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Thursday March 9, 2006 - 20:27:21 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD below 0.6500 after RBNZ decision
The NZD initially made marginal gains against the USD after the RBNZ left rates unchanged yesterday and announced that it planned to keep them there for the rest of the year. Governor Bollard advised that inflationary pressure from labour costs and a buoyant housing market ruled out a cut this year, but was also cautious not to suggest a hike was likely this year. This provided a good indication of a shift from a tightening to a neutral bias. The currency sold off later in the session and hit an overnight low of 0.6457, which is close to where we open this morning’s trading.

Australian Dollar: AUD rallies but fails
The AUD looked like it was heading for a good recovery on Thursday but gave up its gains late in the day after trading a 0.7376 high. The AUD was well supported yesterday by strong Feb employment data, AUD demand against the NZD after the RBNZ interest rate decision and denials from China about iron ore price caps. However a lower gold price was tempering the rally and focus turned to the BoJ and its intentions on ending their super loose monetary policy. The AUD managed to rally steadily off the low at 0.7330 to 0.7376 before running into selling pressure. The AUD opens today at 0.7340 after the market favoured USDs in anticipation of a robust payrolls number.

Major Currencies: USD steady despite record trade deficit
A record trade deficit in the US was ignored by the market ahead of tonight’s payrolls data. The Bank of Japan has ended its policy of flooding the market with cash, and interest rate hikes are now expected in the second half of this year. USD/JPY traded down to 117.09 before rallying as traders covered short positions. The GBP traded flat overnight as the BoE left rates on hold at 4.50% as expected.

US Jan trade deficit jumps. The Jan deficit reached $68.5bn, around $2bn larger than anticipated though Dec's was trimmed back a fraction. Import growth of 3.5% was driven virtually across the board in capital and consumer goods categories, with oil up also. Oil added an additional $1bn to the deficit, as price increases outweighed lower volumes. Even though export growth was outstripped by imports, growth has been building momentum in recent months, aided by aircraft in the latest month.

US initial jobless claims rise. Initial claims in the week ending 4/3 rose to 303k from 295k. However, part of the lift may be due to delayed claims filings in the preceding week, which included the President's Day holiday. The claims measures have been pointing to a noticeable improvement in the labour market since late last year. We expect a 180k increase for tomorrow's Payrolls release, with blizzard in the survey week constraining February’s growth.

ECB bulletin: interest rates “very low”. That sentiment accompanied slight upward revisions to the ECB staff inflation and growth forecasts. We expect two more hikes from the ECB over the next 6 months.

German industrial production fell fractionally in Jan. The 0.1% decline was only half of the picture, with Dec's previously reported 0.5% decline revised sharply to a 0.7% increase. In levels terms production was broadly in line with expectations. Eurozone industrial production for Jan is due out Friday week, and the German result indicates that the Dec starting point of 0.1% will be nudged up.

Bank of England kept its repo rate steady at 4.5% after this week's MPC meeting, as expected.

UK industrial production up in Jan. The 0.4% rise was a little ahead of the consensus, and Dec is revised up 0.2ppt to 0.4%.

UK trade deficit narrowed in January. The £5.7bn deficit a little more than expected from December’s record £6.1bn.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q4 Building Work Put in Place –6.1% –3.5%
Aust Jan Housing Finance 0.9% –1.4%
US Feb Non-Farm Payrolls ch’ 193k 180k
Feb Unemployment Rate % 4.7% 4.7%
Jan Wholesale Inventories 1.0% 0.2%
Feb Federal Budget USDbn –113.9 –112.5
Jpn Feb Corp. Goods Prices %yr 2.7% n/f
Jan Machinery Orders 6.8% –5%
Eur Q4 Current Account EURbn –3.8 –15.0
G7 Jan Leading Index 104.5 n/f

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ RBNZ March MPS Review (9 March)
• NZ Q4 Terms of Trade Review (9 March)
• A dysfunctional tool? (7 March)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (6 March)
• NZ RBNZ March MPS Preview (2 March)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (27 February)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 February)
• An over-inflated problem (16 February)
• NZ Q4 Retail Sales (14 February)

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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GVI Trading. Potential Price Risk Scale
AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Mon 10 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- GDP, Trade, Output
Tue 11 Sep 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment Decision
A 09:00 DE- ZEW Survey
Wed 12 Sep 2018
A 12:30 US- PPI
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
A 18:00 US- Beige Book
Thu 13 Sep 2018
A 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 11:00 GB- Bank of England Decision
AA 11:45 EZ- European Central Bank Decision
A 12:30 US- Weekly Jobless
AA 12:30 US- CPI
Fri 14 Sep 2018
A 08:30 GB- GDP
AA 12:30 US- Retail Sales
A 13:15 US- Industrial Production
AA 14:00 US- prelim University of Michigan

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