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Friday December 2, 2005 - 01:35:27 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD’s consolidation continues
Thursday proved to be a very quiet day for the NZD in the currency markets. The NZD has been entrenched in a tight range above 0.7000 for much of the week and yesterday was no different. While the major currencies traded with plenty of volatility yesterday, NZD/USD traded with no directional bias and remained in a 0.7022 to 0.7057 range all day. We open today near the top end of the range at 0.7040.

Australian Dollar: Data helps AUD break 0.7400
The AUD tested and broke through resistance at 0.7400 yesterday in a move driven by economic data. The data created welcomed volatility as the AUD initially drifted lower then rallied for much of the offshore session. Q3 current account deteriorated to 6% of GDP, more than expected but well below Q4 last year. Q3 capital spending was stronger than expected, up 2.9% against market forecasts of 1.0%. Nov’s AIG PMI survey indicated manufacturing activity declined, however the market’s view is that domestic conditions have moderated but the economy is still moving forward. AUD/USD opened at 0.7390 and drifted down to 0.7374 before bouncing strongly. The high traded at 0.7435 overnight and we open this morning at 0.7430.

Major Currencies: EUR weakens after ECB hike, JPY surrenders 120
Z The USD strengthened overnight. Although the ECB raised Eurozone interest rates by a widely expected 25bps to 2.25%, the first increase in five years, uncertainty over the future path of European rates failed to galvanise buyers of the euro. In an unusually candid statement, ECB President Trichet repeatedly stated that it is not the ECB’s intention to embark upon a cycle of higher rates. With this the euro softened from an overnight high of 1.1805, once again testing recent support at 1.1690. USD/JPY finally cleared options barriers above 120 and 120.50 to post its highest level since April 2003 at 120.73. The USD also posted gains against Sterling as the CBI retail survey posted its worst month in 22 years. The USD opens this morning at 1.1730 and 120.50 against the euro and yen, with GBP seen at 1.7330.

US ISM manufacturing slips to 58.1 in Nov, still indicative of a very robust manufacturing mood. Of the components, the biggest slippage was in supplier delivery times (as expected: they had been boosted by the hurricanes), but production and orders edged lower too. There was some offset from a further gain in the jobs index. Prices paid fell quite sharply, alleviating Chicago-PMI driven inflation fears.

US construction spending was revised up yet again, by a cumulative 0.3 ppts in Aug-Sep, and Oct saw another healthy gain of 0.7%.

Other US data. The personal spending and income outcomes were broadly in line with the October retail and auto sales data and payrolls detail. The core PCE deflator slipped back to 0.1%, easing fears that inflationary pressures might be building into year end. Initial claims have been volatile in recent weeks but last week with 320k in total and 310k excluding the three big hurricanes a few months back (which are still having a modest impact on the data), the underlying labour market message is robust. Monthly chain store sales figures were softer than the weekly data for November implied.

The European Central Bank tightened by 25bps to 2.25%. The decision had been well-flagged in recent weeks. The surprise was President Trichet's candour in the press conference, when he repeatedly stated that there was no intention to begin a rate up-cycle. That would be data dependent. European data last night was upbeat, including a further PMI gain, a continued downtrend in the jobless rate and a further sharp fall in German unemployment.

UK business surveys were disappointing in Nov, with the manufacturing PMI slipping back to a three month low and the CBI retail survey recording its worst sales month in 22 years. We don't expect a Bank of England rate cut next week, but the next move will be down, in 2006.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Oct Dwelling Approvals 1.8% 3.0%
Q3 Established House Prices -0.1% -0.5%
US Nov Non-Farm Payrolls Chg 56k 225k
Nov Jobless Rate % 5.0% 4.9%
Eur Oct PPI 0.5% n/f

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)
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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AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Mon 10 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- GDP, Trade, Output
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Wed 12 Sep 2018
A 12:30 US- PPI
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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Fri 14 Sep 2018
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