A choppy and largely directionless
evening. This was probably a
reflection of mixed US earnings signals (Intel beat expectations, but guidance
was murky), and mixed US economic data releases (strong NY Fed survey, weak
industrial production, mixed CPI). The S&P500 spent the session in a lower
sideways range until the last hour, jumping to a +1.3% close; banks rallied
throughout to close +6.7%. The US dollar index benefited only slightly, while
commodities were generally subdued. Copper stood out, up 4.7% on another fall
in inventories. US 10 year treasuries rallied 2bp, while 3mth Libor nudged
another bp down to 1.11 (-22bp over the past month), reflecting easier funding
NZD did make a new low during Europe, to 0.5740, before bouncing to the current
0.5820. NZ interest rates (swaps market) have fallen 20bp during the past few
days, as investors raise their probabilities of a 50bp OCR cut on 30 April.
AUD rallied after the domestic close, from 0.7150
to the current 0.7280, with no obvious event to attribute the triggering of
stop-losses. AUD/NZD continued its domestic move above recent 1.24 resistance,
to 1.2570, consolidating in the past few hours at 1.2525; lower NZD rates this
week have supported the cross.
EUR first rallied to 1.33, then fell to 1.3170,
ending the European session little changed around 1.3230. ECB's Weber said the
policy rate won't be cut below 1.00%, but added any QE measures will be
announced in May. GBP rallied from 1.4870 to just above 1.50 on rumoured
US CPI fell 0.1% in March, due to a greater-than-expected fall in consumer
energy prices, as foreshadowed by yesterday's PPI. Annual CPI dropped to -0.4%
as base effects from last year's oil price spike washed through. Core inflation
was 0.17%, much as expected. This continues the low-but-positive-inflation
theme of recent months.
USNew York "EmpireState" survey improved to -14.7 in April, from -38.2 in March. This level of the headline
business conditions index has not been seen since Lehman Brothers collapsed.
The detail of the survey was even stronger than the headline. New orders and
shipments went from deeply negative in March to almost neutral in April.
However, the improvement in the employment question was more muted, suggesting
job losses will continue to run at a high pace into April. Overall the survey
suggests minor falls in factory production instead of the steep falls seen over
the past six months.
US industrial production fell a further 1.5% in
March, continuing its sharpest
slide since 1975. IP has now fallen 12.8% in a year. Capacity utilisation fell
to 69.3%, the lowest in the post-war era. This month's decline was lead by a
fall in machinery manufacturing, while vehicle manufacturing was up 1.5%.
Bundesbank president and ECB
Governing Council member Axel Weber
said cutting the main official interest rate below 1% would be disruptive to
interbank lending. Accordingly, our forecast of the terminal ECB rate is now 1%
UK March RICS house price balance improved
slightly to -73, meaning a
slightly less overwhelming majority of respondents expect prices to fall.
UK Feb DCLG (government) measure of annual house
price inflation fell to -12.3%,
from -11.5% last month.
We favour this downward move in NZD continuing
over the next few sessions, to sub-0.5700. Global risk appetite has stalled,
and will be mainly driven by earnings announcements during the week ahead. We
are watching global indicators, rather than anything local, for NZD directional
Release Last Forecast
US Mar Housing
Starts 583k 565k
Permits 564k 575k
Jobless Claims w/e 11/4 654k 660k
Philadelphia Fed Index β35.0 β32.0
Eur Mar CPI
(F) %yr 0.6%a 0.5%
Mar CPI -
Core %yr 1.7% 1.5%
Production β3.5% β2.5%
Manufacturing Shipments β5.4% β
β’ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (14 April)
β’ NZ Q1 CPI
Preview (8 April)
β’ NZ Q1 QSBO
Review (7 April)
β’ An update
on the mortgage market (1 April)
β’ NZ Q1
Employment Confidence Index (1 April)
β’ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (30 March)
β’ NZ Q4
Current Account Review (26 March)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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