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Thursday June 30, 2005 - 12:35:53 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• A repeat of recent FOMC messages would be USD supportive, but uncertainties about ISM and payrolls will remain in place.

• Eurozone sentiment indicators improve, UK consumer confidence weaker. GBP hit again.

• Norges Bank meeting, US core PCE price index, Canadian GDP and Chicago PMI also feature today ahead of the FOMC outcome.

Market Outlook

The USD has flexed its muscles again this morning, with GBP and the NZD both in the firing line. Cable has moved decisively below 1.80 and the NZD has traded at a five month low. The GBP move was basically a continuation of the sentiment that was around yesterday and it received an extra fillip from the final estimate of Q1 GDP, which was revised down to +0.4% from +0.5%. There were also downward revisions to previous quarters, although much of this was due to changes in general government expenditure. Earlier in the morning the Nationwide reported lower house prices for June. There was a fall in consumer confidence to a 6-mth low, although this remains well above the negative levels normally associated with weakness in the retail sector. Indeed, it begs the question about what would happen to spending and output if confidence were to turn decisively lower. The labour market will be key in this regard.

EUR-GBP has reflected the independent weakness in GBP, moving up to test the lower end of the key resistance area running from 0.6725-35. This needs to be overcome to allow a further extension higher and to remove the negative bias that was in place following the move below 0.6735 a month ago. This may be difficult first off, but fears about the possibility of a rate cut at next week’s July MPC meeting (we think it unlikely) will likely lead to further bouts of selling pressure on GBP in the run-up to that announcement, so a break above 0.6735 is a clear risk.

Key on the NZD is the 0.6904 low from January 21. Below there and some potential Fibonacci support at 0.6875 would leave risk down to 0.6760.

The USD gains today are being motivated in part by the expectation of a steady tightening message from the FOMC. The FOMC meeting outcome should be USD supportive if the likelihood of further tightening moves are confirmed, but outstanding uncertainties regarding tomorrow’s ISM and next week’s employment report will remain in place and these may need to be seen before there is a further decisive move on EUR-USD.

The JPY was temporarily aided by lower oil prices, but USD strength eventually won out with the positive technical tone of the last few days still dominating. There are key Japanese data releases tonight - labour market, CPI and the Tankan survey. The Tankan is the obvious highlight, but the employment number, up sharply last time, should also be watched. Uncertainty about this data may hold USD-JPY back a little later on, although the positive technical bias (up to 111.50-112.00) will remain in place as long as 109.70 holds.

Day Ahead
Norway – the Norges Bank meets and a 25bp rate hike has been well flagged. There is also likely to be an indication of more to come, although at the last meeting, when discussing the prospect of rate hikes, they saw 'small, not too frequent steps' on rates. A similar comment today may mean that the rate argument is not advanced emphatically enough for EURNOK to threaten the 7.72-7.80 area. This would also be in line with likely Norges Bank desires about avoiding an excessive appreciation in the currency.

US – the core PCE price index is likely to confirm a subdued price background, while Chicago PMI (if extreme either way) may exert some influence on sentiment about tomorrow’s ISM. However, the main focus will be on the FOMC meeting. A 25bp rate hike is assured, although there is some moderate uncertainty about what the statement will include. There is an outside chance of a surprise if the Fed wants to move away from stressing policy accommodation removal and to concentrate instead on advancing the basic message that ongoing rate moves will be dependent upon developments in the data. However, more likely is a repeat of recent statements about measured rate rises going forward.

Canada – monthly GDP data is out and a rebound is expected after the 0.1% m/m decline recorded in March. If this does not happen it could slightly undermine developing expectations about a resumption in monetary tightening. However, this would be one piece of data amidst many other indicators suggesting solid activity.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

NO Norges Bank policy outcome & Inflation Report 08.00
US Personal income (May) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US PCE (May) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (May) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (May) y/y 08.30 +1.7%
US Initial claims (w/e Jun 25) 08.30 325k
US Continuing claims (w/e Jun 18) 08.30 2600k last
CA GDP (Apr) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
CA Industrial PI (May) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
CA Raw materials PI (May) m/m 08.30 -1.0%
NO Norges Bank press conference 08.45
US Chicago PMI (Jun) 10.00 54.8
US FOMC meeting outcome 14.15 3.25%
JP CPI Tokyo (Jun, core) y/y 19.30 -0.4%
JP CPI Nwide (May, core) y/y 19.30 -0.1%
JP Unemployment rate (May) 19.30 4.4%
JP Tankan – large manu (Jun) 19.50 16
JP Tankan – large non-manu (Jun) 19.50 12
JP Tankan – large manu (Sep) 19.50 16
JP Tankan – large non-manu (Sep) 19.50 12
AU Building approvals (May) m/m 21.30 0.0%
AU Retail trade (May) m/m 21.30 +0.4%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP PMI manu (Jun) 54.0 53.5 last
AU Private sector credit (May) y/y +1.0% +0.8%
JP Housing starts (May) y/y +3.0% -0.1%
JP Small business confidence (May) 48.4 47.9 last
CH CPI (Jun) y/y +0.7% +1.1%
GB Nwide house prices (Jun) m/m -0.2% -0.1%
FR Household survey (Jun) -30 -28
FR Unemployment rate (May) 10.2% 10.2%
FR ILO job seekers (May) m/m +1k +2k
FR GDP (Q1, final) q/q +0.3% +0.2%
DE Unemployment (Jun) -23k 0.0k
NO Unemployment rate (Jun, nsa) 3.4% 3.4%
GB GDP (Q1, final) q/q +0.4% +0.5%
GB Current account (Q1) -£5.8bn -£6.8bn
EU CPI (Jun, flash est) y/y +2.1% +2.1%
EU Econ sentiment (Jun) 96.3 96.1
EU Business climate index (Jun) -0.29 -0.35
IT CPI (Jun, prel) y/y +1.8% +1.9%
GB Consumer confidence (Jun) -3 -2
* 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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