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Wednesday May 23, 2007 - 21:43:55 GMT
Westpac Institutional Bank - www.westpac.co.nz

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Forex Market News - Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

New Zealand Dollar NZ inflation expectations hold steady in Q2
The NZD traded a very quiet range during yesterday’s local session. Opening around 0.7270 the currency posted a high of 0.7273 and found good support around 0.7260. Inflation expectation data was released during our day and remained at 2.6% – the same pace as Q1. Offshore trading provided more volatility for the currency and it posted an intraday low of 0.7246 after triggering barriers around 0.7250. The NZD then rallied sharply pushing through stops loss levels at 0.7280 and 0.7300 as the broad USD weakened. The currency eventually touched a high of 0.7317 but stalled here as risk aversion again gripped the market following comments by Greenspan on Chinese stocks.

Australian Dollar: Weak USD sees AUD higher overnight
The AUD rallied from off its opening lows yesterday, prompted by offshore demand, with buying noted particularly against the NZD and JPY. The rest of the day was spent trading in a narrow 15 point range. The currency was unable to garner any interest from the release of data from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Leading Index of Economic Activity which showed an annualised growth rate of 4.4% in March; this compares to its long term average of 4.0%, with the data being an indication of the likely pace of economic growth three to nine months ahead. USD weakness and a stronger gold price saw the AUD rally overnight, with the currency opening just shy of 0.8250 this morning.

Major Currencies: USD weakens as focus on yield differentials returns
Z Although the USD was quiet in our time zone yesterday, the currency fell overnight, initially prompted by the release of minutes from the Bank of England which showed that their recent interest rate hike was unanimous, contrary to expectations, and that some had even considered a larger hike. The USD weakened further as the euro surged when data released showed a surprisingly large rise in eurozone factory orders. The release of this data overnight has further reinforced the markets focus on expectations of yield differentials, with the markets now having priced in two further 25-point rate hikes from the European Central Bank this year. Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar hit a 29½ year high around 1.0820 against the USD on a rally inspired by rising oil prices and interest from foreign buyers of companies in the natural resources sector.

Japan's March all-industry activity index fell 1.4%. That translates into a 0.6% gain from a year ago. By component, services are up 0.7%yr, manufacturing 2.0%, the public sector expanded 0.5%yr and construction is down 4.4%. Now that the release of this index post-dates preliminary GDP its usefulness has diminished.

Euroland industrial orders rose 2.7% in Mar (8.0% yr), much stronger than expected. Quarterly orders growth of 1.8% supports the ECB’s optimistic growth outlook.

UK Mar BoE MPC minutes revealed the Committee voted 9-0 to raise rates by 25bp on May 9-10, and a 50bps hike was discussed, though no member voted for such a move. There was also an unusually direct statement that further hikes could be required if the economy developed “broadly in line with the central expectation”. The hawkish comments saw the GBP move higher.

Can Apr leading index rose 0.4%, as expected. All three manufacturing components rose, while household spending moderated a little. The recent strength is consistent with solid Q2 GDP growth.

Events Today
Date Country Release Last Forecast
24 May NZ Apr Merchandise Trade NZDmn 61 –150
US Apr Durable Goods Orders 3.4% 1.5%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 19/5 293k 305k
Apr New Home Sales 2.6% 1.5%
Jpn Apr Trade Balance ¥bn 1123 802
Ger Q1 GDP (F) 0.5% a 0.5%
May IFO Bus Climate Index 108.6 109.0
UK Q1 Business Investment 4.5% 1.9%
May CBI Industrial Trends 18 n/f
25 May US Apr Existing Home Sales –8.4% 4.5%
Jpn Apr National CPI %yr –0.1% –0.1%

Latest Research papers/Publication
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (21 May)
• NZ Budget 2007 Review (17 May)
• Creaming it (15 May)
• NZ Q1 Retail Sales Review (14 May)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (14 May)
• NZ Budget 2007 Preview (11 May)
• NZ Q1 HLFS Review (10 May)
• House values: shifting foundations (8 May)
• NZ Q1 LCI and QES Review (7 May)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (7 May)
• NZ Q1 labour market preview (2 May)
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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