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Monday August 8, 2005 - 11:04:01 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Koizumi calls election after losing postal vote.

• EUR-USD still well underpinned.

• UK PPI data the catalyst for GBP recovery.

Market Outlook

The Japanese government lost the Upper House vote on postal reform by 125 votes to 108, prompting Koizumi to announce the dissolution of the Lower House and a general election for September 11. The JPY took the news in relatively calm fashion and this turned into some independent strength during the course of the European morning. The price action reflects 1) that the news had been all but discounted following media reports last week about LDP member voting intentions and 2) that if it wasn’t for political uncertainty the JPY outlook would be reasonably good. The market is likely to remain extremely uncertain about how the election will pan out and whether the LDP can survive the process. There is a fair chance that a number of long-standing LDP rebels defect to other parties. Key in the short-term will be how much support Koizumi maintains ‘personally’ in the opinion polls, because that is what this election is essentially about, and also whether he is able to muster the confidence of this own party.

Koizumi’s conduct over this whole business has been criticized in parts of the media for being too heavy handed and a step too far. If his future is threatened markets will want to see sources of comfort from elsewhere that the reform process will continue under the next government, whatever that may be. EUR-JPY needs to get back above 138.50 to suggest some renewed downside risk for the JPY. 112.86 is key on USD-JPY, while below 111.65 is required to keep today’s downmove going.

EUR-USD went on the defensive on Friday and today’s trading will reveal whether this was just an end-of-week move after the gains seen in prior days or a sign that the upmove has run out of steam. The former is favoured first and foremost and this has been supported by the price action this morning - a test of 1.2450-1.2500 is favoured short-term. Key levels on the downside come in at 1.2295-1.2310 and 1.2250. Last week’s high at 1.2404 is the first barrier on the topside. Today’s scheduled data will have little relevance for EUR-USD, but tomorrow’s FOMC meeting could be important. There is an outside chance of a change in language from the Fed (see Week Ahead Preview) although they should manage this in a manner that preserves rate hike expectations.

GBP showed some independent strength this morning, with the trigger being a slightly stronger than expected PPI report, although moreover it reflects the growing perception that rate bearishness has run its course for now. Wednesday’s Inflation Report will be key, but GBP should be able to recover further as long as there are no fresh dovish developments. The scale of the downgrade in GDP forecasts will be critical. The BRC retail survey is due tonight and weekend media rumours revolved around a 1% y/y drop.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP BoJ policy meeting (2 days)
CA Building permits (Jun) m/m 08.30 +2.0%
GB BRC retail survey (Jul) y/y 19.01 -0.5% last
AU Housing finance (Jun) m/m 21.30 -1.0%
AU NAB business survey (Jul) 21.30
JP Machinery orders – core (Jun) m/m 01.00 +6.5%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB NIESR GDP (3mth to Jul) q/q +0.4% +0.4%R last
JP M2 plus CDs (Jul) y/y +1.7% +1.7%
AU ANZ job ads (Jul) m/m -0.2% -1.9% last
JP Upper House vote on postal reform - govt lost 125 to 108
CH Unemployment rate (Jul, sa) 3.8% 3.8%
IT Ind prod (Jun) m/m -0.7% -0.1%
GB PPI input (Jul) m/m +1.8% +1.3%
GB PPI output (Jul) m/m +0.7% +0.1%
GB PPI output core (Jul) y/y +2.3% +2.1%
GB ODPM house prices (Jun) m/m +5.0% +4.5%
* 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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