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Tuesday March 5, 2013 - 19:50:48 GMT
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Forex - Westpac Morning Report

Morning Report Wednesay  March 2013



Market wrap
Global market sentiment: Markets were in an optimistic mood last night, pushing the S&P500 up 1.0% to a five-year high and the Dow Jones Industrial to an all-time high. Positive factors on the day included China's growth pledge at the National People's Congress, helping the Shanghai Composite reverse much of the previous day's loss, a softer EU stance on fiscal deficits, and consensus-beating data in the EZ (PMI, retail sales) and US (services PMI; a weaker small business survey was largely ignored). While most commodities were modestly firmer, iron fell 2.4%.

Interest rates: US 10yr treasury yields rose from 1.88% to 1.91%, steepening the 2-10yr curve from 164bp to 167bp. Eurozone peripheral yields fell, Italy's 10yr down 14bp, Spain -5bp and Portugal -23bp. Australian 3yr bond yields extended the domestic session's rise from 2.78% to 2.82%.

Currencies: The US dollar index (DXY) is little changed on the day. EUR initially firmed from 1.3030 to 1.3075 but fell from mid-morning London to 1.3010. USD/JPY rose from 92.90 to 93.52. Outperformer AUD (on stronger data and an on-hold RBA) consolidated the Sydney rally to 1.0253 by drifting sideways. NZD also stalled, slipping from 0.8304 to 0.8256 during the London morning, but pushed higher to 0.8314 in NY, possibly helped by a 19% surge in whole milk powder prices at last night's auction (in turn boosted by the NZ drought). AUD/NZD eked a similar range to the previous day, 1.2315-1.2385.

Economic wrap
US ISM non-manufacturing rose from 55.2 to 56.0 in Feb, exactly in line with our high end 56.0 forecast, though we attribute this rise to distorted seasonal factors: 2013 looks like a rerun of early 2010, 2011 and 2012 for this and many other US data series because the statisticians allowed their seasonal factors to be distorted by the post Lehmans collapse economic slump. Consequently activity appears to be accelerating for a while, only to slow sharply by the middle of the year. Even so the detail showed business activity and jobs were both little changed around 57 (down from 60+ in late 2012), but orders recovered their 4 pt Jan loss rising back to 58.

US IBD-TIPP economic optimism fell from 47.3 to 42.2 in Mar, its lowest since late 2011. The 5.1pt drop was driven by economic outlook (9 pts) Federal policies (quelle surprise! 4 pts) and personal financial outlook (2 pts)

Euroland composite PMI revised up to 47.9 in Feb from flash estimate of 47.3. That is still down on 48.6 in Jan. The factory PMI was revised higher last week; today saw the services PMI also revised up, from 47.3 to 47.9. This was because the French services PMI was revised up from 42.7 to 43.7- still very weak - and the German index went from 54.1 to 54.7, so a very wide (competitiveness) gap persists between the PMIs (as with other data) for the two core European economies.

Euroland retail sales rose 1.2% in Jan reversing their 0.8% Dec fall, mostly due to the previously reported sharp swings in the German retail data at the turn of the year. Even with the latest gain, annual sales continued to contract at a –1.3% yr pace in Jan.

UK services PMI edged up from 51.5 to 51.8 in Feb, its highest reading since Sep last year. Recall that the factory and construction PMI surveys both surprised to downside; this result would tend to diminish recent "triple dip" UK recession talk. Similarly, a separate report from the BRC showed same store sales up 2.7% yr in Feb, the fastest rise since the Royal Wedding spike in April 2011. Dry weather and strong demand for big ticket items were cited as factors at play.

Event risk today: Australia again provides the local highlight with Q4 GDP, the consensus estimate 0.6%. NZ has Q4 building work, not usually a market mover. Tonight's EZ final GDP and the Canadian central bank meeting will be of interest.

NZD/USD 1 day: Any higher than 0.8325 today would flip our near term bias from bearish to bullish.
NZD/USD 1-3 month: The positive trend since May has been broken and we now target around 0.8100 during the month ahead. Our view of a fresh high later in 2013 remains intact though.
NZ 2yr swap yield 1 day: Opening today up 4bp at 3.01%.
NZ 2yr swap yield 1-3 month: Following this downward correction, which could yet extend to the 2.80%-2.90% area, a rise above 3.20% should ensue.
AUD/USD 1 day: Higher to 1.0290 today.
AUD/USD 1-3 month: Remains inside an 18-month consolidation triangle, which should see it reach at least 1.0100 before an eventual break above 1.0600.




Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 6 March  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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