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Tuesday October 31, 2006 - 20:05:35 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Slowing US business activity propels NZD
The NZD traded a tight range in our local session after early gains following the NBNZ business confidence survey which showed softer price indicators but stronger activity. USD weakness overnight has sparked further rallies in the NZD. The NZD jumped sharply to new 8 month highs of 0.6716. This morning the NZD opens around 0.6704.

Australian Dollar: AUD close to 6 month highs
The AUD followed a similar pattern to the NZD with a quiet day through the local session, with a range of 0.7685/0.7703. Sep credit growth expanded 1.0% and 14.4% for the year. The weaker USD triggered the AUD higher with the overnight high 0.7755, which is its highest level since early May 2006. The NZD/AUD cross remained relatively unchanged yesterday due to both currencies moving inline, today we see the NZD/AUD open around 0.8657.

Major Currencies: USD resumes its weakening trend
The USD continued its recent weakening trend overnight, prompted by weaker-than-expected Chicago PMI (a respected business measure) for October, which fell to its lowest level in over a year. Coupled with recent bearish sentiment this saw the USD trade as low as 116.65 against the JPY and around 1.2780 against the euro before settling slightly higher. Doubts about potential US economic growth continue to weigh against the dollar. Elsewhere, US consumer confidence also fell, further adding to the negative sentiment.

Japanese data: unemployment rate ticked up to 4.2% in Sep, while the jobs-to-applicants ratio was stable at 1.08. Housing starts rose 4.0%yr, annualised level 1298k. Construction orders rose 9.0% from a year ago in Sep.

US Chicago PMI falls from 62.1 to 53.5 in Oct, maintaining its volatile tradition. However the detail was mostly still positive: readings of 59 for orders, 57 for jobs and 54 for orders are still consistent with a manufacturing sector in decent shape. Some forecasters have revised down their estimates for the national ISM tomorrow, but we are sticking with our forecast rise from 52.9 to 53.5 – not least because Chicago tends to be a contra-indicator of the ISM.

US consumer confidence was revised up by 1.4 pts in Sept but slipped a little in Oct. That is surprising given the Dow hit 12,000 for the first time and gasoline prices kept falling (though at a slower pace than in Sept). Expectations did post a further rise in October, but the present measure fell, with deterioration in both the jobs plentiful (lower) and harder to get (higher) measures of job market sentiment.

US Q3 employment cost index rose 1.0%, its fastest quarterly gain in over two years. That reflected steady money earnings growth but faster benefits growth. After nearly two years of decelerating annual growth in employment costs, firms are now seeing signs that the relatively tight labour market is finally starting to push costs up again.

Canadian GDP growth accelerated to 0.3% in Aug, its fastest pace since Feb, boosted by stronger services sector growth and energy output.

A friendly mix of European data for Oct, with confidence either hitting new highs or staying close to those highs on a range of business and consumer indices, but inflation falling further to 1.6% yr. The only negative was the third straight fall in German retail sales, down 1.9% in Sep.

UK household data mixed. Consumer confidence rose from –7 to –5, responding more to falling petrol prices in Oct than it did in Sep. However the CBI retail survey was very weak, though that may becatch-up to the sluggish official retail sales report for September. Meanwhile, house prices keep rising, up a further 0.7% in October.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Sep Dwelling Approvals –12.6% 5.0%
Oct AIG PMI 53.5 n/f
US Oct ADP Private Payrolls Chg 78k n/f
Sep Construction Spending 0.3% 0.3%
Oct ISM Manufacturing 52.9 53.5
Sep Pending Home Sales 4.3% –2.0%
Oct Auto Sales mn ann’lsd 16.6 16.0
Eur Oct PMI Manufacturing 56.6 56.3
UK Oct PMI Manufacturing 54.4 53.8

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (30 October)
• NZ RBNZ OCR Review (26 October)
• NZ Q3 CPI Review (25 October)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (24 October)
• 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)
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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GVI Trading. Potential Price Risk Scale
AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Tue 31 July 2018
AA JP- Bank of Japan
A 06:00 DE- Retail Sales
A 09:00 EZ- flash HICP/GDP
AA 12:30 US- Core PCE Deflator
A 14:00 US- CB Consumer Confidence
Wed 1 Aug 2018
A Final Mfg PMIs
AA 12:15 US- ADP Private Payrolls
A 15:00 US- EIA Crude
AA 18:00 US- Federal Reserve Decision
Thu 2 Aug 2018
AA 11:00 GB- Bank of England Decision
A 13:30 US- Weekly Jobless
Fri 3 Aug 2018
A Final Services PMIs
AA 12:30 US- Employment
A 12:30 US/CA- Trade

John M. Bland, MBA
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