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Wednesday November 21, 2007 - 20:00:07 GMT
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Forex Research - Morning Report

Morning Report  Thursday 22 November 2007

New Zealand dollar
NZD falls as AUD gets smashed.
The NZD traded erratically within a 0.7590 – 0.7620 range early yesterday as it continued to closely mirror movements in the Dow. The NZD eventually moved higher as it played catch-up to the euro in illiquid trading conditions but was unable to hold on to gains it made above 0.7660 when stop loss selling in the AUD saw the NZD drop back below 0.7600. The NZD fell further overnight in sympathy with a weaker AUD, opening one cent below last night’s close at 0.7500 this morning.

Australian dollar
AUD smashed overnight.
After initially rallying in early trading to around 0.8950 on the back of a late rally in the Dow, the AUD succumbed to selling pressure as continued risk aversion and regional equity market weakness combined to see nervous investors again bail out of the AUD. Once the 0.8900 level gave way stop loss selling accelerated when support around 0.8860 caved in, leading to a move near the day’s lows around 0.8850. The momentum continued overnight when key technical support at 0.8750 was breached, with the currency falling a further one cent before recovering to open this morning around 0.8720.

Major currencies
Thanksgiving holiday reduces liquidity, increases volatility.
The USD got punished again on Wednesday in very whippy trade as liquidity dried up ahead of Thanksgiving. Market talk of an intra-meeting rate cut from the Federal Reserve weighed on the dollar as did further details of the subprime crisis. Jittery equity markets also added to the volatility as market participants didn’t want to hold risk for too long. The Japanese yen strengthened to a two year high against the USD pushing USD/JPY down from 109.99 to 108.25. The euro continued to test resistance at 1.4845/1.4855 and failed to break through, opening this morning at 1.4840. Minutes from the Bank of England meeting revealed they voted 7:2 in favour of keeping the cash date on hold. Sterling opens at 2.0620 this morning slightly down from yesterday.

Economic data and events
US consumer sentiment revised up. The UoM sentiment index was revised up by 1.1 pts (0.5 for current and 1.5 for outlook), though that still leaves in place a steep 4.8 pts decline from October. November’s revised reading of 76.1 remains the second lowest for fifteen years (the lowest being October 2005 in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina). The jump in one-year out inflation expectations was not revised.

US leading index down 0.5% in October. Of the ten component indices, seven were negative. The only positives were money supply, equities (likely to be a big negative in Nov!) and consumer orders (which is an assumption, subject to revision after the Commerce Dept orders reports are published later this month). Trend annual growth in the leading index is now about 0% yr, a touch stronger than in mid 2007 but basically it has been trending around zero for much of this year. That is the weakest it has been since the 2001 recession, when it fell to below –2% yr.

US initial jobless claims fell 11k to 330k in the November payrolls survey week but a modest uptrend compared to October remains in place. The 4 week moving average is currently on 330k compared to 317k in the October survey week. Also continuing claims are running about 65k higher than a month ago. These numbers suggest a slight deterioration in the labour market.

The minutes to the Bank of England monetary policy committee meeting earlier this month revealed a 7:2 on hold vote, with the two dissenters voting for an immediate 25bp rate cut. The October vote was 8:1. The case for an eventual BoE rate cut is gradually firming although the data would need to turn sharply weaker between now and the end of this month for it to be delivered as soon as the December 6 policy announcement window.

Canadian retail sales down 0.2% in Sep. Retail sales were dragged lower by falling auto sales, but even excluding autos, sales were soft, managing just a 0.1% gain thanks to higher gasoline prices. Furniture and clothing sales were especially soft after solid gains earlier in Q3.

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)

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

Upcoming Events
Date Country Release Last Forecast

22 Nov US Thanksgiving Day
Eur Sep Current Account €bn sa 3.8 4.0
Sep Industrial Orders 0.3% –1.0%
Ger Q3 GDP (F) 0.7%a n/f

UK Q3 Business Investment 0.8% n/f
23 Nov Jpn Labor Thanksgiving Day
Eur Nov PMI Manufacturing Adv 51.5 51.0
Nov PMI Services Advance 55.8 53.5

UK Q3 GDP First Revision 0.8%a 0.7%
Oct BBA Mortgage Lending £bn

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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