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Wednesday July 13, 2005 - 11:49:13 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Pre-trade data USD adjustment looks complete. $55- $60bn range on the deficit will need to be exceeded to send clear USD signal. US budget data also due today.

• CAD has much going for it after BoC pronouncement – exports data key today.

• GBP softer after labour market report - MPC minutes due next week.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has pulled back from the higher levels seen during the US afternoon yesterday and the pre-trade data adjustment now looks to have been completed. Near-term direction will now depend upon the data itself and something either side of the $55bn-$60bn will perhaps be required to offer clear impetus to the market. This will apply to most USD crosses, although the CAD is becoming a special case.

Yesterday’s BoC statement clearly indicated that rates will probably be hiked at the next meeting on September 7, unless there are any weak data developments between now and then. One of the key factors in this regard will be the exports data (latest due today – see below), which has been showing signs of recovering in recent months. Indeed, this is one of the key factors behind yesterday’s rate hike signal. USD-CAD needs to clear below 1.1950 to keep the move going. This may be difficult in the very short-term, but looks likely at some point in the weeks ahead. The other big thing the CAD has going for it is the fact that it is starting this attack on key levels without the burden of excessive positioning. Although slightly outdated, IMM data for Tuesday last week showed net spec short positions on USD-CAD of only 4.1k contracts.

EUR-GBP moved above the 0.6900 level that had been holding it back over the past week or so, helped by a labour market report that was on the weak side. However, this has not been sustained so the situation is a little unclear. The claimant count was as expected, edging up less than in previous months, although average earnings were soft, further cooling the possible inflation fears still harboured by the MPC – vacancies and employment were also softer. In sum, there are no major fresh negatives in this data, but it has marginally improved the prospects of an August rate cut. The additional factor capping GBP will be the prospects of next week’s MPC minutes, where the market may fear a signal about the likelihood of an August rate cut.

Day Ahead
US – the trade report is released today and deficits over the past couple of months have been down from the peaks seen in January and February. Resilient demand in the US and ongoing strength in oil prices suggests further deficit widening in the medium-term, so the natural risk in the monthly data is for a higher deficit. Something above $60bn will probably be required to cause any major concern, while below $55bn would lead some to believe that the worst may be over. Also keep an eye on the latest monthly budget data, to see if this supports the trend narrowing in the federal deficit suggested by the numbers so far during this fiscal year (see chart).

Canada – trade data will be closely watched for the latest on the performance in the export sector. This has been improving in recent months and the weakness prior to that was a key factor in prompting the BoC to stop tightening policy. Yesterday’s indication from the BoC about the likelihood of tightening in the near-term would be further bolstered if some reasonable export numbers are seen today.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

NZ Retail trade (May) m/m -0.6% +0.4%
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 10) -11 -9 last
JP Current account (May, sa) Y1.44trn Y1.3trn
AU Consumer sentiment (Jul) 107.5 113.7
JP Ind prod (May, final) m/m -2.8% -2.3%
FR CPI (Jun, prel) y/y +1.7% +1.7%
IT Ind prod (May) m/m delayed -0.8%
GB Claimant count (Jun) +8.8k +8k
GB Average earnings (May) 3m y/y +4.1% +4.2%
GB Earnings ex-bonuses (May) 3m y/y +4.0% +4.1%
* Consensus unless stated

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Trade balance (May) 08.30 -$57.0bn
CA Trade balance (May) 08.30 C$4.8bn
CA Exports (May) m/m 08.30 +0.3% last
US Import prices (Jun, nsa) y/y 08.30 +5.7% last
US Imp prices ex-petrol (Jun, nsa) y/y 08.30 +2.5% last
US Fed’s Santomero speaks 09.00
US Treasury budget (Jun) 14.00 $23bn
NZ CPI (Q2) q/q 18.45 +0.9%

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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