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Tuesday November 6, 2007 - 20:05:36 GMT
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FX Research - Westpac Institutional Bank - Morning Report

Morning Report  Wednesday 7 November 2007


New Zealand dollar

NZD soars as USD gets punished. The NZD benefited from further USD weakness on Tuesday and steadily ground higher throughout the day. Opening around 0.7680, the NZD soon cracked through the 0.7700 level and traded comfortably around 0.7720 for much of the afternoon, with demand coming from US names. The USD continued to get punished as further concerns about the credit crisis come to the fore; the market is questioning how many banks have come clean about their exposure to sub-prime mortgages. The NZD spiked again during offshore trading as European names began buying; stop losses were triggered pushing the NZD to the high at 0.7779. The currency opens at 0.7765 this morning.


Australian dollar

AUD drifts higher, buoyed by weak USD. The soft USD managed to help the AUD continue to grind higher in an orderly fashion yesterday. In a day devoid of local data the currency opened teetering on the 0.9200 level but managed to slowly gain ground and close the local session at 0.9235. The barnstorming NZD led the way offshore and the AUD followed it higher to trade a high of 0.9270. Speculation of further rate cuts in the US added to the negative US dollar sentiment and kept the AUD well supported into the close. We mark the AUD at 0.9260 on the open today.


Major currencies

USD continues to crumble as credit fears increase. The USD continued to fall against most of the major currencies overnight as credit fears continued to affect the market. Recent profit write-offs by major financial institutions have increased speculation that the US housing slump may continue to worsen for some time yet and the Federal Reserve will be forced to cut interest rates further. As a result it was another night of all time lows for the USD with the USD/EUR continuing its recent plunge hitting a low of 1.4571 overnight, while the USD index, which measures the USD against a basket of six major currencies, fell to an all time low of 75.99.


Economic data and events

No major US data. However the weekly retail data were mixed. Chain store sales jumped 1.0% in the week ended 3/11, but the Redbook retail average decelerated further to –0.4%. Fed chair Bernanke’s speech in Texas was not related to the current economic and policy situation.


Canadian Ivey PMI up from 56.0 to 57.1 in Oct. The Ivey PMI is not

seasonally adjusted but typically does not move much in October. That it rose last month is a firm result in the face of C$ strength and concerns about the US economy hindering the manufacturing sector. Also, recent volatility in the monthly building permits data appears to be subsiding; they fell 1.7% in Sep. The underlying trend remains solid, despite weakness in September in the non-residential sector.


The Euroland services PMI was unrevised at 55.8 in Oct, leaving in place the partial recovery reported two weeks ago in the flash estimate. Also, Euroland retail sales posted a modest September gain 0.3%, with falling sales in Austria and Iberia offsetting much of the previously reported 2.3% jump in Germany. And the Euroland PPI’s year-long downtrend appeared to come to an abrupt end in Sept with a combination of energy and food price gains this year and falling energy prices this time last year driving the annual rate sharply higher from 1.8% yr to 2.7% yr.


German factory orders maintained their monthly volatility in Sep with a 2.5% fall although a clear downtrend in annual growth is emerging. The Economics Ministry pointed out that an unusual absence of big ticket items exaggerated the slowdown but it may also be the case that euro strength is a factor at play.


UK BRC retail survey up 1.0% yr in Oct (same store measure). This private sector retail survey was very weak, suggesting that consumers stayed away from the stores in droves last month.


Country Release Last Forecast

Aus RBA Rate Decision 6.50% 6.75%

Sep Housing Finance (no.) 1.6% –1.5%

Q3 House Price Index (ABS) %qtr 3.2% 3.0%

US Q3 Non-farm Productivity 2.6% 2.7%

Q3 Unit Labour Costs 1.4% 1.4%

Sep Wholesale Inventories 0.1% 0.1%

Sep Consumer Credit $bn 12.2 10.0


Ger Sep Industrial Production 1.7% 1.0%

UK Oct Consumer Confidence 99 97

Oct BRC Shop Price Index %yr 0.4% n/f


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• NZ Q3 LCI and QES Review (5 November)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (5 November)

• NZ Q3 labour market preview (31 October)

• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (29 October)

• RBNZ OCR Review (25 October)

• NZ Interest Rate Focus (25 October)

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 7 November 2007. 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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