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Thursday October 13, 2005 - 11:05:29 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains generally firm ahead of US trade data.
• Short-term upside favoured - certain barriers need to be overcome.
• Australian labour market data leaves AUD vulnerable.
• UK BCC survey weaker.
• US and Canadian trade data feature.

Market Outlook

Trading activity has been steadier this morning, although uncertainty remains high over whether the USD will break higher in the short-term or merely lapse back into recent ranges. It is a close call but we favour USD upside in the shortterm, although barriers have to be overcome, beginning with today’s trade data and continuing with the numerous economic releases set for tomorrow (retail sales being the most notable). See below for a preview of the trade data, although the avoidance of a bad number ($60bn-plus) should be enough to allow the USD to creep higher ahead of tomorrow’s data. Key technical levels at 1.1900, 1.1868 and 1.1759 also need to break on EUR-USD. Support on cable is at yesterday’s European morning low of 1.7392 – resistance at 1.7550-70. USD-JPY is also close to key levels at 114.80-115.00.

The ECB bulletin generally reiterated Trichet’s comments from last week about the upside bias to inflation because of the risk of higher energy prices eventually feeding through to core CPI. But as he noted last week, current oil prices pose risks for growth and thus far there is no indication that high fuel prices are significantly affecting core CPI.

GBP managed to withstand the negative BCC economic survey this morning, which showed manufacturing activity slumping in Q3 and service sector activity showing minimal recovery from the weak showing in Q2. The BCC not surprisingly concluded that the survey was alarming and said that a rate cut was needed in the short-term.

A poor Australian labour market supplements the AUD’s current vulnerabilities, especially if the USD manages to show further generalised strength in the short-term. 25.9k of the 42.3k fall in total employment was due to a contraction in full-time employment and while this is not necessarily the beginning of a weaker trend, it comes at a bad time when other data has not supported any re-emergence of RBA tightening expectations. Downside risk to 0.7460 is in place today and it could get a lot worse than that if the USD also strengthens in general.

Swedish CPI was in line with market expectations, adding little to the current debate about policy. The Riksbank’s Heikensten also speaks today after comments from Persson earlier in the week that were on the hawkish side of expectations. There is a fair chance of rate hike expectations developing more favourably for the SEK in the next couple of months.

Day Ahead
Canada – Canadian trade and specifically the export data will have a big influence on sentiment about the October 18 BoC meeting. The BoC currently has an inclination to tighten, but at their September 7 meeting they cautioned against the possible negative impact high fuel prices could have on global demand and the Canadian economy in general. Recent export data has been strong and a continuation of this, even though it would only be for August, should soften these fears somewhat.

US –the trade deficit may benefit from the very factor that caused a widening in the UK trade deficit – the accounting of insurance premium payments related to Katrina. This pushed the UK deficit higher and could have the same impact on the US deficit but in the opposite direction. Much will depend upon the way the US accounts for such activity, although typically the rules on international accounting are fairly common these days. Apart from this the biases remain on the high side for the deficit given the strength in energy prices. The deficit has been fairly steady in recent months and will probably need to move outside a $55-$60bn range to cause any excitement.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Trade balance (Aug) 08.30 -$59.3bn
US Import prices (Sep, nsa) y/y 08.30 +7.6% last
US Imp prices ex-petrol (Sep, nsa) y/y 08.30 +1.8% last
US Initial claims (w/e Oct 8) 08.30 390k last
US Continuing claims (w/e Oct 1) 08.30 2905k last
CA Trade balance (Aug) 08.30 C$6.0bn
CA Exports (Aug) m/m 08.30 +2.1% last
SE Riksbank’s Heikensten on econ 09.00
NZ Retail trade (Aug) m/m 17.45 +1.8% last
JP Domestic CGPI (Sep) y/y 19.50 +1.7%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP M2 plus CDs (Sep) y/y +2.1% +1.7%
JP Current account (Aug, sa) ¥1.3trn ¥1.35trn
AU Employment (Sep) -42.3k +5.0k
AU Unemployment rate (Sep) 5.1% 5.0%
FR CPI (Sep, prel) y/y +2.2% +2.0%
SE CPI (Sep) y/y +0.6% +0.7%
SE CPI UND1X (Sep) y/y +1.0% +1.0%
IT Ind prod (Aug) m/m +1.3% +0.4%
EU GDP (Q2, final est) q/q +0.3% +0.3%
GB BCC – manu sales (Q3) +3 +19 last
GB BCC – service sales (Q3) +13 +12 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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