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Tuesday September 6, 2005 - 10:48:28 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD bounces back a little as oil prices stabilise.
• FOMC policy remains in focus.
• US non-manufacturing ISM is today’s main feature.

Market Outlook

Market expectations about the impact of the hurricane are starting to stabilise a little, in part because of the lower oil price, which is helping to reduce the sense of crisis. There are two weeks to go before the next Fed meeting and Fed observer John Berry (now at Bloomberg) observes that the outcome of the meeting is uncertain, but concludes that the odds slightly favour another 25bp rate hike. At this stage the outcome is indeed unclear and much will depend upon how sentiment about the hurricane and its aftermath develop over the next week or so. There is still a high chance that the Fed will, as a gesture, leave rates unchanged for this meeting, especially with the full horror of the disaster in terms of death toll yet to be uncovered. This will be a grisly process over the weeks ahead and one that will likely keep both sentiment low and pressure on the authorities high. However, if the Fed does leave rates unchanged they will likely reiterate their belief in a strong growth outlook and that further rate rises will most probably lay ahead. This upset to the steady path of tightening may allow the Fed to shift its language a little at future meetings.

The USD responded positively during the Asian session and continued to strengthen in Europe. 1.2515-45 needs to be won back on EUR-USD to regain the upside bias in the short-term (leaving risk up to major resistance at 1.2650-1.2730). The tone of today’s trading will be revealed when US markets open after yesterday’s holiday, although if an oil price recovery can be avoided there is risk to the 1.2400-30 area. Below there would take away more of the impetus of last week’s move higher. 1.8370 on cable is an area the USD will need to get through today to boost short-term recovery prospects. The tone of the US non-manufacturing ISM data will be important in determining how things develop.

Norwegian GDP for Q2 was a little weaker than expected, especially after the downward revision to Q1 mainland GDP (+0.6% down from +0.9% previously). However, the data is still supportive of a Norges Bank tightening at their next meeting on September 21. Uncertainty remains about what next Monday’s election will mean for policy. The election is likely to see a change in government, with a red-green coalition replacing the current centre-right coalition. It is feared that a new government will spend more of Norway’s oil money, but the opposition Labour party has rejected these claims. If they were to do so it would mean upward pressure on rates and the NOK, as oil revenues earmarked for investment in foreign assets would be switched into NOK instead. Until the new government is formed and policies are set it is not clear how this issue will develop. Norges Bank governor Gjedrem said he is confident that fiscal stability will be maintained. In the meantime, EUR-NOK is likely to stay above key support at 7.72, although this could be approached ahead of the Norges Bank meeting.

Day Ahead
US – the non-manufacturing ISM will be closely watched given the slippage seen in the manufacturing ISM last week. In recent months the non-manufacturing version has suggested solid growth in the service sector and a continuation of this would be useful in averting further fears about US growth prospects.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Sep 4) w/w 07.45 -0.3% last
US Redbook sls (w/e Sep 4) m/m 08.55 -1.0% last
US ISM non-manu (Aug) 10.00 60.0
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Sep 4) 17.00 -12 last
JP BoJ meeting (2 days)
GB Nwide consumer confidence (Aug) 19.01 101 last
GB NIESR GDP (3mths to Aug) q/q 19.01 +0.4% last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 5.5%
AU GDP (Q2) q/q 21.30 +1.0%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB BRC retail survey (Aug) y/y -1.0% -1.9% last
AU Housing finance (Jul) m/m +0.2% -1.0%
JP Overall PCE (Jul) y/y -3.7% -2.6%
JP Consumer confidence (Jul) 48.1 48.2
NO GDP – total (Q2) q/q +1.3% +1.2%
NO GDP – mainland (Q2) q/q +0.9% +1.0%
GB Ind prod (Jul) m/m -0.3% +0.1%
GB Manu output (Jul) m/m +0.1% 0.0%
EU Retail sales (Jul) m/m -0.5% -0.2%
DE Manu orders (Jul) m/m +3.7% -1.0%
*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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