signals and choppy trading last night. In the risk-positive camp were the
S&P500 banks (+12%), the DAX and FTSE closing slightly firmer, oil rose 4%
(partly attributed to a naval incident between the US and China), and US 10
year treasuries sold by 2bp. In the negative camp, the S&P500 open
strongly, but faded
throughout the session to be down 1% as we write, credit spreads widened, and
copper is down 3%. Most notably, the US dollar was bought from Europeâ€™s open,
perhaps in response to the skittish trade elsewhere. The mixed tone was nicely
demonstrated by the reaction to the Merck takeover of Schering-Plough â€“ the
M&A deal activity initially engendering optimism, but later taken as sign
the recession is broadening its reach to the defensive pharmaceuticals sector.
NZD followed its
ranging domestic session with a sell-off, from 0.5040 to 0.4925, and is poised
to break lower again. Yesterdayâ€™s report showed Q4 real building work fell 6.5%
AUD was neutral
yesterday until Europe opened,
when it was sold from 0.64 to around 0.6310. AUD/NZDâ€™s break upwards from the
mid-1.27â€™s to 1.2830 was technically convincing.
EUR was affected
by the sell-bias early session, falling to 1.2555, but staged a recovery to
1.2665 late Europe. GBP was hardest hit, falling almost
4 cents to around 1.3745 and consolidating there, most likely reflecting the
weekendâ€™s news regarding Lloydsâ€™ partial nationalisation (to around 77%
government ownership). USD/JPY broke above
the 98.30 area to 99.20, unsurprising after it posted its first current account
deficit in 13 years.
current account swung to â€“Â¥173bn in Jan from +Â¥125bn surplus in Dec,
the first deficit in 13 years. Indeed, while partly reflecting seasonal
factors, there was surplus of Â¥258bn seasonally adjusted, this represented a
record current account deficit for Japan. This
included a trade deficit of Â¥844bn, in line with the merchandise trade data,
with exports â€“46.3%yr and imports â€“31.7%yr, on the global downturn.
Sentix investor confidence fell to -42.7, undoing two months of improvement
and sending the series below last Decemberâ€™s record low. The current business
conditions indicator was particularly dire at -59.75.
housing starts fell to 134.6k, much weaker than the market expectation of
149k. Housing starts have collapsed 35% in the space of four months, to a level
last seen in 2000.
yesterday that a break of either 0.51 up or 0.4970 down was needed to establish
short-term direction. The NZD broke down overnight, and 0.4970 should offer
resistance today. It was telling that during an evening where asset class price
action was mixed, risk-currencies were decisively sold. The sentiment pendulum
appears to be swinging back towards our mediumâ€“term weak-NZD bias.
â€¢ NZ Agribiz
March 2009 (9 March)
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (9 March)
â€¢ RBNZ March
MPS Preview (6 March)
â€¢ A changing
climate (4 March)
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (2 March)
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (16 February)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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