Thursday October 5, 2006 - 20:29:54 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar Squeeze in funding costs underpin NZD
The NZD held above 0.6600 during yesterdayâ€™s trade, ranging between 0.6615 and 0.6648 in the domestic session. Relative interest rate differentials continue to be cited as bolstering demand for the currency, with a squeeze in overnight funding costs in the fx swap market making short NZD positions unusually expensive to finance. The NZD extended gains overnight, establishing a high of 0.6659 before suggestions from Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser that US rates may have to rise further saw the currency drift back to 0.6635, from where we open this morning.
Australian Dollar: AUD pressured on NZD/AUD cross
The AUD once again traded within narrow confines during the local session yesterday. Although the release of an increase in retail cashcard activity in September points to a robust retail sales number and precious and base metal prices improved overnight, gains in the currency proved difficult to sustain. The AUD remains pressured on the NZD/AUD cross, as the scaling back of expectations of a near-term rise in AUD rates contrast with fears that RBNZ may be forced to hike before year-end. This has pushed the cross towards a six-month peak, with a high of 0.8915 seen overnight.
Major Currencies: ECB raises rates but muted tone from Trichet
The ECB hiked rates as expected however ECB President Trichet provided no clear signal on any further eurozone tightening at the subsequent press conference. This disappointed euro bulls looking for a more hawkish tone and resulted in a sell-off down to a session low of 1.2672. The USD benefited on a day bereft of local data after Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser argued the case for further tightening. This kept the euro below 1.2700 and JPY above 117.50. Elsewhere the GBP tumbled around 100 points to a low of 1.8751 after the BoE left rates on hold.
US initial claims fall 19k to 302k.
Initial claims fell quite sharply last week, and the previous weekâ€™s rise in the continuing claims count left in place a modest downtrend. Both outcomes hint at a slight (unexpected) firming in labour market conditions in late September/early October. Also, monthly chain store sales data for September, up 3.8% yr compared to 2.9% yr in August, were not as weak as the weekly figures suggested.
Canadian Ivey manufacturing survey rises to 59.9.
The Ivey index always tends to rise in September, but this yearâ€™s gain was a little less pronounced than in previous years, suggesting some manufacturing sector softening might be showing through.
Canadian building permits jump 8.3% in August,
a surprisingly solid gain, with broad-based rises in both residential and non-residential activity. The sector is holding up well in the face of higher interest rates and concerns about contagion from the slowing US economy.
.The European Central Bank continued its policy of well flagged monetary policy tightening,
with a 25bp rate rise to 3.25%. By deliberately avoiding the use of the word "vigilant" in the press conference, ECB chief Trichet was saying that a follow-up rate rise as soon as the November 2 meeting was unlikely. And while "it will remain warranted to further withdraw monetary accommodation", he no longer used the term "progressive", which hints that a peak might be approaching. We continue to expect two 25bp rate rises in December and then February, to a 3.75% peak, though the risk of pause/peak at 3.5% has increased somewhat.
The Bank of England left rates unchanged at 4.75%.
However a rate rise is widely expected in November, after the quarterly forecasting round. The main arguments centre around continued jobs growth, the resurgent housing market and consumption, above target inflation and limited spare capacity in the economy.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Sep AIG PSI 50.2 n/f
US Sep Non-Farm Payrolls chg 128k 125k
Sep Unemployment % 4.7% 4.8%
Aug Consumer Credit USDbn 5.5 4.0
Ger Aug Factory Orders 1.8% â€“1.0%
G7 Aug OECD G7 Leading Index 104.7 104.5
UK Aug Industrial Production 0.2% 0.1%
Can Sep Employment â€“16k 25k
Latest Research papers/Publication
â€¢ NZ Q3 Employment Confidence Index (4 October)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (2 October)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (2 October)
â€¢ NZ Q2 GDP Review (29 September)
â€¢ NZ Q3 Consumer Confidence (27 September)
â€¢ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (25 September)
â€¢ NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (25 September)
â€¢ NZ Q2 GDP Preview (22 September)
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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