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Sunday January 10, 2010 - 21:41:24 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 11 January 2010

News and views

A disappointing US payrolls report (85,000 jobs were shed in December compared to consensus of no change) dampened speculation the Fed would start raising the policy rate by June 2010, supporting US treasuries and depressing US equities, commodities, and the dollar. Equities later rebounded on a better wholesale inventories report, as well as an estimate-beating Q4 profit warning from UPS (Alcoa kicks off the reporting season tonight), the S&P500 closing up 0.3% at 1145, a 12 month high. Fed President for Boston Rosengren said unemployment will remain elevated, warranting continued low interest rates. Fed funds futures now imply a 33% chance of a June hike, from 60% a week ago. The US treasuries curve steepened to 286bp after 2yr notes rallied 5bp and 10yr notes were little changed.

The US dollar fell around 0.6% after the payrolls report and never really recovered, although it remains within the elevated range formed during the past month. EUR drifted sideways above 1.4300 before the report, rising to almost 1.4450 in a volatile post-report session. USD/JPY lost around a cent to 92.30, closing at 92.66.

AUD had already made a minor recovery from the domestic session's 0.9124 low pre-payrolls, the report boosting it further to 0.9267.

NZD drifted lower after the Wellington close to 0.7287, but rebounded with others to 0.7380. It opens this morning around 0.7360. Last night's QV house price report is unlikely to trouble the currency markets, but did show a 2.8% gain for the month of December, taking prices to 5% below the late 2007 peak. AUD/NZD firmed slightly from 1.2500 to around 1.2550 during the London session.

US payrolls jobs fall 85k in Dec. A useful reality check from the jobs report. The payrolls decline confirms that although layoffs have dramatically slowed, there is still a reluctance or inability of firms to take on new workers. Although November was revised upward to a modest gain of 4k - the first since Dec 2007 - there was an offsetting downward revision to October, and the average monthly loss through Q4 was -69k. That is a substantial improvement from -199k in Q3, but it certainly isn't jobs growth. The separate (and revised) household survey showed a very steep -589k plunge in jobs in December, for an average monthly loss of -325k through Q4 (cf. -423k average in Q3), providing further confirmation that expectations of jobs growth have been premature. So, all up, a disappointing report, but not unexpected: the -85k payrolls and 10.0% jobless rate outcomes were very close to our -80k and 10.0% forecasts (no-one in the Bloomberg survey was closer!).

Fedspeak: Boston Fed president Rosengren said jobs growth "will not likely be rapid enough to put a large dent in the unemployment rate... this should allow for accommodative monetary policy to continue to support the economy until the underlying demand of consumers and businesses becomes self-sustaining".

Nov saw a very strong 1.5% rise in US wholesale inventories, driven by higher prices and volumes for farm products, and higher prices for energy. Excluding those factors, wholesale inventories fell 0.2%. So although not a broad-based gain, in underlying terms inventory rundown has almost stopped and the increase in farm inventory volumes should be captured in the Q4 GDP report, which now looks like printing comfortably above 4% annualised.

Euroland GDP growth was confirmed at 0.4% in Q3. Partial data available for the retail and industrial sectors suggest that growth may have slowed in Q4. Euroland unemployment rose from 9.9% to 10.0% in November; German industrial production rose 0.7% in November, partially reversing October's 1.7% decline.

UK producer prices were higher across the board in December.

Canada: modest job losses of just -3k in December after November's 79k surge leave in place a positive jobs trend of 11k per month through Q4, compared to just 4k per month through Q3 and job losses averaging -4k in Q2. The monthly data are noisy but the Canadian labour market does seem to have turned the corner, with the jobless rate peaking back in August at 8.7%.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook today: AUD should be contained by the recent range of 0.9150 to 0.9270, while NZD is unlikely to break outside 0.7290 to 0.7430 today.


Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 14 November 2007. 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 regulated for the conduct of investment business in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority. © 2004 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 forecast




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