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Thursday October 19, 2006 - 21:07:13 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Weak USD sees NZD up near .6700
With no significant data releases yesterday the NZD traded in a narrow 0.6625/47 range in the local session. It was a different story overnight however, with broad based USD weakness prompting NZD buying, with rumours of buying to clear short positions also fuelling the move. The currency opens this morning just shy of its overnight highs around 0.6690

Australian Dollar: AUD rallies to 6-week high The AUD started the day at 0.7550 but again failed to break out of it’s recent 0.7540-60 range. Good selling interest, rumoured to be related to M&A flows was seen early in the offshore session, however a soft USD saw the AUD rally through key resistance levels around 0.7570- 75 to trade just short of 0.7600

Major Currencies: Philly index dampens dollar
The US dollar is down against all the major currencies today following the October Philadelphia Federal Reserve factory index release which failed to impress with another negative reading. The euro has spiked higher from recent lows near 1.2500 trading up to a high of 1.2626 overnight following the US data. The Sterling had a mixed overnight session with their retail sales falling 0.4 percent for the month of Sept in comparison to expectations of a 0.3 percent rise. This saw the GBP fall to a low of 1.8665. However this was a short lived sell off as USD weakness boosted the sterling to two week highs of 1.8792. The Yen opens today, after reaching two week lows, at 118.12 on the back of the dollar slide.

US leading index posted its first positive reading in three months in Sept, albeit a very modest 0.1% gain. Smoothed annual growth in the leading index has slowed to a little below 1% in Q3, from 8+% at its peak in 2004, which clearly points to weaker growth in the quarters ahead. Note however that in the last (very mild) recession in 2001, annual growth in the leading index slowed to below –2%, so we are not yet seeing a signal of especially weak times ahead.

Initial jobless claims dipped to 299k last week. We always have to be careful when there is a public holiday in the week concerned (last week had Columbus Day), because that can prevent some people from registering. But as the data stand, given that last week was the survey week for payrolls, there are grounds to expect a stronger jobs report for Oct than the 55k rise we saw in Sept.

Italian industry orders surged 8.2% in Aug on top of a 2.3% Jul bounce. With German orders data strong as well, that points to a healthy Euroland orders report next week.

UK retail sales fell 0.4% in Sept. Non-food store sales fell 0.9%. This soft end to the quarter means that consumer spending won’t be strong enough for GDP to sustain Q2’s 0.7% pace in Q3. We remain very comfortable with our 0.5% forecast (data due tonight).

US Philly Fed index slips from –0.4 to –0.7 in Oct. The Philadelphia Fed factory index headline failed to recover at all, in fact it slipped marginally further below zero. This is a very strange result, as Philly businessmen reported a 15 pt turnaround in orders, a 13 pt turnaround in shipments, and continued strength in jobs earlier this month. The headline is not a composite of the detail, it is a separate indication of respondents’ assessment of business conditions, and despite falling energy prices and a record stock market, something has held back these bosses’ confidence in the current situation. That said, the other part of the survey, on six month expectations, revealed a headline bounce from -0.2 to 16.7!

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
NZ Sep Net Migration ann. total 12.5k n/f
Aust Q3 Export Price Index 3.6% 1.1%
Q3 Import Price Index 2.3% -1.0%
Sep New Motor Vehicle Sales -2.3% n/f
Jpn Aug All-Industry Activity -0.4% 1.0%
UK Q3 GDP 0.7% 0.5%
Can Sep Consumer Price Index %yr 2.1% 1.1%
Sep CPI Core Ex 8 %yr 1.5% 1.3%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q3 CPI Preview/OCR Preview (18 October)
• Inflation expectations and the OCR (16 October)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (16 October)
• Off the fence (13 October)
• NZ Economic Overview October 2006 (11 October)
• Reweighting to the rescue? (10 October)
• NZ Q3 QSBO Review (10 October)
• A misleading rev counter? (9 October)
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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Tue 17 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment
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AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
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A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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