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Monday August 15, 2005 - 21:26:44 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD trades a 7 week high
NZD/USD opened strongly yesterday morning following a busy Friday session. Trading initially around 0.7060 the currency spiked higher in mid morning testing 0.7100 and briefly touching an nintraday high of 0.7110. From then on the NZD softened, unable to maintain its footing at these heady heights and eventually traded back to support at 0.7060 into the local session's close. The NZD was also stronger on its crosses touching 0.9200 against the AUD and peaking at a six and seven week highs against the euro and JPY respectively. Offshore trading saw NZD/USD weaken slightly and fall through 0.7060 and it opens this morning around 0.7050.

Australian Dollar: AUD lower on Monday selling
The AUD opened on its highs around 0.7742 on Monday and came under selling pressure as the day progressed. Alack of local data was no help to the AUD as the USD became better bid during the day on the back of euro profit taking. The currency slid to a low of 0.7713 towards the close of the local session. The overnight session saw the AUD under further pressure and it fell through 0.7700 to eventually find support around 0.7680 where it opens this morning.

Major Currencies: Capital flows provide respite for USD
Major currencies were unable to extend last week's gains against the USD during the domestic session yesterday. Unable to break above 1.2500, the euro Sterling also failed to push beyond 1.8169. The overnight session saw the release of US TIC Data, which detailed a net capital inflow of $71.2bn in June. The US currency was buoyed by the headline number; the strongest reading for six months and the greenback subsequently strengthened to 1.2345 and 1.8073 against the euro and GBP respectively. With Sterling losses comparatively limited however, a 5-week low in the EUR/GBP cross was noted. USD gains against the yen following the TIC Data release proved short lived, and gains to 109.82 have been quickly eroded with the greenback again testing recent lows at 109.22 at this morning's open. The euro and Sterling start at 1.2365 and 1.8115 respectively.

US Aug empire state index fell to 23.0, but the market was looking for a slide to 18.5. Whilst the link between the empire state index and the Philly Fed index is far from perfect, this does suggest there is some upside risk to Thursday's Philly Fed number.

US June TIC outturn a better than expected $71.2bn, easily accounting for last Friday's $58.8bn trade deficit. This is the strongest number since February though overwhelmingly reliant on a record month for corporate debt and another lousy month for US equities. This is the headline number, for securities 1yr or more maturity. In the frequently overlooked series on securities <1yr, foreigners, mostly central banks, dumped -$35bn, taking some gloss off the headline data on long term securities. Still, the report is not sufficiently far from median expectations around $65bn to provide firm new direction for USD.

US NAHB housing index softens a touch. The Aug home builders index edged down to 67 from 70, the second fall in as many months. Long-term fixed mortgage rates have been rising for over a month, no doubt a reason for the reduced optimism. Nevertheless, tonight's housing starts and permits are expected to gain further ground.

Canadian data bounce. Manufacturing shipments in June picked up the expected 0.5%, though May's mild fall of 0.1% was revised to a steeper 0.3%. June motor vehicle sales rebounded by 7.4% from the preceding 6.5% fall, again in line with expectations. As with US car sales, financial incentives from some car manufacturers had a strong impact.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
US Jul Consumer Price Index flat 0.6%
Jul CPI Core 0.1% 0.2%
Jul Housing Starts flat 4.0%
Jul Housing Permits 3.4% 1.0%
Jul Industrial Production 0.9% 0.7%
Jul Capacity Utilisation % 80.0% 80.5%
UK Jul CPI 2.0% 2.1%
Jun Leading Index -0.7% n/f

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZD: A Commodity Story (15 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (15 August)
• NZ Q2 Retail Sales Review (12 August)
• NZ Q2 HLFS Review (11 August)
• NZ Q2 QES and LCI Review (8 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (8 August)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (8 August)
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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