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Thursday April 22, 2010 - 20:57:01 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Friday 23 April 2010


News and views

Risk sentiment in Europe remained sour, the US session more upbeat. The initial negativity can be attributed to Moody's downgrade of Greece, from A3 to A2 with negative outlook, and EC agency Eurostat's assessment that Greece's fiscal condition is worse than Greece had earlier said. Eurostat also published unflattering numbers for the other Eurozone countries. The spread between Greek and German 10yr government bonds made a fresh record high of 580bp. The Eurostoxx 50 closed down 1.7%. In the US, the S&P500 opened sharply lower, but mild economic data surprises (particularly home sales) and continuing good earnings reports (Starbucks stock rose 7.5%) helped the index recover to +0.3% currently. Key commodities suffered from the latest Greek scares, copper -1.2% and gold -0.4%. US treasuries ignored Greece, the 10yr note adding 4bp on better local data.

The US dollar is firmer, up from 81.10 (Sydney close) to 81.80 on safe-haven buying. The EUR fell from 1.3420 to 1.3260, currently just above 1.3300. The yen was unusually weak during the risk-averse session, 92.80 to 93.50 against the USD, Fitch's statement that Japan's creditworthiness was at risk from rising government debt fitting the European themes above.

AUD fell during the European session, from 0.9300 to 0.9228, but bounced back with US equities to 0.9290.

NZD ranged wildly, from an initial peak of 0.7140 to 0.7070, settling unchanged around 0.7110. AUD/NZD at 1.3050 is slightly above the overnight low of 1.3020. Notably, the three commodity currencies in or near a monetary tightening phase (AUD, CAD, NZD) were the outperformers (ex-USD) yesterday.

US existing home sales rise 6.8% in March, their first rise after falling a cumulative 23% over the previous 3 months. The Mar bounce reflects sales agreed earlier in the year, so is more likely due to buyers taking advantage of extended tax credit arrangements rather than the improving weather. The same report showed house prices up 0.4% yr; a separate govt house price report (FHFA) showed house prices down 0.2% in Feb, their third fall running.

US producer prices jumped 0.7% in March, with food prices up a very sharp 2.4% (steepest in 26 years!) and energy prices up 0.7%. But core price pressures were subdued (up 0.1%), with light truck, auto, pharma and apparel prices all falling.

US initial jobless claims fall 24k to 456k, reversing much of the prior two weeks' gains, which the Labor Dept had suggested were due to processing/statistical issues rather than weaker job market conditions. In the week before last, continuing claims fell 40k to 4646k, but they remain above their recent cyclical low of 4562k.

Euroland advance PMI composite rose from 55.9 to 57.3 in April, its highest since June 2006, reflecting higher readings for both factories and services. Also the advance consumer confidence reading for April rose from -17 to -15.

UK retail sales rise 0.4% in March (0.2% ex fuel). Not especially solid follow up to Feb's 2.5% bounce which followed three monthly declines worth a cumulative 4% in Nov-Jan. Apparel sales, down 1.1%, constrained the March outcome. Also: 2009/10 fiscal year GBP153bn deficit (biggest since WW2); M4 money supply growth slowed further to 3.5% yr in March; major bank mortgage approvals rose from 48k to 52k in March, and the CBI's April industrial trends survey was about steady at -36.

The Bank of Canada said in its monetary policy report that 2010 would mark the turning point for the economy from one driven by macro policy stimulus to a slower expansion driven by private sector demand including business spending and exports. It reiterated that it was appropriate to begin lessening monetary stimulus. On the data front, the leading index posted its tenth consecutive gain, rising 1.0% in March.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours:  AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: AUD support remains around 0.9230, but breaking above 0.9300 will be a struggle. NZD is likely to remain inside 0.7050 and 0.7150 for another day.



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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