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.
to its 0.8427 high after the US durable
goods and claims data but eased to 0.8355 amid broad USD demand.
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
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.
home sales fall 11.5% in Aug, to a new cycle low of 460k annualised, compared
to the July 2005 peak of 1389k: thatâ€™s a fall of exactly two thirds or 67% over
the past three years. In August, the declines were steepest in the West (â€“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
canâ€™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.
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 monthsâ€™ 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.
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.
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.
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.
NZâ€™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.
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)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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