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Tuesday May 25, 2010 - 21:56:08 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex Research - Morning Report (Westpac)

Morning Report Wednesday 26 May 2010

News and views

Nervous US equity markets plunged at the open, digesting the latest Korean tensions as well as developments in the Spanish banking sector. The S&P500 is currently down 0.4%, and the VIX index is slightly lower, having been -3.0% and +14% respectively. The earlier Asian and European equities sessions were awash with red ink in the -2% to -3% range. Commodities in aggregate are 1.2% lower, oil making a fresh July low, and very oversold, and copper falling 2.6%. European government bonds had modest moves (<10bp) by recent standards. US 10yr treasuries shed 4bp to 3.16%, at one point down to 3.06%, but the 2yr underperformed, its auction ordinary. The rise in US 3mth Libor accelerated, up 2.7bp to 0.54%, the risk of funding pressures migrating to AU and NZ flagged by the rise in AU bank CDS's during the past few weeks.

The US dollar index is stronger, benefiting from the flight to safety, although gains were pared back during the NY session, when the Fed's Bullard said EZ volatility was unlikely to derail the global recovery, and various rumour of governments' plans to inject liquidity did the rounds. The EUR fell to 1.2178, close to the last week's low before rebounding to 1.2335. The yen is little changed over the 24hrs, giving it outperformer status.

AUD fell further after the Sydney close to 0.8067, a fresh post July low, but recovered in NY to 0.8220.

NZD fell to 0.6560, recovering to 0.6665. AUD/NZD ranged between 1.2250 and 1.2300, breaking higher to 1.23540 as we write.

US consumer confidence up from 57.7 to 63.3 in May. This took the Conference Board index to a two year high. It was driven mainly by a sharp rise in the expectations component but the present measure also rose, helped along by a modest further improvement in consumers' assessment of labour market conditions. No evidence here that May's stock market declines have materially impacted on sentiment.

US Richmond Fed factory index eases from 30 to 26 in May. Although lower, this is still the second highest reading for this series in decades, so must be considered very solid. The detail showed shipments higher, orders off a bit (but at 36 still super strong) and jobs down from 13 to 4.

US house prices: two March measures. The S&P/CS 20 city index was about flat in the month but the annual pace of gain rose from 0.7% to 2.4% yr, only the second positive reading in three years. The separate FHFA index rose 0.3% in March, failing to reverse Feb's 0.4% fall.

Fedspeak: In London, FRB St Louis president Bullard said that the European debt crisis "will probably fall short of becoming a worldwide recessionary shock" and "recovery generally remains on track".

Euroland industrial orders jumped 5.2% in March, helped along by  a 6% rise in Germany and a 7% rise in France. Orders data are typically lumpy but with the annual pace up 19.8% yr it is clear that the global recovery to date, and euro depreciation since late last year, are helping restore industrial activity in Europe after it collapsed in late 2008 and early 2009.

UK GDP growth revised up from 0.2% to 0.3% in Q1. The report also included the expenditure breakdown, which showed growth was driven by government spending, stock-building and investment spending. The first two of these are probably not sustainable as sources of growth through 2010, and European issues cloud the outlook, though sterling depreciation should provide some positive offset.

Outlook

AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours:  The commodity currencies are under risk-shedding pressure, but respecting their technical support levels for now. For AUD, that's the 0.8000-0.8100 region, and for NZD it's 0.6550-0.6650. Should these give way, we'd be looking for 0.7700 and 0.6200.

 

 

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 www.westpac.com.au 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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