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Monday April 27, 2009 - 22:31:29 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Tuesday 28 April 2009


News and views

Swine flu the new stress test?  Last week the focus was all on stress tests. At least for the Monday session, it was swine flu. The WHO announced 40 lab confirmed cases in the US, 26 confirmed cases in Mexico and 7 deaths and one reported case in Spain. However, wires reported that Mexico had confirmed 149 deaths and closed all schools suggesting the story was deteriorating. Late in the day, rumours swirled of over 100 cases at a private school in NY. This continued the theme that started in the Asian session. Stocks fell, but in a more subdued fashion.  If this wasn't enough, wire reported Nowotny comments from Reuters hammered EUR lower.

NZD held better with losses beneath the 0.5650 level limited. We would expect to see the NZD continue lower into the RBNZ OCR later this week.

AUD traded heavily late in the NY session and fell to the 0.7100 level with lows just beneath.

The EUR spent much of last week clawing its way higher from sub 1.30 to a high just above 1.33 on Friday night. We gave back all those gains yesterday with Nowotny comments one of the key drivers. He said the ECB stood "ready to use unconventional measures of quantitative easing". And finally, we had low flying planes to contend with, though this turned out to be Air Force One flying low over the Statue of Liberty for a photo op. But this didn't help market nerves and the US$ was stronger pretty much across the board. Commodities slipped with oil and copper down sharply and others following the same.

US Dallas Fed factory index up from -49 to -32 in Apr.  The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey showed further improvement this month, easily beating the consensus forecast of 44 and even surpassing Westpac's top of the range -35 forecast. The production and orders components were sharply improved although the jobs measure, while less weak, remained in the recent range. This result is broadly similar to the other regional Fed surveys (NY, Philly) released thus far for April. So, while only 101 firms actually responded to the Dallas survey, add this result to those other regionals and you build up a fairly consistent picture of improving manufacturing sentiment along the eastern seaboard and stretching down to the south. These results still imply falling output and orders, but the pace of decline in Q2 may be less steep than in Q1.

General Motors announced a further 6,800 job cuts (on top of 15,200 already announced), the dropping of the Pontiac brand, the planned sale of the Saturn unit, dealership closures and an equity for debt swap in a effort to avoid bankruptcy on June 1.

German consumer confidence (surveyed early April but labelled May) was unchanged this month, but still down sharply from 5.6 a year ago. Rising German unemployment would be a factor at play - it bottomed at 7.6% in late Q3 but has since risen to 8.1%. Also import prices continue to drift lower, though the 2-4% monthly declines of late 2008 have slowed to more marginal falls, now that energy prices have stabilised. Even so the annual pace of decline of -7.1% yr is the steepest drop since April 1987.

UK bank mortgage lending update. The number of new mortgages issued last month by banks was down 7.1% on February, but still up 46% on the low point of just under 18k back in November last year. Still, to put that into perspective, March's 26k compares to 80k new loans a month at the peak of the market in 2006, and almost 90k in the previous boom in 2003. So while it seems that the partial nationalisation of several of the major banks is leading to some "unfreezing" of the housing finance market, things are still very sluggish. It was also reported separately today that the best mortgage deal available in the UK now "only" required a 25% deposit whereas previously potential borrowers had to stump up a huge 40% of the price of the property.



We are bearish on NZD crosses short term, especially with the RBNZ decision looming, threatening to push rates lower along the yield curve.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

28 Apr US S&P/CS Feb House Prices %yr –19.0% –19.0%

Apr CB Consumer Confidence 26.0 30.0

Apr Richmond Fed Factory Index –20 –15

Jpn Mar Retail Trade %mth –0.2% –1.0%

Ger Apr CPI Prelim %yr 0.5% 0.6%

UK Apr CBI Distributive Trades

29 Apr NZ Mar Merchandise Trade NZDmn 489 450

Apr NBNZ Business Confidence –39.3% –

US Q1 GDP Advance % Annualised –6.3% –5.0%

FOMC Rate Decision 0.25% 0.25%

Eur Mar Money Supply M3 %yr 5.9% 5.7%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (27 April)

• RBNZ OCR Preview (23 April)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 April)

• NZ Q1 CPI Review (17 April)

• The money tree (17 April)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 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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