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Sunday December 4, 2005 - 21:54:44 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD pushes through 0.7100
After a relatively quiet local session on Friday, the NZD benefited from volatile offshore trading. Opening around 0.7040, the currency was bought steadily to a high of 0.7071, in pretty much one-way trading. From there most participants sat on the sidelines waiting for the employment number out of the US. On the release of the data, the NZD, which had moved to 0.7090, pushed through 0.7100 and never looked back. It opens this morning around 0.7120. New Zeal

Australian Dollar: AUD holds gains
The trading pattern for AUD was not too dissimilar from NZD on Friday. On opening around 0.7415 the AUD bounced initially, and after giving back most of those gains then steadily rose to close the local session 25 points higher. The currency then traded a volatile 30 point range immediately post the US data release, after which it was bought steadily to a 0.7490 high. The AUD opens around 0.7465 this morning, having sold off in thin trading.

Major Currencies: USD stabilised after yen seesaw
The USD initially firmed against the euro on Friday in choppy trading, buoyed by robust growth in US jobs, but was flat against the yen ahead of the weekend’s G7 meeting. However, this was short lived as
comments by US Treasury Secretary John Snow that the weakening yen would be a subject of discussion at the G7 meeting saw the USD soar against the yen to a new 2-1/2 year high of 121.24, before falling by a full yen in 20 minutes after the headline after the Treasury Department quickly denied that Snow had commented. Two speeches by Greenspan added to trading volatility.

US payrolls rise 215k in Nov. Payroll jobs posted their fastest monthly gain (215k) in four months in Nov. Revisions were down to October but Sep's decline was revised completely away, to a 17k rise. The net value of those revisions was +13k, so the overall Nov outcome was very close to Westpac's 225k forecast. This is a robust, but not excessively strong report that brings payrolls back into line with other generally up-beat indicators of the US economy.

US hourly earnings accelerating. Nov earnings growth of 0.2% is healthy enough after Oct's 0.6% rise, but hours worked slipped 0.1%, reversing the prior month's gain. So household income growth in Nov will be a fair bit slower than in Oct. That said, back revisions mean that the annual growth of hourly earnings is back above 3% for the first time since early 2003, something which won't escape the attention of those worried that the Fed has been retightening monetary policy a little too slowly. So something for everyone in the earnings data!

G7 urges China on FX. The G7 nations called for China to do more to make its currency flexible and do its bit to help balance the world economy, with enough time having passed since July's shift for China to have become accustomed to the new regime. The comments were firmer than in Sep's meeting.

Canada jobs jump 31k in Nov. November saw another very solid employment report. Not only did jobs grow strongly (50k new fulltime positions, although part-time fell 20k), but the jobless rate fell to
a new low (since the mid 1970s when my records begin). While a rate rise on Dec 6 is already assured, this news can only add to the case for further monetary policy tightening from the BoC in early 2006.

Euroland PPI rose 0.6% in Oct, but with last year's much steeper monthly gain dropping out of the calculation, the annual rate slipped from Sep's cyclical peak of 4.4% yr to 4.1% yr.

UK house prices rise 1.2% in Nov. The HBOS house price measure has not fallen since May, and with price falls a year ago now dropping out of the calculation, annual house price inflation is on a clear trend higher once again.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q3 Wholesale Trade 2.6% n/f
Aust Q3 Company Profits 10.2% 2.5%
Q3 Inventories/Contrib. 1.2%/-0.1% 0.9%/-0.1%
Nov AIG PSI 52.0 n/f
Nov MI-TD Inflation Gauge -0.1% n/f
US Nov ISM Non-Manufacturing 60.0 57.5
Jpn Q3 MoF Capex Survey %qtr 1.7% n/f
Eur Oct Retail Trade -0.4% 1.0%
Nov PMI Services 54.955.0
UK Nov PMI Services 56.1 55.5

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)
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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