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Wednesday September 14, 2005 - 01:02:57 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD opens slightly lower on US trade deficit dataIt was a largely an uneventful day for the NZD in a session void of any major economic data. After opening the domestic session at around 0.7030, the currency treaded water for most of the day making some ground against the AUD and euro later in the session. Overnight the NZD lost ground against the USD, following a narrowing in the US July trade deficit, dipping to a 0.7010 low and it opens this morning around 0.7025.

Australian Dollar: AUD falls into range Like the NZD the AUD fell into a tight range yesterday hanging onto 0.7700 for most of the session. The NAB business conditions survey edged higher but had little impact on the AUD, which traded a 35bps range with a 0.7708 high. It was an almost identical range overnight, with the AUD only managing to go 1bp higher and opens softer this morning around 0.7685.

Major Currencies: Dollar edges up, helped by trade data
The USD inched higher after the US trade deficit in July was smaller than expected. However, softer than expected growth in producer prices in Aug helped pare back expectations in interest rate futures of how aggressively the Federal Reserve will raise rates, pushing bond yields lower and putting a lid on the dollar. Inflation data showed the core PPI last month, excluding food and energy prices, was unchanged from July, while overall PPI was up 0.6 %. Economists had expected rises of 0.1% and 0.8%, respectively. In Europe jitters over Sunday's elections in Germany have weighed on the euro as polls show the lead held by the Christian Democrat Party over German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats was shrinking. The euro opens this morning around 1.2266 vs 1.2317 late Tuesday and JPY opens around 110.60 vs 110.42.

Japan July industrial production revised to 1.2% from fall from a 1.1% fall following a 1.6% rise in June.

US PPI up 0.6% in Aug. A9.5% surge in gasoline prices and a 2.5% rise in gas prices pushed energy prices up 3.7%, although food prices fell for the fifth month running. But the core rate was flat, correcting for the prior month's suspicious (given the price war between the major auto manufacturers), above trend 0.4% rise. Once again, auto prices were a driving factor, reversing their July jump with a 1.3% fall. That leaves the core’s trend around 0.1% per month: benign, but consistent with recent falls in core intermediate goods prices (although core input prices have begun to rise again). As with much other data this week, the Aug PPI is pre-Katrina. Next month's report for Sep will, however, bear the full brunt of the early month spike in both oil and refined energy products that followed the devastation along the Gulf Coast.

US trade deficit narrowed by $1.5bn to $57.5bn in July. The sharp increase in energy import prices was offset by lower import volumes elsewhere (notably aircraft, drugs, apparel and even oil). Meanwhile, exports remained lacklustre, with values in July lower than were three months prior. This benign trade report should be seen as the calm before the storm. Expect to see trade deficits well above $60bn per month in Sep and subsequently through Q4 this year, as higher energy import prices and volumes really bite.

The IBD/TIPP optimism index plunged from 50.9 to 41.2 in Sep, a new all-time low, and a clean post Katrina read (survey conducted 6-11/9). The more closely watched Uni of Mich consumer sentiment index will be released on Friday.

The Canadian trade surplus jumped to C$5.8bn, its widest in almost a year in July, with exports getting a sizeable boost from energy prices, and imports softening.

UK CPI edged higher up to 2.4% yr in Aug. Transport explained all of the 0.1 ppt increase in the annual rate; excluding fuel and other volatile items, the core CPI actually fell slightly to 1.7% yr.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Jul Retail Trade 1.2% 1.0%
Aust Aug Westpac-MI Consumer Sentiment 7.6% n/f
Q2 Dwelling Commencements -3.1% 4.0%
US Aug Retail Sales/ex autos 1.8%/0.3% -2.0%/0.4%
Aug Industrial Production 0.1% 0.2%
Aug Capacity Utilisation 79.7% 79.8%
UK Aug Unemployment 2.8k 5k
Jul Leading Index -0.4% n/f
Can Jul Manufacturing Shipments 0.5% 0.7%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q2 Terms of Trade Review (12 September)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (12 September)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (12 September)
• RBNZ Sep MPS Preview (9 September)
• NZ Agribiz September 2005
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (5 September)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (5 September)
• Oil: RBNZ in sticky situation (2 September)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (

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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