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Thursday September 25, 2008 - 21:05:51 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Friday 26 September 2008


News and views

The sharp equity rally on optimism over a deal on the bailout package by Monday helped USD post moderate gains despite dismal US economic data. Lawmakers left a bipartisan meeting offering no details but confident that they had a plan that would pass House and Senate. The DJIA opened firmly and held its gains to around 180pts in late trade. This came despite worse than consensus reading on jobless claims (493K), Aug durable goods orders (-4.5%) and new home sales (-11.5%). Money markets remained very tight. Despite the improved risk environment (at least for equities), NZD/USD lost about 50 pips to 0.6830 in late NY.


AUD/USD traded to its 0.8427 high after the US durable goods and claims data but eased to 0.8355 amid broad USD demand.


EUR/USD generally trended lower as US equity sentiment improved, losingabout a cent to the low 1.4600s. Its NY high of around 1.4735 printed soon after the woeful US housing data.


USD/JPY rallied as far as 107.02 from 105.80 in early NY on optimism over the bailout plan and its implications for equities. The pair retreated to 106.30-40 however asmoney markets showed no signs of improvement and equities cooled a little.


US new home sales fall 11.5% in Aug, to a new cycle low of 460k annualised, compared to the July 2005 peak of 1389k: that’s a fall of exactly two thirds or 67% over the past three years. In August, the declines were steepest in the West (–36.1%) which provides some support for our view that new home sales are being cannibalized by existing home sales. In the West, S&P-Case Shiller have reported established house price declines of as much as 30% yr, which builders simply can’t compete with, so potential new home buyers are instead snapping up pre-loved bargains. Hence existing home sales bottomed out nearly a year ago, whereas the downtrend in new home sales remains as steep as ever.


US durable goods orders fell 4.5% in Aug, their first decline since April, driven lower by sharply weaker Boeing foreign demand; and autos, which slumped 8.1% in the month. But even excluding transport, orders were soft, with the core capital goods component reversing all of the prior two months’ gains in August. Defence orders, up 9.4%, actually flattered the report to some extent. There have been grounds to suspect that recent resilience in orders (i.e. prior to August) reflected strength of demand from outside the United States; if that is correct then the support for the economy that we have seen from solid net export growth in recent quarters might now be dissipating.


US initial jobless claims jumped 32k to 493k last week but the Labor Dept attributed some of that increase to dislocation caused by Hurricane Ike. Together, Gustav a few weeks back and more recently Ike accounted for about 50k claims spread over recent weeks. But even without that weather impact, there has been an underlying trend higher in initial claims which suggests that the monthly job statistics will soon be painting a more depressed picture of labour market conditions.


Japanese corporate service prices dip in Aug. The corporate services price index (CSPI) slipped 0.4%mth but base effects saw the annual pace edge up to 1.4%yr from 1.3%yr.


Euroland money supply growth continued to decelerate in Aug, to 8.8% yr, as did the pace of growth of bank loans to households and businesses, down from 9.4% yr to 8.8% yr. In Nov last year, M3 growth peaked at 12.3% yr, so there has been a significant unwind of the upside risk to inflation that the European Central Bank attributes to rapid money supply growth. In other news German GfK consumer confidence edged up from 1.6 to 1.8 in October (actually surveyed early September, so prior to the latest financial market turmoil). That compares to a reading of 6.7 a year ago.



NZ’s Q2 GDP data today are in close focus despite the lack of timeliness. Ahead of the release we are inclined to sell NZD/USD especially with dairy prices slammed by the Chinese milk scandal. AUD/NZD remains a buy on dips, targeting 1.25.


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q3 Consumer Confidence (24 September)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (22 September)

• NZ Q2 Current Account Review (19 September)

• NZ Q2 GDP Preview (18 September)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (15 September)

• Q2 Current Account Preview (12 September)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac

Institutional Bank’s website (


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

26 Sep NZ Q2 GDP %qtr –0.3% –0.7%

US Q2 GDP Revision (F) 3.3% 3.3%

Sep UoM Consumer Sent (F) 73.1 70.0

Fedspeak: Bullard

Jpn Aug National CPI %yr 2.3% 2.1%

Sep Tokyo CPI %yr 1.3% 1.2%

Ger Sep CPI %yr 3.1% 2.9%

Sep 28 NZ Daylight Savings begins – clocks go forward 1 hour

Sep 29 NZ Aug Merchandise Trade NZDm –781 –900

US Aug Personal Income –0.7% 0.3%

Aug Personal Spending 0.2% 0.1%




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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