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Tuesday April 15, 2008 - 21:15:00 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Wednesday 16 April 2008

News and views
New Zealand dollar spiked higher early in the overnight session, reaching a high just below 0.7950, as the market took out stops around that level. However, from there it was mainly one way traffic as the London market reacted to a negative view on the NZ economy from Goldman Sachs and the USD was generally better bid. We then spent most of the session sub 0.7850.

The Australian dollar was dragged around with the NZD pushing through 0.93 early on before then settling lower, below 0.9250 for most of the overnight session.

USD/JPY traded sideways between a rough 101-101.50 range for most of the day before pushing to 101.80 in New York’s afternoon.

EUR/USD made an early push towards 1.59 before then spending the rest of the session heading lower and settling below 1.58.

US NAHB was unchanged in April near a record low. The record low of 18 was set in December last year. The April print suggests that a tightening of bank credit and declining home prices are continuing to push buyers away.

US NY Fed index up from -22.2 to 0.6 in Apr. The NY Fed index surprised to the upside this month, with the 0.6 headline reading suggesting that there was no further deterioration in business conditions after steep falls in February and March. The shipments sub-index was especially strong (perhaps a function of export strength), but orders and jobs were both flat.

US PPI up 1.1% in Mar. The PPI also surprised to the upside, although last week’s import price data had indicated that it would be a big ‘un. Energy prices rose 2.9% last month, due mainly to another steep rise in residential gas (up 10% in two months) and food was up 1.2%. Elsewhere factory prices were reasonably subdued, including falls in both auto and light truck prices, hence the lowest core rate for three months. In a sense the report is not that newsworthy, as energy and food price gains are now well-established as key drivers of inflationary pressures globally. Still, it means there is upside risk to our above consensus 0.4% forecast for the March CPI, out tomorrow.

US TIC data for February showed capital inflows ($64.1bn)broadly in current account deficit funding territory. Recall that in Q3 last year when the credit crunch first took hold there were net outflows from the US, but since then capital inflows have resumed, helping prevent a steeper decline in the US$ than would otherwise have been the case.

German ZEW survey down from -32 to -41 in Apr. After two months of less weak sentiment, analysts’ expectations re the German and Euroland economies deteriorated again this month, the latter to a new cyclical low. There was also continued softening in the current assessment of the Euroland economy, although the German equivalent was unchanged.

French CPI was reported at 3.2% yr and the Italian CPI at 3.3% yr in March. The French result was at the upper end of expectations, so we might just see an upward revision to the already hot 3.5% yr Euroland flash CPI.

UK CPI unchanged at 2.5% yr in Mar. This reflected significant upward pressure in the transport and housing components from fuel and home energy costs, offset by heavy discounting on the high street for the likes of household goods and furnishings (as retailers struggle to maintain sales as the housing market slows).

The NZD is starting to look soggy at these elevated levels. Whereas last week the global investor base was prepared to look through an impending slowdown in the domestic economic situation, it now appears that global risk appetite is also starting to wane.

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

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Feb Westpac-MI Leading Index ann’lsd 4.1% –
US Mar CPI flat 0.4%
Mar Core CPI flat 0.2%
Mar Housing Starts –0.6% –5.0%

Mar Building Permits –7.3% –3.5%
Mar Industrial Production –0.5% flat
Fed’s Beige Book
Fedspeak: Yellen, Plosser
Eur Mar CPI %yr (F) 3.5% 3.5%
UK Mar Unemployment chg –2.8k 3.0k
Can Feb Manufacturing Shipments 1.3% 1.0%

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Q1 CPI Review (15 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 April)
• NZ Q1 CPI Preview (8 April)
• NZ Q1 QSBO Review (8 April)
• NZ Interest Rate Focus (8 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (7 April)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
Institutional Bank’s website (

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 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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