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Tuesday November 15, 2005 - 20:27:58 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZD bought despite slowing retail sales
The NZD was steadily sold yesterday morning to the low at 0.6780. Q3 and Sep retail sales was released and pointed to slower growth, despite solid labour market conditions and a resilient housing market continuing to support household spending. The result was not expected to deter the RBNZ from hiking in Dec and the NZD staged a recovery during the overnight session to hit a high of 0.6858. We open a touch lower this morning around 0.6840.

Australian Dollar: Wages excite dull market
Yesterday proved to be dull for the AUD as it followed both the euro and JPY and confined itself to a tight range. However, it then found itself bought heavily overnight to a high of 0.7327 ahead of today’s wage data and further key data releases in the US. If benign, the wage data would confirm the market expectations of the RBA remaining on hold. The AUD opens today close to the overnight high at 0.7315.

Major Currencies: USD pulls back from 27 month USD/JPY highs
After a sluggish domestic session, yesterday, the USD again pushed higher during early overnight trade. With Fed chairman elect, Ben Bernanke, pledging “continuity with the policy strategies of the Greenspan Fed”, the dollar pressured the euro to a new 2 year low of 1.1640 and shattered a major options barrier at 119 in USD/JPY, establishing a new 27 month high of 119.43. With the USD’s recent gains considered over-extended, the currency’s spike higher was met by a round of profit taking. The dollar pared early gains, pulling back to 1.1695 against the euro and JPY 119.05, from where the market opens this morning.

US NY Fed survey jumps from 12.1 to 22.8 in Nov. The Empire survey headline jumped sharply, bringing it more into line with the detail, which improved a little on what were already strong Oct outcomes. This confirms the solid national ISM October result and points to stronger industrial sector outcomes through Q4.

US retail sales down 0.1% in Oct. Retail sales were strong across the board except for the known fall in auto sales. Excluding that component, and the price-driven 0.8% fall in gasoline sales, ex autos & gas sales saw their fastest gain in six months, despite 0.2 ppt upward revisions to both Aug and Sep.

US core PPI fell 0.3% in Oct due to sharp falls in new vehicle prices (2.2% for trucks, 3.0% for cars). That did not reflect special discounts, however new 2006 model year prices were not increased as they usually are in Oct, due to poor sales. The headline PPI surged 0.7% due to residential gas prices jumping 12.7%; the subsequent price falls for gas later in the month were missed by the early survey timing. So the underlying PPI outcome is somewhere in between the extreme core and headline readings.

Fed chair nominee Ben Bernanke promised "continuity with the policies and policy strategies of the Greenspan Fed". But he also discussed the merits of inflation targeting, confirming it will be on his medium term agenda.

Euroland GDP grew 0.6% in Q3, its (equal) fastest pace in four and a half years, right at the top of the consensus forecast range, but exactly in line with Westpac's forecast. However the German ZEW survey slipped from 39.4 to 38.7 in Nov on political concerns.

The UK CPI fell from 2.5% yr to 2.3% yr in Oct. The CPI peaked earlier than expected, with both the headline and core rates dipping by 1/10th in Oct, as did goods (0.6% yr) and services (4.4% yr) inflation.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Date Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Q3 Wage Price Index %qtr 1.1% 0.9%
Sep Westpac-MI Leading Index 3.4% n/f
RBA’s Glenn Stevens (11:00 AEDT)
US Oct Consumer Price Index/Core 1.2%/0.1% -0.4%/0.2%
Sep Business Inventories 0.4% 0.5%
Sep Net Foreign Security Sales USDbn 91.3 n/f
Nov NAHB Housing Market Index 67 66
Fedspeak: Santomero
Eur Oct CPI (F) 2.5%a 2.5%
UK Oct Unemployment Ch ‘000 8.2 5
BoE Quarterly Inflation Report

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q3 Retail Sales Review (15 November)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 November)
• NZ Housing Equity Withdrawal (10 November)
• NZ Q3 HLFS Review (10 November)
• NZ Q3 QES and LCI Review (8 November)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (7 November)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (7 November)
• NZ net migrant flows close to trough (4 November)
• NZ Q3 labour market preview (3 November)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (1 November)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (31 October)
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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