weaker tone to risk markets overnight, attributed to declining
confidence in US Treasury Secretary Geithner and his package, saw US equities
open lower, and then largely track sideways. The S&P500 is currently down
2%, after Europe closed down 2.3%. Earlier, Japanâ€™s Nikkei
closed -3.3%, and is looking fragile above key technical levels. None of the US
economic data ran counter to the negative trends in place â€“ retail sales popped
up for the month, but the smoothed trend remains downward, while lower
inventories mean Q4 GDP growth will likely be revised lower to around -6%
annualised. Moodyâ€™s released a report discussing the possibility of a major AAA
sovereign, such as the US and UK, being
downgraded due to growth shocks and balance sheet concerns.
NZD did break
the recent 0.52 to 0.53 range, down to 0.5160, but failed to sustain the move,
and is back at 0.52 again. RBNZ Governor Bollardâ€™s speech this morning ( NZT) may offer clues regarding his monetary
AUD slipped from
0.6560 to 0.6440, partly on the failure of the stimulus bill in the senate
yesterday. Further analysis suggests itâ€™s not as catastrophic as portrayed by
some, and that a resolution is probable in the short term. AUD/ NZD moved
sideways in a tight range around 1.2475.
EUR fell from
1.2940 to 1.2720, rebounding quickly to above 1.28 after the Moodyâ€™s report. GBP dropped from
1.44 to 1.4140, consolidating there, and JPY still likes
the 90 to 91 range.
retail sales surprise with a 1.0% rise in Jan. Retailing
started 2009 with the first monthly gain since June 2008. It was a reasonably
broad-based rise, with autos, electronics, food, clothing, non-store retailing,
general merchandise and gasoline (due to higher prices) all posting gains of
over 1%. Furniture and building materials remained steeply negative however,
consistent with housing weakness. Our preferred measure of core retailing (ex
autos and gasoline) rose 0.8%, although as with the headline rise, that failed
to reverse even half of the previous monthâ€™s decline so retail trends remain
initial jobless claims edge down from 631k to 623k. Claims
remain close to their 29 year highs, while in the prior week, continuing claims
rose to a fresh all-time high. Both outcomes are consistent with ongoing job
business inventories fall 1.3% in Dec, confirming that the
stock-building contribution to Q4 GDP growth will need to be revised lower.
Along with other component revisions, that means GDP growth is likely to be cut
back sharply from the advance 3.8% annualised decline to closer to a 6%
industrial production drops 2.6% in Dec, consistent with weak national
data, to be down 12.0% yr, stark evidence of the impact on Europe of the
global trade freeze in Q4.
INSEE statisticians have leaked the Q4 GDP report. The French economy
shrank 1.2% last quarter, in line with the consensus estimate. No more detail
is available at this stage.
fallen 3 cents since the Geithner package, and a healthy correction, to no
higher than is 0.53 is due. Over the next 24 hours, 0.5150 to 0.5250 is likely,
with an outside chance of 0.53, before a resumption of the downward trend. Q4 and
December retail sales are released this morning, and are closely watched by currency
Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266
from Westpac Economics
Country Release Last Forecast
13 Feb NZ Q4
Real Retail Sales â€“0.9% â€“1.1%
Sales 0.0% â€“0.9%
US Feb UoM
Consumer Sent (Prel) 61.2 60.0
Eur Q4 GDP
Adv â€“0.2% â€“1.2%
Ger Q4 GDP
Prelim â€“0.5% â€“1.5%
Can Dec Auto
Sales â€“7.0% â€“15.0%
16 Feb NZ Q4
Producer Output Prices 2.8% 0.4%
Input Prices 3.7% 0.4%
Jpn Q4 GDP
(Prelim) â€“0.5% â€“3.1%
Rightmove House Prices â€“1.9% â€“
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (9 February)
â€¢ NZ Q4 HLFS
Review (5 February)
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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