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Monday July 4, 2005 - 21:21:08 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD continues down slippery slope
NZD/USD opened around 0.6800 yesterday morning, a level which turned out to be near its highs for the day. The currency was immediately under pressure as the USD's momentum carried over from the weekend and sellers of NZD/USD entered the market. Support around 0.6800 initially held during the local session but gave way in mid afternoon trading and the currency fell to an intraday low of 0.6775. The NZD was also softer against its crosses posting one month lows against NZD/JPY and NZD/EUR and a near a 5 month low against the AUD. The relative calm provided by US Independence Day during offshore trading finally saw the currency stabilise and traded a tight 30 point range. The currency opens around 0.6790 this morning.

Australian Dollar: AUD hits one month low
Like the NZD, the AUD saw its intraday high of 0.7533 first up yesterday morning. From then on the AUD softened as the currency was sold. Mid morning saw AUD/USD push through support at 0.7500 but soon bounced off 0.7480 on buying interest. The June inflation gauge data released yesterday exceeded 2.5% for the first time since September 2003 but still remained below the RBA's 3% limit. May's trade balance data was also released during the local session and held at a similar level to April's deficit. AUD/USD saw another move lower in mid afternoon and the currency tested significant support at 0.7470. With this level holding firm, the AUD traded sideways during the offshore session and opens around 0.7495 this morning.

Major Currencies: Euro falls through 1.1900 following comments
The euro fell to its lowest level against the USD in more than a year during Monday's offshore session after comments made by a European Central Bank official reignited concerns over euro zone stability. In an otherwise quiet trading session due to Independence Day Holiday in the US, the euro found itself under pressure following comments by Cristian Noyer, who said it was possible for a country to leave the single currency bloc. The euro fell through 1.1900 and traded its lowest level since late May 2004 at 1.1888, and it opens this morning just above 1.1900. The USD/JPY consolidated after hitting 111.89 in the local session, it traded a tight 33bps range offshore and opens this morning at around 111.50.

Two pieces of third tier data out of Japan. Base money growth slowed to 1.7%yr in June, down from 2.2%yr in May. The slower growth rate coincides with the Bank's decision to allow temporary drops in the current account balance below the official target floor of ₯30trn. Earnings data showed that cash payments remain in positive growth territory for the second month. The May pace of 0.4% is down a touch on April. Overtime earnings continued their decelerating trend in May. The annual rate is now at 1.4%, well down from the peak of above 6% recorded in January of last year.

No US data to report – July 4 holiday.

Euroland PMI services slips 0.4 pts to 53.1 in June. The national data were mixed with France down 1.1 pts but still strong at 57.9, Germany down 0.3 pts to 52.3 and Italy up 1.6 pts to a still contractionary 48.9. Even so, the composite PMI posted its second consecutive gain, thanks to the manufacturing PMI's less weak reading for June, published Friday. These, and other recent surveys paint a slightly less negative picture of Q2, thanks in part due to hopes that the weaker euro will provide stimulus in some sectors.

UK services PMI up 0.7 pts to 55.8 in June. The services sector PMI recovered some of its May loss in June, and the construction PMI jumped to 55.8 as well, its highest for the year so far. These results confirm our view that these key sectors of the UK economy are still in good shape, despite the ongoing weakness in manufacturing and anecdotal reports of a collapse in retailing. Data like these should see the Bank of England leave rates on hold this week.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
5 Jul Aust Jun AIG PSI 48.8 n/f
US May Factory Orders 0.9% 2.2%
Eur Jun PMI Services 53.5 53.2
May Retail Trade -1.2% -0.5%
UK Jun PMI Services 55.1 55.5
6 Jul NZ Q2 Employ Confidence Index 131.3 n/f
Jun ANZ Commodity Price Index -0.1% n/f
Aust RBA Policy Announcement 5.50% 5.50%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Economic Overview July 2005 (4 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (4 July)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (4 July)
• 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)
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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