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Tuesday May 26, 2009 - 22:10:38 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Wednesday 27 May 2009


News and views

Bounce on data. Investors returned from their long weekend in an optimistic mood, sending the S&P500 2.6% higher. Most of the gains occurred in the first hour of the session, after consumer confidence showed the biggest monthly jump in 6 years, and the Richmond Fed manufacturing report beat expectations. The Nasdaq's 3.6% gain was boosted by a broker upgrade for Apple. Risk aversion barometer VIX slipped to the pivotal 30 level. US treasuries suffered, the 10yr up 9bp in yield, despite good interest in the 2yr auction (where 54% of bids were indirect - a proxy for foreign buyers). Commodities oil (+1.1%) and copper (+1.9%) followed the positive tone.

EUR was sold until noon London on weak current account and industrial orders data, falling from 1.4000 to 1.3860, but rebounded completely after US equities opened strongly. GBP fell to 1.5780, but then made a new 2009 high at 1.5970.USD/JPY drifted sideways in 94.50 to 95.15 range.

AUD followed EUR down to 0.7705, and back up to 0.7865, equalling Friday night's high.

After a dip to 0.6090, NZD shrugged off any budget concerns to reach 0.6255 early this morning, a level last seen in October 2008. AUD/NZD continued the recent downward trend, finding support at 1.2560 for now.

The Richmond Fed factory index stands out in May as being the first of the many regional manufacturing surveys to rise back into positive territory (4 from -9). Its strongest reading since March last year reflected rising orders and shipments, although not jobs (though they are falling at a slower pace). The Dallas Fed index headline more closely mirrored the "slower pace of contraction" story of the other regional Fed surveys for New York and Philadelphia. The Richmond survey also includes services (unchanged at -29) and retail (weaker at -13 from -11) components so the apparent factory upswing does not seem to have spread to optimism in other sectors this month.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index jumped by a steep 14 pts for the second month running, but once again it was the expectations index doing most of the work: it rose by about 20 pts in each of April and May, whereas the present situation index averaged gains of just 3.5% in the two months. The CB index's two month gain of 28 pts is the steepest since at least the 1970s. It seems that hopes about the eventual turnaround in the economy are being boosted by the stock-market rally and some over-enthusiastic media reporting of the so-called "green shoots" of recovery, whereas the way respondents currently feel is little improved. That said, there was a further modest improvement in the assessment of the job market, though the -39 reading is still seriously weak.

The S&P Case Shiller House Price index fell a further 2.2% in March. Sales were boosted by cheap foreclosed properties which weighed heavily on prices. Nationally, prices are now down 32.2% from their July 2006 peak, and seem to have some ways further to go, although the pace of monthly decline has slowed somewhat from January's -2.8%.

Japan's April corporate services price index fell 2.4% in March. The embattled corporate sector, squeezed between declining sales and an uncompetitive yen, are in cost cutting mode. Pricing power in the provision of services to corporates would seem to be nil.

German GDP growth was unrevised a -3.8% in Q1, for an unrevised -6.9% yr annual decline. The detail showed a 7.9% plunge in capital investment, a 2.6% fall in construction, but a 0.5% rise in private consumption. Exports fell at nearly double the pace of imports (-10% vs -5%).

Other Euroland data included a 0.8% fall in industrial orders in March; also there was a 0.8% fall in May import prices in Germany.


NZD upward momentum continues, and any pullbacks should be limited to around 0.6200 today. Event risk to that view includes today's Fonterra 2010 payout forecast, as well as this afternoon's business confidence survey.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

27 May NZ May NBNZ Business Confidence –14.5% –

Aus Mar Westpac-MI Leading Index –5.1% –

US Mar House Prices 0.7% 0.2%

Apr Existing Home Sales –3.0% 2.0%

Jpn May Shoko–Chukin Small Bus Index 30.8 –

Apr Trade Balance s/adj ¥bn –97.1 –17.5

Ger May CPI Prelim %yr 0.7% 0.1%

UK May Bank Mortgage Lending £bn 26 28

28 May NZ Budget 2009 NZDbn 5.64 –1.50

Aus RBA Deputy Governor Battellino Speaking

Q1 Capex 6.0% –5.0%

2009/10 CAPEX Intentions, AUDbn 79.9 –


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (25 May)

• 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)

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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