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Hitt og þetta 7. september 2006

DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Fed Jitters To Hit Stocks

US SUMMARY: Stocks Slide As Fed Worry Pops Up Again

DJIA 11406.20 loss 63.08 dn 0.6%
NASDAQ 2167.84 loss 37.86 dn 1.7%
S&P 500 1300.26 loss 12.99 dn 1.0%
Dow Future 11402.00 loss 13.00 dn 0.1%
NASDAQ Future 1573.00 loss 2.75 dn 0.2%
S&P Future 1301.30 loss 1.40 dn 0.1%
Euro-USD 1.2824 gain 0.0015 up 0.1%
10-Yr US Treasury: 4.80% up 0.02
(Futures values, Treasury, EUR/USD Data as of 0450 GMT)
Wall Street turned sharply lower Wednesday after a series of economic reports left investors guessing about the Federal Reserve's future rate intentions. The dollar was mixed, while Treasurys and oil fell.

STOCKS: A government report that wages rose at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the second quarter soured the market, which had hopes of stable interest rates.

The market also found little solace in a report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed the services sector grew at a faster pace in August than economists forecast.

Stocks lost more ground when the Fed's Beige Book found that while economic growth continued in the fall, five of the Fed's 12 districts showed deceleration. The findings that the housing market slowed could also bolster the arguments of some that the economy at large could suffer if consumer spending slows as a result.

The market fears the Fed will tighten too much and curb growth and corporate profits.

"I think people are still looking over their shoulders in terms of labor costs," said Jon Brorson, head of growth equities at Neuberger Berman in Chicago.

Brorson said he would be cautious about jumping into stocks following the gains seen this summer and that he is surprised the market has yet to cede more ground. "You've got a situation where the Fed is trying to fine-tune this economy. There's no guarantee they're going to get it right."

FOREX: The dollar opens Thursday mixed again, continuing Wednesday's pattern.

Grant Wilson, senior currency trader at Mellon Bank, said key technical levels were being defended around the $1.2750 level for the euro dollar pair and Y115.50 level for the yen-dollar pair. Markets may have a tough time breaking ranges as long as the options barriers remain intact, he said.

BONDS: Prices ended lower in reaction to the partly strong economic data. Rich Gilhooly, senior fixed income strategist at BNP Paribas, said he anticipates investors to again question the credibility of the Fed after Wednesday's data. "We had this huge rally last week and declared the inflation war won," Gilhooly said, "but unit labor costs were off the charts."

OIL: Prices fell amid a perhaps temporary easing of tensions with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, an end to the summer driving season, and on news that one Gulf of Mexico platform is now producing 20 percent more than before Hurricane Katrina. Crude prices settled down $1.10 at $67.50 a barrel.

ASIAN SUMMARY: Stocks Slide On Tech Selloff

USD-Yen 116.68 gain 0.10 up 0.1%
AUD-USD 0.7669 gain 0.0008 up 0.1%
Nikkei 225 15972.62 loss 311.47 dn 1.9%
Hang Seng 17060.74 loss 197.77 dn 1.2%
S&P/ASX 200 5105.40 loss 8.40 dn 0.2%
Taiwan Index 6666.94 loss 21.46 dn 0.3%
S.Korea Kospi 1346.87 loss 10.14 dn 0.8%
JGB Yield 1.7050% up 0.0050
(All values as of 0450 GMT)
STOCKS: Asian markets were lower Thursday as Japanese stocks staged a broad retreat, with technology stocks including NEC and Hitachi tracking lower after the Nasdaq suffered its largest single-day point drop since July. Shares of electronics giant Sony fell 2% in the wake of a company announcement the PlayStation 3 game console launch in Europe will be delayed.

FOREX: The dollar is clawing back against the yen, but traders are in no mood to test the limits, believed to be around Y117.00.

The market is awaiting an interest rate decision from the Bank of Japan due out Friday, even though few in the market expect the central bank to raise rates again so soon after this summer's hike.

BONDS: Prices of Japanese government bonds are slightly lower, in line with Treasurys, as investors await Bank of Japan Governor Toshihiko Fukui's assessment Friday of the economy, prices and long-term rates. Tight trading ranges are expected until then.

OIL: Prices extended a decline to five-month lows amid easing gasoline demand with the end of the peak summer driving season in the U.S., which reports weekly supply data at 1430 GMT.

METALS: Spot gold is down $1.45 at $632.15 from the New York close, as investors conducted some light liquidation on Tokyo's futures market. Buyers, however, loom at levels below $630. Copper is extending gains on good physical demand and on buying by investment funds. Its technical picture is looking positive.

EUROPEAN OUTLOOK: Tech Stocks Under Pressure

Euro-USD 1.2824 gain 0.0015 up 0.1%
Stlg-USD 1.8854 gain 0.0008 up 0.04%
USD-Franc 1.2338 loss 0.0012 dn 0.1%
(All values as of 0450 GMT)
European shares and government debt are likely to open under some pressure, with the euro slightly higher.

