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Futures, European Stocks Surge Celebrating New Spanish, Italian Governments As Payrolls Loom

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

New Italian government? Check. New Spanish government? Check. Trade war between the US and Europe, Mexico and Canada? Check. Deutsche Bank downgraded to a B-handle? Check. All these potentially risky events have happened in just the past few hours, yet global stock markets couldn't care less, and together with US equity futures are a sea of green this morning, heading for a positive end to a volatile, tumultuous week in which political developments in Europe and escalating trade tensions roiled markets, only to get a happy ending, even as the all important payrolls report looms, which is expected to show payrolls rising and the unemployment rate holding at the lowest since 2000, suggesting continued tightening by the Fed.

As Bloomberg notes, the (surprisingly) strong positive reaction in European equity markets is the main focus this morning despite the sharp escalation in the global trade dispute

Instead, what traders appear more focused on is the formation of the new Italian government, whose finmin is perceived, perhaps erroneously, as a quasi technocrat despite the clearly Euroskeptic views posted on his blog. For now, however, the Italian FTSE MIB is higher by 2.8%, rallying the most since the end of February and recouping much of its losses for the week as populist parties surged to power, bringing to an end a three-month political deadlock though opening the way to a period of friction with Europe

… while BTPs have rallied in relief at formation of new govt, with the 2Y Italian yield back under 1%…

…. while the Italian-German spread is back to just above 200bps, with Italy's bank sector rallying heavily.

On Friday, Spain also got a new government when Socialist leader Sanchez becomes PM after lawmakers voted Rajoy out of office. The vote was 180 to 169 with the passing of the vote very much expected. Prior to this Rajoy  accepted his defeat and said that Sanchez is set to be the new PM. Spanish assets rallied after Rajoy's ouster, opening the way for Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez to take over, and sending 2Y Spanish yields sharply lower.

And yet, as Bloomberg's Heather Burke notes, despite today's relief rally, "traders are still bracing for long-term downside, with the cost of bearish versus bullish options based on the index's three-month 90%/110% skew still near a one-year high." As a result a return to the 8 1/2-year high for Italian stocks seen in May could prove tough:

Even if an outright euro exit is a low-probability risk, the prospective Italian government could run into tensions with the bloc down the road. Political developments are also still playing out in neighboring Spain, while global trade relations may be souring again. With investors still clearly jittery, there's plenty of room for risk sentiment to pull back.

Meanwhile, over in Germany as noted earlier, Deutsche Bank stock was unimpressed by the S&P downgrade to BBB+ due to the CEO's reassuring (repeat) report on liquidity position, with the stock rebounding from yesterday's all time low…

… even if the CDS is far less convinced that all is well, as DB's default risk is by far the highest of all major banks.

So as a result of all the various resolutions, even if they were not what one would call "bullish", the Stoxx Europe 600 index is headed for its biggest gain in a month, led by banks and basic-resources stocks, while S&P equity-index futures pointed to a higher U.S. open.

The risk-on mood prevailed despite President Trump’s launch of tariffs on imports from key trading partners. According to Bloomberg, investors remain optimistic that threats of more international tariffs will not materialize into an all-out trade war between the U.S. and its key partners, while the latest developments in Italy and Spain also removed uncertainty, providing some well-needed relief within Europe

Earlier in the session, Asian stocks traded mixed amid trade war concerns following the US announcement to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico, which in turn triggered threats of retaliation against the US. In addition, a slight miss on Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI data and looming US NFP jobs data have added to the tentative tone. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was led lower by financials with ANZ Bank pressured on cartel allegation charges related to a share sale in 2015 and as the energy sector also suffered from weakness in crude prices, while Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) shrugged off its opening losses on favourable currency moves. Hang Seng (-0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.5%) were indecisive and swung between gains and losses as participants digested a range of factors including weaker than expected Caixin Manufacturing PMI data and a firm net liquidity injection of CNY 410bln for the week, as well as the debut of China A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Market benchmark index.

