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Thursday November 2, 2006 - 20:04:29 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar Commodity prices remain firm
The NZD eased back during Thursday’s local session after reaching 8½ month highs of 0.6754 a night earlier. The NZD retreated back to a low of 0.6702 as investors took profits and would have been weighed on by a strengthening JPY which will make investors wary of carry trades. Overnight however the NZD was back on the front foot as overseas buying interest took the NZD back to a high of 0.6748. The ANZ Commodity Price index was released prior to today’s open and has shown commodity prices have risen for the fourth consecutive month. The index rose 0.3% but in NZD adjusted terms the index fell 0.9% as the NZD has risen 1.4% in October.

Australian Dollar: Retail sales and trade deficit fail to dent AUD
In yesterday local session the AUD showed resilience in the face of negative data releases. Retail sales for the month of September came in much weaker than expected with a rise of 0.1%m/m compared to the forecast of 0.6%. The September trade balance showed a deficit of $646 million considerably more than the consensus forecast of $200 million. Exports eased 1.5% but still continued their uptrend. While the deficit widened and exports disappointed the underlying story of improvement remains intact. The AUD fell to a low of 0.7709 yesterday and 0.7706 overnight but the fall was short lived as the support for AUD returned last night. The AUD opens today at 0.7746.

Major Currencies: ECB keeps interest rates steady but signals potential hikes
Despite trading in a narrow range yesterday and overnight the USD continued its weakening bias after the ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet indicated an interest rate increase could be on the table next month. While keeping interest rates steady last might, Trichet stated that “strong vigilance” in maintaining price stability is needed, signalling an imminent rate rise. His subsequent comments about money supply and the inflation outlook increased the probability of a further tightening in 2007. The markets largely ignored a mixed bag of US economic data while the JPY also remained entrenched in a tight range.

US productivity growth stalled in Q3, because the meagre 1.6% growth in output was only achieved by a similar 1.6% increase in hours worked. However that did not prevent unit labour costs form easing back somewhat to 3.8% annualised, because hourly compensation grew more slowly last quarter.

US factory goods orders managed only a 2.1% rise in Sep, despite an upwardly revised 8.3% surge in the durables component (mostly aircraft, as reported last week). That was because non-durable orders fell sharply, led by energy (due to lower prices), but there was also an unexpected 2.2% fall in non-petroleum non-durable orders – another sign of weakness in the economy.

US initial jobless claims jump 18k to 327k. No special reason offered for the jump in jobless claims; maybe it reflects more layoffs due to a slowing economy, yet continuing claims are actually showing a decent downtrend now. Also corporate layoff announcements were down from 100.3k in September to 69.2k in Oct.

US retailing looks soft. Wal-Mart expects November same store sales to be unchanged, following a 0.5% October gain, which means that it is heading for its worst string of monthly sales in ten years. More generally, chain store sales were reported up a 3.0% yr in Oct, subdued given influences such as cold weather on clothing.

The European Central Bank left its repo rate unchanged following last night’s Council meeting. However ECB chief Trichet emphasised “strong vigilance” and “further withdrawal of monetary accommodation”, code for a rate rise next month. Other hawkish comments, especially re money supply and the inflation outlook mean policy will probably be tightened further in 2007. Strong data backed up the ECB’s stance. The Euroland manufacturing PMI posted its first rise in four months, to 57.0 in Oct, to be just 0.7 pts shy of its June peak at 57.7, and German unemployment continues to slide, down 67k in Oct.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Oct AIG PSI 47.7 n/f
US Oct Non-Farm Payrolls chg 51k 90k
Oct Unemployment Rate 4.6% 4.7%
Oct ISM Non-Manufacturing 52.9 55.0
Eur Sep Retail Sales 0.7% 0.2%
UK Oct PMI Services 57.0 57.0
Can Oct Unemployment ch’ 16k 25k

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 • NZ Q3 labour market preview (1 November)
CPI Preview/OCR Preview (18 October)
• Inflation expectations and the OCR (16 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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AA: Major, A: High, B: Medium

Tue 17 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- Employment
A 13:15 US- Industrial Production
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Wed 18 July 2018
AA 08:30 GB- CPI
A 12:30 US- Housing Starts/Permits
AA 14:00 US-Powell Testimony
Thu 19 July 2018
AA 1:30 AU- Employment
AA 08:30 GB- Retail Sales
A 14:30 US- EIA Crude
A 12:30 US- Weekly Jobless
Fri 20 Jun 2018
A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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