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Tuesday September 27, 2005 - 11:14:49 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD upside bias checked a little by strong IFO number.
• NZD hit by higher than expected trade deficit.
• GBP continues to underperform.
• US consumer confidence and Fed speakers feature today.

Market Outlook

The USD was firm through the Asian session, aided by a fairly hawkish message from the Fed’s Hoenig, although a stronger than expected German IFO provided support for EUR-USD in Europe. The bias still looks to be for more USD gains over the next 1-2 weeks, although the IFO may just buy the EUR some time going through the remainder of the week’s US data releases.

The jump in the headline IFO number was largely due to a sharp rise in the current conditions component, which soared to its highest level since March 2001. IFO did state that the responses to the survey since the German election had been more negative, but only on the expectations component. The responses with regard to current conditions had been strong either side of the poll. In this regard, it is comforting that the German economy was seemingly in such fine fettle ahead of the election - a fact borne out by the strength seen in orders and output data. IFO also made the point that a CDU led grand coalition would provide a boost to business sentiment. 1.2080- 1.2100 is the main resistance to look at on EUR-USD, while main support is at 1.1950 and 1.1866.

With the focus very much on US interest rate prospects the JPY remains out of favour. From an overall fundamental perspective the JPY looks reasonably appealing, although with zero interest rates it retains vulnerability in the face of higher US rate prospects. If the USD advances further against the EUR, it is likely to do the same against the JPY and above 113.00 would leave risk to 113.70.

Non-seasonally adjusted UK mortgage approvals were stronger than expected, with ‘base effects’ aiding the ongoing improvement in the y/y rate from the heavily negative territory it entered during the second half of last year. However, the market will prefer to see the seasonally adjusted mortgage approvals data for all lenders that will appear on Thursday. There is upside risk on EUR-GBP while above 0.6800.

The NZD was a big loser overnight, reacting negatively to the much higher than expected visible trade deficit of NZ$1.1bn (a new record). This merely reinforces the likelihood of the NZD suffering further at the hands of the USD if the latter advances against the majors. Below 0.6800 would leave risk towards 0.6700.

Day Ahead
US – a number of Fed speakers (including Greenspan) may talk about the economy today and they are likely to reiterate the broadly robust message that came out of last week’s FOMC meeting. Bush policy adviser Bernanke is also scheduled to talk about the economy. On the data side new home sales will likely confirm ongoing housing market strength, while the main focus will be on the consumer confidence number. If it is to be consistent with the recent showings in other measures of sentiment (weekly ABC/Money magazine, University of Michigan) then a fairly sharp drop should be forthcoming. However, it will need to be very sharp fall to represent fresh news to the market. As usual, the responses on labour market categories will also be monitored.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Sep 24) w/w 07.45 -2.1% last
US US govt’s Bernanke spks on econ 08.15
US Redbook sls (w/e Sep 24) m/m 08.55 +0.4% last
US New home sales (Aug) 10.00 1325k
US Consumer confidence (Sep) 10.00 95.0
US Fed’s Yellen on economy 12.00
US Fed’s Greenspan on ‘economic flexibility’ 14.45
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Sep 25) 17.00 -23 last
US Fed’s Hoenig on econ 21.45

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Trade balance (Aug) -NZ$1.1bn -NZ$0.8bn
JP CSPI (Aug) y/y -0.8% -0.7%
EU M3 (Aug) y/y +8.1% +7.9%
EU M3 (Aug) 3m y/y +7.9% +7.8%
EU Private sector lending (Aug) y/y +8.4% +8.3%R last
DE Overall IFO index (Sep) 96.0 94.2
DE IFO Current conditions (Sep) 96.4 93.8 last
DE IFO Expectations (Sep) 95.5 95.4 last
GB BBA mortgage approvals (Aug) y/y +8.5% -6.0% last
EU Trade balance (Jul, prel) €1.0bn €2.6bn
* 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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