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Wednesday December 17, 2008 - 20:14:41 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 18 December 2008


News and views

The market’s reassessment of individual currencies continued, the USD clearly in the dog-box for now, falling 2% (DXY index). Sentiment towards risk improved, the VIX (US equity volatility index) at a 6-week low. Major global equity indices were approximately unchanged. NYMEX oil fell to $42 despite OPEC agreeing to cut production. Norway topped the “largest rate cut” list, with 175bp.


After yesterday’s exceptional intraday rally to 0.58, the NZD corrected only marginally to 0.5770 during Europe, and followed EUR higher to around 0.5950 during the US session. Today’s half-year fiscal statement will tell us about the size of future deficits, and therefore, funding requirements.


The AUD found it difficult to establish higher ground, sticky around 0.70. As a consequence, the AUD/NZD cross continued to give back the month’s gains, and touched 1.18.


EUR rested between 1.40 and 1.42 until late Europe, when it jumped to almost 1.45 on no particular news. GBP was unloved after BoE’s pessimistic comments and record-weak jobless and sales data, falling from 1.57 area to 1.5250, partially recovering to 1.55. JPY marches on, flirting with 87 (vs USD) overnight, but, ever cautious of the BoJ, back at 88.


No US data to report.


Euroland CPI confirmed at 2.1% yr in Nov, in line with the flash estimate. The core CPI was steady at 1.9% yr.


UK jobs and retail data very weak. The number of unemployment benefit recipients jumped 76k in Nov, the biggest one month gain since the early 1990s recession. In the three months to Oct, employment fell 115k, its second consecutive quarter of decline. The household labour force survey jobless rate jumped from 5.8% to 6.0%, its highest yet this decade. In Dec, the Confederation of British Industry reported its weakest ever sales, with a net balance of –55%, down from –46% in Nov.


Bank of England considered bigger rate cut on Dec 4. The 100bp rate cut to 2.0% was unanimous, but there was discussion about possibly cutting

by an even larger amount – which suggests that rates will be cut further at the January meeting.


Norway cuts rates 175bp to 3.0%. Yet another central bank surprising us with aggressive rate cuts. Norges signalled more cuts to come next year.



NZD strength should continue until early January. The latest rally from 0.54 (10 December) looks stretched here, and we would expect a correction today, taking it towards the bottom of a 0.58 – 0.5970 daily range.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

18 Dec NZ Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update

Dec NBNZ Business Confidence –43.0%

Aus Q4 WBC-ACCI Surv of Indust Trends 50.8 –

Dec RBA Bulletin

US Initial Jobless Claims w/e 13/12 573k 590k

Dec Philadelphia Fed Index –39.3 –45.0

Nov Leading Index –0.8% –0.8%


Jpn BoJ Policy Meeting

Nov Department Store Sales –6.8% –

Eur Oct Trade Balance €bn sa –5.7 –5.5

Ger Dec IFO Business Climate Index 85.8 83.0

UK Nov Retail Sales –0.1% –1.0%

Nov Public Finances £bn –4.9 11.0

Nov Money Supply M4 %yr 15.3% 16.8%

Can Nov Leading Index –0.4% –0.8%

Oct Retail Sales 1.1% –1.5%

19 Dec NZ Nov External Migration ann. 4,300 4,300

Nov Credit Card Transactions –1.1% –

Jpn Oct All Industries Index %mth –0.1% –0.8%

BoJ Target Announcement 0.30% 0.30%



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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