Wednesday July 13, 2005 - 21:07:01 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar: Kiwi's spend less in May
The NZD opened on its highs yesterday morning around 0.6860 – a level not seen since the start of July. However this level was short lived as May retail sales data was released mid morning. In the blink of eye, the NZD was driven lower as retail sales posted a 0.6% fall for the month against market expectations of a 0.3% increase. The currency continued to be under pressure for the remainder of the local session and it was sold down to around 0.6800 at the close. Overnight trading saw more volatility and NZD/USD broke through 0.6800 to find the next support level at 0.6780. However aggressive selling of the NZD ensued and the currency weakened against the USD and its major crosses. A narrower than expected US trade deficit dented the NZD further and saw it post an intraday low of 0.6705.
Australian Dollar Aust confidence takes a knock
Like its antipodean neighbour, the AUD opened on its highs Wednesday morning. It then softened as the morning progressed finding support at 0.7540. Consumer sentiment data was released and fell 5.5% in July. It is now 9.9% below its level of one year ago. Despite this the AUD managed to hold itself near its 2 week highs as buyers of the currency were noted around 0.7550. This interest was just enough to prevent a further move south during the local session. Offshore trading pushed the AUD lower as broad USD strength emerged following the release of the US trade deficit. The currency posted a low of 0.7474 and then bounced of this level to open just under 0.7500 this morning.
Major Currencies: USD rebounds as trade deficit narrows
After a concerted round of profit taking at the beginning of the week, the retracement in the USD seen over the previous two sessions began to run out of steam during local trading on Wednesday. While the market remained cautious ahead of the US trade number, the dollar improved from opening levels of 110.90 and 1.2230 against the yen and euro.
Dollar buying intensified overnight and the report of a narrower than anticipated US trade gap of $55.4bn saw the greenback marked sharply higher across the board. As a result, the euro slid to intra-day lows of 1.2073, while USD/JPY once again traded above 112.25. Sterling
losses, from opening levels in Europe of 1.7735, were exacerbated by a deteriorating employment picture in the UK and lows of 1.7525 were recorded overnight.
Japan's May current account surplus 3.4% of GDP.
The ¥1441bn outcome was right on our forecast, but contrary to market expectations of a narrowing. The trade component improved moderately based on an improved position in services. The income surplus narrowed, as did the transfer deficit.
US trade deficit narrows to $55.4bn in May.
The US trade deficit narrowed by even more than we expected in May. Exports were the main surprise: although their detail was mixed, they managed to rise 0.1% on top of April's record level, despite a well-flagged $0.9bn drop in civilian aircraft sales to overseas buyers. The imports decline of 0.9% was led by energy, due to lower prices. The monthly trade deficit peaked at $60.1bn in Feb; in May it was nearly 8% below that. While the deficit will almost certainly widen again in June due to the 1.0% rebound in import prices (energy related) also reported last night, the quarterly deficit after adjustment for price changes should be lower than in Q1. That means that net exports will make a positive contribution to Q2 GDP growth, compared to their 0.6 ppt drag in Q1.
Canadian trade surplus narrows to C$4.0bn in May.
The Canadian trade surplus narrowed in May, as expected. Imports picked up sharply after being subdued for three months, consistent with the stronger tone of other domestic data of late. Meanwhile, exports were lower, mainly due to softer energy prices that month.
UK labour market conditions continued to soften in May/June.
Benefit claimant count unemployment rose for the fifth month a row, by 9k, pushing the jobless rate up a tick to 2.8%. The alternative jobless rate (calculated on the same basis as the US, Australian, European, etc. data) also edged up a tick in May. Both measures are now 0.2 ppts above their 30 year lows of late 2004. Also, wages growth dipped to its slowest for the year so far at 4.1%.
New Zealand Dollar
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q2 CPI %qtr 0.4% 1.0%
Jun Food Price Index 0.5% 0.2%
US Jun CPI/Core CPI -0.1%/0.1% 0.2%/0.2%
Jun Retail Sales/Ex Auto -0.5%/-0.2% 1.2%/0.8%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 9/7 319k 330k
Eur Q1 GDP Revision 0.5%a 0.5%
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)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)
(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 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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