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Tuesday October 4, 2005 - 10:51:26 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains strong, but key levels need to be breached to unlock further significant rally.
• Yesterday’s ISM number is significant.
• US factory orders and Fed speakers due today.

Market Outlook

A crucial time for the USD over the coming week as it flirts with key levels and the outcome will dictate whether the majors revert to recent ranges or the USD embarks on another significant run higher. EUR-USD will grab the spotlight and as one can see from the chart a topping out formation is potentially in the works that would target significantly lower levels. The key levels are the lows highlighted from 2004 and 2005 and below there would leave immediate risk to 1.10-1.12. Indeed, many technical analysts would be forecasting a much lower move eventually.

The USD index remains close to the key 90.50-78 area – 90.50 representing a line drawn through 2004 and 2005 highs on the weekly chart and 90.78 the 2005 high (from July 8). USD-JPY is approaching its own key levels running from 114.70-115.00, while USD-CHF has its 2005 high at 1.3082 and cable is a little further from the 2005 low at 1.7270.

Yesterday’s strong US ISM number was significant as it provides an initial sign that the data might survive the potentially tricky period following Katrina and the further run-up in energy prices. This softens the element of doubt in place over whether the Fed will have the boldness to carry on tightening through a softer data period, even if it is expected to be a temporary one. If short-term data weakness can indeed be avoided and the market also looks forward to the boost to economic activity from the post-Katrina rebuild, the rate outlook will be further reinforced. This will provide the USD with a potentially positive platform in the next few months.

On the plus side for the EUR is that the Eurozone data is also starting to develop rather well and Germany is on the verge of securing a coalition government, which will perhaps be not as bad as initially envisaged. However, in terms of pure interest rate arguments the USD remains favoured. It is now a question of whether sufficient momentum can be generated to break through key levels. We would like to see both the key levels on EUR-USD break before buying into the argument wholesale, although if 1.1868 gives way this would be a very strong signal. The risk of a break lower will remain in place while EUR-USD stays below 1.2100. 1.1940 is intra-day resistance today.

Day Ahead
US – factory orders data will show amongst other things whether the (strong) durable orders number of last week has been revised. Market impact is likely to be limited unless there is something unusual in the data. Poole and Santomero speak later in the day and seem likely to reiterate the slightly more hawkish message from the Fed seen of late.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Oct 01) w/w 07.45 +0.1% last
US Redbook sls (w/e Oct 01) m/m 08.55 +0.4% last
US Factory orders (Aug) m/m 10.00 +0.8%
EU ECB’s Weber speaks 12.00
US Fed’s Poole speaks 17.00
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Oct 02) 17.00 -22 last
US Fed’s Santomero speaks 19.00
GB N’wide consumer confidence (Sep) 19.01 100 last
AU RBA rate announcement 19.30 5.50%
AU Building approvals (Aug) m/m 21.30 +2.3%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU Trade balance (Aug) -$A1.6bn -A$1.3bn
CH CPI (Sep) y/y +1.4% +1.4%
EU Unemployment rate (Aug) 8.6% 8.6%
EU PPI (Aug) y/y 4.0% +3.9%
* 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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