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Thursday June 2, 2005 - 11:12:39 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD stabilises in Europe – could bounce back further ahead of tomorrow’s US employment report.

• Early US trading will hold clues to direction.

• Australian trade deficit narrows spectacularly.

• ECB meeting, US productivity and jobless claims
feature today.

Market Outlook

The Dutch ‘No’ vote had been well signalled by the opinion polls and today could be the first day this week where EUR-USD actually goes up. This would be a natural development given the losses registered in recent sessions and the close proximity of tomorrow’s US employment report. A flavour for underlying appetite will be provided by how the EUR trades early on in both European and US sessions and the initial signs have been good, with EUR-USD moving above 1.2239 (first sign of a bottoming formation on the hourly chart) and 1.2275 in Europe. 1.2300 is the next level to overcome and there is a good chance of this extending up to 1.2340 later on. The main level on the downside is the 1.2160 low from yesterday, which was recorded in rather spiky fashion at the end of North American trading. The Asian low of 1.2180 is intermediate support.

The Australian trade deficit came in much lower than expected, raising hopes that higher commodity prices are finally starting to help the value of exports. It often takes time to see higher negotiated prices affecting actual trade shipments. Exports were up 9% m/m, while imports were unchanged. However, this could also just be noise in the data as the series is a volatile one, so another month of data needs to be seen. However, it should help the AUD stabilise further today, especially if the USD in general is weakening. The 0.7505-15 area will be pivotal to near-term directional bias.

Day Ahead
Eurozone – the ECB is likely to leave rates unchanged but the press conference will see the issue of potential rate cuts being hotly debated. The current ECB stance seems clear – that lower short-term interest rates are not required, as most liquidity measures have been growing with some strength. They would also argue that longer-term rates are more important and that these will move accordingly with developments in the economy and inflation expectations. It seems highly unlikely that they will depart from this viewpoint in the medium-term. If they are planning on doing this an initial signal of intent would be them talking down some of their inflation projections, especially in light of the softer core CPI numbers seen in recent months. However, given the instability surrounding financial markets in the wake of the EU vote upset, now may not be the most suitable time to drop hints that encourage further speculation. Trichet will also no doubt be questioned about the implications of the ‘No’ votes in France and the Netherlands. In a speech on Tuesday he said he was sure the EU would overcome its current difficulties and a similarly simple message is likely to be expressed today. He is also likely to reiterate that countries need to push ahead with reform policies.

US – data releases today include the 2nd estimates of Q1 productivity and unit labour costs as well as the weekly jobless claims data. All of this will be considered second string compared to tomorrow’s employment report, so market impact is likely to be light. The claims numbers have in recent times been generally consistent with a gradually improving labour market, although the sub-300k average for initial claims needed to advance this a step further has proved elusive thus far.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

EU ECB meeting outcome 07.45, press conf 08.30
US Productivity (Q1, 2nd est) saar 08.30 +3.0%
US Unit lab costs (Q1, 2nd est) saar 08.30 +2.1%
US Initial claims (w/e May 28) 08.30 325k
US Continuing claims (w/e May 21) 08.30 2581k
US Factory orders (Apr) m/m 10.00 +1.1%
AU House price index (Q1) q/q 21.30 +0.6% last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Monetary base (May) y/y +2.2% +2.5%
AU Trade balance (Apr) -A$1.3bn -A$2.1bn
AU Building approvals (Apr) m/m +1.8% +1.8%
CH GDP (Q1) q/q 0.0 +0.3%
GB N’wide house prices (May) m/m +0.3% +0.9% last
NO Unemployment rate (May, nsa) 3.3% 3.5%
EU PPI (Apr) y/y +4.2% +4.2%
* 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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