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Sunday August 17, 2008 - 21:35:04 GMT
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FX Blog - Morning Report

Morning Report  Monday 18 August 2008

News and views
An extension of the rout in (most) commodities plus unthreatening US economic data helped USD consolidate its London morning gains, albeit in sometimes whippy trade. Hedges against a weak dollar were further unwound, including platinum -8%, silver -10% while gold steadied after a dip as low as $773/oz. NYMEX oil fell as low as $111.34/bbl but bounced late to close little changed vs late Asia at $113.77. Equities posted modest gains. The New Zealand dollar was a clear out-performer, aided by unwinding of AUD/NZD longs, gaining a full cent to 0.7062.

The Australian dollar hit its lows in the London morning and in rollercoaster trade, gained about 30-40 pips to 0.8662 at the NY close.

EUR/USD resumed its decline, trading as low as 1.4659, its weakest point since 20 February.

USD/JPY was utterly range-bound in the mid-110s after its 75 pip rally in Asia- Pacific trade Friday.

US NY Fed index 3.8 in Aug. The NY Fed index headline question on business activity posted an 8 pt gain to its highest since January this month but the detail in the report painted a weaker story, with new orders falling 11 pts and shipments down 14 pts (and both turning negative). Employment rose 2 pts but remained in negative territory. The only obvious bright spot was the jump in the six month view on activity but this part of the survey is typically volatile with little demonstrated predictive value. The out-performance of the business activity responses might reflect factory bosses’ optimism that lower gasoline prices will help the economy.

US UoM consumer sentiment rises from 61.2 to 61.7 in Aug, building only slightly upon its solid July bounce, though the breakdown showed expectations rising at the expense of current sentiment. Even with the last two monthly gains, this confidence measure is still below where it was in the 1990s recession and close to the lows of the early 1980s slump. In August, inflation expectations fell sharply, although it was the turn of one-year out expectations this month, after longer term expectations fell in July.

US industrial production rose 0.2% in July, and manufacturing was even
stronger at 0.4%, boosted by a further rise in auto output which might still be
related to the end of the strike in late May which had impacted on GM. Auto
output strength is unlikely to be sustainable given the weak state of sales.
Business equipment output also picked up in July, though we expect this is more
likely a reflection of export demand rather than domestic spending strength.

US TIC data showed lower long term capital flows into the US in June, due to net selling of stocks and lower bond purchases. This was in June when the US dollar was still under pressure; in July the dollar stabilised and in August it strengthened rapidly, so the next few months of TIC data should provide interesting (though backward looking) insight into what flows drove that appreciation.

Canadian manufacturing shipments up 2.1% in Jun. Another solid looking rise in shipments although once again it is mostly due to higher prices rather than volumes. Auto sales were a little softer than StatCan’s guidance for “relatively unchanged” in June, falling 1%. Their guidance this month for July is once again for “relatively unchanged” sales.

Outlook
NZD could be range-bound near term, with a quiet domestic calendar and some help from trimming of NZD shorts after recent NZ data fell short of the gloomiest scenarios.

Upcoming Events
Date Country Release Last Forecast

18 Aug US Aug NAHB Housing Market Index 16 15
Eur Jun Trade Balance €bn sa –1.5 0.5

UK Aug Rightmove House Prices %yr -2.0% –
19 Aug NZ Q2 Producer Output Prices 1.8% 2.7%
Q2 Producer Input Prices 2.3% 4.0%
Aus Aug RBA Board Meeting Minutes – –
Jul Merchandise Imports, AUDbn 17.5 –

US Jul Producer Prices 1.8% 0.2%
Jul PPI Core 0.2% 0.1%

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Q2 Retail Sales Review (15 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (11 August)
• NZ Q2 HLFS Review (7 August)
• NZ Q2 Wage Review (4 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (4 August)
• The coming employment downturn (30 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (28 July)

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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