Tuesday June 22, 2010 - 20:31:27 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex Research - Morning Report (Westpac)
Morning Report Wednesday 23 June 2010
News and views
A negative turn in sentiment was confirmed during the US session, the S&P500 currently down 1.6%, led by the energy sector and homebuilders. US existing home sales fell against expectations, providing a convenient catalyst for those in need. More likely, technical factors may have been at play, the previous day's key reversal signals and last night's break below the closely watched 200-day moving average line tipping some. Commodities were mixed, oil down 0.8%, but copper up 0.7%. US 10yr treasury yields fell 8bp on the negative risk sentiment, as well as Treasury comments that issue sizes of shorter maturity debt will be cut. The 2yr auction was well bid, awarded at 1bp better than market, with a 3.5 coverage ratio and foreign buyers taking 41%. Greek 10yr treasury yields rose 31bp, indicating continuing investor concern.
The US dollar index hovered around levels prevailing at the Sydney close. EUR nudged lower from 1.2310 to 1.2250. GBP was under pressure until the Budget, which rating agency Fitch said was a "strong statement of intent", bouncing off a 1.4690 low to 1.4860. USD/JPY declined gradually from 91.00 to 90.50 in line with the risk averse mood.
AUD ranged around the Sydney close of 0.8770 but succumbed late NY to 0.8725.
NZD peaked at 0.7100 overnight, and is down to 0.7045. AUD/NZD was locked in a 1.2370-1.2420 range.
US Richmond Fed manufacturing down to 23 in June. The last two months have seen modest declines in the survey although the outright level remains well above the historic average (2.7). The slowing is consistent with June's Philadelphia Fed reading and the steady Empire manufacturing index, adding to the evidence that the US manufacturing sector will slow in Q3. The breakdown revealed a fall in new orders from 36 to 25.
US existing home sales fell to 5.66m annualised in May, the first fall in three months. While the decline was unexpected given the tax credit scheme is due to end in June, the NAR have suggested this may have been due to a backlog in processing contracts.
German IFO survey headline rose modestly to 101.8 in June although the increase was largely down to the current assessment component which improved to 101.1, no doubt buoyed by the impact of the weaker euro on the export sector. Expectations, however, fell to 102.4 from 103.7 - the second consecutive decline after a string of rises dating back to Jan 2009 - reflecting concerns that fiscal austerity plans will begin to bite and dampen the recovery going forward.
The UK Chancellor announced a tough Budget consisting of savage spending cuts and higher taxes with a view to slashing the deficit to just 1.1% of GDP by 2015-16. On top of cuts already planned by the previous government, an extra GBP30bn a year of spending cuts over the next five years was announced. On the tax side, an increase in Value Added Tax to 20% in January is expected to raise GBP13bn per year while CGT is being increased for higher rate tax payers to 28%. There was, however, a surprise cut in Corporation tax to 24% gradually over the next four years (from 28%) to encourage enterprise although this was offset by a bank levy beginning 2011. Growth forecasts were downgraded to 1.2% in 2010, 2.3% in 2011 and 2.8% in 2012. The direct approach in attempting to curb the deficit has so far been received well by financial markets while Fitch rating agency welcomed the "strong statement of intent".
AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: US equity weakness should dictate currency direction this morning. AUD can pull back further to 0.8700, and NZD to 0.7020 (GDP and current account event risk).
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