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Thursday June 30, 2005 - 21:05:07 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: Dwelling consents rebound in May
The NZD traded sideways following yesterday morning's open and found good support around 0.6980. NZD/USD had a slight bid tone as the morning progressed but ultimately the market seemed content to consolidate before a big data day in the offshore session. May dwelling consents were released and rebounded 11.4% in May following a 36% fall in April. The offshore session saw the NZD under pressure and the currency fell through support at 0.6980 shortly after the close of the local session. NZD fell to an intraday low of 0.6930 before bouncing back late in late overnight trading. It opens slightly stronger this morning at around 0.6955.

Australian Dollar: AUD ranges before Fed
AUD/USD opened around 0.7620 yesterday in what was to end up being the middle of the days range. End of month trading saw a lot of two way interest in the AUD and this kept the currency contained within a tight 0.7620 - 0.7642 range during the local timezone. The offshore session saw AUD lower initially on the back of a weaker euro but then continued to drift lower as the NZD was sold off. AUD found support around 0.7600 and opens around this level today.

Major Currencies: Sterling falls as most stable
Smaller than expected UK GDP data caused the Sterling to sell off overnight, as most currencies largely held firm against the USD. After reaching its highs around 1.8080 late in the NZ time zone Sterling trended downwards, eventually finding support around 1.7910. The 25bps rate hike by the US Fed kept the pressure on with Sterling falling to its 1.7870 low immediately after the announcement. Other major currencies were more stable on the Fed announcement and although the euro did slip slightly to 1.2060, it has since recovered and opens this
morning around 1.2100. JPY trended higher for most part of overnight
trading eventually topping out just shy of 111.00, a 7-month high.

US Fed tightens 25bps to 3.25%. The US Federal Reserve lifted its funds target 25bps to 3.25% following this week's FOMC meeting. The balanced risk assessment with respect to both growth and inflation was still there; the commitment to remove policy accommodation at a measured pace was retained. There were minor tweaks to the Fed's economic assessment ("the expansion remains firm" replaced "spending growth has slowed somewhat"), but no real fresh insights.

Other US data. Too much to go into any detail, but in summary: further slippage in the Chicago PMI from 54.1 to 53.6 in June. Also Milwaukee PMI down from 59 to 58 and NY PMI weak at 42.8. Personal income and spending growth slowed to 0.2% and flat in May. The core PCE deflator was revised lower in Feb and March by a cumulative 0.2 ppts, but surprised to the upside with 0.2% in May. Initial claims fell a further 6k to 310k.

Canadian GDP growth was upbeat at 0.4% in April. Also industrial product prices were flat in May.

Euroland economic sentiment improved modestly, and along with higher inflation in June at 2.1% yr, this will firm the resolve of the ECB to resist rate cut calls. Also June German unemployment fell 23k, reflecting more subsidised jobs, where workers are paid one euro per hour by bosses, but also get to keep the dole.

More disappointing UK data. Consumer confidence slipped back to the weakest for the year so far, matching Dec 04's reading. House prices edged a little lower, but were still up 4.7% yr. Also, Q1 GDP growth was revised down from 0.5% to 0.4%. Revisions to earlier data meant that the Q1 annual growth rate was revised down from 2.7% yr to just 2.1% yr. This news will boost calls for a rate cut from the BoE.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust May Retail Trade -0.5% -0.3%
May Dwelling Approvals 1.8% -0.8%
Jun AIG's PMI 50.5 n/f
US Jun UoM Consumer Sentiment (F) 94.8a 95.0
Jun ISM Manufacturing 51.4 52.0
May Construction Spending 0.5% 0.6%
Jpn Q1 Tankan Large Manuf/Non-Manuf 14/11 14/10
Eur Jun PMI Manufacturing 48.7 49.0
Ger May Retail Sales %yr -3% n/f
UK Q1 Business Investment Rev'n -0.1%a n/f
Jun PMI Manufacturing 47.3 48.5

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)
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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