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Thursday June 16, 2005 - 11:06:31 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD steadier after yesterday’s TIC data.

• Eurozone core CPI higher, UK retail sales subdued.

• Japanese machinery orders remain in uptrend.

• EU Summit begins today – US Philly Fed index also

Market Outlook

EUR-USD managed to bounce back yesterday after the TIC data raised some doubts over the financing backdrop for the US, especially with BoP data (admittedly old for Q1) due Friday. However, the 1.2150-60 area has not been challenged so far and this needs to be breached in the short-tern to generate a bounce. 1.2355 will be key after that. On the downside, below 1.2050-60 would be a danger signal, although the 1.1950-85 area is likely to hold it for now. The Philly Fed survey features today (see below), although the US economic numbers so far this week have done little to dispel the view that the US economy is continuing to tick along quite nicely, in contrast to what has been happening in many parts of Europe. The EU summit will also be watched over coming days and the market will no doubt be passing further judgement on the degree of disarray in Europe (see below for preview).

Eurozone CPI data offered some modest support for the EUR. While the headline rate ticked lower to +1.9%, the core rate rose to +1.6% from +1.4% previously, arresting the decline seen since late last year. This helps to relieve (for the time being) one recent development that has been adding to the pressure on the ECB to cut rates.

UK retail sales data was soft, with the y/y rate of just +1.3% the lowest since January 1999. Market impact was limited. As we have recently noted, the FX market is currently focused on the weak EUR trend and technically there is downside risk on EURGBP while below 0.6735 – 0.6545-80 (2004 lows) is the next major support area. Intra-day positive signals would only appear above 0.6655 and 0.6675.

Japanese machinery orders fell m/m but less than the market had expected. However, the overall uptrend remains intact, as indicated by the 3-mth average for the level of orders in the chart.
0 EDT Wednesday June 8 2005
Day Ahead
EU summit – there are many things to consider at this summit, although the issue of the EU Budget and in particular the status of the UK’s Budget rebate have been the main ones making the headlines recently. Some leaders in Europe may have actually welcomed this as it has diverted attention away from the Constitution. The UK and France remain far apart on how the Budget issue can be resolved, with the UK basically taking the view that they will not back down unless farm spending (the CAP) is reviewed, which would of course be to the detriment of
France. Chirac is currently in no position politically to give up any ground. Blair would prefer the issue to be resolved ahead of the UK’s EU Presidency, which starts on July 1 and over the past 24 hours the prospect of some kind of deal has improved. It has become known in the media (much to the annoyance of UK negotiators at the Foreign Office) that the UK will be prepared to waive the contributions made to the UK rebate by eastern European countries (about £0.5bn per annum). However, even agreement on this is likely to require some pledge to open a fresh review of the CAP. Many other countries (e.g. the Netherlands) are also unhappy with the general budget spending proposals so a full agreement may yet prove elusive. The Budget plan in question does not come into force until 2007 and does not have to be finalised until March 2006. On the issue of the EU Constitution, it seems likely that all parties will agree to disagree. In other words, the Treaty will not be killed off (at least not yet), but it will be left to countries to individually consider whether they want to hold a referendum. The idea here is that France may be in a position to return to their electorate a second time, although this is unlikely to happen until after the 2007 Presidential election.

US – the Philly Fed survey is the main data feature and it comes after a sharp jump (from depressed levels) in the NY Fed index. As we noted last month and as one can see in the chart, the NY Fed index is prone to more volatility than its Philly Fed equivalent, in part perhaps because it is a more recent index and still being refined. Yesterday’s outcome confirmed this and means that the market will likely pay even more attention to the Philly Fed survey in future. The latter has been trending lower in recent months, but remains in ‘positive growth territory.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

EU EU Summit (3 days)
CA Net portfolio balance (Apr) 08.30 -C$1.6bn last
US Housing starts (May) 08.30 2050k
US Initial claims (w/e Jun 11) 08.30 328k
US Continuing claims (w/e Jun 4) 08.30 2588k last
US Philly Fed index (Jun) 12.00 +10
US Fed’s Hoenig spks on econ outlook 13.30

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Manufacturing activity (Q1) +2.9% -0.9%R last
JP Machinery orders – core (Apr) m/m -1.0% -2.0%
CH SNB rate outcome unch unch
GB Retail sales (May) m/m +0.1% +0.1%
EU CPI (May) y/y +1.9% +2.0%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (May) y/y +1.6% +1.5%
* 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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