Tuesday January 10, 2006 - 20:11:51 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar Offshore demand underpins NZD
Demand from offshore investors seeking high-yielding currencies continues to support the NZD, with NZD denominated Eurobond issuance so far this month already equalling Dec’s total of NZD1.2bn. From an overnight low of 0.6901, the currency rallied to a high of 0.6952. This offshore session high of 0.6952 represents a 50% retracement of the Dec sell-off and this has, thus far, limited the NZD’s upside. The currency has also improved on the crosses with NZD/AUD and NZD/EUR once again strengthening above 0.92 and 0.57 respectively. The NZD opens this morning at 0.6930.
Australian Dollar: AUD weaker as trade deficit spikes
Despite a 25 year high in the price of gold and record highs in base metals, the AUD weakened during yesterday’s trade. From a domestic session high of 0.7544, the currency fell following the release of November’s trade data, which saw the deficit spike higher from AUD 1.38bn in October to AUD 2.47bn in November. A low of 0.7485 was seen in both the domestic and overnight sessions, with the currency opening this morning at 0.7495.
Major Currencies: Strong Euroland data keeps USD under pressure
The USD finished Tuesday’s trading at similar levels to where it opened against major currencies. The USD recovered some ground against the yen in Asian trading as dealers took profit on yen gains however the dollar rally was capped by a slip in US economic optimism for January. The USD/JPY traded a 114.11-114.70 range overnight and opens this morning mid range at around 114.40. The euro was supported by another solid rise in German economic sentiment for Jan taking the index to a two year high, indicating improving economic conditions in Germany and broader Euroland. The euro traded a 1.2110 high following the data and opens this morning at around 1.2075.
US economic sentiment slips a little in Jan.
After a solid gain through Q4 from Sep's all-time low of 41.2, the IBB/TIPP sentiment indicator slipped 1.0 pt to 50.5 in Jan, although at just above 50, it is still indicative of a positive outlook. The small fall may reflect the recent mild upswing in gasoline prices, after several months of decline.
US wholesale inventories rise 0.4% in Nov.
This leaves Q4 to date looking subdued, although it is too early to conclude that overall business inventory accumulation will be a drag on Q4 GDP growth, as it was in Q2 and Q3.
US weekly retail data start the year on a soft note.
was down 0.5% in the first retail week of January, and chain store sales rose just 0.1%, following the prior week's 0.8% fall.
Canadian housing sector update.
Housing starts rose 1.2% in Dec, on top of Nov's 8.2% gain. That takes starts back up to a 228k annualised pace, which is quite robust, although a gradual downtrend in starts that began in 2004 is still intact. The latest gain was due to single family starts; usually volatile multiples were virtually unchanged. In contrast, building permits fell 5.7% in Nov, also maintaining a modest downtrend. Meanwhile, new house prices posted another solid 0.5% rise in Nov, for a 5.5% yr annual rate.
German ZEW survey jumps from 61.6 to 71.0 in Jan.
This is clear-cut confirmation that, after initial scepticism, German economists and analysts now believe that economic conditions in Germany and broader Euroland are improving. Also, French industrial production rebounded 3.1% in Nov, reversing Oct's plunge. That leaves IP up 1.3% on the previous year, somewhat less robust than Germany's 4.7% annual growth rate for IP.
UK retailing stronger in Dec.
The BRC's retail survey further improved last month, pointing to much stronger Christmas spending than in 2004. This provides some non-official backing for the BoE's view that consumer spending will pick up somewhat in 2006.
Date Country Release Last Forecast
11 Jan Aust Jan Westpac-MI Cons Sent -2.7% n/f
Q4 ABS Job Vacancies -3.9% n/f
UK Nov Global Trade Balance Łbn -4.6 -5.0
Dec BRC Shop Price Index
12 Jan Aust Dec Employment chg 28k 15k
Dec Unemployment Rate 5.1% 5.1%
Jan MI Inflationary Expectations 4.6% n/f
US Nov Trade Balance USDbn -68.9 -66.6
Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q4 Employment Confidence Index (11 January)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (9 January)
• NZ Weekly Interest Rate Wrap-up (9 January)
• 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)
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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