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Tuesday April 28, 2009 - 21:57:10 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Wednesday 29 April 2009


News and views

Risk aversion fades slightly ahead of Fed.  FX markets unwound a bit of risk aversion overnight, helped by better US data, as traders prepared for Q1 GDP and the Fed. US consumer confidence came in well above expectations helping trades like NZD/JPY and AUD/JPY recover at least some of the lost ground. However, nervousness over the banks remained with both Citi and BoA under pressure.

NZD traded down around the 0.5530 level in Sydney only to recover some ground to around 0.5620.

The picture was similar for the AUD hit a low of 0.6990 during the Sydney session but never really came close to re-testing that level over night. In NY it hit a high of 0.7102.

EUR/USD dipped as low as 1.2964 in the London morning but rallied steeply in NY, with DXY losing safe haven demand in part on the better than expected data. Along with a slight easing in the pace of house price decline in Feb, EUR/USD got a further kick along from consumer confidence, which was well above even the bullish market rumours. EUR/USD pushed to the high 1.30s then again in late NY to 1.3150. Not surprisingly, the yen lost some allure, with USD/JPY bouncing from 96.00 in London to the 96.60 area before easing slightly.

US Richmond Fed factory index up from -20 to -9 in April.  The Richmond Fed factory index, like NY, Philly and Dallas before it, found less pessimism this month. The headline improvement was significant, and the detail showed a much slower pace of decline in new orders and shipments. However the jobs component remained very weak, as was the case in the other regional surveys. The Richmond Fed's separate services survey slipped from -28 to -29 in April, so diminished industrial sector pessimism does not seem to have spread to the services sector just yet.

US consumer confidence up 12.3 pts in April. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index jumped sharply this month, though the gain was almost entirely due to expectations, which often track fairly well with the equity market, which has risen 500 points (Dow) since the March survey. The latest tax cuts may also have helped. The current component of the index rose only slightly, held down by a still very pessimistic view of the labour market.

US S&P Case Shiller House Price index fell 2.2% in Feb after falling 2.8% in January. Positive spin: the first monthly decline in eight months not to be steeper than the previous month's decline; negative spin: the fifth consecutive monthly decline of over 2%. The annual pace of decline moderated from -19.0% yr to -18.6% yr, which is the first rise in the annual rate since November 2005; it reflected a 2.6% fall in prices in February last year dropping out of the annual calculation. So as with some of the other US housing data, even prices are falling at a less rapid pace but it would be fanciful to suggest that the US housing market is about to turn - the supply overhang remains a huge impediment to new activity and actual price gains. Further, rising unemployment will continue to dampen the market for some time to come.

Japan retail sales fall 1.1% in March, the sixth successive monthly decline. Despite this, the through the year fall in spending moderated from the 5.7% recorded in Feb to -3.9%. The result was well below consensus expectations of a 0.4% decline but in line with Westpac's expectation of a 1% fall.

German CPI accelerated slightly to 0.7% yr in April despite a flat monthly result for April, because a 0.2% fall in April 2008 dropped out of the calculation.

UK CBI retail survey up from -44 to +3 in April. The first positive reading since March last year, but the CBI explained that the relatively late Easter boosted the outcome substantially. If the CBI is correct then the May survey should be sharply weaker again.



We expect to see further weakening in the NZD into the RBNZ meeting on Thursday.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

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%

Apr Retail PMI 44.1 –

Apr Business Climate Index –3.58 –3.60

Apr Economic Confidence 64.6 64.3

Apr Consumer Confidence –34 –35

30 Apr NZ RBNZ OCR Review 3.00% 2.50%

Mar Building Consents s.a. 11.6% 0.6%


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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