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Thursday April 16, 2009 - 00:22:20 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 16 April 2009


News and views

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 conditions.

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 M&A flows.

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.

US New York "Empire State" 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% (previously 0.75%).

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 clues.


Events Today

Country Release Last Forecast

US Mar Housing Starts 583k 565k

Mar Housing Permits 564k 575k

Initial Jobless Claims w/e 11/4 654k 660k

Apr Philadelphia Fed Index –35.0 –32.0

Fedspeak: Lockhart

Eur Mar CPI (F) %yr 0.6%a 0.5%

Mar CPI - Core %yr 1.7% 1.5%

Feb Industrial Production –3.5% –2.5%

Can Feb Manufacturing Shipments –5.4% –


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 April)

• NZ Q1 CPI Preview (8 April)

• NZ Q1 QSBO Review (7 April)

• An update on the mortgage market (1 April)

• NZ Q1 Employment Confidence Index (1 April)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (30 March)

• NZ Q4 Current Account Review (26 March)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac

Institutional Bank’s website (



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 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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