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Tuesday August 2, 2005 - 11:27:23 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD likely to have difficulties getting through key short-term resistance at 1.2250-60.

• Another disappointing CBI retail survey for the UK.

• AUD boosted by strong retail sales number.

• US core PCE price index and factory orders feature today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has traded solidly for much of the European morning, but remained shy of the top end of the current trading range at 1.2250-60. This should be difficult to break in the short-term, but if it were to give way it would open things up to 1.2350 and 1.2450/1.2500. Back below 1.2160-70 today would suggest a more neutral near-term tone. The next week or so (including key US data releases and an FOMC meeting) is an important one, as it will show whether the US cyclical story has been fully discounted as a USD positive. EUR-USD downside is still favoured, although this argument will be seriously undermined if 1.2250-60 breaks.

The JPY has been one of the main movers overnight, helped in part by BoJ governor Fukui’s fairly upbeat message to parliament. A new low for USD-CNY as well as the more recent improvements in the economic data may also be helping to a certain degree. Some near-term downside risk will remain in place on USD-JPY while below 111.95, although market apprehension will persist ahead of the parliamentary vote on postal reform.

GBP was not significantly affected by another weak CBI retail survey. 18% of retailers reported a y/y decline in sales volumes, compared to 19% in June. A more vigorous rebound had appeared likely after the CBI indicated last month that the weak June number was possibly distorted. However, this latest reading would appear to confirm the underlying weakness in retail spending, with the 3-mth moving average for the sales balance falling to its lowest level since the survey began back in 1983. The key area for cable in the short-term comes in at the 1.7785/6 highs from July 12 and 13. A break above there would suggest a move towards 1.80. Below 1.7660 today would neutralise the situation.

A strong set of retail sales numbers out of Australia helped the AUD higher and this could extend to the July 22 high of 0.7686 in the short-term – possibly higher. The 1.3% m/m rise comes after a 1% advance in May and is another step towards reviving RBA rate hike expectations. However, while the monthly ‘value’ data was strong, the quarterly ‘volume’ data was soft – the latter advancing just 0.2% in Q2 over Q1. This is a little confusing but on the face of it suggests that the consumer sector will only contribute modestly to overall (real) GDP growth in Q2. The divergence in fortunes between the value and volume data would suggest some inflation, although this was not really evident in last week’s CPI data. With tax cuts still to come RBA rate hike expectations could pick-up if further sales strength is seen next month and the outlook for sales in the months ahead should be fairly good with tax cuts introduced on July 1. Employment data (strong last month) will also be important and the latest data is due next week. The RBA announce their latest decision tonight, although rates are likely to be left unchanged.

Day Ahead
US – personal income and expenditure data is due, which will also include the latest monthly estimate for the core PCE price index. Recent readings have shown the Fed’s main measure of core inflation to be subdued and a similar picture is likely from today’s data. Factory orders is also out and even though a large component of this data has already be unveiled in the form of last week’s (strong) durable orders release, this is also an occasion when durables can be revised, so it will be interesting to see whether last week’s strength is preserved.


Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Jul 30) w/w 07.45 +0.4% last
US Personal income (Jun) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US PCE (Jun) m/m 08.30 +0.8%
US Core PCE price index (Jun) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (Jun) y/y 08.30 +1.7%
US Redbook sls (w/e Jul 30) m/m 08.55 +0.3% last
US Factory orders (Jul) m/m 10.00 +0.9%
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 31) 17.00 -7 last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 5.50%
AU Building approvals (Jun) m/m 21.30 -0.8%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Monetary base (Jul) y/y +1.5% +1.7% last
AU Trade balance (Jun) -A$1.37bn -A$1.3bn
AU Retail trade (Jun) m/m +1.3% +0.5%
JP Small business confidence (Jul) 48.8 48.4 last
CH PMI manu (Jul) 52.4 52.0
EU PPI (Jun) y/y +4.0% +3.9%
EU Unemployment rate (Jun) 8.7% 8.8%
GB CBI retail trades survey (Jul) -18 -19 last
* Consensus unless stated
% reporting higher/low er y/y volume grow th

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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