Week of December 11, 2011 thru December 17, 2011

EMU Data: MNI Survey Of Econ Data Forecasts December 12 to 16


Trade Balance (SA) - October - E Bln

Median Forecast 0.1 High forecast 0.9 Low forecast -2.8 Previous period 2.1 - Number of responses 4 - Barclays Cap. -2.8 Capital Economics 0.5 Citi 0.9 West LB -0.4

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* Median is based on above forecasts and is not intended to represent a consensus.

MNI Survey: Japan Nov Department Store Sales Seen Weaker


-- Dec 1st Half Sales Up On Lower Temperatures, Higher Bonuses
-- See Separate Table For Details

TOKYO (MNI) - Combined sales at Japanese department stores in November are forecast to be weaker than in October, possibly marking the fifth consecutive year-on-year fall, a survey of major store chains by Market News International showed.

The Japan Department Stores Association will release November data at 1430 JST (0530 GMT) on Monday, Dec. 19.

In November, combined sales are expected to have marked a year-op-year drop, with a pace of decline accelerating from -0.5% in October, as mild weather conditions hurt sales of autumn and winter clothing.

China Yuan Rises on State Banks' Sale, Traders Say


BEIJING (MNI) - The Chinese yuan's loss against the U.S. dollar was capped in the onshore market in Friday morning session which traders believed could be the result of central bank intervention.

"State banks are selling dollar, which may signal that the central bank is intervening in the intraday trading," a foreign exchange trader based in Shanghai said.

The yuan was traded as high as 6.3294 against the U.S. dollar this morning, compared with today's fixing of 6.3352.

"It can be understood as a sign of the central bank's attitude to continue yuan's appreciation and its efforts to reverse a weakness in yuan and to lift the market confidence," said Liu Dongliang, a foreign exchange analyst based in Shenzhen.

China Data Wrap: Summary Data Table, With Analysis


All figures percentage year-on-year unless otherwise stated.

Money Aggregate

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Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun M2 +12.7 +12.9 +13.0 +13.5 +14.7 +15.9 New Loans (bln yuan) 562.2 586.8 470.0 548.5 492.6 633.9

M2 growth at the end of November slowed to 12.7% y/y, marking a new multi-year low after October's 12.9%. M2 growth came in line with a median forecast of 12.7% and compares with the central government's target of 16% for this year.

New loans eased slightly to CNY562.2 billion in November after a strong rebound in October. For the first 11 months, Chinese banks rolled out CNY6.83 trillion new loans.

China Data Wrap: More Reserve Cuts Seen As Data Disappoint


BEIJING (MNI) - Chinese economic activity continued to decelerate in November, underlining the need for the government to take further action to unwind the anti-inflationary curbs introduced starting late last year, analysts said.

Official output and investment data undershot market expectations in November, providing fresh evidence that economic conditions are worsening, while foreign investment fell for the first month since the global financial crisis.

Thursday's release of the flash reading of the HSBC purchasing managers index was below the 50-mark separating expansion from contraction, suggesting that the operating environment remained difficult for Chinese companies into December.

China PBOC Sets Dlr-Yuan Parity Higher At 6.3352; +4.42% Y/Y


BEIJING (MNI) - The People's Bank of China set the yuan's central parity rate against the U.S. dollar at 6.3352 on Friday, higher than Thursday's 6.3421.

Today's parity is below the record high of 6.3165 set on Nov.4.

Dlr-CNY Eur-CNY Yen-CNY

Today fixing 6.3352 8.2586 8.1382 Prev. fixing 6.3421 8.2393 8.1252 Prev.

ECB Mersch: Bond Buys Limited, Must Avert Credit Crunch


FRANKFURT (MNI) - The European Central Bank's bond buying programme is limited both in terms of scope and duration, ECB Governing Council member Yves Mersch said Thursday during a live debate on German television ZDF.

The head of the Bank of Luxembourg also fiercely defended the ECB's new liquidity support measures as the right policy to address real risks of a credit crunch in the Eurozone as banks confront rising pressure from the regulatory side to rebuild their capital.

"We are not buying infinite amounts of government bonds. That is not the job of the central bank," Mersch said.

UK Pay Deals Steady At 2.0%: Bonus Payments To Fall: XpertHR


LONDON (MNI) - UK pay deals have flatlined at 2.0% since the spring, while bonus payments in relation to salary are expected to decline a little next year, according to XpertHR.

The XpertHR survey shows pay growth remaining subdued, and bang-in-line with the Bank of England's inflation target and suggests the gap will be narrow in 2012 between the official figures for total earnings and regular pay.

The median basic pay award held steady at 2% in the three months through November, unchanged for the eighth consecutive rolling quarter.

US Hill Grows Confident That An End-of-Year-Deal Will Be Done


--Optimistic Comments By Congressional Leaders Give Hill New Hope
--Intense Talks Underway To Complete FY'12 Omnibus, Payroll Tax Cut
--Unclear If Final Votes Can Occur This Weekend Or Early Next Week

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The grim scenarios of a possible government shutdown and another round of self-defeating brinksmanship by both parties dissipated on Capitol Hill Thursday and lawmakers have grown optimistic that an end-of-the-year agreement is near.

Talk From The Trenches: Uncomfortable 2008 Mood Returns


NEW YORK, Nov 16 (MNI) - The European crisis, coupled with early year-end retrenching, cast an eerie, 2008-ish pall over the financial markets Wednesday.