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Thursday September 8, 2005 - 11:01:18 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• Medium-term Fed bias seems clear, but September 20 outcome is not.
• Downside favoured for EUR-USD today, although market will be watching the oil price response to weekly inventory data.
• Australian labour market data stronger than expected.
• MPC rate outcome, US claims, Fed’s Yellen speech feature today.

Market Outlook

Comments made by Chicago Fed president Moskow yesterday reflect the current dilemma facing the FOMC. The tone of his comments were clearly hawkish insofar as he reiterated a belief that further rate hikes are necessary to head of potential inflationary pressure. However, the issue of what happens at the September 20 meeting is still a little unclear. He said the Fed faced “a number of judgment calls” in assessing the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the US economy. This leaves some doubt about whether they will hike on September 20, but it does seem clear that even if a pause is adopted, the Fed will leave the market under no illusion about the likelihood of them tightening at the November or December meetings or most probably both.

EUR-USD has been unable to bounce since yesterday’s move lower and a further extension down to 1.2356 is likely today - support at 1.2400-05. Oil price movements will contribute to USD sentiment and weekly inventory data is due today. However, the likely supply shortfalls may need to be severe to offset market perceptions about extra supply already being on the way.

Independent EUR sentiment remains mixed. From a data perspective, things are looking up, with strong orders and output data from Germany, although the latest German opinion polls have introduced an element of doubt about the election outcome. A number of polls released yesterday showed the SDP narrowing the gap with the CDU and in one case it left the CDU/FDP coalition with a level of support below that required to form a government. This may just reflect a one-off reaction to the TV debate between Schroeder and Merkel that will not be sustained, but any prospect of a grand coalition in Germany would muddy the waters further in terms of prospective German reform policies.

Australian employment data was stronger than expected, even though full-time employment was only up 16.1k. After a run of poor data in Australia last month, the tone has brightened, although with energy prices high the RBA is likely to keep rates unchanged in the medium-term. Until there is a recovery in RBA hike expectations or a further weakening in the USD, the 0.7700-50 area on the AUD will be difficult to break.

Day Ahead
UK – the MPC is likely to leave rates unchanged and will not release any statement. This will leave the market guessing about the tone of the discussion until the September 21 minutes.

US – weekly jobless claims and consumer credit are the data features and there are likely to be distortions to the claims data. More important will be a speech by San Francisco Fed president Yellen.

Canada – Q2 capacity utilisation is out in Canada after a Q1 rate that was not too far below the 87.3% recent high of Q4 2000. That was the highest level since 87.6% in Q1 1988. The BoC message yesterday was more dovish than expected. They referred to the fact that policy is still stimulative, suggesting that the overall inclination is still to raise rates at some point, but the comment about the threat to activity in the short-term (because of higher energy prices) leaves it unclear whether further rate hikes will be delivered at the October 18 and December 6 meetings. With the market already long CAD it will be difficult for USD-CAD to make progress to the 1.1725 November 2004 low in the short-term. There is a risk of some upward corrective activity on any move above 1.1943.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP M2 plus CDs (Aug) y/y +1.7% +1.7%
AU Employment (Aug) +32.6k -2k
AU Unemployment rate (Aug) 5.0% 5.1%
JP Machinery orders – core (Jul) m/m -4.3% -5.4%
CH Unemployment rate (Aug) 3.8% 3.8%
DE Trade balance (Jul) €14.1bn €14.7bn
DE Current account (Jul) €7.3bn €8.3bn
DE Exports (Jul) m/m +0.5% +1.0%
IT Business confidence (Aug) 87.5 85.5
*Consensus unless stated

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB MPC rate announcement 07.00 4.5%
SE Ind prod (Jul) m/m 07.00 0.0%
EU ECB’s Weber speaks 08.00
US Initial claims (w/e Sep 3) 08.30 315k
US Continuing claims (w/e Aug 27) 08.30 2580k
CA Capacity utilisation (Q2) 08.30 86.6%
CA New house prices (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
US Consumer credit (Jul) 15.00 +$10.0bn
US Fed’s Yellen speaks on economy 15.30

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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