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Wednesday June 22, 2005 - 12:00:57 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD struggling to find near-term direction.

• JPY will need strong data tonight to sustain any independent strength.

• UK MPC minutes reveal two voting in favour of ratecut.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD bounced back impressively yesterday, raising some question marks about the market’s appetite to press the downside any further in the short-term. However, it slumped afresh in the middle of the European morning, possibly in sympathy with what happened on GBP (see below), falling back below what has become a near-term pivotal level at 1.2160. The price action is starting to look a little messy and short-term direction unclear. General consolidation within recent ranges seems the most likely outcome for now, with upside likely capped at 1.2280 and downside at 1.2055. 1.1950 and 1.2350 are the wider parameters of interest.

GBP was a loser this morning with the June 8-9 MPC minutes revealing two members (Bell and Bean) voting for a 25bp rate cut. The other seven had opted for unchanged rates. For the majority the data had not deviated sufficiently from the Inflation Report to warrant any change in rates, although Bell and Bean
did not see it this way. They argued that the downside risk relating to consumer demand had been aggravated by the data available since the May Inflation Report. Of course, this was Bell’s last meeting and it remains to be seen whether her replacement (David Walton) repeats this view. Voting for a rate cut at your debut meeting may be a little bold, although Wadhwani voted for a rate cut (as part of the majority) at his first meeting in June 1999 and Nickell voted for a hike (in minority) in June 2000. The minutes will renew the sense of rate cut risk in the UK, after there had been a correction to this sentiment over the past couple of weeks. This will leave some downside risk to GBP in the short-term, especially if the data continues to weaken. King is also due to speak with Brown this evening at the Mansion House.

The JPY demonstrated independent strength yesterday as CNY revaluation talk once again did the rounds. The catalyst was the announcement that Greenspan and Snow had been called as witnesses (this Thursday) to testify in Congress on the China issue. However, this is merely to contribute to the debate in Congress rather than a sign that any Chinese announcement is imminent. When the two do appear tomorrow there will be more comments calling for change in China, but none of this will be news. JPY strength has been pegged back in Asia and tonight’s Japanese data will determine whether the JPY has any chance of sustaining some independent strength. Seasonally adjusted export data today was flat. Tonight sees the release of the latest activity indices and the MoF business survey. The latter is typically a good indicator of the direction in the Tankan survey, while the activity indices are still showing uptrends (see chart).
Ian Gunner 44 20 7163 5996 06.40 EDT Wednesday June 22 20050 EDT

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Unemployment rate (May, nsa) 07.00 5.8% last
CA Leading indicator (May) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
BE Business confidence (Jun) 09.00 -11.5
GB King and Brown speak at Mansion House 16.30
NZ Current account (Q1) 18.45 -NZ$1.2bn
JP MoF manu survey (Q2) 19.50 -7.6 last
JP MoF all-industry survey (Q2) 19.50 +0.6 last
JP Tertiary index (Apr) m/m 19.50 +1.5%
JP All-industry index (Apr) m/m 19.50 +1.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jun 12) -10 -9 last
JP Trade balance (May, sa) ¥690bn ¥806bn
SE Manu sentiment (Jun) -12.0 -8.0
SE Consumer sentiment (Jun) +7.9 +5.5
IT Retail sales (Apr) y/y -0.8% -0.3%
EU Manu orders (Apr) m/m +1.5% -0.5% last
EU Trade balance (Apr, prel) €3.7bn €4.4bn
* 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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