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Thursday April 20, 2006 - 22:38:40 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Commodity sell-off hits NZD
NZD/AUD buying saw the NZD back up at the highs of 0.5353 yesterday. After trading in a narrow range during our session yesterday, the NZD was sold overnight alongside the AUD as metal prices tumbled. The NZD slumped 60points initially, then continued to fall to a low of 0.6241. On a more positive note, a $100m eurokiwi issuance was announced overnight. better outcomes on the nominal balance in each month of the quarter, the economy is likely to sustain and build on the solid net export contribution to growth seen in Q4

Australian Dollar: Metal meltdown sees AUD smashed
The AUD was sold during the morning in the Asian session, though volumes fell as the day wore on. Minor data released showed that Australian merchandise imports jumped in March, but it was predominantly seasonal. A meltdown in metal prices overnight saw the AUD smashed all the way from 0.7430 to 0.7360. Gold is off 5%, silver a whopping 17% and copper and aluminum both off 3%. What initially started as profit-taking from the large rally over the past few weeks snowballed and silver trading ceased for 15 minutes due to the market falling too fast. Anticipation of the start of an electronically traded investment product devoted to silver has seen silver prices skyrocket to 23-year highs. Gold had been trading at 25-year highs.

Major Currencies: Majors take a breather
The USD gained on Thursday, a turnaround from the recent battering it has taken. Traders viewed the price action as a reaction to markets being largely over-bought against USD’s in the short term. The euro fell to an intra-day low just under 1.2300 however has regained the figure and opens around 1.2320 this morning. JPY continued to trade in a choppy range around 117.50 as traders look to the US–China political position for further direction in Asian currencies.

US Apr Philly Fed index close to expectations. The Apr headline was near expectations at 13.2, with the details mixed. New orders reversed the preceding rise and shipments were also off. Employment, however, was up very strongly. Prices paid were also up msharply, no doubt on oil, though with prices received steady it seems firms are continuing to absorb much of the cost increases they are facing.

US leading indicators down again in March. The second consecutive fall in the leading indicators, at –0.1%, was close to the flat result expected, though both January and February’s outcomes were revised down. The main drag in February was the pullback in housing permits after they got boosted by weather in January. The 6- month annualised growth rate of 3.9% nevertheless remains robust.

US jobless claims edged down. Initial claims in the week ending 15/4 moved back close to the 300k mark again, and have largely been tracking sideways over the past month. Continuing claims did rise 18k. Looking solely at the claims data there has been some modest improvement in the labour market relative to March.

UK March CPI more modest than expected. The headline fell to 1.8% y/y against expectations it would remain at the BoE target of 2.0%. Moreover, core inflation reversed back to 1.3%, and ex-energy inflation of 1.2% shows very clearly where the inflation problem remains concentrated.

Euroland March CPI outcome confirmed at 2.2%. The core measure has, however, edged up to 1.3% from its 5 and a half year low of 1.2%. Nevertheless, the core rate still emphasises that inflation pressures are relatively muted. Still, the ECB will be focusing on the headline rate, which will head back up on higher energy prices.

Canadian inflation steady in March. Core inflation remained at 1.7%, though was expected to edge down to 1.6%. That won’t do much to talk the market out of expecting the BoC to hike next week.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
21 Apr NZ Mar External Migration 8,293 n/f
Aust Q1 Export Price Index 2.2% 3.3%
Q1 Import Price Index 0.4% 1.9%
Jpn Feb Tertiary Activity Index 2.2% –0.8%
Eur Feb Trade Balance EURbn –2.5 n/f
24 Apr Aust Q1 PPI %qtr/%yr 0.8%/3.0% n/f
Mar New Motor Vehicle Sales -2.1% n/f

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q1 CPI Review (19 April)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (19 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (18 April)
• Diving kiwi, soaring petrel (13 April)
• NZ Economic Overview April 2006 (13 April)
• NZ Q1 QSBO Review (11 April)
• NZ Q1 CPI Preview (11 April)
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
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Wed 18 July 2018
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A 12:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
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Thu 19 July 2018
AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
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A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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