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Hitt og þetta 2. mars 2006

DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING:ECB Stance Key For Markets

US SUMMARY: Better Data Sends Stocks Higher

DJIA 11053.53 gain 60.12 up 0.6%
NASDAQ 2314.64 gain 33.25 up 1.5%
S&P 500 1291.24 gain 10.58 up 0.8%
Dow Future 11054.00 loss 2.00 0.0%
NASDAQ Future 1697.00 loss 1.00 dn 0.1%
S&P Future 1292.00 0.00 0.0%
10-Yr US Treasury: 4.58% up 0.03
(Futures values as of 0550 GMT)
Stocks rebounded Wednesday as reports of a surge in consumer spending and improving health in the manufacturing sector restored investors' confidence in the economy. Texas Instruments led a very strong semiconductor group. Prices of Treasurys fell.

STOCKS: Personal spending shot up by 0.9 percent in January, the strongest gain in six months. Incomes rose by a solid 0.7 percent, the best showing since September, with the gains attributed to a variety of factors including cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security benefits and the new prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients.

Strong data from the manufacturing sector bolstered investors' moods, with the Institute for Supply Management, a private research group, reporting that manufacturing expanded at a faster-than-expected rate in February.

"Investors got over the negative stories from (Tuesday)," said Joe Battipaglia, chief investment officer at Ryan Beck & Co. "The story was very different (Wednesday). Reports showed that personal spending and income grew better than expected in January. That reinforced the notion that the economy is indeed faring well and expanding and that reinforces the profit picture."

Investors currently are hypersensitive to economic news as they watch for changes in Federal Reserve interest rate strategy and try to discern which direction the market is heading, said Richard E. Cripps, chief market strategist for Stifel Nicolaus. Their biggest question is: Will the bear market return or are stocks on their way to an outright bull market?

Stocks rose on Wednesday's data because it was, for the most part, slightly better than expected; stocks fell Tuesday because the data were slightly worse than expected, he said. "We're really splitting hairs," Cripps said.

Crude oil futures were higher. A barrel of light crude settled at $61.97, up 56 cents, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BONDS: Technical forces and economic data Wednesday sent Treasury prices down. Alex Li, a strategist with Credit Suisse, said that the economic information Wednesday "doesn't really change the fundamental outlook", and that's why the indicators' influence was modest. He expects more selling in Treasurys. "We are kind of bearish on this market."

ASIAN SUMMARY: Tokyo Stocks Flat; Investors Await CPI

USD-Yen 116.22 gain 0.17 up 0.1%
AUD-USD 0.7452 gain 0.0008 up 0.09%
Nikkei 225 15918.93 loss 45.53 dn 0.3%
Hang Seng 15896.30 gain 78.21 up 0.5%
Taiwan Index 6642.96 gain 29.57 up 0.5%
S.Korea Kospi 1370.91 loss 0.68 dn 0.1%
JGB Yield 1.6400% up 0.0400
(All values as of 0550 GMT)
STOCKS: Japanese stocks were mostly flat Thursday with investors cautious before key consumer price index data, due Friday.

The CPI could seal the case for a tightening of the Bank of Japan's very liberal monetary policy.

However, auto stocks saw gains on news of their healthy sales in the U.S.

Nippon Steel Corp. raised its group net profit outlook for this fiscal year to March, supported by robust sales of very profitable high-grade steel products.

BONDS: Prices of Japanese government bonds had losses after a weak reception for the latest 10-year auction. JGBs may get a brief lift if Friday's Japan core CPI for January comes in below the market consensus for a 0.4% on year rise. But any JGB gains are unlikely to be large or sustained, as the market still must brace for the BOJ's end to quantitative easing and then rate hikes to follow, says Tatsuo Ichikawa, chief bond strategist at ABN Amro.

OIL: April Nymex crude rose 18 cents to $62.15 in Asian trade.The president of OPEC said Wednesday he sees no problem with prices above $60 a barrel so long as the global economy continues to grow.

EUROPEAN OUTLOOK: Shares Seen Higher Amid ECB Wait

Euro-USD 1.1922 gain 0.0003 up 0.03%
Stlg-USD 1.7494 loss 0.0002 dn 0.01%
USD-Franc 1.3125 loss 0.0006 dn 0.04%
(All values as of 0550 GMT)
European stocks are likely to nudge higher to start, with prices of government debt under pressure. The euro opens little changed against the dollar pending the European Central Bank press conference.

