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Thursday December 21, 2006 - 20:41:51 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar GDP data weighs on NZD
Thursday marked the release of NZ’s Q3 GDP data with the market looking for direction ahead of the Xmas break. With the data coming in at 0.3%, against expectations of 0.6%, the NZD immediately fell 25 points eventually settling around 0.6940. Overnight proved to be relatively quiet with the NZD trading a 0.6940 to 0.6960 range for much of London and NY time zones in low liquidity trading. NZD/USD opens today at 0.6955.

Australian Dollar: AUD trading remains subdued
The AUD was kept to tight trading ranges on Thursday with no data to provide a directional bias. The local trading session saw AUD/USD kept to a 0.7845 to 0.7860 range. Volatility picked up overnight in holiday-thinned trading, and AUD dipped to 0.7825 briefly but recovered to close at 0.7845.

Major Currencies: Quiet offshore session sees rates little changed
US data came in pretty much in line with expectations last night. Final GDP data was revised down slightly along but the USD held water against both the euro and JPY. FX markets had a small bias to buy USD, but with liquidity thinning as expected leading into the holidays, flow dictated much of the offshore direction. Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker was yesterday noted as saying US economic growth should pick up gradually next year and warned the main threat to this benign outlook is higher inflation. Lacker's hawkish comments regarding the US economy are nothing new however and the markets largely ignored these comments.

US Q3 final GDP trimmed. The final figure was clipped back to 2.0% annualised growth from the preliminary read of 2.2%. Consumption was shaved back 0.1ppt to 2.8%. Investment, government expenditure, and inventories were also revised back a touch. The deflator, however, was nudged up to 1.9% from 1.8%.

US initial jobless claims back up. Claims in the week ending 17/12 lifted as expected back to 315k from their dip to 306k. Continuing claims rose back above 2.5mn for the second time since Feb.

US Nov leading index up 0.1%. Money supply, deliveries and orders pushed the index up, offset by softness in jobless claims and building permits.

US Dec Philly Fed slumps. The headline hit -4.3 from 5.1. This index was already subdued relative to other manufacturing indices. However, the details were a touch more upbeat: shipments and new employees jumped. Prices moved favourably for businesses: prices paid softer and prices received firmer.

UK Q3 final GDP. Q3 GDP remained at 0.7%, though annual growth was pushed up 0.2 pts to 2.9%.

UK Q3 current account widens. The Q3 deficit of 9.4bn was both larger than expected and wider than Q2's 8.3bn, which was revised from 7.0bn.

Canadian Oct retail sales dip again. Sales fell 0.7%, adding to Sep's 1.2% fall as core sales fell 0.7%. Fuel sales were partly behind the fall (down 1.2% on prices), but 5 of 8 categories registered falls.

Canadian Oct GDP flat. An increase of 0.1% was expected: as with retail sales the message is that the economy has been losing some momentum recently.

German December state inflation. Annual inflation reported for the state of Saxony was steady at 1.9% and that for Brandenburg edged down to 1.7% from 1.8%. Pending other states, that suggests German inflation will be little changed from 1.5% in November.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
US Nov Durable Goods –8.3% 1.0%
Nov Core PCE Deflator 0.2% 0.2%
Nov Personal Income 0.4% 0.3%
Nov Personal Consumption 0.2% 0.5%
Dec UoM Consumer Sentiment (F) 90.2p 91.0
Jpn Bank of Japan Minutes
Eur Oct Current Account Balance €bn –0.3 1.0
Oct Industrial Orders –1.3% –0.5%
Ger Dec CPI Prelim %yr 1.5% 1.6%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q3 GDP Review (21 December)
• NZ Q3 Current Account Review (20 December)
• NZ Q4 Consumer Confidence (20 December)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (18 December)
• NZ Q3 GDP Preview (15 December)
• NZ HYEFU/BPS Preview (13 December)
• NZ Q3 Current Account Preview (13 December)
• NZ Q3 Terms of Trade (11 December)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
Institutional Bank’s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)

We wish all our readers and valued clients a safe and Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Please note that the Morning Report will be taking a break and returning on Monday 8 January 2007.

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 www.westpac.com.au 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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Forex news reports can be found on the forex research headlines page below. Here you will find real-time forex market news reports provided by respected contributors of currency trading information. Daily forex market news, weekly forex research and monthly forex news features can be found here.

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Real-time forex market news reports and features providing other currency trading information can be accessed by clicking on any of the headlines below. At the top of the forex blog page you will find the latest forex trading information. Scroll down the page if you are looking for less recent currency trading information. Scroll to the bottom of fx blog headlines and click on the link for past reports on forex. Currency world news reports from previous years can be found on the left sidebar under "FX Archives."



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