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Thursday August 18, 2005 - 11:09:54 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains on a firm footing, after gain in PPI

• The Philly Fed survey is due today, also likely to be supportive for the USD

• UK retail sales for July came in better than expected

Market Outlook

0 EUR-USD cleared 1.2250 in London trading, with 1.2200 likely next as the USD rebound extends. US PPI came out stronger on Wednesday, up 1.0% - double the 0.5% that had been expected. More importantly, core PPI came in at 0.4%, four times the 0.1% consensus forecast. The consumer goods component rose 1.2%, lifted by a 10.2% rise in gasoline prices, a 3.7% rise in residential gas and a 1.3% rise in prescription costs, while the capital goods component was boosted by a surprising 1.4% increase in light motor truck prices (possibly due to changes in the types of discounts car producers have been offering). By contrast, Eurozone CPI came in, in line with expectations, up 2.2% y/y in July, while the core number dipped to 1.3% (consensus had been for +1.4%). June industrial production rose a meagre 0.3% and the y/y increase was also 0.3%, Eurostat reported. There was little impact on the market, with inflation risks seen as reasonably benign for now as industrial production stagnates. The USD looks well supported on the view that inflation may not be as benign as the CPI had indicated and the risk is that the EUR-USD run to 1.2500 may have been “it” as far as the USD correction has concerned, though it is too early to be sure about that.

GBP-USD is also under coming pressure again this morning, eyeing the 1.8020-1.80 zone as the USD continues to firm and a break there would leave 1.79 in play. The big mover has been the EUR-GBP cross which was hit by a milder than expected decline in July retail sales. The ONS reported that sales fell 0.3%, rather than the 0.6% the market had been anticipating, after a surprise 1.2% rise in June, taking the y/y rise to 1.8% (from 1.2% in June). While the report wasn’t as weak as expected, it certainly wasn’t strong either, still it does suggest the MPC will not be in a hurry to cut rates again. Mortgage lending numbers, released at the same time, showed the weakest monthly rise since December 2001. The EURGBP cross cleared 0.6800, leaving the 0.6750 zone in view next (near the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the rally from June).

USD-JPY continues to push higher, albeit in relatively thin trading. The JPY is struggling despite good news, the Nikkei is still riding high and oil prices have eased, and risk remains of a squeeze to 110.75. EUR-JPY seems to have run into some bottom-fishing activity above 134.50 and since EUR-USD has been unable to gain, USD-JPY is taking the brunt of small

USD-CAD shorts seem to have been squeezed over the last few days as oil prices have retrenched some of the gains. While the CAD should receive some further support from the interest rate outlook going forward, given that the market had already priced in potential tightening, further choppy trading is possible in the short term (technical resistance is noted at the 1.22-1.2240 area). Still leaning to a 1.18 handle over the coming weeks.

Day Ahead
US – the Philly Fed index improved to 9.6 in July, from a brief foray below zero in June, with the market looking for a pick-up to 13.8 in August. The NY factory survey improved earlier in the week helped by a surge in new orders, after a difficult few months of inventory adjustments in both regions. July leading indicators and the weekly initial claims report are also due.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Initial claims (w/e Aug 13) 08.30 310k
US Continuing claims (w/e Aug 6) 08.30 2573k last
US Lead indicators (Jul) m/m 10.00 +0.2%
US Philly Fed index (Aug) 12.00 13.8

Latest data Actual Consensus*
DE PPI (Jul) y/y +4.6% +4.5%
GB Retail sales (Jul) m/m -0.3% -0.6%
GB BBA mortgage lending (Jul) +£3.7bn +£4.6bn last
GB PSNCR (Jul) -£8.2bn -£6.6bn
EU CPI (Jul) y/y +2.2% +2.2%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (Jul) y/y +1.3% +1.4%
EU Ind prod (Jun) m/m +0.3% +0.4%
* 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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