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Thursday February 21, 2013 - 19:10:24 GMT
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Forex - Westpac Morning Report

Morning Report Friday 22 February 2013


Market wrap
Risk aversion extended into its second day. Eurozone consumer confidence and PMI’s disappointed, while US data was mixed, the sharp fall in Philadelphia manufacturing activity attracting much attention. Earlier, reports of China’s attempts at curbing the property market (including the PBOC draining a record amount of cash from the system) spooked the Shanghai Composite 3.0% lower. The Eurostoxx 50 closed down 2.3%, and the S&P500 is currently down 0.6%. Commodities reacted predictably to the above news, Brent oil futures down 1.5%, copper -1.5%, and iron ore -1.7%. US 10yr treasury yields fell from around 2.00% to 1.955% and the 2-10yr curve flattened by 3bp. Hawkish Fedspeak from Bullard and Fisher had little effect on treasuries. Australian 3yr bond futures yields fell from 2.87% to 2.81%.

The US dollar index (DXY) pushed higher for the second consecutive day, making a 5-month high. EUR fell from 1.3276 to 1.3168 – a 6-week low. USD/JPY fell from around 93.50 to 92.77. AUD consolidated its recent decline, ranging sideways between 1.0225 and 1.0264. NZD similarly ranged between 0.8321 and 0.8363. AUD/NZD was stable, between 1.2260 and 1.2290.

Economic wrap
US CPI was flat in Jan with energy down 1.7% and food prices flat, although the core CPI rose 0.3% on apparel (0.8%) and rents (0.2%). The headline annual pace slowed a tick to 1.6% yr but the core pace was steady at 1.9% yr. US initial jobless claims rose 20k to 362k in the week ended 16/2 (payrolls survey week), reversing most of the previous week’s fall but still running a little lower than the underlying trend seen through 2012. US Philadelphia Fed factory index dropped from –5.8 to –12.5 in Feb, contrasting with the sharp jump in the NY Fed survey. However the details were less weak. Orders extended their Dec decline, but shipments accelerated and jobs stabilised. US existing home sales rose 0.4% in Jan, only partially reversing their 1.2% Dec fall. In part this reflects very low supply, just 4 months at the current sales pace. Meanwhile mortgage delinquencies fell further from 7.40% of loans to 7.09% in Q4, while foreclosures were down from 4.07% to 3.74%. US leading index rose 0.2% in Jan with lower initial jobless claims the main supporting component.

Euroland PMI composite down from 48.6 to 47.3 in advance Feb report. The slower but still expansionary German services PMI (54.1) could not offset the new cycle low for the French services PMI (just 2.5pts above the 2009 low of 40.2) and marginally less weak French factory PMI. The composite Euroland PMI is averaging just under 48 so far in Q1. If March leaves the Q1 2013 composite around 48, that is roughly midway between the Q4/Q1 averages a year ago, when Euroland GDP growth averaged just under –0.2%. This supports the view that the Euroland recession is midway through its sixth quarter, longer than the 2008/09 recession, though not as deep. Don’t expect a 2009/2010 style bounce out of this malaise! France’s lack of competitiveness, starkly illustrated by the these PMI results, could see that economy recede to a point where markets seriously question French budget sustainability, as with Spain and Italy in the past two years, risking a future even more serious flare up of the debt crisis.

UK public sector net borrowing (excluding bank interventions) figures showed a wider surplus of £11.4bn in Jan (from £6.4bn in Jan 2012), boosted by the Bank of England transferring £3.8bn of earnings from the asset purchase program. Separately, the CBI industrial trends survey reported orders rising from –20 to –14 in Feb, due to export demand.

Market outlook
AUD and NZD Outlooks: The main event risk locally today is likely to be the RBA Governor’s semi-annual testimony to Government. NZ credit card spending is minor (a subset of already published electronic spending). China releases property prices for 70 cities. Italy’s parliamentary election is 24-25 Feb.

AUD/USD 1 day: We favour another test of the key 1.0225 level today, a break then targeting 1.0150.
AUD/USD 1-3 month: Remains inside an 18-month consolidation triangle, which should see it reach 1.0150 before an eventual break above 1.0600.
NZD/USD 1 day: The 0.8300 level is at risk, momentum having recently swung to the downside.
NZD/USD 1-3 month: The positive trend since May remains intact as long as 0.8300 holds, targeting 0.0.8535 and beyond (0.8840+ sometime this year).
NZ 2yr swap yield 1 day: Opening today down 2bp at 2.96%. This downward correction could ultimately extend to 2.80% during the days ahead if negative global sentiment persists.
NZ 2yr swap yield 1 month: Our next major target level is 3.18%, supported by improving NZ data and higher US yields.





Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 22 February 2013. 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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