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Thursday December 2, 2010 - 19:34:21 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report (Westpac)

Morning Report Friday 3 December 2010

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Risky assets rally again. The ECB meeting delayed the exit from emergency liquidity measures and continued its bond purchase program, and it was believed to have aggressively bought Portuguese and other peripheral debt on the day. Eurozone peripheral government bonds all significantly outperformed German bunds (+4bp), the Portuguese 10yr yield down 50bp, Ireland -45bp, and Spain -21bp. Auctions by Spain and France went well. Also helping sentiment was some better US home sales and chain-store spending data. The Eurostoxx rose 2.2%, and the S&P500 is currently 1.1% higher, banks (+3.3%) and homebuilders (+4.3%) outperforming. The CRB commodities index gapped 0.8% higher for the second consecutive day, boosted by the above. US 10yr treasury yields are unchanged at 2.96%, but were as high as 3.03%. There was contrasting Fedspeak from hawk Plosser, who remained sceptical of QE2's efficacy, and moderate Bullard, who said the benefits outweigh the risks. Bullard also said US dollar weakness is a normal by-product of easing.

The US dollar fell almost 1% after the Sydney close. EUR validated the previous day's bullish technical key reversal signal, rising from 1.3100 to 1.3250 in choppy fashion before retreating below 1.3200. USD/JPY plunged from an intraday peak of 84.46 to 83.49 in NY.

AUD also validated its bullish key reversal, rising from a NY low of 0.9631 to 0.9779.

NZD similarly rose from 0.7456 to 0.7564. AUD/NZD is little changed at 1.2930, but did sink to 1.2820 in Europe.

US initial jobless claims jump 26k to 436k last week, probably a correction higher after the prior week's 31k dip which we think was related to seasonal adjustment difficulties due to the timing of public holidays. That said, an underlying trend improvement is apparent in the numbers: the 4 week moving average dipped to 431k, its lowest in more than two years. In the previous week, continuing claims rose 53k, adding to the sense that recent downtrends in these series have overstated labour market strength.

US pending home sales jumped 10.4% in Oct, suggesting that the housing market may be showing some signs of recovery from the mid-year slump in sales that followed the end of the tax rebate for home-buyers.

Japanese Q3 capital spending (ex software) came in below expectations at 4.8%yr (mkt 6.0%yr). In the quarter, spending increased by 1.9%. Spending by manufacturers led the way, up 7.3% in Q3 (after Q2's 11.5% increase), leaving annual growth at 9.6%yr. Non-manufacturer capital spending declined by 0.8% in the quarter, but is still up 2.4% over the year.

ECB left rates on hold at 1.00%. No surprise there, although the Bank did announce it was extending its emergency funding programs ("non-standard measures" in ECB-speak), at least until April next year. That was unanimous, although the decision to continue with the bond purchase program was a majority decision (not unanimous).

Euroland GDP growth unrevised at 0.4% in Q3. The detail showed stalled capex spending and slower export growth as the main factors behind the slowdown from Q2's 1.0% growth rate. Other data included a modest acceleration in the PPI in Oct, from 4.3% yr to 4.4% yr.

UK construction PMI edges up from 51.6 to 51.8 in Nov, still way down on the recent peak of 58.5 in May.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours:  Today's key risk event is the US payrolls report, the market expecting 150,000 jobs to be added. AUD's bullish reversal plus the break above minor resistance at 0.9700 suggests a 0.9700-0.9800 range with an upward bias. NZD targets the 0.7600-0.7650 area today.


.Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 3 December 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 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 registered in England as a branch (branch number BR000106) and is authorised and regulated by The Financial Services Authority. Westpac Europe Limited is a company registered in England (number 05660023) and is authorised and regulated by The Financial Services Authority. © 2010 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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