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Monday October 31, 2005 - 14:17:43 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD direction could provide difficult once again this week, with the FOMC and ECB both likely to advance hawkish messages.
• BoJ upgrades core CPI forecast, but keeps lid on rate hike expectations.
• Telefonica/O2 cash takeover may involve limited FX.
• US core PCE prices/Chicago PMI feature.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD was dragged lower on Friday and with the FOMC and ECB both likely to advance fairly hawkish messages this week the market may once again be unwilling to pursue fresh direction. Key area to look at today is 1.2025-40. Over the past month or so the 1.2025-75 area has been pivotal in determining which end of the current range (roughly 1.19-1.22) the EURUSD has moved towards.

GBP is receiving some support from news of a recommended all cash £17.7bn bid by Telefonica for O2. It is highly unusual for a takeover of this magnitude to be 100% cash, but Telefonica have indicated that they are financing the deal with a GBP bank loan, which will later be refinanced with bonds. On this basis, FX impact could turn out to be non-existent. UK consumer credit was a little softer than expected, but mortgage approvals remained fairly solid, adding to the impression that the housing market is stabilising. Approvals remain well below the highs seen around the end of 2003, but they are starting to creep back up and currently stand at levels that are fairly high compared to the average seen through most of the 1990s. Any sustained move above the 110-115k area would provide an additional argument against MPC easing.

The BoJ released its semi-annual outlook for growth and prices and in line with the comments they have been making in recent months, the forecasts for core CPI next year have been revised up. The median forecast for FY 06/07 is +0.5% compared to a previous forecast of +0.3%. GDP growth for 06/07 was revised up to +1.8% from +1.6%. They also made the comment that the possibility of ending quantitative easing would increase during 2006/07, but that rates were likely to remain very low even after that happened. “After changing the policy framework, we expect a period of very low short-term interest rates followed by a gradual adjustment to a level in line with economic and price conditions.” They are clearly trying to keep a lid on rate hike expectations and this means that the JPY will fail to benefit until such expectations become more visible.

Day Ahead
US – the September core PCE price index will be the main focal point today, although a soft number would appear the most likely outcome. The Q3 core PCE price index released on Friday (which includes the September data) was extremely subdued. Chicago PMI may influence market sentiment about manufacturing activity, although it is a volatile animal.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

GB Consumer confidence (Oct) 05.30 -5
US Personal income (Sep) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US PCE (Sep) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US Core PCE price index (Sep) m/m 08.30 +0.2% last
US Core PCE price index (Sep) y/y 08.30 +2.0% last
CA GDP (Aug) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US Chicago PMI (Oct) 10.00 57.5

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP PMI manu (Oct) 54.7 54.5 last
AU Private sector credit (Sep) m/m +0.8% +0.9%
JP Housing starts (Sep) y/y -0.2% +1.3%
DE Retail sales (Sep) m/m -1.6% +0.5%
GB Consumer credit (Sep) +£1.2bn +£1.3bn
GB Mortgage approvals (Sep, sa) 107k 108k
* Consensus unless stated
All lenders (thousands, seasonally adjusted)

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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