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Tuesday July 26, 2005 - 12:24:32 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD shows weakness by failing to rally after strong IFO.

• China dampens CNY speculation.

• GBP better after CBI survey.

• NZ business confidence and US consumer confidence feature today.

Market Outlook

The price action on EUR-USD over the past 24 hours has not been impressive. It displayed very little in the way of recovery power yesterday and failed to respond positively this morning to a much stronger than expected IFO number in Germany. This is clearly a sign of underlying weakness. However, supports at 1.1995 and 1.1950 remain intact and these will need to break to open the way to important levels at 1.1868 and 1.1759. This may be difficult ahead of next week’s US ISM and employment reports, although 1.2087 (yesterday’s high) and 1.2100 need to be cleared to suggest that this particular downside attack has been averted.

Part of the USD strength seen this morning was due to China dampening speculation about the likelihood of further immediate adjustments in the CNY. In a statement made on their website, the central bank said “certain foreign media has misled the public and even wrongly speculated that the revaluation of RMB by 2 percent was only the first step in a series of adjustments, which could lead to expectations for further RMB revaluation by the People’s Bank of China in the not too distant future.” However, they said the recent revaluation “does not in the least imply an initial move which warrants further actions in the future”. Of course, for the sake of managing the system that is now in place, discouraging speculation about further appreciation is all part of the policy. The last thing they want is a significant pick-up in speculative flows into China. Still, it seems likely that China will hold off for a couple of months, perhaps longer. Two events likely to be seen as occasions that could be preceded by further CNY adjustments are a) the G8/annual IMF meetings in Washington in late September and b) the publication of the US Treasury’s semi-annual Exchange Rate report around mid-November.

A move before the latter seems likely, but China may want more time to evaluate the impact of this latest adjustment before moving again. Furthermore, the international media has widely portrayed the recent reval as a direct response to pressure from the US. China is probably not too happy with that and demonstrating an ability to pass through at least one major event such as the G8 meeting without moving again would be one way of attempting to restore their autonomy over the situation.

GBP bounced back a little yesterday and EUR-GBP has also been on the soft side this morning, in part because of a stronger CBI survey. For this to develop further, strength may be needed in other releases this week (mortgage approvals, Nationwide house prices and consumer confidence) as this will help to shift policy risk ahead of next week’s MPC meeting. The better CBI manufacturing survey this morning is consistent with the stabilisation in manufacturing seen in Europe and the improvements in UK manufacturing reported in the recent BCC survey.

The NZD has stabilised after being dragged down by the AUD yesterday and this should be sustained ahead of tomorrow night’s RBNZ announcement. However, keep an eye on the latest business confidence number out today. This may affect sentiment about what sort of policy bias will be adopted by the RBNZ in their statement. Last time there was a bias towards tightening, even though they acknowledged that some of the data had weakened.

Day Ahead
US – the Conference Board measure of consumer confidence is out and should show the consumer in a fairly upbeat mood despite the ongoing strength in energy prices. Also keep an eye on the labour market responses like “jobs hard to get” for indications about general labour market conditions.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP CSPI (Jun) y/y -0.4% -0.5% last
AU NAB business survey (Q2) +14 +14 last
IT Business confidence (Jul) 86.0 84.7
DE IFO index (Jul) 95.0 93.9
DE IFO current conditions (Jul) 94.9 93.7 last
DE IFO expectations (Jul) 95.0 92.9 last
GB CBI business optimism (Q2) -16 -15 last
GB CBI output balance (Jul) +6 -5

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US Chain store sls (w/e Jul 23) w/w 07.45 +0.3% last
US Redbook sls (w/e Jul 23) m/m 08.55 +0.2% last
NZ Business confidence (Jul) 09.00 -48.8 last
BE Business confidence (Jul) 09.00 -9.5
US Consumer confidence (Jul) 10.00 106.2
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 24) 17.00 -9 last
NZ Trade balance (Jun) 18.45 -NZ$350m
JP BoJ policy meeting
AU CPI (Q2) q/q 21.30 +0.8%
AU CPI ex-volatile (Q2) q/q 21.30 +0.5%
AU CPI ex-volatile (Q2) y/y 21.30 +2.0%

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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