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MNI European Morning Briefing

     LONDON (MNI) - Thursday throws up a very full calendar, dominated in the
European session by central bank policy announcements.
     The European calendar gets underway at 0700GMT, with the release of the
European ACEA car registrations data.
     At 0745GMT, the French final inflation data will be released at 0745GMT,
with the Spanish data expected at 0800GMT.
     The flash services and manufacturing PMI data will be released from
0800GMT, when the French data crosses the wire. The German data is due at
0830GMT and the euro area data at 0900GMT.
     The first of the central bank announcements comes at 0830GMT, when the SNB
lay down their latest policy decision. The Norges Bank will announce at 0900GMT.
     Also expected at 0900GMT is the Italian final inflation data.
     The UK comes into focus from 0930GMT, when the latest retail sales data
will be published. The Bank of England policy decision will be announced at
1200GMT, when the rate and QE outcomes will be released.
     At 1245GMT, the ECB's latest monetary policy decision is due, with
President Mario Draghi's press conference due at 1330GMT.
     Across the Atlantic, the calendar kicks off at 1330GMT, with the release of
the latest jobless claims data, import/export prices and the retail sales data.
     The level of initial jobless claims is expected to rise by 3,000 to 239,000
in the December 9 week after a decrease of 2,000 in the previous week. The
four-week moving average would fall by 3,250 in the coming week as the 252,000
level in the November 11 week drops out of the calculation, assuming the MNI
forecast is correct and there are no revisions.
     Retail sales are forecast to rise by 0.3% in November after a modest 0.2%
increase in October. Seasonally adjusted industry motor vehicle sales slowed in
November, but AAA reported that gasoline prices rebounded in mid-November from
one month earlier. As a result, retail sales are expected to surge 0.7%
excluding motor vehicles after October's 0.1% gain.
     At 1330GMT, the Canadian new house prices will be released at 1330GMT, with
the CREA Home Sales data expected at 1400GMT.
     The Markit flash US Services Index and Manufacturing Index data will be
released at 1445GMT, followed by the latest business inventories data.
     Business inventories are expected to fall 0.1% in October. Factory
inventories were already reported as up 0.2% in the month, while wholesale
inventories fell 0.5% and the advance report pointed to a 0.1% decline for
retail inventories. Taken together, an MNI calculation looks for a 0.1% decline
for business inventories, so the median forecast implies analysts expect retail
inventories to be unrevised. As for sales, factory shipments were up 0.6% and
wholesale sales rose by 0.7%, while retail trade sales increased by 0.2% in the
advance retail sales report. An MNI calculation looks for a 0.5% increase in
business sales, barring a large revision to the retail trade sales number.
     The week's Natural Gas Stocks data will be released at 1530GMT, with the
latest Fed Weekly M2 Money Supply Data due at 2130GMT.
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com