Meanwhile, the TSY curve is marginally steeper as futures edge lower, tracking move in bunds, pushing the 10Y TSY yielld to 2.89% this morning. German bunds led a drop in core European debt as the flight to safety reversed, while peripheral bonds such as Italy's and Spain's gained.

Despite the ongoing political risks in the euroarea and the revival of trade-war fears, the currency market was just as blaze as European stocks, and is trading with its familiar pre-payrolls bias, one with relatively low volumes and tight trading ranges:

  • The dollar traded mixed versus Group-of-10 peers as the market entered a consolidation mode ahead of the U.S. data later today and with Scandinavian currencies benefiting from the improvement of market sentiment
  • The euro reversed modest gains made in Asia as Italy prepared to form a populist government while BTPs climbed for the third day, extending a relief rally
  • The yen slid against all G-10 peers and USD/JPY climbed to a high of 109.29 after a brief selloff following a cut in the Bank of Japan’s bond purchases
  • The Aussie declined amid an escalation of global trade tensions after the U.S. slapped metal tariff
  • TRY heavily offered and the Borsa Istanbul 100 Index tumbled after tanking on Thursday by the most in a month, after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called last night on Turkish citizens to repatriate assets from abroad.

In overnight central bank news, Fed's Bullard (Non-Voter, Dove) reiterates already at a neutral rate, adds appropriate for Fed to hedge views on rate hikes and that inflation would have surprise to the upside for rate hikes.

As reported yesterday, at the stroke of midnight, US metal tariff exemptions for EU, Canada and Mexico expired overnight which sees US’ closest allies to be subject to 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium heading into the US. Elsewhere, there were also comments from President Trump that the US will agree to a fair NAFTA deal or no deal at all.

In geopolitics, North Korean leader Kim said their will for denuclearization of the peninsula is unchanged, consistent and fixed, while he hopes that North Korea and US ties will be solved step by step and added North Korea has agreed to a summit with Russia. North and South Korea have agreed to meet on June 14th for military talks.

In commodities, oil is up on the day heading into the weekend with both WTI and Brent up modestly on the day after touching lows in late US trade. This comes after bearish signals in products within the DoE data discounted a wider than expected crude draw. A broader risk averse tone spurred on by trade concerns is dampening prices slightly, however. Gold is lacklustre with the yellow metal essentially flat on the day with traders holding fire ahead of US jobs data. Steel has extended its climb to hit multi-month highs, with aluminium also rising slightly on the day amid the imposition and retaliation of tariffs, as well as continually declining steel stockpiles.

Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk

  • Italian assets seeing significant positivity as government edges closer
  • Spanish PM Rajoy ousted as Socialist Sanchez takes power
  • Looking ahead, highlights include, US NFP, ISM mfg, Baker Hughes and Fed’s Kashkari

Market Snapshot

  • S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 2,715.50
  • STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 386.40
  • MXAP down 0.01% to 172.15
  • MXAPJ up 0.2% to 563.45
  • Nikkei down 0.1% to 22,171.35
  • Topix up 0.1% to 1,749.17
  • Hang Seng Index up 0.08% to 30,492.91
  • Shanghai Composite down 0.7% to 3,075.14
  • Sensex down 0.08% to 35,294.06
  • Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 5,990.39
  • Kospi up 0.7% to 2,438.96
  • Brent futures up 0.4% to $77.87/bbl
  • Gold spot little changed at $1,299.28
  • U.S. Dollar Index up 0.1% to 94.08
  • German 10Y yield rose 3.4 bps to 0.375%
  • Euro down 0.04% to $1.1688
  • Italian 10Y yield fell 12.0 bps to 2.526%
  • Spanish 10Y yield fell 4.1 bps to 1.462%

