April 22nd, 2010 08:55:18 GMT

UK Mar Car Production Rises 90.2% Y/Y – SMMT

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–Year-To-Date Production Up 72.7% On Same Period 2009

LONDON (MNI) – UK car production rose 90.2% in March from the same
month of 2009, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said
today.
The rise was the largest month-on-month increase on record, the
SMMT said.

The SMMT said the impact of the scrappage scheme is “clear and we
are encouraged by the positive impact it has had,” said Paul Everitt,
SMMT chief executive.

“UK automotive production continued to make progress in March with
strong growth in commercial vehicle, engine and car production,” said
SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt.

“Headline figures highlight the scale of challenges faced this time
last year, but also demonstrate a steady improvement in demand in home
and export markets. Industry will continue to face tough market
conditions with the Scrappage Incentive Scheme closing and limited
access to finance and credit for consumers and businesses,” he added.

–London newsroom: 44 207 862 7499; email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com.

[TOPICS: MABDS$,M$BDS$,M$B$$$,MT$$$$]

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April 22nd, 2010 08:55:17 GMT

UK Analysis: 2009/10 Borrowing Comes In Below Treasury Fcast

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–Mar PSNB Stg23.498bn vs Stg20.06bn in Mar 09; Median Stg27.0bn
–Mar PSNCR Stg25.752bn vs Stg28.359bn in Mar 09; median Stg32.0bn
–Mar current budget -Stg14.8bn vs -Stg11.975bn in Mar 09
–2009-10 PSNB, PSNCR, Current Budget Deficit Below 2010-11 Budget Fcast

LONDON (MNI) – Public Sector Net Borrowing in the 2009/10 financial
year came in below the Treasury’s budget forecast made just a month ago,
according to figures released by National Statistics Thursday.

In 2009/10 PSNB excluding financial interventions stood at Stg163.4
billion compared with the Budget forecast of Stg167 billion. Including
financial interventions the shortfall came in at Stg152.8 billion
compared with the Stg156 billion prediction in the Budget. Borrowing in
the past financial year was the largest on record.

For the latest month of March, PSNB came in at a record level of
Stg23.498, but was below the median forecast of Stg27.0 billion.

The Public Sector Net Cash Requirement stood at Stg25.752 billion,
also below the median forecast of Stg32.0 billion.

The current budget deficit hit a record Stg14.8 billion for the
month of March, up from Stg11.975 billion in March 2009.

While the government may well be able to highlight that borrowing
has come in below the recent forecasts made in the Budget, the
level of public sector debt remains at record high levels.

As a percentage of GDP, net debt rose to 62% the highest on record
while net borrowing as a percentage of GDP hit 10.87% the highest since
records began in 1954/55.

–London bureau: 00 44 207 634 1655; email: drobinson@marketnews.com

[TOPICS: MT$$$$,M$B$$$,MABDS$]

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April 22nd, 2010 08:54:23 GMT

GBP/USD: Trades Higher on Back of Retail Sales February Revision

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Whilst March retail sales rose only 0.4% players took heart with the upward revision by 0.4% to 2.5% in February’s data. GBP/USD looks like it wants to have another stab of at its earlier 1.5473 high but is struggling a little at the moment to get back above 1.5450. I think if we see 1.5480 print then those stops above 1.5500 will be in big danger.

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April 22nd, 2010 08:45:29 GMT

TABLE: BOE Loan Survey Data For March

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London (MNI) – The following table shows the key mortgage lending
results of the BOE Trends in Lending survey:

Major UK Lenders (Lending Panel)

Approvals for Gross Mortgage Net Mortgage
House Purchase Lending Lending
Mortgages Stg bln Stg bln
’000s
2009
Oct 59 10.5 2.4
Nov 62 10.9 2.8
Dec 58 11.7 2.6
2010
Jan 49 8.8 1.4
Feb 48 9.6 2.0
Mar 52 9.9 1.8

–London newsroom: 4420 7634 1624 email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com

[TOPICS: M$$BE$,MABDT$]

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April 22nd, 2010 08:45:28 GMT

UK Analysis: Retail Sales Volumes Show Steady Rise In March

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–Value-Based Sales Show Stronger Growth Surge
–Mar retail sales +0.4% m/m; +2.2% y/y – Below MNI Median: 0.7%; 2.5%
–Mar retail sales ex auto fuel +0.2% m/m; +4.0% y/y

LONDON (MNI) – Retail sales volumes grew moderately in March as
retailers raised prices, according to data released by National
Statistics Thursday.

