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Friday July 29, 2005 - 10:35:23 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD falls back in Europe ahead of today’s US GDP data.

• Tone of European data (including UK and Switzerland) better. Japanese data is mixed to OK.

• US employment cost index, Michigan sentiment and Chicago PMI, Canadian GDP and business survey also due.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has slipped back this morning with the market still uncertain about near-term direction. The tone of today’s US data and more importantly perhaps, the way the market reacts to it, will offer good clues to immediate direction. There remains some technical risk of a move towards the top end of the current range at 1.2250-60. However, selling is likely to appear ahead of there and downside is still favoured overall for EURUSD in the weeks ahead (1.1950 break is the needed trigger). Next week’s ISM and employment reports and the FOMC meeting of the following week are possible catalysts.

Evidence of European economic stabilisation was offered via the improvements seen in a variety of sentiment and business climate indicators for the Eurozone. There was also a dramatic turnaround in the Swiss KoF indicator, which had previously been stuck in a well-established downtrend. With the help of some back revisions a trough is now in place for the Mar-May period, with the index edging up over the last couple of months, signalling a trend change.

In the UK, mortgage approvals were steady and consumer credit soft, but there was a surprising bounce in consumer confidence, despite the London bomb attacks of July 7. This could leave some MPC members a little cautious about pursuing extended rate cuts. At this stage, one or two cuts should suffice, with consumer confidence still well clear of the sort of levels that are commonplace during depressed economic times. This may prompt some further support for GBP ahead of next week’s MPC.

Japanese data was mixed last night, with CPI coming in below expectations, industrial output as expected and labour market data still consistent with an improving underlying trend. The unemployment rate fell sharply, but so did the erratic seasonally adjusted employment number, although the latter came after a bigger rise the previous month. The job-to-applicants ratio, which measures labour demand moved to the highest level since 1992. The rise in industrial output for June followed a sharp decline in May and for Q2 as a whole output was down 0.4% from Q1.

Overall, the recovery looks to be intact, but is perhaps not demonstrating the kind of dynamism needed to impress the market at this stage. The recent resilience in global demand does however bode well for Japanese export markets. The JPY had remained on the firm side, although USD-JPY failed to break support at 111.95 and subsequently bounced alongside USD strength against other currencies. Political uncertainty associated with the risk of Koizumi calling a snap-election remains in place for now.

Day Ahead
US – the first estimate of Q2 GDP is the main feature and this should be well supported by a strong contribution from the consumer and a positive contribution from net exports. Inventories and business spending could be the negative offsets. There will also be some focus on the annual benchmark revisions covering the data over the past three years. There can be some sizeable adjustments to q/q growth rates, although as long as they are not too dramatic for the more recent quarters, especially Q1, market impact will be limited. The employment cost index will be viewed with an eye to the labour cost pressures on profit margins, especially from the perspective of non-wage costs. According to other data available, wage pressures themselves remain muted. Michigan sentiment should show that confidence is holding up well, while Chicago PMI will be watched for signals about the outcome of Monday’s national ISM, although the two numbers are not closely correlated on a m/m basis.

Canada – GDP was strong last month and a further rise looks likely for May, while the quarterly business survey should also show improvement from the soft showings seen in February and May.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US GDP (Q2, 1st est) saar 08.30 +3.5%
US Core PCE price index (Q2, saar) 08.30 +2.0% last
US Employment cost index (Q2) q/q 08.30 +0.8%
CA GDP (May) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
CA Business conditions - orders (Q3) 08.30 -5 last
US Michigan sentiment (Jul, fin) 09.50 96.5
US Chicago PMI (Jul) 10.00 55.0
US Fed’s Yellen speaks on economy 15.30

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP CPI Tokyo (Jul, core) y/y -0.4% -0.3%
JP CPI Nwide (Jun, core) y/y -0.2% -0.1%
JP Unemployment rate (Jun) 4.2% 4.4%
JP Employment (Jun) -350k +420k last
JP Jobs-to-applicants ratio (Jun) 0.96 0.94
JP PCE workers (Jun) y/y +0.1% +1.5%
JP Ind prod (Jun, prel) m/m +1.5% +1.6%
AU Private sector credit (Jun) m/m +0.7% +0.9%
JP Housing starts (Jun) y/y +2.4% -0.2%
DE Retail sales (Jun) m/m -0.3% +0.2%
FR Unemployment rate (Jun) 10.1% 10.2%
FR ILO job seekers (Jun) m/m -28k 0.0k
FR Household survey (Jul) -30 -29
GB Mortgage approvals (Jun, sa) 96k 98k
GB Consumer credit (Jun) +£1.3bn +£1.7bn
EU CPI (Jul, flash est) y/y +2.2% +2.2%
EU Econ sentiment (Jul) 97.3 96.7
EU Business confidence (Jul) -8 -9
EU Consumer confidence (Jul) -15 -15
EU Business climate index (Jul) -0.07 -0.24
IT CPI (Jul, prel) y/y +2.4% +2.3%
GB Consumer confidence (Jul) -1 -4
CH KOF indicator (Jul) +0.57 +0.46
* 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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