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Wednesday April 22, 2009 - 22:08:35 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 23 April 2009


News and views

Equities weaken into close. US reporting season continued and the likes of Macdonalds and Wells Fargo beat expectations though guidance from Wells was less upbeat and Morgan Stanley posted a bigger than expected loss. Wall street did register gains in the region of 1% through mid day though this eroded into the close and we are closing with losses in the region of 1%. The UK budget was handed down last night and was generally given the thumbs down by economists. Growth forecasts for 2011 were not seen as credible: +3.5% growth was only seen at the peak of the housing bubble earlier this decade. If that is what we are heading for given all the liquidity that Central Banks are pumping, then it is indeed a worrying sign! The UK budget deficit is set to peak at close to 13% in 2009-10 and then ease gradually from 2010-11 onwards and the top marginal tax rate was increased from 40% to 50% on incomes over GBP150k, starting next April. Commodities lost further ground with Copper down another 2% and NYMEX crude slightly softer after EIA and product builds.

Risk currencies gave back gains through the tail end of the NY session as stocks faded. The NZD was much more subdued registering highs in NY of only 0.5597 while the AUD hit a high of 0.7118 in NY but is currently trading round the 0.70550/60 level while.  AUD/NZD had a strong session pushing to a high of 1.2738.

US FHFA house prices up 0.7% in Feb. This lesser watched government house price measure is less impacted by the sale of foreclosed properties, and gives a higher weight to non-urban house prices (which boomed less and hence are now not falling as steeply). Still, the two monthly gains so far this year (though Jan was revised down from 1.7% to 1.0%) add to the modest collection of evidence that suggests the housing market might be finding some kind of base. There will be further house price updates from the National Association of Realtors tonight and S&P Case-Shiller next week.

Japan trade balance surprises with a small surplus or much smaller than expected deficit in adjusted terms. Coming in at JPY97.1bn, the March adjusted trade deficit was much smaller than expected. Exports did edge up 2.8%mth and while there was a firming in imports, it was not enough to prevent an improvement in the overall trade position.

The  UK 2009 Budget was handed down by Chancellor Darling. It makes grim reading. The 2009 economic growth forecast of -3.5% is credible (Westpac is on -3.4%) but his forecast of 1.25% next year (Westpac 0.4%) implies a fairly rapid recovery in private sector spending that we suspect is unrealistic. Then in 2011 he is forecasting 3.5%! That pace of growth was only seen at the peak of the housing bubble earlier this decade when banks were lending like crazy and mortgage equity withdrawal was boosting spending power by nearly 2% of GDP. We don't publish a 2011 forecast but it looks excessively optimistic given the deleveraging that is going, and that financial services which make up nearly a third of the economy is not likely to bounce back that quickly. Meagre stimulus this year of about 0.5% of GDP gives way to gradual fiscal tightening from next year onwards. There simply is no money available to do much more. Even so that sees the public sector net borrowing (budget deficit) rise from GBP90bn (6.4% of GDP) in 2008-09 to a peak of GBP175bn (12.7% of GDP) in 2009-10!

The Bank of England minutes to the April policy meeting showed a unanimous 9:0 vote to keep the bank rate unchanged at 0.50% and continue the quantitative easing program begun in March: "the initial effects of the Committee's asset purchase programme had been encouraging". On the data front, unemployment rose 74k in March and earnings growth slumped from 3.0% yr at end 2008 to just 0.1% yr in February, the weakest on record.

Canadian leading index down 1.3% in March, continuing to fall away sharply, consistent with the Bank of Canada's forecast that the economy will shrink 3% this year.


The market is clearly looking forward/positioning for the RBNZ next week. We would expect to see this theme continue into next week, with the OIS market pricing in 40bps for the RBNZ, the NZD is set to trade heavily ahead of the policy meeting a week today.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

23 Apr NZ Mar Credit Card Transactions 0.5% –

Aus Mar Motor Vehicle Sales –3.5% –4.0%

US Initial Jobless Claims w/e 18/4 610k 610k

Mar Existing Home Sales 5.1% –1.5%

Eur Apr PMI Manufacturing Adv 33.9 35.0

Feb Industrial Orders –3.4% –3.0%

Feb Current Account s.a. –12.7 –10.7

Can BoC Monetary Policy Report

Feb Retail Sales 1.9% –0.3%

24 Apr US Mar Durable Goods Orders 3.4% –0.3%

Mar New Home Sales 4.7% 0.9%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 April)

• NZ Q1 CPI Review (17 April)

• The money tree (17 April)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 April)

• NZ Q1 CPI Preview (8 April)

• NZ Q1 QSBO Review (7 April)

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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