Tuesday February 14, 2006 - 21:24:01 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar Retail sales smack NZD lower
The NZD dropped to a seven-week low of 0.6722 during the local session yesterday after a surprise fall in Q4 retail sales. This highlighted the increasing likelihood of a hard landing for the domestic economy and seemed to reinforce the markets bearish view of the economy following a series of recent sluggish releases. The NZD did trade to a low of 0.6711 overnight, but stabilised as continued yield demand returned to the market to cushion the fall. The currency has recovered somewhat to open today around 0.6745.
Australian Dollar: Factors conspire to pressure AUD
The AUD touched a six-week low of 0.7361 yesterday, pressured by goldâ€™s decline, an eroding yield advantage and upbeat sentiment in the USD ahead of an expected hawkish US rate signal later this week. Also weighing on the currency was the NAB business survey, which showed that the business conditions index fell in January. The result isconsistent with the moderation of domestic demand seen over the last year and reinforces expectations that the RBA will not raise interest rates anytime soon. The AUD has recovered today from the overnight low of 0.7361 to open this morning around 0.7390.
Major Currencies: USD rally runs out of steam
The USD rally stalled in Tuesdayâ€™s offshore session despite strong US economic data. The USD jumped early in New York trade on the back of an unexpected strong US retail sales number for January taking the euro to a 1.1859 low. However, the USD failed to push through key technical levels stalling its rally taking the euro back through 1.1900. Despite a drop in Euroland GDP growth for Q4 the annual rate edged up providing some support for the euro. The euro opens this morning holding onto 1.1900 and the USD/JPY opens slightly softer than yesterdayâ€™s open at around 117.45.
Events Today Latest Research Papers/Publications
US retail sales jump 2.3% in Jan.
Retail sales received a substantial boost from Janâ€™s very mild weather. There was across the board strength in all store types except for non-store retailing (which includes internet sales), consistent with shoppers being out and about rather than holed up at home during blizzards. Ex autos and gasoline, sales were up 1.8%. However the recent snow-storms in the northeast which did keep people at home over the past weekend will put a dent in Feb retail sales. As the data stand we could easily see consumer spending strength push Q1 GDP growth over 5.0% annualised but that will be tempered to the extent that there is a Feb pull-back in spending.
US Dec business inventories rose 0.7%
and 0.1pt upwardrevision to Nov confirm that there will be an upward revision to the contribution to Q4 GDP growth from stock-building.
Canadian auto sales fell 0.4% in Dec,
a little softer than the flat guidance given by StatsCan a month ago. Their guidance for Jan was a 1% rise in sales.
Euroland GDP growth slowed to 0.3% in Q4,
although the annual rate edged up slightly to 1.7% yr. The accompanying national GDP data showed Spain continuing to post robust growth, and a solid performance out of the Netherlands, bouncing back from recession at the start of 2005. In contrast, the German economy stalled in Q4.
The ZEW survey of 300+
German analysts and economists showed expectations regarding both the German economy consolidating in Feb at 69.8 from Janâ€™s 71.0.
The UK CPI held steady at 1.9% yr in Jan.
Due to rounding effects the figure for Dec 2005 was revised from 2.0% to 1.9%. This means that inflation has now been just below the BoEâ€™s 2% target for two months. The BoE policy committee was probably aware of this at last weekâ€™s meeting, so next weekâ€™s minutes to that meeting might possibly reveal more support for a rate cut than the 8:1 against vote of the previous two meetings.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Dec Westpac-MI Leading Index 4.4% n/f
US Fed NY Fed Empire State Index 20.1 17.0
Dec Net Foreign Security Purch USDbn 89.1 b/f
Jan Industrial Production 0.6% flat
Fed Chair Bernanke
Feb NAHB Housing Market Index 57 55
UK Dec Unemployment châ€™ 7.2k 6.0k
BoE Quarterly Inflation Report
Latest Research papers/Publication
â€¢ NZ Q4 Retail Trade (14 February)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (13 February)
â€¢ NZ Economic Overview January 2006 (1 February)
â€¢ NZ Labour Market Preview (1 February)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (30 January)
â€¢ NZ Terms of Trade:History & Significance (26 January)
â€¢ NZ RBNZ OCR Review (26 January)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (23 January)
â€¢ NZ Q4 CPI Review/OCR Preview (18 January)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bankâ€™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. Â© 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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