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Monday May 8, 2006 - 21:15:27 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Crosses lead NZD sharply lower overnight
The NZD traded within a familiar range during the local session yesterday. The market largely ignored robust Q1 wage data, with USD sentiment ahead of this week’s FOMC the dominant theme. A strengthening JPY pressured both AUD/JPY and NZD/JPY crosses, pulling the NZD to lows of 0.6399. The currency recovered during afternoon trade ending the domestic session towards the day’s high of 0.6430. Overnight, however, selling pressure on the crosses escalated with NZD selling leading to a fall sub-0.8250 in NZD/AUD and sub-0.4970 in NZD/EUR. The NZD fell sharply against the USD plunging over a cent to lows of 0.6318 before recovering to 0.6330 from where the currency opens this morning.

Australian Dollar: AUD pullback as yen trades dominate
The AUD/JPY cross dominated AUD denominated trade yesterday. With the yen strengthening over 1% to 8-month highs against the USD, the AUD/JPY cross slipped from 87.30 to 86.10 during local trade. While this pressured the AUD to an intra-day low of 0.7703, the currency held 0.77 despite disappointing retail sales data. With the NZD losses deepening overnight, the AUD slipped lower, establishing a low of 0.7679. The currency opens this morning 0.7685.

Major Currencies: USD strikes back
A stronger USD across the board was the order of the day on Monday, with that old chestnut ‘profit-taking’ being widely blamed as the reason for the move. The euro did climb to a session high in early London of 1.2788 however could not hold onto its gains. Sterling gained in the London session after stronger-than-expected producer price data, jumping from 1.8610 to 1.8690 and a new 1 year high. Following that however, Sterling gave way to the USD strength and hit session lows of 1.8548 early this morning. In Asia JPY’s good run was halted after the USD bounced off 111.00 overnight, it remains to be seen whether this support level will hold.

No US data to report.

Canadian housing starts fell 13.3% in April. This more than reversed a 4.1% rise in March; the decline was broad-based across the five districts, single- and multi-family dwellings, and urban and rural areas. The important urban single family category has now fallen for three months running, for a cumulative loss of 19%, suggesting that higher interest rates are now impacting on the sector.

Euroland retail PMI jumps from 48.5 to 54.6 in April. A very solid jump to an all-time high for this two year old data series. The consumer has been the missing the link in the Euroland economic recovery; this could be a sign of a turnaround in Q2, but we warn that previous moves into positive (i.e. >50) territory have not been followed by stronger hard data on the consumer.

The European Commission updated its twice-a-year forecasts for member economies and the Euroland subset. For 2006, Euroland GDP growth was revised up from 1.9% to 2.1%, but 2007 was revised down from 2.1% to 1.8%. Inflation was unrevised at 2.2% for this year, but revised up by 0.4 ppts to 2.2% in 2007.

UK producer output prices rose 0.6% in April, and the core measure was up 0.4%. Both these were the biggest monthly gains for the year so far – as was the 2.5% jump in input prices. Overall then, this was a punchy report, revealing upward pressure across all measures, although evidence to date is that pass-through to retail prices will be limited. Firms appear to be absorbing higher costs in their margins; the Bank of England is well aware of that so policy implications of today’s report are limited.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Apr NAB Business Survey 20 n/f
Commonwealth Budget AUDbn 15 (est) 10
US Apr Wholesale Inventories 0.8% 0.5%
Ger Mar Industrial Production 1.0% 0.4%
UK April BRC Retail Sales Monitor
Q1 Land Registry House Prices %yr 4.6% n/f

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q1 LCI and QES Review (8 May)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (8 May
• NZ Q1 labour market preview (1 May)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (1 May)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (1 May)
• NZ RBNZ OCR Review (27 April)
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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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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