Wednesday November 17, 2010 - 22:00:19 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex Research - Morning Report
Morning Report Friday 12 November 2010
News and views
US data for CPI inflation (particularly core) and house building was weaker than expected, reinforcing the case for QE2 proponents. That supported US equities and hurt the US dollar. The S&P500 is currently up 0.2%. In addition, there was more QE2-supportive Fedspeak from Bernanke, Bullard (sounding more dovish than yesterday), and Rosengren. Commodities were overshadowed by further press on a possible China tightening, the CRB index down only 0.4%, but oil (-2.0%) and cotton (-4.6%) reacting. Eurozone government bond markets seemed calmer amid news EU and IMF official will examine Ireland's financials from tomorrow to determine whether a bailout is required. The Irish 10yr yield shed 10bp, Portugal's -6bp, and Ireland's equity index rose 1.5%. US 10yr treasury yields were lower to 2.80% after the data but are currently unchanged at 2.84%.
The US dollar was slightly weaker on the data. EUR bounced from an intraday low of 1.3460 to 1.3565, and has settled back at 1.3530. GBP ground higher from 1.5855 to 1.5950 before settling at 1.5900, the employment data briefly supportive. USD/JPY slipped from 83.55 to 83.04.
AUD bounced from a European low of 0.9726 to 0.9834 in NY, settling above 0.9800.
NZD bounced from 0.7630 to 0.7726 and now sits above 0.7700. AUD/NZD was fairly stable, ranging between 1.2700 and 1.2750.
US consumer prices rise 0.2% in Oct but core CPI falls slightly (flat after rounding from -0.007%). Energy prices rose 2.6% and food prices were up 0.1% but there were falls in apparel, autos and education on top of subdued housing prices. The core annual CPI rose just 0.6% yr, the lowest ever according to records that stretch back to the 1950s.
US housing starts fall 11.7% in Oct. This steep fall, led by a 44% slump in multiples starts, coupled with downward revisions, means that the annualised pace in Oct was 519k, compared to a consensus forecast of around 600k. Single family starts fell 1.1%, their first fall in three months. Permits to build rose 0.5% in Oct, to a 550k pace, reflecting a 1% rise in single family permits and a 0.7% fall in multiples. Aside from the volatility on the multiples side, the single family data point to pretty much stagnant housing activity at rock bottom levels.
UK unemployment falls 4k in Oct, reversing the prior two months of higher joblessness on the claimant count measure. The report also showed a 167k rise in jobs on the separate household survey for Q3, not much changed from the 184k jobs created in Q2. Both sets of numbers are indicative of a labour market responding to the recent solid GDP growth news - but are probably not sustainable.
Bank of England minutes show 1:7:1 vote in Nov as in Oct. Another three-way vote, one calling for higher rates; one voting for further asset purchases; and the majority voting for policy to remain on hold.
Eyes on Ireland, Greece and Portugal. The Irish government is discussing its debt and banking sector issues with EU and IMF officials, but thus far has declined to ask for any bailout funds; EU officials have backtracked from claims emanating in Austria that Greece's budget deficit cutting efforts to date might not be sufficient to allow Greece to access bailout funds already committed; preparations are underway in Portugal for a general strike next week on November 24 protesting austerity budget cuts.
AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: AUD's nearby support level is now 0.9725 which looks safe for the next few hours at least. NZD's nearby support of 0.7640 held last night and is unlikely to be broken during the domestic session. NZ PPI data today is of minor interest.
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