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Thursday January 5, 2006 - 11:54:54 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange -

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• EUR-USD momentum still positive and Eurozone data is strong, but lack of further advance overnight reflects market uncertainty about fundamental backdrop.
• USD-CAD moves off key levels – poor trade data highlights NZD vulnerabilities.
• US non-manufacturing ISM features today.

Market Outlook

Strong Eurozone data releases this morning with PMI services, the business climate indicator and German manufacturing orders all coming out well ahead of expectations. While this is clearly supportive for ECB rate hike arguments in H1 this year, EUR-USD has failed to push on, perhaps because the market has one eye on today’s non-manufacturing ISM number and tomorrow’s employment report.

However, the positive momentum generated by Tuesday’s manufacturing ISM and FOMC minutes is still intact. Tuesday’s developments were technically significant, with EUR-USD breaking above a trendline running back to March as well as its 100-day moving average. Apart from the short period of USD weakness triggered by Hurricane Katrina, EUR-USD has not been above this 100-day MA since March 22. The 100 day MA is now at 1.2008 and as long as this holds there will be some upside risk to an area running through 1.2175 (Oct 27 high), to 1.2203 (Oct 6 high) and 1.2222 (currently the 200-day MA). Above there would leave risk up towards the 1.25 area. However, even though technical considerations are currently positive, market sentiment will likely remain fickle in response to data developments so clear direction may still prove difficult.

The CAD has performed well this week, yesterday closing at its highest level against the USD since January 1992, but has eased off this morning. The general move against the USD has been the main trigger, although M&A support (ongoing bid battle for steelmaker Dofasco), the lack of concern about the political noise in Canada and the outlook for steady BoC rate rises are also helping. The next barrier on USD-CAD is the Dec 14 intra-day Iow at 1.1428 and there could be a further modest pullback before that is tested after the scale of the move this week. However, downside prospects look fairly good and below 1.1428 would leave some risk down to the 1991 low at 1.1190, although beyond there will be difficult in the absence of some further significant generalised USD weakness.

The NZD was briefly unsettled by the larger than expected trade deficit reported yesterday evening and this renews an area of vulnerability for the NZD, especially if the USD does manage to stage any recovery in the short-term. Some downside risk would return to NZD-USD below 0.6835.

Day Ahead
US – apart from a dip in September the non-manufacturing ISM has been fairly strong in recent months, but an outcome above 57 will probably be required today if further USD weakness is to be avoided, especially given the strength seen in Eurozone data this morning.

Data/event EDT Consensus*

US Initial claims (w/e Dec 31) 08.30 320k
US Continuing claims (w/e Dec 24) 08.30 2715k last
US ISM non-manu (Dec) 10.00 59.0
US Challenger layoffs (Dec) 10.00 99k last
CA PMI (Dec, nsa) 10.00 62.7
AU Building approvals (Nov) m/m 19.30 +1.8%

Latest data Actual Consensus*
NZ Trade balance (Nov) -NZ$1.2bn -NZ$0.7bn
JP Monetary base (Dec) y/y +1.0% +1.6%
DE Retail sales (Nov) m/m -1.0% +0.2%
FR Household survey (Dec) -30 -31
IT PMI services (Dec) 56.2 54.5
FR PMI services (Dec) 58.7 56.5
DE PMI services (Dec) 56.0 55.3
EU PMI services (Dec) 56.8 55.4
GB PMI services (Dec) 57.9 56.0
EU Econ sentiment (Dec) 100.5 100.5
EU Business climate index (Dec) +0.35 +0.20
EU Retail sales (Nov) m/m -0.1% +0.4%
EU PPI (Nov) y/y +4.2% +4.1%
DE Manu orders (Nov) m/m +1.7% -1.0%
* 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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