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Monday July 18, 2005 - 11:43:46 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Some apprehension ahead of today’s US TIC data, but Greenspan is a potential USD positive.

• GBP displays some independent weakness.

• Eurozone CPI soft but impact limited.

• CAD correcting but still favoured overall.

• UK RICS survey tonight.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD firmed in early European trading, with the market perhaps focused on the risk of a poor US TIC number today (see below for preview). However, there was not much followthrough to this move and the USD remained firm against other currencies like GBP and the JPY. Uncertainty remains over whether the USD has shaken off the corrective forces that kicked in early last week ahead of the US trade data. However, if today’s data can be overcome without major difficulty there is every chance of some renewed USD strength, especially with this week’s testimony from Greenspan set to reaffirm the USD’s cyclical credentials. Indeed, the USD could appreciate ahead of Greenspan in anticipation of an upbeat message. Below 1.1950-1.2000 is required to signal a fresh push on the downside.

Eurozone CPI was on the soft side of expectations, with core CPI falling back to +1.4% from +1.6%. A month or so back this would have fuelled talk of an ECB rate cut, but with lending data holding firm and other indicators also stabilising the pressure is off the ECB for the time being.

There was independent weakness for GBP this morning, with some generally poor weekend press coverage further disrupting sentiment ahead of Wednesday’s July MPC minutes release. That is expected to send a signal (either by vote split of comments made) about the likelihood of an August rate cut. However, with an August easing all but discounted, some fresh weakness in the data may be required to advance the arguments against GBP any further.

USD-CAD corrected higher last week following Thursday’s BoC Policy Report, which failed to add any further impetus to the unfolding rate hike story. If it can manage to get above 1.2240 there is a risk of this correction moving into the 1.23-1.24 area, although as rate hike expectations for September 7 are likely to remain intact downside is still favoured overall on USD-CAD.

Day Ahead
US – the latest TIC data is due showing cross-border US portfolio flows. The last couple of months have both revealed sub-$50bn net inflows and this has raised questions about the ability of the US to finance the current account. However, it will take a bad number today to switch the market’s attention back on to structural issues. Indeed, the overall focus is likely to remain on the solid cyclical backdrop until there is some noticeable slowing in economic activity. The market tends to look at the net inflow in relation to the monthly trade deficit but this is a crude comparison.

UK – the latest RICS house price survey is released tonight after last month revealed the lowest reading since November 1992. The pressure clearly remains on the downside in the housing market and tonight’s RICS survey will show whether this has advanced any further. The lowest levels recorded during the last housing market demise in 1990-1992 were -62 in October 1992 and -64 in June 1990. The number refers to the balance of surveyors reporting higher as opposed to lower house prices during the latest three-month period. A separate survey by Rightmove released last night showed prices falling 1% m/m in July, although as this data is unadjusted the y/y rate is a more accurate indicator and this fell to +0.2% from +2

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP Market holiday
CA Net portfolio balance (May) 13.30 -C$2.5bn last
US TIC intl portfolio balance (May) 14.00 +$47.4bn last
GB RICS house prices (Jun) 00.30 -45

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB Rightmove house prices (Jul) y/y +0.2% +2.4% last
EU CPI (Jun) y/y +2.1% +2.1%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (Jun) y/y +1.4% +1.6% last
* 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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