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Thursday July 29, 2010 - 20:34:23 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report (Westpac)

Morning Report Friday 30 July 2010

News and views

US equities fell sharply after opening, but largely recovered and the index is currently down 0.2%. Minor negative news, which may have contributed to the move, included a number of US company earning results missing analyst estimates, a fraud probe into the military insurance sector, and Fed member Bullard opining the central bank should not pledge to keep rates low but rather buy US treasuries (the latter news was likely a coincidental rather than causal factor). Commodities had solid gains, oil up 1.9%, copper up 1.4% to a post-4 May high, and Baltic Dry shipping costs continued to rebound from the 15 July low. US 3mth Libor fell 1bp to 0.466% as funding pressures ease slightly. US treasuries were little net changed, the 7yr auction a more tepid affair than Wednesday's 5yr, bidding coverage around average at 2.8 times, but foreign appetite weaker.

The US dollar index ranged narrowly in NY after a positive risk tone saw it lose ground in Asia. EUR pushed higher in Asia and early Europe to a 1.3107 high, last seen on 4 May. USD/CHF fell from 1.0500 to 1.0374, the franc the day's outperformer. The yen also fared well, from 87.50 to 86.57 against the dollar.

AUD continued its domestic session run higher to 0.9043, consolidating thereafter around 0.9000.

NZD followed the AUD higher to 0.7287, settling later around 0.7240. AUD/NZD added slightly to yesterday's post-RBNZ bounce, reaching 1.2460.

US initial jobless claims fall 11k to 457k last week, which is probably a fair estimate of where claims are really at, after several weeks of volatile and distorted data caused by seasonal adjustment issues related to the temporary summer shutdown of auto plants for new model retooling. Continuing claims in the prior week jumped 81k to 4565k but that outcome would have reflected those seasonality issues as much as any genuine move in ongoing claims.

Japanese retail sales +0.4% in June and +3.2%yr as expected. Department store sales remained weak, declining by 0.9% in June and 7.4% over the year. However, supermarket sales were up 1.8% in the month and 0.4% over the year.

European business/confidence surveys stronger in July. The business climate indicator rose from 0.40 to 0.66 and economic confidence lifted from 99.0 to 101.3 in July, both outcomes indicative of some nonchalance on the part of survey respondents re the potential impact of fiscal retrenchment on European growth prospects.

German unemployment falls 20k in July, pulling jobless rate down from 7.7% to 7.6% (compared to recent 8.3% peak a year earlier). The short-work scheme (cutting hours not jobs) has helped turn the labour market around earlier than would have otherwise been the case.

UK house prices fall 0.5% in July, according to Nationwide, for a 6.6% yr annual growth pace (down from 10.5% yr in April). More housing supply is coming onto the market dampening previous upward price pressure. Other data showed a GBP0.1bn fall in consumer credit outstandings; a weak GBP0.7bn rise in mortgage outstandings; and 48k new mortgage approvals in June (lowest since Feb). These outcomes don't directly feed into GDP estimates but the subdued credit picture at the end of Q2 does hint at some downside revision when revised GDP estimates are published next month.

Canadian industrial product prices down 0.9% in June, their first fall in three months, led by lower prices for petroleum and metals.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours:  US equity fatigue should constrain the currencies overhead. AUD is unlikely to breach Wednesday's high of 0.9070. AUD is showing early signs of a major reversal, and should be capped by 0.9000 today. NZD looks heavy without yield support and 0.7280 caps for now.


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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