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Wednesday April 3, 2013 - 19:04:10 GMT
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Forex - Westpac Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 4 April 2013


Market wrap
Global market sentiment: Equity markets reversed some of yesterday’s surprising gains following a weak round of US data. European indices had a fairly lacklustre morning until US markets opened on the back foot after a weak ADP employment report (158k versus 200k expected). This was followed up by a negative surprise to US ISM Non-manufacturing which fell to 54.4 - the weakest reading since August of last year. The pattern of softeer data going into Q2 and Q3 has been evident in recent years and is perhaps due to post-Lehman distortions in seasonal adjustments.If this is the case, it may be that Q1 data have been overstated rather than economic activity undergoing large swings. Equity markets drfited lower late in the session with the Eurostoxx closing down 1.5% at 2639. The S&P 500 is currently down 0.6% at 1561 with the Dow holding just above 14600.

Interest rates: Bond markets had a good day with yields lower across the board. US 10yr was 3bp lower at 1.83% and still flirting with a break below its 100dma (1.83%). In the UK, weaker than expected construction data saw 10yr yields move 2bp lower to 1.75% while 10yr German yields experienced a similar move down to 1.28%. Interestingly, it was not a typical ‘risk-off’ day with buying across the board in the bond markets including peripheral Europe with Italy (-3bp), Spain (-3bp), Greece (-8bp) and Portugal (-10bp) all lower in yield, spurred on by IMF signing off on a EUR1bn contribution to the EUR10bn Cyprus bailout. Australia’s 3yr bond will open 4bp lower at 2.89% and the 10yr down a similar amount at 3.39%.

Currencies: The USD index gave up yesterday’s gains trading down to 82.68 (-0.3%). Within the G10 basket, the USD only managed gains against SEK. JPY was the biggest winner with position squaring ahead of tonight’s key BoJ meeting sending USD/JPY down to 92.95 on creeping concerns that the outcome of tonight’s much hyped monetary policy meeting may not live up to expectations. EUR/USD was moderately higher at 1.2845. AUD/USD rallied up to 1.0497 before drifting off to 1.0480 late in the session. NZD/USD followed a similar path up to 0.8448 and then down to 0.8440.

Economic wrap
US ISM non manufacturing index fell from 56.0 to 54.4 in March, at the lower end of expectations mirroring the loss of attitude seen in 2011 and 2012 as early year spikes in the index soon gave way to more subdued outcomes. This is distorted seasonal adjustment factors at play we fear, rather than underlying swings in economic activity. The detail showed business activity off 0.4 pts, orders slowing 3.6pts and jobs down 3.9pts - all still growing, but less rapidly.

US ADP private payrolls gain of 158k was the lowest since Oct, and mirrors the slowing in jobs growth late in Q1 2012 which makes us suspect seasonal adjustment issues might be at play here as well. What’s more, the monthly gains in Q1 2012 averaged 226k whereas they were just 191k in Q1 this year so its seems a bit premature to claim that the labour market is firming on the basis of these data. The official BLS payrolls data (March due Friday) are displaying the same basic patterns so it’s really only the lower jobless rate that suggests the labour market is improving, but that is based on a survey that shows jobs growth averaging just 72k per month in Dec-Feb with most of the lower unemployment due to people leaving the workforce altogether. These are not good numbers!!

Euroland CPI slips from 1.8% yr to 1.7% yr in Mar flash estimate, its lowest since August 2010 and only the second read below 2% since the end of 2010.

UK BRC shop price index rose from 1.1% yr to 1.4% yr in Mar, sometimes a guide to the direction of change of the official CPI released later in the month. Also the PMI construction rose from 46.8 to 47.2 in Mar, its fifth consecutive sub 50 (contractionary) reading.

Event risk today: In Australia, the AiG PMI services index is published along with building approvals data for February. In NZ, the DMO will tap $200m of the 2025 inflation-linked government bond. Monetary policy will take focus in the European session with both ECB and BoE decisions due. There are also a host of Central Bank speakers with Fed Chairman Bernanke (prepared text but no Q&A) and Janet Yellen the two that will likely attract most headlines.

NZD/USD 1 day: The break above 0.8400 opens up the path to 0.8480 with 0.8400 now support.
NZD/USD 1-3 month: A sustained rise above 0.8355 would put the NZD back into positive-trend mode, below suggests further weakness to 0.8100. Global surprises will drive it in the near-term bvut we expect a fresh high by late 2013 on NZ’s improving economy.
NZ 2yr swap yield: Looking to open at 2.89%.
NZ 2yr swap yield 1-3 month: Following the current consolidation, which could yet extend lower to 2.80%, a rise above 3.20% should ensue.
AUD/USD 1 day: Longer-term resistance of 1.05 now in sight. Downside corrections likely to find support at 1.0420.
AUD/USD 1-3 month: Remains inside an 18-month consolidation triangle defined by 1.0500 above and 0.9900 below. We expect the eventual break to be upwards.





Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). 4Information current as at 4 April 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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