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Monday July 31, 2006 - 21:49:32 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD slide halted
The NZD recovered some lost ground late in the local session yesterday and reached an overnight high of 0.6205, before retreating quickly back to overnight low of 0.6156. With no NZ data out yesterday the NZD had little direction and traded a 50 point range. There is little data in NZ this week so most direction will come from heavy USD data schedule and central bank rate announcements. The NZD/EUR, NZD/JPY and NZD/GBP crosses all edged slightly lower yesterday and are holding around three week lows.

Australian Dollar: AUD knocking on 0.7700 door
The AUD continues to hold up as a RBA interest rate hike this Wednesday is almost fully priced in to the market and with expectations of further hikes this year growing. The AUD traded a new two month high of 0.7669 and opens close to this level today. The NZD/AUD is being touted as heading lower by year-end by some major banks. The narrowing gap in interest rate yields between NZ and Australia is one the main drivers in the weakening of the NZD/AUD cross.

Major Currencies: USD holds steady
Monday was a quiet day for the majors with no significant data to inspire the markets. The US Chicago PMI survey was above expectations but the market remained indifferent. Fedspeak from Poole and Yellen failed to move the markets as traders interpreted the message to be that the Fed is undecided and their decision will be data dependent. The yen had sharp gains off the back of strong June industrial production figures, strengthening to 114.19 (3 week high) but dropped back to 114.84 in the later session. The USD/JPY opens today around 114.60. The euro edged up slightly to 1.2783 after ECB President Trichet reinforced the view of an ECB 25bps hike this week, and it opens today around 1.2775. More strong housing data from the UK provided further support for Sterling which reached 8 week highs of 1.8687. Whilst we expect the BoE to hold this week, this strong data adds weight to the argument for a hike later this year. Sterling opens today at 1.8680.

Japanese data: June industrial production rose 1.9%mth. Housing starts came in at 4.7%yr in June. Wages rose by 0.5%yr in June.

US Chicago PMI rises in July. The increase to 57.9 from 56.5 was driven by a 10-point surge in production, and orders also rose. Prices edged back from their recent high. The outcome supports our view that Wednesday night's manufacturing ISM will rise, albeit modestly.

Fedspeak: on the fence. Yellen said Fed Funds were "in a vicinity that is roughly appropriate" and that the Fed needs to take account of policy lags, though recent inflation news has been disappointing. Poole said he is "50-50" on a further rate hike. The comments from both suggest a rate pause next week is a distinct possibility.

Eurozone confidence holds up in July. Though mixed, the various survey measures were more resilient than expected. Consumer confidence was static at -9, though industrial confidence rose to 4 from 3. Overall economic confidence improved to 107.7 from 107.1, outpacing expectations. The separate business climate index slipped more modestly than anticipated to 1.37 from 1.43.

Eurozone July flash CPI steady. The flash estimate has Eurozone inflation steady at 2.5%, notwithstanding recent German data thatsuggested risk of acceleration.

German retail sales rebound. June sales rose 1.9% - stronger than expected – and May sales were revised up dramatically to -0.4% from -2.2%. The World Cup will be been influential.

UK data. June mortgage lending of 9.0bn was a shade under expectations, as was the 800mn of consumer credit; mortgage approvals rose at their fastest pace in 5 month.
Major CurrenciesZealand Dollar
Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Jun Dwelling Approvals 3.3% 0.4%
Jul AIG PMI 54.5 n/f
US Jun Core PCE Deflator 0.2% 0.2%
Jun Personal Income/Spending 0.4%/0.4% 0.8%/0.4%
Jun Construction Spending –0.4% flat
Jul ISM Manufacturing 53.8 54.0
Eur Jul PMI Manufacturing 57.7 57.5
Jun Unemployment Rate % 7.9% 7.8%
Ger Jul Unemployment Ch –49k n/f
UK Jul House Prices %yr 5.0% 5.4%
Jul PMI Manufacturing 55.1 55.0
Jul Consumer Confidence 94 92

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (31 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (31 July)
• Finance companies: what price risk? (28 July)
• RBNZ OCR Review (27 July)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (25 July)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (24 July)
• Drivers of NZ tourist departures (20 July)
• RBNZ OCR Preview (20 July)
• Drivers of visitor numbers to NZ (14 July)
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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