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Thursday July 14, 2005 - 22:26:42 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: CPI meets market expectations
NZD/USD opened slightly above Wednesday's low of 0.6705 yesterday morning. The currency then proceeded to trade sideways ahead of the much anticipated Q2 CPI data released at 10.45am. The data came out bang on market expectations rising 0.9% q/q and 2.8% for the year. Housing again featured in the data as it posted a gain of 1.7% on construction and purchases costs. The NZD showed little reaction to the result maintaining a range trade for the remainder of the local session. The offshore session saw NZD/USD rise slightly despite a raft of US data. Mixed results however gave the market little direction and the currency ranged within a 48 point band.

Australian Dollar: AUD consolidates ahead of US data
The AUD opened on what would be its lows yesterday morning and traded a tight 20 point range until midday. Talk of AUD uridashi bond issuance saw the AUD move through 0.7500 on the back of Japanese buying. This move induced stop loss buying and combined with Tokyo option expiries gave the AUD a leg higher to 0.7519 where the local session closed. Overnight trading offered more volatility however the AUD had already found a firm floor at 0.7500.

Major Currencies: Robust sales and benign inflation lead USD
Following the USD's solid overnight performance on Wednesday, the major currencies stuck to familiar levels during a quiet domestic session yesterday. In general, the dollar drifted from opening levels, establishing ranges of JPY 111.71-112.13 and EUR 1.2057-1.2086. During the offshore session, the USD was boosted by the release of a robust 1.7% increase in US retail sales for June, trading to 112.34 and 1.2058 against the yen and euro respectively. These gains were subsequently eroded however, as a flat consumer price report revealed tepid inflation for the same month. With the broad S&P 500 equity index trading to 4 year highs, sentiment toward the USD remains positive and the currency opens this morning at 112.30 and 1.2085 against the yen and euro, with Sterling seen at 1.7560.

US retail sales surge 1.7% in June. GM's very successful "employee discounts for all" incentive scheme saw the value of auto sales surge nearly 5%, pushing the retail sales total growth rate close to 2% for the second month in the space of three. Excluding autos, sales rose 0.7%, and revisions were worth 0.4 ppts. The detail showed broad-based gains: only two of the 14 storetypes recorded June falls. Gasoline sales grew 1.9% and added 0.1 ppt to the sales total.

US CPI flat in June, core rate up 0.1%. The CPI surprised to the downside again, with the results right through Q2 seemingly correcting for the inflation spike in the first quarter. The June detail showed was very soft across the board: food was flat, housing was up just 0.1%, apparel plunged 0.7%, gasoline fell 1.2% (but will rebound sharply in the July report) and medical care was below trend at just 0.2%. The June 30 Fed statement noted that "pressures on inflation have stayed elevated". That is true, but those pressures certainly did not translate into higher inflation in the past few months.

US initial claims rise 16k to 336k. The jobless claims jump reflected annual auto plant shutdowns for new model retooling, that don't get adequately adjusted for by the seasonal factors. Claims may rise again next week but should be falling by August as workers return. Nil impact on the monthly jobs data.

The Bank of Canada's monetary policy report reiterated the more hawkish tone apparent in Tuesday's press statement. The BoC assesses that the economy grew at its capacity limit in Q1, and even though growth may be a little below trend currently, the resulting output gap is not that significant. It follows that monetary policy as stimulatory as it is now looks increasingly inappropriate. We continue to expect a 25bp rate rise from the BoC at their next window on Sep 7. Manufacturing shipments were a bit soft in May, however. They fell 0.1% after April's 1.0% rise.

Euroland Q1 GDP growth was unrevised at 0.5%. The EC's model-based estimates for Q2 and Q3 were unrevised at 0.1-0.5% and\ 0.2-0.6% respectively.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
US Jul NY Fed Empire State Index 11.7 12.0
Jun Producer Price Index -0.6% 0.3%
Jun Core PPI 0.1% flat
May Business Inventories 0.3% 0.3%
Jun Industrial Production 0.4% 0.5%
Jul UoM Consumer Sentiment 96.0 97.0
Eur Q1 Labour Costs Revision 3.1% n/f

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q2 CPI Review (14 July)
• NZD: What really drives the currency? (14 July)
• 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 (
(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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