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Monday November 19, 2007 - 20:21:05 GMT
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Forex Research - Westpac Institutional Bank - Morning Report

Morning Report  Tuesday 20 November 2007

New Zealand dollar
NZD weaker overall but stronger against the AUD.
After opening around 0.7560 yesterday the NZD quickly moved higher as it played catch-up to a stronger AUD. However, without any events or data to provide direction, the currency was unable to convincingly break above 0.7600 and eventually spent the afternoon consolidating within a narrow 0.7590 – 0.7610 range. With the AUD under pressure overnight the NZD also tested the downside; some switching from AUD into NZD was noted, as the cross-rate moved half a cent higher to open around 0.8530 this morning.

Australian dollar
AUD lower as it continues to fall out of favour.
Early trading in the AUD yesterday was exaggerated by illiquidity as the currency gapped towards 0.8980 in thin choppy trading conditions. A subsequent fall and rise saw the AUD run out of steam as it neared 0.9000, with risk aversion continuing to dictate trading behaviour. It was the same story overnight as the currency continued to trade with a downward bias as offshore investors continued to bail out of high yielding currencies.

Major currencies
USD slips after speculation of further interest rate cuts.
The US dollar lost ground against most major currencies on Monday as market participants speculated that the credit crisis in the US will force the hand of the Fed to lower interest rates. Also weighing on the greenback was higher oil prices and lower equities with the Japanese yen in particular benefiting. USD/JPY weakened from circa 111.05 to 109.90 late NY time and we open testing the low this morning. Euro price action was more subdued with a 1.4625 to 1.4685 range for the majority of the day with the euro opening near the high today. Sterling was also reasonably contained and traded between 2.0470 and 2.0550 for much of Monday and we open at 2.0500.

Economic data and events
US NAHB index of builder confidence was unchanged in November at 19. But this is hardly cause for celebration: it remains at its lowest point since the series began in 1985. A number over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

US Fedspeak: Stern (non-voter) noted that the adjustment in the housing market still has some way to go. He was wary of a rush to enact reforms in the wake of the credit crunch, saying that "If I am right about trade-offs, then some reforms might impose significant costs and contribute to outcomes we would prefer to avoid."

Canadian wholesale sales up 1.1% in Sep. This represented a bigger than expected rebound from August’s 1.9% decline, and probably requires us to tweak higher our Q3 Canadian GDP forecasts.

Trichet comments post G10 central bankers’ meeting. Speaking as chairman, he noted that “excess volatility and disorderly movements in foreign exchange rates are undesirable for economic growth”. Also Chinese central banker Zhou said he supported “a strong dollar”.

UK house prices down 0.7% in Nov. This correction lower on the Rightmove index followed a surprise 2.7% jump in October. It pulled the annual rate down from 10.4% yr to 7.9% yr, consistent with other evidence that the UK housing market is cooling.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

NZ Oct External Migration ann. 8,300 7,660
US Oct Housing Starts –10.2% 2.0%
Oct Housing Permits –4.6% –3.0%
Oct 31 FOMC Meeting Minutes
Ger Oct Producer Prices %yr 1.5% 1.6%
UK Oct PSNCR £bn 9.0 –8.0
Oct M4 Money Supply %yr 12.8% 12.8%
Nov CBI Industrial Trends Survey –6 n/f
Can Oct Consumer Price Index 2.5% 2.8%
Oct CPI BoC Core Ex8 2.0% 1.9%

Latest Research Papers/Publications
• NZ Weekly Forex Outlook (19 November)
• 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)

These papers/publications are available on Online Research on
Westpac Institutional Bank’s website (

Major Currenciesralian DollarNew Zealand Doll

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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AA JP- Bank of Japan
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A Final Services PMIs
AA 12:30 US- Employment
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