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Wednesday August 27, 2008 - 22:30:08 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Thursday 28 August 2008

News and views
Hawkish ECB commentary knocked USD lower in London before the dollar was rescued by a stronger than expected read on US July durable goods orders, which saw DXY gain as much as 0.7% from its lows before cooling slightly in late NY. DGOs rose firmly in July plus June was revised higher. US equities took heart from this report too, along with Pimco’s plans for a $5bn distressed debt fund and reports of improved profitability on new loans at the GSEs. Oil prices were volatile but clearly higher near the NY close. The New Zealand dollar was little changed overall, gyrating in a 0.6970 – 0.7047 range, drifting into the local session around 0.7010.

AUD/USD followed the broad USD trend, grinding up to a high of 0.8639 in London, reversing to as low as 0.8533 and bouncing once more to the 0.8585 area.

ECB hawk Weber declared that it is premature to talk of lower interest rates in the Eurozone and judged rates to be still on the accommodative side. EUR/USD rose about 50 pips to its 1.4777 high before the US data knocked it lower. Firmer equities put a bid tone under USD/JPY from a London low of 108.70 to 109.50/60 in late NY, with about 50 pips of the gains coming on the durable goods data.

US durable goods orders surged 1.3% in July, bucking expectations of a reversal of the 0.8% June gain (which was revised even higher to 1.3%). The highlights were a continued rise in vehicle assemblies following the end of the auto workers’ strike in late May and a rise in plane orders for Boeing, but the ex-transport measure also recorded a solid 0.7% gain following a 2.4% rise in June. These figures are consistent with our view that the second estimate of Q2 GDP (published tonight) will be revised from 1.9% to 3.0% annualised.

Preliminary German inflation figures slowed from 3.3% yr to 3.1% yr in August, slightly lower than market forecasts. There was no breakdown of the numbers, but state data indicated that lower energy prices were the main factor behind the decline. The headline inflation rate has likely peaked, particularly as there will be some large monthly reads dropping out of the annual calculations from October.

ECB officials, however, showed no sign of easing up on their hawkish rhetoric as they returned from their summer recess, with Germany’s Weber, Greece’s Papademos and Italy’s Bini Smaghi all warning of the risks of a wage-price spiral. Markets paid the most attention to Weber, who said that talk of rate  cuts in Europe is premature, and that if the economic outlook improves towards the end of the year as he expects, the ECB would have to consider further tightening. Concerns about a wage-price spiral were highlighted by stories that Germany’s IG Metall Union will push for wage increases of 7-8% for its 3.6 million members.

The sharp improvement in NZ business confidence in August adds to the expectation that short NZD positions will keep being trimmed, though investors are unlikely to take large new positions as local markets count down to the expected RBNZ rate cut on 11 Sep.

Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239
With contributions from Westpac Economics

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Q2 CAPEX –2.5% 2.0%
2008/09 CAPEX Intentions, AUDbn 84.8 –

US Q2 GDP (Prelim) % ann’lsd 1.9%a 3.0%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 23/8 432k 425k
Eur Jul M3 %yr 9.5% 9.2%
Aug Retail PMI 46.0 –
Ger Aug CPI (Prelim) %yr 3.5% 3.2%

UK Aug CBI Retail Survey –36 –
Aug House Prices %yr –8.1% –10.0%
Can Q2 Current Account C$bn 5.6 8.0

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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