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Tuesday November 29, 2005 - 11:54:43 GMT
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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• US data is creating market nervousness. EUR-USD underpinned ahead of key US releases later in the week.
• Japanese data slightly disappointing.
• Eurozone M3 mixed – UK mortgage approvals stronger than expected.
• US durable orders, consumer confidence and new home sales feature today.

Market Outlook

Market nervousness about what US data releases may reveal this week came to the fore yesterday, with the market reacting vigorously to the weaker than expected existing home sales number. This was only a modest pullback in sales compared to the highs seen in recent months, but it is the direction perhaps that the market is more concerned about at the present time, given the fresh sensitivity to anything that may support the notion of a possible pause in Fed policy. The overhang of unsold homes also reached a 20-yr high.

There was also talk of CB buying and this provides an additional upside risk for EUR-USD, if there is a sense that downside risk is coming to an end, although it is not clear that we have reached this point just yet. The US data releases later in the week will be critical in determining which way this goes and there are other releases (new home sales, durable orders, consumer confidence) out today – see below.

The spike in EUR-USD yesterday, reaching 1.1900 in the US afternoon, looked unusual, but it should not be dismissed lightly. While EUR-USD has still not managed to break through the key 1.1850-1.1900 area, which would neutralise short-term directional risk, this sort of price action will discourage EURUSD shorting in the near-term and underpin it ahead of the aforementioned data releases later in the week. Intra-day support is at the 1.1811, which has held EUR-USD on several occasions in Asia and Europe.

Japanese economic data was generally disappointing, with the unemployment rate rising and industrial output falling short of expectations. The only piece of good news was a stronger than expected personal consumption number. However, this has not really changed market perceptions about overall economic direction or BoJ policy, with the primary focus on CPI.

Eurozone headline M3 was weaker than expected, although y/y growth in private sector lending rose to its highest level (+8.8%) since March 2001. In the UK, seasonally adjusted mortgage approvals rose to their highest level since May 2004, providingn additional support for the notion that things are on the mend in the UK housing market. Consumer credit growth was in line with expectations.

Day Ahead
US – durable orders, consumer confidence and new home sales data are due and the USD is likely to be sensitive to any outcomes that are a fair way from market expectations. Both orders and consumer confidence should be fairly solid, although it is the October new home sales data that carries the biggest risk for the USD. New home sales have already shown some weakness over the past couple of months, although this may have been a response to the very strong number recorded for July. Given the intense focus on the housing market as an indicator of likely consumer health and Fed policy over the coming months, the market will be highly sensitive to any unusual developments.

Japan – November manufacturing PMI is out tonight after edging up further last month to its highest level (54.7) for 14 months.

Australia – retail sales and private sector credit data are also out tonight and they will need to show a fair amount of strength if there is to be any stirring in the Australian money market. RBA expectations have been becalmed in recent weeks.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Chain store sls (w/e Nov 26) w/w 07.45 +1.0% last
US Durable orders (Oct) m/m 08.30 +1.5%
US Durables ex-transport (Oct) m/m 08.30 +1.0%
CA Current account (Q3) 08.30 C$8.9bn
CA Industrial PI (Oct) m/m 08.30 -0.1%
CA Raw materials PI (Oct) m/m 08.30 -0.5%
US Redbook sls (w/e Nov 26) m/m 08.55 +0.1% last
CH SNB’s Blattner speaks 09.10
US Consumer confidence (Nov) 10.00 90.0
US New home sales (Oct) 10.00 1200k
US ABC consumer conf (w/e Nov 27) 17.00 -17 last
JP PMI manu (Nov) 18.30
AU Retail trade (Oct) m/m 19.30 +0.4%
AU Private sector credit (Oct) m/m 19.30 +0.9%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
JP Unemployment rate (Oct) 4.5% 4.2%
JP Job-to-applicants ratio (Oct) 0.98 0.98
JP Employment (Oct) -230k +530k last
JP PCE workers (Oct) y/y +1.3% +0.2%
JP Ind prod (Oct, prel) m/m +0.6% +1.4%
GB N’wide house prices (Nov) m/m 0.0% +0.3%
EU M3 (Oct) 3m y/y +8.2% +8.4%
EU M3 (Oct) y/y +8.0% +8.6%
EU Private sector lending (Oct) y/y +8.8% +8.6% last
SE Retail sales (Oct) m/m +0.8% +0.3%
NO Retail sales (Oct) m/m -0.2% +0.7%
GB Consumer credit (Oct) +£1.3bn +£1.3bn
GB Mortgage approvals (Oct, sa) 113k 108k
ZA GDP (Q3) saar +4.2% +4.3%
* Consensus unless stated
3mth moving average

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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