international events yesterday combined to put a floor in risk-aversion for
now. Yesterday afternoon, Japan announced
it wouldstart buying shares in its banks, and Australia cut its
cash target rate by100bp to 3.25%, as well as
releasing a fiscal stimulus package. Then in theUS, pending
home sales data took the market by positive surprise, and theUS Federal
Reserve extended again its emergency lending programs andswap lines
to 30 October (from 30 April). Standard & Poorâ€™s downgradeof the state
of California, to A, was
ignored by the markets. Equity indicesacross the globe were higher â€“
Eurozone +2%, and the S&P500 +1.3%currently. WTI oil is little
changed, but copper gained +6%. US treasuriestook the Fed
news badly, the 10 year yield up 10bp to 2.82%.
The NZD was driven
higher by the above events, the rally well due after the past monthâ€™s 10 cent
flogging. It did dip to 0.5015 before the positive US news, but
then rose over a cent to 0.5030, and is currently trying to probe higher.
AUD had its own
fiscal stimulus as an additional booster, and roared from 0.6340 to 0.6540
during the US session.
The AUD/NZD cross strengthened as a result, to 1.27.
EUR rose from
1.28 to 1.30, despite weaker German retail sales and PPI inflation adding to
the case for another rate cut at the ECBâ€™s March meeting. European auto sales
were very weak. GBP held around 1.42, before a 2 cent rise,
shrugging off the estimated GBP1 billion cost of yesterdayâ€™s London snow storm.
to 90 range is still intact, the quick dip to 88.60 aside.
pending home sales jump 6.3% in Dec. This gain, following three consecutive
monthly falls in sales, was large but not entirely unexpected (we were looking
for +2%). Pending sales measure essentially the same sales as the existing home
sales measure (but at an earlier stage of the sale process), and the pending
data needed to â€ścatch upâ€ť to less weak existing sales, recently boosted by the
distressed sales of foreclosed properties. Temporarily lower mortgage rates in
December may also have helped. These figures contrast starkly with all measures
of the new housing market, which continues to implode (in part because of the
sale of cheap repossessed houses recorded here).
retail sales down 0.2% in Dec. Along with back revisions, this means sales
fell in each month through Q4, consistent with weak consumer demand in the last
quarter of 2008. Another report showed
producer prices decelerating further from 3.3% yr to 1.8% yr in December.
construction PMI rises from 29.3 to 34.5 in Jan. The first
rise in this index since August. Still very weak but along with other less weak
surveys for January, it does hint that the pace of decline in the economy might
not still be steepening.
in the NZD can go higher today, to around 0.5170. Players are waiting for
levels to sell, for the next big move which is expected to take the currency
into the 0.40â€™s.
Release Last Forecast
External Migration ann. 3,600 4,000
Commodity Prices â€“7.4% â€“
Retail Trade sa 0.4% 5.0%
Trade, Trend 0.1% 1.0%
Approvals â€“12.8% 5.0%
Corporate Layoff Announcements
Private Payrolls Change â€“693k â€“530k
Non-Manufacturing 40.1 41.0
Eur Jan PMI
Services (F) 42.5a 42.5
Sales 0.6% flat
Consumer Confidence 47 45
Services 40.2 41.0
Jan BRC Shop
Price Index %yr 0.5% â€“
â€˘ NZ Q4 LCI
and QES Review (2 February)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (2 February)
â€˘ RBNZ OCR
Review (29 January)
â€˘ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (27 January)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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