Tuesday December 13, 2005 - 22:05:41 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar Back through 0.7100 ahead of Fed
The NZD spent yesterday in a tight range above 0.7100 as investors cast eyes towards this mornings US Federal Reserve rate decision that may signal an end to their 18 month tightening cycle. The currency dipped during the overnight session to a low of 0.7063, but continued to range trade ahead of the decision and our retail trade number for October. We open today around 0.7070.
Australian Dollar: AUD poised above 0.7500
The AUD was nudged up to reach a six-week high of 0.7570 during yesterday’s domestic session with a bounce back in the NAB business survey for November. However the market soon reversed the gains ahead of the Federal Reserve decision and pushed to a low of 0.7526 overnight. The AUD sits in anticipation this morning around 0.7530.
Major Currencies: USD consolidates as FOMC dominates
Following the USD’s sharp fall during the previous session, the currency largely consolidated during yesterday’s trade. Market attention remains keenly focused on the FOMC meeting and while a 25bp increase in US rates is anticipated, scrutiny of the accompanying statement for clues as to whether an end to monetary tightening ism imminent dominates. The market ignored weaker-than-expected US retail sales data and the USD/JPY recovered above 120 to a high 120.46. The euro also retreated from an overnight high of 1.1973 and Sterling slipped to lows of 1.7655 as the UK reported a softer CPI reading. The USD opens this morning at 1.1935 and 120.10 against the euro and yen respectively, with Sterling seen at 1.7675.
US Fed tightened 25bps,
and dropped the reference to monetary policy being accommodative, that had been in FOMC statements for the past few years. That suggests that the Fed suspects that monetary policy is somewhere in the vicinity of neutral now. However the statement indicated an inclination to tighten rates further, given the potential for capacity issues and energy prices to add to inflationary pressures. Westpac’s view is that the Fed will tighten rates again to 4.50% on January 31, but that by the following meeting on March 28, the Fed might have seen enough evidence of softer housing and consumer activity to justify a policy pause. Risks around our view are, however, skewed more towards even further tightening.
US retail sales rise 0.3% in Nov.
Recent retail headlines have been sluggish. But that has reflected the interaction of the sharp gyrations in auto sales following the mid-year discount-boosted boom in sales, with the swings in gasoline prices. Excluding those two factors, ex auto & gas retailing has been quite solid for four straight months, averaging 0.8% growth, although Nov's 0.5% was below that trend, correcting for Oct's 1.0% spike. Three month annualised core retail sales growth of 8.9% in Nov is the strongest for eighteen months, and with inflation subdued and auto sales likely to recover further in Dec, Q4 real consumption growth is shaping up strongly. However a 0.3% rise in Oct business inventories will not add much to Q3 GDP.
German ZEW surges from 38.7 to 61.6 in Dec.
After three surprisingly weak months, when ZEW underperformed most other German/European confidence measures, it bounced back sharply in Dec. Diminished concerns about political deadlock, favourable currency developments (the weaker euro), improving orders and investment intentions and the strong global economy were all factors cited.
UK CPI dips to 2.1% yr in Nov.
Higher food and clothing prices were offset by falling petrol prices and airfares. This result lowers the starting point for the BoE's central projection for inflation and should also go some way towards alleviating concern that the recent rise in inflation reflected capacity constraints in the economy.
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Oct Retail Trade -0.8% 0.3%
Aust Dec Westpac-MI Consumer Sentiment 9.0% n/f
Remarks From RBA Deputy Governor
US Oct Trade Balance USDbn -66.1 -63.5
Nov Import Price Index -0.3% -1.0%
Jpn Q4 Tankan Lge Manuf/Non-manufact 19/15 20/17
UK Nov Unemployment Chg 12.1k 6.0k
Oct Leading Index 0.3% n/f
Can Oct Trade Balance CADbn 7.0 7.2
Oct Manufacturing Shipments -0.5% 0.3%
Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Agribiz December 2005 (13 December)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (13 December)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (12 December)
• NZ Q3 Terms of Trade Review (12 December)
• RBNZ Dec MPS Review (8 December)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (6 December)
• RBNZ Dec MPS Preview (5 December)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (5 December)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (28 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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