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Sunday June 22, 2008 - 22:17:12 GMT
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Forex Blog - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 23 June 2008

News and views
The USD was relentlessly pursued lower on Friday night with surging oil prices and sagging equities sending the USD lower across the board. The early impulse for selling dollars came from higher oil prices driven by news of Nigerian supply disruptions, scepticism that a meeting of energy officials in Saudi Arabia would

produce anything tangible in lowering prices and reports out of the US that military exercises conducted by Israel last month were directed squarely at Iran, stoking geopolitical fears among oil traders. Oil prices rose $5/bbl to overnight highs just shy of $137/bbl before edging back to $135/bbl into the close. Ongoing financial sector worries led by Moody’s downgrade of bond insurers MBIA and AMBAC saw the Dow Jones fall 220pts on Friday, taking its losses for the week to 460pts (-4.0%). EUR/USD rose 100+ pts overnight.

Against that backdrop the New Zealand dollar continue its recent push higher for much of the session, rising from opening offshore levels around 0.7615 to highs just shy of 0.7650. But, deepening losses in US equities into the close weighed on risk appetite and the NZD drifted back toward 0.7610 into the close. Easing risk appetite saw the NZD underperform on the crosses with NZD/ JPY slipping 80pts and giving back all of its gains yesterday.

The Australian dollar was also well bid on the softer USD, re-taking the 0.9550 level for the first time in almost two weeks. The AUD finished the session a touch off its highs at 0.9534, clocking up its 6th consecutive higher close.

USD/JPY was heavy throughout the offshore session, with softer equities adding further downside impetus later on. USD/JPY grinded down from opening levels offshore around 107.85 to lows near 107.15. With risk appetites taking a hit on the sharp fall in equities JPY was among the strongest G10 performers on Friday.

EUR/USD broke up to 8-day highs on Friday night amid rising oil prices and continuing worries in the US financial sector, rising over 100pts in offshore trade to highs near 1.5650.

No US data to report. But the IMF predicted “roughly flat” US GDP growth in 2008 which was “less than feared” and lifted its 2009 forecast from 1.6% to 2.0%.

German producer prices up 6.0% yr. That’s a 2 year high, boosted by energy and food prices.

Canadian retail sales jumped 0.6% in April, with a 1.1% jump in ex-auto (partly due to higher gasoline prices) offsetting a 0.2% fall in auto sales.

Three big numbers to round out the quarter next week. First up, the Westpac consumer confidence survey (Wed) which fell to decade lows in March. Higher frequency surveys such as Roy Morgan have fallen further since then. We expect the Q1 current account (Thur) to improve to -7.5% of GDP as the full weight of the dairy bonanza comes to bear, though dismal returns on offshore investments present a downside risk. Finally, Q1 GDP (Fri) is widely expected to be negative (median -0.3%, Westpac -0.3%); a downside surprise would reinforce the RBNZ’s easing bias, and with Q2 also expected to be negative, a positive surprise for Q1 would do little to dispel recession fears other than in a technical sense. Lower offshore yields have pushed yield spreads a touch back in NZD’s favour lately, leaving room for the NZD to squeeze a little higher ahead of next week’s data and FOMC meeting. However, the NZD still has to run the gauntlet of likely weak data next week and the RBNZ was quite clear about its intention to cut rates later this year. Further downside looms for the kiwi.

Upcoming Events
Date Country Release Last Forecast

23 Jun NZ May Credit Card Transactions 4.4% –
Aus May New Motor Vehicle Sales –0.8% –1.0%
Jpn Q2 Bus Outlook – Lrg Mfg %qtr –12.9% –
Q2 Bus Outlook – Total %qtr –9.3% –
Eur Jun Factory PMI Adv 50.6 50.3
Jun Services PMI Adv 50.6 51.0
Ger Jun Ifo Business Climate Index 103.5 101.5

UK Jun Rightmove House Prices 1.2% –
24 Jun US Apr House Prices %yr –14.4% –16.0%
Jun CB Consumer Confidence 57.2 56.0

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Q1 GDP Preview (19 June)
• NZ Q1 Current Account Preview (19 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (16 June)
• Always look on the bright side (12 June)
• NZ Q1 Terms of Trade (11 June)
• NZ Agribiz June 2008 (9 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (9 June)

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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