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Wednesday May 13, 2009 - 22:40:07 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Thursday 14 May 2009


News and views

Sentiment turning. A weak US retail sales report was the attributed catalyst for a sharp fall overnight in risky assets and currencies, its importance underlined by retail activity accounting for around 60% of the US economy. The S&P500 closed down 2.7%, further confirming last Thursday's key reversal signal and suggesting this 2 month rally may have run its course. Copper fell 3.1%, oil -1.4%. US 3mth Libor fell by its routine 2bp to 0.88%, and US 10yr notes improved by 6bp. A Washington Post article said US government regulations will be applied to the derivatives markets soon.

EUR fell from its domestic opening, from 1.3700 to 1.3565, which is minor support from Tuesday. There were conflicting comments from ECB's Kranjec and Weber - the former saying bond purchases may exceed the stated EUR 60 billion, the latter the opposite. Weber also said one doesn't comment on colleagues. GBP was hit hard, from 1.5330 to 1.5090, a gloomy BoE report pointing to potential increases in QE. USD/JPY fell a yen to 95.35, some talk of M&A flow around Nikko Cordial noted.

AUD was repelled for the second time this week from 0.7700 resistance, and plunged almost 2 cents to 0.7510. Yesterday's budget had little market impact, given the key points had been either leaked or expected in the weeks leading up to the release.

NZD's fall was as dramatic, 0.6085 to 0.5885. The AUD/NZD cross moved to a higher 1.27 to 1.28 range.

US retail sales down 0.4% in April, and given slight downward revisions to history, that was actually pretty much in line with Westpac's -0.5% forecast. Auto sales rose slightly despite a sharp fall in industry unit sales data (perhaps fleet sales bore the brunt of the collapse, not retail auto sales); but this was offset by gasoline sales which were down despite Dept of Energy data showing prices edging higher since March. Core retailing was subdued, as we expected, falling 0.3% on top of their steeper 1.0% fall in March.

US business inventories down 1.0% in March, reflecting 0.7% lower retail stocks, on top of previously reported declines in factory and wholesale inventories. The decline in total inventories was not as steep as the Commerce Dept assumed when calculating Q1 GDP so there is some scope for an upward revision in this component. Along with net exports and construction spending partials, this should push the advance Q1 -6.1% estimate to closer to -5% annualised.

US import prices jumped 1.6% in April, reflecting the latest upswing in fuel prices, but other import prices were little changed.

Japanese current account widened more than expected in March. The s/adj number (relevant for growth) came in at JPY902bn, up from JPY673bn in Feb. The raw balance (relevant for capital flows) came in at JPY1.49trn, versus expectations of JPY1.21trn.

Euroland industrial production down 2.0% in March, its eleventh month without a gain. Although the scale of monthly output decline has diminished a little since the end of 2008, over the past year output was down by a fifth, its steepest annual contraction on record. For an economy whose core members are driven largely by industrial activity and exports, this is a real and ongoing concern.

The Bank of England quarterly inflation report included a CPI central projection holding below the 2% target for the full three year forecast period (out to 2012), and the tone of comments from Governor King was even more cautious than in February. It sounds like the BoE has a strong easing bias still, but with rates having been cut as far as seems plausible, the Bank is more likely to act on that easing bias by extending its quantitative easing (unsterilised asset purchase) program, rather than by cutting rates further.

Canadian auto sales jumped 6.3% in March, their strongest rise since the start of last year, mainly due to truck/SUV sales. April sales were estimated at "essentially unchanged".


Last night's equities action supported the view that this 2 month risk rally was becoming stretched, and a correction was due. The speed of decline in NZD last night indicates the fragile nature of recent NZD long positions, and it is hard to see those longs being re-established soon. According, we favour 0.5965 providing a cap today, and a continuation of this move below 0.5900.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

14 May US Apr Producer Prices –1.2% 0.4%

Apr PPI Core flat 0.2%

Initial Jobless Claims w/e 9/5 601k 615k

Eur May ECB Monthly Report

15 May NZ Q1 Real Retail Sales –0.6% –1.3%

Mar Retail Sales 0.2% 0.5%

US Apr Consumer Price Index –0.1% 0.1%

Apr CPI Core 0.2% 0.1%

May NY Fed Empire State Index –14.7 –20.0

Mar TIC Data $bn 22.0 30.0

Apr Industrial Production –1.5% –0.8%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (11 May)

• NZ Q1 HLFS Review (7 May)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (4 May)

• NZ Economic Overview May 2009 (1 May)

• NZ Q1 labour market preview (30 April)

• RBNZ OCR Review (30 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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