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Monday November 24, 2008 - 20:16:26 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Tuesday 25 November 2008


News and views

A couple of boosts to sentiment from the northern hemisphere last night helped equity markets rally back through key levels. The US Government agreed to bail out Citigroup last night, providing USD27 billion of capital and guaranteeing $306 billion of their assets. US equity markets, desperate for good tidings, rose to see the Dow above its key 8000 level; it is currently at 8290, a 3% gain. In the UK, a stimulus package included a 2.5% cut to VAT (a similar tax to NZ’s GST), to which the UK and European equity markets responded by rallying around 10%. Negative news, such as a 3.1% fall in US existing home sales and the lowest German business climate reading since 1993, failed to dampen the short-term sentiment.


The NZD followed the leads of the US and UK, and broke out of its 0.5300 to 0.5350 range last night, quickly moving to a high of 0.5477. It is currently around 0.5440. News on the local front remains negative in tone, with the rural sector expecting lower earnings from dairy and meat this season. Today’s RBNZ inflation expectation survey will be watched for any sign of disinflation, although we expect the number to remain at last quarter’s level of 3.0.


The AUD outpaced NZD’s move, moving from 0.6255 to 0.6507 in Europe, and is currently sitting at 0.6485. The 0.65 level should provide some short-term resistance. The AUD/NZD cross rate benefited from this out-performance, moving from yesterday’s 1.1775 to a recent high, slightly above 1.19.


A short-term reduction in global risk aversion helped EUR rally in non-stop fashion throughout the European session, from around 1.26 to 1.29. The poor German IFO reading, though, may see a lack of follow through in this currency, given there is now more pressure on the ECB to cut rates aggressively. The UK stimulus package drove


GBP from around 1.49 to above 1.5150, before retreating slightly to around 1.51.


The JPY, which currently acts as a risk aversion indicator, moved in converse fashion, with the USD/JPY rate moving from around 95.50 to just under 97.


US existing home sales fell 3.1% in October, following a downwardly-revised 4.7% gain in September. Monthly sales have held to a remarkably narrow range over the last year, as prices have borne the brunt of the correction – the median sale price is down 11.3% on a year ago, and down more than 30% in some boom cities. There is increasing evidence that existing home sales are cannibalising new home sales (to be published on Wednesday night).


Eurozone industrial orders fell 3.9% in September, following a 1.5% drop in August. Orders for transport equipment declined 3.8%, reflecting the weakness in the auto sector.


The German Ifo survey fell heavily again in November, reaching a 16-year low of 85.8. The expectations component dropped to 77.6 from 81.4, despite ECB rate cuts and official efforts to prop up the banking system since the previous survey. The survey showed an erosion in confidence across the board, with the retail sector the most pessimistic.


The UK Pre-Budget Report detailed a fiscal stimulus package worth £25bn over the next two years, equivalent to 1.1% of GDP. The Bank of England cited the potential for a significant amount of stimulus from this report as a reason for cutting the policy rate by ‘only’ 150bps earlier this month. UK Chancellor Darling said that he expects the UK economy to shrink by 0.75-1.25% next year.



The new-found optimism in major equity markets may or may not be sustained beyond a few days. Regardless, NZD’s 54 cent level is a key one, and last night’s price action must be respected. For today, 54 cents is the floor, with a ceiling at 55.5 cents. Equity markets will continue to lead currencies, and the Dow must remain above 8000 over the next few days to provide any confidence the NZD has found a medium-term bottom.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

NZ RBNZ Inflation Expectations 2yr Ahead 3.0% 3.0%

US Q3 GDP Prelim ann’lsd % –0.3% –0.5%

S&P-CS Sep House Prices %yr –16.6% –16.5%

Sep House Prices –0.6% –0.7%

Nov CB Consumer Confidence 38.0 36.0

Jpn BoJ Monthly Report

Ger Q3 GDP (F) –0.5%a –0.5%

Dec GfK Consumer Confidence 1.9 1.5

UK Q3 Business Investment –1.0% –2.0%

Oct Mortgage Data £bn 23.4 –

Can Sep Retail Sales –0.3% 0.1%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (24 November)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (17 November)

• NZ Q3 Retail Sales Review (13 November)

• NZ Economic Overview November 2008 (11 November)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (11 November)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (4 November)

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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