sell-off in US equities helped DXY produce a modest gain (about 0.5%) in London/NY
Friday in uncertain, illiquid trade. Woeful US economic
data (housing starts, consumer sentiment) had surprisingly little impact but of
course adds to underlying concern over the economyâ€™s prospects even once money
markets thaw. Hedge fund failures were in the news again with the Telegraph
(UK) reporting that Londonâ€™s Gradient
Capital Partners (European equities) is -63% YTD, â€śon the brink of collapse.â€ť
The DJIA traded a 560 point range, closing on the lower side of it, -127pts, -1.4%
but the S&P 500 fell only 0.6%. NZD/USD dipped as
low as 0.6077 in London and rose as
high as 0.6202 in NY, finishing at 0.6120, again taking its cue from risk sentiment
as proxied by the Dow.
â€“ 0.7008 range (closing 0.6890) was modest by recent standards. The McCrann
article playing down prospects of an RBA Nov cut stirred plenty of interest in
AUD money markets. â€śPreciousâ€ť metals fell as the US dollar rose but most base
metals posted good gains on the LME.
direction, chopping around in the 1.3400s with only a few brief forays below
the figure. European equities posted strong gains e.g. Euro Stoxx 50 +4.5%
despite tension ahead of INGâ€™s profit results (its shares fell 27%).
around the low 100.60s in London but rallied
to 101.70 at the NY close, less blatantly fixated with equities than usual.
housing starts down 6.3% in Sep. Housing starts and permits continued to
slump in September, despite the unwind of the distortion caused by the July 1 building
code change in New York now being mostly complete. That distortion saw multiple
starts and permits pulled forward from Q3 into June and subsequently fall away
sharply in July and August. But in September, multiple starts actually rose 7.5%
(including a 70% rebound in the north-east). However single family starts, unaffected
by the distortion, fell 12.0%, their steepest monthly decline since they plunged
13.9% in January 2007. Single family permits fell by just less than 4% but at
532k annualised remain below single family starts on 544k annualised so there
is no indication there that starts are about to rebound. The bottom line is
that the new housing market is continuing to sink.
consumer sentiment reversed almost all of the gains of the prior
three months in October, by plunging about 13 pts â€“ its steepest one month fall
for decades. It is clear that the message from policy-makers is getting through
â€“ the US economy is
sliding into recession, corporate failures will follow bank failures and unemployment
will rise sharply.
tertiary activity contracted in August. The year-ended pace has collapsed
from +0.7% to -2.3%. Focusing on year-ended outcomes by sector, we note that
transport has been hammered by the rise in fuel prices (-3.2%), wholesale and
retail are struggling to attract consumers in an environment of declining real incomes
(-1.4%), while externally related sections of the financial system are showing
major slowdowns (securities brokerage -45.3%, FX clearing -24.9%). Real estate
has kept its head above water, but even here they are major pockets of weakness
(condominiums -18.9%). Topping things off, business services are down 1.3%.
trade deficit â‚¬6.1bn in Aug. The record trade deficit in July was followed
by another sizeable deficit in August. The deficit should narrow further as
lower oil prices cut into import values, but full year 2008 is likely to record
a modest overall deficit.
cash rate cut we expect from the RBNZ on Thursday should help limit the scope
of any NZD/USD rallies. At the margin, the lack of long NZD longs to be unwound
still helps the currency versus AUD during risk aversion surges and vice versa.
â€˘ RBNZ OCR
Preview (17 October)
â€˘ NZ Q3 CPI
Preview (14 October)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (14 October)
â€˘ Big bang
vs creationism (13 October)
â€˘ NZ Q3 QSBO
Review (7 October)
â€˘ NZ PREFU
Review (6 October)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (6 October)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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