Thursday November 17, 2005 - 01:30:19 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar: The battle of support vs resistance
The NZD was steadier yesterday after being whipped around during the previous day’s trading. Despite the lack of activity the NZD is still finding good support on high yield with further Uridashi and Eurokiwi issuance in the pipeline as the RBNZ is expected to raise rates again in Dec. However technical resistance around 0.6860/70 is keeping a lid on the currency at present. The overnight session saw a little more activity, but the NZD was still unable to make a clean break through the resistance level and we open at a similar level as yesterday’s open around 0.6850.
Australian Dollar: AUD clings to 0.7300 despite selling pressure
The AUD clung to levels just above 0.7300 yesterday, but ground lower after benign wage inflation data reinforced market expectations that the RBA will remain on hold in Dec. The USD was strong most of yesterday with supportive Fedspeak and strong US data adding momentum to the move. The AUD recovered from an overnight low of 0.7281 to claw itself back above 0.7300 on speculation that France will soon sell gold reserves and direct some proceeds into the AUD.
Major Currencies: USD remains firm as US deficit easily funded
The USD continued to pressure two-year highs against other major currencies during yesterday’s trade. A Wall Street Journal article that cited Tanigaki seemingly endorsed USD/JPY pricing by suggesting that the current rate was reflective of interest rate differentials between the US and Japan. The dollar was further buoyed by strong domestic data, and while USD/JPY established a new 27-month high of 119.58, euro lows of 1.1640 remained intact as the currency bounced from 1.1647. Sterling weakened to two year lows of 1.7140 following an increase in unemployment and a dovish BoE quarterly inflation report.
US CPI up 0.2% in Oct.
The headline CPI did not fall as we expected, with rising gas and electricity prices offsetting falls in gasoline. The core rate rose 0.248% before rounding, so it was a "solid" 0.2%, and indeed the strongest core outcome since Q1 this year. Key drivers were shelter up 0.5%, an above trend 0.5% medical care gain, but a further 0.4% fall for apparel. Interestingly, new auto prices rose 0.5%, contrasting with Tuesday's Oct PPI report showing sharp falls in factory gate prices for vehicles.
US business inventories rise 0.5% in Sep.
A strong rise in retail inventories (especially at auto dealers) boosted business inventories enough to warrant a modest upward revision to Q3 GDP, and hence some offset to the downward drag from last week’s Sep external trade data.
Net purchases of US securities by foreigners
amounted to a record $101.9bn in Sept, the big surprise being a $24bn equity inflow, helping to explain the strong $ gain in Sept.
Euroland inflation was confirmed at 2.5%
yr in Oct, but the real news was the slight up-tick in the core CPI to 1.4% yr. Although mainly attributable to one-off disruption to apparel imports from China, we suspect that this slight turnaround in core inflation might sway a few more members of the ECB General Council to the view that a policy tightening will soon be required.
UK unemployment rises 12.1k in Oct.
The labour market appears to have weakened again, with faster gains in benefit claimant unemployment, and no further acceleration in earnings growth. But one bright spot in the report is that jobs growth in Q3 was 123k, up from just 12k in Q2 and the strongest quarter for jobs growth in the past year.
In its quarterly inflation report, the BoE
reported that the monetary policy committee judged that "there are risks to inflation in both directions... although the degree of uncertainty is larger than usual". Their central projection has inflation falling below target next year, but rising back to 2% and beyond in 2007 and 2008. There seems to be no bias towards either a future rate rise or cut.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Oct RBA Monthly Bulletin
US Oct Housing Starts/Permits 3.4%/3.8% 1.0%/1.0%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 12/11 326k 315k
Oct Industrial Production -1.3% 1.5%
Nov Philadelphia Fed Index 17.314
Jpn Bank of Japan Meeting
Eur Sep Industrial Production 0.8% 1.0%
UK Oct Retail Sales 0.7% 0.4%
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)
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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