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Wednesday April 18, 2007 - 22:21:09 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex Market News - Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZD trades to post float highs following CPI
Yesterday morning the NZ Q1 Consumer Price Index was released with a headline number of 0.5% for the quarter. This saw an initial sell off in the NZD as expectations were for 0.6%. These losses were quickly reversed when the non tradable inflation figures printed higher than expectations, which is what the Reserve Bank has been monitoring closely. The NZD climbed to post float highs of 0.7493 and remained buoyant for the remained of the day before been sold back to a low of 0.7382 overnight on rumours of a carry trade unwind. This morning sees the NZD fully recovered to open around 0.7470.

Australian Dollar: AUD nears in on 84 cents
The AUD was relatively quiet in yesterday’s local session with a lot attention on NZ CPI data. The only data out of Australia yesterday was the Westpac consumer sentiment survey which showed sentiment fell 0.2% in April. A narrow range was traded during the day of 0.8357-.8374 with the rumours out of Japan of a carry trade unwind overnight causing the AUD to plummet to a low of 0.8315. The AUD has however recovered back to new highs this morning of 0.8385.

Major Currencies: Carry on, carry trade
The USD took another beating yesterday with all the major currencies managing to make gains against the ‘big dollar’. Negative USD sentiment and potential interest rate hikes in Europe and Asia-Pacific meant further demand for the high yield currencies and, by consequence, most major currencies posted further gains. The euro posted a 30-month high and the Sterling, already at a 26 year high, rallied to 2.0134. Recent USD strength against the Japanese yen subsided on Wednesday, USD/JPY trading at 118.11 a two-week low. Markets now focus on the host of US economic data out today and the monetary policy implications for high yield currencies over the coming days.

No major US data.

UK labour market report for Feb/Mar. Unemployment fell for the six month running in March on the benefit claimant measure (–9k). However the broader household survey, which also captures those looking for work but who don’t qualify for the dole, such as recent immigrants, rose 21k in the three months to February (the latest available). The same survey also showed employment falling in that period, by 47k. Given these developments, the relatively subdued 3.6% yr growth rate for core earnings in Feb is no surprise. True, this year’s bonus payments, especially in the City, lifted total earnings growth to 4.6% yr (and will be supportive of consumer spending), but it is the core earnings growth rate that feeds into the Bank of England’s medium term inflation projections. So a mixed report that does not really add to the already near-certain case for a May rate rise.

The minutes to the April Bank of England monetary policy committee meeting showed a 7:2 vote with the dissenters to the on hold decision favouring a rate rise. The American on the committee who voted for a rate cut in March sided with the majority in April, whereas the two hawks who voted for a hike back in February renewed their call. What’s more, the on-hold voters noted that “any change would be better explained in the context of the May inflation report” which suggests that even before this week’s jump in CPI inflation, a May rate rise was on the cards.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast
Aus Mar Merchandise Imports, AUDbn 14.1 n/f
Apr MI Inflationary Expectations 3.2% n/f
US Initial Jobless Claims w/e 14/4 342k 330k
Mar Leading Indicator -0.5% 0.1%
Apr Philadelphia Fed Index 0.2 4.0
Fedspeak: Yellen
Jpn Feb Tertiary Activity Index 1.6% -0.4%
Eur Apr ECB Bulletin
Ger Mar Producer Prices %yr 2.8% 2.7%
Can Mar Consumer Price Index %yr 2.0% 2.2%
Mar CPI BoC Core 2.4% 2.3%
Feb Wholesale Sales -0.5% 0.1%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Q1 CPI Review (18 April)
• Crouch, touch, pause, then engage (16 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (16 April)
• NZ Economic Overview April 2007 (12 April)
• NZ Q1 CPI Preview (12 April)
• NZ Q1 QSBO Review (10 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (10 April)
• Would you like fries with that? (5 April)
• NZ Q1 Employment Confidence Index (4 April)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (2 April)
• NZ Q4 GDP Review (30 March)
These papers/publications are available on Online Research on Westpac
Institutional Bank’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. © 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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