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Sunday December 7, 2008 - 20:11:42 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 8 December 2008

 

News and views

The US payrolls data for November was as shocking as expected, with the largest monthly loss of jobs since 1974 – 533,000. The S&P500 initially fell on the news, but then rose on pre-weekend position squaring to finish +3.7%. Commodities fell aggressively because the data pointed to further economic weakness to come, the CRB making a 6 year low; Brent crude fell 5.3% to $39, and gold was down 1.3% to $767.

 

NZD initially fell on the payroll data and commodities action, from 0.5350 to 0.52, recovering with the late US equities rally to a session high of 0.5365. It is currently at 0.5330, but may not follow the US equities’ lead after Prime Minister John Key said on weekend television he expected the currency would eventually fall below 50 cents. QV reported early this morning that November house prices fell 6.8% yoy, no worse than October’s reading, but too early to be read as a sign of bottoming.

 

AUD’s initial push to 0.6470 was similarly interrupted by the commodities induced fall to 0.6290, but then made a charge towards 0.65. AUD/NZD extended its 1.2050 to 1.2150 range, and remains there at 1.2115.

 

EUR was sold on the US data to around 1.2630, but it recovered well to the 1.2740 area, where it currently resides. JPY traced a down-up-down pattern, but ended the US session largely unchanged at 92.80.

 

US payroll jobs plunge 533k in Nov, the steepest monthly loss since 1974, and revisions meant a further 199k job losses in Sep and Oct. The three month average pace of job losses is now 419k, whereas in the October report it was 217k. Let’s put that another way: in the last three months, the US economy shed more than one and a quarter million jobs, coinciding with and indeed at least partly caused by the confidence hit from the collapse of Lehman Bros. This report paints a picture of an exceptionally weak economy in Q4, almost certainly substantially underperforming the once in a generation 5% annualised decline in GDP growth we had been forecasting. Household employment fell 673k in November, confirming the desperate picture, but the jobless rate rose just 0.2 ppts to 6.7% because many of those losing their jobs did not look for another one, so are not counted as unemployed.

 

The proportion of US mortgages in default rose further in Q3, with one in 5 sub-prime loans delinquent, compared to one in 23 prime mortgages. Over the past year, the proportion of sub-prime mortgages in foreclosure has doubled from 6.9% in Q3 07 to 12.6% last quarter. That is, one in eight of these lower rated borrowers who took out a mortgage have now lost their home. It remains to be seen whether the measures proposed by Fed chair Bernanke last week to stave off this defaulter possession cycle are adopted and indeed successful.

 

German factory orders plunged a further 6% in October making it nine out of ten months that orders have fallen this year. Emerging weakness in business investment prospects both in the Western world and emerging markets poses a big risk to the German growth outlook, given the economy’s leading role as a producer of capital equipment – and the orders data are capturing this.

 

Canadian jobs down 71k in Nov, a somewhat overdue downward correction in jobs that was exaggerated by almost 40k of election-related jobs coming to an end. With the US economy seemingly in melt-down, at least until the stimulus/bailout measures bite, Canadian economic weakness is likely to soon follow.

 

Outlook

The strong US equities finish should be the dominant driver this morning, Key’s comments aside. An upward test of 0.5400 represents a good level to sell at, with a stop at 0.5450. Support at 0.5250 should hold today.

 

Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Q3 Building Work Put in Place –5.8% –

Aus Nov ANZ Job Ads –5.9% –

Federal Gov’t Cash Payments AUDbn 8.4 –

Jpn Oct Current Account ¥bn 1,497.9 1,094.0

Nov Eco Watchers Survey (Outlook) 25.2 –

Eur Dec Sentix Investor Confidence –36.4 –40.0

Ger Oct Industrial Production –3.6% 0.5%

UK Nov PPI %yr 4.9% 4.4%

Can Nov Housing Starts –3.1% –5.6%

Latest Research Papers/Publications

• RBNZ MPS Review (4 December)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (1 December)

• RBNZ MPS Preview (28 November)

• 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)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac

Institutional Bank’s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)

 

 

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 www.westpac.com.au 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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