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Monday April 10, 2006 - 21:18:50 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Four week NZ uridashi drought broken
After a four week drought there was NZ$200m in uridashi announced yesterday, providing some support to NZD. Rumours of an explosion in New York saw the NZD trade to above 0.6100, before being sold back to 0.6088. Towards the end of the Asian session buying interest saw the NZD trade to the day’s high of 0.6116. The currency traded to lows of 0.6067 overnight with NZD/AUD selling being the main culprit – the cross traded to new lows of 0.8330. The NZD opens this morning just below 0.6100 as the market awaits this morning’s NZ QSBO business confidence survey.

Australian Dollar: Uridashi redemption slows AUD progress
The market’s excitement over the possibility of an RBA rate hike in May helped the AUD drift up to 0.7280 yesterday. With little in the way of data this week further upside is likely to be limited with A$2.25bn in uridashi redemption this month. Small deals have been announced, but the total amount looks to fall well short of this figure. Buying interest was seen overnight on the back of the Mitchell article in the AFR discussing the likelihood of further rate hikes, and the bullish commodity story in yesterday’s FT. The AUD traded in a narrow 24 point range overnight and we open just below 0.7300.

Major Currencies: Major currencies quiet ahead of US data
Monday proved to be a quiet day for currency trading until a touch of volatility late in the day. Consolidation was the theme yesterday after plenty of action last week and ahead of an important economic data schedule this week. The USD staged a recovery on Friday following impressive jobs data but the market now awaits the US trade balance on Wednesday. Trade data has not been as supportive for the dollar in recent times and the market seems wary to take the USD higher. The euro was lifeless and spent most of the day between 1.2100 and 1.2130; a late dip took the euro to 1.2076 before closing at 1.2105. The yen weakened for much of Monday after the Japanese Vice Finance Minister reiterated that higher interest rates in Japan will harm the economy. USD/JPY moved from 117.90 to 118.71 before retreating to 118.50 this morning. Japan are expected to keep its near zero interest rate policy at this weeks meeting.

Fedspeak: Governor Mark Olsen commented that last Friday’s Payrolls growth were “an indication of a pretty strong, solid underlying economy”. However, he kept the implications for monetary policy relatively ambiguous by saying it was hard to know if such growth was sustainable without triggering added inflation.

Fedspeak again: Governor Susan Bies said that the Fed is “getting closer to the appropriate level of short-term interest rates relative to what were are seeing happening to inflation and the economy”. She essentially implied that the extent of further action is very conditional on developments. One other interesting observation was that the Fed has not seen a lot of spillover from energy prices into broader consumer prices, an indication that the risks recently highlighted in the March Fed statement have not be heightened thus far.

Canadian housing starts resilient. Starts rose 4% over March, making for continued resilience after the 7.4% jump in Jan was only partly reversed in Feb. The strength over March came out of multi-unit dwellings, which rose 18.6%.

UK PPIs trend up in March. PPI output prices rose 0.3% m/m (not seasonally adjusted) and 2.5% y/y. Core PPI inflation picked up a little to 0.3% m/m and 1.9% y/y. Though core inflation remains well down on the near 3% peak it hit in early 2005, it has been creeping up since late 2005. The last core CPI figure for Feb also edged up, so perhaps we will see further spillover ahead.

UK ODPM house prices soften in Feb. Prices dropped 1.2% in the month, dragging annual growth back to 3.6% from 4.3%. The slower growth was concentrated in the London area, where annual price growth dropped back to 1.9% from 5.3%. With other more upto- date price measures for March showing continued growth, the ODPM decline is not necessarily heralding an end to the turnaround in the housing market.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q1 QSBO Business Confid –61.0% n/f
Aust Mar NAB Business Survey 10 n/f
US Fedspeak: Stern
Ger ZEW Survey 63.4 65.0
UK Mar BRC Retail Sales Monitor
Feb Visible Trade Balance £bn –5.7
Can Feb New House Price Index 0.9% 0.5%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (10 April)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (10 April)
• NZ Q1 Employment Confidence Index (5 April)
• Exchange rate impact on inflation (3 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (3 April)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (3 April)
• A dry wake (31 March)
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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