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Sunday September 10, 2006 - 21:36:04 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Cullen crunches NZD
The NZD opened on its highs around 0.6450 but a double dose of reality saw it drop to a 10 day low as traders found a reason to sell the currency. First up was weak building data which set the tone for the day however the nail in the coffin were comments by Finance Minister Cullen at an APEC meeting. He expressed disbelief that markets were pushing NZD higher given NZ’s C/A deficit was 9% of GDP. He also said his main concern was NZD strength that CPI was showing no signs of accelerating and that NZ would monitor Kiwi Uridashi bonds. This saw NZD slip from around 0.6425 to a low of 0.6383 where it hovered for the rest of the day. Overnight it dropped lower to 0.6358 and opens this morning around 0.6368.

Australian Dollar: AUD falls out of favour
The AUD limped into the local session just below the 0.7600 level after being bashed by hedge funds and real money accounts in NY. Much of this was amid broad USD short-covering, but AUD was hit harder than EUR and NZD. The negative sentiment continued to hamper AUD throughout the day despite a better than expected trade deficit number. Overnight AUD broke through the key support level of 0.7550 to post a 1½ month low of 0.7531. It opens slightly higher this morning around 0.7540.

Major Currencies: USD finishes week strongly
The dollar finished the week on Friday up against all the major currencies. After a week of robust economic data and technical trading, the USD had its biggest weekly gain in the last two months. Comments from some Federal Reserve officials have also sparked talk of further US interest rate rises. The euro continued to slide to its lowest in over a month at 1.2651. Today it is up only slightly at 1.2673. Sterling also ended the week well down at a five week low of 1.8628 after a week of political uncertainty relating to calls for Tony Blair’s resignation. Today the GBP opens around 1.8658. The yen opens today at 116.83. The G7 meeting this week could see some focus given to JPY and greater currency flexibility to rectify some of the global imbalances.

Japan office rates remain steady. The BoJ left the target uncollateralised overnight call rate steady at 0.25% by unanimous vote, as widely expected. Market attention will now turn to the BoJ's monthly report and Governor Fukui's post-meeting press conference.

Japan money supply reflects gradual recovery. August M2+CD edged up 0.2%mth to remain at a 0.5%yr pace, within expectations for continuation of the recent trend. August bank credit slowed to 1.8yr from 2.0%yr but it has nevertheless remained positive after 0.2%yr in February, the first annual increase in 5 years. The data reflects the ongoing gradual recovery in the Japanese banking sector.

Fedspeak: Sandra Pianalto, Cleveland Fed president and FOMC voter this year, said that she was still “concerned” by current inflation outcomes, but with growth now “moderating” and the full effect of the past year’s rate rises “not yet felt”, the Aug 8 FOMC pause was “appropriate”.

US consumer credit overall stronger. July credit growth of $5.5bn was $1.3bn shy of expectations. However, June's growth was revised up a massive $3.8bn to $14.1bn.

Canadian jobs fell for the third month in a row in Aug, against almost universal expectations of a rise. Manufacturing jobs have declined for four months running now; construction jobs also fell in Aug, consistent with other evidence that the housing market might be starting to soften. As in July, the Aug losses (16k) were all in part-time work, down 63k; full-time jobs rose 47k. That mitigates the weak picture to some extent, nevertheless total jobs growth has stalled so abruptly, and the jobless rate has risen from its multi-decade low of 6.1% in June to 6.5% in Aug, such that the BoC will feel justified leaving rates unchanged at recent and upcoming policy windows.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Q2 Terms of Trade 1.1% –1.9%
US Fedspeak: Minehan, Kohn and Poole
Jpn Q2 GDP %qtr 2nd Estimate 0.2% 0.3%
Jul Machinery Orders 8.5% –5.0%
UK Aug Core Producer Prices %yr 2.5% 2.5%
Jul Trade Balance £bn –6.5 –6.1
Jul House Prices %yr 5.2% n/f
Can Aug Housing Starts 237k 225k

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Sep RBNZ MPS Preview (8 September)
• El Nino conditions in NZ? (6 September)
• NZ manufacturing sector trends (4 September)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (4 September)
• NZD: Due for a dose of reality
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (28 August)
• Trends in retail sector profitability (21 August)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (21 August)
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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