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Wednesday May 25, 2005 - 11:25:05 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• French referendum and next week’s ISM and payroll releases affecting positional appetite

• German IFO soft, UK GDP revised down as expected.

• Norges Bank meeting, US durable orders/new home sales and BoC policy announcement due today.

Market Outlook

Subdued trading again overnight, with the market unwilling at this stage to contemplate much in the way of further USD movement. Uncertainty about the referendum outcome at the weekend is one reason for the lack of action, although next week’s ISM and employment reports in the US are also a reason for caution. Much of the USD’s recent gains have been built on the relatively favourable economic performance in the US and weak ISM and employment data will need to be avoided next week if this theme is to continue in the short-term. Typifying the lack of interest was the extremely subdued response to the weak IFO number. EUR-USD actually rose a little after the data before drifting a touch lower. Durable orders may have an influence today (see below for preview). Immediate parameters of interest on EUR-USD come in at
1.2630 and 1.2535.

UK Q1 GDP was revised down in line with market expectations, although the breakdown of GDP provided few sources of comfort, with domestic demand up just 0.1% q/q. Total GDP was supported by a sharp fall in imports. GBP was largely unmoved by the data and a break of the 0.6860-0.6900 range on EUR-GBP is required to trigger some direction.

Day Ahead
Norway – the Norges Bank meet to discuss rates and another unchanged rate outcome looks likely. However, the language of the statement will be closely watched to see whether there is any attempt to deflate market expectations about a rate hike at the next meeting on June 30, which coincides with the release of the next Inflation Report. At the last meeting on April 20 the Norges Bank acknowledged that a gradual rise in interest rates would be necessary ‘after a period’, but said it was too early for such a move at that time.

Canada – BoC policy is likely to be left unchanged, with little having changed from the BoC’s perspective. Retail sales and employment have been holding up well, although the influence of the external sector is still subject to uncertainty. Exports have steadied over the past couple of months after the falls seen since the middle of last year, but no more than that. Also note that core CPI remains subdued, reducing the urgency to resume rate hikes just yet. 1.2550-1.2640 needs to break on USD-CAD to trigger some short-term directional bias.

US – April durable orders will provide some evidence about manufacturing activity and while this data has been soft over the past couple of months it is only a partial offset to the strength seen in December and January. The chart above shows this is the case for new orders ex-transport, while the other series depicted is unfilled orders ex-transport (i.e. orders that are pending for completion). This is seen, especially by the FOMC, as a good sign of the strength of demand and the potential stresses it could be putting on the production process. It has not shown any signs of flagging just yet. New home sales are also due today after an incredibly strong showing last month and any weakness would merely be seen as a correction to prior strength.

Data/event EDT Consensus

DE CPI states (Apr, prel) m/m from today +0.1%
NO Norges Bank policy outcome 08.00
US Durable orders (Apr) m/m 08.30 +1.1%
US Durables ex-transport (Apr) m/m 08.30 +1.0%
NO Norges Bank press conference 08.45
CA BoC policy announcement 09.00
US Bernanke testifies re CEA nomination 10.00
US New home sales (Apr) 10.00 1345k
US Fed’s Guynn spks on econ 12.30
NZ Trade balance (Apr) 17.45 -NZD194m last
JP CSPI (Apr) y/y 19.50 -0.8%
AU Private new capex (Q1) q/q 21.30 +1.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus
US ABC consumer conf (w/e May 22) -15 -18 last
JP Trade balance (Apr, sa) ¥0.71trn ¥0.84trn
ES GDP (Q1) q/q +0.9% +0.9%
IT Business confidence (May) 84.2 84.2
DE IFO index (May) 92.9 93.4
SE Trade balance (Apr) SEK14.1bn SEK14bn
GB GDP (Q1, 2nd est) q/q +0.5% +0.5%
IT Retail sales (Mar) m/m +0.2% -0.1%
ZA CPI (Apr) y/y +3.4% +3.5%
ZA CPIX (Apr) y/y +3.8% +4.0%
* Consensus unless stated

Ian Gunner 44 20 7163 5996 06.15 EDT Tuesday May 24 2005
2005, Mellon Financial Corporation Note: Although obtained from sources believed by us to be reliable, Mellon Financial Corporation and its affiliates cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information upon which this report is based. This report does not purport to disclose the risks or benefits of entering into particular transactions and should not be construed as advice in any specific instance. The views in this report constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without notice.


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