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Thursday September 1, 2005 - 10:37:13 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains on back foot ahead of ISM number.

• The tone of the ISM will dictate short-term USD sentiment.

• Market largely ignores European/UK data.

• ECB meeting, US core PCE prices, personal income and ISM feature today.

Market Outlook

Against a background of high oil prices and fears about what this could mean for economic activity in the months ahead, the market clearly showed its vulnerable side yesterday, pushing the USD down sharply after the much weaker than expected Chicago PMI number. The latter is a volatile animal and not always the best of indicators about the full nationwide ISM. However, tensions are high and the subsequent apprehension about the risk of a weak ISM today has created something of a one-way market against the USD. Potential USD buyers are likely to remain on the sidelines ahead of the release. The market was expecting a 57.0 outcome on ISM after 56.6 in July, but after yesterday’s events, anything above 53 would generate some element of relief. An outcome close to the old consensus would now be seen as a fairly sparkling one, while below 52 or even worse below 50 would significantly add to current market fears about growth prospects.

If there is some relief today the EUR-USD could move fairly quickly back towards the 1.2230-50 area, but USD optimism should remain checked by the prospect of tomorrow’s employment report and the ongoing revelations of increased devastation as a result of hurricane Katrina. A poor number today and a sustained break above 1.2365 would suggest at least a test of the August 12 high at 1.2485. As we have said recently, the USD has most to lose initially in terms of rate hike expectation erosion if the economic data in general does take a turn for the worse. Any gross movements in the oil price itself will also affect sentiment on the issue.

In the UK, Nationwide house prices were a touch weaker than expected, although there is unlikely to be much market surprise about this. The y/y rate is now down to +2.3%, the lowest since 1996, but prices are still at massively inflated levels. The current level of the price index is 65% above where it was at the end of 2001. UK manufacturing PMI was better than expected, although market impact was modest. Likewise with this morning’s slightly disappointing Eurozone PMI data, with the market fully focused on what is happening in the US.

Day Ahead
Eurozone – the ECB meeting is unlikely to reveal any fresh initiatives, although it will be interesting to see their take on oil prices – inflationary or negative for growth.

US – personal income and expenditure and the latest monthly core PCE price index are due, although the manufacturing ISM survey will be the main focal point.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

EU ECB meeting outcome 07.45, press conf 08.30
US Personal income (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US PCE (Jul) m/m 08.30 +1.0%
US Core PCE price index (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (Jul) y/y 08.30 +1.9%
US Initial claims (w/e Aug 20) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Aug 13) 08.30 2578k last
US ISM manu (Aug) 10.00 57.0
JP Monetary base (Aug) y/y 19.50 +1.2%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU Private new capex (Q2) q/q +7.3% +3.5%
AU House prices (Q2) q/q -0.1% 0.0%
CH CPI (Aug) y/y +1.0% +1.1%
GB Nwide house prices (Aug) m/m -0.2% 0.0%
SE PMI manu (Aug) 54.1 54.8
CH PMI manu (Aug) 54.0 52.6
IT PMI manu (Aug) 50.0 50.7
FR PMI manu (Aug) 52.5 52.0
DE PMI manu (Aug) 48.7 50.4
EU PMI manu (Aug) 50.4 51.0
NO Unemployment rate (Aug) 3.7% 3.7%
GB PMI manu (Aug) 50.1 49.2
EU Unemployment rate (Jul) 8.6% 8.7%
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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