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Thursday December 22, 2005 - 11:54:54 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• USD remains generally solid, but EUR-USD stays above next support at 1.1800.
• USD-JPY could extend a little further today – 117.70 is key.
• Japanese data continues to point to strong economic activity.
• NZD hit again as GDP data reveals underlying ills of NZ economy.
• GBP hurt by current account data.
• US core PCE prices due today.

Market Outlook

EUR-USD has moved off the lows seen yesterday, but only modestly and further weakness could be seen following yesterday’s break below the 50-day moving average at 1.1873. The key barrier today and it is a potentially significant one, comes in at 1.1800, which is where it stopped yesterday and also the 61.8% retracement of the Nov to Dec upmove from 1.1642 to 1.2060.

The USD has remained firm against the JPY and this could also extend higher today if 117.70 breaks, leaving risk to 118.20 ahead of the 119.50-120.00 area. The JPY continues to show immunity to solid economic data, simply because such developments are not translating into higher interest rate expectations. These remain grounded due to the lack of strength in core CPI. The charts below show continuing strength in both exports and the activity indices (released today).

GBP choppiness continued this morning following the release of a much larger than expected current account deficit for Q3, although this number is volatile at the best of times and Q3 was affected by the large insurance payouts related to Katrina. GBP has still not managed to get out of the 0.6750-0.6825 range. A move higher is favoured eventually (some time in Q1), but any short-term strength may require anecdotal evidence of retail weakness in the weeks ahead.

The NZD continues to suffer, with the latest piece of bad news coming in the form of weaker than expected Q3 GDP data. The data is ‘old’ but highlights the unevenness of NZ growth, with strong household consumption being offset by very weak net exports. There is a real danger of NZD confidence imploding if support at 0.6685 gives way. Below there would open significant downside risk. Above 0.6800-40 is required to offer some short-term stabilisation hopes.

Day Ahead
US – personal income and expenditure data are due and this will include the latest monthly estimate of core PCE prices. This has been subdued in recent months and has helped to calm some of the inflation fears that had developed earlier in the year. The y/y rate last month eased back to +1.8%, the lowest since March 2004.


Data/event EDT Consensus*

DE CPI states (Dec, prel) m/m from today +0.9%
US Personal income (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.3%
US PCE (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.4%
US Core PCE price index (Nov) m/m 08.30 +0.1% last
US Core PCE price index (Nov) y/y 08.30 +1.8% last
US Initial claims (w/e Dec 17) 08.30 325k
US Continuing claims (w/e Dec 10) 08.30 2606k last
BE Business confidence (Dec) 09.00 -3.5
US Lead indicators (Nov) m/m 10.00 +0.4%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
2 NZ GDP (Q3) q/q +0.2% +0.3%
JP Tertiary index (Oct) m/m +1.2% +0.7%
JP All-industry index (Oct) m/m +0.9% +0.5%
JP Trade balance (Nov, sa) ¥708bn ¥807bn
DE Import prices (Nov) y/y +5.5% +5.2%
CH Employment (Q3) y/y +0.1% +0.2% last
IT Business confidence (Dec) 91.1 90.4
GB GDP (Q3, final) q/q +0.4% +0.4%
GB Current account (Q3) -£10.2bn -£7.0bn
IT Retail sales (Oct) m/m +0.3% 0.0%
EU Manu orders (Oct) m/m -0.5% +0.7%
* Consensus unless stated
005, 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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