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Thursday November 29, 2007 - 20:26:15 GMT
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FX Research - Westpac Institutional Bank Morning Report

Morning Report  Friday 30 November 2007

New Zealand dollar
NZD posts three week high.
The NZD opened with a firm bid tone on Thursday and quickly ran up to 0.7753 in tandem with a rampant Dow Jones Index. Once the NY equity markets closed the NZD settled back to trade a tight range just above 0.7700 with little flow seen. NZ monthly business confidence came out slightly weaker than expected but had little impact on the currency pair. By late afternoon the NZD had ducked below 0.7700 dragged down by a softer Australian dollar. News that another finance company – Capital & Merchant Finance – had collapsed, added to the bearish sentiment. Overnight the NZD tried hard to rally but once again the market kept it in check with the fortunes of global equity markets and it opens this morning slightly above 0.7700.

Australian dollar
AUD under pressure.
The AUD also surged higher in morning trade yesterday, posting an intra-day high of 0.8920 but failed to consolidate at this level and weakened in the afternoon. News that NAB will buy US Great Western Bank for USD$798m may well have prompted the sell-off with outflows of the Australian currency seen on the back of this deal. By the end of the local session the AUD was desperately hanging on to the 0.8800 handle. That level gave way in overnight trade with the AUD hitting a low 0.8776 then rebounding as the dip attracted some fresh buying interest – particularly in the AUD/JPY pair. A recovery in the DJI also helped.

Major currencies
Corporate repatriation boost USD demand.
The USD was largely range bound against the yen yesterday but gained against the euro with corporate year end repatriation boosting USD demand. The release of Q3 GDP data and the first
quarterly drop in
US house prices in 13 years had little impact on a market expecting a cut in US rates next month. JPY ranged between 109.47 and 110.32, while the euro slipped from an intraday high of 1.4844 to trade as low as 1.4723. Sterling also slipped to a low of 2.0594, having peaked yesterday at 2.0807, following reports that UK house prices recorded their largest monthly decline since 1995.

Economic data and events
US Q3 GDP revised up to 4.9% annualised
, as expected. Revisions were largely as expected, and mostly focused in net exports and inventories. Unfortunately, stronger inventories in Q3, if anything, just lower the potential Q4 result, with a number as low as 1% annualised quite likely,

US Oct new home sales were at a 0.728m annualised pace, up slightly from a downwardly revised 0.716m in Sept. The downwardly revised Sept number was a new low for this series since 1994.

US Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending 24/11 climbed 23k to a nine-month high of 352k, considerably worse than expected. Jobless claims figures between 300k and 350k are generally thought to be consistent with growing employment.

US OFHEO Q3 House Prices fell 0.4% over the quarter, bringing the annual change to 1.8%yr from 3.4% last quarter. It seems inevitable that annual house price inflation by this measure will soon follow the S&P/Shiller index into negative territory.

US Oct Help Wanted index fell to 23 from 24, as expected.

UK mortgage data was soft in Oct. Net lending secured on dwellings fell to a new low since mid 2005 of £7.3bn and the number of mortgage approvals fell to 88k. The BoE is looking more likely by the day to cut rates next week.

UK Oct Net Consumer Credit rose to £1.4bn from £1.3bn (r) in Sep. Market expectations had been for a fall to around £1bn.

Euroland Nov Retail PMI eased to 45.9 from 48 in Oct. Ger Nov Retail PMI also fell to 43.6 from 48.6. This is the third consecutive monthly decline in both series.

German Nov Unemployment fell a greater-than-expected 53k (s.a.), lowering the jobless rate from 8.7% to 8.6%

Can Oct Industrial Product Prices fell 1.1%, the sixth consecutive monthly fall in prices charged by manufacturers. The fall was widespread, with only a few food categories going the other way. The fall reflects the strong Canadian dollar dominating increases in raw materials prices, especially crude oil.

Can Q3 Current Account surplus narrowed to C$1.04bn, the smallest surplus since 2003. The market had been expecting a much larger surplus of around C$4bn. Goods exports fell 2.7% in the quarter, showing the pressure from the sharply higher Canadian dollar.

Events Today
Country Release Last Forecast

Aus Q3 Current Account AUDbn –16.0 –16.3
Q3 Net Exports Contribution ppts –0.1 0.0
Oct Credit 1.2% 1.1%

US Oct Personal Income/Spending 0.4%/0.3% 0.3%/0.2%
Oct Core PCE Deflator 0.2% 0.1%
Chicago PMI 49.7 51.0
Oct Construction Spending 0.3% flat
Jpn Oct National CPI %yr –0.2% 0.1%
Tokyo CPI %yr 0.1% 0.3%
Oct Unemployment Rate 4.0% 4.0%
Oct Housing Starts %yr –44.0% –36.7%
Oct Household Spending %yr 3.2% 0.5%
Eur Nov CPI Flash %yr 2.6% 2.6%
Q3 GDP Revision 0.7% a 0.7%
Nov Business Climate Index 0.87 0.75
Nov Cons/Econ Confidence –6/105.9 –7/105.0
Ger Oct Retail Sales 1.6% –1.0%

UK Nov GfK Consumer Confidence –8 –8
Can Q3 GDP Annualised 3.4% 2.3%
Sep GDP 0.2% 0.1%

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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