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Friday March 24, 2006 - 01:29:57 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Current account deficit in line with market forecast
The NZD spiked briefly to 0.6268 before settling back down to prerelease levels around 0.6250. A US bank was seen buying NZD up to 0.6294, before the same name smashed it back down to 0.6240. S&P’s comments that the current account is at, or near its peak failed to generate much interest yesterday. Buying interest against the USD, AUD and EUR early in the overnight session took the NZD back to 0.6294 before sellers emerged. Positive US data saw USD buying across the board and the NZD traded to a low of 0.6223. We open this morning around 0.6230 and await Q4 GDP at 10.45am.

Australian Dollar: AUD at 18-month lows against USD
The AUD traded in a narrow range during our session yesterday. Overnight, the AUD fell to 18-month lows of 0.7132 against the USD as the dollar rallied on the back of stronger than expected housing data. We open this morning around 0.7140.

Major Currencies: Majors crushed as US data surprises
An otherwise quiet night was disrupted by some stronger that expected housing data out of the US. Within half an hour the euro was a cent lower as the market sold through stop loss orders around the 200 day moving average at 1.2040. The euro eventually bottomed out around 1.1960. It was a similar story with GBP, being sold quickly to 1.7340 on the data release. Although JPY was sold comments from a US Senator regarding the Chinese Yuan helped stem some of its losses, it opens this morning around 117.90.

Japan’s Feb trade balance with a seasonal rebound. The trade surplus rose to ¥956bn (median forecast was ¥1080bn) after a lunar new-year holiday deficit of -¥348.9bn, the first deficit in five Yesterday’s Q4 current account data came out at $3.9bn (8.9% of GDP) almost exactly in line with the market consensus forecast. The trade surplus rose to ¥956bn (median forecast was ¥1080bn) after a lunar new-year holiday deficit of -¥348.9bn, the first deficit in five years. Exports grew 20.8%yr while imports are up 30.2%yr continued highlight the robust nature of the Japanese traded sector.

US existing home sales up 5.2% in February. The rise went against general expectations. We timidly forecast a fractional rise, on the basis that some reflection of the warm January weather would hold existing home sales up even though it didn’t affect new home sales (which get tallied up earlier in the transaction process than existing sales). However, a noticeable weather effect seems to have been there all along. However, the downtrend in mortgage applications points to the Feb increase unwinding.

US initial jobless claims fall 11k to 302k. The concerted decline in initial jobless claims over January, during a period of mild weather, has partly reversed, though with tentative signs that claims are levelling out near the 300k mark. Continuing claims did unwind a chunk of their recent drop. Even so, continuing claims have been trending down since the start of the year and are also below the level they were stagnating at prior to Hurricane Katrina. That suggests job creation has been picking up in early 2006, though Payrolls have yet to convincingly show that is happening.

Eurozone current account deficit narrows in January. The €3.3bn deficit was €1.1bn smaller than December’s. The improvement has been driven by a reduced investment income deficit: the good trade balance continued to trend lower, and in seasonally-adjusted terms registered a rare deficit – albeit a small one of €200mn.

German March state inflation lower. The three German state inflation releases for March out overnight (Bavaria, Saxony and Brandenburg) all showed pullbacks in their annual rates, indicating pan-German inflation will ease back from 2.1%.

UK manufacturing sentiment improves. The March CBI industrial trends survey showed improved output and orders, though not to the same extent as seen in February.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
24 Mar NZ Q4 GDP %qtr 0.2% 0.2%
US Feb Durable Goods Orders –9.9% –1.0%
Feb New Home Sales –5.0% –2.5%
Jpn Jan Tertiary Activity Index 0.2% n/f
Ger CPI %yr 2.1% 2.0%
27 Mar NZ Feb Merch Trade Bal NZDmn –936 –133
Jpn Feb Corp Services Prices %yr –0.1% -0.1%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q4 Current Account Review (23 March)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 March)
• NZ Q4 Current Account Preview (17 March)
• NZ Q4 GDP Preview (16 March)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (13 March)
• NZ RBNZ March MPS Review (9 March)
• NZ Q4 Terms of Trade Review (9 March)
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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AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Tue 17 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment
A 13:15 US- Industrial Production
AA 14:00 US-Powell Testimony
Wed 18 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- CPI
A 12:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
AA 14:00 US-Powell Testimony
Thu 19 July 2018
AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
A 12:30 US- Weekly Jobless
Fri 20 Jun 2018
A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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