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Sunday September 28, 2008 - 19:36:14 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Monday 29 September 2008


News and views

USD Index was whippy in London/NY and finally little changed as markets watched ongoing inconclusive headlines about the financial rescue package. The S&P 500 rose a modest 0.3%, the DJIA +1.1%. Financials were very mixed, including investors approving of JP Morgan’s deal for WaMu deposits (+11%) but worrying over Wachovia (-27%, lower again in after market). NZD/USD squeezed up to a 0.6901 high in NY but spent most of its time in the mid-0.68s, closing the week at 0.6860.


AUD/USD came under pressure in London, touching a low of 0.8240 but rebounded to as high as 0.8380, closing at 0.8310.


EUR/USD traded about a one cent range, closing in the middle of it, at 1.4610. There were concerns over European banks, especially Belgium’s Fortis, which replaced its CEO, but the main focus was the US.


USD/JPY was livelier than most, bouncing sharply from its early NY low at 105.03 to finish at 106.00 as equities closed just about on their highs, having opened in negative territory.


US GDP growth was revised down from 3.3% annualised to 2.8% in Q2, mainly due to a lower estimate for consumer spending on services. There were other modest downgrades to the estimates for business investment in plant & equipment and exports, although investment in structures was revised higher. Also the core PCE deflator was revised up slightly from 2.1% to 2.2% annualised.


US Uni of Michigan sentiment revised from 73.1 to 70.3. Some of the early September jump in consumer sentiment was revised away in the final UoM report, mostly likely in response to the temporary jump in gasoline prices mid month (hence the higher inflation expectations) and media focus on the latest round of banking sector woes and the consequent ”grave threats” to the broader economy.


Japanese consumer prices surprise on the upside. The nationwide headline decelerated slightly to 2.1%yr in August from 2.3% in July. The ex fresh food measure rose 2.4%yr and the ex fresh food and energy index was flat. For Tokyo, the September series rose 1.4% on headline, 1.7%yr ex fresh food and 0.5%yr ex fresh food and energy. The latter outcome compares to a 0.2% pace in August.


German inflation continued to subside in September, falling from 3.1% yr to 2.9% yr, reflecting the decline in energy and more recently food prices over the past couple of months. Also, in August, import price inflation remained steady at 9.3% yr, not declining because the lower euro provided some offset to the lower US$ cost of imported commodities.



NZ’s Q2 GDP confirmed recession, so we wouldn’t get too upbeat despite beating consensus. AUD/NZD remains a buy on dips, targeting 1.25, where it would probably be already if active accounts weren’t ultra-cautious over the cash squeeze into quarter end.


Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239

With contributions from Westpac Economics


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q2 GDP Review (26 September)

• 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)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac

Institutional Bank’s website (


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Aug Merchandise Trade NZDm –781 –900

US Aug Core PCE Deflator 0.3% 0.2%

Aug Personal Spending 0.2% 0.1%

Aug Personal Income –0.7% –0.2%

Jpn Aug Retail Sales %yr 2.0% 0.2%

Eur Sep Retail PMI 47.7 –

Sep Business Climate Index –0.33 –0.50

Sep Consumer Confidence –19 –20

Sep Economic Confidence 88.8 87.5

UK Aug Net Consumer Credit £bn 1.1 1.0

Aug Net Mortgage Lending £bn 3.2 3.0




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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