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Tuesday September 9, 2008 - 20:43:33 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Wednesday 10 September 2008


News and views

Concerns 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 Lehmans’ ratings “on CreditWatch with negative implications”. Korea’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.


AUD/USD squeezed 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


EUR/USD around 1.4200, sending the pair back to 1.4125. Heightened risk aversion drove


USD/JPY down a full yen to 107.00.


US 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.


US 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 “cannibalise” 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.


UK 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 week’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.


Canadian 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 June’s weak number. In annual terms, starts are down 8.7% yr, so it is still fair to describe Canadian housing as being in a downtrend.



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.


Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239

With contributions from Westpac Economics


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

10 Sep NZ Q2 Terms of Trade 4.1% –3.4%

Aus Sep Westpac-MI Consumer Sent 86.2 –

Jpn Aug Corp. Goods Prices %yr 7.1% 7.2%

Jul Current Account ¥bn 1291 1350

Jul Leading Index 91.3 91.9

UK Jul Global Visible Trade £bn –7.7 –7.5

Can Q2 Labour Productivity –0.3% 0.3%

11 Sep NZ RBNZ MPS 8.00% 7.75%

Aug Food Prices 0.6% –

Aus Aug Employ/Unemploy 10.9k/4.3% 10k/4.3%


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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