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Friday October 28, 2005 - 10:32:32 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD looks promising, but key levels still need to break.
• Japanese data mixed – Eurozone data generally strong.
• US GDP, employment cost index and Michigan sentiment feature today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has remained generally firm overnight, despite a brief dip to 1.2127 in Asia, suggesting a positive bias for today’s session and the likelihood of a fresh attempt towards key short-term resistance at 1.2203 (Oct 6 high). Above that level is required to confirm a short-term bottom on EUR-USD. However, thus far it has been constrained by yesterday’s high at 1.2173, with the market on hold ahead of today’s US data. The data will be significant in determining how things develop today (see below for preview). Below 1.2125 would reduce the risk of a break higher.

Fairly hawkish comments from Wellink and strength in M3, private sector lending and business climate indicators have kept ECB speculation alive this morning. The flash estimate of October CPI saw the y/y rate down from Sept, but not by as much as the market had expected. The ECB meet next week and while a rate hike is highly unlikely the market will be looking to see whether recent rhetoric is firmed up any further.

A mixed set of Japanese data. Labour market data was decent, including a large rise in the (admittedly volatile) employment series. However, core CPI remains shy of the positive y/y rate readings required for the BoJ to consider changing the quantitative easing policy. Industrial output rose less than expected, although the mkt expectation of +2.0% was always bold given the 1.1% rise seen the previous month. Overall, the recovery continues to move along well, but the catalyst for this to translate into rate hike expectations will be higher CPI.

Day Ahead
US – Michigan sentiment, the first estimate of Q3 GDP and the employment cost index are due today. Most US consumer confidence numbers have been weak of late, so a similar outcome seems likely today in Michigan sentiment. The first estimate of Q3 GDP should show respectable growth, despite Katrina, so is unlikely to undermine US rate hike expectations. Indeed, there will be a big focus on the core PCE price index, which could have the potential to advance the tightening story further in a less desirable fashion. However, unless there has been some surprising strength in September core PCE prices (Jul and Aug data are already known) or some upward back revisions the annualised rate is unlikely to exceed 2%. With inflation firmly on the market’s radar screen there will also be sensitivity to any unusual developments in the employment cost index. In recent quarters, employment costs have been reasonably subdued and this needs to be sustained to provide some slack on margins for producers, given the rise in the cost of other inputs (i.e. raw materials).

Data/event EDT Consensus*

IT CPI (Oct, prel) y/y 07.00 +2.2%
US GDP (Q3, 1st est) saar 08.30 +3.6%
US Core PCE price index (Q3) saar 08.30 +1.7% last
US Employment cost index (Q3) q/q 08.30 +0.8%
CA Industrial PI (Sep) m/m 08.30 +0.5%
CA Raw materials PI (Sep) m/m 08.30 +4.2%
US Michigan sentiment (Oct, fin) 09.45 76.0

Latest data Actual Consensus*
FR Unemployment rate (Sep) 9.8% 9.9%
FR ILO job seekers (Sep) -34k -8k
NZ Trade balance (Sep) -NZ$1.0bn -NZ$1.1bn last
JP Unemployment rate (Sep) 4.2% 4.3%
JP Employment (Sep) +530k -70k last
JP Job-to applicants ratio (Sep) 0.97 0.98
JP PCE workers (Sep) y/y -0.4% +0.1%
JP CPI Tokyo (Oct, core) y/y -0.3% -0.2%
JP CPI Nwide (Sep, core) y/y -0.1% -0.2%
JP Ind prod (Sep, prel) m/m +0.2% +2.0%
FR Household survey (Oct) -30 -28
EU M3 (Sep) y/y +8.5% +8.2%
EU M3 (Sep) 3m y/y +8.2% +8.0%
EU Private sector lending (Sep) y/y +8.6% +8.4% last
NO Retail sales (Sep) m/m -0.9% +0.4%
EU CPI (Oct, flash est) y/y +2.5% +2.4%
EU Business climate index (Oct) +0.15 +0.13
EU Econ sentiment (Oct) 100.5 98.9
EU Producer confidence (Oct) -6 -6
EU Consumer confidence (Oct) -13 -15
CH KOF indicator (Oct) 0.81 0.80
* 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.


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