The volume of retail sales including auto fuel rose by 0.4% on the
month in March to stand 2.2% above levels a year earlier. The rise was
below the median forecast for an increase of 0.7% on the month and 2.5%
on the year.

There was, however, an upward revision to the February outturn
which now shows growth of 2.5% from an originally estimated 2.1%
increase.

Excluding auto fuel sales volumes rose 0.2% on the month and were
up 4% on the year.

In the three months to March retail sales including auto fuels were
down 1.7% compared with the previous three months, mainly due to the
fact that auto fuel sales plummeted in January because of the poor
weather conditions. Excluding auto fuel, sales were down 0.6% in the
latest three months.

While volumes of sales grew moderately there was evidence that
retailers increased prices markedly in March. The value of sales was up
0.9% on the month and the implied deflator, a measure of High Street
inflation, rose to 2.5% from 1.8% including auto fuels. Excluding auto
fuel the deflator increased to 0.7% from 0.1%.

The rising deflator may well be due to the depreciation in Sterling
seen over the past year which will have pushed up the cost of many
imported goods sold by retailers.

–London bureau: 0044 20 7634 1624; email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com

[TOPICS: MT$$$$,M$B$$$,MABDS$]

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April 22nd, 2010 08:35:50 GMT

BOE Data: Mar Mortgage Approvals Up; M4 Lowest Since Feb 2000

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London (MNI) – Mortgage approvals picked up in March but broad
money growth was at its lowest level for a decade, according to Bank of
England data.

M4 rose 0.1% on the month in March to stand up 3.5% on the year,
its lowest yearly rise since February 2000. The weakness of M4 growth,
at a time when the economy is recovering, is striking but the BOE noted
that the M4 data include intra-financial companies transactions, which
can have a substantial impact on the figures.

The BOE’s favoured measures is M4 excluding intermediate other
financial corporations, which aims to strip out the economically
irrelevant intra-financial sector transactions. The M4 ex-IOFC data will
next be published on May 4.

The BOE’s Lending Panel Data, derived from the major banking groups
in the UK, showed mortgage approvals picked up in March, climbing to
52,000 from 48,000 in February.

This was the first monthly rise since November, when approvals hit
their local peak of 62,000 before falling to 58,000 in December, 50,000
in January and 48,000 in February.

The BOE lending panel data account for more than 80% of total UK
mortgage lending, and are a very good indicator of mortgage approval
levels in the BOE’s personal lending series.

In cash terms, net mortgage lending in March fell to stg1.8 billion
from stg2.0 billion in February.

The BOE data showed net lending to UK business remained negative in
February, although it was markedly less negative than in January.

The net monthly flow of lending to UK business in February was
-stg0.8 billion, up from -stg6.9 billion in January. The three month
annualised growth rate in corporate lending flow was -7.9%, down from
-7.1% in January.

–London newsroom: 4420 7634 1624 email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com

[TOPICS: M$B$$$,M$$BE$,MABPR$,MT$$$$]

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April 22nd, 2010 08:35:49 GMT

Norges Bank:Household Cred Standards Tightened Somewhat In Q1

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FRANKFURT (MNI) – Credit standards for households in Norway
tightened somewhat in the first quarter of 2010 while easing for
businesses, the Norges Bank reported Thursday in its Bank Lending
Survey.

There was also falling demand for household credit in Q1, the
Norwegian central bank said, adding that corporate credit continued to
increase in the quarter.

“Banks expect higher credit demand ahead for both households and
enterprises,” the bank wrote.

Last quarter, “credit standards for households were tightened
somewhat, while credit standards for enterprises were eased further,”
the bank explained.

“In the period ahead, banks expect broadly unchanged credit
standards for households and a further easing for enterprises,” Norges
Bank said.

The bank lending survey was carried out between March 26 and April
9. Banks were asked to assess developments in credit standards and
credit demand in Q1 compared with Q4 2009, and expected developments in
Q2 versus Q1.

Norges Bank’s key interest rate currently stands at 1.75%; it has
been at this level, 50 bps above its all-time low, since December 17.

–Frankfurt bureau; +49-69-720142; frankfurt@marketnews.com

[TOPICS: MT$$$$,M$$FX$,M$$EC$,M$X$$$,M$$CR$,MGX$$$]

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April 22nd, 2010 08:06:51 GMT

EUR/GBP: Witnessing Some Short Covering

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EUR/GBP is currently trading around  the highs (0.8694) of the day with traders saying a little short covering taking place before tonight’s (2nd) political debate – how American! Other traders say GBP/USD buyers were put off by talk of sovereign selling interest above 1.5470 which has since eased back to 1.5430 from its earlier high of 1.5473.

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