Fundamental events review for Apr 6, 2016

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Europe European stocks fell to their lowest levels in almost six weeks at the end of trading on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of the shares of mining, automotive and banking sectors, which had depreciated over a decline in industrial orders in Germany. The volume of industrial orders in Europe’s largest-largest economy fell in February due to weak foreign demand, indicating that the slowdown in the world economy is not going unnoticed in Germany. According to other studies, business activity in France has shown stagnation, growth of the private sector in Germany approached an eight-month low, while Italy’s services sector showed the slowest growth in over a year. Consumer demand in Europe in the spring lightened up. Euro zone retail sales went up by 0.2% in February from January and by 2.4% in annual terms. This is more than experts had expected. Despite the fact that in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, consumption decreased by 0.4%, growth in France (+ 0.6%) and Spain (0.2%) helped balance out the average figures for the region. Meanwhile, the euro zone economy recorded an increase for the first time in three months: this conclusion was made by the Markit Institute based on the analysis of PMI, the index reflecting activities in industry and services. The composite PMI index rose in March by 0.1 points to 53.1, but the services sector indicator fell to the same mark. According to the Markit opinion, the figures match the growth of the euro area’s GDP by 0.3% in the first quarter. This news did not give a strong push to the single European currency. At the end of yesterday’s trading, the currency pair EUR/USD lost more than 50 points, but after the release of the next helping of statistics from the US regained the ground lost earlier. At the moment, the pair is once again demonstrating a drop, proving at the same time that the level of $1.1400 is very strong. fundamentalnyj-obzor-06-04-2016 Today is rather skinny in the way of new from Europe, but FOMC minutes are pending publication by evening, potentially giving the US dollar a reason to show strong volatility again. US The US dollar fell by almost 1% against the yen, briefly dropping below the psychological mark of Y110 (for the first time since October 31, 2014) due to an increase in demand for safe-haven assets and speculations about how much further the currency can strengthen before the officials begin to act. Yesterday, however, Japanese Prime Minister Abe emphasized the need to refrain from unwarranted intervention in the market and avoid competitive devaluation of currencies. At the same time, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan Suga mentioned the undesirability of excessive currency fluctuations, adding that the government would coordinate its actions with partners and, if necessary, take appropriate action. The dollar continues to weaken, as upbeat data on US employment and did not change the outlook on the rate hike. Despite a steady employment growth rate, most market analysts do not expect the Fed will accelerate the pace of rates hikes after the recent «dovish» comments by Chairman Yellen. Today, market participants will focus on minutes of the Fed’s March meeting for guidance in finding prospects for growth rates in the US. Oil Trading data are showing oil prices growing actively against the background of data from the American Petroleum Institute (API), suggesting an unexpected decline in the United States’ oil reserves, and in anticipation of data from the US Department of Energy. As of 8:50 MSK, the price of June futures on North Sea petroleum mix of the Brent blend rose by 1.98% to 38.52 dollars per barrel. The price of the May futures on WTI crude rose by 2.73% to 36.77 dollars per barrel. According to the API report, US crude stocks fell by 4.3 million barrels last week, while analysts had expected growth of 3.2 million barrels. At this time, the spotlight is on US oil reserves data to be released by Department of Energy today. According to analysts, commercial oil reserves for the week ended April 1 increased by 3.15 million barrels to 537.95 million barrels. Last week, stocks rose 2.3 million barrels to 534.8 million barrels. The day before, official Kuwait representative in OPEC Nawal Fuzaya said oil-producing countries may freeze production at the level of February following the April 17 meeting in Doha. The deal to freeze production will push oil prices upwards so that the market will go back to equilibrium in the second half of 2016 and oil prices will amount to $45-60 per barrel at the end of the year, she said. Of Interest — Peugeot Citroën will be renamed  into Groupe PSA as part of France’s largest automaker’s development plan following its near-bankrupt situation of two years ago. PSA intends to launch a new model of all three of its brands Peugeot, Citroen and DS every year, as well as to expand production in India and Southeast Asia. By 2018, sales will have increased by 10%, and by 2021 – by 15%. — The «Panama files» are showing Major European banks to be assisting their customers in creating offshore companies through Panama. A report by Consortium of Investigative Journalists mentions HSBC Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS, Société Générale and others. The banks are saying they do not go beyond the law, but some of them (e.g., HSBC) have been fined by US authorities for helping Americans evade taxes. According to the «Panama files,» over 500 banks, their subsidiaries and affiliates have registered through Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca 15,600 offshore shell companies. About 2,300 companies are associated with HSBC and its structures. UBS and Credit Suisse Group each have 1,100 shells associated with them. French Société Générale has close to 1,000 offshore firms associated with it, with more than half of them having been opened in Luxembourg, which is infamous for its favorable tax regime. The press service of the French Ministry of Finance has already announced that the bank’s managers are expected to give explanations to Minister Michel Sapin. According to an ICIJ report, Swiss UBS tried to dissociate itself from the shell companies and obligate the registrar to establish identity of offshore companies’ owners back in 2010 as the US Ministry of Justice conducted an investigation. The analysis above does not constitute direct trading instructions and is of purely informative nature.

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