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Monday May 17, 2010 - 20:18:09 GMT
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Forex Blog - Morning Report (Trade the News)

Morning Report Tuesday 18 May 2010

News and views

Another day of risk-averse behaviour, albeit in a milder form, with commodities the main sufferer on concerns European debt crisis contagion could slow the global economy. The CRB index is down 2.2% to a post October low, with copper futures down 6.0%, and oil -1.9% to below US$70/bbl. US manufacturing was weaker than expected, and added marginally to the mood. US equities (S&P500) are down -0.3%, having recovered on a bounce in the EUR and better late-session house building data. Global funding concerns remain, US 3mth Libor rising 1.5bp to 0.46% (compared to 0.25% in early March). US 10yr treasuries gained 2bp in yield late in the session. US data showed foreigners purchased $109bn of US treasuries in March, much higher than in February.

The US dollar index stalled around its 12 month high. Outperformer EUR rebounded from its Apr-06 low of 1.2235 (made during yesterday's Sydney session) to 1.2414, but still looks oversold according to momentum indicators. The ECB has bought EUR16.5bn bonds so far and true to their word will sterilise the operation by issuing term deposits for the same amount. Safe-haven JPY also performed well, holding around 92.50 apart from a brief foray to 91.85.

AUD followed EUR's moves but underperformed, from 0.8750 up to 0.8830 initially, and then down to 0.8686 (Feb low) before recovering back to 0.8750.

NZD was yesterday's laggard, hugging 0.7000 during Europe but falling to 0.6917 in NY before regathering to 0.6970. AUD/NZD rose to 1.2600.

US NY Fed factory index falls from 32 to 19 in May. This survey contrasts with the cycle high for the April national factory ISM, with which there is some survey period overlap, so one possible inference is that later responses in the NY survey were weaker than earlier responses. The lower business confidence headline could be a function of recent equities volatility and concern about economic growth due to sovereign debt issues and investment banking reputations. The detail showed sharply slower orders (April 29>May 14) and shipments (32>11) growth but jobs picked up slightly (20>22). The inherent volatility of this particular index means we need to be cautious in interpretation, but if the other regional factory indices over the next two weeks show a similar pull-back, that would be a solid signal that the US industrial recovery might be losing some momentum in mid Q2.

US TIC data for March. Net long term capital flows soared to $141bn in March, reflecting strengthening global demand for US financial stocks including stocks and Treasuries, with the Chinese big players. Concerns about European sovereigns and favourable US economic data would have been attractive factors for investors although the USD did not begin its latest round of appreciation (on safe have status) until April.

US NAHB homebuilders index rose from 19 to 22 in May, indicating less pessimism on the part of builders, as they continued to benefit from increased sales following the flurry of activity in the market as buyers scrambled to beat the end April expiry of the $8k tax credit.

Japanese machinery orders close to expectations in March. Core orders rose 5.4% in March, which taken together with an upward revision to Feb, comes in pretty close to the +6.3% consensus.

Japanese corporate goods prices move closer to positive territory. The headline improved to -0.2%yr from -1.3%, as prices rose in the month and favourable base effects flowed through.

The UK CBI industrial trends survey for May saw a sharp improvement with orders jumping from -36 to -18, driven by a sharp rise in export orders (from -16 to 3, the first positive reading since 2008). Sterling depreciation is starting to show up in a whole range of data now, including exports and industrial production, as well as this survey. Output volumes rose but selling prices moderated.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours:  Much today depends whether the EUR's bounce is sustained. AUD looks supported at 0.8690 but should struggle beyond 0.8850. NZD should hold above 0.6920 but go no further than 0.7000.


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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