It was one-way traffic in US equity markets, the DJIA sliding >400pts in afternoon
NYSE trade, stoking the safe haven/ repatriation bid for USD. Equity volatility
index VIX rebounded to over 64%, its highest level since 29 Oct. The Bank of
England's history-making -150bp cut and the ECB's predictably "safe"
-50bp didn't prevent either GBP or EUR losing ground as attention focused
firmly on the US. NZD/USD flickered as high as 0.6037 in London but by the NY afternoon, the weight of US equity
losses pulled it down to 0.5900, threatening further decline.
AUD/USD hit a high of 0.6903 but and ignored Wall
Street for a while but the deterioration in risk sentiment was too much to
resist by lunchtime in NY, as the pair sagged to the low 0.67s.
USD/JPY was less affected than we might have expected
by the equity carnage, chopping around 97.60-98.60 for the most part, sitting
at the lower end in NY but not (yet?) collapsing.
After the BoE's very aggressive cut, some houses
quickly changed their view to -100bp from the ECB but minds aren't changed so
quickly in Frankfurt. President Trichet said -75bp had been debated but
that -50bp was the unanimous decision. EUR/USD was choppy but overall lost
about 1.5 cents vs late Asia, to 1.2720 in NY.
US productivity growth slows from 3.6% to 1.1%
annualised in Q3. Productivity growth slowed in Q3 because output fell although
a fall in hours worked as well meant that productivity did not actually
decline. Slower productivity growth meant that unit labour costs rose. In other
news, a continued steep upswing in ongoing claims for unemployment insurance,
in the week of Oct 25 to higher than at any point in either the 2001 or 1991
recessions, is yet another reminder that the US economy has recently crunched from second gear
straight into reverse. Initial claims were less dramatic, down 4k to 481k, but
are now mostly distortion free and we fully expect to see a renewed uptrend
US chain store sales fell 0.9% yr in October, very weak,
which along with collapsing auto sales and plunging gasoline prices means next
week's retail sales report should show at least a 3.0% monthly decline - the
steepest in decades.
Canadian Ivey PMI falls from 61.0 to 52.2 in Oct. The
Ivey PMI is not seasonally adjusted but it has no obvious seasonal tendency in
Oct so the sharp fall probably has something to do with contagion from the US. What's more, a 13.4% bounce in building permits
back in September, while entirely due to a 42% jump in the volatile non-residential
component, is also indicative of an economy that still has some legs.
The European Central Bank cut its repo rate 50bp to
3.25%. At the press conference, ECB chief Trichet said that the decision to cut
50bp was unanimous but a 75bp cut was considered. On the data front, German
factory orders slumped 8% in September after posting their first monthly rise
for the year in August: further evidence that the European industrial sector is
The Swiss National Bank cut its target rate 50bp to
2.0% at an unscheduled meeting today.
The Bank of England slashed its official rate by
150bp to 3.0%. The statement was blunt: "The past two months have seen a
substantial downward shift in the prospects for inflation in the United Kingdom. There has been a very marked deterioration in the
outlook for economic activity at home and abroad. Moreover, commodity prices
have fallen sharply." On the data front, HBoS reported house prices down
2.2% in October (the steepest fall since May), which pulled the annual rate
down from -12.4% yr to -13.7% yr.
We are neutral on NZD/USD for the week ahead, with
risk appetite not yet sustainably recovered, expectations growing for more
aggressive RBNZ easing but poor data likely to hamper USD.
Country Release Last Forecast
7 Nov US Oct
Non-Farm Payrolls β159k β200k
Unemployment Rate % 6.1% 6.4%
Wholesale Inventories 0.8% 0.6%
Home Sales 7.4% β6.0%
Credit $bn β7.9 β2.0
Employment Change 107k β30k
10 Nov NZ
Oct REINZ House Prices %yr β6.1% β
Statement on Monetary Policy
Finance β2.2% β
β’ NZ Q3 HLFS
Review (6 November)
β’ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (4 November)
β’ NZ Q3 LCI
and QES Review (3 November)
β’ NZ Q3
Labour Market Preview (29 October)
β’ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (28 October)
β’ NZ Q3 CPI
Review (21 October)
β’ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (20 October)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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