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Monday January 12, 2009 - 00:07:29 GMT
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FX Blog - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 12 January 2009



News and views

Markets mixed on jobs data. The much anticipated US payrolls report on Friday came in as expected, which meant markets weren’t sure whether to buy or sell. For example, equities markets initially felt the numbers were better than the street whispers, and rallied accordingly, but then had a change of heart, realising the numbers were dismal once the backward revisions were included. In the end, the S&P500 fell by 2.3%, with Europe down 1%. US 10-year treasuries flip-flopped even more, initially being sold 10bp, but then rallying back for a net 5bp gain. The US dollar (DXY index +1.4%), gold (-0.4%) and copper (+5%) liked

 he numbers, whereas oil (-3%) only saw the gloom. Perhaps the VIX summed it up best – a small increase in risk aversion on the day. In New Zealand today, no data is expected, except possibly the December report from the REINZ on house prices, due sometime this week. Otherwise, Q4 NZIER business confidence on Tuesday will be the highlight of an otherwise very light data week.


NZD/USD was surprisingly locked in a very tight, 0.59 to 0.5950, range, indicating the sentiment around this commodity currency is still marginally positive. AUD/NZD broke down near the NY close towards 1.18, a level which is attractive to speculators looking to establish long positions again.


AUD/USD gyrated between 0.70 and 0.71 around the payrolls report, and hovers around the middle of that range at the NZ open.


The EUR bore the brunt of USD buying, falling from 1.3750 to 1.34 after the payrolls data. GBP fell from 1.5350 to 1.5150, despite a sticky PPI. Conversely,


USD/JPY was sold from 91.50 to 90, indicating a net flight to quality.


US December non-farm payrolls showed 525,000 jobs were lost, close to economist’s expectations of 524,000. However, November and October numbers were revised downwards by a total of around 150,000, which casts a gloomy pall over the report. The unemployment rate, at 7.2%, was worse than the 7.0% expected, and hourly earnings and weekly hours worked were lower than the previous month. The other US release on Friday, wholesale sales, was much worse than expected at -7.1% (versus -2.6%), while wholesale inventories fell by 0.6%, less than previously.


Japan’s leading index weakened as expected, confirming that economic conditions deteriorated further in November. The index softened to 81.5, as forecast by the market, down from 85.2 in October and well down from the 90+ level back in July.


Eurozone retail sales for November was higher than expected at +0.6% mom, driven mainly by lower fuel prices. German industrial production, for November, at -3.1% (mom), points to a negative GDP reading in Q4.


UK December PPI up 4.7%, and indicating some prices are still sticky there despite weakening demand. A better indicator of a rapidly cooling economy was the industrial production figure for November, -2.3% (mom) versus the -0.5% expected.


Canada followed the US trend towards higher unemployment, showing 6.6%, and a bigger loss in jobs than expected – 34,400.



Last week’s 0.6034 high fell short of the 0.6075+ target we expected, which means weakness is most likely today. Our NZD range for today, of 0.5850 to 0.5960, is more likely to be threatened on the downside.


Westpac Strategy, 0800 922 239

With contributions from Westpac Economics


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

12 Jan NZ Dec REINZ House Prices %yr –4.1% –

Aus Dec ANZ Job Ads –8.6% –

US Fedspeak: Lockhart

Jpn Coming of Age Day

13 Jan NZ Q4 NZIER Business Confidence –19% –

US Nov Trade Balance, $bn –57.2 –47.0

Dec Mthly Budget Statement $bn 48.3 –47.0

Fed’s Bernanke speaks in London

Fedspeak: Lacker

Jpn Nov Current Account ¥bn 960.5 800


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q4 Employment Confidence Index (7 January)

• 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 (




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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