Risk appetite directed at
currencies. While US equities
paused for breath, position squaring ahead of Thursday's bank stress test
results partly responsible, the likes of AUD, NZD, and GBP currencies closed
the last 24 hours slightly firmer. US ISM data delivered a positive surprise,
and the Fed's Bernanke delivered a cautiously upbeat testimony, speaking of
signs of bottoming in the US housing market. The S&&P500 closed down
0.4%, while commodities saw larger profit-taking, oil -1.1% and copper -3.1%.
The abatement of funding pressures in the US continues - 3mth Libor 2bp lower at 0.99%, and
the TED spread poised to fall below 83bp technical support.
EUR spiked during Europe to 1.3430, before falling to the 1.3300 area,
concerns that the ECB meeting on Thursday may reveal unconventional measures
weighing. GBP ended the evening session slightly stronger, spiking from
1.5000 to 1.5160, and settling at 1.5070. UK construction PMI was a positive surprise, and
the market is looking for a stronger consumer confidence number this morning. JPY
tracked sideways just under 99.
After hovering around the 0.7400 level
for most of the domestic session, AUD followed EUR to 0.7480 before
falling back to the earlier level, currently at 0.7415.
NZD moved off 0.5750 support early Europe, and peaked at 0.5865 before slipping under
0.5800. AUD/NZD spent most of the evening under 1.2800, currently consolidating
around that level.
US non-factory ISM up from 40.8 to 43.7 in Apr. The non-manufacturing PMI continued its uptrend
from last October's 37.4 low-point, though April's 43.7 reading still implies a
significant pace of services/construction contraction at the start of the
current quarter. As with most of the regional and national factory surveys for
April, the orders component was notably stronger, whereas the improvement in
the jobs measure was less impressive. Even so, the weight of survey evidence
supports the view that the monthly pace of decline in payrolls jobs has
probably past its peak (of -741k in January).
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke testified
before the Joint Economic Committee.
Some of his comments were hopeful: "the recent data also suggest that the
pace of contraction may be slowing, and they include some tentative signs that
final demand, especially demand by households, may be stabilizing... the
housing market, which has been in decline for three years, has also shown some
signs of bottoming... we continue to expect economic activity to bottom out,
then to turn up later this year." But risks remain: "An important
caveat is that our forecast assumes continuing gradual repair of the financial
system; a relapse in financial conditions would be a significant drag on
economic activity and could cause the incipient recovery to stall." And
when recovery arrives, it won't be impressive: "We expect that the
recovery will only gradually gain momentum and that economic slack will
Euroland producer prices -3.1% yr in
Mar. The PPI has fallen for
eight months running and their annual pace of contraction is the steepest ever
UK construction PMI up from 31 to 38 in Apr. As with most other PMIs around the world, the UK construction PMI posted a decent gain last
month, indicating a slower pace of contraction in the building industry at the
start of the second quarter.
Upward momentum was checked last night, and a
range of 0.5750 to 0.5850 is likely to contain action today. Event risk today
stems from today's private wages report, as well as Australia's retail sales.
Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266
contributions from Westpac Economics
Release Last Forecast
NZ Q1 Labour
Cost Index Private Ord Time 0.7% 0.5%
Retail Sales (seas adj) β2.0% β0.5%
Retail Sales 0.8% 0.2%
International Trade Balance, AUDbn 2.1 1.7
Layoff Announcements 150k β
Private Payrolls Change β742k β645k
Eur Apr PMI
Services (F) 43.1a 43.1
Sales β0.6% flat
UK Apr PMI
Services 45.5 46.0
Apr BRC Shop
Price Index %yr 2.0% β
Can MarBuilding Permits β15.9%
Apr Ivey PMI
β’ NZ Weekly
Forex Outlook (4 May)
Economic Overview May 2009 (1 May)
β’ NZ Q1
labour market preview (30 April)
β’ RBNZ OCR
Review (30 April)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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