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Thursday May 26, 2005 - 11:28:32 GMT
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Mellon Bank FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD stabilises after late Asian volatility.

• EUR-NOK reaches two-year lows.

• UK CBI survey soft - US GDP features.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD dipped lower prior to the start of European trading, as The Times ran an article quoting Sarkozy as saying that the referendum was lost. EUR-USD tested the week’s low at 1.2535 following the news, although it bounced back a little when a spokesman for Sarkozy denied the story. The market has been well prepared for a ’no’ vote, so the actuality of it next week should not be a major surprise. Also note that pre-referendum scaremongering by European officials is likely to be reversed once the referendum is over. More important for EUR-USD next week will be the tone of key US data releases like ISM and payrolls. 1.2450-1.2500 should hold EUR-USD until then, while resistance levels come in at 1.2630/60 & 90. US GDP data is the main feature today, although as a 2nd estimate it will need to be fairly dramatic to change market thinking.

EUR-NOK has been the major mover over the past 24 hours, following the signal sent yesterday from the Norges Bank that a rate hike should follow on June 30. Rates are currently at very low levels and they have also indicated that any changes will be ‘small and not too frequent’, but this still contrasts favourably with the Eurozone. A break and close below 8.00 would lead us to bring forward H2 forecasts of a move down to 7.75-7.80, although that area should be well protected with the Norges Bank likely to warn against any undesirable NOK strength.

Swedish retail sales were weaker than expected, although the sharp 2.8% m/m fall in April came after a rise of 2.2% in March,,with the timing of Easter responsible for the swings. Such volatility does not, lend itself to making definitive conclusions about the underlying trend, although the fact that the two months combined are negative will not detract from the recent dovish lurch in money rates. The SEK still looks vulnerable, especially against the NOK. A move into the 1.1500-1.1750 area looks likely on NOK-SEK if it can hold yesterday’s move above the previous high at 1.1430.

The UK CBI survey was fairly soft, with the small negative balance on output (-1%) being slightly more consistent with the official manufacturing output data.

Day Ahead
US – 2nd estimate of Q1 GDP is likely to see annualised growth being revised up, with a lower than expected trade deficit being partly offset by a possible slowdown in inventories. It is the latter factor that is the biggest source of uncertainty, as previously this contributed 1.2% to the 3.1% advance estimate of GDP.

Data/event EDT Consensus

US GDP (Q1, 2nd est) saar 08.30 +3.7%
US Core PCE prices (Q1, 2nd est) saar 08.30 +2.2%
US Initial claims (w/e May 21) 08.30 329k
US Continuing claims (w/e May 14) 08.30 2601k last
US Fed’s Moskow speaks 13.00
EU ECB’s Trichet spks 14.00
JP CPI Tokyo (May, core) y/y 19.30 -0.4%
JP CPI Nwide (Apr, core) y/y 19.30 -0.3%
JP Retail sales (Apr) y/y 19.50 +1.4%

Latest data Actual Consensus
NZ Trade balance (Apr) -NZD147m -NZD194m last
JP CSPI (Apr) y/y -0.4% -0.8%
AU Private new capex (Q1) q/q -3.4% +1.3%
SE Consumer confidence (May) 5.9 6.0
SE Manu confidence (May) -9 -10.5
SE Retail sales (Apr) m/m -2.8% -0.6%
GB CBI output balance (May) -1 +5 last
* Consensus unless stated

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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