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Tuesday May 31, 2005 - 12:16:10 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD still searching for a floor after initial fallout from French referendum result. New French PM announced this morning.

• Another ‘No’ is likely to follow tomorrow from the Netherlands, but US data this week will also be key to direction over coming weeks.

• Canadian GDP and US consumer confidence/Chicago PMI feature today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD continues to trade lower in the wake of the French referendum result. The outcome should not have come as any great shock to the market, although in breaching the 1.2450- 1.2500 area short-term momentum has been generated. There was more bad news this morning in the form of a new PM (ex- Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin) in France. Raffarin’s resignation had been expected, although there was some element of uncertainty about his replacement. Villepin or the more reform minded Sarkozy. Villepin is seen as more palatable perhaps in the current circumstances, not least because he is a loyal Chirac supporter. Sarkozy is expected to rival Chirac at the next Presidential election. More bad news will likely emerge in the Dutch referendum tomorrow, where the opinion polls give the ‘No’ vote a commanding lead. Once the dust settles, the EUR-USD should rebound back up to at least test 1.2450-1.2500, but in the meantime the big question is how far this momentum takes it. This is the problem as there are no obvious major levels for the market to use as a base for support. 1.2210 is the next level of any importance on the downside, while major support is now some way off at 1.1750. 1.2410 and 1.2486 are both levels that if breached would encourage the belief that a short-term bottoming formation is underway. Also note that with key US data still to come this week, culminating in Friday’s employment report, the market will have cause to exercise some caution this week in chasing the USD higher. The territory currently being carved out is clearly darkening the prospects for EUR-USD on a 1-3 mth view, although we would like to see the dust settle postreferendum as well as this week’s US data before launching in to any forecast changes. The latest move has occurred in a very thin market.

The French referendum result itself is not a great advertisement for the EUR, but it is also not the end of the European Union. The European Union will continue and more important will be what happens to the reform policies of national governments. In most cases they are likely to remain intact, even though they are proceeding rather slowly. This is why the Villepin announcement this morning was taken badly, although it remains to be seen what happens to French policies in practice.

The French authorities are currently not even certain about what the electorate was actually protesting against in the referendum. General dissatisfaction with the direction of the French government, its leaders and the economy in general perhaps as much as any gripes about the content of the proposed constitution. The result may have been partly a call to put European changes on hold until France has got its own economic house in order.

Other potential losers are the accession countries, as future enlargement will be difficult unless the existing framework is revised, as the constitution had intended. Turkey is the obvious target in this regard, especially as the likely return of the CDU will see further opposition to full Turkish EU membership. However, the CDU has already suggested that it will not seek to stall the negotiation process with Turkey and still favours a privileged partnership’ with Turkey that while falling short of full EU membership will still convey benefits. The commitment to policy reform in Turkey will also likely remain strong.

Day Ahead

Canada – GDP data will need to be unusual to regenerate any fresh level of debate about BoC monetary policy. Steady growth but ongoing concerns about the export sector remains the accepted consensus.

US – consumer confidence and Chicago PMI data are due today. Consumer confidence is likely to have picked up a little over the past month or so, while Chicago PMI doesn’t tend to move the market that much, as it is seen as a relatively poor guide to what the nationwide ISM will be. In recent months the Chicago PMI has been very strong, in contrast to the slippage in the full ISM.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Unemployment rate (Apr, nsa) 07.00 5.2%
CA GDP (Q1) saar 08.30 +2.5%
CA GDP (Mar) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Consumer confidence (May) 10.00 96.0
US Chicago PMI (May) 10.00 61.8
US ABC consumer conf (w/e May 29) 17.00 -15 last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Ind prod (Apr, prel) m/m +2.2% +2.0%
NO Retail sales (Apr) m/m +7.0% +3.5%
CA Current account (Q1) C$4.0bn C$3.2bn
CA Industrial PI (Apr) m/m +0.5% +0.6%
CA Raw materials PI (Apr) m/m -1.6% +1.0%
NZ Business confidence (May) -56.7 -48 last
JP Unemployment rate (Apr) 4.4% 4.5%
JP PCE workers (Apr) y/y -3.1% -3.8%
AU Current account (Q1) -A$15.6bn -A$15.2bn
AU Retail trade (Apr) m/m -0.5% +0.3%
AU Private sector credit (Apr) m/m +0.9% +0.9%
JP Housing starts (Apr) y/y +0.6% +3.0%
JP Small business confidence (Apr) 47.9 48.1 last
CH CPI (May) y/y +1.1% +1.3%
FR Household survey (May) -29 -25
FR Unemployment rate (Apr) 10.2% 10.2%
FR ILO job seekers (Apr) m/m 0.0k +5k
DE Unemployment (May) 0.0k -20k
EU M3 (Apr) y/y +6.7% +6.5%
EU M3 (Apr) 3m y/y +6.6% +6.6%
EU Private sector credit (Apr) y/y +7.4% +7.6% last
EU CPI (May, flash est) y/y +2.0% +2.0%
EU Econ sentiment (May) 96.1 96.0
EU Business climate index (May) -0.37 -0.35
GB Consumer confidence (May) -1 -1
ZA GDP (Q1) saar +3.5% +3.7%
GB CBI retail trades survey (May) -7 -14 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.

Ian Gunner 44 20 7163 5996 06.40 EDT Monday May 31 2005


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