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Wednesday June 25, 2008 - 23:20:34 GMT
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Forex Blog - Morning Report

Morning Report  Thursday 26 June 2008

News and views
The USD was hit across the board overnight after the FOMC delivered a less hawkish than feared stance than many were gunning for. To be sure the FOMC statement said that downside risks to growth have diminished while upside risks to inflation have increased. And, Fisher dissented (yet again) voting in favour for an immediate lift in rates. The dollar and bond yields both initially firmed but quickly reversed course on deeper reflection – the statement did not signal a near term shift in the Fed Funds rate nor made any mention of official concerns about the weak USD as some feared. Players took heart sending US 2 year bond yields back down 20bp from their highs while EUR/USD jumped 140pts to highs near 1.5685.

Offshore trading in the New Zealand dollar however remained tentative. The NZD opened its offshore account on the heavy side, extending earlier losses driven by the 15% fall in Q2 NZ consumer confidence to 17 year lows. From offshore opening levels around 0.7575 the NZD slipped to lows near 0.7545. The NZD ranged through the remainder of offshore trade until the less hawkish than feared FOMC statement saw the unit trade up to 0.7590- 0.7600 into the close.

EUR/USD drifted in early offshore trade ahead of the FOMC – rallying 50pts initially to highs just above 1.5600 before slipping back to 1.5560/70 thanks to a sharp $5/bbl fall in oil prices. US durable goods orders and new home sales both met expectations and left no imprint on markets. Players initially read a hawkish FOMC statement sending EUR down from 1.5570 to 1.5540 before a relief rally set in. Multiple stops were cleared as EUR stacked on 140pts to highs near 1.5685. US bonds were initially wrong footed by the FOMC statement too, rising7bp before falling 20bp to finish the day near 2.81%

The Australian dollar continues to trade with a solid tone. In the wake of the FOMC statement the AUD rose 60pts hitting fresh 12 highs just above 0.9600. Equities traded in the green for much of the offshore keeping USD/JPY well supported above 108. But, the less hawkish than feared FOMC statement saw USD/JPY fall 50pts to back below 108.00 into the close.

The Fed left its funds target unchanged at 2.00% after this week’s FOMC meeting, confirming the end of the sequence of seven rate cuts that ran from Sep last year to April this year, totalling 325bp.

US durable goods orders were flat in May, their third month running without growth. An 11% rise in defence orders and an 11% rise in civilian aircraft orders flattered the figures. The core capital goods orders measure was revised down from a 4.0% gain to 3.1% in Apr and in May they fell 0.8%, enough to turn the 3 month annualised growth pace for capital goods back to a small fall of –0.4% from a 4.7% rise in the 3 months to Mar (i.e. Q1 this year). Auto orders fell 3.3% in May, their sixth consecutive decline, so the end in late May of the strike that had been impacting GM was not apparent in the data. Overall, a subdued report.

US new home sales fell 2.5% in May but not to a new cyclical low. That we saw back in March. It may be that sales are bottoming out, although with the inventory of unsold homes equivalent to close to a year’s worth of sales at the current monthly pace, prices will need to fall substantially further than the 6% or so decline shown over the past year.

Euroland industrial orders posted a decent 2.5% in Apr, suggesting the factory sector still has some momentum, although the more recent business surveys paint a weaker picture.

European Central Bank chief Trichet reiterated his Jun 5 comments, emphasising that he had “nothing to add or withdraw”. He explained that a small rate rise was possible on Jul 3; that he hadn’t signalled a series of rate rises, and that “we never pre-commit”. Despite that last comment a rate rise is more likely than not.

UK retail sales remained subdued in June, according to the CBI survey. Hence May this year’s 3.1% bounce in retail sales (as reported by the ONS) still looks way out of place and is likely to be mostly or fully reversed in the official June report.

Outlook
The main focus today will Q2 Current account data due later this morning. In the wake of the very weak Q2 consumer confidence data yesterday – down 14.8% to its lowest levels since 1991, markets are flirting with the idea of RBNZ cuts as soon as their next meeting on 24 July. However, on its own we don’t believe the collapse in confidence will be enough to see a July cut eventuate. The NZD will nevertheless continue to trade with a heavy bias into the keenly awaited Q1 GDP report on Friday. Eager sellers are likely to cap any NZD strength into 0.7640/50.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Q1 Current Account NZDmn s.a. –3,076 –3,000
Aus Q2 Job Vacancies –2.5% –

US Q1 GDP (F) 0.9% a 1.0%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 21/6 381k 385k
May Help Wanted Index 19 19
May Existing Home Sales –1.0% 2.5%
Fedspeak: Gov Kohn &
St Louis’ Bullard at ECB conference
on monetary policy
Eur May Money Supply M3 %yr 10.6% 10.3%

UK Q1 Business Investment (F) –1.4% a –1.4%

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Q2 Consumer Confidence (25 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (23 June)
• 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)

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

 

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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