markets were volatile but without any real direction overnight, as they awaited
progress on the revised US bailout
package. The package is expected to be passed by the Senate when they vote
later today, but it was the House of Representatives â€“ due to vote later this
week â€“ where the bailout plan initially stumbled. Short-term interest rates
moved higher as money markets remained effectively shut, but the pressure eased
a little after the Italian government said that it would take steps to protect
bank depositors, and rumours swirled that other countries would do the same. Most
of the major currencies lost ground against the US dollar, led by the euro,
which saw some heavy selling that was credited to a central bank. The New
Zealand dollar was the exception, which benefited
from strong demand against the Australian dollar and actually made outright
gains against the USD. The cross rate rose to 0.8550, its highest level in
nearly six months.
factory ISM falls 6.4 pts to 43.5 in Sep. The factory ISM, after almost a
year of dithering close to the neutral 50 level, posted its steepest one month
collapse in over twenty five years, falling to a level last seen during the
2001 recession. The size of the move was no doubt exaggerated by the
qualitative nature of the survey â€“ i.e. factory bosses will have marked down
their responses because of the flood of bad news emerging from the banking
sector, the stock market and Congress. Even so, the ISM result is consistent
with the recent pessimistic assessment of the economy given by Fed chair Ben
Bernanke, in his â€śgrave threatsâ€ť testimony to Congress last week. The composite
headline was weighed down by an 11 pt fall in production, a 10 pt fall in
orders and 8 pt fall in jobs. Also, the not seasonally adjusted export index â€“
not part of the composite headline â€“ fell more than usual for September,
suggesting that the support for the economy we have recently seen from the
export sector might be starting to falter.
news. Construction spending appears to have stabilised in mid Q3 (flat in
Aug) but this followed a substantial downward revision to July which means that
residential investment in particular will still be a drag on GDP growth. The
ADP private payrolls estimate of a small 8k fall in jobs in September suggests
that job market conditions actually improved last month. We simply do not
believe that given the wide range of other indicators that point to the job
market either as weak or weaker than earlier in Q3.
Q3 Tankan reflects weakening growth, terms of trade drag. The large manufacturing
headline fell sharply to -3 from 5 in Q2. Large non-manufacturing business
conditions fell from 10 to 1. Small firms saw conditions fall by slightly less in
absolute terms, while the experience medium sized firms was on a par with the headlines.
Aug labour earnings figures underline consumer challenge. The headline
cash earnings measure fell 0.3% from a year ago, down from +0.3%yr in July. The
two main drags on the total measure are bonuses (-9.8%yr) and overtime (-1.8%).
Euroland factory PMI was revised down by 0.3 to 45.0 in Sep, confirming that
Euroland industry conditions were deteriorating as the month progressed. Unemployment
rose to 7.5% in Sep, from the low point of 7.2% back in February- March. Retail
sales surprised to the upside in Germany, with a
3.1% jump in Aug.
factory PMI 41.0 in Sep, its lowest since the series began back in
1992, adding to the mountain of evidence that suggests the UK economy is
already in recession. Another report showed that services activity growth in
the three months to July stalled, its second weakest outcome in the history of
that series (which we have back to 1995). The case for a Bank of England rate
cut on October 9 is building daily.
NZâ€™s Q2 GDP
confirmed recession, so we wouldnâ€™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 werenâ€™t ultra-cautious over the cash squeeze into
â€˘ NZ Q3
Employment Confidence Index (1 October)
â€˘ NZ PREFU
Preview (29 September)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (29 September)
â€˘ NZ Q2 GDP
Review (26 September)
â€˘ NZ Q3
Consumer Confidence (24 September)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (22 September)
â€˘ NZ Q2
Current Account Review (19 September)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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