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Monday September 19, 2005 - 10:47:04 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• German election gridlock hits EUR.
• FOMC outcome also needs to be seen before market takes a firm view on EUR-USD.
• OPEC meeting, Canadian portfolio data due today –
UK RICS housing survey tonight.

Market Outlook

The worst of results from the German election with no clear winner emerging and this has weighed heavily on the EUR overnight. The CDU/CSU polled 35.2% while the SPD achieved 34.3%, but the nature of the German voting system means that a party can gain more seats than suggested by the percentage vote and the SPD is thought to be the likely beneficiary of this. Indeed, this has led one polling agency to forecast a dead-heat on seats for the CDU/CSU and SPD. Schroeder has ruled out taking part in a grand coalition with the CDU/CSU if Merkel is leader. He has also ruled out a coalition with the Left party, which is made up of SPD dissidents. He will have to woo the FDP, who have said they would not take part in a coalition with the SPD, or Merkel will have to bring the Greens on board alongside the FDP, which will be equally tricky. It looks bad from any way up at the present time and fresh official impetus for the reform effort now seems unlikely. However, it is not the end of the world. German industry itself has been making big steps in restructuring and reforming labour market practices over the past year or so and German economic activity has also been improving during the course of this year.

EUR-USD opened lower in a thin Asian market (Japanese holiday), sliding further just before the European open, but since then it has stabilised. The US market may also need to have its own negative reaction before the initial downward thrust is over. However, the market is unlikely to be keen on pushing it that much further with tomorrow’s FOMC meeting still outstanding. Indeed, the tone of the FOMC statement will dictate where the USD ends this week. Overall, it should be USD supportive and together with the German election, the risk of a test towards the 2005 low of 1.1868 over the next few weeks has increased. For today, stabilisation prospects will be boosted above 1.2170.

Other currencies have also suffered against the USD and GBP is also being undermined a little by an FT interview with MPC member Nickell. He said there was a risk that growth would undershoot the recovery forecast by the MPC, which would mean more rate cuts. However, in many ways this merely reflects the forecast bias already inherent in the latest Inflation Report. Much will depend upon the data itself. Cable will likely follow EUR-USD, although there is no reason why GBP should weaken that much because of the result in Germany. Above 1.8050 would be a useful step towards stabilisation. Support at 1.7970 and 1.7905.

Day Ahead
Canada –data on July cross border transactions in portfolio assets is due out today after sharp outflows from Canada in June. This was on both sides of the equation with foreigners selling C$2.1bn in Canadian securities, mainly bonds, and Canadian investors buying C$5.4bn in foreign securities. Our own data also showed large selling of Canadian bonds by US accounts in June, but this stabilised (without recovering) in July.

UK – the latest RICS housing survey is due tonight and while the balance on price expectations has improved a little over the past few months it remains at very low levels.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

JP Market holiday
Oil OPEC meeting
CA Net portfolio balance (Jul) 08.30 -C$7.5bn last
GB RICS house prices (Aug) 19.30 -34

Latest data Actual Consensus*
DE PPI (Aug) y/y +4.6% +4.7%
* 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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