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Tuesday October 10, 2006 - 21:08:07 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD fails to hold 0.6600 despite capacity constraints
The NZD strengthened during local trade yesterday following a reported improvement in business opinion in the third quarter from -44% to -19%. Of greater concern to the RBNZ however, was the sharp increase in capacity utilisation (from 91.36% to 92.30%). The NZD rallied after the release to an intraday high of 0.6614, before once again slipping below 0.6600. While the NZD again rallied in the offshore session to post a 0.6622 high, the currency was once again unable to hold on to these gains as the USD broadly strengthened and details emerged that the reweighting of domestic CPI data is likely to substantially lower the short-term inflation outlook. The NZD opens this morning at 0.6585.

Australian Dollar: AUD sidelined ahead of Stevens’ speech
The AUD once again traded a narrow 11 point range domestically, but strengthened in overnight trade from 0.7427 to 0.7461 as base metal prices remained firm on the London Metal Exchange. Despite these gains the currency remains largely sidelined ahead of new RBA governor Glenn Stevens’ first economic speech since taking over from Ian Macfarlane last month.

Major Currencies: USD extends gains against yen and euro
The dollar buying theme continued overnight spurred on by risk aversion (North Korea) and short covering by hedge funds. As a result the USD punched through a 119.50 barrier against JPY to reach a 2006 high of 119.77 and triggered stops below 1.2550 against the euro en route to 1.2518. GBP had a day to forget shedding around 170 points against the USD to hit a 2½ month low after a wider than expected trade deficit in Sep and month on month fall in Sep output prices.

Japan core machinery orders rebounded. Rising 6.7% in the month, partly retracing the 16.7% plunge in July, this saw the annual pace fall to –0.5%yr from -1.2%yr. Foreign orders, supported by the upward trajectory in global capital spending, also rebounded 29.1% to 54.1%yr in Aug, more than retracing the 21.4% plunge in July. This left total new machinery orders rebounding 12% in the month to 17.2%yr as the picture for Japanese machinery producers remains solid.

US Aug wholesale inventories up 1.1%. The result was stronger than the 0.7% consensus forecast with solid rises in both durable goods (+0.9%) and nondurable goods (+1.5%).

US confidence edges up. The young IBD/TIPP economic optimism index rose to 52.4 from 50.5. The index, taken in the first week of the month, suggests that the Uni of Michigan index (released this Fri) should also improve.

Eurozone GDP unrevised. The final estimate of Q2 GDP stayed at 0.9% q/q and 2.6% y/y.

UK leading index up in Aug. The index increased 0.2%, slightly faster than July's 0.1% rise, but still well down on the pace seen in the first half of the year.

UK Aug trade deficit larger than expected. The visibles deficit was 6.7bn (vs mkt f/c of 6.2bn). Exports rose 0.2% and imports fell 0.1% to leave the level of the deficit little changed.

UK retail sales monitor decelerates. The BRC sales monitor for Sep showed same store sales up 2.4% y/y, down from 2.5% in Aug but confirming that spending has lost momentum since Q2.

Can Sep housing starts soften. Starts softened further to 211k, down to a 1-year low. Momentum was at its peak in Q1.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
11 Oct Aust Oct WBC-MI Consumer Sent 12.5% n/f
Aug Housing Finance 0.9% –1.0%
RBA’s Stevens Speaking to ABE Dinner
US FOMC 20/9 Meeting Minutes
Fedspeak: Lacker, Bies
Can Aug New House Prices 1.1% 1.0%
12 Oct Aust Sep Employment Chg 23.4k 10k
Sep Unemployment Rate 4.9% 4.8%
Oct MI Inflationary Expect’ns 3.5% n/f
US Aug Trade Balance USDbn –68.0 –68.0

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q3 QSBO Review (10 October)
• A misleading rev counter? (9 October)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (9 October)
• Bollard means business (6 October)
• NZ Q3 Employment Confidence Index (4 October)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (2 October)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (2 October)
• NZ Q2 GDP Review (29 September)
• NZ Q3 Consumer Confidence (27 September)
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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AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
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