STOCKS: The seasonal autumn selloff may have begun, with technology shares likely to lose the most on European markets Thursday.

U.K. spreadbettor Cantor Index is calling the FTSE down 12 points to 5917, the DAX down 18 at 5795 and the CAC off 10 at 5105.

"After having had a great run, I think people are looking to book some profits and to decide where to position themselves for the rest of the year," said Andrew Lynch, a fund manager at Schroder Investment Management.

"A combination of wanting to offload positions coupled with a more than 10% rally in the market psychologically makes for a bit of a softer market," noted Lynch.

However, he said markets could be higher in twelve months because corporate earnings are still at good levels and company balance sheets are still in good shape.

"There's a lot of options out there for companies to increase shareholder value so they're not going to be too badly off on a 12-month perspective, but could have a difficult couple of weeks," he said.

In the oil sector, BP, already under siege by American environmental regulators and financial-market investigators, faces a new inquisitor Thursday: the U.S. Congress.

In other news, NYSE Group Chief Executive Officer John Thain is "comfortable" that the New York Stock Exchange operator will close its $20 billion merger with European exchange operator Euronext by early next year, and he lashed out at a hedge-fund operator that has pushed Euronext to merge instead with Frankfurt's Deutsche Boerse.

European stock markets ended lower on Wednesday as investors took some profits, a leading broker turned neutral on the automotive sector, and as statistics suggested the Federal Reserve may need to lift interest rates to choke off inflationary pressures.

FOREX: The euro opens higher, having strong support at around $1.2770, which could persuade traders to test its upside. The pound opens higher against the dollar as well.

Investors are now awaiting an unchanged interest rate decision from the BOE due out Thursday, keeping lending levels on hold at 4.75%. Economists believe a rate hike in November is more likely.

BONDS: Prices of European government debt remain under pressure from concerns the European Central Bank will have to tighten rates more to curb economic growth and inflation.

European government bonds fell Wednesday, driven by hawkish comments from European Central Bank members and higher 2006 European Union growth forecasts from the European Commission.

CALENDAR: Thursday, Sep 7: ECB Bulletin; BoE Rates

GMT Expected Previous
0500 JPN Jul Leading Indicators 40.0% 54.5%
0600 GER 2Q Labour Cost Index
0800 GER Sep ECB Monthly Bulletin
0800 ITA Jul Trade Balance +0.8B
1000 GER Jul Indus Production +0.5%MM -0.4%MM
+4.0%YY +4.6%YY
1100 UK Bank of England Monetary Policy 4.75% 4.75%
Committee interest rate decision
1230 US Sep 2 Jobless Claims -1K -2K
1400 US Jul Wholesale Trade +0.6% +0.8%
1400 US Aug 26 DJ-BTMU Business Barometer -0.1%
1430 US Sep 1 US Energy Dept Gasoline Stocks -610,000 +400,000
1430 US Sep 1 US Energy Dept Crude Oil Stocks -1.08M +2.4M
1430 US Sep 1 US Energy Dept Distillate Stocks +1.2M +1.3M
1430 US Sep 1 US Energy Dept Natural Gas Stocks +48
1630 EU ECB Board Member Tumpel-Gugerell speaks
on European payment system in Durbuy, Belgium
1845 US San Francisco Fed Pres Yellen speaks on
prospects for the U.S. econ and implications
for monetary policy in Boise, Idaho
1900 US Aug Tsy Strips
2030 US Sep 1 Money Supply

-By Dennis Baker; Dow Jones Newswires; dennis.baker@dowjones.com

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

September 07, 2006 01:45 ET (05:45 GMT)

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


07 Sep 2006 05:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Corporate Events

Arriva (ARI.LN): 1H Earnings
Average pretax profit (Co, 14 analysts): GBP47.8M (GBP50.3M)
Average sales: GBP820.4M (GBP800M)
Note: Pretax profit does included the Arriva Vehicle Rental Business sold in January. One analyst says Arriva's recently signed contract in Germany is "not a big deal" as it doesn't start until December 07 and will only add GBP1M to PBT a year.


Ahold (AHO): 2Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 6 analysts): EUR168M (EUR128M)
Average sales: EUR10.48B (N/A)
Note: The increase in profit is seen down to improved results of its US Foodservice and Dutch operations. Analysts will focus on Ahold's sluggish US Retail operations and are looking for signs of margin improvement, management comments on possible cost saving measures, and the outlook for the rest of the year. Ahold has already reported 2Q sales of EUR10.48B on August 10. Results due premarket.


Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI): 2Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 6 analysts): EUR216M (EUR209M)
Note: Analysts see profit edging up on solid business trends, good asset quality and interest income growth. They say they'll be looking for comment on how the new banking landscape in Italy - post Banca Intesa (BIN.MI) and Sanpaolo's (IMI) deal to merge - might affect BMPS in terms of possibilities for tieups with other banks. Results due late Thursday. Conference call scheduled for 1545 GMT.


Capgemini (12533.FR): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 6 analysts): EUR72M (EUR58M)
Average operating profit: EUR172M (EUR123M)
Note: Better profits in the US as well as continued strong growth in the UK and Ireland account for the uptick. Analysts look to guidance on next year's consulting bookings.


Carrefour (12017.FR): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR733M (EUR732M proforma)
Note: Analysts will be looking closely at margins after the company's robust 1H 06 sales: "We worry that top line growth has had to be bought, not necessarily a bad thing, (but) it depends on what cost to margins," says Citigroup. Report due premarket.


Enel (EN): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 3 analysts): EUR1.56B (EUR2.01B)
Average EPS: 25c (N/A)
Note: 1H 05 net profit will be restated to take into account various non-recurring items. Analysts focussing on 1H 06 versus consensus rather than 1H 05 figures, also looking for fresh signals from Enel on purchase of any Suez (12052.FR) or GdF (1020848.FR) assets freed up in the event of a merger.


Essilor (12166.FR): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR170M (EUR145M)
Average operating profit: EUR241M (EUR210M)
Average operating margin: 17.7% (17.8%)
Note: Analysts will pay attention to margins and will be looking to see if Essilor maintains its FY '06 guidance of sales up between 8% and 10% and EBIT margin at least the same level as the 17.3% it reported in 2005. Data due before the market opens.


Generali (G.MI): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 6 analysts): EUR1.29B (EUR1.14B)
Note: The rise in net profit is attributed to an increased focus on profitability and due to gains on equity investments. The analysts expect a 2.5% decline in premiums to EUR32.05B from EUR32.87B, although the performance at the same point last year creates a demanding comparison as it was aided by a huge contract from China. Analysts will particularly watch out for signals on how the core insurance businesses are developing. Most expect a lower combined ratio in the property & casualty unit. On average, analysts forecast a decline to 95.7% from the prior year's 96%. Generali will report after a morning board meeting. although a precise time for the release has not been provided.


InBev (INB.BT): 2Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 6 analysts): EUR351.5M (EUR324M)
Note: Net profit seen bolstered by strong growth in Latin America and cost-cutting in Western Europe. The main focus is on its stuttering Western European operations, the biggest part of Inbev outside its Ambev operations. Ambev has already reported 2Q results. Analysts also want to see whether InBev will upgrade its guidance which looks for a 30% EBITDA margin by end 2007. Data due premarket.


PartyGaming (PRTY.LN): 1H Earnings
Average EBITDA prior to IPO expenses and share option charges: (Co, 13
analysts): $377.2M ($257.7M)
Average EPS before IPO expenses and share option charges: 8.9c (6.2c)
Average revenue: $662.2M ($437.4M)
Note: Analysts will be focused on casino revenue post the launch of PartyGaming's Blackjack offering in October and outlook commentary. PartyGaming +1.9% to 118p, a tad higher than its IPO price of 116p/share.


Premier Farnell (PFL.LN): 1H Earnings
Average pre-items pretax profit (Co, 8 analysts): GBP30.2M (GBP22.7M)
Average EPS: 5.7p (4.5p)
Note: Analysts are expecting continued improved margins as a result of rising volumes and operational gearing, as well as further benefits from the cost saving program initiated last year.


PPR (12148.FR): 1H Earnings
Average operating profit (DJ, 4 analysts): EUR434M (EUR349M)
Average net profit: EUR188M (EUR169.9M)
Note: Earnings from retail should pick up in 2H, analysts say.


Sonae (SON.LB): 1H Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 3 analysts): EUR101.9M (EUR164.7M)
Note: Rise in net profit helped by a EUR23M capital gain on the sale of SonaeCom's retail solutions unit Enabler in June. Figures aren't comparable to a year earlier due to consolidation moves. EBITDA seen at EUR261.8M from EUR451.4M and sales at EUR1.95B from EUR3.25B. Focus on details about expansion plans both at Sonae Sierra and Modelo Continente (MOC.LB). Report due after market closes.


Suez (SZE): 1H Earnings
Average EBITDA (DJ, 6 analysts): EUR3.77B (EUR3.39B)
Average EBIT: EUR2.36B (EUR2.07B)
Note: JP Morgan analyst says will be paying close attention to the implementation of Electrabel (ELEB.BT) synergies, seen as "an indicator of whether cost synergies with planned merger partner Gaz de France (1020848.FR) will be delivered". Market will be focused on an update on the planned tie-up, analysts say.


