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Wednesday August 3, 2005 - 11:05:38 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Most FX majors break out of recent ranges.

• USD weakness suggests US cyclical arguments may have run their course for now. Reaction to the rest of the week’s US data will be key.

• US non-manufacturing ISM, Challenger jobs survey due today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD moved above key short-term resistance at 1.2260 this morning, with a coincident move in USD-CHF below support at 1.2700. Shortly after this the USD index moved below support at 88.28 and a little later cable broke its own key level at 1.8786. These negative USD developments suggest that the cyclical story for the USD may have fully matured for the time being and that upside momentum has run out of steam. USD weakness is now favoured short-term, although market reactions to the rest of the week’s US data (today’s nonmanufacturing ISM/Friday’s payrolls) will also be important.

As it currently stands this morning’s price action opens the way to 1.2350 and 1.2450/1.2500 on EUR-USD, up to 1.80 on cable and 1.2560/1.2430 on USD-CHF. The levels are less clear on USD-JPY due to the post-CNY reval drop a couple of weeks back, although the 110.75-111.00 area will have significance on the downside ahead of the post-reval low of 109.88. The JPY has underperformed this morning, basically because it did not receive the boost from breaking a key level. GBP is being held back a little by some natural anxiety ahead of tomorrow’s MPC.

This morning’s economic data was not too controversial. The Eurozone service sector PMI rose to 53.5, consistent with recent ranges – it has not been outside 52.5 to 53.5 since last September. The UK version recovered to its best level since March and this supported a further modest stabilisation in rate hike expectations. March 2006 short sterling is now showing a 3-mth offered rate of 4.41% compared to 4.21% at the beginning of last week. As long as there no indication of rate cut risk between now and November at the MPC meeting, GBP could show some independent strength, although the market may also want to see next week’s Inflation Report.

Day Ahead
US – non-manufacturing ISM was strong last month and another solid showing looks likely today. Even a move back below 60 would hardly be a damning development, as it would still suggest decent growth in the service sector. Focus will also be on the employment component with the employment report close at hand and this rose impressively last month. The Challenger survey of job cut announcements (not seasonally adjusted) is due for July and will pick-up any job cut intentions that accompanied the recent Q2 earnings reports. Job cut announcements have been running at higher levels on average so far this year, with total announcements in H1 2005 standing at 538.3k compared to 472.7k at the same stage last year.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US ISM non-manu (Jul) 10.00 61.0
US Challenger layoffs (Jul) 10.00 111k last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Jul 31) -11 -7 last
AU RBA rate announcement 5.5% 5.50%
AU Building approvals (Jun) m/m +0.9% -0.8%
CH CPI (Jul) y/y +1.2% +0.7% last
IT PMI services (Jul) 50.0 49.0
FR PMI services (Jul) 55.3 57.9
DE PMI services (Jul) 53.8 52.5
EU PMI services (Jul) 53.5 53.3
GB PMI services (Jul) 56.3 55.4
EU Retail sales (Jun) m/m +0.4% +0.2%
* 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.


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