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Friday June 17, 2005 - 11:24:47 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD starting to lose some downside momentum, but a sustained clearance of 1.2160 is needed to signal a short-term bounce.

• If this does not happen today or Monday, 1.1950-85 seems likely.

• French current account deficit widens again.

• AUD upside risk after yesterday’s break.

• US balance of payments and Michigan sentiment data due today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD continues to dart about, without threatening anything too meaningful. The lack of recovery so far is striking and the constant failure at 1.2150-60 is similar to the attempts (ultimately unsuccessful) that were made at the 1.2350-55 area a couple of weeks back. The difference this time around is that some indicators (MACD) are hinting at a possible loss of downside momentum, although this is not absolutely conclusive just yet. However, it is likely that something will have to give today or Monday. If a recovery and close above 1.2160 is not generated (leaving risk up to 1.2350), a test lower down to the 1.1950-85 area is likely to follow. Today’s US BoP data (see below for preview) will serve as a further reminder of the precarious financing position of the US, even though this is slightly old news being for Q1. However, the price action in recent weeks suggests a complete lack of confidence in the EUR and any bounce in the short-term is likely to be limited.

The ongoing EU summit is not inspiring confidence in the EU or the EUR. An overall Budget deal seems little more than a remote possibility today or tomorrow, with many countries voicing opposition to what has been tabled so far. Meanwhile, the French current account deficit for April reached a new record (€3.4bn), reflecting the sharp widening in the goods deficit already released last week. This data is volatile, but the trend over the past 6-9 months has been one of worrying deterioration (see chart).

Other currencies are faring better against the USD and the AUDis prominent in this regard. High yields and strong commodity prices are no doubt a contributory factor, although yesterday’sbreak and close above a previous high at 0.7704 and a line at0.7710 sets up a promising technical picture short-term. There is now scope up to the 0.7790-0.7840 area.
0 EDT Wednesday June 8 2005

Day Ahead
US – Q1 balance of payments and the first estimate of June consumer sentiment by the University of Michigan feature today. The latter should be fine if the weekly ABC surveys and the last Conference Board measure of confidence are any guide. The main focus today will most probably be on the balance of payments data, even though it is old news in many respects being for Q1. On the basis of what is known from the monthly trade data another widening in the seasonally adjusted current account deficit seems likely and this is what the market is expecting. There will also be interest on the financing side of the balance of payments, particularly the foreign direct investment category, which has generally been recording sizeable deficits over the past couple of years. Another modest deficit ($9bn or so) seems likely on equities according to the TIC data and stock-swap data suggest that this number should not be affected too much by equity-financed M&A activity. However, the unknown today is what the revision process does to the data. The Q1 release often brings with it some fairly sizeable back-revisions, none more so than in 2002 when total net financial inflows over the 7 year period from 1995-2001 ere revised lower by an aggregate $415bn. This was due to the introduction of new methodology as well as new data, so was exceptional. In other years the revisions have been less dramatic but in some cases not insignificant.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Current account (Q1) 08.30 -$190bn
US Balance of payments (Q1) 08.30
CA Wholesale sales (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.7%
US Michigan sentiment (Jun, prel) 09.45 88.8

Latest data Actual Consensus*
DE PPI (May) y/y +4.1% +4.1%
FR Current account (Apr) -€3.4bn -€1.8bn
EU Ind prod (Apr) m/m +0.6% +0.1%
* 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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