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

  • President Donald Trump on Thursday night warned Canada that any renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement must be "a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all"
  • EU’s Mogherini: EU will defend its interests; EU response to tariffs will be reasonable and WTO compliant
  • Italy’s populist Five Star Movement and League parties prepared to sweep to power with a program for fiscal expansion that poses a challenge to European rules. Giuseppe Conte, 53, a law professor with no political experience, will be sworn in as prime minister along with his cabinet at 4 p.m. local time on Friday by President Sergio Mattarella
  • U.S.-North Korean talks over a possible summit in Singapore shift to the White House on Friday, where President Donald Trump will host a top aide to Kim Jong Un
  • European May Manufacturing PMIs: Spain 53.4 vs 54.0 est; Italy 52.7 vs 53.0 est; France 54.4 vs 55.1 est; Germany 56.9 vs 56.8 est; Eurozone 55.5 vs 55.5 est; U.K. 54.4 vs 53..5 est.
  • Spain: Rajoy concedes defeat ahead of no-confidence vote in Spanish parliament; says Sanchez will become new PM; later officially confirmed in full vote
  • Deutsche Bank downgraded one notch to BBB+ by S&P; CEO Sewing reaffirms bank’s financial strength is beyond doubt; ECB supervisors see capital and liquidity positions as good, according to people familiar: Reuters
  • BOJ cuts purchases in 5-10y bucket by 20b to 430b yen in regular rinban operation
  • Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was ousted by a no- confidence vote on Friday. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez is due to be sworn in as premier by King Felipe in the coming days.
  • The U.S. has opened a criminal investigation into whether traders manipulated prices in the $550 billion market for corporate bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • The recent volatility in markets has sparked a rebound in trading revenue for global banks, as clients turn their attention to risks such as Italy’s political crisis and step up their hedging, a BNP Paribas SA executive said.
  • U.K. manufacturing growth unexpectedly quickened in May as firms worked through backlogs and built up their inventories; IHS Markit’s PMI for the industry rose to 54.4 in May, up from 53.9 in April and beating economists’ estimates for a drop.

Asian markets traded mixed after trade war concerns resurfaced following the US announcement to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico, which in turn triggered threats of retaliation against the US. In addition, a slight miss on Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI data and looming US NFP jobs data have added to the tentative tone. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was led lower by financials with ANZ Bank pressured on cartel allegation charges related to a share sale in 2015 and as the energy sector also suffered from weakness in crude prices, while Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) shrugged off its opening losses on favourable currency moves. Hang Seng (-0.1%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.5%) were indecisive and swung between gains and losses as participants digested a range of factors including weaker than expected Caixin Manufacturing PMI data and a firm net liquidity injection of CNY 410bln for the week, as well as the debut of China A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Market benchmark index. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower after the BoJ reduced purchases of 5yr-10yr maturities in its Rinban announcement which saw a breakdown of near-term support at 150.94, while price action was also consistent with a recovery in Tokyo stocks and US yields. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI (May) 51.1 vs. Exp. 51.2 (Prev. 51.1). PBoC injected CNY 40bln via 7-day reverse repos, CNY 10bln via 14-day reverse repos and CNY 30bln via 28-day reverse repos, for a net weekly injection of CNY 410bln vs. last week's CNY 30bln net drain.

Top Asian News

  • China’s Oceanwide Said to Explore Property Sales for Cash
  • Chinese Stocks Decline as MSCI Inclusion Fails to Lift Sentiment
  • Some Turks Fear Culture Clash With Erdogan Is About to Get Worse
  • SoftBank CEO Adds Driverless Tech to 300-Year Plan With GM Deal
  • Singapore’s Biggest Property Broker Is Said to Prepare IPO

European equities bounced back from yesterday’s losses (Eurostoxx 50 +1.1%) with all the major bourses firmly in the green. Italy’s FTSE MIB (+2.8%) is outperforming its counterparts amid a coalition deal revival by the Italian populist parties. As a result, Italian banks are leading the gains with the Italian Bank Index higher by over 5%. Across the continent, Spain’s IBEX (+1.7%) is showing a solid performance while the country’s PM Rajoy accepts his defeat and says opposition Sanchez is set to be the PM. Elsewhere, Deutsche Bank (+3.0%) tries to nurture yesterday’s wounds (shares dropped to record lows after US subsidiaries were added to a federal problem bank list) after ECB sources reassures investors that the bank now has a tighter management team, good liquidity and capital. Finally, Dialog Semiconductors (-14.9%) is the most noticeable mover in the Stoxx 600 after a revenue warning amid tech giant Apple building their own chips.

