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Monday January 26, 2009 - 19:58:38 GMT
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FX Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Tuesday 27 January 2009


News and views

The market looked for reasons to buy risk last night, and found some in a better-than expected US home sales number, Barclays announcing a positive earnings forecast and no requirement for fresh capital, and a major takeover in the US drug industry (Pfizer/Wyeth). The FTSE closed up 4%, the Euro-Stoxx +3%, and the S&P500 followed suit initially, although it is fading into the close. Copper rallied 8% on the optimism and expectations of traditional post-Lunar New Year Chinese buying. Risk-aversion index VIX has fallen for four days in a row, to 46, but needs to be below 40 before any sentiment turnaround can be inferred. The US dollar (DXY index) fell 1%.


The NZD remained locked in the 0.5170-0.5370 sideways range for fifth day, initially sinking to around 0.5220, and then rising to 0.5340. Expect market positioning ahead of Thursday’s OCR announcement.


AUD/USD attempted a break upwards, but couldn’t breach 0.6660, which is required to change to a bullish medium-term view. It struggled after reaching around 0.6640 during early NY, and looks heavy at 0.6550 currently. AUD/ NZD remains contained in the wide 1.23-1.25 range, but is nudging the topside as we



GBP led the charge in Europe after the Barclays news, and spent the whole session moving higher, from 1.3550 to 1.40. EUR followed from 1.2870 and reached 1.32, before retreating to 1.31. There could be more legs in this rally from yesterday’s 1.2770 low. JPY was relatively subdued, continuing to cling to the 89 area.


US Dallas Fed factory index was somewhat less weak in January at –51 than at the end of 2008 (–61), a similar message to the other regional Fed surveys already released for this month. However the jobs component fell from –24.8 to –29.8, mirroring the weaker employment signals in the NY and Philly surveys.


US leading index up 0.3% in Dec, its strongest monthly result since July 2007, thanks to a 1.0 ppt positive contribution from the expanding money supply and a 0.2 ppt positive from interest rates. All the other eight components of the index were flat or negative.


US existing home sales jumped 6.5% in December but November was revised to an even steeper fall and the trend remains downwards. It was reported that 45% of these sales were “distressed”, so it would be wrong to regard the latest gain as an early sign of housing market turnaround. Emphasising that point, prices declined at the fastest annual pace ever recorded by the NAR.


Mortgage approvals by UK banks totalled 22.1k in December, up from 17.3k in December and down “just” 46% on December last year, compared to a 60% yr decline in November (though when the numbers are down as sharply as this, month to month volatility should not be misread a signs of a turnaround). Broader industry data including non-bank lenders will be published for December by the Bank of England later this week.



We remain bearish on the NZD this week, and expect a breakdown below 0.5170, probably on the next attempt. Fonterra’s board meets today, but their payout announcement is expected to be tomorrow at noon.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Dec NAB Business Survey –17 –

Q4 PPI 2.0% 1.7%

US Nov House Prices %yr –18.0% –18.4%

Jan Consumer Confidence 38.0 42.0

Jan Richmond Fed Factory Index –55 –50

Jpn BoJ Monetary Policy Minutes for Dec 08

Eur Nov Current Account €bn sa –6.4 –

Ger Jan IFO Business Climate Index 82.6 80.0

Dec Import Price Index %yr –1.3% –3.7%

UK Jan CBI Distributive Trades Survey

Can 2009/10 Budget


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q4 labour market preview (26 January)

• NZ Economic Overview January 2009 (23 January)

• RBNZ OCR Preview (22 January)

• NZ Q4 CPI Review (20 January)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 January)

• Change of OCR Call (14 January)

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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