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Monday January 9, 2006 - 11:29:33 GMT
Mellon Bank Foreign Exchange - https://fx.mellon.com/

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Forex: Mellon FX Daily - U.S. Edition

Key Points
• JPY recovery driving many currencies overnight – Asian currencies remain strong, EUR crosses affected.
• EUR-USD should be supported by prospect of US trade data this week. GBP looking better amidst
improving economic news.
• Fed speakers feature today, UK BRC retail survey due tonight.

Market Outlook

The significant move in USD-JPY on Friday – trading below 114.60-115.00 – was built upon in Asia this morning (despite the fact that Japan is away on holiday) and it remained subdued in Europe. Next key support is at 113.56, the 61.8% retracement of the Sep to Dec rally, while 114.60-115.00 needs to be won back to stabilise the situation. 116.50 and 118.20 are levels that have to break to suggest the possible development of fresh upside momentum. The JPY move against the USD has helped Asian currencies in general, although they probably needed little encouragement following the strong momentum (and capital flows) seen last week. The IMF advanced the usual rhetoric about the need for China to fully utilise the scope for CNY flexibility (they said the same thing in November and December) although on the basis of recent announcements China is already doing this. The pace of USD-CNY downward movement has also accelerated over the past couple of weeks.

The JPY movement is influencing other majors, with the weakness in EUR-JPY clearly affecting EUR-USD. 1.2060-70 is near-term support on the latter, while key on EUR-JPY is the 137.35-50 area. 137.35 is the 61.8% retracement of the Aug to Dec upmove and 137.50 was the low in both November and December. EUR-USD should remain supported ahead of the US trade data this week and the possibility of the ECB signalling more tightening ahead, but clearly there could be some volatility if EUR-JPY does break lower. Resistance on EUR-USD is at 1.2220.

The weakness in the EUR has also helped EUR-GBP lower, but GBP looks better supported in any case on the basis of recent housing data releases and the improved reports coming through from the High Street (generally good over the past few days and this morning). On the basis of recent evidence, it will be difficult for the MPC to cut rates in Jan or Feb (see below for more). Below 0.6820 is needed to open up more downside risk.

Day Ahead
UK – the BRC measure of nominal retail sales growth is due tonight and the weekend press reported that this will show likefor- like y/y sales growth of +1.7%, although this comes off the very weak base of last December (generally seen as a horror story for most retailers). Christmas reporting so far shows both winners and losers on the High Street and many more companies will report this week. Overall, sales appear to have held up well, although questions will remain over whether the consumer will retrench once more now that Christmas is out of the way. It will be difficult to answer questions like this until the January retail sales data is also seen, so the MPC may be unwilling to come to any dramatic conclusions until this is released on February 13. This in turn may make it difficult for them to cut rates in February, especially with a number of housing market indicators also picking up. The one supporting factor for a rate cut has been the improvement in the inflation outlook and it will be interesting to see how far this is influencing the thoughts of members at this week’s meeting, the minutes of which will be released on January 25.

US – the market will be watching Fed speakers today and whether they seek to either encourage or discourage the market’s interpretation of recent policy signals. However, with a changeover in Fed chairmanship in the offing there may be an unwillingness to commit either way at the present time, in order to leave options open for the FOMC post-Greenspan.

Diary
Da ta/event EDT Consensus*

JP Market holiday
US Fed’s Guynn speaks on economy 12.40
US Fed’s Hoenig speaks on economy 13.00
US Consumer credit (Nov) 15.00 +$4.6bn
GB BRC retail sales (Dec) y/y 19.01 +0.8% last
AU Trade balance (Nov) 19.30 -A$1.8bn


Latest data Actual Consensus*
AU Retail sales (Nov) m/m -0.1% +0.3%
AU ANZ job ads (Dec) m/m -2.4% +0.4% last
DE Current account (Nov) €8.1bn €7.0bn
DE Trade balance (Nov) €13.3bn €13.5bn
DE Exports (Nov) m/m -1.4% +1.5%
GB HBOS house prices (Dec) m/m +1.0% +1.2% last
* 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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