Top European News

  • U.K. Manufacturing Growth Picks Up in ‘Unconvincing’ Rebound
  • Italy Bonds Gain as Populists Take Power But Skepticism Lingers
  • A $2 Billion Setback Leaves Genmab CEO Undeterred on Pipeline
  • Euro-Area Manufacturing Growth Slows to 15-Month Low in May
  • World Cup Fever Is Coming as Traders Seek Market Mayhem Rescue

In FX, the DXY index is straddling 94.000 ahead of today’s US jobs data amidst relatively narrow bands for most  Dollar/G10 pairings, bar Usd/JPY that has broken above 109.00 and into a firmer trading range amidst a broad improvement in risk sentiment on Italian political grounds over heightened global trade tensions. However, Jpy bears and Greenback bulls may encounter more offers at 109.50 and some technical resistance ahead of the 30 DMA around 109.56. CAD A partial recovery for the Loonie after Thursday’s post-Canadian GDP data dive, with Usd/Cad retreating from circa 1.3000 to sub1.2950, and perhaps acknowledging retaliatory action against US steel and aluminium tariffs rather than dwelling on NAFTA deal prospects that look more remote. AUD Another relative underperformer despite exemptions from the aforementioned US import taxes, with 0.7600 still proving to be a formidable chart hurdle to overcome convincingly and a softer Caixin Chinese manufacturing PMI also undermining the Aud. TRY The Lira is lagging other EMs and not deriving any support from latest CBRT operations, as Usd/Try rebounds back above 4.6000 in wake of a further/faster contraction in Turkey’s manufacturing PMI.

In commodities, oil is up on the day heading into the weekend with both WTI and Brent up modestly on the day after touching lows in late US trade. This comes after bearish signals in products within the DoE data discounted a wider than expected crude draw. A broader risk averse tone spurred on by trade concerns is dampening prices slightly, however. Gold is lacklustre with the yellow metal essentially flat on the day with traders holding fire ahead of US jobs data. Steel has extended its climb to hit multi-month highs, with aluminium also rising slightly on the day amid the imposition and retaliation of tariffs, as well as continually declining steel stockpiles.

Looking at the day ahead, there will be the May employment report due in 1:30pm BST including nonfarm payrolls (190k expected), unemployment rate and the all important average hourly earnings (2.6% yoy expected). The final manufacturing PMI for May, April construction spending and May’s ISM manufacturing prints are also due in the US. Elsewhere, the US automakers’ May sales figures are also due. Finally, US Commerce Secretary Ross is travelling to China this weekend for another round of trade talks

US Event Calendar

  • 8:30am: Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 190,000, prior 164,000

    • Unemployment Rate, est. 3.9%, prior 3.9%
    • Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.1%
    • Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 2.6%, prior 2.6%
    • Average Weekly Hours All Employees, est. 34.5, prior 34.5
    • Labor Force Participation Rate, prior 62.8%
  • 9:45am: Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 56.6, prior 56.6
  • 10am: Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.8%, prior -1.7%
  • 10am: ISM Manufacturing, est. 58.2, prior 57.3
  • Wards Total Vehicle Sales, est. 16.7m, prior 17.1m

DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap

Welcome to June and Happy Birthday to the ECB who is 20 today. The basic conclusion is that the ECB have been able to control bond markets but not equities over this period but who could have foreseen Portuguese bonds out-performing the S&P 500 over the period even though its’ been downgraded from AA to BBB- since the ECB was born. Also this week we have published a 'best of' note of all the Italy related charts we’ve published in our annual Long Term Asset Return Studies over the last few years.

So it’s June 1st and I already have more mosquito bites than the hours a BTP trader has worked this week. Every time I go in the garden I get ganged up on by a mossie army and every morning I wake up to discover around 5 fresh overnight attacks. I feel like a walking ‘join-the-dots’ book at the moment. However poor James and Eddie have less ability to swot them away and they have 2 or 3 each on their faces. As I’ve got older I’ve become more and more of a ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’ type person, however that doesn’t extend to mossies. I want to hurt all of them at the moment.

