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Tuesday April 13, 2010 - 20:25:25 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Wednesday 14 April 2010


News and views

US equities opened lower, digesting yesterday's after-hours Alcoa earnings report for Q1, the first of the reporting season, but have recovered to be up 0.2% at present. Alcoa shares fell 3.4% on weaker sales revenue. A closely watched Greek tbill auction was successful. Greece sold EUR780m 6mth tbills at a yield of 4.55% with bids for 7.7 times that amount, and EUR780m 12mth tbills at 4.85% with bid coverage 6.5 times (vs 3.1 times at January's auction). The total amount of EUR1.6bn exceeded the EUR1.2bn originally earmarked. The CRB commodities index co-moved with US equities, and is currently up 0.4%, oil (-0.3%) hurt by supply concerns, gold down 0.3% on reduced safe-haven appeal, but copper up 0.8% with equities. US treasuries are 3bp lower in yield, flattening the curve similarly.

The US dollar is little changed, although it did slip with the lower US trade balance release, and then bounced on a rumour of a think-tank report of Fed language changes (which the think tank reportedly denied writing). EUR roughly flat-lined along 1.3590 +/-40 pips. USD/JPY's gyrations between 92.60 and 93.40 reflected the dollar's reactions to the news above.

AUD ranged +/-30pips around the Sydney closing level of 0.9260, and is currently a tad higher at 0.9275.

NZD dipped to just below 0.7100. AUD/NZD firmed in a straight line to 1.3060.

US small business confidence falls further in March. The NFIB index fell from 88.0 to 86.8 in March, its lowest since July last year. This survey is a timely reminder that all is not well in the US economy. The lower reading was driven by a lower intention to hire, lower sales expectations, tighter credit and a further fall in businesses saying now is a good time to expand. Note that we have found that the intention to hire/fire number is a good guide to the tone of the subsequent monthly payrolls so ex Census workers, we are inclined to forecast something like 0k private payrolls growth in April down from 123k in March.

US trade deficit widens from $37.0bn to -$39.7bn in Feb. This reflected about flat exports for the second month running, but a 1.7% rebound in imports which had fallen a similar amount in Jan. Exports were constrained by a further decline in civilian aircraft deliveries to foreign customers, while imports showed broad-based gains outside of apparel, autos and food. In other news, import prices rose 0.7% but fell excluding oil, a sign recent dollar gains against some currencies might be impacting on the trade story.

US IBD/TIPP economic optimism rose from 45.4 to 48.4 in April. General economic confidence was the highest since last September, but personal finances did nothing more than reverse the steep drop in March.

UK trade balance deficit narrows from GBP8.1bn to GBP6.2bn in Feb, its lowest since June 2006, thanks to a sharp jump in exports, especially of chemicals. This follows January's export slump which pushed the deficit out to its widest since late 2008, and mirrors the recent fall/rebound in manufacturing output in the first two months of 2010.

Other UK data mixed. The BRC reported stronger retail sales in March, but the RICS reported fewer surveyors assessing house prices as rising in March. But back in Feb, the government reported house price gains accelerating from 6.2% yr to 7.4% yr.

Canadian trade surplus widens from C$0.8bn to C$1.4bn in Feb. Exports rose 2.8% lifted by the industrial and auto sectors, while imports were constrained to a 0.9% rise by a sharp fall in the energy component. Meanwhile, new house prices rose 0.1% in Feb.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours:  AUD looks rangebound today between 0.9220 and 0.9300. NZD is in a range of 0.7100 and 0.7150, but the lower bound is more likely to be tested today, particularly if our economist's -0.3% (mom) forecast for Feb retail sales proves correct this morning.


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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