over banking industry health drove US equities lower, even after
the House of Representatives passed the $787 billion stimulus plan. The worse-than-expected
sentiment report was a minor factor on the day. The S&P500 fell 1%, banks
down 7%, as Well Fargo revised its
Q4 losses higher and contagion set in. Lloydâ€™s did similarly in the UK, blaming
the revision on a new valuation of subsidiary HBOSâ€™s assets. This pressure to
sell risk was countered in FX markets by pre-G7 positioning, some speculating
on a Monday Boost to the
most battered currencies. The G7 meeting did release comments on the need to
limit currency volatility, but none were singled out by name. Oil closed a
notable 10% higher, as traders closed large short positions ahead of the
three-day US weekend,
but other major commodities were subdued. US treasuries
were sold heavily, the 10year yield up 11bp on digestion of last weekâ€™s record
its trans-Tasman counterpart, almost reaching 0.53 in Europe, and
falling back to 0.5230. Fridayâ€™s retail sales report confirmed our suspicions
that the uncertain outlook is motivating consumers to save. The housing report
showed volumes stabilising, but prices continuing to fall.
its stimulus-led domestic bounce until early Europe to 0.6645,
when it followed EURâ€™s lead lower, and ended the US session
slightly above its 0.6550 low. AUD/NZD did little, well contained by 1.2500 to
EUR had several
gyrations within a 1.2820 to 1.2945 range, as Q4 GDP printed weaker. GBP suffered the
Lloydâ€™s result, plunging from 1.46 1.4350. Speculators were likely long GBP,
pre-G7, exaggerating the fall. USD/JPY was one-way
from 91 to 92, again on expectations of a specific G7 comment.
UoM consumer sentiment falls from 61.2 to 56.2 in early Feb.
Consumer sentiment weakened significantly this month. Current conditions edged
up a little, but the higher weighted expectations component fell back sharply. Inflation
expectations fell in the shorter term, but increased slightly on a five year
view - quite prescient on the part of US consumers, given that inflation is
about to turn negative because of falling energy costs but may return as a problem
in several years time due to the policy measures now being put into place to
support the banking sector and prevent a deeper recession.
auto sales dropped 14.8% in December, their third monthly decline. The
latest fall was the steepest since January 1998 when sales were hit hard by an
ice storm; there were no such weather factors at play this time around. StatCan
guidance for January was that sales recovered by â€śabout 6%â€ť.
1.5% in Q4, confirming that the Euroland economic recession deepened alarmingly
late last year, with all major member countries recording a sharp contraction
in output. Little detail is available with this advance report, but partial
data make it clear that the slump in global trade has had a significant impact
on industrial production and exports across much of the continent. For Euroland
as a whole, the 1.2% yr annual pace of output decline is the weakest since
aggregate data began in the mid 1990s.
to 0.53 was unsurprising, given last weekâ€™s larger sell-off, from 0.5450 to
0.5150. That bounce appears to have run its course (the risk is it has a bit of
energy left, and reaches 0.5350), and this week should be business as usual â€“ a
resumption of the downward trend towards a 0.50 re-test. Q4 PPI today should be
weaker, but this information lags
the already released CPI figures, so reaction should be minimal.
Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266
contributions from Westpac Economics
Country Release Last Forecast
16 Feb NZ Q4
Producer Output Prices 2.8% 0.4%
Input Prices 3.7% 0.4%
Aus RBA Head
of International Dept
Jpn Q4 GDP
%qtr â€“0.5% â€“3.0%
Prices %yr â€“7.3% â€“
Manufacturing Shipments â€“6.4% â€“4.5%
17 Feb Aus
RBA Board Feb Minutes,
US Feb NY Fed
Index â€“22.2 â€“25.0
Housing Market Index 8 7
â€˘ NZ Q4
Retail Sales Review (13 February)
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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