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Thursday January 11, 2007 - 20:01:53 GMT
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Forex: Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD on the rise and outperforms
Yesterday was devoid of local data and was relatively quiet until the NZD received a boost after midday. NZD/USD rose to the intraday high of 0.6887 after a rally in AUD/USD on an exceptionally strong jobs result. Selling of NZD/JPY was noted in the afternoon session ahead of next week’s BoJ meeting. Overnight trading saw the NZD grind higher to eventually touch a high of 0.6929. This was despite comments from a large US investment bank that the NZD was “incredibly overvalued”.

Australian Dollar: Jobs growth gives AUD a surprise lift
AUD/USD started the day trading a tight range ahead of the eagerly awaited December employment data. This did not disappoint and the AUD immediately spiked from 0.7775 to 0.7805 as jobs growth posted a gain of 44.6k against expectations of 15k. Unemployment was also favourable remaining at a 30 year low of 4.6%. AUD/USD continued to push higher following the release and reached a high of 0.7830 during our time zone. The currency struggled to eke out much more on the topside overnight and posted a high of 0.7840.

Major Currencies: Surprise hike by the BoE
A surprise interest rate hike by the Bank of England saw GBP jump from 1.9380 to 1.9530 in a very short space of time before scaling back to around 1.9400 where it established a base. Analysts speculated that the BoE’s move was a pre-emptive strike ahead of inflation figures expected next week. Stronger-than-expected industrial output data earlier in the day also supported GBP. The euro on the other hand moved in the other direction after the ECB left rates unchanged and President Trichet downplayed the prospects of a Feb rate hike through his omission of the term “strong vigilance”. This saw the euro fall through 1.2900 to reach an eight week low against the USD of 1.2886. The dollar also rallied against the yen to break through the 120.00 barrier enroute to a one year high of 120.65. A series of dovish comments from various BoJ officials contributed to the yen’s slide along with renewed interest in the carry trade, as many believe that even if the BoJ hike rates next week it will not be enough to boost the yen’s appeal among non-Japanese investors.

US initial jobless claims fell 26k to 299k last week, their lowest since June, although part of the fall may have reflected the fact that public offices closed for President Ford’s funeral, preventing some claims from being submitted. So there is risk of a bounce next week. That said, the recent stronger message from both first-time and continuing claims does gel with the stronger jobs growth reports we have seen of late.

The European Central Bank left its repo rate unchanged at 3.50% following last night’s Council meeting. ECB chief Trichet explicitly declined to use the term “vigilance” when discussing the Bank’s attitude to inflation risk, which is code for no rate rise in February, but by saying that inflation needs “close monitoring”, he was strongly hinting that rates will yet rise further. So the next ECB rate hike looks like coming in March.

The Bank of England tightened 25bps to 5.25% following this week’s monetary policy committee meeting. It seems that the recent stronger evidence on the consumer, the labour market and even the US economy eroded, for a majority on the committee, the case against higher rates. The timing of the hike was a surprise, coming a month ahead of the Bank’s February quarterly inflation projections, and just weeks ahead of news of the outcome of the current wages negotiations between business and unions.

UK industrial production rose 0.5% in Nov, although the recent trend remains quite weak. This is one sector that doesn’t want to see higher interest rates, though its diminishing importance relative to the booming services sector means that its influence on monetary policy is only slight.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
12 Jan NZ Nov Building Consents –1.9% 2.0%
US Dec Import Prices Index %mth 0.2% 0.5%
Dec Export Price Index %mth 0.4% 0.2%
Dec Retail Sales %mth 1.0% 0.8%
Dec Retail Sales ex autos %mth 1.1% 0.7%
Nov Business Inventories %mth 0.4% 0.2%
15 Jan NZ Dec REINZ house prices (15-19th) 10.0% –

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q4 CPI Preview (11 January)
• NZ Q4 Employment Confidence Index (10 January)
• 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)
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
AA 14:00 US-Powell Testimony
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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