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Sunday May 24, 2009 - 22:47:45 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 25 May 2009

News and views

Correlations - normal service has resumed (for now). Friday marked the second consecutive day when both US equities and the US dollar were sold, a relationship which had broken down since mid-2008. The S&P500 closed down 0.4%, VIX up 1.3 to 32.6, and the US dollar index up 0.6%. The catalyst was likely Thursday's UK credit rating revision which was then extrapolated onto the US (given its budget deficit), supported by talk over the past few weeks of China et al shifting reserves composition from USD assets to other currencies and commodities. Hence the rally in copper (+2.3%), and sell-off in US treasuries, the 10yr up 9bp to 3.45%. This week's treasuries auctions will be closely watched for further signs of flight.

It was one-way traffic for the EUR, from 1.39 to 1.4050 during the NY afternoon, settling at 1.4000. ECB's Juncker commented that further euro rises would not be in line with fundamentals, and could hamper recovery. Similarly for the GBP, 1.5760 to 1.5945. USD/JPY sat above the 94 level until midday London, moving up to 94.90.

AUD eked modest gains, 0.7810 to 0.7865, before slipping at the NY close. A Mitchell article questioned government growth forecasts, but had no market impact.

NZD formed another leg up from 0.6130 to 0.6240, consolidating above 0.6200. This morning's NZ open is weak, dipping to 0.6135, on the weekend's US dairy subsidy news. AUD/NZD slid to 1.28 throughout the offshore sessions, perking up this morning on the NZD selling.

The Bank of Japan kept rates unchanged at 0.10%. The statement confirmed that they will be accepting foreign sovereign bonds as collateral for their market operations. The eligible bonds are those issued by the US, UK, Germany and France. This is a welcome announcement and a strong signal that Japan, one of the world's major capital exporters, will not countenance financial protectionism. Apparently S&P placing the UK on negative watch did not phase the Bank from including them on this list.

UK GDP growth unrevised at -1.9% in Q1. The detail showed a 1.2% fall in private consumption, a 3.8% slump in capital formation, and 6% declines in both exports and imports.

Canadian retail sales up 0.3% in Mar. Sales were boosted by a 0.5% rise in auto sales but a 2.8% fall in gasoline sales due to lower prices and soft furniture and clothing sales meant ex auto sales were down 0.2%.


With Monday holidays in NY and London reducing market  liquidity, any reactions to events today and tomorrow will be exaggerated. Witness the effect this morning on the US dairy subsidy news weakening the NZD by 60 pips. The negative USD backdrop argues for higher NZD over the medium term, but there is much event risk from now until June, with this week's budget, a June RBNZ meeting, and lumpy NZD eurobond redemptions and mortgage rollovers  - expect to see volatility rise.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

25 May US Memorial Day

Jpn Mar All-Industry Activity Index –2.0% –2.3%

Bank of Japan Monthly Report – –

Ger May Ifo Business Climate Index 83.7 84.0

26 May NZ Apr Merchandise Trade NZDm 324 450

Q2 RBNZ Inflation Expectations 2.3% 2.1%

US Mar S&P/CS Home Price %yr –18.6% –18.0%

May CB Consumer Confid Index 39.2 43.0

May Richmond Fed Index –9 –5

May Dallas Fed Manf. Activity –32% –20%

Jpn Apr Corp Services Prices %yr –2.1% –2.2%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Budget 2009 Preview (21 May)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (18 May)

• 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)

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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