Tuesday May 2, 2006 - 23:54:07 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar Down by day, up by night
The NZD was held in a narrow range below 0.6400 capped by a firmer USD during yesterdayâ€™s domestic session. In absence of domestic factors the market focused on developments overseas with the USD staging a recovery after reports that Fed Chairman Bernanke said that markets had misinterpreted his comments in last weekâ€™s testimony to congress. Overnight the NZD rallied through 0.6400 to reach a session high of 0.6412 as USD bears re-entered the market concerned about the US trade and budget deficits and an expected pause in the current US interest rate tightening cycle.
Australian Dollar: Full circle for AUD ahead of RBA announcement
After opening around 0.7600, the AUD also drifted lower versus the USD to post an intra-day low of 0.7556. Sentiment was not helped by the LME decision to increase margin requirements for various metals, notably copper, zinc and aluminium. The announcement was on Friday, but was somewhat lost amid the various global holidays. Overnight AUD staged a recovery to reach a session high of 0.7637 helped by general USD selling and positioning ahead of the RBA announcement today.
Major Currencies: US twin deficits, euro data weigh on USD
The USD has seen plenty of two-way price action over the past few days and Tuesday saw it weaken again. Fed Chairman Bernankeâ€™s rhetoric on Friday indicated a pause in the interest rate tightening cycle which resulted in a lower USD; on Monday he explained that the Fed will still be aggressive on inflation and werenâ€™t overly dovish, this assisted a USD rally. The market focused on the worrying US trade and budget deficits on Tuesday and the negative US sentiment returned. Also hurting the USD was strong euro and UK data and more doubts about US rate rises. The euro rallied to near 12-month highs at 1.2668 from the 1.2559 low. Sterling strengthened to a new 8-month high at 1.8415. USD/JPY was lower on the day, trading a low of 113.13, after seeing a high of 114.03 earlier. Bernanke speaks at an economic summit on Wednesday, this will no doubt provide more direction for the USD.
US March pending home sales decline 1.2%.
As existing home sales get recorded later down the sales process (roughly a month or two later), the fall in pending home sales should in theory point to weakness in existing home sales in April. On that basis the latest fall in pending sales is a very mild argument to expect existing home sales to fall in April after they held onto Februaryâ€™s weather-related gain over March.
Euroland manufacturing PMI at 5-year high.
April PMI increased to 56.7 from 56.1, though the pace of increase slowed relative to preceding months. All of the activity components improved and for the second month in a row the PMI has implied expansion in manufacturing jobs. So, further soft data indicating that European industrial activity is picking up.
UK Apr PMI rocketed to a 17-month high.
The index jumped 3 index points to 54.1. Improvement was most pronounced for output and new orders, but employment also pushed into 50+ expansionary territory. Export orders improved around 2 index points, probably a reflection of a weaker Sterling against the euro over the month.
UK CBI distributive trades survey rebounds.
The April survey bounced to +2 from â€“16, suggesting that retail spending should pick up further from its poor start to the year.
UK mortgage approvals up 33.1% y/y in March.
The BoEâ€™s mortgage lending figures on the 4th will give a better feel for how well mortgage lending has held up.
UK M0 money supply grew 0.8% in April.
The 7.5% y/y growth was its fastest pace since the start of 2004. In a nutshell, the run of data in the lead-up to this weekâ€™s MPC meeting has been strong enough to sway all members (bar one, perhaps) away from considering a rate cut.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust RBA Policy Announcement 5.50% 5.50%
Apr AIGâ€™s PSI 51.0 n/f
US Mar Factory Orders 0.2% 4.0%
Apr ISM Non-Manufacturing 60.5 58.5
Eur Mar Unemployment Rate 8.2% 8.2%
Mar Producer Price Index %yr 5.4% n/f
UK Apr Consumer Confidence 95 n/f
Apr PMI Construction 54.7 54.5
Apr BRC Shop Price Index
Latest Research papers/Publication
â€¢ NZ Q1 labour market preview (1 May)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (1 May)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (1 May)
â€¢ NZ RBNZ OCR Review (27 April)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (24 April)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (24 April)
â€¢ NZ Q1 CPI Review/OCR Preview (19 April)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (19 April)
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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