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Wednesday March 12, 2008 - 19:52:28 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 13 March 2008

News and views
The
New Zealand dollar made further gains overnight, reaching one-week highs around 0.8080. The US dollar’s decline resumed as the new liquidity measures announced by the Fed yesterday helped to ease the market’s scramble for cash. Risk trades are not obviously back in favour though – the low-yielding yen and Swiss franc made some of the largest gains, and US equities faded after a strong open. Persistent (but not very plausible) rumours that China would revalue the yuan again also weighed on the US dollar.

The Australian dollar also pushed higher, shrugging off a plunge in the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment index to its lowest level since 1993. While the index typically falls sharply after an RBA rate hike, it was already at a low starting point, and the details were noticeably soft. The AUD starts the day near its highs around 0.9350.

The euro hit another record high of 1.5520 on strong production figures. Euroland industrial production advanced 0.9% in January, and with upward revisions to previous months, the year-on-year growth rate printed at 3.8% against expectations of 2.6%. Production in early 2008 was up in all sectors except energy. The overall result was boosted by Germany, where mild temperatures fuelled a surge in construction. However, record highs for the euro and oil prices will act to crimp production during 2008.

US mortgage applications retreated 1.9% in the week ending 7 March, after a 3.0% rise the week prior. Refinancing, which has been volatile, fell 4.7% in the week as contract interest rates moved higher.

The UK budget themes were as expected. The budget, already in deficit, has deteriorated and borrowing costs increased as economic growth forecasts were downgraded for a second time in five months. Economic growth in 2008 is expected to be 1.75-2.25%, downgraded from 2-2.5% predicted in October. The government is keeping Northern Rock debt out of public sector debt for now, awaiting ONS estimates. The Treasury estimates that net debt, 36.6% of GDP in 2006/07, peaks at 39.8% in 2010-11. This means that the 40% ceiling - as set down in the fiscal rule - is not breached.

Outlook
The liquidity measures announced by the Fed could have a significant impact on market confidence in coming weeks, particularly since it will help to address the end-of-quarter liquidity pressures that have tended to emerge since the credit crunch began last year. In the longer term, nothing short of full disclosure of credit losses will allow credit markets to heal; but for now, a break in the cycle of forced liquidation means that investors can focus on more fundamental factors such as relative yields.

Today sees retail sales figures for January – a flat reading, as already signaled by electronic card transaction data, probably won’t surprise the market. The business PMI for February will probably be higher, given its strong correlation with the AUD/NZD exchange rate. In Australia, employment figures will be closely watched in light of recent signs that the economy has passed its peak. The median forecast is for a 15k gain.

Michael Gordon, Market Strategist, Wellington, Ph: (04) 470 8266
With contributions from Westpac Economics and Westpac Strategy

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Agribiz March 2008 (12 March)
• NZ Q4 Terms of Trade Review (11 March)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (10 March)
• RBNZ MPS Review (6 March)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (3 March)
• NZ Interest Rate Focus (28 February)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
Institutional Bank’s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Jan Retail Sales 0.1% 0.2%
Aus Mar MI Consumer Inflation Expect 4.5% –
Mar WBC–MI Unemp. Expectations 6.1% –
Feb Employment chg 26.8k 30k
Feb Unemployment Rate 4.1% 4.2%

US Feb Retail Sales/ Ex-Auto 0.3%/0.3% 0.3%/0.2%
Feb Import Price Index 1.7% 0.8%
Feb Export Price Index 1.2% –
Jan Business Inventories 0.6% 0.5%
Initial Jobless Claims, w/e 8/3 351k 355k
Jpn Jan Industrial Production (F) –2.0% –2.0%

Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 14 November 2007. All customers please note that this information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Australian customers can obtain Westpac's financial services guide by calling +612 9284 8372, visiting www.westpac.com.au or visiting any Westpac Branch. The information may contain material provided directly by third parties, and while such material is published with permission, Westpac accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any such material. Except where contrary to law, Westpac intends by this notice to exclude liability for the information. The information is subject to change without notice and Westpac is under no obligation to update the information or correct any inaccuracy which may become apparent at a later date. Westpac Banking Corporation is regulated for the conduct of investment business in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority. © 2004 Westpac Banking Corporation. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The forecasts given in this document are predictive in character. Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the assumptions on which the forecasts are based are reasonable, the forecasts may be affected by incorrect assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. The ultimate outcomes may differ substantially from these forecasts.

 

 

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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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Amazing Trader EVENT RISK Calendar:

Wed 18 Oct
12:30 US- Housing Starts & Permits
14:30 US- EIA Crude
Thu 19 Oct
01:30 AU- Employment
08:30 GB- Retail Sales
12:30 US- Weekly Jobless
Fri 20 Oct
12:30 CA- Retail Sales & CPI
14:00 US- Existing Homes Sales

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  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Tue-- 08:30 GMT GB- CPI top tier confirmation of Inflation.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Tue-- 09:00 GMT DE- ZEW Survey second most important German monthly Survey.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Tue-- 09:00 GMT EZ- final HICP revision to flash report. Revisions are usually minor.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Tue-- 13:15 GMT US- Industrial Production. Top output indicator.



  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed-- 12:30 GMT US- Housing Starts and Permits revision to flash report. Useful housing leading indicator.

  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Wed-- 14:30 GMT US- EIA Crude. Top WTI inventory measure.



  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Thu-- 01:30 GMT AU- Employment. Top economic indicator.


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Thu-- 02:00 GMT CN- GDP. Top economic indicator.


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH Thu-- 08:30 GMT GB- Retail Sales. Top consumption indicator.


  • POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Thu-- 12:30 GMT US- Weekly Jobless. Employment Indicator.



John M. Bland, MBA
co-founding Partner, Global-View.com

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