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Sunday January 8, 2006 - 22:13:52 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD firms on USD weakness, but NZD/AUD at 3 month low
The NZD ended the first week of 2006 on a positive note against the USD, however these gains from a pre-Christmas low of 0.6703 are more as a result of USD weakness than NZD strength. The currency ranged between 0.6857 - 0.6879 during the local session on Friday before once again scaling 0.6900 during overnight trade, as the headline US December non-farm payroll figure fell short of market expectations. While upward revisions to the Oct and Nov payroll numbers limited USD losses, the NZD opens this morning at 0.6910. The currency has underperformed on the crosses however, dipping to a 3 month lows against the AUD at 0.9158.

Australian Dollar: AUD firmer as US payrolls disappoint
The AUD continued its recent recovery on Friday and has now gained 3 cents since hitting a 15-month low of 0.7235 over the Christmas period. Despite trading within a narrow 0.7466 - 0.7478 range during the domestic session on Friday, the AUD rallied during the offshore session as the USD weakened following a disappointing US payrolls number. As the major currencies strengthened to 3-month highs against the greenback, the AUD gained to a high of 0.7553 and opens this morning at 0.7535.

Major Currencies: USD falls on weak jobs report
The USD slid to three-month lows against the euro, yen and Swiss franc on Friday following a disappointing US jobs report for December. The US economy added just 108k jobs for Dec well below consensus forecasts of 200k, the reading bolsters expectations that the Federal Reserve is close to finishing its current monetary tightening policy. USD selling gained momentum after key technical levels against the euro and yen were broken. The euro rallied to a three-month 1.2185 high against the USD and the USD/JPY fell to a 114.23 low, the euro and USD/JPY open at around 1.2150 and 114.40 respectively this morning.

US non farm payrolls rise 108k in Dec. Although the Dec payrolls gain was much weaker than expected, net revisions to Oct and Nov worth 71k mean the overall jobs increase of 179k was not too far from both the market consensus of 200k and Westpac's softer 160k forecast. The detail in the report included the first fall in construction jobs for quite some time, most likely due to poor weather conditions early in the month. There was also renewed weakness in retail jobs in Dec. These two sectors (construction/retail) account for most of the surprise softness in the report, although the other sectors were generally a little below recent trend in terms of jobs growth, hardly surprising given Nov's job surge.

Canadian jobs fell 2k in Dec, even weaker than Westpac's bottom of the range 10k forecast, although some of the detail in the report mitigates against that softness, and the three month trend of 33k is still very strong. Full-time jobs rose 36k on top of Nov's 50k rise, and have been up for five months running; the weakness was entirely due to a 38k drop in part-time work, which has fallen in four of the past five months. Related to that, public sector jobs rose 26k while private jobs were down 28k. With the Ivey PMI also very weak in Dec, we are now on watch for any further evidence that a soft patch might be emerging in the Canadian economy, but for now, we don't think the Bank of Canada will be swayed from further tightening.

Euroland unemployment appears to have levelled off at 8.3% in Sep-Nov, after trending down from the cyclical peak of 8.9% in October last year.

German industrial production fell 0.4% in Nov after two healthy gains. These output data have failed to fully match the recent vigour seen in the German industrial orders figures.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
9 Jan Aust Nov Retail Trade 0.5% flat
Dec ANZ Job Ads0.4% n/f
US Nov Consumer Credit -7.2 4.0
Fedspeak: Atlanta Guynn, Kansas’ Hoenig
Eur Dec Retail PMI 50.7 n/f
10 Jan Aust Nov Trade Balance AUDbn -1.3 -2.5
Dec NAB Business Survey 11.2 n/f
US Nov Wholesale Inventories 0.2% 0.5%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q3 GDP Review (22 December)
• NZ Q3 Current Account Review (21 December)
• NZ Q4 Consumer Confidence (21 December)
• NZ 2005/06 HYEFU/BPS Review (19 December)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (19 December)
• NZ Q3 GDP Preview (16 December)
• NZ Nov REINZ Housing Review (16 December)
• NZ HYEFU/BPS Preview (16 December)
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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Tue 17 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment
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AA 14:00 US-Powell Testimony
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AA 08:30 GB- CPI
A 12:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
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Thu 19 July 2018
AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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