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Sunday August 7, 2005 - 23:31:40 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD down slightly
The NZD lost ground on Friday as monthly employment data out of the US came out stronger than expected. After washing around in a 0.6890 - 0.6920 range for most of our timezone, the NZD closed near its highs. From there it was sold down sharply on the US data release to its low of 0.6876, following all major currencies downward. The currency did manage to recover slightly in the New York afternoon and opens just below 0.6900 this morning.

Australian Dollar: AUD sold on US data
AUD found few friends during the pacific session of Friday's trading, being sold steadily from around 0.7720 to reach low of 0.7685 around 5pm NZ time. From there AUD managed a slight recovery to around the 0.7710 and waited for the US payroll data. Along with all other major currencies, AUD was sold to its lows as the US employment number came out positive, eventually bottoming out at 0.7661. The currency has managed to claw back some of its losses and opens around 0.7680 this morning.

Major Currencies: US jobs data sparks dollar rally
US non-farm payrolls data beat market expectations of a 185k increase for July along with upward revision to the previous two-months. The robust number reinforced the Federal Reserve's interest rate tightening policy over the remainder of the year, and sparked an increase interest rate yields and a rally in the USD. The dollar had been punished for much of last week after rhetoric indicating central banks have been buying euros in favour of USD for their FX reserves, however much of the damage was reversed on Friday night. The euro opened near the intraday high at 1.2395 and traded sideways until the data release, the low traded soon after at 1.2310 but a recovery saw the euro close the day at 1.2350. Sterling sold off from 1.7816 down to 1.7715 after the employment numbers but also managed to recover late in the day, closing at 1.7765. The dollar also had success against the yen rallying from the low at 111.13 to 112.20 and closing at 112.00.

US payrolls jump 207 k in July. The 207k July payrolls gain, with 42k upward revisions, was remarkably close to our forecast of 200k with 50k upward revisions. That is a solid result, nevertheless it leaves the 3 month moving average at 166k, somewhat softer than 238k in the three months to April, perhaps reflecting the moderation in GDP growth in Q2. That said, the strong July result may presage generally more up-beat growth news in the current quarter. Earnings growth of 0.4% was the highest in a year, good news for consumer spending power but something that justifies the Fed's renewed focus on unit labour costs. The separate household survey found 438k new jobs in July, but a similar gain in labour force participation prevented the jobless rate from edging below 5%. All up, a healthy report after two slightly softer numbers, that should give the Fed comfort that its policy of measured policy tightening is on the right track, for now.

Canadian jobs grow 6k in July. Disappointingly soft jobs gain. But one positive was a solid 0.6% increase in hours worked, which suggests that recent upgrades to the Canadian GDP growth outlook may not be misplaced despite the lacklustre jobs tally. We continue to expect a Bank of Canada rate rise on September 7.

German industrial production growth 1.4% in June. More evidence of an industrial up-turn in Germany at the end of Q2; orders data suggest it will persist in Q3.

UK industrial production flat in June. IP was unchanged in June due to a fall in mining output offsetting the modest 0.2% manufacturing gain. But revisions to April-May were positive, and Q2 GDP growth could be revised up to 0.5% from 0.4%: helpful for our view that the recent BoE rate cut is unlikely to be closely followed by another.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q2 Labour Costs (Priv, Ord Time) 0.6% 0.6%
Q2 Quarterly Employment Survey 1.2% 0.7%
Aust RBA Statement on Monetary Policy
Jul Cashcard Retail Activity Index -0.5% n/f
Jul ANZ Job Advertisements -1.9% n/f
Jpn Bank of Japan Meeting (8-9 Aug)
Eur Jul PMI-Retail 49.1 n/f
UK Jul Producer Prices %yr 2.3% 2.6%
Jul BRC Retail Sales Monitor - -
Can Jun Building Permits -2.1% 2.0%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q2 labour market preview (3 August)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (2 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (1 August)
• 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)
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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