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Monday September 8, 2008 - 22:49:26 GMT
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Forex Blog - Morning Report

Morning Report  Tuesday 9 September 2008


News and views

Investors in London and New York appeared to view the USD sell-off sparked by the Fannie/Freddie takeover as an ideal opportunity to resume buying dollars, at cheaper prices. GBP/USD was among those hardest hit, sinking 4 cents to dip below 1.7500 in NY, with pessimism over the UK and Eurozone economies unchanged. US equities had their expected bounce, the DJIA +265pts in late trade, with financials leading the charge with a couple of exceptions: LEH -12% on bearish analyst notes and of course FNM and FRE both about -85%. Oil prices fit with the USD recovery, NYMEX crude firmly rebuffed after a squeeze through $109/bbl, backing off to the $106/bbl region. NZD/USD returned to Friday’s levels in the low 0.67s from 0.6800 in early London and with a visit to 0.6650 on the way.


AUD/USD surrendered the 0.8300 level in the London morning and tumbled below 0.8080 in NY before steadying to 0.8160.


EUR/USD’s 1.44 handle in Asian trade Monday proved short-lived, with London seeing largely one-way traffic, much of it reportedly Russia rebalancing its FX reserves (having sold USD recently to defend the ruble). By the NY afternoon it had fallen as far as 1.4054 before edging back over 1.4100.


USD/JPY found few takers in a probe above 109.00 and unwound to the 108 area as traders reconsidered the appeal of being long yen crosses.


Dallas Fed’s Fisher commented that the rescue package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came after Fed examiners determined that the agencies’ capital was too low and of poor quality. On the economy, he retained his hawkish tone, saying that recent evidence of price pass-through was “disturbing”, and questioning whether businesses will pass on recent falls in oil and other commodity prices.


Japanese bank lending growth steady in August. Headline growth was unchanged at 1.8%yr, while the ex-trust bank measure was steady at 2.0%yr. The core (ex securitisations and write-offs) decelerated a touch to 2.4%yr. We feel that bank credit will remain around these levels for a few months on working capital demands, before decelerating on softer capex demand. The economy watchers survey was also out today. It underscores the pessimism gripping Japan’s decision making community.


Euroland Sentix investor confidence falls from 15 to 20 in Sep. This was exactly in line with Westpac’s forecast and reflects investor angst about a range of factors, including looming recession, a conservative central bank and problems with Russia.


UK producer prices have peaked and are now falling. The August PPI saw falls across the board, for input, output and core output prices, pulling the various annual rates down sharply. This should give the Bank of England some confidence that upside risks to inflation are receding, and adds to the case for a near-term rate cut.


Canadian building permits rose 1.8% in July, following a 5.3% drop in June. This is a volatile series from month to month, but the number of permits has held up surprisingly well since the 17% surge in April.



We are broadly neutral NZD/USD but bearish NZD vs AUD ahead of the expected RBNZ rate cut on Thursday. The 0.6650 area should remain support for NZD/USD.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Aug NAB Business Survey –5 –

Jul Housing Finance –3.7% 1.5%

Jul Retail Sales %mth –1.0% 0.4%

US Jul Pending Home Sales 5.3% –2.5%

Sep IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism 42.8 44.0

Jul Wholesale Inventories 1.1% 0.5%

UK Aug BRC Retail Survey %yr –0.9% –

Aug RICS House Prices net bal % –83.9% –85.0%

Jul Industrial Production –0.2% –0.3%

Can Aug Housing Starts –13.6% 4.0%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Agribiz September 2008 (8 September)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (8 September)

• RBNZ MPS Preview (5 September)

• Long-life milk (5 September)

• Nation building (4 September)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (1 September)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (25 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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