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Monday June 13, 2005 - 00:28:14 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD loses ground after US trade data
Having failed to make headway above 0.7160 on Thursday, the NZD opened the local session with a softer tone on Friday. The market shrugged off the release of data showing a 2.2% increase in NZ's terms of trade and traded within a narrow range on the day bordered by 0.7112 and 0.7135. The offshore session saw the NZD slide below 0.7100, as the USD improved with the perception that the US trade deficit may have peaked. The market opens this morning at 0.7060, marginally higher than Friday's overnight lows of 0.7054.

Australian Dollar: Quiet day expected for Australian holiday
The AUD also traded within a narrow 0.7645 - 0.7678 range during the local session on Friday. Pressure on the currency mounted during the offshore session, however a stronger USD and corporate selling on the crosses forced the market lower to establish overnight lows of 0.7608. With Australians enjoying Queen's Birthday Holiday today, a muted session is anticipated. The AUD opens this morning at 0.7620.

Major Currencies: US dollar rallies after encouraging trade deficit data
The US dollar strengthened markedly on Friday following a narrower than anticipated US trade deficit and reversing the weakness seen earlier in the week. The trade deficit was in fact the fourth widest on record but the details were extremely encouraging, indicating there was no soft patch in the economy. The USD reached a nine-month high against the trading down to 1.2107 for the first time since Sep '04 and opens near that level this morning. The USD rallied impressively against the Japanese yen during NY time after a subdued Asian session. USD/JPY traded ten points either side of 107.50 during Asian trading but strengthened from 107.40 to 108.68 within a couple of hours early NY time and opens at 108.60 today. The USD also strengthened against the Swiss franc and Sterling by almost 1.5% and 1% respectively.

Japanese May corporate goods prices fell 0.1%. That pushed the annual rate marginally lower relative to the upwardly revised April outcome. There was a very meek unwinding of the 7% April surge in import prices, but a strong base effect pulled annual growth down to 8.8%yr from 13.6%. Export prices are back in negative annual territory, with a 1.3% decline in the month contrasted with 3.5% bounce in the previous corresponding period.

US trade deficit widens to $57bn in April. Although the US trade deficit widened in April, it was still a "good number" from several perspectives. Both imports and exports roared higher to yet new record levels, and even allowing for the extra boost on the import side from oil prices, and on the export side from civilian aircraft sales, there's certainly no evidence here of an economic soft patch. Within imports, capital goods featured strongly, consistent with other evidence business investment remains solid, despite weaker business surveys. The number also adds to the sense that the trade deficit may have peaked, something Dr Greenspan alluded to yesterday. As the May import price data show, down 1.3%, the falling oil price last month should be a drag on imports in the May data, whereas exports prices were down just 0.1% in May.

Canadian trade surplus rises to C$5.2bn in April. The surplus was revised higher in March and rose further in April, with exports managing rises in each of the latest three months, confirming that the sector has not been devastated by the past year's C$ gains.

Canadian jobs jump 35k in May. Meanwhile, employment rose strongly in Canada for the second month running. The May breakdown included a 52k jump in private sector jobs, reversing all of the losses incurred in private employment since February. Much of the latest rise was in the retail sector, confirming that domestic
demand conditions are robust, although manufacturing jobs were down 19k, and construction off 15k. Unemployment remains at the four-and-a-half year low reached in April.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
13 Jun NZ Apr Retail Trade -0.5% 0.3%
Aust Queen's Birthday Holiday
Jpn Q1 GDP Revision 1.3% 1.4%
Apr Capacity Utilisation -1.2% 2.2%
UK May Producer Prices %yr 2.6% n/f
May RICS House Prices -40 n/f
14 Jun NZ May Food Price Index -0.8% 0.5%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q1 Terms of Trade Review (10 June)
• RBNZ June MPS Review (9 June)
• Taking stock - the sequel (8 June)
• RBNZ Hot Points (7 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (7 June)
• NZ Agribiz June 2005 (7 June)
• Taxation - who pays and how much? (2 June)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (

Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 incorporated in Australia (NZ division). Information current as at 24 May 2005. 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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