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Sunday July 27, 2008 - 22:47:56 GMT
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Forex Blog - Morning Report

Morning Report  Monday 28 July 2008


News and views
USD gained some ground Friday night on better than expected US data (durable goods orders, new home sales and Uni of Michigan consumer sentiment all beat consensus) but the dollar’s gains proved modest overall as equity sentiment was hurt by ratings agency S&P’s threat to downgrade Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Oil lent some support to USD – NYMEX crude oil slumped about $3/bbl in short order and closed at $123.26/ bbl, its lowest close since 4 June. The New Zealand dollar had hit a high of 0.7469 in the London morning but the firmer US data set NZD/USD into a steady decline to the 0.7420 area, which proved sticky in New York.

The Australian dollar traded a 0.9548 - 0.9609 range in London which got tighter after London finished the week, ultimately finishing around 0.9560.

EUR/USD found ready buyers in London, pushing about 1.5750 but retreated on the reasonable US economic data and the resumption of oil price declines. This left the euro quite flat, near 1.5700.

USD/JPY showed clearer direction than most, ramping up steadily from London morning lows under 106.60 to 107.70 after the US data, but with the Dow fading to an underwhelming 21pt gain, 108.00 proved too tough a nut to crack.

US durable goods increased 0.8% in June – stronger than market expectations of a –0.3% fall and the first monthly gain since July 2007. May orders were also revised higher to 0.1%. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 1.4% following a 0.1% decline in May, while shipments for the same items increased 0.7%. The result has seen some forecasters lift their estimates for Q2 GDP.

US new home sales were stronger than anticipated in June, declining just 0.6% to a 530,000 annualised pace. This followed a revised 1.7% decline in May (previously -2.5%). The market expected a fall of 1.8% in the month.

The final read on the July US University of Michigan consumer confidence survey came in at 61.2, above expectations and stronger than the preliminary reading of 56.6 taken earlier in July. The index was at 56.4 in June. It seems the tax rebates may be giving consumers a bit of a lift, albeit still at low levels.

Japanese consumer price inflation accelerated again. The headline nationwide CPI rose 2.0%yr in June, from 1.3% in May. Ex fresh food and energy, nationwide prices rose 0.1%yr, up from -0.1%. Ex fresh food came in at 1.9%. The Tokyo series for July came in at 1.6%, up from 1.5%. Ex fresh food and energy, Tokyo prices rose 0.3%yr in July, unchanged from May. Ex fresh food came in at 1.6%.

Japanese June corporate services price inflation heading higher on international transport costs. The headline CSPI rose 0.5% in June, to be 1.2% above year ago levels. That compares to domestic corporate goods prices, which rose 0.8% in June to be up 5.6%yr. The main source of services price inflation is the freight industry. Ocean-going freight costs are up 23.3%yr; ship chartering services are up 24.4%yr and international air freight costs rose 5.0% in the month and 7.1%yr.

Euroland money supply growth slowed by more than anticipated in June. M3 growth increased 9.5% compared to June last year – the weakest pace of growth since November 2006. Market expectations were for an increase of 10.3% yr.

UK GDP rose 0.2% in the June quarter, in line with market expectations, and the slowest pace of growth since 2001. GDP grew 1.6% compared to a year ago. The main culprits for the weak growth were a 0.4% decline in manufacturing and a 0.7% decline in construction (the first contraction in more than two years).

We continue to like NZD/USD lower multi week especially on a TWI basis. The RBNZ’s rate cut and dovish statement last week only reinforced our confidence in this view.

Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239
With contributions from Westpac Economics

Upcoming Events
Date Country Release Last Forecast

28 Jul NZ Jun Merchandise Trade NZDmn –196 –170
Aus RBA Assistant Gov Debelle Speaks
US Fedspeak: Mishkin
Jpn Jul Nomura PMI (Tentative Date) 46.5 –
Ger Aug GFK Consumer Confidence 3.9 3.5
29 Jul NZ
Jun Building Consents s.a. –42% –9%
Aus Q2 NAB Business Survey –4 –

US May House Prices %yr –15.3% –17.0%
Jul Consumer Confidence 50.4 51.0
Jpn Jun Unemployment Rate 4.0% 4.0%
Jun Retail Sales %yr 0.3% –0.2%

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• RBNZ OCR Review (24 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 July)
• RBNZ OCR Preview (18 July)
• NZ Q2 CPI Review (15 July)
• NZ Economic Overview July 2008 (14 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 July)

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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