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Tuesday November 22, 2005 - 20:45:00 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: NZ business confidence falls to 17 year low
After opening at around 0.6885 the NZD struggled to make further gains in Tuesday’s domestic session, running into resistance just under 0.6900. The only NZ data out of note was net migration, which eased further to 6,000 in the year ending Oct against 6,410 in the year ending Sep. The NZD was taken lower overnight following the release of the Nov NBNZ Business Outlook survey, which showed business confidence dropped to its lowest level in 17 years. The NZD retraced off its highs of 0.6894 trading a low of 0.6840 and opens this morning stronger at around 0.6880.

Australian Dollar: AUD tests 0.7400 on higher gold prices
In a day with no major economic data released of note, the AUD treaded water in a tight range during Tuesday’s domestic trading. Overnight, the AUD pushed higher testing 0.7400 on the back of stronger metal prices. Gold, which has been correlated to the AUD in the past was taken higher to within a few dollars of $500 an ounce dragging the AUD with it. However, the AUD was rejected at 0.7400 and opens lower this morning at around 0.7350.

Major Currencies: USD sold on minutes
The USD slipped against its major trading partners overnight as players became nervous ahead of the US Fed’s FOMC minutes release. The euro, which had had a quiet day during the local session, found support at 1.1685 and began to move higher late in the day. Upon the release of the minutes the USD has sold off further this morning, with the euro posting a 1.1779 high. Sterling was sold in the early stages of overnight trading, but after bouncing off a low of 1.7064 it gained steadily, and has increased those gains on the back of the minutes, trading around 1.7200. After a quiet night overnight JPY has gained on the back of the recent release, and is trading around 118.85.

Japan Sep tertiary index dipped 0.7%, a slightly steeper-than- expected correction after the Aug jump of 1.6%. Together with other industry sectors, the outcome is broadly in line with the first prelim GDP estimate of 0.4% and supportive of the gradual uptrend in the Japanese economy.

US FOMC minutes. The Fed's assessment of the economy remained for little disruption to the wider economy outside of the hurricane affected areas, though with some concerns that consumer spending may be softening (largely in autos, but note that retail spending in Oct was robust). Inflation news had been benign and the short-term core inflation outlook revised down. Nevertheless, upside risk to inflation was seen, with evidence that some businesses had improved pricing power. The big news was that the Fed started to discuss the need for tweaking the policy assessment phrasing "before long", a sign that Fed action may soon become far more conditional on data than it has been. We expect 2 more hikes to 4.5%, which still seems in line with the Fed's growing caution.

US Richmond Fed index a little weaker. The headline number eased back from 12 to 9, adding to last week's marginally weaker than expected Philly Fed survey. The components were also generally marginally weaker.

UK CBI unchanged. The headline order index was unchanged at a weak -25, while export order rose from -28 to -13 and output volumes fell from +2 to -4.

Canadian CPI weak. The headline number was -0.5% mth and the core flat. However, with the BoC clearly indicating concerns about the current level of capacity utilisation, today's weaker than expectedc reading should not deter the Bank from raising rates in Dec.

NBNZ survey near rock bottom. General sentiment in Nov fell to net -66.2% from -54.9% now only a few points shy of the post-1987 crash low. Own activity fell to 0 from 11.6% (nearly down to readings during the 1988 crash aftermath and 1991 recession, at face value implying a very subdued period of growth ahead. However, a further increase in inflation expectations will be some concern to the RBNZ.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Nov DEWR Skilled Vacancies Trend -0.2% n/f
US Nov UoM Consumer Sentiment (F) 79.9a 81.0
Oct Help Wanted Index 39 39
Eur Sep Industrial New Orders -0.1% 1.5%
Ger Nov Cost of Living (Prelim) 2.3% 2.1%
UK Nov BoE MPC Minutes
Can Oct Leading Index 0.3% 0.3%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (21 November)
• 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)
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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