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News : International Last Updated: Oct 5, 2010 - 8:58:56 AM


Markets News Monday: Euro above $1.37; Oil price above $83; France's Sanofi-Aventis announces $18.5bn bid for US biotech firm Genzyme
By Finfacts Team
Oct 4, 2010 - 8:58:27 AM

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Sunday, October 3rd was the 20th anniversary of German Unification. This is an image from October 03, 1990 at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

Sanofi-Aventis: France's Sanofi-Aventis today announced an $18.5bn offer for Genzyme, after its overtures were spurned by the American biotech firm.

The bid is valued at $69 a share and reflects an increase on Sanofi-Aventis’ recent offer to Genzyme's board.

The French pharmaceutical group said it had met investors representing more than half of the equity of Genzyme.

Sanofi-Aventis has grown rapidly through acquisitions and it said talks with Genzyme management went nowhere.

Report

August retail sales show slight gain, while September PMI drops: Davy economist, Aidan Corcoran, comments - - "Mixed signals are to be expected for an economy close to a turning point in real activity. It was no great surprise therefore on Friday (October 1st) to see retail sales going one way, with a 1.1% monthly increase in sales volume in August (see our comment below), and the Markit September manufacturing purchasing managers index going the other, dropping from 51.1 to 48.4, which is contractionary territory.

Short-term indicators will most likely oscillate for some time as the country emerges from recession. Taxes will rise and, as the IMF pointed out in its World Economic Outlook for October 2010, this will negatively impact growth in the short term. The report casts doubt on the assertion that fiscal contraction can boost growth through a kind of 'feel-good' effect, where consumers sense that the country is on a sustainable fiscal path. This is certainly a factor, but in the short term it is likely to be outweighed by the withdrawal of resources from the economy through taxes.

The European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, said on Friday that Ireland will cease to be a low- tax economy over the next ten years. A return to normalcy may be no bad thing."

Expectations of US monetary conditions will keep the dollar weak for now, says Ashley Davies, FX strategist at Commerzbank. He shares his currency outlook, with CNBC's Oriel Morrison:

Economic View: Irish data now taking on a higher importance; Goodbody chief economist, Dermot O’Leary, comments - -"In our note on Friday (Irish banking costs – Enormous costs, but challenge remains the same), we noted the increased importance of the incoming economic data given the obvious need for growth to be part of the solution to Ireland’s fiscal problems. In this regard, August’s retail sales data on Friday revealed a modest improvement, with core sales growing by 0.2% in the month, the first monthly increase since March. Overall retail sales grew by 1.1%, helped by an improvement in car sales in August. The increases in both measures are modest though and reveal that consumer spending trends remain weak, in reflection of a still fragile labour market situation. In fact, core sales, both on a volume and a value basis remain close to recent lows. From a fiscal point of view, the value of sales gives a better indication of the performance of underlying VAT trends, for example. In this regard, the value of sales is at levels last seen at the start of 2005. The volume of sales is back at levels last seen at the end of 2005. Therefore, it is not just the level of activity, but the level of prices that matters.

Exchequer returns for September will provide the focus for Ireland when it is released later today. While October and November are more important tax months for Ireland (when self-assessed tax returns are collected), these numbers will go some way to formulating the budget arithmetic ahead of the all-important four-year budget plans to be released in November. Media speculation this morning suggests that the figures will be weak, underlying the need for bigger adjustments for 2011 in particular. While it was clear that the previously agreed €3bn in savings would not be enough, speculation is now focusing on €4bn or more in tax changes or spending cuts. This speculation is likely to be a constant feature in the coming weeks."

Federal minister of the Interior for Germany, Thomas De Maizière, joined CNBC for more on the 20th anniversary of unification in the country:

Aer Lingus: Aer Lingus Group announced Monday the appointment of Andrew Macfarlane as its CFO and as an executive director with immediate effect. Macfarlane, 53, has served as Aer Lingus’ interim CFO since December of 2009.

Prior to joining Aer Lingus Macfarlane served as CFO of Rentokil Initial plc and his career has covered the leisure, business services, real estate and accounting sectors. His early career was with Ernst & Young, where he spent 12 years, reaching the position of Corporate Finance Partner in 1987.

Asia Markets

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3% Monday.

The Nikkei fell 0.25%; China's market was closed; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.01% and India's Sensex Index added 0.61%.

Asia benchmarks

Finfacts Reports

Global Manufacturing PMI slipped to a 14-month low in September
Retail Ireland survey shows significant deterioration in sentiment since early summer
Irish construction tender prices fell by 11% over past 12 months to 1998 levels
US business information group Dun & Bradstreet will add 110 jobs in Dublin by the end of 2011
US consumer spending rose in August
Irish retail sales volume index increased by 1.1% in month of August
Eurozone unemployment rate stable at 10.1% in August; Austria lowest at 4.3%; Ireland at 13.9% and Spain's at 20.5%
Eurozone manufacturing recovery slows as Spain and Ireland slip back into contraction alongside Greece

In Europe, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 is down 0.20% Monday.

The ISEQ has dipped 0.14% in Dublin.

CRH has added 0.25%; Elan has gained 0.86%; AIB has dipped 9.28%.

       

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Currencies 

The euro is trading at $1.3723 and at £0.8713.

For live currency updates, check the right-hand column of the Finfacts home page.

The US dollar fell to $1.6038 per euro on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - an-all time record.

Commodities

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for dry commodities, hit an all-time High of 11,771 on the 21st of May, 2008. From that time it reversed and on the 5th of December, 2008 it hit a low of 663 - - close to a 1986 low.

The BDI closed at 3,005 on Thursday, Dec 31st - - a rise of 289% in 2009. The index averaged 59% lower in 2009 than a year earlier.

On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the index  fell for the 35th straight session, by 9 points, or 0.537%, to 1,700 points, Bloomberg report.

On Friday July16th, the BDI rose 20 points or 1.12% to 1,700 to break the 35-session losing streak; on Friday last week, the BDI rose 6 points or 0.24% to 2,452.

Crude oil for November 2010 delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $81.25 per barrel down 33 cents from Friday's close. In London, Brent for November delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $83.48.

Gold spot price

The spot price of an oz of gold is trading in New York at $1,317.80, down $0.80 from Friday's close.

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