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Tuesday June 28, 2005 - 20:56:53 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: Trade deficit downs the NZD
The NZD was rocked by a surprisingly poor trade balance on Tuesday; the currency was taken down to a three-week low as a result. The market was anticipating a NZ$300mn surplus for the trade balance however the result was a NZ$25mn deficit. The NZD seemed to defy gravity in the face of yesterday's data release and last week's poor numbers as it held on to 0.7050 and eventually rallied back to 0.7070. The offshore markets decided NZ's soft economic numbers translate to a weaker NZD and took the currency significantly lower from 0.7063 to 0.6997. The currency opens this morning at 0.7000 under continued pressure.

Australian Dollar: AUD slides to a two-week low
Alack of economic data on Tuesday meant the AUD was at the mercy of technical traders and, by consequence, a day of USD strength. NZD/USD and EUR/USD weakness weighed on the AUD and while the currency opened at 0.7695 and traded quietly during local time, the pressure of sellers took its toll when the offshore markets opened. The market is fully expecting a 25bps hike in interest rates from the US FOMC early Friday morning (NZ time), this added to Tuesday's bullish USD sentiment and assisted the AUD decline. The low traded at 0.7625 late NY time, a two-week low; the currency opens on the low this morning. helped by positive US consumer confidence data, reaching lows of 1.2062 and 1.8151 respectively. The markets main focus is now the dialogue behind a widely expected 25-point rate hike by the US Fed on Thursday.

Major Currencies: US dollar broadly higher
The US dollar was broadly stronger against major currencies overnight with market players focusing on the rising price of oil, and the US Federal Reserve rate decision on Thursday. JPY broke through 110.00 briefly on oil price concerns, but failed to hold the number and opens this morning around 109.90. The euro and GBP trended lower for much of the London and New York sessions,

Japanese May retail trade up 2.7%yr. That moderately outperformed the consensus, which had taken a more bearish turn as it evolved post the publication of our weekly. Large retailers continued to struggle relative to the aggregate measure, with sales contracting 3.1%yr. Coming off a decent expansion in April, the overall retail measure is pointing towards another solid PCE out-turn in Q2 GDP.

US consumer confidence rebounds. The June number rose to a better than expected 105.8 from an upwardly revised 103.1 in May. The June number is the highest recorded since June 2002. Both present and expectations components increased.

US Richmond Fed moves into contraction mode. The index fell from +4 in May to -3 in June.

Eurozone money growth jumps. In May annual M3 growth hit 7.3%, from a revised 6.8% in April. However, with economic growth remaining anaemic any immediate threat to inflation from credit growth seems weak. M3 growth as a barometer of inflation has declined in importance, and has been above the ECB's 4.5% reference rate for 4 years now. However, surging oil prices suggest the ECB won't be rushing to cut rates, given the Bank's tendency to focus on the short-term inflation impulse and potential impact on wages.

Bank of Canada's Dodge hawkish, as expected. With the market not reacting at all to the Dodge speech it is fair to say that he was as hawkish as expected. What he did say was that rates will be raised "over time". That probably rules out a July 12 hike, but from then on every meeting is "live".

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
29 Jun US Q1 GDP (F) %ann'lsd 3.5% 3.7%
Jpn May Industrial Production 1.9% -1.3%
May Reuters/Nomura PMI 53.5 53.7
UK May Net Consumer Credit £bn 1.3 1.5
Jun CBI Retail Survey -7 n/f
30 Jun NZ May Building Consents -33.9% 35%
Aust May Credit 0.9% 0.8%
Q2 ABS Job Vacancies 6.2% -6.0%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (28 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (27 June)
• NZ Q1 GDP Review (24 June)
• NZ Q1 Current Account Review (23 June)
• NZ Q2 Consumer Confidence (22 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 June)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (20 June)
• NZ Q1 GDP Preview (17 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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