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Wednesday January 28, 2009 - 20:26:37 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 29 January 2009


News and views

Government stimulus was the focus last night, investors buying equities on the US Governments plan to mop up toxic assets and centralise them in a newly created ‘bad bank’. Also fuelling the positive tone was an expectation of supportive measures from the Fed’s FOMC meeting. The S&P500 is up over 3% as we write, the banks’ subindex a massive 20%. European equities were driven by similar expectations, and closed +5%. Commodities followed suit, despite further inventory warnings, WTI oil rallying 3%, copper 2%, and gold, reflecting little need for risk-protection last night, fell 2%. Risk currencies were generally bid, until a few minutes ago, perhaps disappointed by FOMC comments that Fed treasury purchases are not necessarily the best strategy.


NZD attempted the upside of the 7-day range pre-FOMC, reaching 0.5375, but then was quickly sold on once the details started emerging. The market is a tad nervy ahead of the RBNZ meeting this morning.


AUD/USD also attempted an upside breach at 0.6730, but failed for the same reason as the NZD. AUD/NZD did reach a new 2009 high, at 1.2680, and then pulled back for a breather to 1.25. There is talk of option barriers at 1.26 being triggered.


EUR’s fall, post FOMC, took it from 1.33 to 1.31 in less than an hour. GBP’s 3-day rally is slowing, and last night’s 1.42 to 1.44 range may have marked a short-term top. Safe-haven JPY unsurprisingly behaved in reverse to the above,

weakening from 89 to almost 91.


US FOMC maintained rates at 0-0.25%. The statement noted once again that “economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for some time”. But it provided a little more colour around that view. They went on to say that “a gradual recovery in economic activity will begin later this year, but the downside risks to that outlook are significant”. There was no such growth forecast in the last statement on December 16. On inflation, “the Committee sees some risk that inflation could persist for a time below rates that best foster economic growth and price stability in the longer term.” In Dec, the FOMC said that it expected “inflation to moderate further in coming quarters.” Re long term Treasury purchases, “the Committee also is prepared to purchase longer-term Treasury securities if evolving circumstances indicate that such transactions would be particularly effective in improving conditions in private credit markets.” That falls short of a commitment to do so, which markets may have been looking for.


German CPI eases from 1.1% yr to 0.9% yr in Jan, the lowest rate for almost five years. That compares to the CPI peak at 3.3% yr just six months ago. Other German data included steady consumer confidence at 2.2 in the GfK survey, labelled Feb but conducted earlier this month.


IMF slashes global growth view. In November the IMF was forecasting 2.2% global growth; that has been cut to 0.5%, matching Westpac’s latest global growth forecast of 0.5%, published last week. 2009 is shaping up to be the weakest year for global growth in living memory.



Today’s RBNZ meeting to announce the new OCR level will likely set the tone for NZD for some time. The 7-day old range of 0.5250 to 0.5370 will likely fail today, given the spread of expectations for the rate cut (100bp to 150bp). Westpac’s forecast is a 150bp cut, which would likely see NZD sold once the knee-jerk euphoria has subsided


Imre Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266

With contributions from Westpac Economics


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

NZ RBNZ OCR Review 5.00% 3.50%

Dec Merchandise Trade NZDm –520 80

US Dec Durable Goods Orders –1.5% –2.0%

Initial Jobless Claims w/e 24/1 589k 600k

Dec New Home Sales –2.9% –7.0%

Jpn Dec Retail Trade %mth –0.1% –0.8%

Eur Dec Money Supply M3 %yr 7.8% 7.6%

Jan Retail PMI 41.4 –

Jan Business Climate Index –3.17 –3.50

Jan Cons/Economic Confidence –30/ 67.1 –29/70.0

Ger Jan Unemployment ch’ 18k 30k

Jan CPI Prelim %yr 1.1% 1.1%

UK Jan House Prices %yr –15.9% –16.7%

Can Dec Industrial Product Prices –2.6% –


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (27 January)

• NZ Q4 labour market preview (26 January)

• NZ Economic Overview January 2009 (23 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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