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Tuesday November 25, 2008 - 20:54:52 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Wednesday 26 November 2008


News and views


The main news overnight is the US Federal Reserve committing an additional USD800 billion to stimulate lending: $600 billion to buy housing-finance company debt, and $200 billion to support consumer and small business loans. This news had a direct and positive effect on non-US currencies, as well as US interest rates. The euphoria over Citibank's bailout appears to have evaporated after a day, the Dow currently down 1% from yesterday's close. US data was mixed, with consumer confidence higher amid lower fuel prices, but GDP revised lower.


The NZD remains above the key 54 cent level. It spiked to 0.5588 on the Fed news, and currently is around 0.5470. Yesterday afternoon's RBNZ inflation expectation survey was lower than expected, at 2.7%, and should add weight to a 100bp OCR cut being delivered on 4 December. There are no data releases today.


The AUD also spiked much higher on the Fed news, touching 0.6618, and settling back around 0.6450. BHP's proposed takeover of fellow miner Rio Tinto has been withdrawn, citing deterioration of the near-term global economic conditions.


EUR's spike took it to 1.3081, and it has held its gains better than other currencies, currently at 1.30. French president Sarkozy announced the likelihood of a rescue package for the country, joining the growing list of national bailouts. JPY strengthened to 95.16 against the USD, largely on the weaker US data releases.


US Q3 GDP was revised from -0.3% to -0.5% on the second estimate. As before, weak consumer spending in real terms (due to surging prices) and a sharp fall in residential construction were mostly offset by an improvement in the trade position and increased government spending. The balance of revisions was as expected, though the details suggest some downside risk to Q4 growth forecasts: private consumption was revised down substantially in Q3, led by spending on services, and a slower rundown of inventories than previously thought suggests there is more scope for production cutbacks.


US Conference Board consumer confidence surprised with a bounce from 38.8 to 44.9 in November - though this was still the second lowest read on record. The survey contrasted with higher-frequency confidence surveys suggesting that optimism early in November had since faded. The ongoing market turmoil and mounting job losses likely weighed sentiment, but the cost of living continues to be a major factor as well - expected inflation one-year ahead fell from 6.8% to 5.9% as gasoline prices tumbled.


The US S&P/Case-Shiller house price index fell 17.4% in the year to September, the fastest pace yet in this slowdown. Rising foreclosures and difficulties in accessing credit have seen the pace of monthly declines pick up again in the last three months, having eased off through the first half of the year.


The Richmond Fed manufacturing index, fell to a fresh record low of -38 in November. Details were weaker across the board, but there was a particularly sharp fall in the number of employees and average hours worked, providing yet another signal that the official payrolls figures are set to get a lot worse in coming months.


Japan October corporate services price index (CSPI) plunged 1.2%mth to -1.4%yr from 0.1%yr, steepest drop in 5 years. The CSPI swung back to negative annual growth for the first time in nearly 2 years, after an average increase of 1.2% during 2007 interrupted 8 straight annual declines.


German Q3 GDP was unchanged at -0.5% in its final estimate, though thedetails were slightly more encouraging. All of the domestic demand components were revised up, with a particularly sharp improvement in capital investment, while imports were revised from a 1.4% drop to a 3.8% gain.


Industry data on UK mortgage approvals for October suggested a stabilisation over the last few months, though they remain at about a third of pre-credit crunch levels.





Optimism levels have fallen slightly from yesterday, and we continue to watch for the Dow's ability to stay above 8000 as the main clue for NZD direction. On the day, 54 cents should provide support, while 55.5 cents should hold on the topside. Longer-term sentiment for the currency remains weak.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Q3 Construction Work Done –2.6% 1.0%

US Oct Core PCE Deflator 0.2% flat

Oct Personal Income 0.2% flat

Oct Personal Spending –0.3% –1.2%

Oct Durable Goods Orders 0.8% –6.0%

Initial Jobless Claims w/e 22/11 542k 560k

Nov Chicago PMI 37.8 33.5

Nov UoM Consumer Sentiment (F) 57.9a 56.5

Oct New Home Sales 2.7% –7.0%

Ger Nov CPI Prelim %yr 2.4% 1.9%

UK Q3 GDP Revision –0.5%a –0.5%


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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