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Tuesday October 18, 2005 - 10:53:07 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains strong in general – building on the USD-JPY break above 115.
• Storm course shifts away from oil facilities.
• US PPI, TIC data and BoC policy decision feature today.

Market Outlook

Better news on the weather front was a supporting factor for the USD overnight (see below), although the USD-JPY blast through 115.00 at the beginning of the Asian session has been the main development. The move continued to gather pace in Europe, aided in part by Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Hosoda saying that he did not believe that JPY buying intervention was currently being considered. This is the first of the majors to break significant levels and leaves risk up to the 117.50-118.00 area in the next couple of weeks. While such a move is likely to see the JPY weak on other crosses initially, it should also aid sentiment in favour of a USD move against other currencies. The USD has been strong in general in Europe this morning. The USD index is very close to a series of key levels at 90.25 (already broken this morning), 90.45 and 90.78. There is significant upside risk above there.

The market remains on hurricane watch, with the latest forecast suggesting that the storm will reach at least low-grade hurricane status today, entering the extreme southern central Gulf of Mexico early Saturday. However, if Wilma does make it to the Gulf it is then forecast to swing east and the current advisories are that Florida residents should keep an eye on developments. This is of little comfort for Florida, but it will at least spare the areas buffeted by the previous two storms, which carry the allimportant oil facilities. To this extent the market is now more relaxed about its impact.

UK CPI data was a touch lower than expected and this was a contributory factor to GBP weakness. It marginally adds to the dovish case on the MPC. The market also seems to be concerned about the latest BoE appointment (announced yesterday), with Sir John Gieve replacing Sir Andrew Large as deputy governor in charge of financial stability (in January). It is far too early to start making judgments about what this means for interest rates, although more noteworthy perhaps is the apparent creep of the government machinery into the Bank. The two deputy governors (the other being Rachel Lomax) will both hail from the civil service.

In the Eurozone, the ZEW advanced modestly, while CPI data revealed slightly mixed news on core CPI. The ECB’s favoured measure, excluding just energy and fresh food nudged up to +1.5%, while another popular measure, which also excludes alcohol and tobacco stayed at +1.3%. Either way there seems little immediate threat on the core CPI front. The ECB’s Issing revealed in an interview that they would not be afraid to act if inflation pressures materialised, but this is merely a reiteration of the message since the last ECB meeting.

Day Ahead
US – last week’s CPI data was greeted with some relief, but the market will remain sensitive to any developments on the inflation front and PPI is due today. This will provide an update on pipeline inflation pressures, with the core measures of finished goods PPI and intermediate PPI the main focal points. The TIC portfolio data for August is also due and in recent months demand for US financial assets has held up well. In July, there was even a pick-up in buying of US equities, although this only modestly outweighed US buying of foreign equities. It will take a very bad number indeed to take the current shine off the USD.

Canada – a BoC rate hike seems likely today and this is pretty much expected by the market, but not entirely so. However, as important for the CAD will be what the BoC offers as guidance for future meetings. Overall, they are likely to reiterate their basic inclination to raise rates further, but that global demand and energy prices will be monitored closely. This should be CAD supportive, although USD-CAD will need to break below 1.1775 (yesterday’s low) and 1.1725 (minor possible trendline supporting the rally since late September) to suggest some fresh downside risk. Below 1.1683 will also be required to suggest a test of the recent low at 1.1587. This may be difficult initially with the USD currently in the ascendancy and short-term accounts still perhaps already on the short side of USD-CAD. Key on the topside is the 1.1880-1.1900 area.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Oct 15) w/w 07.45 +0.2% last
US PPI (Sep) m/m 08.30 +1.2%
US PPI core (Sep) m/m 08.30 +0.2%
CA Net portfolio balance (Aug) 08.30 -C$0.4bn last
CA Leading indicator (Sep) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US Redbook sls (w/e Oct 15) m/m 08.55 +0.7% last
US TIC intl portfolio balance (Aug) 09.00 +$87.4bn last
CA BoC policy announcement 09.00 3.0%
US Fed’s Yellen spks on economy 14.40
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Oct 16) 17.00 -19 last

Latest data Actual Consensus*
GB RICS house price balance (Sep) -21 -22
DE PPI (Sep) y/y +4.9% +4.9%
GB CPI (Sep) y/y +2.5% +2.6%
GB CPI core (Sep) y/y +1.7% +1.8%
GB RPIX (Sep) y/y +2.7% +2.7%
GB RPI (Sep) y/y +2.5% +2.6%
EU CPI (Sep) y/y +2.6% +2.5%
EU CPI ex-energy/fresh food (Sep) y/y +1.5% +1.4%
DE ZEW expectations (Oct) 39.4 42.0
EU ZEW expectations (Oct) 34.7 31.8 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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