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Wednesday November 5, 2008 - 19:30:36 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 6 November 2008


News and views

USD jagged lower in thin London/NY trade, with apparent gloom over Friday’s US employment report, including some forecasts being revised to -300K on NFP. The DJIA opened weaker and extended losses into the NY afternoon, with sentiment not helped by below-consensus readings on both Oct ADP private employment (-157K)

and non-manufacturing ISM (44.4). The latter is the lowest in the series’ 11 year history, highlighting the state of the economy inherited by President-elect Obama. US yields pressed firmly lower, with Eurodollars finding extra fuel in the poor data and the USD LIBOR looking healthier again, the 3mth dropping a further 20bp to 2.51%. NZD/USD traded 0.5952 – 0.6106, sitting in the middle of that range in the NY afternoon.


AUD/USD showed a notable lack of interest in the fortunes of the US equity market, instead chopping around 0.6850 to 0.7000 or thereabouts, with no clear direction. Commodities were mixed.


EUR/USD survived poor Eurozone PMI data, gaining >1.5 cents from early London to the NY afternoon, with talk swirling of sovereign accounts dumping dollars.


USD/JPY sold off as US equities appeared on track for their weakest performance in about 8 sessions, dipping to a low of 98.26 then wandering around 99.00.


US non-factory ISM plunges from 50.2 to 44.4 in Oct to its lowest since the survey’s inception in 1997. This provides yet more evidence that the modest contraction in economic growth reported for Q3 will deepen in Q4. The breakdown shows weakness across activity, orders and jobs, and matches the depressed picture from all the other national and regional business surveys released over the past month or so.


US ADP private payrolls down 157k in Oct. The sharp fall in the ADP measure of private payrolls for October represents a serious downturn in this particular jobs indicator. Recently, ADP has on average reported a change in non-government jobs about 100k higher than the official BLS private payroll estimate. If that relationship were to hold in Friday’s report, October payrolls might be expected to fall by around 230k (–260k for private payrolls plus about 30k for government jobs which rarely fall). Certainly, the sharply weaker readings for both factory and non-factory ISM jobs, and the sharp deterioration in labour market confidence reported by the Conference Board last week, suggest there is downside risk to our forecast payrolls decline of 200k in October.


The Euroland services PMI was revised down by a steep 1.1 pts to 45.8 in Oct, indicating an even weaker start to services sector activity in Q4, following Q3’s consistently sluggish outcomes. This is a solid signal that probable negative Q3 GDP growth (to be reported November 14) will be followed by a further contraction in the current quarter. Also, retail sales, already sluggish, lost more momentum in September, falling 0.2% to be down 1.6% yr.


UK services PMI slumped to 42.4 in Oct, its lowest in the twelve year history of the series. Along with very weak factory and construction PMIs, this confirms that the UK recession is deepening. The sharp contraction in manufacturing output at the end of Q3 (down 0.8% in Sep) is further evidence of that. On the plus side, there was a surprise recovery in consumer confidence in October (the Nationwide index rose from 51 to 55), which we put down to the Bank of England rate cut, lower petrol prices and a sense that the government plan to bolster the banking sector might be working. A further fall in the BRC shop price index, mainly due to food prices, confirms that the CPI probably peaked in September, with inflation now likely to fall sharply over the next year.



We are neutral NZD/USD short term. With NZD/USD now probing the 0.60/0.62 area we have been awaiting, we are tempted to sell into this 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.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Q3 Employment/Unemploy 1.2%/3.9% 0.0%/4.1%

Aus Oct Employment/Unemploy 2.2k/4.3% –10k/4.5%

US Q3 Productivity % ann’lsd 4.3% 0.8%

Q3 Unit Labour Costs –0.5% –1.0%

Initial Jobless Claims w/e 8/11 479k 480k

Jpn Oct Bank of Japan Minutes

Sep Leading Index 89.0 89.2

Eur ECB Repo Rate Decision 3.75% 3.25%

Ger Sep Factory Orders 3.6% –4.0%

UK BoE Repo Rate Decision 4.50% 4.00%

Can Sep Building Permits –13.5% –1.5%

Oct Ivey PMI nsa 61.0 55.0


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (4 November)

• 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)

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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