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Monday June 20, 2005 - 11:38:33 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EU Budget disagreement hits EUR in Asia…

• …but EUR-USD will retain short-term upside risk while above 1.2150-80.

• Commodity currencies shine brightly.

• UK mortgage lending recovers slightly.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD opened sharply lower in Asian trading following the lack of an agreement at the EU summit and the acrimony that marked the break-up of the meeting. The occasion was another signal that all is not well in Europe, with key countries in complete disagreement on the way forward for the European Union. However, while this is another bad advert for European cooperation, EUR-USD will need to dip back below the 1.2150 level to renew downside risk in the short-term (below the 1.2180 o/n low would be a danger signal). After Friday’s break above the key short-term resistance area at 1.2150-60, there should be more EUR-USD upside left in the short-term and 1.2350 is likely to be looked at in the next couple of days. Above the 1.2235-40 area that has held the upside so far in Asia and Europe would be a positive signal for today’s session, while Friday’s high at 1.2287 would be the next marker on the upside.

However, rallies beyond 1.2350 may be very difficult for now. Given the scale and uniformity of the move in recent weeks, many potential EUR sellers are likely to see any bounce as a second chance to execute. Also note that IMM positioning data (for last Tuesday) showed a fairly sizeable narrowing in the net short position for specs to 11,702 contracts from 17,771 the previous week. This will probably be even narrower as a result of Friday’s price action.

Friday’s balance of payments data in the US revealed a sharp widening in the current account deficit and it will need another subdued monthly trade deficit number next month to aid expectations that the worst is now over. With oil prices still on the rise and US growth continuing to outpace that elsewhere, the greater likelihood is for the deficit to widen further this year. This could come back to haunt the USD later in the year, although notwithstanding the current corrective upmove on EUR-USD, another test lower to at least 1.1950-85 seems likely in the month ahead. The big unknown for the rest of this year is the extent to which the EU continues to disintegrate. One hope for a boost to confidence in the EU would be a reestablishment of momentum behind reform policies in Europe. From the perspective of France this looks a non-runner for the time being and the main hopes will lie with the German/UK axis, especially with the UK set to take the EU Presidency from July 1 and Germany set to elect a CDU government in September. However, there are clearly hurdles to overcome and this is why last week’s Budget disagreement was significant. It will be difficult to push ahead with a common approach to economic reform until there is some agreement on the Budget/CAP.

‘[With gold and other commodity prices continuing to shoot higher, so-called commodity currencies have performed well this morning. On the AUD, the lower part of the 0.7790-0.7840 target area mentioned on Friday has been touched this morning and there is a good chance of a test up towards 0.7840 today or tomorrow, with current momentum looking very strong (for commodities as well as the AUD). The NZD doesn’t look as vibrant but a break and close above 0.7200 would suggest a move up towards potential trendline resistance currently at 0.7310. The CAD is also looking good but USD-CAD needs to get below 1.2260-70 (previous resistance and a 61.8% Fib level) to open things down towards 1.20.

UK mortgage lending recovered a little after the dip seen the previous month, but a mild downtrend remains in place and this is likely to continue in coming months. Last week, the money market took on a more sober tone with regard to rate cut prospects and this has been extended a little further today. This week’s main attraction in the UK will be Wednesday’s MPC minutes. EUR-GBP looks better since it moved above resistance levels at 0.6655 and 0.6675 on Friday, although 0.6735 needs to be cleared to generate confidence in a more substantial and sustainable recovery. This is likely to be difficult in the very short-term. However, above 0.6715 would suggest a test of this key level.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Lead indicators (May) m/m 10.00 -0.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB Rightmove house prices (Jun) y/y +2.4% +4.9% last
GB PSNCR (May) £5.2bn £3.7bn
GB BBA mortgage lending (May) £4.3bn £4.0bn last
IT Ind orders (Apr) y/y +1.5% +0.3%
* 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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