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Monday November 28, 2005 - 20:23:05 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar: High yielding NZD flies high
A broadly weaker US dollar and a lack of risk aversion helped the NZD rally to a one-month high against the USD and remain at eight-year highs against the Sterling, yen and euro and 10-year highs against the AUD. The NZD has remained resilient against a mstrengthening USD of late and in a round of stop-loss driven USD weakness the NZD profited, rallying to 0.7050 early this morning. The yield advantage has attracted investors to the NZD, with the Reserve Bank due to raise interest rates again by 25bps on Dec 8. The currency opens today around 0.7050 after trading the low at 0.6950 Monday morning.

Australian Dollar: AUD benefits from USD reversal
AUD/USD managed to rally to a three-week high yesterday, rallying from 0.7324 Monday afternoon to 0.7440 early this morning. The only economic data released showed new home sales bounced moderately, up 2.1% in Oct. The currency markets failed to take notice of the data, AUD/USD price action was confined to 0.7326 to 0.7355 during the local session. Volatility picked up and the AUD took off overnight as the US dollar ran into a round of stop-loss selling. The AUD was subsequently bought up to 0.7440 where we trade as we go to print.

Major Currencies: Volatile USD suffers sharp reversal
With a heavy schedule of data releases ahead, the USD started the week on a volatile note. Although the euro was pressured early towards 1.1680, talk of Central Bank buying amid suggestions of successive ECB rate increases lifted the euro back above 1.1800. While USD/JPY established a new 27-month high of 119.94, the market was unable to break above the key 120 level. A nervous market was spooked by reports of an explosion at the US Supreme Court and although this turned out to be crumbling masonry, USD selling intensified, also lifting Sterling from a 2-year low of 1.7047. The USD’s sharp pullback has gathered momentum into this morning’s open with the currency seen at 118.60 and 1.1845 against the yen and euro and 1.7280 against Sterling.

Japanese October retail sales a touch weak. Retail sales fell 0.3% in the month of October, dragging the annual rate down to –0.3% from 0.1%. The large store component of sales was weaker, as it has been for the majority of this cycle. This result may see forecasts for tomorrow’s worker spending series nudged lower. Recent publicity around the winter bonus pool have augured well for spending, as have consistently positive reads on cash earnings of late. The next update on the latter is due this Wednesday.

US existing home sales a little weaker. The monthly number fell to 7.09mn from 7.29mn. The decline in October sales comes amid a slowdown in activity in other key areas of the housing sector. Earlier this month, we learned October housing starts slipped and permits, an indication of future construction, were down by a sharp -5.2%, the largest one-month decline since last June. Also in November, builders' confidence of housing conditions declined to a two-year low.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Oct Home Lending %yr 16% n/f
US Oct Durable Goods Orders -2.4% 3.0%
Nov Consumer Confidence 85.0 90.0
Oct New Home Sales 2.1% -2.0%
Jpn Oct Unemployment Rate 4.2% 4.2%
Oct Jobs-to-Applicants Ratio 0.97 0.97
Oct Industrial Production 0.4% 1.2%
Oct Household Spending %yr –0.4% n/f
Eur Oct M3 Money Supply %yr 8.5% n/f
UK Oct Net Secured Lending £bn 7.7 8.0

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (28 November)
• 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)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (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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