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Monday November 3, 2008 - 19:32:48 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Tuesday 4 November 2008


News and views

FX markets traded in a mostly muted fashion in London/NY, with unusually tight ranges on the DJIA (as of early afternoon NY) not encouraging aggressive positioning. The Oct manufacturing ISM was even worse than consensus of 41.0, at 38.9 (low since 1982) vs Sep’s 43.5 but it had limited impact given the Chicago PMI shocker on Friday clearly warned of downside risks. There were further clear signs of improvement in money markets, with 3mth USD LIBOR fixing another 16bp lower at 2.86%. NZD/USD came under some pressure in the London morning, hitting a low of 0.5813 but it recovered to the mid-0.59 in NY.


AUD/USD still managed a >2 cent range in London (though quiet by recent standards), slipping as low as 0.6643 but recovering to 0.6775 in NY.


EUR/USD started the week in reasonable spirits in the mid-1.28s but had retreated to below 1.2700 by the NY afternoon, undermined by banking sector worries. Commerzbank sought EUR8.2bn in fresh capital from the German government’s rescue fund.


USD/JPY saw some brief nervous selling in early NY, from 99.20 to 98.40, but returned to the 99.00 area, with less inspiration than usual from US equities (DJIA flat in NY lunchtime trade).


US factory ISM falls from 43.5 to 38.9 in Oct. The factory ISM continued its September plunge in October, falling to its lowest since 1982. It is now clearly in recessionary territory not just for the factory sector but for the economy as a whole (i.e. readings sub 44). All the key activity indices were sharply weaker, including exports which posted their first sub 50 reading (i.e. contraction) in nearly six years – consistent with weak trading partner demand and the stronger US dollar. The ISM said that manufacturing appeared to be experiencing significant demand destruction associated with the financial crisis, ongoing hurricane disruption and the lagged impact of prior energy price gains. The latter two of those three should abate now the hurricane season has passed and energy prices have plunged but we suspect they only account for a very small component of the October ISM collapse. Inflationary pressures have similarly dissolved in this survey.


The Euroland factory PMI for October was revised down from 41.3 to 41.1, making that index’s steep decline even steeper.


The European Commission published its latest six monthly forecasts for Euroland, the broader EU and all member economies. The Euroland growth forecast for 2008 was revised down from 1.5% in April to 1.2%, while 2009 was forecast to see the economy shrink 0.1%, which would be the weakest outcome since 1993.


UK factory PMI rises from 41.2 to 41.5 in Oct. In contrast to the other factory surveys noted already, in the UK the sector appeared to stabilise in October after September’s steep fall, but it too remains at very weak levels.



We are neutral NZD/USD short term. To be sure, the NZD is oversold and we expect to see that being unwound into next week. However, if we can push back up to the 0.60/0.62 level, we would be happy to consider selling strength. We see AUD/NZD higher, with scope for 1.18 multi-day, as an improved risk environment encourages unwinding of some of the excessive AUD shorts.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

4 Nov NZ Oct ANZ Commodity Price Index –4.9% –

Aus Melbourne Cup Day (VIC, ACT)

RBA Policy Announcement 6.00% 5.50%

US Sep Factory Orders –4.0% –1.2%

Fedspeak: Fisher

Jpn Sep Cash Earnings %yr 0.1% 0.2%

Eur Sep PPI %yr 8.5% 8.5%

UK Oct PMI Construction 38.8 37.5

5 Nov Aus Sep Dwelling Approvals –3.7% –1.0%

Sep Trade Balance AUDbn 1.364 0.850


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q3 LCI and QES Review (3 November)

• NZ Q3 Labour Market Preview (29 October)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (28 October)

• NZ Q3 CPI Review (21 October)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 October)

• RBNZ OCR Preview (17 October)

• NZ Q3 CPI Preview (14 October)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac

Institutional Bank’s website (




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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