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Tuesday October 25, 2005 - 10:34:41 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD boosted by strong IFO number.
• Bernanke nomination causes some excitement, but ultimately the market will reserve its judgement.
• Canadian CPI, US consumer confidence feature today.

Market Outlook

underlines the improving economic backdrop in Germany. It is a sign that the economic recovery developing since the spring has not been derailed by the recent election outcome. This is not necessarily sufficient to generate an ECB rate hike, but it will make the market more friendly to the idea going into 2006.

The market was slow to respond to this morning’s data, although EUR-USD did eventually move higher after breaking above intra-day resistance at 1.1975-80. This could be a significant day in determining whether there are any legs left in the recent USD rally. Recently, EUR-USD has generally struggled to sustain any rally, although likewise it has also failed to break below the 2005 low at 1.1868. The IFO number potentially provides EUR-USD with something to build upon and if it can move above 1.2050-75 it would be a sign that the USD has lost some momentum. However, if it is once again unable to sustain such an upside attempt, even after such good news like the IFO, it may actually encourage the market into believing that the bias remains on the downside. How USD-JPY fares will also influence USD sentiment – it needs to break out of a 115-116 range to introduce some fresh directional bias. US consumer confidence also features today (see below).

The appointment of Bernanke caused a rally in the equity market and bonds to pullback, although it is not clear as yet how the FOMC will differ under him. In the past Bernanke has been strongly associated with the drive to cut rates to 1% to avoid deflation or an undershooting of CPI. However, this does not mean he is a dove, as he is likely to be equally determined to cap any CPI overshoot. This would be consistent with his general advocacy of the benefits of an inflation target, which if explicitly adopted will lead to some fears that the Fed will lose some degree of flexibility. However, this is a debatable point as inflation targets themselves, insofar as they refer to medium-long term objectives, can allow for flexibility. Indeed, any future adoption of such a target will depend upon the agreement of other FOMC members and would likely provide for some flexibility. The market’s view of Bernanke will be an evolutionary one, as it was with Greenspan in the early stages. Indeed, economic events themselves rather than FOMC personnel changes are likely to remain the key driving factors of policy in the medium-term.

Day Ahead

Canada – CPI is out and it will need to be highly unusual to affect BoC expectations. The CPIX did pick up last month to its highest rate (+1.7% y/y) since April, although it needs to get to 2% and higher to introduce an element of urgency into BoC tightening. CPIX has been generally well behaved in recent years. It hasn’t been 2% or higher since 2003. USD-CAD has been rising over the past couple of sessions, perhaps reflecting the large net short USD-CAD position already in place. A close above 1.1900 could see this move extending further in the short-term, although CAD strength should ultimately resume.

US – consumer confidence has been a sore point over the past month or so, with most indicators (last month’s Conference Board measure and recent Michigan estimates) coming out weaker than expected.

Australia – CPI is out in Australia and the market will be looking at the key core measures of inflation to see whether energy price strength is spreading to other areas. This will influence the tone of the RBA’s next Statement on Monetary Policy, due on November 7.

Data/event EDT Consensus*
CA CPI (Sep) y/y 07.00 +3.3%
CA CPIX (Sep) y/y 07.00 +1.7%
US Chain store sls (w/e Oct 22) w/w 07.45 +0.4% last
US Redbook sls (w/e Oct 22) m/m 08.55 +1.0% last
NZ Business confidence (Oct) 09.00 -37.5 last
BE Business confidence (Oct) 09.00 -5.8
US Existing home sales (Sep) 10.00 7.20m
US Consumer confidence (Oct) 10.00 88.3
GB BoE’s King testifies 10.30
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Oct 23) 17.00 -17 last
JP Trade balance (Sep, sa) 19.50 ¥0.5trn
JP CSPI (Sep) y/y 19.50 -0.7%
AU CPI (Q3) q/q 21.30 +1.1%
AU CPI market prices (Q3) q/q 21.30 +0.6%
AU CPI market prices (Q3) y/y 21.30 +2.0%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
DE Import prices (Sep) y/y +5.1% +4.8%
SE Trade balance (Sep) SEK15.6bn SEK15bn
DE IFO index (Oct) 98.7 96.1
DE IFO current (Oct) 98.9 96.4 last
DE IFO expectations (Oct) 98.5 95.5 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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