The news-flow has come so thick and fast this week that an insect swot would have been useful to bash the less useful bits of news away. It hasn’t yet stopped though. Indeed Italy is ending the week by finally managing to form a populist government although the market had moved on somewhat yesterday to the US steel tariffs announcement and the retaliation developments. We also have a vote of no confidence in PM Rajoy today in the Spanish Parliament that he is likely to lose, as per Bloomberg and if that wasn't enough today sees the US employment report and the monthly PMIs across the globe.

First onto Italy, the former designate PM Mr Giuseppe Conte is expected to be sworn in as the new PM at 4pm local time today, while the respective 5Star (Di Maio) and League leaders (Salvini) will be deputy premiers as well holding other Ministry positions. The key Finance Minister role will go to Giovanni Tria (Head of the Economy Faculty at Rome’s Tor Vergata University), who seems to generally be more pro-Europe as he previously wrote “let’s talk about proposals and let’s find solutions…..rather than using the ‘Brexit’ logic which says that when Europe doesn’t suit you or you don’t like it anymore, you abandon it”.

Notably, the former candidate for the role (Paola Savona) who was vetoed by the President due to concerns that he “might have pushed Italy out of the Euro” will now serve as Minister for European Affairs. These developments might mean that we go back to the slow burning problem of the new administration’s fiscal expansion plans and rolling back of reforms rather than this week’s immediate concerns over a decisive fresh election campaign and possible euro membership discussions. For markets, Italian bonds continued to rally yesterday, with the yields on 2y and 10y BTPs down 60bp and 11bp respectively. As a reminder of the roller coaster ride for 2y BTPs this week, yields initially rallied to as low as 0.25%, before surging back up to an intra-day high of 2.76% less than 2 days later, before settling back down to 0.914% currently to be c45bp higher than Friday’s close.

Parking Italy now for a bit and moving onto tariffs. The US has announced that it will impose tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminium (10%) imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, effective from today. The move has prompted swift retaliatory measures from its three allies as: i) Canada will impose tariffs on $13bln worth of US imports from 1 July, ii) Mexico will impose proportional tariffs on US farming and industrial products and iii) the EU will take “immediate steps to retaliate” where a proposal in mid-May suggests higher tariffs on $3bln of US imports from June 20. Notably, there seems to be room for negotiations as the US Commerce secretary Ross noted “we continue to be quite willing and eager to have further discussions with all those parties”. Further, the figures mentioned do not appear significant at this stage considering US exports to Canada was $283bn in 2017, although the drag on sentiments and risk of further escalation cannot be ruled out. For now, DB’s Luzzetti believes this latest action is part of a wider ratcheting up of trade confrontations by the US in recent weeks, where the intent likely remains to put additional pressures on US trading partners to extract better terms. It seems the Fed’s Bullard is siding with this view as he noted “… it depends on what is actually agreed upon as far as trade arrangements and I’m not sure that in the end all that much is going to change”.

This morning in Asia, markets are trading mixed with the Nikkei (+0.16%), Kospi (+0.74%) and futures on the S&P (+0.2%) up modestly, while the Hang Seng (-0.17%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.53%) are both down as we type. Datawise, China’s May Caixin manufacturing PMI was steady mom at 51.1 (vs. 51.2 expected) while the final reading on Japan’s May Nikkei manufacturing PMI nudged up to 52.8 (vs. 52.5 previous). Meanwhile, President Trump has warned Canada that a new NAFTA deal “must be fair or there will be no deal at all”.

Elsewhere, talks between the US Secretary of State Pompeo and top North Korean officials have now wrapped up, with Mr Pompeo indicating real progress had been made towards an “expected” summit between the two leaders. Turning back to yesterday’s markets performance. Core European government bonds initially traded lower following the above market CPI prints (more below), but later firmed as trade tensions resurfaced with the yields on 10y Bunds (-3.2bp), Gilts (-2.9bp) and OATs (-2.9bp) all closing modestly lower. Meanwhile, treasuries fluctuated during the day before ending +0.4bp at 2.859%.

