Monday June 19, 2006 - 21:08:57 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar NZD on the defensive ahead of key data
The NZD remained on the defensive during yesterdayâ€™s domestic session, trading between 0.6154 and 0.6183 locally. While housing data released yesterday saw sales rebound in May, the market continues to focus on Q1 current account and GDP data due for release at the end of the week. Overnight, Atlanta Fed President Jack Guynn joined the chorus of Fed Officials expressing concerns that inflation is at or beyond levels considered acceptable, continuing to underpin the USD ahead of the FOMC meeting on June 28th/29th. Despite an attempt to trade through 4 week lows at 0.6150, the market opens this morning at 0.6165.
Australian Dollar: Fragile metal prices weigh on AUD
Fragile metal prices and an eroding yield advantage continue to weigh on the AUD. Broad based USD buying saw the currency pressured from an early 0.7390 high to a 0.7365 low during local trade, with a 0.7357 low posted overnight. The market largely ignored merchandise import data, remaining wary as gold prices once again slipped below $570/oz. With metal prices falling 20- 25% since mid-May and again softening in overnight LME trade, the AUD continues to hover above 9 week lows.
Major Currencies: Geo-political tension in Pacific
Much of the focus overnight was on the yen after news that North Korea may test a long range missile evoked a strong response from Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi. As a result traders flocked to the safety of the greenback with the dollar posting an eight week high against the yen of 115.78. In addition to the unexpected political crisis, the yen was pressured by the expanding scandal over Governor Fukuiâ€™s investment in a fund run by shareholder activist Murakami who was arrested on suspicion of insider trading. The euro drifted back below 1.2600 against the dollar with the market ignoring the Eurozone April trade deficit and focusing more on hawkish Fed rhetoric from Atlanta Federal Reserve President Jack Guynn.
Atlanta Fed President Guynn, a FOMC voter, was the next in the procession of Fed officials expressing concern over inflation. He said inflation risks were elevated and that core inflation was beyond an acceptable range. There is nothing new in these comments, but the barrage of consistent Fed concern over inflation make the Fed's course of action at the end of the month very clear.
US building sentiment declines further.
The National Association of Home Builders' measure of building confidence declined again in the June survey, from 45 to 42 â€“ now at an 11- year low. The index is further a sign that the housing market continues to cool, with sales expectations and buyer traffic down to levels not seen since 1995. We expect tonight's housing starts and permits to further reinforce that construction activity is waning.
Canadian wholesale sales up 0.1% in April.
The soft growth rate reflected lower prices due to C$ strength. Adjusted for that, sales were up 1.0% in the month.
Euroland trade deficit â‚¬0.9bn in Apr.
Revisions mean that the trade balance has been in deficit every month of the year so far. Over the past year, export growth has lagged import growth 1.6% to 2.0%.
UK house prices up 6.4% yr in June.
This is the Rightmove index, though most of the seven main UK house price indicators have shown signs of renewed vigour in Q2.
Country Release Last Forecast
US May House Starts â€“7.4% â€“1.0%
May House Permits â€“5.4% â€“1.0%
Jpn Bank of Japan Minutes
UK May PSNCR Â£bn â€“1.8 5.0
May M4 Money Supply %yr 13.1% 12.5%
Can May Consumer Price Index %yr 2.4% 2.8%
May CPI Core Ex 8 %Yr 1.6% 1.8%
Latest Research papers/Publication
â€¢ NZ Q1 GDP Preview (19 June)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (19 June)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (19 June)
â€¢ NZ Q1 Current Account Preview (16 June)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (13 June)
â€¢ NZ Q1 Terms of Trade Review (12 June)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (12 June)
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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