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Sunday May 17, 2009 - 21:10:56 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 18 May 2009


News and views

More signs of sentiment turn. US equities slipped from the opening, and remained subdued for the remainder of the session, ending down 1.1%. Bank shares were dragged down by the FDIC saying some bank chiefs may be fired. US data was generally at or better than consensus, apart from IP after revisions. That result was enough for Westpac's US data surprise model to trigger a signal, suggesting negative data surprises are more likely during the next few weeks, a negative for risk currencies. Oil fell 3.9% on sentiment. US 3mth Libor continued the progression down, easing 2.5bp to 0.825%. Ten year notes were 5bp higher, better headline IP and consumer sentiment reports hurting. In credit news, the Kazakhstan government ruled out assisting defaulter BTA bank (75% government owned).

The US dollar basket rose 0.9%, inversely with risk appetite. EUR fell from 1.3600 to 1.3480, GDP for Euro-zone weaker than expected. USD/CHF rocketed from 1.1050 to 1.1250, arousing suspicions the SNB had intervened. GBP ranged-traded between 1.5150 and 1.5290, ending slightly lower at 1.5180. USD/JPY slipped from around 96 to 95 on safe-haven yen buying.

AUD fell from 0.7600 to 0.7480, following the broader moves down in risk currencies.

NZD broke below the previous day's low to reach 0.5835, a weak retail sales report weighing. AUD/NZD found 1.2850 sticky, and spent much of the session congesting around 1.2800, in line with Westpac's flow model signalling a near term top in this cross.

US UoM consumer sentiment up from 65.1 to 67.9 in May, with a 6.8 pts gain in the outlook component offsetting a 2.1 pts fall in the current index. The headline is at its second highest reading (after August 08's 70.3) since March last year.

US Empire Fed index rises to -4.6 in May adding to the weight of evidence pointing to a slower pace of economic decline in the second quarter. NY factory bosses' responses to the overall business conditions question were much less negative for the second month running; shipments turned (slightly) positive for the first month since September last year (i.e. the best reading since the Lehman Bros meltdown); and the outlook index improved for the 3rd month running. However the orders index gave up some of April's gain and the jobs index improvement lagged the other activity indicators.

US April industrial production also showed a slower pace of decline (the -0.5% outcome was the least weak since -0.1% in July last year) but the imminent shutdown of Chrysler and GM auto plants (already hitting the weekly jobless data for May) should soon see the IP report turning down more sharply once more.

US CPI headline was flat in April thanks to falls in food and gasoline prices offsetting the 0.3% rise in the core rate, which largely reflected another tax driven spike in tobacco prices. Note that the headline CPI has been negative for two months running but the core annual rate has trended higher since the start of this year.

Japanese March core machinery orders fell 1.3%. That was better than anticipated. The small decline follows a downwardly revised 0.6% gain in February. For the quarter, orders fell 9.9%, while the projected outcome for Q2 is -5.0%. Also today, the domestic corporate goods price index fell 0.4%mth, 3.8%yr in April, down from -2.2%yr in March.

Euroland GDP growth surprised to the downside in Q1, with the aggregate shrinking a further 2.5%. With most of the national data including downward revisions to Q4, when the more detailed "preliminary" GDP figures are published on June 3, we expect to see the Euroland Q4 outcome revised down from the current -1.6% (the advance report never includes revisions). Also, the April CPI was confirmed at 0.6% yr, unrevised from the flash estimate and unchanged from March. The April core rate surprised to the upside, lifting from 1.4% yr in March to 1.8% yr.

Canadian manufacturing shipments plunged 2.7% in March, reversing their 2.2% Feb gain and resuming the steep downtrend that began in August last year. Aerospace and auto parts led the fall, with some offset from stronger sales of complete autos.


The break below 0.5865 (previous day's low) was significant, and tilts momentum to the downside. Today's PPI report shouldn't trouble the markets materially.



Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

18 May NZ Q1 Producer Output Prices 1.4% 0.5%

Q1 Producer Output Prices –2.2% 0.0%

US May NAHB Housing Market Index 14 13

Jpn Apr Consumer Confidence 29.6 31.0

Eur Mar Trade Balance €bn –4.0 –3.8

UK May House Prices %yr –7.3% –8.0%

19 May Aus RBA Governor Stevens Speaking 8am

RBA Minutes of May Meeting

Treasury Sec. Henry Speaking to ABE

US Apr Housing Starts –10.8 –2.0%

Apr Housing Permits –8.5 4.0%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q1 Retail Sales Review (15 May)

• 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)

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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