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Monday September 15, 2008 - 21:15:23 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Tuesday 16 September 2008


News and views

USD Index rallied into the NY morning with hopes for an emergency Fed cut to restore confidence to turbulent financial markets and NYMEX oil sinking below $95/bbl. But there was no rate cut and instead the dollar trimmed gains on subconsensus readings on the Sep NY Fed manufacturing index and Aug industrial production. DJIA sank early and got worse, sitting -400pts late, with financials (except newly bought MER) particularly weak. Much speculation surrounds AIG’s capital needs, with reports that the government has asked Goldmans and JPM to lead a lending facility for it. NZD/USD sank from a high of 0.6710 in early London to as low as 0.6535, struggling back to 0.6590.


AUD/USD fell heavily in the London morning as risk aversion soared, AUD/JPY tumbling 2.5 yen to 84.50 at one point. AUD/USD hit a low of 0.8012 before finally finding some buyers, trading around 0.8080 late NY.


EUR/USD suffered from rumours of an emergency rate cut from the ECB and sliding oil prices, trading a very wide range, from 1.4450 in very early London to a 1.4085 low. But the pair recovered to 1.4300 into the NY close.


The financial turbulence sent USD/JPY as low as 104.53, from where it rebounded to 106 but then faded back below 105.00 as DJIA losses exceeded 400pts.


US NY Fed index falls from +3 to –7 in Sep. The Empire State index headline fell sharply this month but some of the detail in the report - as often happens - contrasted with the soft outcome. Orders rose 6 points, shipments turned slightly positive and jobs were about unchanged. The prices measures were sharply lower (paid fell from 65 to 45), reflecting the recent slump in energy and other commodity prices.


US industrial production down 1.1% in Aug, its steepest fall since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; prior to Katrina, you have to go back to 1990 to see a steeper monthly decline in output. The main reason for the plunge was a 12% fall in auto output, compounded by a further decline in utilities output. But even excluding these factors, manufacturing ex autos fell 0.3%, its fourth fall in five months. There was particular weakness in consumer goods, business equipment, business supplies, defence, construction supplies and energy. In fact only one market group – information processing – recorded a gain, up 0.2%. All the major totals are now in negative territory compared to this time last year: total IP –1.5% yr; manufacturing –1.9% yr; and manufacturing ex autos –0.6% yr. All up a very weak report which, in contrast to the national ISM factory survey, suggests the industrial sector is in recession. Hopes that situation would be averted by export resilience are being dashed by weakness in the US’s major western trading partners and recent US dollar appreciation.


Euroland labour costs growth slowed sharply from 3.5% yr to 2.7% yr in the second quarter, despite the job market remaining relatively tight in the first half of the year. Taken at face value, these figures should be of comfort to the European Central Bank, which has expressed concern that wages growth might be incorporating indexation of the recent spike in inflation. That said, they will be suspicious of the extent of the pull-back and will be looking for possible one-off but reversible factors that might explain it.


Canadian auto sales were a little softer than StatCan’s guidance for “relatively unchanged” in July, falling nearly 1%. Their guidance this month for August is for “further decline” in sales, particularly of passenger cars.



The RBNZ’s choice of -50bp over -25bp last week reinforces our preference for long AUD/NZD but NZD/USD looks more mixed near term, prone to US-driven volatility.


Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239

With contributions from Westpac Economics


62.52 -0.66

Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Sep RBA Board Meeting Minutes

US Aug Consumer Price Index/Core 0.8%/0.3% –0.2%/0.2%

Jul TIC Data $bn 51.1 40.0

Sep NAHB Housing Market Index 16 15

FOMC Meeting 2.00% 2.00%

Eur Aug CPI %yr (F) 3.8%a 3.8%

Ger Sep ZEW Analysts’ Survey –55.5 –53.0

UK Aug CPI %yr 4.4% 4.8%

Jul DCLG house prices %yr 0.6% –2.1%

Can Jul Manufacturing Shipments 2.1% 0.8%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (15 September)

• Q2 Current Account Preview (12 September)

• RBNZ MPS Review (11 September)

• NZ Q2 Terms of Trade (10 September)

• NZ Agribiz September 2008 (8 September)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (8 September)

• RBNZ MPS Preview (5 September)

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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