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Tuesday March 3, 2009 - 21:16:49 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex Research - MORNING REPORT

MORNING REPORT   Wednesday 4 March 2009

 

News and views

Residual selling of equities, but otherwise mixed markets. The S&P500 tried to rally at the open, Obama saying equities are a good deal here, but Fed Bernanke's speech, noting the uncertain impact of stimulus and the possibility of expanding the US$700 billion bank rescue fund, put paid to that. The index is down 0.5% as we write, similar to the Euro-Stoxx close. Credit spreads globally were slightly wider. Copper gained 6% on lower inventories. A small bounce in risk appetite pushed gold down 1% and US 10 year treasuries up 5bp. Canada cut rates 50bp to 0.50%, and spoke of future quantitative easing (as did two ECB members).

NZD followed the AUD reaction with a beta of 0.6, reaching around 0.5020, the pullback to 0.4950. All eyes now will be on the RBNZ's move next Thursday. Swap interest rates for NZ are now below those for Australia, up to 5 year maturities, and a 75bp or 100bp cut will only pressure this swap spread lower.

AUD continued the RBA-pause inspired domestic rally to the 0.6465 area, then falling back to 0.6370 on a Mitchell article claiming the RBA has not stopped cutting rates. The RBA pause did take the AUD/NZD cross to around 1.29 during yesterday's domestic session, and Europe held those gains, briefly flirting with 1.2940.

EUR rose and fell, to 1.2680 and 1.2520, for little net change. Option barriers at 1.2450 to 1.25 make this region sticky. GBP made multiple tests of 1.40 support, waiting above, and USD/JPY had another crack at last week's high around 98.60.

US pending home sales slumped 7.7% in Jan, and December's gain was revised down from 6.3% to 4.8%. Combined with last Thursday's report of a 10% drop in new home sales, the overall housing market picture has taken another turn for the worse.

US Fed Chairman Bernanke said more needed to be done to stabilise the financial system, including aid to the banks in excess of the $700bn already approved. Bernanke reiterated his uncertainty about the impact of Obama's stimulus package, given that households may save rather than spend any windfall.

UK construction PMI fell to 27.8 in Feb, from 34.5. This more than unwound January's increase and provides further evidence of a new bout of economic deterioration in February.

Bank of Canada lowered the overnight rate by 50bps, citing weaker-than-expected activity in major overseas economies. The Bank is now considering its options for quantitative and/or credit easing, and will outline its strategy after the April meeting.

Outlook

The 0.50 resistance level held last night (a 20 pip breach is insignificant), and today should be quiet, with the risk of a spark from Australia's Q4 GDP. The suggested range is 0.4920 to 0.5020. Later this week, the BoE and ECB are expected to cut rates, which could pressure EUR down, and in turn NZD.

 

 

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 www.westpac.com.au 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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