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Wednesday June 8, 2005 - 10:49:05 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR attempting to stabilise, but it remains heavy going. 1.2340-45 key on EUR-USD today.

• Australian housing market data weaker than expected, but still generally supportive for AUD.

• Swedish GDP features today – RBNZ tonight.

Market Outlook

Market Outlook
The EUR has been steadier against the USD and other currencies overnight, but confidence remains low and key levels need to be won back to generate any kind of short-term bounce. 1.2340-45 remains the key area on EUR-USD in this regard, while 0.6730-35 is similarly significant for EUR-GBP. Indeed, heavy downside risk will remain on EUR-GBP as long as it stays below this area. EUR-JPY has managed to recover overnight and above 131.95 would see this extending further short-term. As we noted yesterday, the breaking of such levels would only be sufficient to prompt a modest short-term recovery (1.2450-1.2500 on EUR-USD). 1.2690-1.2735 needs to break on EUR-USD to improve the medium-term outlook. Below a short-term trendline at 1.2265 would be a sign of possible fresh downside.

GBP has to face up to the MPC rate announcement tomorrow and while a rate cut seems highly unlikely, it could be rationalised given the recent run of data. Indeed, if it can be justified then maybe we should fear it? There is some logic to such an argument, although it would be very unlike the MPC to move a month after the Inflation Report, especially when the market is not expecting anything. There have been many sets of MPC minutes published where one of the main arguments against a rate move is that the market was not expecting it. If the current data weakness continues then speculation will mount about the prospect of an August cut, but for this week it seems highly unlikely. However, the minutes of this meeting (to be released on June 22) will be closely watched for any fresh indications of policy bias.

Australian housing finance data for April was weaker than expected, but the fact that another m/m rise was secured after the 1% increase in March (revised lower from +1.2%) shows that the housing market has survived, at least initially, the impact of the March rate hike. This data will be watched closely in the months ahead, although as it currently stands a potential negative for both RBA rate expectations and the AUD has failed to develop. Employment data is due tonight (see below). Upside risk will remain on the AUD while it stays above 0.7650 – room to trendline currently at 0.7730.

Day Ahead
Sweden – Q1 GDP will be watched to see whether the slower growth reported in Q4 (+0.3% q/q compared to +0.7%, +0.8% and +0.8% in Q3, Q2 and Q1 respectively) has continued. Rate expectations have already become depressed in Sweden in recent times with European growth concerns combining with ongoing softness in core CPI and labour market measures. Industrial output rose 1.3% q/q in Q1 after +0.2% in Q4 and while this is not always the best indicator of actual GDP it is supporting expectations about today’s data.

New Zealand – RBNZ rates are likely to be left on hold tonight amidst signs of a slowing in the data and key will be what they indicate about the future. While the RBNZ has been arguing for many months that the economy will eventually slow down, recent interjections suggest that they do not fully embrace the recent signs of weakening in the data. Which side of the debate they fall on this one will have implications for both rate expectations and the currency.

Australia – labour market data is out tonight and the market is expecting a further subdued outcome after the 6.9k rise in employment recorded last month. However, this came afterstrong rises in prior months (average monthly rise of +43.5k from Jan to Mar).

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE GDP (Q1) q/q 07.00 +0.6%
CA Housing starts (May) 08.15 225k
US Fed’s Bies speaks 10.00
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 17.00 6.75%
CA BoC’s Dodge speaks 19.30
JP Current account (Apr, sa) 19.50 ¥1.5trn
AU Employment (May) 21.30 -5k
AU Unemployment rate (May) 21.30 5.2%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Consumer credit (Apr) +$1.3bn +$7.0bn
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jun 5) -12 -13 last
JP M2 plus CDs (May) y/y +1.5% +1.9%
AU Housing finance (Apr) m/m +0.6% +2.3%
* 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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