over US financial sector stability returned to the fore, with FX markets particularly
skittish over a stream of headlines regarding Lehman Brothers. USD was volatile
but weaker overall as financials led the DJIA to a 235pt decline in latetrade.
LEH shares were down a stunning 44% at this stage, after news including ratings
agency S&P saying it was placing Lehmansâ€™ ratings â€śon CreditWatch with
negative implicationsâ€ť. Koreaâ€™s KDB is
reportedly no longer considering investing in Lehmans. AIG was also hit hard on
fears of further writedowns. USD found some late support from an acceleration
in oil price losses to the mid- $102s/bbl, a 5 month low. NZD outperformed
AUD, trimming AUD/NZD from above 1.2100 to near 1.2000 as NZD/USD rallied as
far as 0.6790 before backing off to 0.6690 in late NY.
up to its 0.8178 high in the London morning but
retreated to below 0.8050 in late NY as broad USD sentiment improved. A range
of European investors sold into
1.4200, sending the pair back to 1.4125. Heightened risk aversion drove
a full yen to 107.00.
economic optimism rises from 42.8 to 45.8 in Sep. Consumer
optimism continued to improve according to the early September survey by
IBD-TIPP. The economic outlook component jumped nearly 6 pts, personal
financial outlook was up 3 pts, while the federal policy assessment was up less
than 1 pt. Lower gasoline prices would have a big factor behind the second
consecutive monthly gain in this series from its all time low.
pending existing home sales down 3.2% in July, reversing
only part of their June gain, leaving in place a mild up-trend from their
lowpoint back in March. This adds weight to our view that sales of established
dwellings are starting to â€ścannibaliseâ€ť new home sales, as falling prices makes
new building uncompetitive. Also, a 1.4% jump in wholesale inventories in July
represents a decent start to inventory building in Q3. It was a real gain, led
by durables including autos and machinery, not just a gain due to rising energy
prices which were actually neutral in July.
data was weak across the board. The BRC retail survey showed sales falling
further last month; surveyors remain pessimistic about house prices and said
that they valued the fewest number of houses (average per surveyor) since 1978
when the survey started, reflecting the near 75% drop in new mortgage approvals
over the past year; and manufacturing output posted its fifth consecutive
monthly decline, the longest string of negative since 2001. Factory output was
down 1.4% yr in July. The case for a Bank of England rate cut continues to
build, though next weekâ€™s August inflation report, which we expect to show the
CPI jumping from 4.4% yr to 4.8% yr, may see the BoE hold off for yet another
month in October.
housing starts jumped 13.1% in July, reversing their 13.6% fall in June, mainly
due to volatility in the multiple family dwelling component, although poor
weather had also played a part in Juneâ€™s weak number. In annual terms, starts
are down 8.7% yr, so it is still fair to describe Canadian housing as being in
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.
Strategy, 0800 922 239
contributions from Westpac Economics
Country Release Last Forecast
10 Sep NZ Q2
Terms of Trade 4.1% â€“3.4%
Westpac-MI Consumer Sent 86.2 â€“
Corp. Goods Prices %yr 7.1% 7.2%
Account ÂĄbn 1291 1350
Index 91.3 91.9
Global Visible Trade ÂŁbn â€“7.7 â€“7.5
Labour Productivity â€“0.3% 0.3%
11 Sep NZ
RBNZ MPS 8.00% 7.75%
Prices 0.6% â€“
Employ/Unemploy 10.9k/4.3% 10k/4.3%
â€˘ NZ Agribiz
September 2008 (8 September)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (8 September)
â€˘ RBNZ MPS
Preview (5 September)
milk (5 September)
building (4 September)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (1 September)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (25 August)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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