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Monday June 6, 2005 - 12:17:11 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD still suffering from Friday’s poor reaction to the US employment report, but the latter may yet weigh on the USD.

• IMM positioning offers no clear signal on EUR-USD.

• USD-JPY weakens significantly.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has had a more stable time in Europe this morning, despite more bad news flow. There were problems from the start when the details of a Handesblatt interview with Issing hit the wires. He offered the seemingly sensational comment that current ECB strategy did not necessarily preclude another rate cut, although it is likely he was talking theoretically i.e. that it is always wrong to rule anything out. Another Northern League member of the Italian cabinet, Reforms Minister Calderoli, also reiterated the Northern League call for the return of the lira, adding that it could be pegged to the USD! The more important members of the Italian government have already dismissed such views from the Northern League. Finally, German deputy Economics Minister Pfaffenbach said he was not worried by the recent fall in the EUR and that it was positive for the German economy. Despite all of this the EUR-USD steadied itself after dipping lower early in Europe.

EUR sentiment remains very poor, highlighted by the very disappointing reaction to Friday’s weak US employment report. Such price action represents an additional weight for the EUR at the start of the new trading week and above 1.2340-50 is required to cast it aside. Until 1.2340-50 breaks, downside risk will remain for this week. Below 1.2204 would open up the way for a fresh test and possible break of last week’s low at 1.2159. Latest IMM data showed a net short position for specs of 18,310 contracts on EUR-USD and the magnitude of this net short positioning over the past four weeks is the greatest it has been since March/April 2000. Historically then, such net short positioning is at a high level, but it also another indication of how sentiment has now changed. Furthermore, it does not necessarily look excessive. Net long positioning on EUR-USD has frequently touched 30k contracts in recent years and moved above 50k for a time in Q4 last year. For the time being this data does not present a clear argument either way.

For now Friday’s poor US data has largely been ignored, but it will not be forgotten and there would be a danger of things turning more equivocal for EUR-USD if further bad US news presents itself over the coming week. One piece of bad US news is not enough given the large amount of bad news hitting the EUR in recent times. Friday’s trade data and next Tuesday’s US retail sales will be important in this regard.

While USD-Europe in general has been fairly steady today the USD has been weakening on other crosses – notably against the JPY, AUD and NZD. USD-JPY in particular looks to have topped out short-term –highlighted by the move below 107.20- 30. Downside risk will exist on this rate while it remains below 107.20-30. EUR-JPY has also weakened and downside risk to 130.05 will exist while it stays below 131.50. Asian currencies in general have been reasonably strong through the night, in part perhaps because markets perceive some slight CNY risk going into the G8 meeting at the end of this week. Strong Q1 capex data out of Japan also helped to support expectations about the Q1 GDP revision to be released next week.

Day Ahead
Canada – the unadjusted PMI in Canada is due today and this data is usually extremely volatile. Market impact should be fairly low.

UK – this evening sees the release of the latest BRC survey. Last month, this showed a very sharp y/y fall of 4.7%, which in part was due to April being depressed because Easter fell in March. Averaging out March (+1.8%) and April y/y rates gives - 1.5% and this is the benchmark against which the latest data should be measured.

Data/event EDT Consensus*
EU Ecofin meeting (2 days)
EU ECB’s Weber opening remarks at conference 08.10
CA Building permits (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
CA PMI (May, nsa) 10.00 60.0
GB BRC retail survey (May) y/y 19.01 -4.7% last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Capex (Q1) y/y +6.9% +3.5% last
AU ANZ job ads (May) m/m -7.3% +7.3% last
CH Unemployment rate (May, sa) 3.8% 3.8%
DE Manu orders (Apr) m/m -2.9% -0.8%
* 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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