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Tuesday September 27, 2005 - 01:01:42 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD pressured after Moskow comments
After establishing an intra-day low of 0.6842 early, the NZD recovered slightly over the course of yesterday's domestic session. Despite this modest improvement, the currency was capped at 0.6881, as USD demand again emerged in the offshore trading. Robust existing house sales data and hawkish sentiments from Chicago Fed President Mike Moskow stating that the US was "at the high end of the comfort zone of price stability" saw NZD/USD pressured down to an eight week low of 0.6834, before once again recovering to 0.6865, from where the market opens this morning

Australian Dollar: AUD softer despite upbeat Financial Stability Review
The AUD also improved during the local session yesterday following an upbeat Financial Stability Review from the RBA re-iterating that the "Australian financial system remains in good shape". AUD/USD bounced from an early low of 0.7563, strengthening to a high of 0.7586, which marked the currency's overnight highs. However, as the USD was once again favoured following Moskow's comments, subsequent AUD losses deepened to lows of 0.7546, before the currency recovered towards this morning's open level of 0.7570.

Major Currencies: USD pauses and consolidates
The USD retreated slightly from its two-month highs against the euro, Sterling and yen on Monday. It proved to be a quiet day with little economic data or rhetoric to trade on. The market is still wary of the effect Rita had on the major oil refineries in southern USA and was reluctant to take the USD higher after Friday's surge. EUR/USD was supported by rumours of central bank buying of euros near 1.2000, rallying from the low at 1.2010 to 1.2073 and closing on the high. Sterling followed suit and found plenty of buying support around 1.7700, rallied to 1.7790 and closed testing the high. The Japanese yen traded listlessly and failed to venture out of a 40-point range, it was contained to 112.21 to 112.63 against the dollar.

US existing home sales jump 2.0% in Aug. The 2% rise in existing home sales lifted the annualised sales pace up to 7.29mn, a little short of June's 7.35mn record pace. However median house price inflation climbed to 15.8% yr, a new 26 year high. The National Association of Realtors, who compiled this data series, reported that home sales were disrupted in the last week of the month as Hurricane Rita approached and devastated the Gulf Coast. However most of that impact will not show up until the Sep or Oct data are reported, as sale closings, rather than signings, are measured. That said, the South did record a small sales decline in Aug, of 0.4%, whereas the other three regions all posted gains.

Fedspeak: Chicago Fed president Mike Moskow made some reasonably hawkish comments, including "we're at the high end of the comfort zone of price stability". Greenspan warned that speculative home buying may be pushing up house prices and posing a risk to the US economy. If house prices cooled then the subsequent drying up of house sales and equity withdrawal would create the risk of a pullback in consumer spending, the engine of the economy. He commented that the decline in mortgage rates whilst the Fed had been hiking was unprecedented.

German inflation spikes from 1.9% yr to 2.5% yr in Aug.Energy prices, higher tobacco tax and a bounce in clothing prices (perhaps related to the recent so-called "bra wars", where cheap Chinese clothing imports were not released from bond due to changed tariff arrangements) saw the German CPI surge this month. Expect to see a similar sizeable jump in the flash estimate of Euroland inflation for September, due later this week.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Aug Trade Balance NZDmn -616 -830
US Aug New Home Sales 6.5% -6.0%
Sep Conf Brd Consumer Confidence 105.6 90.0
Sep Richmond Fed Index 3 n/f
Fedspeak: Greenspan, Hoenig, Yellen
Ger Sep IFO Business Climate Index 94.6 94.0
Eur Aug Money Supply M3 %yr 7.9% n/f
Jul Trade Balance €bn 6.5 10.0
UK Q2 Business Investment Rev'n 0.1%a n/f
Aug BBA Mortgage Data

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (26 September)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (26 September)
• NZ Q2 GDP Preview (23 September)
• NZ Q2 Current Account Review (21 September)
• NZ Q3 Consumer Confidence (21 September)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (20 September)
• NZ Q2 Current Account Preview (19 September)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (19 September)
• RBNZ Sep MPS Review (15 September)
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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