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Thursday June 4, 2009 - 20:57:39 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Friday 5 June 2009

News and views

Bounce in risky assets failed to impress currencies. The S&P500 closed up 1.1%, led by banks (+4.0%) after RBC issued an overweight recommendation. Still, the US dollar index was little changed, perhaps supported by a rumoured large USD basket order. Oil and copper gained over 4%. Latvia remained on the brink of devaluation, negotiating with the IMF and EU for more loans, widening most sovereign CDS's. Fitch expressed confidence in the US and UK's ratings. The UK, Eurozone, and Canadian central banks all kept their policy rates unchanged, with no talk of new policy measures. The ECB did confirm its bond purchases would be sterilised, and no new money would be printed. US treasuries were heavily sold (+17bp) ahead of Friday's payrolls report, last night's continuing claims improvement contributing.

EUR continued to 1.4240 around the London open, but fell to 1.4070 during the next four hours with theGBP, and stabilised between 1.4150 and 1.4200 late NY. GBP fell from a London high of 1.6435 to 1.6090 around noon, rumours of Gordon Brown's resignation reported but unconfirmed. JPY weakened from 96.20 to 97.00.

AUD fell from 0.8090 early London to 0.7895 around the time of the Brown rumours, but also coinciding with a story the Chinalco/Rio Tinto deal was off. It later recovered to 0.8020.

NZD moved in sympathy with the rest, reaching a 0.6225 low before revering to 0.6350. AUD/NZD held onto its higher range of 1.26 to 1.27.

US Q1 productivity revised higher. Productivity was revised up from 0.8% to 1.6% annualised, consistent with the GDP contraction being revised lower. Consequently unit labour costs were revised lower, to 3.0%.

US initial jobless claims down 4k to 621k, still in the recent range, but in the previous week, continuing claims fell 15k to 6735, their first decline in five months, possibly another sign that the labour market meltdown is abating somewhat.

The Japanese MOF's enterprise survey offers some downside risk for Q1 GDP. While the capital spending component was broadly in line with the ESRI's preliminary estimate (nominal, seasonally adjusted, ex software), inventories may have been run down faster than originally thought. Inventories were always going to be a swing factor for Q1 after adding 0.4ppts to Q4. As manufacturers wound back production dramatically from Sep to Feb, to take account of the weakness of shipments, they made significant progress towards de-stocking. The preliminary estimate has inventories subtracting 0.2ppts from growth, only reversing half of the Q4 gain. That fraction could well rise in the second cut.

The European Central Bank left its repo rate unchanged at 1.00% and continues to drag its feet with respect to its EUR60bn asset purchase program, which won't begin until July and will not be pure quantitative easing (QE) because the ECB intends to sterilise the funds (i.e. it is not "printing money" to fund the purchases). The ECB staff slashed its forecast midpoint for 2009 Euroland GDP growth from -2.7% in March to -4.6% in June, close to Westpac's -4.7% forecast. On the data front, Euroland retail sales rose 0.2% in April.

The Bank of England maintained the bank rate at 0.50% and kept "under review" the asset purchase program (QE) which currently runs to next month (and GBP125bn) but could be extended to August without further consultation with Treasury. There was no other detail in the brief statement. On the data front, HBoS reported May house prices up 2.6% (but still down 16.3% yr).

Bank of Canada on hold at 0.25%, and reiterates conditional commitment to hold current policy rate until the end of the second quarter of 2010. On the data front, building permits fell 5.4% in April and the Ivey PMI was very weak, dropping from 53.7 to 48.4 in May.


Last night's failure to bounce back towards the 0.66 high adds to the argument we may have witnessed a medium term top in NZD. Accordingly, we would be sellers on strength today, such strength likely to be capped at 0.6400. We look for a move down to 0.6130 next week.



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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