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Thursday June 30, 2005 - 00:34:14 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: Calm NZD falls to four-week low
The NZD had a day of listless trading on Wednesday but still fell to a four-week low, a result of poor local data and a stronger USD. With no new local data the markets were left to ponder recent NZ economic softness, this prevented the NZD rallying further than 0.7023, an emerging resistance level. The market kept the NZD around 0.7000 for the majority of NZ time. Offshore markets increased the liquidity and volatility, taking the currency down to 0.6968 before a slight recovery to 0.6990 upon the close.

Australian Dollar: AUD struggles for support prior to Fed announcement
The AUD was kept to a narrow range yesterday but softened to a new three-week low as commodity prices fell and expectations of a Fed interest rate hike improved USD sentiment. The AUD has been on the back foot for the past nine days and little demand has emerged prior to the Fed window. Yesterday's high traded at 0.7645 early in the day and the currency moved steadily lower to 0.7585, however the AUD managed to rebound late in the day and opens at 0.7620

Major Currencies: Rumours cause ruffles but eyes on Fed
Most major currencies gave way to the USD overnight as all eyes where focused towards an impending 25-point rate rise by the US Federal Reserve tomorrow morning. The expected rate rise caused demand for US dollars pushing Sterling to a 1.7995 low and JPY to a 110.65 high – 8 month lows for both currencies. Theeuro initially followed others lower to 1.2015 before reversing higher. The sudden buying was widely thought to be by a central bank on the back of Saudi this morning. King Fahd's rumoured death. A spokesman for the Saudi Family denied the rumour. The euro opens this morning around 1.2060 after touching highs around 1.2110 overnight.

Japanese May industrial production fell 2.3%. This is a disappointing number. Not solely because a 2.3% monthly decline sounds like a lot, but because it erases all of the previous month's 1.9% gain, putting IP behind square for the quarter. The fact that shipments fell even more than production means that inventories, which have been a constraint on output in recent times, were not run down further.

US Q1 GDP growth revised higher. Q1 GDP growth was revised up from 3.5% to 3.8% annualised. The main drivers were housing (0.15 ppts) and net exports (0.09 ppts) with smaller positives from business investment and the government sector. A slower pace of inventory accumulation was the most significant offsetting downward revision. This means that GDP growth has been in a tight 3.8% to 4.0% range since the Fed started tightening last year. The report also included unexpected downward revisions to the main deflators, making for a less marked inflation up-tick relative to Q4. However the market based core PCE deflator was revised up a tick from 2.1% to 2.2%.

Two contrasting reports relevant to the UK household sector: The CBI retail survey plunged to an all-time, 22(!) year low, which at face value suggests that a consumer recession might be imminent. However with June 2004 both very hot and the month of the Euro 2004 soccer championship, sales were then booming, so it is perhaps not surprising that in comparison, this year's report is unflattering. Adding weight to the view that the CBI survey overstating the consumer slowdown, lending data for May were quite strong, particularly with new mortgage lending rising.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ May Building Consents -33.9% 35%
Aust May Credit 0.9% 0.8%
Q2 ABS Job Vacancies 6.2% -6.0%
US May Personal Income/Spending 0.7%/0.6% 0.3%/flat
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 25/6 314k 320k
Jun Chicago PMI 54.1 55.0
FOMC Rate Decision 3.00% 3.25%
Eur Jun Economic Sentiment 96.1 96.1
Jun Business Climate Indicator -0.37 -0.35
Jun CPI Flash Estimate %yr 1.9% 2.0%
UK Q1 GDP Revision 0.5%a 0.5%
Jun GfK Consumer Confidence -1 -2
Can Apr GDP -0.1% 0.3%

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)
• NZ Q1 Current Account Preview (17 June)
• M&A Update - More support for the NZD (17 June)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (13 June)
• NZ Q1 Terms of Trade Review (10 June)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (
Latest Research Papers/Publications

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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