trend.

The French CAC 40 is up 0.3% at 5073.

Bunds are gilts are lower, with bunds down on weaker Treasurys and more hawkish rhetoric from the European Central Bank. Gilts have slipped on above-forecast U.K. inflation data, dealers say. The December bund is down 0.30 at 116.91 and the December gilt is down 0.26 at 109.50.

The dollar is little changed against the euro and yen midday in Europe, but has slipped back against sterling on the release of above-forecast inflation data. By 1023 GMT, the dollar was at Y117.50. The euro was at $1.2715, while sterling was at $1.8740.

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TOP STORIES:

GDF 1H NET PFT +44%, UPS FY PFT GROWTH TARGETS: French state-owned gas utility Gaz de France SA (1020848.FR), which said in February it planned to merge with French-Belgian utility Suez (SZE), reported a 43.7% jump in first-half net profit, and raised its profit target for the full year. (By Anne-Sylvaine Chassany)

IEA: WORLD OIL SUPPLY DOWN 400,000B/D IN AUG: World oil supply fell 400,000 barrels a day in August compared with July led by lower North Sea production and weaker Iranian and Saudi Arabian exports, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday. (By Selina Williams)

SURPRISE RISE IN UK AUG INFLATION RATE: Consumer prices rose more rapidly than expected in August, with the annual rate of inflation matching a record high. (By Paul Hannon)

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INSIGHT & ANALYSIS FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRES:

=FOREX FOCUS: The dollar strengthened into last week's close as key technical levels against a range of currencies were breached, triggering heavy dollar buying by short-term accounts. (By Gary Stride)

=CHARTING EUROPE: October ICE Brent crude oil futures fell to a five month low at $63.97 Monday but have since bounced back a little and, given short-term bullish chart signals, should bounce back in the days to come. (By Axel Rudolph)

=FOCUS: U.K. consumer prices rose more than expected in August, giving the sterling a sharp boost amid growing conviction that the Bank of England will raise rates again before the end of 2006. (By Ilona Billington)

=ASSET CLASS: Is the Chinese yuan really undervalued? (By Alan Mattich)

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STILL TO COME

ET/GMT COUNTRY PERIOD
0745/1145 US Sep 9 ICSC Store Sales Index
0830/1230 US July Trade Deficit
0855/1255 US Sep 9 Redbook Retail Sales Index
1535/1935 US San Francisco Fed Pres Yellen speaks
in Emeryville, Calif.
1700/2100 US Sep 10 ABC/Washington Post Consumer
Confidence
1950/2350 JPN Jul Current Account
1950/2350 JPN Aug Portfolio Flows, prelim
N/A N/A GER Jul German Balance of Payments
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OTHER NEWS:

Private equity house Cinven confirmed it's the potential bidder for U.K. restaurant group Gondola Holdings PLC (GND.LN), saying it's mulling a 415 pence-a-share bid and has the backing of two of Gondola's major shareholders. (By Michael Carolan)

Nokia Corp. (NOK) said it has signed agreements with Chinese customers China Mobile Ltd (CHL) and PTAC valued at over EUR2 billion for the full year 2006, reconfirming the importance of the Chinese market for the Finnish handset and mobile equipment maker. (By Magnus Hansson)

Synthetic fuel and chemical group Sasol Ltd (SSL) reported a 10% rise in full-year net profit, due largely to sharply higher oil prices. (By Malgorzata Halaba)

Drax Group PLC (DRX.LN) said pre-exceptional earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization more than tripled in the first half of 2006 due to strong electricity sales. (By Alex MacDonald)

The merger of Nationwide Building Society and Portman Building Society (POB.LN) would mean rationalization of the combined branch network, Nationwide Chief Executive Philip Williamson said. (By Victoria Howley)

The spokesman for the outgoing Hamas-led Palestinian government said the new Palestinian coalition will have "no problem" holding peace talks with Israel.

Irish airline Aer Lingus Group PLC will price its initial public offering between EUR2.10 and EUR2.70 a share, giving it a value of EUR1.1 billion to EUR1.3 billion after flotation, Irish state broadcaster RTE said on its Web site, without specifying its sourcing. (By Steve McGrath)

France's foreign trade deficit widened in July as exports sagged while the country's energy bill rose relentlessly. (Data Snap by David Gauthier-Villars)

Cobham PLC (COB.LN) posted higher first half profits, helped by a strong military aerospace market and gains on disposals, and said it remains confident on its prospects for the rest of the year. (By Rod Stone)

-By Clare Connaghan, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-207-842-9478; clare.connaghan@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 12, 2006 07:05 ET (11:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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