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Monday July 4, 2005 - 01:56:52 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD falls to 8 month low
After tumbling from levels around 0.7000 on Thursday night the NZD eventually found support at 0.6940 where it opened on Friday morning. The currency had a slight bid tone first up, however early afternoon trading saw short term stops triggered as NZD/USD pushed below Thursday night's low of 0.6930. This move lower continued and the local session closed around 0.6880. The offshore session also took its toll on the NZD as US economic data posted strong results. Selling of NZD/USD was seen from all angles and the currency fell to 0.6870 before bouncing back to 0.6925. Pressure from sellers again took the currency lower and this time it fell to an intraday low of 0.6807 - a level not seen since late October last year. The currency opens slightly higher this morning around 0.6830.

Australian Dollar: AUD sold despite positive data
AUD/USD opened around 0.7600 on Friday morning and was initially bid taking the AUD to its intraday high of 0.7642. The high was short lived however as sellers emerged on the AUD's strength and the currency fell back through 0.7600. Data released on the day saw May dwelling approvals rise 4.5% driven largely by demand in Queensland. May retail sales posted a gain of 0.9% and the June purchasing managers index also posted a gain. A stronger USD overnight saw the AUD move lower losing a cent from Friday's local session. AUD/USD eventually posted an intraday low of 0.7498 before it bounced back to 0.7530. It opens around 0.7520 this morning.

Major Currencies: ISM data sparks broad USD rally
The USD rallied sharply across the board during Friday's offshore session following a report showing improved US manufacturing activity for June. The ISM index of national manufacturing activity rose to 53.8 in June exceeding market expectations for a 51.5 reading. The report sparked an extended rally in the USD, which took several currencies to multi-month lows including the euro, JPY and GBP. The euro fell through the psychological 1.2000 barrier to a 13 month 1.1940 low, the GBP also traded 13-month lows of 1.7675. The dollar rose vs the JPY to 10-month highs of 111.79 and opens near its highs this morning at around 111.60. US markets are closed today for the Independence Day holiday.

Japan's Q2 Tankan paints a very positive picture. Large manufacturers (LM) business conditions rose to 18 from 14. LNM was up from 11 to 15. Small NM firms rose 2pts to -12.

US ISM recovers from 51.4 to 53.8 in Jun. The ISMmanufacturing recovered all of its May loss and more in June, defying weaker signals from almost all of the regional manufacturing surveys last month (except for the bounce in the NY Fed survey). The recovery was led by sharply higher orders, although production also rose: only one month's data, but still a reasonable signal that the past year's US manufacturing slowdown may not lead to recession in the sector.

US construction spending data were totally bizarre. Benchmark revisions mean that February was revised up from 1.2% growth to an unheard of monthly gain of 7.5%! Spending has pulled back in each of the three months since then, including -0.9% in May, but even so, the level of spending in May was still 3.4% higher than the previously published April estimate. In other words, construction spending is booming even more than we previously thought.

The final estimate of Uni of Mich's consumer sentiment in June was revised up 1.2 pts to 96.0, mainly due to a stronger set of current conditions responses. The revision means that overall sentiment posted its second steepest rise in about 15 years.

Euroland PMI rises from 48.7 to 49.9 in Jun. Continuing the run of slightly less negative European business surveys, the PMI recovered to just shy of the neutral 50 level.

The UK industrial sector also recovered somewhat in June (PMI up from 47.0, to 49.6) A new orders bounce was especially encouraging. This result provides some grounds to hope that the jump in the official industrial production data back in April might not have been a one-off flash in the

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust May Trade Balance AUDbn -1.3 -1.0
Jun TD-MI Monthly Inflation Gauge -0.2% n/f
Jun ANZ Job Advertisements -7.3% n/f
US Independence Day Holiday
Eur May Producer Price Index %yr 4.2% 3.5%
Ger May Retail Sales %yr -3% 0%
UK Jun BRC Retail Monitor

Latest Research papers/Publication
• A capital idea (1 July)
• 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)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)

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 www.westpac.com.au 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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15:30 US- EIA Crude
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Mon 25 Dec
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