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Monday December 22, 2008 - 21:46:17 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Tuesday 23 December 2008


News and views

China cut its benchmark rates by 27bp and reserve requirements by 50bp, injecting a positive tone to metal markets. Gold and copper both gained around 1%. Risk-aversion, as measured by the VIX index, fell 2% to 44 (under 40 is neutral), although we note that the VIX has not correlated well with equity appetite in recent weeks. Pessimism reigned in most equity markets, the S&P500 falling 2.6% on disappointing earnings announcements, and European indices down 1-2%. Brent crude oil fell 7% to $39 on the global outlook.


NZD staged a brief rally to above 0.58 at the European open, but is not yet ready for a follow-through. It made its second 0.57 bottom since Friday, and awaits today’s Q3 GDP data.


AUD was well contained in a 0.68 to 0.69 range, not reacting obviously to a China-inspired metals rally. AUD/NZD staked out a larger 1.18 to 1.1950 area.


After EUR’s brief move past 1.40 (option-expiry related), it weakened gradually, and is heading towards 1.38. Some support at 1.39 today will dampen the downward path. JPY has settled around 90 for now, an order at London’s close spiking it to 90.47.


No data from the US.


Japanese exports slide off a cliff in November. Japan exports plunged 13.5%mth in Nov to a –26.7%yr pace; imports fell 11.2%mth to -14.4%yr pace resulting in a trade deficit of ¥223bn.


Eurozone industrial orders for October declined 4.7% (m/m), compared to expectations of -4.0%. September’s figure was also revised downwards to -5.4%. The negative trend here is accelerating, and confirms Eurozone’s continued contraction in the last quarter of the year.


Germany’s GfK consumer confidence remained steady at 2.1 in January, but December was revised down. The reading of -6.3 for “willingness to buy” points to weaker retail sales ahead. November import prices fell 3.4% (m/m) and 1.3% (y/y), mainly due to lower oil prices, and may add to deflation concerns.


Canada’s index of consumer confidence stumbled for the third consecutive month in December, falling 3.3 points to 67.7. There was one bright spot – for the second consecutive month, an increasing percentage of respondents said it was a good time to make a big-ticket purchase. Average weekly earnings rose 0.3% in October. Continued momentum in earnings suggest some resilience on the part of household incomes, although the descent into recession should eventually weigh on wages.


The People’s Bank of China cut its one year deposit and lending rates by 27bp, and also cut its banks’ reserve requirements, in a more moderate move following November’s 108bp cut. The continued easing was justified by annual CPI having fallen from almost 9% to 2.4% in less than a year, and declining production.



In a repeat of yesterday’s outlook, the range of 0.57 to 0.58 today is vulnerable to a negative GDP surprise this morning. Given a neutral reading, though, the 0.57 double-bottom completed last night suggests a breakout higher.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Q3 GDP %qtr –0.2% –0.3%

US Q3 GDP (F) –0.5%a –0.5%

Nov Existing Home Sales –3.1% –1.0%

Nov New Home Sales –5.3% –12.0%

Dec Richmond Fed Index –38 –40

Oct House Prices –1.3% –1.3%

Dec UoM Consumer Confidence (F) 59.1a 59.0

Jpn Emperor’s Birthday

Eur Oct Current Account €bn sa –10.6 –

UK Q3 GDP Revision –0.5% a 0.5%

Q3 Current Account £bn –11.0 –

Nov BBA Mortgage Loans, No. 21.6k –

Dec CBI Distributive Trades Survey –46 –


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q4 Consumer Confidence (22 December)

• NZ Q3 Current Account Review (22 December)

• Outlook for NZ house prices in 2009 (18 December)

• NZ Q3 GDP Preview (18 December)

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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