uncertainty drives global risk aversion overnight. The
conflicting signals and rumours regarding nationalisation of banks such as
Citigroup drove investors to take the safest path and shun risk, sending the
S&P500 down 2% by NZâ€™s open, the Dow Jones Industrials touching 1997
levels. In breaking news this morning, an announcement on the Citigroup
situation is expected later today or tomorrow, and insurance giant AIG is
expected to announce a US$60 billion loss, likely to be followed by a request
for more government assistance. Oil followed the theme, down 3%, as did the USD
index, +1%. Most other asset classes were little changed.
NZD followed AUD
higher to 0.5183, and then fell a cent, not offering any new clues from the
price action. Yesterdayâ€™s Jan credit card transactions were 1.7% higher mom,
but this statistic is a less reliable guide to retail sales than the more
complete electronic transactions report, and so we take little from the
a final push in this two-day rally, to 0.6550, before negative EUR comments
brought it back to 0.6435. AUD/NZD washed around
in a broad 1.2580 to 1.27 range.
session surge to 1.2992 was Citigroup-inspired, and the ensuing fall attributed
to Fitch concerns regarding Austria, as well as
ECB Trichetâ€™s reiteration of the negative Eurozone outlook. Quashed talk of a
Eurozone bond issue to assist weaker members also contributed. USD/JPY reached almost
95, as deteriorating fundamentals remove its former safe-haven status.
Dallas Fed factory index falls from â€“50.5 to â€“57.3 in Feb. Production, orders,
shipments, jobs, the workweek and investment were all weaker. This result
mirrors the NY and Philly Fed surveys, which also rose in Jan but then fell
away again in Feb. Separately, the Chicago Fed published its national activity
index for Jan (a summary of 85 previously released indicators). It rose from
-3.65 to -3.45, still very weak and if the Fed business surveys are to be
believed, it will be a short-lived rise.
retail sales slump 5.4% in Dec. Unit auto sales were already known to have slumped
15% in Dec, and gasoline sales were down 12% on lower prices. But even
excluding these factors, core retailing was down an exceptionally weak 1.8%,
with broad-based and steep losses across furniture, building supplies and
clothing. More evidence that the domestic economy is slowing sharply.
continues to range between 0.50 and 0.52, and shows no signs of an impending
breakout. Todayâ€™s price action should be confined to that range. We expect that
break will eventually be to the downside, targeting the high 0.40â€™s.
Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266
contributions from Westpac Economics
Country Release Last Forecast
S&P-CS house prices %yr â€“18.2% â€“
consumer confidence 37.7 35.0
Fed factory index â€“49 â€“55
Bernanke semi-annual testimony
Jpn Jan BoJ
Policy meeting minutes â€“ â€“
current account â‚¬bn sa â€“16.0 â€“
industrial orders â€“4.5% â€“6.0%
Ger Feb Ifo
business climate index 83.0 82.0
business investment â€“1.3% â€“
distributive trades survey â€“ â€“
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (23 February)
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (16 February)
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)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
Daily Forex Market News Forex news reports can be found on the forex research
headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports
provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex
market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found
Forex News Real-time forex market news reports and features providing
other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the
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Mon 18 Dec
10:00 EZ- final HICP Tue 19 Dec
09:00 DE- IFO Survey
13:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
13:30 US- Current Account Wed 20 Dec
15:00 US- Existing Homes Sales
15:30 US- EIA Crude Thu 21 Dec
03:00 JP- BOJ Decision
13:30 CA- CPI & Retail Sales
13:30 US Weely Jobless
13:30 US- GDP Fri 22 Dec
09:30 US- GB- GDP
13:30 US- core PCE Deflator & Presonal Income
15:00 US- New Homes Sales
15:00 US- final University of Michigan
17:00 US- early Closes Mon 25 Dec
00:00 Christmas Holidays
Potential Trading Opportunities
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: Medium Mon--10:00 GMT-- EZ- final November HICP. flash data are rarely changed.
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium Tue --09:00 GMT-- DE- IFO Survey. Key report but usually not a market-mover
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH- Medium- Tue --13:30 GMT-- US- Housing Starts and Permits. Leading indicators of activity
POTENTIAL PRICE RISK: HIGH-Medium- Wed --15:00-- US- Existing Homes Sales. Top Housing statistic
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