Wednesday September 7, 2005 - 00:43:13 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar: NZD consolidates below 0.7100
The NZD consolidated below 0.7100 during local session trade yesterday, as the resumption of refinery operations following last week's outages saw oil prices ease providing some respite for the USD. Despite this, the NZD was confined to a narrow range of 0.7074 - 0.7094 during the Australasian time zone. While a strong US nonmanufacturing ISM release prompted losses to 0.7066 overnight, the currency avoided a deeper pullback and has recovered to open this morning at 0.7085.
Australian Dollar: AUD eyes 0.7700 ahead of GDP data
The AUD failed to rally through 0.7700 yesterday as softer oil prices sparked a mild recovery in the USD. The AUD shrugged off robust public spending data showing an increase of 1.8% and resilient house refinancing numbers to trade an intra-day low 0.7650. The offshore session saw little appetite to push the AUD lower however, and the currency subsequently improved to an overnight high of 0.7690. With Q2 GDP data and the RBA policy announcement expected today, the AUD opens this morning at 0.7680.
Major Currencies: Strong data helps stop the rot in the USD
Tuesday saw some welcome news in the States that has, at last, provided brief respite for the USD. Aug's US ISM non-manufacturing index improved to 65, its second highest ever reading, and against market predictions of 59.5. This encouraging snapshot of the US economy calmed market fears that the Federal Reserve will pause in its interest rate tightening cycle. It also helped stop the rot in the USD that has been under siege since Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in the Gulf Coast. The USD reversed this week's losses against the euro and moved from 1.2539 to 1.2442 yesterday. Initial profit taking kept a lid on the euro and US data then provided the impetus for the move lower. The euro opens today at 1.2470. The USD strengthened by 0.6% against the yen and rallied from 109.13 to 109.83 before closing at 109.65. Sterling had less directional bias yesterday and drifted lower from 1.8436 to 1.8370 before moving back to 1.8470 offshore; GBP/USD opens today at 1.8430.
US ISM non-manufacturing surges to 65.0 in Aug.
The non-manufacturing ISM posted an impressive 4.5 pt gain to its second highest ever reading in the eight years the survey has been around. Flattering seasonal factors may have helped (the raw index was up just 1.0 pt to 62.5), but most of the detail looked good too, with orders up sharply and employment strong. This provides some comfort that US service sector firms were seeing increased new business and taking on more staff, even despite last month's surge in oil prices: a positive snap shot of the US economy, taken just prior to Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent spike in gasoline prices and other disruption.
The OECD today published revised forecasts for the major world economies,
including an unrevised 3.6% growth forecast for the US economy this year (Westpac is on 3.7%). However the numbers were prepared prior to Hurricane Katrina, and the OECD chief economist, JP Cotis, suggested that the Fed might want to wait and see how the hurricane impacts the economy before tightening policy again.
German industry orders jump 3.7% in July.
There can be no doubting the recent spurt of activity in German industrial activity, illustrated by the three consecutive monthly gains in manufacturing orders. However, Euroland retail spending was revised from 0.4% growth to flat in June and was down 0.5% in July.
UK IP and manufacturing update.
Although headline IP fell 0.3% in July and was revised down to a 0.2% fall in June, from flat previously, this was largely due to updated information on North Sea oil rig closures for annual maintenance. The manufacturing data series provides a better guide to the underlying health of the industrial sector, and it has now posted four consecutive monthly gains.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust RBA Policy Announcement 5.50% 5.50%
Q2 GDP 0.7% 0.8%
US Q2 Productivity Revisions 2.2%a 2.0%
Q2 Unit Labour Costs 1.3%a 1.5%
Fed Beige Book
Fedspeak: Chicago's Moskow
Jpn Bank of Japan Meeting
Ger Jul Industrial Production 1.6% n/f
Can BoC Rate Decision 2.50% 2.75%
Latest Research papers/Publication
NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (5 September)
NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (5 September)
Oil: RBNZ in sticky situation (2 September)
NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (29 August)
NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (29 August)
NZ Superannuation Fund: An Update (24 August)
NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (22 August)
NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (22 August)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Banks 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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