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Sunday January 23, 2011 - 22:04:24 GMT
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Forex - Morning Report

Morning Report Monday 24 January 2011

Market wrap

EUR saw decent gains on Friday helped by IFO expectations at a new record high. The EUR trade above 1.36 for the first time since November 23. Spain announced a partial state takeover of its weakest savings banks , forcing debt laden regional savings banks to become conventional banks and seek stock market listings. The US$ was weak against other currencies too - the closely watched DXY index fell to 78.10 - the lowest level seen since November 22. US bonds rallied by around 4bps despite the fact that the cost of 5 year CDS on the US debt hovered near 11 month highs of 51bps.

GBP finally managed to push back above the 1.60 level though moves were tentative as retail sales fell short of expectations. EUR/GBP continued to push higher, hitting 3 week highs of 85.28. USD/JPY slid steadily through a quiet session, retracing gains seen through the previous trading days. We traded as low as 82.53.

Both AUD and NZD had a quiet session. AUD had a couple of forays above 99.00, but gains were limited. AUD/EUR continued its slide to hit a 0.7266 low. AUD/GBP closed sub 0.6200 for the first time since Dec 8th. NZD opened the NY session round the 0.7585 level and closed more or less unchanged. EUR/NZD closed above its 200 day moving average for the first time since late October.

Economic wrap

No US data.

Japan's all industry index fell 0.1% in November (mkt +0.3%) after a revised 0.3% decline in October. Over the year, the index is up 2.4%. In the month and over the year, stronger activity in the tertiary and manufacturing sectors offset a decline in activity in the construction and Government sector.

German IFO business climate index rises 0.4 pts to 110.3 in Jan. The current conditions component was down a tick from its cycle high, but expectations continued to soar to new all-time highs.

UK retail sales fell 0.8% in Dec. Two factors pushing in opposite directions drove Dec retail sales - snow disruption was a big negative, pre-VAT hike spending a positive. The former factor dominated it seems: total retail sales fell more than total ex petrol (-0.3%) because people couldn't drive during the snow disruption. Non-store retailing which is internet shopping and mail-order surged 5.4%, its biggest monthly gain in recent history, possibly benefitting from both the snow and VAT.

BoE MPC member Adam Posen still voting for further stimulus? He said "my position is unchanged... inflation will be well below" 2%, notwithstanding the recent spike.

Canadian retail sales rise 1.3% in Nov. Autos added 0.3 ppts and gasoline 0.1 ppts to the growth in retail. Excluding those factors sales were up 0.9% led by building materials, clothing and food sales.

Market outlook

AUD/USD and NZD/USD outlook next 24 hours: We continue to see AUD underperforming versus a newly invigorated EUR. Weekend comments from Trichet suggest this move should continue. CPI data due Tuesday will be less important than usual given the data predates the Queensland flood disaster. Softer NZ data last week should see the NZD do the same.



.Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 24 January 2011. 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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