Thursday March 15, 2007 - 20:32:02 GMT
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Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz
Forex Research - Westpac Institutional Bank Morning ReportNew Zealand Dollar Slow grind higher for NZD
It was a relatively quiet day for the markets yesterday which saw the NZD tread water around 0.6930. The local session high of 0.6948 was reached around lunchtime when USD/JPY pushed through stop loss levels. The currency came off its high on the back of NZD/JPY selling from Japanese names and spent the rest of the local session washing around 0.6930. The NZD spent the offshore session with a quiet bid tone to reach an intraday high of 0.6968. It opens a touch lower this morning around 0.6950.
Australian Dollar: AUD trades a tight range ahead of US data
Like its Kiwi cousin the AUD was becalmed for much of yesterday. A tight 23 point range was seen during the local session with AUD broadly following moves in USD/JPY. Employment data released in the afternoon did little to spur the currency either way and a plentiful supply of sellers between 0.7865 and 0.7875 saw the AUD capped at 0.7874 during our day. Trading overnight saw the currency test a high of 0.7894, just shy of rumoured option barrier levels around 0.7900.
Major Currencies: US stocks and data help USD/JPY rally
The USD strengthened against the Japanese yen
on Thursday, assisted by another solid day on the US stock market and encouraging economic data. The euro
managed to gain ground against the dollar due to an element of risk aversion still evident in the currency market. USD/JPY has been the focus of traders recently and has traded in tandem with global equities due to risk averse carry trade exiting and subprime mortgage concerns; yesterdayâ€™s stock market and economic data returned confidence to the USD and hence helped USD/JPY rally from 117.00 to 117.78 overnight. The euro rallied from sub 1.3200 to 1.3250 and the GBP strengthened to 1.9390 from 1.9310 in a light data day, perhaps benefiting from rate hikes in Norway and Switzerland.
US Fed NY and Philly factory surveys converge in March,
with NY collapsing nearly 23 pts and Philly remaining close to zero. It does seem that north-east manufacturers are feeling the effects of housing and possibly auto sector inventory correction. That is showing up most obviously in the persistent declines recorded in both regionsâ€™ inventories index, and also in the sluggish orders profile. It would be a very big surprise if the ISM did not slip back in March.
US PPI up 1.3% in March.
The PPI headline was boosted by a 3.5% rebound in energy prices, reversing more of Janâ€™s 4.6% decline than yesterdayâ€™s import price data suggested would be the case. The above trend core PPI gain of 0.4% was lifted by a 4.1% spike in tobacco and upside noise in light trucks, though there was some offset from auto prices. With core intermediate and crude prices accelerating in Feb, Fed concerns about input cost driven inflation will not be assuaged by this report.
US initial jobless claims continued to correct lower in the latest week
(down 12k to 318k), suggesting that most of the February spike to nearly 360k was a weather-related distortion rather than an underlying increase in worker layoffs. Continuing claims do, however, seem to be trending higher.
US capital inflows $75bn in Jan.
The surprise capital outflow revealed by the Dec TIC data was amply reversed in Jan, so the current account deficit is still more or less being funded on a quarterly basis.
Canadian manufacturing shipments fell -2.1% in Jan,
reversing the 2.1% jump in Dec. The auto, energy and aerospace sectors were notably strong in Dec; autos and energy reversed that strength in Jan.
Euroland Feb CPI was confirmed at 1.8% yr,
unrevised from the flash estimate. The February core rate was 1.9% yr, up from 1.7% yr in January. Also unit labour costs eased a touch in Q4 to 2.4% yr.
Norges Bank tightened rates 25bps,
lifting its key rate to 4.0%. The Swiss National Bank tightened rates 25bps, lifting the 3 month target rate from 2.0% to 2.25%.
Country Release Last Forecast
Aust RBA Assistant Gov. Edey Speaks
Feb Merchandise Imports AUDbn 14.6 n/f
US Feb Consumer Price Index 0.2% 0.4%
Feb CPI Core 0.3% 0.2%
Feb Industrial Production â€“0.5% 0.5%
Mar UoM Consumer Sentiment (Prelim) 91.3 88.0
Jpn Jan Tertiary Activity Index â€“0.4% 1.2%
Latest Research papers/Publication
â€˘ NZ Agribiz March 2007 (15 March)
â€˘ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (12 March)
â€˘ RBNZ MPS Review (8 March)
â€˘ NZ Q4 Terms of Trade (8 March)
â€˘ Rent apart (6 March)
â€˘ NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (5 March)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
Institutional Bankâ€™s website (www.wib.westpac.co.nz)
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. Â© 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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