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Monday August 22, 2005 - 21:18:07 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: Japanese investors give NZD a foothold
Yen strength and Japanese investors chasing high yields helped underpin the NZD on Monday. Early on it seemed the previous weeks trend was to prevail as the NZD moved from 0.6940 to 0.6921 during NZ's morning. However foreign funds pouring into Japanese stocks gave the yen a welcome boost, this assisted other Asian currencies and, by association, the NZD. NZD/USD soon rallied to 0.6950 late NZ time and continued on to 0.6980 during offshore trading. The NZD settles at 0.6960 this morning.

Australian Dollar: AUD benefits from continued Nikkei performance
With little important economic data to monitor, the FX markets focused on the positives coming out of Japan on Monday. Koizumi's ruling LDP party looks like it will hold office according to opinion polls, the Nikkei had its highest close since July 2001 and there are optimistic outlooks for Japan's economy. These factors all gave a bid tone to Asian currencies and supported the AUD. AUD/USD opened at 0.7520 yesterday and, after briefly trading 0.7511, drifted quietly higher throughout the day. The high was traded at 0.7567 and opens today at 0.7545.

Major Currencies: USD weakens on yen strength and profit taking
In a day void of any major economic data, the USD weakened on Monday as traders sold the dollar against a buoyant yen and cashed in on recent strength against major currencies. The yen posted a one-week high against the USD of 109.41 as foreign funds piled into Tokyo stocks, which hit four-year highs on optimism about Japans economic outlook. The USD/JPY opens this morning at around 109.65. The euro and GBP also made ground against the USD with the euro breaking through 1.2200 resistance to a 1.2240 high, while the GBP opens this morning 40bps stronger than yesterday at around 1.8005.

Eurozone June current account $2.5bn deficit, versus market expectations of a $1.2bn surplus. But with portfolio inflows surging in the month, the basic balance was at a record monthly high.

Canadian June retail sales a little weaker than expected but still a good bounceback from the negative May result. The monthly core number was +0.4% (mkt f/c 0.6%) and the headline +1.1& (mkt f/c 1.4%).

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q2 PPI (Outputs) 0.5% 1.3%
US Jul Existing Home Sales 2.7% -2.0%
Aug Richmond Fed Survey -3 5
Jpn Jun Tertiary Retail Index -1.5% 1.1%
Ger Aug ZEW Economic Sentiment 37.0 25.0
Q2 GDP Revision flat a n/f
Can Jul Leading Index 0.3% 0.3%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (22 August)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (22 August)
• Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (18 August)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (16 August)
• NZD: A Commodity Story (15 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (15 August)
• NZ Q2 Retail Sales Review (12 August)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)

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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