dominate.US equities opened strongly, maintaining those
gains to close up 3.2%, with banks up an impressive 18.4%. This despite
Standard & Poor's placing the credit ratings of 23 financial institutions, including
Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo, on negative watch, and the
likelihood that the stress tests will say they need more capital. Sidelined
cash appears to be getting itchier, and is jumping on any greenshoots, such as
the better than expected US construction spending and home sales reports
last night. Oil rose 2.3% and copper gained 2.0%. US funding pressures continue
to stabilise, 3mth Libor 1bp lower to 1.01%.
EUR was under pressure during early Europe as the EU revised GDP forecasts for the
Eurozone and countries downwards. Comments from Obama proposing to outlaw
offshore tax avoidance techniques also saw the USD strengthen, and EUR fell a
cent to around 1.3215. It was a different story from the US opening bell, though, and the currency quickly
rallied to the 1.3400 area. USD/JPY's fall was a dampened somewhat by
ex-MOF Sakakibara's comments Japan is in worse shape than the US, and the yen
should weaken to 100-110.
AUD followed EUR down from 0.7380 to 0.7315,
and then US equities up to 0.7400. AUD/NZD rose from around
1.28 to almost 1.29, stalling at 1.2850.
NZD behaved similarly to AUD, making a 0.5770 high,
before consolidating under 0.5750. The lack of follow through on the upside
possibly reflecting New Zealand's narrowing interest rate premium over other
US construction spending rose 0.3% in March, the first gain in six months. The residential
component remained weak - new home construction fell 6.6% in March, and has now
fallen for three years uninterrupted. However, non-residential construction
rose 2.0%, boosting by government spending. The data were stronger than
expected, and suggest an upward revision to the preliminary estimate of Q1 GDP.
home sales rose 3.2% in March,
stronger than expected and the second gain in a row. Data were mixed
regionally, with sales up in the South and West but down in the Northeast and Midwest. Lower prices and an $8k tax credit have
attracted first-time buyers, who accounted for 51% of sales. But it remains a
buyers' market: distressed sales made up about 50% of existing home sales,
compared to 45% in previous months.
Senior Loan Officers' Survey
found that banks continue to tighten their lending standards. Compared to the
January survey, more lenders tightened standards on residential mortgages, but
fewer tightened standards for business and consumer loans. Banks reported that
loan demand weakened in almost every category, with the notable exception of
Commission slashed its growth forecasts for the Eurozone to -4.0% this year and -0.1% next year, broadly
in agreement with the IMF and OECD. Unemployment is expected to reach 11.5%
next year, and slowing growth and rising social security costs are expected to
lift the average fiscal deficit to 6.5% of GDP, with all of the major economies
in breach of the 3% limit set out in the Stability and Growth Pact.
April manufacturing PMI was revised up from 36.7 to 36.8 on the final estimate. While an improvement
from 33.9 in March, it still implies a deep contraction in manufacturing in the
first half of this year.
European investor confidence rose slightly to -34.3 in May, a weaker gain than expected. The current
conditions index fell from -55 to -59, while expectations rose from -12 to -5.
retail sales volumes fell 1.0% in March, much weaker than expected, as rising employment continued to sap
consumer confidence. Car sales, not included in the headline figures, fell by
6.5%, following a 14.6% gain in February as the government introduced a 'cash
for clunkers' incentive to encourage people to buy new cars.
failure of NZD to retest the 0.5620 support level means the balance of
probabilities today favours a test of Thursday's 0.5770 high. Today's ANZ
commodity price report shouldn't trouble the market, being a composite of
already digested information.
Country Release Last Forecast
5 May NZ Apr
ANZ Commodity Prices 1.0% â€“
Dwelling Approvals 7.8% 3.0%
Announcement 3.00% 3.00%
US Apr ISM
Non-Factory Index 40.8 43.0
Eur Mar PPI
%yr â€“1.8% â€“2.8%
UK Apr PMI
Construction 30.9 32.0
6 May NZ Q1
Labour Cost Index Priv Ord Time 0.7% 0.5%
Retail Sales (seas adj) â€“2.0% â€“0.5%
Retail Sales 0.8% 0.2%
Trade Balance AUDbn 2.1 1.7
Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266
contributions from Westpac Economics
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (4 May)
Economic Overview May 2009 (1 May)
â€¢ NZ Q1
labour market preview (30 April)
â€¢ RBNZ OCR
Review (30 April)
â€¢ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (27 April)
â€¢ RBNZ OCR
Preview (23 April)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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Mon 19 Feb 2018
00:00 CN, US- Holiday Tue 20 Feb 2018
00:00 CN- Holiday A 10:00 US- ZEW Survey Wed 21 Feb 2018
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