Vivendi (12777.FR): 2Q Earnings
Average operating profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR1.12B (EUR1.08B)
Average adjusted net profit income: EUR672M (EUR640M)
Note: Profits buoyed by improved margins at company's games and music divisions. Numbers from Maroc Telecom unit also seen buoyant, though high costs of TV soccer rights and lower phone tariffs could crimp Canal Plus and SFR respectively. Analysts likely to focus on acquisitions strategy after Wednesday's move to buy BMG Music publishing.



(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

September 07, 2006 01:45 ET (05:45 GMT)

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


07 Sep 2006 05:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Corporate Events -2-

OTHER SCHEDULED EVENTS:

Abbot Group (ABG.LN): 1H Earnings

Acegas (AEG.MI): 1H Earnings

Air Berlin (AB1.XE): August Traffic Data

Air France-KLM (AKH): August Traffic Data

Akzo Nobel (AKZOY): EGM

Alcatel (ALA): AGM

Amsterdam Commodities (31328.AE): 1H Earnings

Artemis Alpha Trust (ATS.LN): AGM

Avesco (ASO.LN): AGM

Belgravium Technologies (BVM.LN): 1H Earnings

Benfield Group (BFD.LN): 1H Earnings

Biacore International (BCOR.SK): EGM

Bourse Direct (7425.FR): 1H Earnings

Canal Plus (12546.FR): 1H Earnings

Candover Investments (CDI.LN): 1H Earnings

Carclo (CAR.LN): AGM

CIR (CIR.IT): 1H Earnings

Cofide (COF.MI): 1H Earnings

Credit Industriel et Commercial (12005.FR): EGM

DTZ Holdings (DTZ.LN): AGM

EasyJet (EZJ.LN): August Traffic Data

EBT Mobile China (EBT.LN): 1H Earnings

Efore Oyj (EF01V.HE): 3Q Earnings

Eramet (13175.FR): 1H Earnings

Erinaceous Group (ERG.LN): 1H Earnings

Euphon (EUP.MI): 1H Earnings

Eutelia (EUT.MI): 1H Earnings

F&C Asset Management (FCAM.LN): 1H Earnings

Fly Me Europe (FLY-B.SK): August Traffic Data

Fyffes (FFY.DB): 1H Earnings

Galliford Try (GFRD.LN): FY Earnings

Helvetia Patria Holding (HEPN.EB): 1H Earnings

Irish Continental Group (IR5A.DB): 1H Earnings

KAS Bank (36264.AE): 1H Earnings

KBC Advanced Technologies (KBC.LN): 1H Earnings

Koninklijke BAM NBM (33724.AE): 1H Earnings

La Gaiana (GAI.MI): 1H Earnings

Mavinwood (MVW.LN): 1H Earnings

McBride (MCB.LN): FY Earnings

Melrose Resources (MRS.LN): 1H Earnings

Metorex (MTX.JO): FY Earnings

MTL Instruments Group (MTI.LN): 1H Earnings

Natexis Banques Populaires (12068.FR): 1H Earnings

Netonnet (NON.SK): 1Q Earnings & AGM

Nord Anglia Education (NAE.LN): Trading Update

Omega Pharma (OME.BT): 1H Earnings

Radstone Technology (RST.LN): AGM

Reliance Security Group (RSG.LN): AGM

Rood Testhouse (44047.AE): 1H Earnings

Sandvik (SAND.SK): Capital Markets Day

SAS (SAS.SK): August Traffic Data

Sequana Capital (6336.FR): 1H Earnings

SHL Group (SHL.LN): 1H Earnings

Spirax-Sarco Engineering (SPX.LN): 1H Earnings

SQS Software (SQS.XE): 1H Earnings

Surgical Innovations (SUN.LN): 1H Earnings

Thus (THUS.LN): Trading Update

Umbro (UMB.LN): 1H Earnings

Union Financiere de France (3454.FR): 1H Earnings

Valtech (415588.FR): 1H Earnings

Vega Group (VEG.LN): AGM

Vemer Siber Group (VEM.MI): 1H Earnings

VP (VP.LN): AGM

Warner Estate Holdings (WNER.LN): AGM

WH Smith (SMWH.LN): Trading Update

Yule Catto (YULC.LN): 1H Earnings


(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

September 07, 2006 01:45 ET (05:45 GMT)

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


07 Sep 2006 05:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Div Payments & Ex Div Dates

Asm Brescia (ASM.MI): Special Dividend Payment Date

Autoliv Inc (ALV): 3Q 2006 Dividend Payment Date

Fortis Group (30086.AE): 1H 2006 Dividend Payment Date

Rio Tinto (RTP): 1H 2006 Dividend Payment Date

SSL International (SSL.LN): FY 2005 Dividend Payment Date


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 07, 2006 01:45 ET (05:45 GMT)

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

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