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Friday August 19, 2005 - 12:01:40 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Could be a quiet session after a steep move in the USD, with no economic triggers today.
• Oil regaining some ground on Ecuadorian and Nigerian supply concerns.
• French GDP was confirmed up 0.1%, in line with the “flash estimate”.

Market Outlook

The USD lost some ground in London trading, with oil bouncing hard on worries over Ecuadorian and Nigerian supply. Chances are that traders will also be considering an early exit, with little data to look to today. The EUR-USD hit 1.2127, holding shy of the 1.21 area and is back near 1.22, on profit-taking ahead of the week-end. The underlying bias for next week should be USD positive though, after a good run of data. The Philly Fed business activity index surged to 17.5 in August, from 9.6 in July, well above market forecasts of an increase to 12.3 and new orders jumped to 19.8, from 5.0 in July. Prices paid dipped slightly but prices received slumped to 3, from 12, suggesting (like the CPI/PPI data earlier in the week), that producers are still having to absorb price increases. Worryingly, 76% of the participants said that they believe energy prices will increase further this year. On the jobs front, initial claims rose to 316K last week, from 310K but were well below the 333K seen this time last year, suggesting that the labour market is still reasonably healthy.

The European data was largely in line with expectations, French current account data looks set to come out next week now. French Q2 GDP rose 0.1%, in line with the initial “flash” estimate, down from 0.4% in Q1. That means that the finance ministry’s 2.0% GDP target for 2005 is looking a bit ambitious… Household consumption fell 0.3%, after an 0.8% increase in Q1, business investment also declined and the performance would have been even worse had it not been for inventory building. Inventories rose 0.4% in Q2, particularly in raw materials - without that rise, economic growth would have fallen 0.3% in the quarter.

GBP-USD found support at the 20-day moving average at 1.7891. Congestion from the early August highs comes in at 1.7830 below that. For now though, the USD seems to be retrenching some of the recent gains. The EUR-GBP cross hit 0.6772 on Thursday, clawing back some lost ground in the afternoon. The upticks are likely to be short-lived and potential remains for an extension towards the 0.6750 area.

USD-JPY eked out gains to meet 110.82 in European trading (38.2% of the decline from July 2005) but seems to be held there, with the 20-day moving average at 110.31 offering support. Given the recent run higher, risk is on the upside with scope to 111.00-111.35. MNS reported that the LDP is to decide on disciplinary measures against 37 party members who failed to support the postal reform bill, the defeat of which led to the election call. The party will either recommend that the dissidents resign from the party or will expel them. EUR-JPY slipped below the 20-day moving average at 134.30 but is running into some EUR buyers. There is little to prevent an extension towards the 133.75 Fibonacci retracement level (61.8% of the rally from late June), though the cross could run into buyers there.
06.55 EDT Friday August 19 2005

Day Ahead
No data due.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

Little of interest today.

Latest data Actual Consensus*
FR GDP (Q2, prel) q/q +0.1% +0.1%
EU Trade balance (Jun) €3.4bn €3.2bn last
* 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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