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Tuesday August 16, 2005 - 11:52:01 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD gained ground after Monday’s better TICS data, looking to CPI and industrial production today.

• UK CPI did nudge above the MPC’s 2.0% target

• GBP gaining ground vs. the EUR, though not the USD…

Market Outlook

The USD is holding up relatively well, heading into today’s CPI and industrial production numbers, and in the wake of the better than expected TIC data on Monday. The US Treasury reported that net capital inflows in June rose to $71.2bn, well above the $65bn consensus expectation. That helped to remove some of the USD bearish cast left by the wider than expected trade deficit (at $58.8bn). The headline number was boosted by a surge in corporate bond purchases to a record $52.2bn, coinciding with a sharp increase in issuance. Issuance of corporate bonds rose to $64.5bn in June, up steeply from $39.3bn in May. This appeared to draw funds away from Treasuries, which suffered a sharp reduction in net inflows. Still the USD garnered some support, leaving the EUR-USD pressuring the 1.23 support area now. A break there would highlight risk of an extension to the 1.2250 highs from July (also a technical retracement target). The 1.2385 level reverts to resistance for today.

GBP-USD worked higher in early London trading, but faded from the 1.8150 area as the USD made headway. The 1.8050 level is offering short term support now and a break there would allow an extension towards 1.80. The pullback in GBP-USD came despite stronger than expected UK CPI, which rose 2.3% in July. That was the highest since the series began in January 1997 and was lifted (unsurprisingly) by petrol prices. Note though that core inflation rose to 1.8%, from 1.5% in June, suggesting that not all of the price gain was attributable to high energy prices. The MPC had predicted in the August Inflation report that CPI would rise in Q3 to around 2.15%. It said that some of the gain would be due to a previous lack of spare capacity, so the increase should not be too much of an unpleasant surprise. However, it does mean that CPI will need to come in around 2.1% in August and September to keep to the BoE’s forecast. The EUR-GBP cross sold off sharply in the wake of the data, with the 0.6800 area in the sights. A break there would highlight potential for a deeper retracement to 0.6850.

USD-JPY dipped to 109 in early European trading but that is holding so far. Risk remains of a move to 108.15 on a break there. The Nikkei eked out new 4-year highs, after recent opinion polls showed PM Koizumi has a healthy lead in the runup to the election on September 11. EUR-JPY meanwhile remains well on course for the 134.30-134 zone, after clearing 135 overnight.

Elsewhere, China traded its first two forwards deals on Monday; a one-month yuan forward was quoted at 8.0778 against the USD, while a one-year forward was quoted at 7.8140 according to the wires.

Day Ahead
US – CPI data is out today and the core number is likely to remain relatively subdued courtesy of continued auto incentive packages, though high energy prices should lift the headline number. Also due for release is the housing starts report, which is likely show a rise to 2020K in July, from 2000K in June, helped by still low mortgage rates. Industrial production could be boosted after one of the hottest Julys on record, which suggests utility production will have been higher as air conditioners were cranked up... The weekly retail sales reports and ABC consumer confidence report are also due.

Sweden – industrial production data is due for release today.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

SE Ind prod (Jun) m/m 07.00 +0.3%
US Chain store sls (w/e Aug 13) w/w 07.45 -0.8% last
US CPI (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US CPI core (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
US Housing starts (Jul) 08.30 2020k
US Redbook sls (w/e Aug 13) m/m 08.55 -0.8% last
US Ind prod (Jul) m/m 09.15 +0.5%
US Capacity utilisation (Jul) 09.15 80.3%
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Aug 14) 17.00 -8 last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB RICS house prices (Jul) -36 -40
GB CPI (Jul) y/y +2.3% +2.1%
GB RPIX (Jul) y/y +2.4% +2.3%
GB RPI (Jul) y/y +2.9% +2.8%
* 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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