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Tuesday November 21, 2006 - 20:25:51 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar 2 year inflation forecast falls to 2.7%
Having started the day on the local session high of 0.6699 the NZD faded throughout the day. The morning saw the release of Oct migration data which was up slightly for the year at 13.8k from 13.2k a month ago. Later in the day the RBNZ Q4 inflation expectation report was released with a 2yr inflation forecast of 2.7% compared to 2.9% in Q3, the 1 year forecast was 3.0% down from 3.5%. This inflation data failed to spark a large sell-off with the low being 0.6677. Overnight the NZD rallied again to a high of 0.6714 even though the chance of a further hike in interest rates may have been dashed by earlier inflation forecasts. The NZD opens today around 0.6695.

Australian Dollar: AUD flat as are new car sales
The AUD had a subdued day with a range of 0.7683-0.7710. The only piece of data out was the Oct new motor vehicle sales which was flat for the month following a 3% rise in September, partly due to the easing fuel price. The lack of US data overnight helped keep the AUD hovering around 0.7700 and the currency opens today near its highs at 0.7707.

Major Currencies: Carry trades still the way to go
Another quiet day saw the majors trade in familiar ranges with little data to influence direction. Volume was thin ahead of Thanksgiving in the US with the only item of note being comments made by Fed Governor Warsh who warned that inflation remained too high and markets should be careful about assuming an easing in 2007. Most focus was still on the carry trade with the yen getting sold against high yielding currencies. However, it did manage to recover some ground against the dollar late in the day to finish below 118.00. Meanwhile the euro drifted in a tight range just above 1.2800 and Sterling edged higher supported by data that showed British industrial orders for November were not as weak as expected.

No major US data; weekly retail reports mixed. The weekly retail reports showed chain store sales jumping 1.2%, which sounds strong at first, though the series has been very volatile in the last few weeks. That contrasted with the Redbook, which slowed from 0.3% to 0.2%. The overall message is that November could be a soft retailing month, but note two things: these figures are not always a good guide to the monthly data; the real interest is in how strongly the consumer performs in the holiday season, post Thanksgiving this Thursday.

Canadian retail sales fall 1.2% in Sep. Sales were pulled down by a 5.2% fall in autos and a price-driven 12.5% slump in gasoline sales. But excluding the automotive sector, sales were up a decent 1.0%, so consumers seem to have taken advantage of the extra spending power lower gasoline prices have afforded them. In contrast, the Canadian leading index does appear to have lost some momentum at the start of Q4. It slowed from 0.4% to 0.2% in Oct, with manufacturing orders, housing and the US economy the three main drags. However most of the other index components, including shipments, retailing and jobs, continue to post solid growth.

Italian industrial orders fell 5.2% in Sep, though this represented only partial reversal of the sharp August rise. Both domestic and foreign orders were lower. Euroland orders data tomorrow should be similarly soft, given that German orders also fell in September. Also today, French GDP growth was unrevised at flat in Q3. The detail showed that while household consumption, business investment and public spending were robust, softness in exports and inventory rundown weighed on the GDP bottom line.

Mixed Nov signals from the Confederation of British Industry. The CBI orders index picked up sharply due to a solid rebound in the export component, but expected output went the other way, sliding further to its lowest since the start of this year. Worryingly for the BoE, the factory prices index jumped close to a two year high.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust Sep Westpac-MI Leading Index 6.1% n/f
US Initial Claims w/e 18/11 308k 310k
Nov UoM Consumer Sentiment (F) 92.3 a 93.5
Jpn Oct Trade Balance ¥bn 420 600
Sep All-Industry Activity 0.7% –1.1%
Eur Sep Industrial Orders 3.7% –2.0%
UK Nov 9 BoE Minutes 7:2 8:1
Can Oct Consumer Prices %yr 0.7% 0.8%
Oct CPI Core %yr 2.3% 2.2%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• Q4 RBNZ inflation expectation measures (21 November)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (20 November)
• Great expectations (16 November)
• NZ Oct REINZ House Prices (16 November)
• NZ Q3 Retail Sales Review (15 November)
• NZ Interest Rate Strategy Weekly (14 November)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (13 November)
• NZ Q3 HLFS Review (9 November)
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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A 12:30 CA- CPI/Retail Sales

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