STOCKS: European markets are set for a positive open following Wall Street's lead.

U.K. spreadbettor City Index is calling the FTSE and CAC up 5 points each to 5849 and 5062 respectively and the DAX up 10 to 5876.

Johan van Geeteruyen, institutional fund manager at Petercam Asset Management, said European markets could face more volatility in coming weeks as the earnings season ends and investors switch their focus to macroeconomics, which are causing some market jitters.

Investors will be seeking direction from consumer spending, jobless claims and homes sales figures from across Europe and the United States, he said.

M&A's "the most popular theme in the market at the moment," said Petercam's van Geeteruyen. "It's a quick way to buy growth."

Takeover speculation is increasing because many technology and other firms are generating a lot of free cash flows after restructuring in the last couple of years, which has resulted in under-leveraged balance sheets, he said.

European markets rose Wednesday. Well-received earnings from Xstrata and others, along with takeover speculation surrounding French media group Thomson, helped fuel a rebound.

BONDS: Prices of European government debt are likely to open lower as investors prepare for the latest European Central Bank reading on monetary policy Thursday.

Analysts said the release of robust euro-zone manufacturing data Wednesday had reinforced the view the ECB would raise its main lending rate to 2.5% from 2.25%.

"A quarter point (hike) is on the cards this week and certainly these numbers are pretty consistent with rates going to 3% later on in the year," said David Brown, chief European economist at Bear Stearns.

"It (manufacturing data) just corroborates this softly-softly tightening view," Brown said, adding he expects an ECB rate hike Thursday, then again in June and September.

Thursday's widely expected 25 basis point hike would be the second increase since the ECB hiked rates from 2.0% in December, its first hike in five years. Analysts forecast ECB rates ending 2006 at between 2.5% to 3.5%.

Analysts said while bond prices were likely to take the expected ECB hike in their stride, the market would closely monitor bank President Jean-Claude Trichet's press conference for any hint on more rate hikes.

The rate announcement is due at 1245 GMT and the news conference is scheduled to start at 1330 GMT.

European government bonds were mixed Wednesday as bunds braced for an expected European Central Bank interest rate rise, while gilts were supported by a better-than-expected auction of new 10-year paper, analysts said.

FOREX: The euro opens well supported by the notion that the ECB will continue to raise rates while the Fed winds down its tightening phase later this year. However, if the ECB's Trichet sounds too dovish at his press conference Thursday, the euro could suffer, also on technical pressures.

Buoyed by healthy U.S. manufacturing data, the dollar traded higher against its major rivals late Wednesday.



(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

March 02, 2006 01:45 ET (06:45 GMT)

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


2 Mar 2006 06:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING:ECB Stance Key For Markets -2-

CALENDAR: Thursday, March 2: Germany Retail; US Jobless

GMT Expected Previous
0700 GER Retail Sales +1.0%MM -0.8%MM
-0.4%YY -0.9%YY
0930 UK Poultry & Poultrymeat Statistics Notice
1000 EU Jan Euro Zone Indus Producer Prices +0.8%MM +0.2%MM
+4.8%YY +4.7%YY
1230 US Feb Challenger Layoffs Survey -4.0%
1330 US Feb 25 Jobless Claims +5K -20K
1430 US Fed Gov Olson speaks at the opening of
the conference "The Future of Banking
on the Gulf Coast: Helping Banks and
Thrifts Build Communities" in New
Orleans
1500 US Tsy Dep Secy Kimmitt testifies before
US Senate panel on DP World Ports buy
of U.S. port pacts in Washington
1500 US Feb 18 DJ-BTMU Business Barometer -0.3%
1530 US Feb 24 US Energy Dept Natural Gas Stocks (in -151 -123
billion cubic feet)
1800 US Tsy Secy Snow tours Cisco Academy in
Los Altos, Calif
1900 US Tsy Asst Secy Warshawsky holds press
briefing in Washington
2130 US Feb 25 Money Supply
2330 JPN Feb Tokyo CPI +0.2%YY +0.1%YY
2330 JPN Jan Nationwide CPI +0.4%YY +0.1%YY
2330 JPN Jan Wage Earners Household Spending -0.8%YY +3.2%YY
2330 JPN Jan Jobless Rate 4.4% 4.4%
N/A US Feb Chain Store Sales
N/A US Pres Bush continues visit to India
N/A UK Jan PM34.10 Motor vehicle production
business monitor
N/A JPN US Tsy Under Secy for
International Affairs Tim Adams
visits Japan

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

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

March 02, 2006 01:45 ET (06:45 GMT)

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


2 Mar 2006 06:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Corporate Events

Adidas (ADS.XE): FY Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 9 analysts): EUR390M (EUR314M)
Average EBIT: EUR668M (EUR527M)
Average sales: EUR6.43B (EUR5.86B)
Note: Company seeing growth in the US, Asia and Europe, backed by World Cup soccer sales.


