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Wednesday November 14, 2007 - 20:09:06 GMT
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FX Research - Westpac Institutional Bank - Morning Report

Morning Report Thursday 15 November 2007

New Zealand dollar
Carry on kiwi.
The NZD rallied another 1% on Wednesday, with risk aversion fading into the background and carry trade being put back on. The NZD opened at the lows of 0.7531 and it was one-way traffic to the days high of 0.7676. A very strong third quarter result in NZ producer prices pushed up interest rates and gave further support to the rising NZD. Output prices were up 1.6%q/q and Input prices up 2.3% compared to market expectations of 1.1% and 1.3% respectively. The NZD gains were limited overnight opening today off the highs at 0.7640. Today sees NZ Q3 retail sales which will be closely watched for signs of inflation pressure.

Australian dollar
AUD rebounds despite fading consumer confidence.
US stocks rebounded on Wednesday and this sparked resurgence in the AUD and carry trade. The AUD rose 2% from the open of 0.8889 to a high of 0.9060 as global commodity prices and equities returned to positive gains. The Westpac- Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index fell by 4.2% in November to 110.5 from 115.3 in October. This failed to deter the AUD which was supported by the Q3 wage price index coming in at consensus of a 1% increase. Today the AUD opens around 0.8985.

Major currencies
Yen eases as equity markets recover.
The yen fell against most currencies overnight as concerns eased that losses related to subprime mortgages are spreading. Bear Stearns announced that it reduced its holdings of subprime assets by 50% in the past two months. GBP fell to a four year low versus the euro and dropped over 250 points against the USD after the BoE signalled it may cut interest rates next year. The euro nudged back through 1.4700 after a report showed European economic growth had accelerated more than forecast in Q3.

 Economic data and events
US Fed to improve transparency of forecasting process.
Fed chair Bernanke has announced that the Fed will now publish its economic forecasts four times yearly in the minutes to alternative FOMC meetings, starting next week on 20/11 when the October minutes will be published. Individual members’ forecasts are to be detailed (so we will have a better grip on who is hawkish and who is dovish). The forecast horizon will be stretched from two to three years. Significantly, the inflation forecasts will now include the headline PCE deflator in addition to the core PCE deflator. All up, this will make for a much more transparent Fed forecasting process, and will shift the emphasis away from core inflation at a time when food and energy prices are rising rapidly.

US data mostly soft. Retail sales rose 0.2% in Oct, but revisions to previous data were mostly to the downside, especially in August when ex auto and gasoline sales were shaved back 0.4 ppts. This in turn makes it less likely that Q3 GDP will be revised up as far as 5% annualised later this month. The PPI rose 0.1% in Oct, constrained by a sharp fall in truck prices and a certainly temporary 0.8% dip in energy prices which offset a 1.0% jump in food prices. Expect a stronger PPI next month. Business inventories rose 0.4% in Sep.

Euroland GDP growth surprised to the upside in Q3, rising 0.7%, thanks to solid growth in both France and Germany, and yesterday’s very strong 1.8% growth rate reported for the Netherlands. Survey evidence points to a slower Q4 although with annual growth re-accelerating from 2.5% to 2.6% in Q3, the European Central Bank will continue to sound hawkish for the time being.

The Bank of England quarterly inflation report showed inflation rising in the short-term but settling on the 2% target in two years’ time, on the basis of market pricing which includes at least one rate cut by Q1 next year. Also, there was more stronger than expected data, with unemployment still falling brisklyin October (–10k) and earnings growth picking up in the prior month to 4.1% yr.

 Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Q3 Real Retail Sales –0.6% 0.6%
Sep Retail Sales 0.2% 0.5%
Jpn Sep Tertiary Activity Index 1.3% –1.0%

US Oct CPI/Core 0.3%/0.2% 0.3%/0.2%
Initial Jobless Claims w/e 10/11 317k 320k
Nov NY
Fed Empire State Index 28.8 15.0
Philadelphia Fed Index 6.8 3.0
Eur Oct CPI (F) 2.6% a 2.5%
Oct CPI Core 1.8% 1.9%

UK Oct Retail Sales 0.6% 0.4%
Can Sep Manufacturing Shipments –1.7% –0.4%

 Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (12 November)
• NZ Q3 HLFS Review (8 November)
• Climate change to put heat on RBNZ (7 November)
• NZ Q3 LCI and QES Review (5 November)
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (5 November)

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 14 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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