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Thursday July 28, 2005 - 10:35:21 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD needs to clear 1.2100 to alleviate current downside risk – 1.1950 key support.

• JPY softer ahead of tonight’s economic releases.

• RBNZ a touch dovish on economy but maintains hawkish policy stance – NZD could soften a little if 0.6770 breaks.

• Quiet release schedule today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD managed to lift itself off the lows yesterday, despite the emergence of a strong durable orders report in the US and a solid Beige Book. The 1.1950 support level may have been too daunting in the minds of some, although once again there was talk about central bank bids below 1.2000 that may have been accelerated after the data. Either way, EUR-USD managed to bounce back, advancing beyond the previous day’s high at 1.2063 and recording a so-called “outside day” in the process. This is typically an encouraging signal, although 1.2100 also needs to break to suggest some alleviation of recent downside pressure. 1.1950 remains key on the downside. Eventually, the downside should give, although it may require a solid set of ISM and employment reports next week out of the US. Parameters either side of the aforementioned levels come in at 1.2255-60 and 1.1868 and 1.1759.

Japanese retail sales data was fairly solid, although the JPY has remained soft this morning, with EUR-JPY moving higher and USD-JPY making a new high for the week. There are many other economic releases due tonight and some strong reports will be required to provide some support for the JPY. Labour market data in particular is important, as this has been demonstrating employment strength in recent months.

The RBNZ left rates unchanged and noted the recent softening in economic activity, suggesting that consumer spending growth now appeared to be following business confidence lower. However, while this represents a softer interpretation of current economic trends, they retained a hawkish bias to their policy conclusions. They said inflation pressures remained present due to several years of strong growth, which “have led to productive resources becoming stretched”. They also pointed to rising oil prices and the waning effect of the stronger exchange rates as presenting upside risk to inflation in the short-term and the likelihood of CPI moving above 3% over the next few quarters. Overall, they concluded that current policy settings should be sufficient to achieve the 1%-3% objective in the medium-term, but that policy must remain vigilant. They said that policy “must continue to work at reducing the ongoing excess demand pressures” and to ensure that any short-term inflation pressure does not become entrenched in inflation expectations. In sum, they said that a further rate hike could not be ruled out in the event of a resurgence in medium-term inflation pressures and that there remained no prospect of a policy easing in the foreseeable future.

The NZD has been fairly choppy since the announcement, with the market a little unclear about whether anything new has come out of it. Given the acknowledgement of the softening in activity, it is a touch on the dovish side and this may leave some downside risk today, although the 0.6770 level will need to give way to trigger such a move. Overall though a major downgrading of NZD sentiment will require a continuation of weakness in the activity data.

Swedish retail sales came out much stronger than expected, although the data is so volatile that interpretation is difficult. Still, what does seem clear is that the data is not weak at the moment and this has knocked EUR-SEK back significantly this morning (below key short-term support in the 9.4080-9.41 area). The 9.50 area looks safe for now. Unemployment is due this morning (see below).

Day Ahead
Sweden – last month the unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.9%, although the stats office introduced a new method for the data so comparisons with past periods are dangerous. A new seasonally adjusted series has yet to emerge and until it does it will be difficult to make conclusions about the labour market without observing several months of data. For the time being

Japan – data on the labour market, CPI and industrial output are all due this evening. The output data has been volatile in recent months and if the pattern is to continue a decent rise should appear after the sharp 2.8% m/m drop reported last month. The most significant data will be that relating to the labour market. This has been showing improvement in recent months and the employment data in particular seems to be finally suggesting that Japan is now creating jobs. There have been big rises in employment in each of the past two months and while this data is extremely volatile, the trend looks good. A pullback in employment would not surprise after the scale of the gains over the past couple of months, although it will need to be extremely large to undermine the improving labour market argument.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Unemployment rate (Jun, nsa) 07.00 5.7%
CA Industrial PI (Jun) m/m 08.30 0.3%
CA Raw materials PI (Jun) m/m 08.30 +2.6%
US Initial claims (w/e Jul 23) 08.30 319k
US Continuing claims (w/e Jul 16) 08.30 2577k last
JP CPI Tokyo (Jul, core) y/y 19.30 -0.3%
JP CPI Nwide (Jun, core) y/y 19.30 -0.1%
JP Unemployment rate (Jun) 19.30 4.4%
JP Employment (Jun) 19.30 +420k last
JP PCE workers (Jun) y/y 19.30 +1.5%
JP Ind prod (Jun, prel) m/m 19.50 +1.6%
AU Private sector credit (Jun) m/m 21.30 +0.9%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ RBNZ rate announcement 6.75% 6.75%
JP Retail sales (Jul) y/y +3.1% +3.0%
GB N’wide house prices (Jul) m/m +0.2% -0.2% last
GB N’wide house prices (Jul) m/m +2.6% +4.1% last
DE Unemployment (Jul) -42k -10k
DE Employment (Jun) 0.0k +3k last
SE Consumer confidence (Jul) +8.2 +8.8
EU M3 (Jun) y/y +7.5% +7.1%
EU M3 (Jun) 3m y/y +7.2% +7.1%
EU Private sector lending (Jun) y/y +7.9% +7.5%R last
SE Retail sales (Jun) m/m +3.8% +0.4%
NO Unemployment rate (Jul, nsa) 3.7% 3.7%
* 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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