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Wednesday July 27, 2005 - 12:25:09 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD looking soft but 1.1950 needs to break to undermine hopes of a bounce.

• JPY gives up further ground following China’s efforts to dampen CNY speculation.

• AUD not helped by soft CPI data.

• USD-CAD advances further after yesterday’s break, but this looks purely corrective.

• US durables, new home sales, Beige Book and RBNZ outcome feature today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD continues to look fairly soggy, with each bounce from the lows this week winning back less and less ground. Despite this the daily chart is still consistent with a bottoming out formation that may yet deliver a rise to at least the current range high around 1.2250-60. However, this only holds if EUR-USD can stay above the 1.1950 level. Below there would open the way for a test of the recent low at 1.1868. Upside levels of importance today come in at the highs of the past two days (1.2063 yesterday, 1.2087 Monday) and the big figure at 1.2100. Stabilisation prospects would improve accordingly as such levels are taken out. US durable orders data may play a part in USD prospects today, although yesterday’s economic news - stronger than expected IFO, weaker than expected US consumer confidence - was not sufficient to undermine USD strength.

Part of this is due to the general recoil of the USD against the JPY, helped by yesterday’s pronouncements from China aimed at dampening speculation about a further CNY adjustment in the short-term. USD-CNY closed higher today at 8.1128, amidst reports of late USD buying by the authorities. With USD-JPY having found itself back above the 112.50 level that was important last week, there is upside risk today, although whether this is sustained will depend in part upon the tone of the large amount of Japanese data due later in the week.

The AUD was undermined overnight by the ongoing strength of the USD and the softer than expected CPI data, which helps to cut off one potential avenue for a revival in RBA rate hike expectations. There is some risk down to the 0.7475-0.7500 area today. The move also weighed on the NZD, which is still waiting for tonight’s RBNZ outcome. Below 0.6770 is needed to see further slippage ahead of the RBNZ (see below).

USD-CAD has continued to prosper after breaking above the pivotal 1.2240-50 area and closing above the 200-day moving average of 1.2274 yesterday. This signalled an abandonment of the lower range that had been achieved in recent weeks and no doubt triggered some adverse position adjustment against the CAD. It is currently testing the 50% Fib retracement of the May to Jul downmove (1.2380) and if it can clear there the correction could extend to the 1.2450-80 area (61.8% Fib is at 1.2463, while 1.2477 is the high from July 4). Overall, this looks purely corrective and renewed downside is favoured on USD-CAD through August, especially as the BoC looks set to raise rates on September 7.

Non-seasonally adjusted mortgage approvals from the British Bankers’ Association fell 20% y/y in June, continuing the trend of recent months, which has seen the y/y rate becoming less negative. This is due to the fact that the abrupt falls seen last year are not being repeated on a m/m basis. This is likely to continue even more acutely in the months ahead as we are now entering a period (May to November), which last year was typified by very sharp sequential declines in approvals. More important will be the total mortgage approvals data (for all lenders not just banks) out later this week. This is seasonally adjusted, making it easier to spot more recent m/m trends.

Day Ahead
UK – BBA mortgage approvals are released today. The data is not adjusted for seasonal factors so the focus is on the y/y rate, which has become less negative in recent months as the abrupt falls seen last year are not repeated on a m/m basis. This is likely to continue even more acutely in the months ahead as we are now entering a period (May to November), which last year was typified by very sharp sequential declines in approvals. More important will be the total mortgage approvals data (for all lenders not just banks) out later this week. This is seasonally adjusted, making it easier to spot more recent m/m trends.

US – durables orders, new home sales and the Beige Book are all due. Core durable orders series have been marking time a little in recent months, although not sufficiently so as yet to signify any reversal in the uptrend seen since Q2 2003 (see chart). Home sales look like remaining strong, while the Beige Book is unlikely to offer any observations that run contrary to the established market consensus about solid non-inflationary growth.

New Zealand – the RBNZ meet and look set to leave policy unchanged, as they did in June. Last time, they signalled a continuing tightening bias, stating that activity remained “strong across many parts of the economy” and that “inflation pressures remain persistent”. They said that upside risk remained on inflation and that if there were upside surprises to this outlook a “further tightening in monetary policy would likely be required”. However, they said “there is sufficient evidence that the economy is slowing, and that past policy tightenings are yet to have their full effect, for us to leave policy on hold at this point.” These later sentiments should once again rule the day.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Durable orders (Jun) m/m 08.30 -1.0%
US Durables ex-transport (Jun) m/m 08.30 +1.0%
US New home sales (Jun) 10.00 1300k
US Beige Book for Aug 9 FOMC 14.00
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 17.00
JP Retail sales (Jul) y/y 19.50 +3.0%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 24) -7 -9 last
NZ Trade balance (Jun) -NZ$522m -NZ$350m
AU CPI (Q2) q/q +0.6% +0.8%
AU CPI ex-volatile (Q2) q/q +2.5% +0.5%
AU CPI ex-volatile (Q2) y/y +1.8% +2.0%
DE Consumer confidence (Aug) 2.9 3.5 last
FR Ind outlook (Jul) -25 -23
FR Business climate indicator (Jul) 101 100
GB BBA mortgage approvals (Jun) y/y -20% -24% last
ZA CPI (Jun) y/y +2.8% +3.1%
ZA CPIX (Jun) y/y +3.5% +3.8%
* 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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