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Friday September 30, 2005 - 10:50:50 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
More hawkish noises from the Fed
- EUR-USD well within recent ranges.
JPY data fails to inspire.
Eurozone business sentiment stronger than expected.
US core PCE prices, Michigan sentiment and Chicago PMI feature today.

Market Outlook

More fairly hawkish comments from a Fed official this time Santomero in an interview with the FT. He said the impact from the hurricane would be short-lived and that any drop in consumer confidence should be swiftly reversed if past experience was any guide. He also stressed that against the background of rising energy prices it was important for the Fed to signal that it would keep inflation under control. He said the Feds dual mandate was to oversee price stability and potential growth in that order". However, he did acknowledge that disruptions from the hurricane would make the data unclear in the short-term.

EUR-USD has done very little overnight and is well within recent ranges. This looks like remaining the case today unless there are any unusual developments in the US data (see below). Key levels on EUR-USD remain at 1.1950-70 and 1.2080-1.2100. Eurozone data this morning was reasonably encouraging, with a variety of business climate/sentiment indicators coming in stronger than expected. This follows the more upbeat sentiment reports from Italy and Germany. The flash estimate of CPI for September was higher than expected at +2.5%, which should ensure a continuation of anti-inflation rhetoric from the ECB. However, the core y/y rate is not made available at this stage.

UK consumer confidence edged a little lower, although on the
basis of GBPs reaction, it would appear that the market was
braced for something worse. EUR-GBP slipped shortly after the
release of the data. However, ongoing data uncertainties should
underpin EUR-GBP in the short-term and above 0.6855 would
allow further upside.

Japanese data last night was not very inspiring. Negative y/y rates still prevail on the key core CPI indicators, while industrial output was weaker than expected. Labour market data showed that the trend improvement in most indicators continues, but no more than that. The market is now waiting for the Tankan on Sunday night and there is a good chance of this showing a decent improvement from the balances seen in June. The JPY certainly needs some positive news as it has underperformed again overnight. 136.50 on EUR-JPY and 113.50-70 on USDJPY are the current barriers to further JPY weakness.

Australian credit and sales data were both ahead of the market consensus and this allowed interest rate expectations to harden a little further. However, the market is still a fair way short of discounting a full 25bp rate hike. The AUD needs to get above the 0.7625 level to keep things going and there is an outside chance of this happening today as long as EUR-USD doesnt move below 1.2000.

Day Ahead
US personal income and expenditure, core PCE prices, Michigan sentiment and Chicago PMI are the data features. Michigan sentiment fell sharply at the last reading released in mid-September, so it will be interesting to see whether there has been any stabilisation since then. Core PCE prices have been more subdued over the past couple of months, although with the anti-inflation rhetoric being nudged up a little by some Fed officials the market may be more sensitive to any indication of a pick-up in core inflation. Chicago PMI plunged last month to 49.2 from 63.5 previously and at the time this caused some alarm in the market. A rebound of some sort should be seen today.


Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Personal income (Aug) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US PCE (Aug) m/m 08.30 -0.2%
US Core PCE price index (Aug) m/m 08.30 +0.1%
US Core PCE price index (Aug) y/y 08.30 +1.9%
CA GDP (Jul) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US Michigan sentiment (Sep, fin) 09.50 78.0
US Chicago PMI (Sep) 10.00 52.0

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP CPI Tokyo (Sep, core) y/y -0.4% -0.3%
JP CPI Nwide (Aug, core) y/y -0.1% -0.1%
JP Unemployment rate (Aug) 4.3% 4.3%
JP Employment (Aug) -70k 0.0k last
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Aug) 0.97 0.97
JP PCE workers (Aug) y/y -1.3% -1.9%
JP Ind prod (Aug, prel) m/m +1.2% +1.8%
AU Private sector credit (Aug) m/m +1.3% +0.9%
AU Retail trade (Aug) m/m +0.6% +0.3%
JP Housing starts (Aug) y/y +7.0% +3.4%
FR Household survey (Sep) -29 -29
FR Unemployment rate (Aug) 9.9% 9.9%
FR ILO job seekers (Aug) -6k -5k
FR GDP (Q2, final) q/q +0.1% +0.1%
EU CPI (Sep, flash est) y/y +2.5% +2.4%
EU Econ sentiment (Sep) 98.6 97.5
EU Business climate index (Sep) +0.07 -0.14
IT CPI (Sep, prel) y/y +2.2% +2.3%
GB Consumer confidence (Sep) -5 -4 last
* 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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