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Tuesday September 27, 2005 - 22:15:49 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD plunges as trade deficit hits NZ$1bn
The NZD softened further during yesterday's local session. The release of NZ's largest ever monthly trade deficit at NZ$1.1bn, follows very poor current account data last week and was met immediately with aggressive NZD selling. With fund selling noted during the domestic session, NZD/USD plunged to an intraday low of 0.6802. The market received little respite during the offshore session, with hawkish comments from the Fed's Hoenig overshadowing soft US data releases. Having touched overnight lows at 0.6781, the currency has made a mild recovery from this technical support level and opens at 0.6800.

Australian Dollar: Hoenig comments "get your attention"
NZD weakness also weighed on the AUD yesterday. The currency made little upside progress from opening levels at 0.7570, slipping to lows of 0.7533 during the local session. Despite weak US data, AUD/USD was unable to rally beyond 0.7564 overnight. The market instead focused on comments from Kansas City Fed President Hoenig that inflation was "high enough to your attention" and that rising labour costs "are extremely important". Subsequent broad-based USD strength saw AUD again pressured to an overnight low of 0.7530.

Major Currencies: Dollar gains as eyes on Greenspan
The dollar rallied overnight as investors shrugged off a decrease in US consumer confidence, instead turning to the upcoming speech by Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. The euro briefly fell below the key 1.2000 level to a low of 1.1978, before recovering most of its losses. Sterling followed suit for the most part of the overnight session, reaching a low of 1.7635. Greenspan's comments early this morning have been largely market neutral, giving no indication as to the certainty of future rate hikes, and major markets have reacted little to his comments.

Japan Corporate Service Price Index declined 0.6% in Aug, taking the annual pace down to -0.8 % from -0.6% in July.

US consumer confidence fell 18.9 pts in Sept. The plunge was broad-based across all regions (and steepest in New England) so it seems that concerns about sky-rocketing gasoline prices and dissatisfaction with the government response to the Gulf Coast crisis were the main factors at play, rather than negative responses from those in the devastated locales. Natural disasters tend to have a steep but temporary impact on confidence, so the bigger issue now relates to how much and when confidence bounces back.

A bigger surprise was the up-beat Richmond Fed survey, with stronger Sept readings for manufacturing and services, and a slight up-tick for retailing. This survey was conducted after Katrina hit, and contrasts with the softer NY Fed and plunging Philly Fed survey results taken at the same time.

US Aug new home sales plunged almost 10% from their record July level. The decline was least in the South (just 2.2%) whereas in all other regions the losses were in double digits (and a 22% fall in the Northeast). Expect some post-hurricane noise in this series in Sept but renewed strength as reconstruction really gets underway.

Fedspeak: Greenspan made a veiled dig at asset prices early this morning, following on from yesterday's warning on housing. He warned that a long periods of perception of low risk are often self reinforcing and have often been followed by reversal of that perception and subsequent falls in asset prices.

German Sep Ifo survey surprised by jumping 1.6 pts to 96.0, its highest since Jan, despite surging energy prices and disappointment with the inconclusive election result earlier this month. The euro's 5 cent decline against the USD through the month would have helped sentiment.

Euroland M3 growth rises to 8.1% yr in Aug. Money supply growth remains a thorn in the side of the ECB. It continues to accelerate, and with headline inflation sure to spike in Sep, the Oct 6 ECB Council meeting press statement and conference will be scoured for any clues that a rate rise might be a more serious risk than we currently believe.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust RBA Governor Speaking
US Aug Durable Goods Orders -4.9% flat
Fedspeak: Hoenig
UK Sep House Prices (Nationwide) -0.2% 0.6%
Q2 GDP Revision 0.5%a 0.5%
Q2 Current Account Deficit £bn -5.0 n/f
Sep CBI Distributive Trades Survey

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)
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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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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