The US dollar and US treasury yields remained under pressure in an otherwise directionless evening for asset classes. US data was a mixed bag, although close enough to consensus to avoid ruffling the markets, save perhaps for a soft inflation (core PCE) print which some speculated may tip the Fed towards a larger QE2. The S&P500 closed unchanged after a sideways physical session. Commodities overall did little (CRB up 0.3%), although oil (-0.9%) and copper (-1.4%) looked technically weak, while silver (+3.2%) and gold (+1.2%) responded to the weaker dollar. US 10yr treasury bonds continued the previous dayâ€™s rally, shedding 6bp to 2.60%. Some peripheral Eurozone 10yr government yields blew out further on lingering concerns of a sovereign default, Greece +16bp and Ireland +11bp compared to Germanyâ€™s 5bp rally.
The US dollar lost ground from Europe although remained within its two week range, month-end rebalancing adding to the weakness. EUR initially suffered after a weak German retail sales print, falling to 1.3807, but reversed with the negative dollar sentiment to 1.3950. USD/JPY fell from 80.85 to a fresh 15-year low of 80.22.
AUD dipped from 0.9760 to 0.9680 after Sydney closed, but rebounded well to 0.9840 in NY, RBA-watcher McCrann opining the policy rate should rise tomorrow.
NZD outperformed on a less dovish than expected RBNZ last week as well as an improved complexion to NZ economic data, surging from 0.7550 to 0.7650.
AUD/NZD plunged from 1.2960 to 1.2800.
US GDP growth of 2.0% annualised in Q3 represents a modest acceleration from
Q2â€™s 1.7% but remains well below the 4.5% average quarterly growth rate recorded in Q4 last year and Q1 this year. The detail showed accelerating consumer spending, slower business investment, plunging housing activity after the end of the tax rebate for homebuyers, ongoing public spending and a solid 1.4 ppt contribution from inventories. Net exports shaved 2.0 ppts off the GDP bottom line. The quarterly core PCE deflator of just 0.8% annualised strongly suggests that Septemberâ€™s core PCE due Monday will be flat. This and other soft inflation outcomes are a major driver of the Fedâ€™s apparent intention to embark on a further round of quantitative easing, for fear that lowered inflation expectations feed into a deflationary spiral - even though recent economic growth outcomes have not been that bad.
Other US news. The employment cost index showed slower wages and salaries growth and steady benefits, for a slower 0.4% gain in overall Q3 compensation - further evidence of soft labour market conditions. A modest 0.2 pt downward revision to UoM consumer sentiment in Oct from 67.9 to 67.7 reflected a 3.6 pt higher current conditions reading offset by a 2.7 pt lower outlook index. The
Chicago PMI rose to 60.6 this month and the orders and production indices are now closer to 70 than 60. But we still think the national ISM factory index will be subdued (due tonight). Also the Milwaukee PMI rose from 50 to 56 in Oct.
Japanese data: Sep industrial production was a weak â€“1.9%, the annual rate fell to 11.1% from 15.1% in Aug. The national headline CPI came in at â€“0.6%yr in Sep, up from â€“0.9%yr, but at â€“1.1%yr, the ex-fresh food core was largely unchanged from Augâ€™s â€“1.0%yr. The Tokyo CPI came in at 0.3%yr in Oct, up from â€“0.6% and the Tokyo ex-fresh food core also firmed in the month to â€“0.5%yr from â€“1.0%yr. Housing starts were stronger than expected at 17.7%yr in Sep but construction orders declined, down â€“15%yr. The unemployment rate beat expectations, falling to 5.0% in Sep, from 5.1%. However, household spending was weaker than expected at 0.0%yr (consensus 0.8%yr).
Euroland inflation edged up to 1.9% yr in October, its highest since 2.1% yr in late 2008. German retail sales fell 2.3%, down for the second month running in Sept and it was the steepest decline since early 2008. Meanwhile, the Euroland jobless rate rose from 10.0% to 10.1% last month, up from 7.2% in early 2008.
UK consumer confidence edged higher in Oct to â€“19 according to GfK, despite expectations the governmentâ€™s (then) upcoming spending review would hit sentiment.
AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: Sentiment regarding the US central bank meeting on 3 Nov will set the tone today. AUD should attempt to work its way higher through a series of resistance levels between 0.9850 and 0.9900. NZD is breaking above key 0.7645 resistance, enroute
.Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 13 August 2010. 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 Westpacâ€™s
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