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Sunday April 7, 2013 - 21:36:26 GMT
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Forex - Westpac Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 8 April 2013



Market wrap
Global market sentiment: A disappointing US employment report hurt risk appetite, and pushed interest rates and the US dollar lower. Only 88,000 jobs were added in March compared to 190,000 expected, prompting WSJ Fedwatcher Hilsenrath to suggest market fears of an early end to the Fed’s bond buying program were premature. The Eurostoxx 50 equity index fell 1.4% and the S&P500 closed 0.4% lower. Brent oil fell 2.1%, copper -0.2%, while iron ore plunged 5.8%. Gold bounced 1.7%.

Interest rates: The US 10yr treasury yield fell from 1.78% to 1.68% - a four-month low – on expectations the Fed’s bond-buying program would continue for some time. Fed doe Rosengren said continuing asset purchases were an appropriate response to the damaged labour market. Eurozone peripheral bond yields fell, the Italian 10yr down 18bp and Spain’s down 16bp. Australia’s 3yr bond yield fell in response to US payrolls from 2.85% to 2.75% - a one-month low - and closed at 2.79%, while the 10yr yield fell from 3.34% to 3.23% - a two-month low.

Currencies: The US dollar index is slightly lower, having fallen in response to the weak US data but partly recovering thereafter. EUR rose from 1.2900 to 1.3040 before closing at 1.2991. German manufacturing data helped. USD/JPY dipped to 95.77 following the US data but aggressive BOJ easing announced earlier in the week saw buyers push it up to 97.83 – a four-year high. AUD largely followed equity markets, falling from 1.0438 to 1.0355 before partly recovering to 1.0401. In-favour NZD fell from 0.8424 to 0.8374 but then more than recovered to 0.8436. As a result, AUD/NZD fell from 1.2415 to 1.2310 – a one-month low.

Economic wrap
US non-farm payrolls rise 88k in Mar. Even with 61k upward revisions to Jan-Feb, Q1 jobs rose at a 168k monthly average pace, down from 209k in Q4 2012 and 262k in Q1 a year ago. Yes, the jobless rate eased from 7.7% to 7.6%, but the separate household survey that returned that result also showed a 206k drop in jobs in March, for a Q1 average of –6k per month (vs 375k per month in Q1 last year). For the second month running almost 300k people stopped being counted as unemployed by leaving the workforce altogether. Hence the participation rate in the labour force has fallen from 63.6% at the start of the year to 63.3% in March. So the March 20 FOMC statement should have said “labour market conditions are showing [misleading] signs of improvement...”, one could argue. Detail in the Mar report included job losses in factories, retail, finance, and government. Hourly earnings grew 0.1% in revised Jan-Feb data but were flat in Mar; hours worked rose 0.3% in Mar but that earnings/hours combination points to sluggish incomes growth which will constrain spending. We continue to warn that flawed seasonal adjustment factors temporarily boost payroll jobs around the turn of the year (as happened in 2010, 2011 and 2012). The labour market is not as weak as it appears in March; it was not as strong as it looked in Feb. What is a concern is that the economy added far fewer jobs in Q1 2013 than in Q1 2012; Q4’s weak/flat GDP growth would be a factor at play there. A helpful way to assess how the economy is performing is to look at annual growth rates in the unadjusted data. In Q4 the economy expanded at a 1.7% yr pace which we forecast for Q1 2013 as well; employment grew at 0.9% yr, on both the household and payroll survey measures. Neither is impressive give the degree of policy accommodation that the Fed has had in place for some years now.

US trade deficit narrowed from $44.5bn to $43.0bn in Feb, with exports rising 0.8% but imports flat.

Canadian jobs plunged 55k in Mar, reversing the 51k jump in Feb. For Q1, employment fell 26k, the first quarterly decline since Q4 2011. The unemployment rate rose from the cycle low of 7.0% in Feb to 7.2% in Mar.

Canadian trade deficit widened from C$0.75bn to C$1.0bn in Feb, as exports fell 0.6% and imports edged up 0.1%. Separately, the Ivey PMI rose from 51.1 to 61.6 in Mar, its highest since Aug last year.

Euroland retail sales fell 0.3% in Feb, reversing part of their 0.9% gain in Jan, and still down 1.4% yr. German factory orders jumped 2.3% in Feb, more than reversing their 1.6% Jan fall, with similar gains in both domestic and foreign demand.

UK house prices rose 0.2% in Mar, according to the Halifax, for a 1.1% yr pace, down from the recent cycle high of 1.9% yr in Feb.

Event risk today: There’s little scheduled today which could ruffle markets. NZ’s calendar is empty unless REINZ releases its housing market update. Australia has jobless ads. Eurozone investor confidence and German industrial production are perhaps the highlights.

NZD/USD 1 day: 0.8450 should cap the NZD today although there’s good support at 0.8350 too.
NZD/USD 1-3 month: Momentum is positive suggesting further gradual gains towards 0.8500 as long as 0.8160 holds. The global environment is looking less friendly but NZ’s own economy should continue to outperform.
NZ 2yr swap yield 1 day: Opening down 2bp at 2.84%.
NZ 2yr swap yield 1-3 month: This downward correction could extend lower to the 2.70%-2.80% area. As long as that area holds though, we expect an eventual rise above 3.20% based on NZ’s improving fundamentals.
AUD/USD 1 day: 1.0355 below is at risk today, momentum having swung to the downside.
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). Information current as at 8 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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