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Tuesday December 23, 2008 - 21:44:53 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Wednesday 24 December 2008


News and views

The USD perversely benefited from weak economic data overnight. Grim US housing numbers and concern the auto industry may fail, even after the friendly Government loans, weighed on US equities which are down around 1% at 8:30am NZ time. US sentiment, in turn, pushed oil down 2% to $39, copper down 5%, and shipping costs down 2%.


NZD held its 0.57 support for most of a quiet overnight session, until a breakdown to 0.5660 a few hours ago on tiny volume. This was simply following the mildly weak tone in most other currencies, but augurs for a lower trading range next week.


AUD broke its 3-day 0.68 support level, but has managed to bounce back inside. AUD/NZD is a picture of grinding strength, now at the top of a new 1.19 to 1.20 range.


EUR struggled to rise any further than 1.39 on the weak US data, mildly positive Eurozone data and supportive ECB comments. Irrational, but this is Christmas. The USD gained most against the JPY, from 90 to just under 91.


US real estate statistics hit two-decade lows. Nov new home sales fell 2.9% to 407,000, worse than the 419,000 expected. Existing home sales plunged 8.6% to 4.49 million (4.91 million expected). The Oct FHFA home price index fell 1.1%, for a 7.5% yoy decline, thanks to increased foreclosures.


US GDP was finalised at -0.5%, as expected, and matches the previous quarter’s fall.


US Dec Michigan consumer sentiment was revised up to 60.1, a rise from the horrible November reading.


US Dec Richmond Fed manufacturing index fell to -55 (-40 expected). Personal consumption (Q3) weakened slightly to -3.8%, the core PCE deflator to 2.4% q/q.


Eurozone’s October current account deficit improved to EUR 6.4 billion (EUR 4.8 billion unadjusted). This negative number is more than offset by the EUR 107.6 billion net portfolio inflows, though.


The UK’s Q3 GDP release made for further grim reading, being revised down to 0.6% against expectations, and the worst since Q4 1990. The -1.8% outlook for 2009 provides no cheer. The current account deficit widened to GBP 7.72 billion, but by less than expected. Mortgage approvals (Nov.) fell from 20,767 to 17.773.


Poland cut its benchmark interest rate 75bp to 5.00%.



The breakdown overnight of 0.57 support points to a new 0.56 to 0.57 range for today, and most likely early next week. However, we caution against reading too much into market behaviour until early January, when the major participants will start showing their hands again. Until then, we wish you an enjoyable break, and the very best for 2009.


Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239

With contributions from Westpac Economics


Date Country Release Last Forecast

24 Dec US Nov Personal Income 0.3% 0.1%

Nov Personal Spending –1.0% –0.8%

Nov Core PCE flat flat

Nov Durable Goods Orders –6.9% –4.0%

Initial Jobless Claims w/e 20/12 554k 554k

Jpn Q4 BSI Large Manufacturing %qtr –10.0 –

Q4 BSI Large All Industry %qtr –10.2 –

Nov Adj Merch Trade Bal ¥bn –175.6 –218

Can Oct GDP 0.1% –0.1%

25 Dec Int’l Christmas Day

Jpn Nov BoJ Policy Meeting Minutes


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q3 GDP Review (23 December)

• 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)

• HYEFU Review (18 December)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac

Institutional Bank’s website (


We wish all our readers and valued clients a safe and Merry

Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Please note that the

Morning Report will be taking a break and returning on Monday

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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