Equities moved in a similar fashion as the tariffs news flowed through markets with the Stoxx 600 reversing earlier gains to close -0.67%. Across the region, the export oriented DAX (-1.40%) led the declines while the Italian market was actually the relative outperformer given the improved political situation (-0.06%). Over in the US, all key bourses weakened (S&P -0.69%; Dow -1.02%; Nasdaq -0.27%) with the consumer staples sector the hardest hit within the S&P, weighed down by Dollar Tree (-14%) and Dollar General (-9%) after the two companies reported softer than expected results and outlook.

In FX, the USD dollar index softened -0.10% and the Euro gained +0.24% to 1.169. Following on, DB’s George Saravelos noted that Italy is too important to be ignored and as a result, the team is lowering their sights on EUR/USD and now expect EUR/USD to remain very choppy, finishing the year around 1.20. Elsewhere, WTI oil largely reversed the prior days gains to close at $67.04/bbl (-1.72%)

Over in Spain, Bloomberg has noted that PM Rajoy may be ousted as the Socialist Party leader Mr Sanchez has sufficient numbers for a no confidence vote today. The situation is still evolving with reports that PM Rajoy will not resign to trigger new elections and could stay on as opposition leader, while Mr Sanchez noted earlier that he plans to call elections “eventually”, but could in theory hold on to power until 2020 with the support of the other parties. So lots bubbling along while we await some clarifications in the coming days.

Before we take a look at today’s calendar and the performance review, we wrap up with the other data releases from yesterday. In the US, the April core PCE was slightly above market at 0.157% mom (vs. 0.1% expected), leading to an in line annual growth of 1.8% yoy. Both the 3- and 6-month annualised rates are running at 2.0%. Meanwhile personal income growth was in line at 0.3% mom while personal spending rose the most in five months (0.6% mom vs. 0.4% expected). Elsewhere, the May Chicago PMI also beat at 62.7 (vs. 58.3 expected) while April pending home sales was weaker than expected at -1.3% mom (vs. 0.4%). Finally, both the weekly initial jobless claims (221k vs. 228k expected) and continuing claims (1,726k vs. 1,733k expected) prints were slightly below expectations. Following the above, the Atlanta Fed’s estimate of Q2 GDP growth was raised by seven tenths to 4.7% saar. Impressive stuff!!

In Europe, the May CPI prints were all above expectations, with the strength partly due to energy and services prices. The Eurozone’s May headline CPI rose to a 13-month high of 1.9% yoy (vs. 1.6% expected) while the core CPI rebounded 0.4ppt mom to 1.1% yoy (vs. 1% expected). Meanwhile, France and Italy’s CPI prints were also above market at 2.3% yoy (vs. 2.1% expected) and 1.1% yoy (vs. 0.9% expected) respectively. Moving to the unemployment readings, the Euro area’s April print edged down 0.1ppt mom to 8.5% (vs. 8.4% expected), while Italy’s print was higher than expected at 11.2% (vs. 10.9%). In the UK, the May GfK consumer confidence index improved 2pts mom to -7 (vs. -8 expected).

Elsewhere, the April mortgage approvals was 62.5k (vs. 63.5k expected) while the net consumer credit was stronger than expected at £1.8bln (vs. £1.3bln). In France, the April PPI fell -0.7% mom (vs. 0.4% previous) leading to an  annual growth of 2.3% yoy.

Looking at the day ahead, in Europe the final manufacturing PMIs are due along with a first look at the non-core and the UK, while in the US there will be the May employment report due in 1:30pm BST including nonfarm payrolls (190k expected), unemployment rate and the all important average hourly earnings (2.6% yoy expected). The final manufacturing PMI for May, April construction spending and May’s ISM manufacturing prints are also due in the US. Elsewhere, the US automakers’ May sales figures are also due. Finally, US Commerce Secretary Ross is travelling to China this weekend for another round of trade talks.


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