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Tuesday July 12, 2005 - 21:20:27 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: Fickle NZD rallies
The NZD, a currency that was firmly trending downwards just 48 hours prior, managed to rally strongly on Tuesday. The Q2 NZIER Business Confidence survey dropped yesterday indicating lower inflation pressures, labour market constraints and a slowing economy. This had no affect on the currency as the NZD rallied steadily throughout the day. NZD/USD opened near the low at 0.6781 and consistently moved higher on the back of a weaker USD across the board. Profit taking on recent USD strength took the NZD up to 0.6820 by the end of local trading. The theme continued offshore as the currency rallied to 0.6874, a two week high. NZD/USD opens today at 0.6860.

Australian Dollar: AUD retraces as USD gives back recent gains
The AUD benefited from a market wary of US trade balance surprises yesterday. The US trade balance has been a source of bearishness for the USD in recent years and the market has pared back the USD's recent rally in anticipation of tonight's data release. The June NAB business survey came out lower than expected yesterday but the AUD moved higher regardless. Opening around 0.7468, AUD/USD rallied uncontested to a two-week high at 0.7574 and opens this morning testing higher.

Major Currencies: USD reversal on fears of widening trade gap
The USD continued to retreat during the local session yesterday as the market became increasingly cautious ahead of tonight's US trade data release. With analysts seeing a surge in China's surplus with the US, concerns that the US trade gap could once again widen towards US$60bn undermined the currency's recent performance. The euro and Sterling posted strong gains against the greenback, establishing highs of 1.2182 and 1.7664 respectively during the local session. Although, the yen also recovered, slipping to 111.25, it lagged behind other major markets after domestic consumer confidence and corporate goods prices disappointed. The USD's decline continued during the offshore session with the greenback sinking to a three week low of 1.2256 against the euro. Sterling benefited from a robust inflation report and posted gains to 1.7785 overnight, while USD/JPY broke lower through 111, touching lows of 110.75.

Japanese June corporate goods prices down to 1.4%yr.That compares to a 1.8%yr pace in May. The in-month move was a 0.1% decline. Import prices also fell 0.1% from May, but the annual rate climbed to 9.3%. Export prices remain depressed at 0.8%yr. Energy prices were down across the indices, and unwrought metals prices, led by copper, were up. USD/JPY rose 1.6% in the month.

Japanese consumer confidence declined in June. This was something of a surprise, given activity data has been generally favourable. The high price of oil is the most likely suspect behind the underperformance. The headline index is now at 46.8, down from 48.2.

The Bank of Canada left its rate unchanged at 2.5%. The statement included the line "some reduction in the amount of monetary stimulus will be required in the near term to keep aggregate demand and supply in balance and inflation on target." In May, the Bank said that "a reduction of monetary stimulus will be required over time." It seems that the groundwork is being laid for a Sept 7 tightening, provided the two months' worth of key Canadian and US data to be published between now and then does not reveal an unexpected slump in activity. The Bank will publish its Monetary Policy Report Update on Thursday, providing more detail on its thinking.

UK CPI edges up to 2.0% yr in June, its fastest annual pace in seven years, and the first time the 2% inflation target has been achieved since the new target arrangements were introduced in late 2003. The detail showed a strong contribution from fresh fruit prices, and also less discounting than normal in apparel prices. Furniture prices were higher too, further evidence that the housing sector may be rebounding.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ May Retail Trade 0.7% 0.6%
Aust Jul Westpac-MI Consumer Sentiment -0.5% n/f
US May Trade Balance USDbn 57.0 56.5
Jun Import Prices -1.3% 1.2%
Jun Federal Budget USDbn 19.1 28.0
Jpn May Current Account ¥bn 1389 1440
UK Jun Unemployment ch' 000 13.2 8.0
May Leading Index -0.4% n/f
Can May Trade Balance CADbn 5.1 4.4

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q2 CPI Preview (11 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (11 July)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (11 July)
• NZ Q2 Employment Confidence Index (6 July)
• 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)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (
(Previous day’s closing rates)

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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