More bears growing horns. Some US bank stress test headline results
managed to reach the media last night (despite the official release being
tonight), and they were not as dire as the market expected. Several banks
(Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Bank of NY) were said to be sound enough not to
require new capital, and those which do, such as Citigroup and Wells Fargo,
need much less than expectations had priced in. Yesterday's news that BofA
needs $34 billion was perversely followed by a 16% rise in its shares last
night. The S&P500 closed up 1.2%, banks having another stellar performance
EUR failed to follow equities higher, possibly
weighed by concerns the ECB may at least start talking about QE at tonight's
policy meeting, and Standard & Poor's cutting the ratings on five German
landesbanks. A range of 1.3270 to 1.3370 contained action. GBP, on the
other hand, found support at 1.50 to launch a move higher to 1.5140.
AUD gained over a cent to 0.7500 and made a new
2009 high as risk buyers targeted this particular currency, both against the
USD as well as the EUR. Yesterday's strong retail sales and trade number
NZD failed to keep pace with the AUD, gaining half
a cent to around 0.5850. Yesterday's March statement of government finances
reminded the market of the hole expected in the 28 May budget. AUD/NZD gained
from 1.2750 to 1.2850, but has slipped in the past few hours to under 1.2800.
US ADP private payrolls down 491k in
Apr. This compares to a revised
708k fall (was 742k) in Mar. Despite a methodology revamp a few months ago, ADP
does not yet have a reliable track record as a predictor of surprise monthly
payrolls outcomes. So we are not revising our forecast of a 650k April payrolls
decline, although risks that we see a smaller fall have increased somewhat.
Also on the labour market, corporate layoff announcements were up 47% yr in
Euroland April PMI services revised
higher. The services PMI was
revised up from the flash estimate of 43.1 to 43.8. However March retail sales
fell 0.6%, the sixth consecutive month of decline.
UK house prices down 1.7% in April. The HBoS measure was weaker than the Nationwide
BS house price index for April, which only fell 0.4%. The annual pace of decline
of the HBoS index is now -17.7% yr, from -147.5% yr in Mar. In other news, the
PMI services rose from 45.5 to 48.7 in April, another sign that the economy
might be contracting at a slower pace heading into Q2.
Stronger than expected Canadian
data. The Ivey PMI survey
jumped from 43.2 to 53.7 in April, a month when it normally declines. Building
permits surged 23.5% in March after five consecutive declines in Oct-Feb.
Non-res jumped 48% but residential was up only 5%.
The Q1 unemployment rate reported this morning
is expected to be 5.3% (from 4.7%), although a much worse number would be
needed to pressure NZD. Global sentiment remains strong, and dominates local
fundamentals as far as driving the NZD goes. Today's resistance at 0.5870 is
vulnerable, pointing to 0.5900.
Speizer, Senior Market Strategist, NZ, Ph: (04) 470 8266
contributions from Westpac Economics
Release Last Forecast
NZ Q1 HLFS
Employment 0.9% â€“1.2%
Unemployment 4.7% 5.3%
Employment chg â€“34.7k â€“18k
Rate 5.7% 5.8%
Productivity % annâ€™lsd â€“0.4% 0.0%
Labour Costs % annâ€™lsd 5.7% 2.8%
Jobless Claims w/e 2/5 631k 640k
Store Sales %yr â€“2.1% â€“
Consumer Credit $bn â€“7.5 â€“4.0
Bernanke, Evans, Yellen
Eur ECB Repo
Rate Decision 1.25% 1.00%
Factory Orders â€“3.5% â€“4.0%
UK BoE Rate
Decision 0.50% 0.50%
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)
papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
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