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Tuesday August 26, 2008 - 23:12:14 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report Wednesday 27 August 2008

Morning Report  Wednesday 27 August 2008

USD surged on poor German data but trimmed its gains thereafter as oil prices rose and US data were mixed. While US Aug consumer confidence beat consensus, the -15.9% y/y print on June house prices was near expectations and the 515K for new home sales weaker than forecast. NYMEX crude oil dipped below $113/bbl at one point but rallied to sit around $116/bbl in late NY as oil workers began to be evacuated from the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Gustav builds strength. US equities posted minimal gains. The New Zealand dollar largely ignored broad USD movement, chopping around 0.6900/40 in London before rallying above 0.6970 on macro account buying.

AUD/USD lost about 25 pips in IFO-related collateral damage but was about flat in the end, sitting at 0.8550 near the NY close.

EUR/USD sank a full cent to 1.4600 on Germany’s Aug IFO survey of business sentiment sank to 94.8 from 97.5 vs consensus of 97.2. Buyers emerged below 1.4600 however (low 1.4570) as the pair recovered to 1.4540/50.

USD/JPY was little changed overall at 109.60 late NY but did see a short-lived dip to 109.15.

 The minutes of the 5 Aug FOMC meeting showed that members generally agreed that the next move in interest rates would be up, but the timing would depend on economic and financial market developments. As noted in the 5 Aug statement, there was “significant concern” about inflation, with some members concerned that ‘core’ inflation may not moderate in 2009 as hoped. However, many officials were also concerned about the potential for more market turmoil, especially in light of the mortgage agencies’ recent woes. The statement points to more tough talk on inflation from the Fed, but no action in the near future.

US consumer confidence rose to 56.9 in Aug, steering well clear of the 50.9 low in June and the 47.3 low recorded in the 1991/92 recession. With gasoline prices falling sharply in the last month, expectations of inflation a year ahead fell from 7.5% to 6.7%. These figures reinforce the idea that recent consumer woes are the result of a cost shock – largely driven by oil prices – which has seen confidence slump but actual spending hold up. Within the detail of the survey, the jobs sentiment net balance continued to slide, consistent with a further upswing in the unemployment rate.

US new home sales rose 2.4% in July, beating forecasts for a fall, though downward revisions to previous months meant that the level of sales was still lower than expected. The continued slide in sales and the backlog of unsold homes reinforces the gloomy outlook for homebuilders. Separately, the Case-Shiller measure of US house prices fell 15.9% in the year to June, though the pace of the monthly declines has slowed significantly in the last three months.

US Richmond Fed index was unchanged at -16 in July, against expectations of a rise and bucking the trend of improvements in other regional manufacturing surveys.

Japanese corporate services prices unchanged at 1.3%yr in July. The monthly change was -0.1%, driven by a sharp fall in ship chartering services (-9.8%). This item has been one of the major inflationary sources in the year-to-date.

German GDP growth was confirmed at -0.5% in Q2, following the outsized 1.3% rise in Q1. The details showed domestic demand down 1.0% due to weak consumption, plunging investment and only a small contribution from government. The trade balance made a positive contribution, but only through a sharp drop in real imports.

German Ifo survey was weaker again in Aug, falling from 97.5 to 94.8. Both current conditions and expectations were softer, and the fall was widespread across sectors.

NZD/USD should keep finding buyers on dips but we like AUD/NZD as local markets count down to the expected RBNZ rate cut on 11 Sep.

Upcoming Events
Date Country Release Last Forecast

27 Aug NZ Aug NBNZ Bus Confidence –43.2% –
Aus Q2 Construction Work Done 2.3% 2.3%
US Jul Durable Goods Orders 0.8% 0.5%
Fedspeak: Lockhart
Ger Jul Import Prices 1.5% 0.5%
28 Aug Aus Q2 CAPEX –2.5% 2.0%
2008/09 CAPEX Intents, AUDbn 84.8 –

US Q2 GDP (Prelim) % ann’lsd 1.9%a 3.0%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 23/8 432k 425k
Eur Aug Retail PMI 46.0 –

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (25 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (18 August)
• 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)

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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