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Wednesday January 20, 2010 - 19:16:36 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report


Morning Report Thursday 21 January 2010

News and views

Yesterday's Asian session jitters spilled over into the European and US sessions. China's reported move to curb bank lending raised global growth questions, and saw equity indices in Asia, Europe and the US lower. US earnings were not supportive either - Morgan Stanley, the world's largest brokerage firm, disappointed estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial is down 1.8%, and has broken below its post-March trend support line, a bearish signal if sustained. The China news hurt industrial commodities, copper down 2.7%, gold -2.4%, silver -4.6%, and interestingly all forming bearish outside down days. The risk averse tone supported US treasuries, the 10yr note shedding 5bp and the 2-10yr curve flattening by 3bp.

The US dollar index gained around 0.7% after the Sydney close, and is hard against important resistance at 78.45, a break above which opens the 80.00 area. EUR broke lower, below important 1.4220 support, as well as its 200 day moving average. Greece's woes continuing to weigh. USD/JPY nudged a little higher to 91.40 after a weak spell during London.

The China news dominated a strong Australian consumer confidence report, and AUD accelerated the week's down-move to 0.9080, where it currently resides. The evening's underperformer,

NZD also picked up the pace downwards, after a soft CPI report, and sits at a 2010 low of 0.7190, the market backtracking from a March RBNZ hike. AUD/NZD rose to around 1.2680.

US PPI up 0.2% in Dec, driven mainly by a 1.6% jump in food prices, up for the second month running after a string of four monthly declines between July and October. The core rate was flat, constrained by the volatile light truck component which fell 1.2% in December (and which has explained most of the swings up and down in the core PPI over the past six months or so).

US housing starts down 4%, permits up 11%, in Dec. Housing starts fell less than we expected in December, because of a further gain in the usually volatile multiples component. However single family starts posted their second 7% fall in three months, sufficient to leave a modest downtrend in place since mid-year, following six months of gains for single family starts from February to July. Poor weather was probably a factor in December: the regional breakdown showed starts down almost 20% in the midwest and northeast, areas most affected by earlier and more severe than usual snow-falls. That permits posted back to back gains for both single family and multiple units also supports the view that weather prevented some starts from taking place.

German producer prices' decline slowed from -5.9% yr to -5.2% yr in Dec, due mainly to base effects. In the month, the PPI fell 0.1%.

UK unemployment down 15k in Dec. The UK recorded the first back to back falls in claimant count unemployment since early 2008 in Nov-Dec. The separate household survey found jobs still being shed in the three months to November, but they were only down 14k compared to a 47k job loss in the previous three month period and -244k in March-May. Also, the minutes to the Jan Bank of England policy meeting showed the rates on hold and unchanged asset purchase program decisions were unanimous.

Canadian headline annual CPI rose to 1.3% yr in Dec due to unfavourable base effects, despite a 0.3% fall in the month.  Seasonal factors, such as clothing discounts, explained much of the fall last month, as the seasonally adjusted CPI fell just 0.1% in December. Meanwhile the core CPI at 1.5% yr continues to hold well below the 1-3% Bank of Canada target midpoint, consistent with the excessive spare capacity that has opened up in the Canadian economy, and providing support for the BoC's commitment to hold rates at current levels until mid-year. Separately, manufacturing sales rose 0.1% in Nov.


AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook today: AUD has reached its initial corrective target of 0.9100, but momentum remains downwards, so that further losses are possible. NZD has met its 0.7200 target, and looks oversold on the day, so that a short term bounce is possible today. NZ retail sales today is a potential market mover.


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 forecasts.




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