Thursday July 28, 2005 - 21:22:57 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar: NZD looks to RBNZ for directional clues
The NZD opened yesterday's local session at 0.6805 with market attention focused upon the RBNZ OCR review. Although it was widely expected that the Reserve Bank would leave rates unchanged at 6.75%, it was again the accompanying statement that drew most scrutiny and an acknowledgement of the recent softer economic releases saw the currency immediately weaken. This proved short lived however, as the Bank highlighted that inflation levels above the RBNZ's inflation target in the short term could lead to further hike should these pressures not abate over the medium term. Despite a further spike lower to 0.6771 during offshore trading, the currency recovered overnight, with USD profit taking ahead of tonight's GDP data seeing NZD/USD improve to 0.6848. The market opens this morning at 0.6830.
Australian Dollar: AUD rebounds in overnight trade
The AUD also remained under pressure during the local session, yesterday. While a narrow range of 0.7548 - 0.7576 was established on the day, the currency shrugged off further rises in the price of base metals and continued to press the downside, in line with broadly positive USD sentiment. Despite dipping briefly to lows of 0.7538 overnight, AUD/USD subsequently reversed recent losses as position squaring ahead of key US data releases this evening, saw the currency post highs of 0.7609. The market has failed to hold the 0.76 level however, and opens this morning at 0.7595.
Major Currencies: Dollar declines ahead of US GDP
The USD extended recent losses against major currencies in Thursday's offshore session, as traders unwound long USD positions ahead of tonight's US GDP data. In quiet trading the euro
ground higher to 1.2150, a continuation of Thursday's rally sparked by options-related buying to protect a 1.1950 barrier. The euro opens this morning near its highs at around 1.2135. Despite the USD's dip, the yen
remains pressured by investors growing more convinced that China's central bank will keep the yuan stable. USD/JPY traded a one week 112.83 high overnight but was then sold down through 112.00, it opens this morning just above 112.00 psychological support.
Japanese retail sales continue to look rich.
The adjusted retail sales rose 3.1% in the year to June suggesting solid retail growth should be supportive of domestic demand in Q2 GDP.
US initial jobless claims rise 5k to 310k,
exactly in line with Westpac's forecast. This confirms that with the early July distortion from temporary auto plant shutdowns for retooling now passed, the underlying labour market trend is strong. The 4 week moving average for initial claims is 318k, the lowest since March, despite the last four weeks including that retooling spike. The continuing claims trend is not quite as impressive: steady rather than downward.
Euroland M3 growth rises to 7.5% yr in June.
This continued acceleration can only confirm the ECB's view that interest rates are stimulatory and not hampering the Euroland economy.
German unemployment fell 42k in July.
The continued decline in German unemployment is somewhat at odds with probable flat GDP growth in Q2. But these figures have been distorted of late, particularly downwards by the work for the dole scheme whereby employers pay just 1 euro an hour for the services of the unemployed (who continue to receive benefits as well, but are not counted as unemployed).
UK house prices appear to be stabilising.
They rose 0.2% in July, according to Nationwide BS; the monthly data show just two falls this year so far, in March and June, of just 0.2% each. That suggests that annual house price inflation should stabilise around the current 2- 3% over the next few months. That's the lowest since 1996, but at least prices don't appear to be collapsing. We argue that this, and the recent re-acceleration in mortgage lending, provide grounds for the BoE to leave interest rates unchanged at next week's policy meeting.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Jun Credit Data 1.0% 0.9%
US Q2 GDP advance % annualised 3.8% 3.6%
Q2 Employment Cost Index 0.7% 0.9%
Jul UoM Consumer Sentiment (F) 96.5a 96.0
Jul Chicago PMI 53.6 56.0
Eur Jul CPI Flash %yr 2.1% 2.1%
Jul Economic Confidence 96.3 96.6
UK Jun Net Mortgage Lending GBPbn 8.0 8.3
Can May GDP 0.4% 0.2%
Latest Research papers/Publication
Of free lollies and collective cavities (29 July)
RBNZ OCR Review (28 July)
A matter of balance (26 July)
A question of capacity (25 July)
NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (25 July)
NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (25 July)
RBNZ OCR Preview (22 July)
Migration and the RBNZ (21 July)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Banks website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)
(Previous days 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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