Tuesday March 21, 2006 - 21:26:17 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar NZD steady yesterday, but at new lows overnight
Flows were light during the Asian session yesterday on account of a holiday in Japan. During this time, the NZD managed to hold its own against the USD, despite the USD rallying against the euro and JPY. Talk of profit-taking buying of NZD/JPY saw the cross up above 73.00 after dropping as low as 72.38 the previous day. Migration data released yesterday showed more Kiwis are staying at home; a net inflow of 1,400 is significantly above the trend of around 500-600. The NZD came under pressure immediately as the London market opened, taking the NZD down to another new low of 0.6210 overnight.
Australian Dollar: AUD lower overnight
The AUD also held its ground against the USD during the day, despite housing data showing that dwelling consents weakened further in the December quarter and were down for January. As with the NZD, the AUD was sold overnight, trading below 0.7150, with talk of options barriers being taken out at this level. The AUD opens this morning off last nightâ€™s lows at 0.7170.
Major Currencies: USD stronger on inflation data
The US dollar firmed on Tuesday after some positive inflation data kept the market happy with the US economies performance of late. The euro started the day on its highs and was on the back foot immediately, being sold in bursts throughout the day to around 1.2125. The London and New York trading sessions continued the selling as the euro reached new lows around 1.2076. The USD was also higher against the JPY, up 0.8 percent on the day, reaching a high around 117.20 despite the holiday in Japan.
US Feb core PPI strong.
The 0.4% increase followed the solid 0.3% increase in January. Prescription, tobacco, and truck prices drove the increase. Energy prices surprised the opposite way to the core, falling markedly (including an 11% fall in gasoline prices) and dragging the headline PPI down 1.4% m/m. There are signs of cost pressures further back in the production chain. Core intermediate prices were up 4.8% y/y, core crude prices up a heftier 11.9% â€“ a contrast to the 1.8% growth in finished goods producer prices. Both core intermediate and crude prices rose concertedly in the month as well. The risk of those price rises filtering through to a retail level is certainly something for the Fed to keep a close eye on, though the CPI for the same month showed very little evident any spillover was happening to that point in time.
Canadian retail sales robust.
The January 1.4% total and exauto increases were a durables story: furniture and electronic stores experienced strong sales growth over the month, coupled with growth in car sales. Gasoline prices rose 1% in the month, but even with price effects stripped out overall sales rose 0.9%.
Canadian Leading Indicators softer.
February registered a 0.2% after Januaryâ€™s increase was revised down 0.2ppts to 0.3%.
UK CPI near expectations.
The Feb the headline rebounded 0.3%, with the annual rate is now back on the Bank of Englandâ€™s 2% target. Annual core inflation did tick up to 1.4% rather than remaining at 1.3%, despite the monthly result matching expectations. Some of Januaryâ€™s heavy discounting seen for clothing and footwear and household goods was not reversed with any degree of vigour, but rebounding food and recreation helped push the headline back up. Core inflation is still noticeably more muted than the energy-boosted headline. Nevertheless, its fractional pick-up adds mildly to the case for the BoE to refrain from cutting interest rates further in the short term.
Country Release Last Forecast
22 Mar Aust Feb New Motor Vehicle Sales 2.6% â€“1.5%
Jan Westpac-MI Leading Index 4.1% n/f
Eur Jan Trade Balance EURbn s.a. â€“2.4 n/f
Jan Industrial Orders 2.5% 0.8%
UK BoE MPC Minutes
Chancellorâ€™s Budget Report
23 Mar NZ Q4 Current Account NZDmn â€“5,071 â€“4,473
US Initial Jobless Claims w/e 18/3 309k 302k
Feb Existing Home Sales â€“2.8% 0.6%
Latest Research papers/Publication
â€˘ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 March)
â€˘ NZ Q4 Current Account Preview (17 March)
â€˘ NZ Q4 GDP Preview (16 March)
â€˘ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (13 March)
â€˘ NZ RBNZ March MPS Review (9 March)
â€˘ NZ Q4 Terms of Trade Review (9 March)
â€˘ A dysfunctional tool? (7 March)
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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