Andritz (ANDR.VI): 4Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 5 analysts): EUR78.7M (EUR53.4M)
Note: Analyst expectations are above Andritz' November confirmation of its 05 forecast, which predicted a 35% net profit increase.


Aviva (AV.LN): FY Earnings
Average operating profit (Co, 15 analysts): GBP2.65B (GBP2.22B)
Average IFRS operating profit (Co, 10 analysts): GBP1.979B (GBP1.67B)
Forecast range: GBP1.85B - GBP2.1B
Note: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods says Aviva is strong in an increasingly competitive UK market, with lesser dividend financing issues than peers.


Deutsche Telekom (DT): 4Q Earnings
Average profit pre-special items (DJ, 7 analysts): EUR1,005M (EUR641M)
Average EBITDA pre-special items: EUR5.109B - EUR4.709B
Average sales: EUR15.483B (EUR14.724B)
Note: Focus is on the dividend, which is expected to rise 13% to EUR0.70 a share versus 2004's EUR0.62. Analysts expect the company to reiterate 2006 outlook of EBITDA pre-special items of EUR20.2B-EUR20.7B, down from an expected EUR20.7B in 2005.


Dexia (DEXB.BT): 4Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 3 analysts): EUR522M (EUR425M)
Note: Year-ago figures, to be disclosed together with earnings, will differ minimally from pro forma reading, bank says. "Clean" net profit, or net profit without capital gains from disposals and release of provisions from Legiolease, is seen at EUR440.3M. Income for the quarter seen rising to EUR1.56B from EUR1.43B. Market eyeing revenue in key public and project finance as well as personal financial services units.


Getronics (35591.AE): 4Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 4 analysts): EUR22.7M (EUR41M)
Average sales: EUR832M (EUR651M)
Note: The slide in earnings is due to its loss making operations in Italy and costs related to the integration of PinkRoccade. However, the acquisition of PinkRoccade is responsible for a 28% rise in sales from a year earlier. The market is expected to focus on the progress of its divestment program and outlook for 2006.


InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG.LN): FY Earnings
Average pretax pre-exceptional profit (DJ, 3 analysts): GBP309M (GBP331M)
Average adjusted EPS: 36.4p (32.5p)
Note: The fall is partly a result of IHG's sale of its Britvic stake last year. Analysts are looking for news on the company's planned asset disposals after press talk of an acceleration in the sell off. Focus will also be on company's performance in winning management contracts and the company's forecasts for future cash generation.


KBC (KBC.BT): 4Q Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 4 analysts): EUR474M (EUR440M)
Note: Earnings are expected to have been supported by healthy loan volumes, solid flows into mutual funds and a pick up in trading activities. Gross income seen at EUR3.01B down 13% from EUR3.46B, due to negative impact of marking-to-market of securities portfolios. Particular focus will be on any comments on expansion plans, buy backs and 2006 outlook for central Europe.


LVMH (12101.FR): FY Earnings
Average EBIT (IBES, 14 analysts): EUR2.6B (EUR2.37B)
Note: "We expect a very good second half due to an improvement in all divisions," Exane BNP Paribas wrote in a preview note. "We expect that, for the first time in several quarters, the fashion and leather goods division will slightly improve its operating margin."


Standard Chartered (STAN.LN): FY Earnings
Average pretax profit and items (Co, 19 analysts): $2.64B ($2.25B)
Forecast range: $2.6B - $2.72B
Note: Profits seen up on continued growth in Asia and contribution from newly-acquired Korea First Bank. "We believe the critical issues will be cost control, the degree to which further investment has been made especially in Korea and proprietary wholesale income."


Swiss Re (RUKN.VX): FY Earnings
Average net profit (DJ, 6 analysts): CHF1.60B (CHF2.47B)
Note: The drop in net profit is mainly due to losses of around $2B linked to last year's hurricanes in the US. Premiums meanwhile are expected to stand at about CHF3 billion, a 6% drop from the year-ago level. Analysts will also focus on shareholders' equity, which is expected to stand at CHF22B, up from last year's CHF19.2B.


