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FX Research - Morning Report Westpac Institutional Bank

Morning Report  Friday 16 November 2007


New Zealand dollar

Q3 retail sales a mixed result. The NZD had a subdued day on Thursday initially selling off as the Dow Jones closed in negative territory. The main focus of the day was NZ retail sales which came in slightly mixed with the Q3 number in line with expectations at 0.2% while the monthly number was stronger at 1.0% compared to market expectation of 0.8%. With the market expecting a strong reading for Q3 the NZD sold off after a very brief spike higher on the back of the monthly number. The NZD traded a high of 0.7665 before carry unwind returned on the back of concerns of further turmoil in credit markets. This saw the NZD sell back to a low of 0.7545 which is close to today’s open of 0.7560.


Australian dollar

Commodities drag AUD down. The AUD regained some of the previous day’s losses on Thursday as investor risk appetite increased pushing the AUD to a high of 0.9022. A stronger-than-expected US CPI number of 3.5% yr and carry unwind has taken the AUD to a low of 0.8870 where we open today. Further sell offs in commodities has dampened AUD demand with gold and copper weakening overnight.


Major currencies

Risk appetite or risk aversion? In a complete turnaround from the previous day low yielding currencies all strengthened yesterday as concern over credit-market losses and falling stocks prompted investors to cut holdings of higher-yielding assets. This saw the USD edge higher against the euro but slip against the yen. Meanwhile GBP dropped to a three week low against the dollar after a report showed retail sales fell in October, reinforcing the case for the BoE to cut rates at the next meeting. Slowing the US dollar’s progress late in the day were comments made by the central bank governor of the United Arab Emirates suggesting it may end the dirham’s 30 year old peg to the dollar and link it to a basket of currencies.


Economic data and events

US CPI posted Oct headline and core gains of 0.3% and 0.2% respectively, although the latter was actually a softer 0.159% before rounding. The headline CPI annual rate accelerated further to 3.5% yr, and the core annual rate edged higher for the first time since Jan, to 2.2% yr. Overall, nothing too alarming for the Fed although the sharp acceleration in the headline annual rate is perhaps brought more to the fore now given this week’s announcement that the Fed will be broadening its focus by include headline inflation forecasts in the FOMC minutes four times a year.

The two district Fed surveys were both stronger than expected. New York continues to post very strong readings at close to three year highs (27.4 in Nov), while Philadelphia edged modestly higher to 8.2, although the detail in the latter was not as up-beat as the business activity headline. Common themes in both surveys were significantly stronger shipments, weaker jobs readings and moderating price pressures. However both districts also reported less optimism about likely business conditions in six months time, after a fairly steady run of relatively high readings.

US initial claims jumped 20k to 339k last week, renewing speculation that Nov payrolls (being surveyed now) will be softer than in October. In the prior week, continuing claims continued to drift lower, though not convincingly so.

Japanese tertiary activity index fell 1.6% in Sep. Anti-climactic as ever, the third TAI for the quarter checks in a week after the first cut of the GDP numbers. The industries contributing to the decline were wholesale, retail, finance, transport, services and hospitality. So pretty comprehensive!

Euroland CPI confirmed at 2.6% yr in Oct, unrevised from the flash estimate. The steady 1.9% yr core rate shows that it was predominantly food and energy prices behind last month’s inflation spike.

UK retailing had its softest month since Jan in Oct. Not only did sales volumes fall 0.1%, but Sep was revised back by 0.3 ppts. This result adds to the likelihood that Q3 GDP growth will be revised down from the 0.8% gain previously reported (due next week) and starts Q4 consumer spending off on a flat note.

Canadian manufacturing shipments down 0.9% in Sep, the fifth decline in six months, with the CAD’s appreciation continuing to erode the local currency value of the exported component.


Upcoming Events

Date Country Release Last Forecast

16 Nov US Sep TIC Data $bn –69.3 75.0

Oct Industrial Production 0.1% 0.1%

Oct Capacity Utilisation 82.1% 82.0%

Jpn BoJ Meeting Minutes for October

Eur Sep Trade Balance €bn sa 4.3 n/f

19 Nov Aus Oct BoP Imports (Prelim) –4.0% n/f

US Nov NAHB Housing Mkt Idx 18 18

Fedspeak: Stern

UK Nov House Prices %yr 10.4% 9.0%

Can Sep Wholesale Sales –2.0% 0.4%


Latest Research Papers/Publications

• Outlook for New Zealand house prices (15 November)

• NZ Q3 Retail Sales Review (15 November)

• 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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