Trinity Mirror (TNI.LN): FY Earnings
Average pretax pre-items profit (DJ, 6 analysts): GBP208M (GBP208.5M)
Average EPS: 50P (N/A)
Average sales: GBP1133M (GBP1127.5M)
Note: Flat revenues and profits seen reflecting weak UK national and regional advertising trend. Investors will be seeking guidance on the health of UK press advertising sector and the successor to chairman Victor Blank.


William Hill (WMH.LN): FY Earnings
Average pretax profit and one off items (Co, 17 analysts): GBP241.4M
(GBP234.1M)
Note: Cheuvreux analyst Simon Mezzanotte doesn't expect any surprises in the numbers, noting the group's revised guidance in January. Analysts will focus on current trading conditions and on any comments about structural industry changes, as some customers migrate to betting exchanges and online products, Mezzanotte says.



(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

March 02, 2006 01:45 ET (06:45 GMT)

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


2 Mar 2006 06:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Corporate Events -2-

OTHER SCHEDULED EVENTS:

Actelios (ACT.MI): Analyst Meeting

AMGA: Analyst Meeting

Arriva (ARI.LN): FY Earnings

Athlon (38021.AE): FY Analyst Meeting/Press Conference

Aviation Latecoere (3227.FR): FY Earnings

Banca Popolare di Intra (PIN.MI): Analyst Meeting

Banca Populare Etruria Lazio (PEL.MI): Analyst Meeting

Batigroup Holding (BAGN.EB): AGM

Beiersdorf (BEI.XE): FY Earnings

Biesse (BSS.MI): Analyst Meeting

Bourse Direct (7425.FR): FY Analyst Meeting

CAD IT (CAD.MI): Analyst Meeting

Cairo Communication (CAI.MI): Analyst Meeting

CDC (CDC.MI): Analyst Meeting

Christian Dior (13040.FR): FY Earnings

Ciba Specialty Chemicals (CBN.LN): AGM

City Merchants High Yield (CHY.LN): FY Earnings

Ducati Motor Holding (DMH): Analyst Meeting

El.En Group (ELN.MI): Analyst Meeting

Engineering (ENG.MI): Analyst Meeting

Euphon (EUP.MI): FY Earnings

FullSIX (FUL.MI): Analyst Meeting

Gestevision Telecinco (TL5.MC): FY Presentation/Webcast

Grainger Trust (GRI.LN): AGM

Guy Couach (7576.FR): FY Earnings

IMA (IMA.MI): Analyst Meeting

Interhyp (IYP.XE): FY Earnings

Mariella Burani (MBFG.MI): Analyst Meeting

Martin Currie Portfolio (MNP.LN): FY Earnings

Pierre & Vacances (7304.FR): AGM

Poligrafica san Faustino (PSF.MI): Analyst Meeting

Prima Industrie (PRI.MI): Analyst Meeting

Progressive Corp (PGR): Investor Relations Conference Call

Proha (ART1V.HE): FY Earnings

Recordati (REC.MI): FY Earnings

Reno de Medici (RM.MI): Analyst Meeting

Reply (REY.MI): Analyst Meeting

Rood Testhouse (44047.AE): FY Earnings

Sabaf (SAB.MI): Analyst Meeting

SAES Getters (SG.MI): Analyst Meeting

Sage Group (SGE.LN): AGM

Satcom Group Holdings (SGH.LN): 1H Earnings

Senior (SNR.LN): FY Earnings

SHL Group (SHL.LN): FY Earnings

Sogecable (SGC.LN): EGM

Tarsus Group (TRS.LN): FY Earnings

Techem (TNH.XE): AGM

Tele Atlas (23394.AE): FY Earnings

Ten Cate (Koninklijke) (37573.AE): FY Earnings

Trevisan Cometal (TRV.MI): Analyst Meeting

TXT e-solutions (TXT.MI): Analyst Meeting

UK Coal (UKC.LN): FY Earnings

Volkswagen (VOW.XE): Commercial Vehicles FY Earnings


(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

March 02, 2006 01:45 ET (06:45 GMT)

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


2 Mar 2006 06:45 GMT =DJ EUROPEAN MORNING BRIEFING: Div Payment & Ex-Div Dates

Autoliv Inc (ALV): 1Q 2006 Dividend Payment Date

Frontline (FRO.LN): 4Q 2005 ex-dividend date


(END) Dow Jones Newswires